Lifestyle and Emerging Technology In Plain English

Category Archives: Blogging

Testing a new plugin suite — Shortcake Bakery

Short­cake Bakery uses the Short­cake plu­gin and extends use of Word­Press short­codes. Makes embed­ding con­tent in my blog pretty easy.

 

The above video link from Face­book via the Short­cake Bakery.

Last week, Daniel Bach­huber and the engin­eer­ing team at Fusion releasedShort­cake Bakery, a plu­gin that extends the Short­cake pro­ject to sup­ply a suite of handy short­codes for pub­lish­ers. The plu­gin cur­rently includes the following:

  • Image Com­par­ison (powered by Jux­ta­poseJS)
  • Face­book embeds
  • iFrames (require whitel­is­ted hostnames)
  • Infogram embeds
  • PDF’s (powered by PDF.js)
  • Play­buzz embeds
  • Rap Genius annotations
  • Scribd embeds
  • Scripts (require whitel­is­ted hostnames)

Plu­gin writeup and detail found here.

Testing Duet — an OS X display extender app for iPad

You’ve prob­ably seen the online hype around Duet — an OS X dis­play extender app for iPad. Basic­ally it’s sup­posed to allow you to extend your cur­rent desktop screen to an iPad — just as if you had an extra mon­itor. Other apps already do this, but Duet’s claim to fame is it will extend your desktop in a way that’s lag free. So if you’re watch­ing movies or anim­a­tion and mov­ing ele­ments between mon­it­ors, you’ll not notice lag.

Duet’s unique fea­ture that allows this is that Duet con­nects to your Mac using the USB port and either 30 pin con­nector or Light­ning connector.

I’ve pre­vi­ously used sim­ilar apps, Air Dis­play and Dis­playPad, though both have util­ized WiFi to link your dis­play to the com­puter. Also, both sup­port Win­dows or OS X. Cur­rently, Duet doesn’t sup­port Windows.

Duet also doesn’t sup­port the ori­ginal iPad, where the two other apps do — a con­sid­er­a­tion if you have an older ori­ginal hanging around, as I do.

Duet has been get­ting mixed reviews on the iTunes App Store, but that may be related to the high CPU usage needed to render out a ret­ina dis­play to a ret­ina iPad — there’s a lot of work going on. If you’re using a new com­puter, or have a lower res­ol­u­tion iPad, then you may not encounter this issue.

Regard­less, I’ll take a look at the app and report back when I’ve been able to give it a workout.

 

Ello’s a thing, like the other thing, but more.

 

You’ve prob­ably heard about Ello, a new, Face­book altern­at­ive that prom­ises to be ad free, and not sell your data. Sounds inter­est­ing, so I’m try­ing it out.

Given my recent obser­va­tions on Face­book — mostly that the stuff I share there isn’t really seen by my friends who fol­low me there, I thought I’d give Ello a try.

Of course, it helps if my friends are fol­low­ing me on Ello too!

So if you’re inter­ested in Ello, let me know by using my con­tact form here. Include your email and I’ll send you an invite.

Read more about Ello here. And read the Ello mani­festo here!

Hope­fully I’ll see you on Ello soon!

Hammered


And not the way you think. My blog (and oth­ers of my account asso­ci­ated with my attacked domain) was off­line for a bit. It seems that someone thinks it’s a good idea to ham­mer my webhost’s serv­ers try­ing to find vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies in their security.

They selec­ted my domain again today. Prob­lem is fixed, but it’s a pain until I can catch the prob­lem and fix it.

Testing a newsletter. Want to help?

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 6.57.57 AMHey all, I’m test­ing out some news­let­ter soft­ware for Tess’s Steeped Tea con­sultancy and I’ve a favour to ask; I want to test it tonight but need warm bod­ies to receive it and offer feed­back :) If you want to help, sign up here (http://g1z.me/1fjAbBk). Feel free to unsub­scribe after the test, or if you can’t (soft­ware fubar etc) then just let me know and I’ll remove you.

Ques­tions? Com­ments? Let me know!

And thanks for let­ting me ping you about this!

– Brad

On Flipboard


EDIT: 2 days later and my read­er­ship has almost doubled!

So. I’ve got 28,000 51,000 read­ers of my online gam­ing magazine — a Flip­board titled On Gam­ing.

Holy Cow!!!! When I star­ted my Flip­board I had never real­ized it would become this suc­cess­ful. I’m totally humbled and blown away.

What’s a FlipBoard?

If you fol­low me on Face­book (and if not, why not? 😀 )  you likely have seen that I’ve been post­ing or cross­post­ing more art­icles to Flip­Board, a gor­geously laid out magazine format cur­a­tion sys­tem for content.

flipboard28k

Whut?
Flip­board is, quite simply, an online magazine that lets you take con­tent you find online and group it into one online ‘magazine’. Sim­ilar to what Pin­terest lets you do with vari­ous image con­tent. Flip­board ori­gin­ally launched on the iPhone and iPad, now is avail­able for Android devices and Com­puters too. A very nifty plat­form. To quote the cre­at­ors:

Mil­lions of people use Flip­board to read and col­lect the news they care about, cur­at­ing their favor­ite stor­ies into their own magazines on any topic ima­gin­able. Now magazines cre­ated by our read­ers, from Nepal to Sauce and spread, can be shared and enjoyed on the Web by any­one, anywhere.

others

And why is it some­thing you’d want to do?
Well, in my case, I love find­ing neat stuff and shar­ing it with oth­ers. And, hav­ing a suc­cess­ful Flip­board allows me to extend the reach of art­icles *I* write by simply includ­ing them in the appro­pri­ate Flipboard.

As well, hav­ing a pop­u­lar Flip­board also enhances my abil­ity to pro­file con­tent I think is important.

So, if you’re so inclined, feel free to check out On Gam­ing, or any of the other magazines I cur­ate, and let me know what you think! If you’ve got some­thing you’d like me to share with my read­ers, just con­tact me. And if you start your own Flip­board magazine, then let me know too! I’d love to have a look!

So. Google’s shutting down Google Reader

Frankly I’d not thought about my RSS read­ing pro­cess in a while. I use NetVibes (pic­tured above) as my main reader, and it’s been pretty stable up until today; they pos­ted a note say­ing they’re deal­ing with an influx of new mem­bers — likely emig­rants from Google Reader.

I like NetVibes because it gives me a simple headline-in-a-tile view that makes it easy to quickly scan my news, and NetVibes man­ages my feed sub­scrip­tions.

This is where the pain will be felt by those using Google Reader when the big G shuts it down. Many 3rd party apps for mobile devices use Google Reader as the ‘sub­scrip­tion man­age­ment’ fea­ture of their app. When Google Reader closes on July 1, these apps will have to have in place some sort of replace­ment for sub­scrip­tion man­age­ment, or they’ll break.

Update: If you’re look­ing to migrate your Google Reader sub­scrip­tions to NetVibes, the team at NetVibes have this handy guide. (Thanks Randy!)

For now, this won’t impact me or my news­read­ing habits, but as I men­tioned at the top, I’m rethink­ing my RSS read­ing, and as Dave Weiner states, rethink­ing my use of Free when applied to ser­vices I’m com­ing to depend on.