Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Stuff I Like: This Rocketship Will Crash ].

Entertaining fiction not quite of this world. You might want to use [ this ] link to get straight to the short stories. The writer also publishes books, apparently.

Miracle Jones.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Of Interest: Prey

Electronics are a hot commodity among sticky-fingered miscreants.

Prey is an application that aims to solve the problem of locating and recovering a lost asset; Prey  across works on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS, too. ]

They've also taken advantage of the "freemium" pricing concept - you can create an account on their site for free, and store up to 10 reports (location, time, and more) for each of three devices.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Stuff I like: Kickstarter

This thing is an absolute goldmine of good ideas and people who exemplify this:

The idea is simple: Give entrepreneurs a venue to crowdsource capital. In return, the "backers" (not investors) will (usually) receive something from the entrepreneur. This means that the entrepreneurs retain control over their creations, would-be investors get something in return (a product pre-order, essentially)

Of particular interest are things like the Pebble Smartwatch (from the makers of the InPulse), the PrintrBot (just a really neat 3D printer), and the ScanBox (turns your smartphone into a document scanner).

And those are just things I'm interested in: design- and technology-related products. Kickstarter also has startups for art, films, fashion, games, photography, and more.

You occasionally need to trawl for the little gems... but sometimes you can't help but take notice - the Pebble, for instance, was well beyond funded in less than twenty-four hours. They made the news - they wanted a meager $100,000 in initial funding - and they've been pledged more than $10,000,000 (more like $9,000,000 after Amazon and Kickstarter take their cuts for enabling the project).

This, of course, means they need to deliver a bunch of product - but it means they suddenly have a bunch of buzz and initial profit... to jump-start a business or create something valuable.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Of Interest: Head.js @

Head.js is a neat concept.
In my foray into website design, I started out with HTML5 Boilerplate (more on that later). The "acceptable" ways to optimize page load times - not a huge issue for me right now, but I think it's best to develop good habits - include some strange things.

Strange as in "put all scripts right before the tag" and "minify everything" and "concatenate all external everything into single files". These are good things to do on production code, I guess, but they also have their own drawbacks. The main idea is to reduce HTTP requests and keep as much as possible cached for the end-user. If you have, say, [ Cycle ], and don't properly organize the code on your page, you can end up with some strange flashes of unstyled content (or FOUCs, for short). Those are no bueno and are killer for the end-user.

So you might consider loading all your scripts towards the top of your HTML file... but doing so (normally) stops anything else from loading. This extends what the user perceives as load time, and is thus unacceptable.

Enter head.js. The idea is that you can "load scripts in parallel but execute in order". Essentially, you can decrease load times by loading more than one script at a time while the page is loading, too - this decreases the "flashes" or wait times between pages and prevents scripts from "blocking" rendering processes.

It means that my already-slim handcrafted pages are slimmer and faster and better than before.

Or they will be once I finish implementing head.js across the board, anyway.

You can find head.js [ here ]. Neat stuff.

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