Contributed by Julian Moffatt, Wil Alambre, and Max Chiriac over the course of January 30th…
Awesome Canadian Bills List
If you want to know what bills are before Parliament here in Canada, then you should book mark this link on Reddit.com.
Plain English Summary of Bill C-11
This is effectively the DCMA bill with a few internet bits tossed in. If this bill passes, it will be illegal to jailbreak/root your iPhone or use VLC (open source) software to watch a DVD on your computer. Additionally torrent sites fall under the general blanket of "we think there be pirates, therefore they be illegal" nebulous legal speak.
Megaupload Data Deleted Thursday
If you used Megaupload for legitimate purposes and hoped to recover your data in the wake of the US's piracy crackdown, you might be S.O.L.
The State Of HTML5 Video
LongTailVideo have published report about current stat of the HTML5 video. Article summarizes what HTML5 can and can not support across various browsers and devices including support for different codecs and attributes.
Single Instrument Cover
What an awesome cover, done on a single instrument, by 4 people and a sea-captian.
Winnipeg Firms Merge to Form New Agency
Our friends at Cocoon, Velocity and Clark/Huot have merged to form a super group called clarkhuot/cocoon. We are looking forward to seeing them in action. Good luck everyone!
Contributed by Wil Alambre and Max Chiriac over the course of January 26th…
JC Penny Reinventing Itself
Neat to hear how department stores have trapped themselves in loudly-advertised often-run sales, to the point where no one was listening. Only one in 500 items sold were bought at full price, and the store was running almost six hundred promotions every year at a cost of $2 million each!
Oil Rush is a real-time naval strategy game based on group control. It combines the strategic challenge of a classical RTS with the sheer fun of Tower Defence. it runs on the following platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and PlayStation 3. Powered by Unigine Engine. View official trailer & gameplay on Youtube. Available for $19.99 on Steam and Desura.
Contributed by Wil Alambre and Max Chiriac over the course of January 25th…
Nimblebit vs Zynga
Zynga gets called out on its new game, "Dream Heights", which looks to be a complete rip-off of Nimblebits' popular "Tiny Tower".
From the people behind HTML5 Boilerplate, Modernizr & CSS3 Please. HTML5 Please helps look up HTML5, CSS3, etc features, know if they are ready for use, and if so find out how you should use them â with polyfills, fallbacks or as they are.
Contributed by Wil Alambre and Julian Moffatt over the course of January 24th…
- Smart E-Book Interface Prototype
- New Vimeo
Clearing Browser Cache
Bookmarked because it always comes up in support requests. Use this URL from Google if you need to help your clients navigate to the settings in their web browser and empty a sticky cache.
A timed colour matching game, utilizing various colour wheels. Be sure to adjust your monitor beforehand, and go for the elusive "perfect" hits. How good is your sense of colour?
Contributed by Dwayne Kristjanson, Max Chiriac, and Julian Moffatt over the course of January 23rd…
CS 101: Building a Search Engine
WebM-Enabled Browser Usage Share Exceeds H.264-Enabled Browser Usage Share on Desktop
Results for Week 1 and Week 2 of 2012
Meet the New CEO of RIM
Best comment on YouTube "He speaks as slowly as his OS" ... the future doesn't look bright for RIM :(
Crossroads.js is a routing library inspired by URL Route/Dispatch utilities present on frameworks like Rails, Pyramid, Django, CakePHP, CodeIgniter, etc... It parses a string input and decides which action should be executed by matching the string against multiple patterns. It is a powerful and flexible routing system. If used properly it can reduce code complexity by decoupling objects and also by abstracting navigation paths and server requests.
Contributed by Lauren Zacharias over the course of January 20th…
Wat - A lightning talk by Gary Bernhardt from CodeMash 2012
Programming and logic are supposed to go hand in hand. Gary Bernhardt talks about the times when they do not.
Contributed by Wil Alambre and Max Chiriac over the course of January 19th…
Eastman Kodak Co Files For Bankruptcy Protection
They invented the handheld camera and they invented the digital camera, but ironically, they never were quick enough off the mark to embrace modern technology.
Canadian Media and SOPA Protest
Michael Geist collects links to Canadian media coverage of yesterday's SOPA blackout protest.
Xscope is one of the apps that is running all the time on a majority of our machines. Looking forward to trying out Iconfactory's new and improved version!
Apple's update to their iOS ebook software comes as part of a push into interactive digital textbooks in partnership with a number of major publishers.
CSS for Babies Book
The first book of this series, HTML for Babies, was such a big hit that the author made CSS for Babies as the sequel. It's only natural that babies would want to move on to CSS after mastering HTML, right? Sit down with this board book and teach your wee geek about the building blocks of the web. Written by a web designer for his baby
Contributed by Wil Alambre over the course of January 18th…
Contributed by Julian Moffatt, Doug Ross, and Lauren Zacharias over the course of January 17th…
Best thing I have seen this morning.
SOPA Blackout set for January 18, 2011
Although the SOPA bill has been briefly stopped it is not dead. Therefore a blackout by some key Internet sites will still take place.
An Impressive Demo of the Powers of CSS3 3D
Elevation Dock - Kickstarter Project
Yup. I'm in. Just need to figure out who else wants one and what level to back.
Contributed by Wil Alambre over the course of January 16th…
- Seasons of Tuxedo
Color Palette Generator
I've been finding this tool very handy, providing me with two sets of six hexadecimal colours, one dull set and one vibrant set, for any image. Just provide the URL and it takes a second.
New Timmie's Cup Size
Tim Hortons is changing the names of their hot coffee cup sizes to accommodate a new super jumbo 24 ounce size. That is almost three-quarters of a litre.
I'm currently using Coda 1.7.4, but I've had a persistant problem across several versions of Coda where the ".ctp" templates in my CakePHP projects would be ignored in the Coda search results. I had things working most of the time by setting up a Custom Syntax Mode in Coda to display ".ctp" files with PHP highlighting. That got things working for most of the search types Coda supports, but when using "find in folder" some of the templates were still ignored.
Eventually I was able to figure out out a way to consistently trigger the issue after noticing that the icon Coda used for the file it was ignoring was not the same as the ones for the files it included. The ignored file had the same icon as an executable bash script, and sure enough when I checked the file permissions the file was marked as executable. After a few tests, I was able to determine that the rule was as follows:
- If any of the executable flags are set,
- and the file extension is not known,
- and the search type is "find in folder",
- Then the file will not be searched.
That made sense, since it wouldn't do to search through binary files. There's no reason for the template files to be executable, anyway, so the right thing to do was to change the permissions on the file. But that wouldn't help me make mass changes across multiple files if I didn't know that the file permissions were messed up.
Files ending in ".php", however, are searched even when they are executable, so not all executable files are ignored. How could I set things up so ".ctp" files would work the same way? I tried using a completely made up extension, and it behaved the same way as ".ctp". Setting Coda as the default application to open ".ctp" files and setting a Custom Syntax Mode for ".ctp" files in Coda had no effect. I was a bit lost as to what constituted an "unknown" file extension. Especially since some of my coworkers did not have this problem.
I emailed Panic, the makers of Coda, and they were able to confirm that this was a problem some people had. It was not, however, due to anything in Coda itself. Instead the problem was due to the Spotify service in OS X not indexing certain files. Knowing that, I noticed that Finder reported the file "kind" as "Executable Unix File". So I did some research into how to change that. A quick Google search led me to an article about changing a file's "kind". So I tried the following:
- Right clicked on the Coda app in Finder and selected "Show Package Contents"
- Inside the package is a "Contents" folder, and inside that is a file named "Info.plist", which I opened in a text editor.
- I found the section in that file where PHP file extensions are associated with Coda, and added two new entries to the
After saving those changes, exectuable ".ctp" files could be searched in the same manner as executable ".php" files. Hopefully this will be helpful to other people who are having the same problem.
Contributed by Wil Alambre over the course of January 13th…
Android Design Guide
Google has released a design guide for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, hoping to quash some inconsistencies in app design.
- OnLive Windows 7 Desktop for iPad
An article at the Electronic Frontier Foundation about a bogus lawsuit, where an astrology software company sued researchers maintaining a decades-old database of timezone information despite the issue that the information in dispute are facts and therefore cannot be copyrighted.
Contributed by Julian Moffatt over the course of January 12th…
Must Read of the Day: Lockdown by Cory Doctorow
General-purpose computers are astounding. They're so astounding that our society still struggles to come to grips with them, what they're for, how to accommodate them, and how to cope with them. This brings us back to something you might be sick of reading about: copyright.
Grab your lunch and settle down for a read. This is important stuff to understand, especially if you work on, with or near computers. Being in Canada, our current federal government likes to march in lock-step with whatever big brother to the South of us does with regards to intellectual property and copyright laws. If the Stop Online Piracy Act passes as a law in the US, mark my words, it will be coming Canada.
New Beauty Product
This is bookmarked so I can remind the girls in my life that what they see in the media is mostly fake.
If you travel on Princess Street, in Winnipeg, you might have seen a giant six foot green lizard as you head into downtown and wondered "what is that big green lizard?" It is none other than the logo of Visual Lizard. We are one of Winnipeg's longest running web and application programming companies. Our new home on Princess Street is a fabulous 2400 square foot condo that we just finished off at the end of 2011 with the help our friends at Syverson|Monteyene.
Our friends over at SRS Signs did an awesome job in translating our little lizard into a six foot tall aluminum and vinyl sign. They also did the front door signs and our hours of operation on the front of the building.
So next time you are wandering down Princess street, if the lights are on, drop in and say 'hi'. We're always happy to meet new people, discuss ideas, projects, concepts, web sites, programming, and general tech-nerd stuff.
See you soon!
Contributed by Julian Moffatt and Wil Alambre over the course of January 10th…
Wikipedia Link of the Day - Microbrust
Now you know.
- Search, Plus Your World
OpenType on the Web
Microsoft has a nice little demo site of some Firefox and IE specific tags for advanced typography with CSS. I'm going to have to find out the status of Webkit support for OpenType and see what the future holds.
8 Responsive jQuery Slider Plugins
Henry Jones rounds up some jQuery slider plugins that will adapt to the size of their container. Handy, considering the uptick in responsive web designs lately.
Veerle Has Updated Her Inspiration Stream
Her layouts alone are inspiration enough for me.
A jQuery plugin by John Polacek for doing cool scrolly stuff.
Think I Found My Show for 2012
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret with David Cross as star and writer. NSFW without headphones.
Today for lunch, we made pizza. Everything turned out mostly OK.
- 6 cups flour
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon yeast
Mix together sugar, water, and salt (which I forgot) and sprinkle yeast on top and let it bloom. Dump or sift the flour into the largest bowl you have access to (or straight onto your counter if you don't mind making a mess) and make a hole in the center of the flour. Slowly add the water/yeast mixture into this well, mixing thoroughly. When the dough starts to come together, knead by hand until it's smooth.
Cover the dough with a little olive oil, to keep it from sticking to everything, and leave it to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes to half an hour. You should pre-heat your oven to 500 F, so I used the counter next to the oven.
(For those of you who don't get Jonathan Coulton references ... my kneading theme music.)
Wil helpfully provided bell peppers and onions. I wanted a Margherita pizza, so I had fresh basil and slices of mozzerella.
- small (213ml) can of general-purpose tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- salt and pepper
MIx it all together, bring to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes or so. Then take it off the heat and let it cool down a bit before putting it on your pizza.
Prior to adding spices.
We had enough dough for 5 small pizzas. It probably could have been 6. Or two medium sized. Or one really large.
Bake at 500 F for 15 to 20 minutes. Or, as we discovered, for 40 minutes if you've put too many pans in the oven at once preventing hot air from getting to the top of the oven where it can properly brown your pizza. Switching the pans to different levels sped things up ... but the crusts ended up a bit tougher than I'd like.
Not the best pizza I've made, but they still turned out pretty delicious. It took far too long to make this a regular thing, but cooking at work can be pretty fun.
For lunch, Dwayne had brought ingredients to make a small homemade pizza in our office kitchen. Since he is a generous cook and some of the rest of us had other fixings available, we all chipped in and it became a spontaneous office lunch!
We decided to share this unplanned kitchen cooperation over Twitter. Then decided to share it here on our blog through Twitter's embeddable tweet functionality, a new feature that allows web-savvy folk to include tweets and all associated functionality right into their content…
Monday lunch pizza development using cutting edge technology by most the team! twitter.com/visuallizard/s…— Visual Lizard (@visuallizard) January 9, 2012
As for the pizzas, they come out delicious… so much so that we didn't pause to take a picture of the final results. Right out of the oven, onto plates, and into our bellies. Mmm. If you are interested, you can read Dwayne's follow-up post for his pizza recipe! :)
Contributed by Julian Moffatt and Wil Alambre over the course of January 9th…
Facebook Kills RSS Feed Importing
Old news to some, but I just found the official documentation from Facebook on the fact that you can no longer import your blog posts to Facebook via RSS. They suggest posting manually to "better interact with your fans". Loosely translated this means we want to show you more ads while you hang around Facebook. Posted here so I don't forget the next time someone asks why their news feed isn't on Facebook anymore.
The Restart Page
Experience the reboot experience of ye olde operating systems.
Will Canada Join The Trans Pacific Partnership?
The biggest effect would be extending copyright by an additional twenty years, meaning nothing would enter public domain until 2033.
Startup Lessons From A Crime Boss
"Everything I need to know about startups, I learned from Kobayashi. While I canât get too deep into specifics (would you?), I can share a few the things he taught me."
Contributed by Wil Alambre, Doug Ross, and Max Chiriac over the course of January 6th…
Preview of 2012 Animated Features
Some fantastic animated movies coming out this year, including "The Secret World of Arriety", "The Pirates! Band of Misfits", "Brave", and more.
Windows 8 Storage Spaces
With Storage Spaces, physical disks are grouped together into pools, and pools are then carved up into spaces, which are formatted with a regular filesystem and are used day-to-day just like regular disks.
IE6 Usage Drops Below 1% In the United States
At this writing, Canada is still at 1.4%... come on, everyone, we can do better than that!
Van Halen to Play MTS Centre on May 17th, 2012
The first arena rock show I went to was Van Halen 1984. This would be fun to see.
CSS Profiling and Optimization notes
An interesting read about CSS performance and factors affecting it. Take some time to understand how using different CSS selectors may become more expensive.
Contributed by Wil Alambre, Max Chiriac, and Ross McDowall over the course of January 5th…
Douchey Account Guy
Marketing speak, business speak, power speak, whatever you call it, we've all met at least one guy who talks like this...
iPhone on pure CSS3
Apparently, not being ladened with bloatware, adware, spyware, and general crap is a feature now?
CPR is no laughing matter, but this advert for learning it is!
Vinnie Jones (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch) promotes learning CPR in this advert for the British Heart Foundation.
Twitter provides a single line of code that allows tweets to be embedded directly into your HTML, along with associated images, conversations and videos. Retweeting, following, and all other standard-issue tools automatically handled. Handy!
Contributed by Wil Alambre over the course of January 4th…
Porn for book lovers. A photo blog collection of all the best bookshelf photos from around the world for people who *heart* bookshelves.
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo
Probably the best english sentence in the world, via Simon Aughton.
Google Penalizes Self After Sponsored Post Gaffe
Google demotes the official Chrome home page after embarrassingly backing a campaign that generated numerous paid links and thin/garbage content about the browser... something they have been actively fighting against.
Do As We Say, Not As We Do.
According to findings by TorrentFreak and YouHaveDownloaded, several IP-addresses assigned to the Canadian House of Commons have been caught pirating copyrighted material. Oops.
Visual Lizard has been working on Apple machines since 2007-ish when we all upgraded from standard-issue Dell desktops to seventeen inch Macbook Pros. Every since then, Apple has released a number of Mac OS X versions, and each time I have upgraded my machine rather than formatting and starting clean. Though this has the advantage of not needing to reinstall apps and track down registration numbers, after half a dozen updates and the same number of years, my machine has inherited quite a bit of cruft.
Over this season's holidays, I decided to reformat and reinstall OS X Lion. The first time I have started fresh in years. I like to believe everything is booting up and shutting down faster because of it, but I have not bothered with any measurments so that may, admittedly, be just my rose-coloured perception. The most noticeable improvement was reinstalling my applications.
Services like the Mac App Store and Steam have made setting up a Mac incredibly easy compared to the old days. I did not have to track down CDs or registration numbers or manuals. I was able to log into a cloud-based store, find all my existing purchases waiting for me in a list, and reinstalled them with just a couple clicks. What used to be an arduous and long process has become a straight-forward series of over-the-internet restores... though it can still take a while depending on your internet connection and the filesizes involved.
It’s kind of remarkable. I’ve set up a couple of PCs and a few TVs over the last couple of years. Buying a new television and setting it up is far more complicated now than buying a computer and setting it up.
My recommendation to my coworkers and my own plans for the future is to, when given the choice, make app purchases from reputable cloud-based stores from now own. There are some issues with doing so, notably the Mac App Store's lack of demo versions and Apple taking a major cut from a developers profits, but it will only take you one time setting up a machine from scratch to see the advantage.
Contributed by Wil Alambre over the course of January 3rd…
New Transit Fares
For those going back to school or work today, remember Winnipeg Transit has raised their fares a nickel over the new years.
Distrust That Particular Flavor
Collected non-fiction essays and articles written by William Gibson, including journalism from small publishers, online sources, and magazines no longer in existence.
Some amusingly frank iPhone wallpapers designed by Nico Ordozgoiti.
Not only a solid survey raising awareness, but also a kick-ass exception on JS, CSS, animation, design, etc!