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Input Dominant Color From Image To Background With AdaptiveBackgrounds.js - 3 hours 3 min ago

When showcasing something on the Web, some developers often find a hard time deciding which backgrounds is most suitable for use. A good combination of the background with the right content can affect the user experience substantially. For some designers, they prefer to use some of the dominant colors inside the content itself – AdaptiveBackgrounds.js can do that for you automatically.

AdaptiveBackgrounds.js is a free jQuery plugin that helps you easily adapt the most dominating color in your content as part of the background. It was built on top of RGBaster, made by the same developer.

Basically, it’s a plugin to extract the color palette of an image to get to the dominant color. The first time the page loads, the plugin will extract the color from the image. The extracted color is then applied to the image parent. You can see how it works in this gif.

(Image Source: AdaptiveBackgrounds.js)

Getting Started

AdaptiveBackgrounds.js requires jQuery library to work. Although it’s built on top of RGBaster, you don’t need to include it anymore. You can get the plugin file from its GitHub page.

Then include all the required files to your project like so:

<script type="text/javascript" src='js/jquery.js'></script> <script type="text/javascript" src='js/jquery.adaptive-backgrounds.js'></script> Adapt Dominant Color

We’re going to try this tool out, and use it to extract the dominant color from this image Double Arch photograph by Kartik Ramanathan, then apply it to the parent element.

In order for the dominant color to be applied into an element, you should put the image as the child of it. Inside the img tag, give the data-adaptive-background attribute, like so, so that the script can get the color:

<div class='wrapper'> <img id="img" src="images/double-arch.jpg" data-adaptive-background='1'> </div>

If you directly put the img on the body, then all of the body will be applied with the dominant color.

Next, call the plugin by adding this little javascript code:

<script type="text/javascript"> $(document).ready(function(){ $ }); </script>

And so we’ve got the dominant color applied to the image.

For more examples and additional settings, you can visit the AdaptiveBackgrounds.js documentation page.

Final Thought

With AdaptiveBackgrounds.js, you will get only a static color. You might want to try give your background a little more color for an attention-grabbing result. If you do, check out the AdaptiveBackgrounds.js demo page for more ideas.

Related posts:

  1. A Look Into HTML5 Forms Input Types: Date, Color and Range
  2. UI Design: Customize Checkbox & Radio Input with iCheck
  3. A look Into: Using Encoded Image In CSS (background-image)
  4. Practical Approach To Choosing Website Color Scheme

20 Uniquely Designed Workstations &#38; Office Desks - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 17:01

Next to the bed and our car, our workstation is probably one of the places where we spend most of our time. Who hasn’t ocassionally had to do lunch while they’re working, right? If that’s really the case, maybe it’s about time we spruced up our workstations. After all, your workspace reflects a lot about you. If you’re thinking of going with artsy frames and tasteful flower arrangements, put that aside. Instead, why not take a look at the bigger picture?

Here, we’ll share you with 20 uniquely designed workstations & office desks that’ll leave you amazed, inspired and perhaps even a little confused. Some of the designs are rather simple yet elegant while others are truly groundbreaking. Some are also more practical than others (we’ll let you be the judge). Whether you’re a workaholic that’s always on-the-move or a hardworking car buff, you’re bound to get some pretty great ideas here for your own workstation.

Surf Chair. The Surf Chair is a concept design made more for the comfort of the user. Users won’t have to sit upright to use the computer but instead be able to relax and meld into this uniquely designed chair/workstation.

Car Desk. The car desk uses an old car, strips it of all its components to leave it with its good looking exterior body which is then transformed into a work desk. It’s a cool concept for car enthusiasts who want an original workstation.

iClubby Workstation. The iClubby Workstation looks like the workstation of the future. No need for any tables to work on and it doesn’t take up much floor space. You can even customize your workstation to add more computer monitors or speakers.

Emperor Workstation. The Emperor Workstation resembles an alien spaceship. It can’t take you to outer space, but it’s built to have the ability to recline. And is teched out with in-built touch screens or buttons that lets you control what you see on the multi-monitor setup.

Paradise Desk. The Paradise desk has a carbon fiber top that looks great and compartments to hide cables for a neat workstation. It also comes with USB and power outlets on the top, so you won’t have to break your back while removing plugs.

SlatePro Techdesk. A clutter free workstation without the need of additional iPhone Docks or cable organizers. The table has precisely cut holes where you can place your smartphone, tablet, coffee cup, and also holes to manage cables or cool your laptop better. It may look a bit odd but it does the job.

Kinetic Desk. The Kinetic desk is a futuristic desk with in-built touch screens that allows you to easily change the height of the table to turn it from a standard desk into a standing desk. Desk height profiles can be saved and loaded automatically. It also has built-in power and USB hubs that hides all your charging cables. Great for those who like to keep things neat and tidy.

L3p D3sk. This enthusiast built his PC into his transparent table top, so that he could show off all the components and custom water-cooling parts. It makes for a one-of-a-kind workstation that’s very beautiful, and also neat as there’s no need for a PC case.

Nebbessa Table. The Nebbessa Table by architecture company, Nuvist has a unique shape that seems to defy gravity, and a minimalist design that conveys elegance. There’s also a complementary coffee table on the side that gives it an extra touch of class.

Pallet Table. We don’t think much about pallets as they’re usually ignored and just used for storage purposes. However, recycling a pallet and turning it into a work desk with clear glass on top would make for a very unique looking but inexpensive workstation.

Ninja Standing Desk. The Ninja Standing Desk is a simple yet elegant desk that can be adjusted for users of any height. It’s made out of straps and light-weight shelves that can withstand 30 lbs each. It’s easy to set up and can even be hung over a door.

Tetra Shed. Designers of the Tetra Shed wanted to make a modular workstation that can be placed at the backyard of your house. The shed has makeshift doors and windows and can "house" 3 people comfortably. It looks so cosy that you probably wouldn’t want to leave.

WheelMate Extreme. The WheelMate Extreme allows you to work comfortably in the comfort of your car. But it only works when the steering wheel is upside down, where you secure the small wooden table for a Bluetooth keyboard and tablet holder.

AutoExec iPad Desk. For the workaholic on-the-go, the AutoExec iPad Desk sits on the passenger seat of your car to instantly turn it into a simple, mobile workstation. It comes with a tablet holder and space for writing and simple organization of documents.

Pedal Power. The hand-made Pedal Power desk forces you to pedal and move its gear and chains in order to produce electricity to power your electronic gadgets. Not the prettiest but it’s definitely environmentally friendly and gives you a workout too.

TrekDesk. Take standing desks to the next level with the TrekDesk. The treadmill desk allows you to keep healthy by walking on a standard treadmill while working on documents or a laptop. Just make sure to keep your focus.

Zero Gravity Workstation. The Zero Gravity Workstation is a rig built around a PC chair that allows you to recline backwards. You can view your monitor and use your mouse and keyboard as the entire rig moves with your reclined chair. Perhaps one for the thrill seekers.

Tactical Desk. You can take this Tactical Desk anywhere on the field. It’s equipped with a built-in power source to power all your gadgets on the field. The table included drawers that secures your belongings well and the side table can be folded up to mobilize the entire desk with its wheels.

Overbed Workstation. This takes the term working-in-bed to a whole new level. This rig allows you to mount a monitor and use an almost full-sized desk to use a mouse and keyboard while lying down comfortably in bed. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep.

Related posts:

  1. 8 Tips to Create An Organized & Productive Home Office
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  3. How To Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts For Office 2013 [Quicktip]
  4. Inspirational Workspace – Office Design

5 HTML Elements That You Probably Don&#8217;t Know - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 15:01

In the past we have covered a lot about HTML5 elements as well as demonstrating their functions. New elements such as header, footer, aside, nav, and main make our document structure more semantic or “meaningful”. In particular, these elements help machines to easily understand sections within the document.

But, HTML specifications are huge. If you visit where the documentation resides, you will find hundreds of pages documenting each element extensively. To this extent, there are possibly a few HTML elements that you have overlooked, and those include:

1. Sample Element

Sample Element or samp defines the output from a computer system, a program or a script. It was introduced far back in HTML3!. This element will be useful for tech tutorials or computer manuals. This example below shows how we wrap an error that occurred in Terminal.

If you type dir in Terminal, it will output <samp>command not found: dir</samp>.

All browsers, including IE5, support this element, and they will display it with Monospace typeface like thecode and pre elements.

2. Keyboard Input Element

Keyboard Input Element or kbd is an element that defines a user input. Similar to the samp element, kbd would be commonly used in tech or computer-related articles.

Say, you want to instruct readers to enter particular characters in an input field of an Application. You can wrap the text characters with kbd, as follows:

To confirm deletion of your account, type <kbd>DELETE</kbd>.

kbd can also be used to represent actual keyboard keys.

Press <kbd>Enter</kbd> to create a new line.

But when used along with the samp element, it could represent input that is conducted through the Application screen such as the buttons or menus. Here is one example:

Click <kbd><samp>Agree</samp></kbd> to proceed.

Even though kbd element is explicitly described as “Keyboard Input”, we can also use it for other input type, such as a voice input. If you write tutorials or manuals on Siri, Google Voice, or Cortana that allow us to communicate with the device using voice commands, wrap the voice input this way.

...the Ok Google hotword isn't actually disabled according to region and can be easily enabled in just two steps.

Similar to samp, kbdalso outputs with Monospace typeface by default.

Styling Suggestion

These elements help machines understand the content better. But since they are all rendered with Monospace typeface, readers will hardly see the difference. In this case, we can add some styling to make them look more distinct.

We can add a class, for example button-input if it represents a keyboard key or an Application button.

Then, in CSS, we put the following style rules.

.button-input { border: 1px solid #333; background: linear-gradient(#aaa 0%, #555 100%); /* W3C */ color: #fff; padding: 3px 8px; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0px 2px 0px 0px #111; }

This will make it look like an actual button.

3. Variable Element

Variable Element or var, as the name implies, represents a variable character. This element may be useful to write tutorials or articles that comprise of mathematical equations, such as:

<code>var <var>y</var> = Math.sqrt(16);</code>

In the above example, we wrap the equation with code element, as the equation is a JavaScript code. We only wrap the character that is a variable with var element.

4. Defining Element

Defining element or dfn is used to highlight a jargon or a specific term that is particularly used in a community or an industry. Web Development industry, for instance, is full of jargon that may not be well known outside the industry.

And below is an example where we use dfn element to wrap the word Breadcrumb; we took the following sentence from Wikipedia.

<dfn>Breadcrumbs</dfn> or <dfn>breadcrumb trail</dfn> is a navigation aid used in user interfaces. It allows users to keep track of their locations within programs or documents. The term comes from the trail of breadcrumbs left by Hansel and Gretel in the popular fairytale.

Browsers display it in italic, corresponding to the typographic convention to denote a new instance, or a foreign term.

5. Mark Element

Mark is a new element introduced as part of HTML5. In short, mark is used to highlight text that you want readers to pay attention to. Thus, by default, browsers render this element with bright fluorescent color as you can see below.

For more, you can head over to its documentation, Text Level Semantic – Mark Element, where you can see some detailed examples on the usage.

Final Thought

Instead of using a generic element like div or span, it is better to wrap your content within a more semantic element as listed above, so that the machine – be it an Application, a bot, or a reading device – could better understand the content. Hopefully, this article can be a good reference for getting started.

Related posts:

  1. A Look Into HTML5 Basic Elements: <header>, <nav> & <footer>
  2. A Look Into: HTML5 <article> and <section> Elements
  3. jQuery How-to: Creating and Inserting New Elements (Part 1)
  4. Adding and Removing HTML Classes Upon Request With jQuery

20 Creative Mascot Designs That Leave An Impression - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:01

Do you remember the helpful paperclip in Microsoft Word that would help you out with tips? It’s one of the first mascots in design I remember. With the number of websites increasing daily and highly competitive markets, brand new attention-grabbing tricks are required for you to stand out.

A logo on your website is no longer enough to make an impact on your visitors. One creative way is to develop a mascot, which will interact with customers and present your company to the outside world. Visual memory is much stronger than text, thus the mascot is a great solution to help people remember your products and services. A custom-made character doesn’t only fit your company’s style perfectly but it’s also way more memorable.

These days mascots can be used for various sites, no matter what sort of business you run. Today, I’d like to share with you 20 creative fresh mascot designs for your inspiration.

The freddie expression project by Ron Lewis for MailChimp

Toon Me! JohnObidiMascot by Anthony Anth Ezeokoye

Olympic Mascots by Alina IVANOVA

Borne, Character Design for Wonderful Indonesia by Tandy Mackenzie

Miner Mascot by Alan Oronoz

Mascot for Surfaccounts by Nikolay Verin

Hipposters by Matt Kauzlarich

Cubtab Mascot by Alan Oronoz

Owl Mascot Prints by Jacob Greif

Bulls Sports Mascot by Ed

Mascots for the World Winter Universiade 2019 by Anna Kulakovskaja

Patch: mascot design for Salvation Army by Joey Ellis

Wheat character by Evgeniya Rodina

“Kahuna” mascot & characters by Andreas Krapf

Instagram Logo Mascot Toy Design Concept by Shinbone Creative

Owl mascot for a translation company by Anna Grape

Hypertech Octopus by Andra Popovici Mascot Illustration by Karen | fivethree

Splish Splash Swimming’s Mascot by Brian James Russell

Rhino mascot design by Sergio Ordonez

Related posts:

  1. 15 Business Card Designs That Will Leave An Impression
  2. 20 (More) Business Card Designs That Will Leave An Impression
  3. 20 Creative Coffee Cup Designs You Need To See
  4. 20 Creative Envelope Designs That Impress

Sync Your Project Files &#38; Manage Team Communication With Fleep - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 07:01

Email is far from being the best way to communicate, especially in a far-from-traditional working environment. If you work with team members remotely, chat and instant messaging services provide a more immediate, real-time communication platform – but they are terrible for sending files back and forth.

Here is how Fleep comes in to help you get the best of both worlds.

Fleep is an application that combines the best parts about email and instant messaging, offering a chat system with a file uploading system, message pinning and cloud-stored chat history. Let’s check it out and see if this can be the new way you communicate and work in your online office.

Fleep is available on a few different platforms. It’s available as a web app, on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac OS X. This wide platform support means that you really shouldn’t have any trouble getting Fleep to run on your (and your team’s) devices.

Getting Started With Fleep

We’ll be taking a look at the web app version in this review. To get started using Fleep, you need an account. You can create a new account for Fleep with your email, name and a password, or sign in with your Google account.

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be taken to a getting started screen, which points out some of Fleep’s interface elements and lets you import contacts from Google+.

To start a conversation, just click on New Conversation.

To add friends or team members to the conversation, just type in either their name (if they’re registered with Fleep) or email (if they’re not) into the provided text box. If they’re not registered yet, not to worry, they will receive the chat messages via email. Their replies can also be done via email but you will receive them on Fleep as chat messages.

Fleep Features

Fleep has three features that combine to make it a useful communication app for teams that work remotely: chat, a pinboard and a file drawer. Take into account that these chats, pinned messages and files are synced across all registered devices, and you have quite a potent combination.

Fleep’s chat function isn’t particularly complex, but it does the job just fine. Each chat message has a "Message actions" menu, accessible from the upper right side of the message, that lets you Pin, Quote and Mark unread. If it’s a recently sent message, you can also Edit and Delete the message.

There are four navigation buttons to the right side of the conversation window: in descending order, these buttons open the pinboard, file drawer, members list and conversation settings.


The Pinboard is where all the pinned messages will be shown. This helps you and your team keep track of important messages (like memos, details on urgent meetings, looming deadlines etc) that would otherwise be lost in a flood of messages in a conventional messaging app.

File Drawer

The File Drawer is basically a list of all the files that have been attached to messages in the conversation. Clicking on the filename will open the file; you can’t delete files here; instead attachments have to be deleted from the "Message actions" drop-down window under the Chat function.

Members List

Keep track of which members to add to which conversation here in the Members List. Add a member by name, or by their email in the search box at the top. This area also lists the current participants who are in conversation with you.

Conversation Settings

Here, you can change the topic of the conversation, enable or disable Conversation notifications or choose to leave a particular conversation.


All in all, Fleep is a useful, productivity-centric chat application. While Fleep isn’t feature-packed, it’s off to a good start in terms of managing group conversations, files, pinned messages and members. So far, it is still in beta, and free. The team intends to introduce premium paid plans upon leaving beta but pricing and features have yet to be disclosed.

Related posts:

  1. Manage Your Project Easily With Your Team Using Solo
  2. 10 Chat Tools for Better Communication in Team Projects
  3. Manage Your Group Work Online With Groupiful
  4. Securely Transfer & Share Large Files With BitTorrent Sync

30 Outstanding Resume Designs You Wish You Thought Of - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:01

It’s a competitive job market we hunt jobs in and sorry to say, resumes created in MSWord are just not going to cut it anymore. These days, particularly if you are a creative, you need an outstanding resume to make an impression on potential employers. When a prospective client looks at your resume, everything you put into your resume is doing all the selling for you.

Not only do you have to ensure that what you put into your resume convinces them that you are the best candidate for the job, you need to create a resume that not only shows them what you can do, but how you are not afraid to break boundaries, and try out new ideas.

Today, I’d like to share with you a collection of 30 outstanding resume designs that come in many forms: infographic designs, booklets, business cards, postcards, personal branding material, posters, website designs and more. Feeling the pressure yet? Perhaps it is time to spruce up your own resume design.

If you need more design ideas, check out some of our published posts below:

Curriculum Vitae by Anton Yermolov

CV & Portfolio Mailer by Charlotte Allen

Resume by Roberta Cicerone

Self-Promotion by Syril Bobadilla

Resume IOS Version by Julien Renvoye

Bubbles Resume Template by CodeGrape

Updated Resume by Jered Odegard

Creative Curriculum Vitae by Nico Lopez

Curriculum vitae by Camila Soto

My portfolio by Stefania Capellupo

Self Branding, CV/Resume by Teesha Masson

Personal Branding & Self Promo by Mathew Lynch

Resume Book by Paula Del Mas

Curriculum Vitae by Rebecca Fisk

Infograpics of My CV / Resume by Felix Baky

Lucreziau cv sintetico by Lucrezia Urtis

Creative Resume by Iel Caseda

Curriculum Vitae by Carlos Bedoya

My curriculum vitae / skills by Simone Primo

Infographic Resume by Lim Zhiyang

My CV/Resume 2013 by Wap Martinez-Mercader

“Eye”dentity – Pop-Up Folder by Matthew Stucky

Personal resume by Maria Gabriella Aronne

NEW_CV by Candice Witpas

Portfolio ’11_newspaper by Marianne Riegelnegg

Jamie Murphey Resume by jamiemurphey

Infographic Resume by Varun Sudhakar

Anatomy of a graphic designer by Francesco Rivieccio

Infographic CV by Gary Corr

Self Promotion / Resume by Marco Bertoletti

Related posts:

  1. 50 Awesome Resume Designs That Will Bag The Job
  2. 20 Outstanding Architectural Designs From All Over the Globe
  3. 20 Creative Branding And Identity Designs For Your Inspiration
  4. 20 Creative Envelope Designs That Impress

20 More Free Multi-Purpose Vector Icon Sets for Designers - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:01

Any web-related project requires the use of icons. Creating icons for each project you have is not only impractical because it is time-consuming work but also insane! There are already tons of amazing icons sets available for free download, all over the Web. All you have to do is locate those high-quality enough to make it into your project.

Well, we’ve gone and done the legwork for you – all you have to do is take your pick. Below, are 20 free vector icon sets that will fit any kind of project you might have in mind. You will be able to find icon sets perfect for business, fashion, food, mobile apps, weather, flat design and more.

To download the icon set you want, click into the link. Can’t find what you want? Here are 70 more icon sets you can download for free.

Pictograms Giveaway Reloaded by Jamila Hodges

Free Flat Icons by Studio4 | Creative

Othericons 3.0 (set) by Luboš Volkov

25 Free Icons by Martina Cavalieri (set) by Luboš Volkov

550 perfect pixel vector icons by Vương Thành Chung

Free Flat Icon Set by Barry Mccalvey

Coucou icons set by Anny Chen

Linecons Free – Vector Icons by Designmodo

Chalk Glyph Set by Dalton

Dripicons (Free Iconset) – PSD, Illustrator, Webfont by Amit Jakhu

Free Weather Icons by s-pov spovv and Sm Artists

Simple Line Icons – 100+ free icons (Ai, Eps, Svg, Psd) by Mirko Monti

24 Free Clothes Icons by Lukas Jurik

Line icon set for UI & more // Infinitely scalable by Situ Herrera

In The Kitchen – Free Icon Set by Wojciech Zasina

Free Flat Icons Set by We are Pinto, Vlad Litvin, and Yuriy Degtyar

30 Free Icons (with PSD) by Bluroon

Fabicons by sumit chakraborty

Icon Set (144) by Katarina Stefanikova

Related posts:

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Add Contextual Menu on Your Website With HTML5 - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:01

The contextual menu is the menu that is listed when you right-click on your computer screen. The menu usually comprises of shortcuts for some of our favorite repeated actions like creating or sorting folders/files, opening a new application window, or accessing System Preferences to change an option.

For years “contextual menu” resides in native applications. Nowadays, contextual menu brings tons of benefits for web apps, for example in cPanel’s File Manager and Gmail. These menus are built with a heavy JavaScript scripting:

In the future, we may be able to build contextual menus for use in our website via HTML5. Come check it out with me.

Building a Contextual Menu

HTML5 has introduced two new elements, menu and menuitem, for you to build a contextual menu. In order for the browser to treat the menu element as “contextual menu”, we have to set the menu type as context and also give it a unique ID.

Below is an example where we’ve created a contextual menu with two items.

<menu type="context" id="context-menu-id"> <menuitem>Edit Content</menuitem> <menuitem>Email Selection</menuitem> </menu>

It is also possible to add a sub-menu by nesting the menu element this way:

<menu type="context" id="context-menu-id"> <menuitem>Edit Content</menuitem> <menuitem>Email Selection</menuitem> <menu label="Share..."> <menuitem>Facebook</menuitem> <menuitem>Twitter</menuitem> </menu> </menu>

Now, for the contextual menu to appear on the screen when we perform a right-click, we use a new HTML attribute named contextmenu. This attribute is used to pick up the menu with the ID specified; given our example above we can target our contextual menu with contextmenu=context-menu-id.

We can assign the attribute in a body tag if we want to use the contextual menu on the whole page. We can also add it in an HTML element to use the menu exclusively within that element.

The new contextual menu will appear within the Operating System menu as seen below.

Adding an Icon

I’m sure that many of you have seen some contextual menu appear with an icon beside it. In some cases, an icon could be a great visual aid that could help users to relate to and understand the menu purpose quickly. Additionally it also give users a clue of which application is associated with the new menus.

We can also add an icon to our HTML5-based contextual menu easily using the icon attribute, for example:

<menu type="context" id="context-menu-id"> <menuitem icon="img/edit.png">Edit Content</menuitem> <menuitem icon="img/mail.png">Email Selection</menuitem> <menu label="Share..."> <menuitem>Facebook</menuitem> <menuitem>Twitter</menuitem> </menu> </menu>

Here is what we see in the browser.

Make the menu functioning

At this point, our new contextual menu does not do anything yet when we click on it. But it is very easy to make it function with bare JavaScript. In our example, we have a menu named “Email Selection”. This menu will let users send highlighted text with their email application.

To make this idea happen, let’s add the function to grab the user’s highlighted text.

function getSelectedText() { var text = ""; if(window.getSelection) { text = window.getSelection().toString(); } else if (document.selection && document.selection.type != 'Control') { text = document.selection.createRange().text; } return text; };

Then we create one more function, say sendEmail(), that will open the email application. The subject of the email will be pre-populated with the document title, while email content will be populated with the user’s selected text.

function sendEmail() { var bodyText = getSelectedText(); window.location.href = 'mailto:?subject='+ document.title +'&body='+ bodyText +''; };

Lastly, we add it in our menu with onclick attribute to make it work upon clicking.

<menuitem icon="img/mail.png" onclick="sendEmail();">Email Selection</menuitem>

In the past, we have covered how to use HTML5 EditableContent, which allows us to edit web content directly from the front-end. We can utilize this function, adding it into our menu called “Edit Content”.


I’m very excited with this new feature. I can see many possibilities of things we can build with HTML5 Contextual Menu. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, only Firefox has implemented this feature. I hope that the other browsers will catch up soon.

You can see the demo below (It only works on Firefox).

Related posts:

  1. A Look into: HTML5 Placeholder Attribute
  2. HTML5 Tutorial: Login Page with HTML5 Forms
  3. A Look into: HTML5 Datalist
  4. A Look Into: HTML5 Fullscreen API

Try Offline Messaging On Mobile With Firechat - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 07:01

Chat applications are a dime a dozen, covering almost any conceivable niche you could think off. But so far there hasn’t been a chat app that focuses on local, "off-the-grid" communication. Such an application would let you chat with nearby people at sports events, concerts and the like without exposing your identity and without needing to be on the same Wi-Fi network. Firechat is here to fill that gap.

Firechat is an offline and anonymous chat application that runs on both Android and iOS. Firechat is built on the developers’ own mesh network technology (as well as iOS 7′s Multipeer Connectivity Framework), letting you chat with nearby users without needing an Internet connection of any sort.

Firechat is available for both Android and iOS. Note that Firechat requires iOS7 and above, and should work without any issues on most Android devices less than 2 years old. We’ll be looking at the Android version in this article, but the two versions are almost identical in terms of interface.

Getting started With Firechat

Once you’ve downloaded the app and installed it, just sign in by providing your preferred username. No extra information is needed.

Firechat Features

Firechat has two different chat modes, accessible from the main interface.

"Everyone" is a global chat mode that lets you chat with up to 80 randomly selected users from the same country, and requires an Internet connection.

"Nearby" is the local, off-the-grid messaging option. The range for off-the-grid messaging differs according to platform: 30 feet for Android and 100 feet for iOS. However, the Android version supports Open Garden’s multi-hop mesh network, so the range will increase with the number of users using the app (this feature will come soon for the iOS version).

Like most messaging apps, you can send both images and text to other users (although it looks like the Android version doesn’t have support for sending images just yet).

There’s also a Settings screen accessible from the upper right corner of the interface in the Android version. You can change your display name, choose whether you get notifications for Nearby Messages, and Tell a Friend, which opens up the standard Android Share with friends menu. The Share option on the chat screen does the same thing.


One thing to bear in mind is that the two versions are not (yet) compatible in offline mode. However, the developers are confident that they will be able to bring inter-platform messaging to Firechat eventually.

Firechat is a somewhat barebones chat application, but the novel focus on local, off-the-grid messaging should make it popular for a certain subset of users, particularly those looking to communicate with fellow attendees at sporting events, concerts and the like.

The big thing with Firechat, though, is the potential it shows. After all, if Google’s interest is anything to go by, mesh networks might just be the thing of the future.

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20 Free Ebooks For Social Media Marketers - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 17:01

If you run a business or provide a sort of service in this day and age, it’s incredibly imporant to know how to take advantage of social media so you can build your brand and attract new customers.

While it’s not impossible to start marketing your brand on social media without any prior knowledge, it’s always good to have resources that you can refer to to help make your campaigns be as effective as possible, given the circumstances. And what better way than to read ebooks dedicated to serve as a guide into social marketing?

Here are 20 free ebooks we’ve collected that will one way or another help you get on your feet with social media marketing. Whether you’re taking your first steps in the world of marketing, especially social media marketing, or you’re a more experienced marketer looking to make the transition to social media, these free ebooks will definitely set you on the right track. All you need is the time to indulge in them.

The Definitive Guide To Getting Started With Social Media Marketing by Skadeedle

This ebook is a quick and handy guide to social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. It provides you with a lot of handy information, including glossaries explaining specific terms and concepts, some do’s and don’ts, as well tips on how best to maximize each social network.

Connecting With Your Customers: A Guide To Social Media by Beatrice Whelan

Beatrice Whelan’s ebook covers a wide range of topics related to social media marketing. Some of the topics include creating a social media plan, managing your online reputation and creating social media profiles. The book also includes invaluable advice from Krishna De, one of Ireland’s leading social media marketers.

The Essential Guide To Social Marketing Campaigns by Offerpop

If you just aren’t seeing the sort of results you want from your social marketing campaigns, you should give this ebook a read. It’s a short but content-filled five-step guide, starting from customer awareness to engagement and to eventual conversion, that will definitely improve your social marketing campaigns.

How To Win In Social Media: A Guide To Optimising Your Social Marketing Campaigns by Stuart Davidson

This ebook is a general guide to optimizing your social marketing campaigns, regardless of network. Topics discussed include the importance of research, great tools and software for social marketing, as well as ways you can measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

58 Social Media Tips For Content Marketing by Content Marketing Institute

This ebook contains 58 quick tips to help you market your brand on social media. The tips are for all the usual social networks, as well as some additional sites such as SlideShare, Quora and StumbleUpon. They’re accompanied by some statistics and real-world examples.

Tune Up Your Social Media Marketing: The Do’s and Don’ts For Success by Dave Sotolotto

If you’ve ever wondered what you should and shouldn’t do to get the most out of marketing on social networks, this is the ebook for you. The author lists and discusses do’s and don’ts for 7 different social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

An Advanced Guide To Social Media Marketing by Zesty

This ebook provides an exhaustive amount of content in its 171 pages. A major selling point is that this ebook uses real-world examples to explain social media marketing. What’s more, it discusses marketing on a lot of different social networks, from Facebook to Instagram and everything in between.

The Definitive Guide To Social Marketing by Maria Pergolino, Dayna Rothman, Jason Miller and Jon Miller

The title isn’t an exaggeration; this ebook is a thorough social marketing guide. From starting out with social marketing to social media tactics for B2B marketing, to incorporating social marketing throughout your sales pipeline, this ebook will probably answer all of your questions about social marketing and then some.

The Complete Guide To Social Media Marketing In Europe by Diana Urban

This ebook is aimed at brands looking to make a mark in Europe. Topics include creating a European social media strategy, developing a content strategy, organising your assets and channels, as well as setting up international targeting on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Facebook Content Marketing For Businesses by Nick Steeves

A one-stop guide for content marketing on Facebook, this book doesn’t just familiarize you with Facebook Pages, but also clues you in on how best to use Facebook for your brand or business. Topics include creating a posting schedule, using Facebook Ads and making the most out of Facebook Insights.

Marketing For Facebook Timeline by Todaymade

If you can’t make heads or tails of Facebook, this is the ebook for you. This ebook covers a lot of ground, starting with Facebook timeline basics, and goes on to highlight great ways you can grow your fanbase on Facebook as well as how to use Facebook Places and Facebook Ads to market your brand effectively.

Twitter Content Marketing For Business by Krista Bunskoek

This ebook will get you up to speed with marketing via Twitter in no time. From an introduction to the basics of Twitter to the various Twitter analytics services available, this ebook will come in handy. Other topics include setting goals and target markets, using promoted tweets as well as KPI’s and ROI’s for Twitter marketing.

The Complete Guide: Marketing With Twitter by Todaymade

This ebook goes through what you need to know to fully harness Twitter’s potential. The ebook discusses, amongst others, the basics of Twitter, how best to use it in order to build a following and community as well as measuring success and gaining Klout on Twitter.

The Ultimate Guide To Google+ Marketing by Justin Wong

If Google+ marketing is totally new to you, this is probably where you’ll want to start. This ebook explains Google+ marketing from start to finish, from the basics of the social network to taking advantage of Google+ Circles and Google+ Hangouts, to the positive effects Google+ can have on search engine optimization.

An Introduction To Google+ For Business: A Setup & Strategy Guide For Marketers by Jay Acunzo And Anum Hussain

This ebook is a great way to familiarize yourself with using Google+ Pages for your business. It covers the basics, such as setting up your Google+ Page, the best ways to manage it, and how to take advantage of Google+ features to help with your visibility on the Google search engine.

The Ulitmate Cheat Sheet For Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn by Bob Ruffolo

Need some quick tips and information on how to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for social media marketing? Have a look at this ebook. The information is presented in a clear and concise manner, and the tips are sure to help anyone improve their reach and popularity on social networks.

How To Optimize And Measure Your Pinterest Business Account by Brittany Leaning

If you’re interested in using Pinterest to market your business, this ebook is definitely one you’ll be interested in reading. This ebook explains everything you need to know about optimizing Pinterest for business. From verifying your website to optimizing Pinterest for search to measuring success, this ebook leaves no stone unturned.

The Future Of Social Media: Personalizing Business By Focusing On People (Not Profiles) by Anum Hussain

This ebook shows you how to put "social" back into "social media". It gives you tips on growing your database and following, but also discusses the importance of context in social media marketing, showing how you can use social context to personalize your brand’s interaction with customers.

The Social Era Demands Social Selling by Hearsay Social

Instead of chasing large numbers of Facebook likes, this ebook argues that businesses should focus on the human and social aspects in order to grow their businesses. To this end, the ebook provides tips on getting started on social selling, as well as five tips on being a good social salesperson.

Listen Up! The Definitive Guide To Social Listening For Smarter Business by Leslie Nuccio

This ebook is a guide to social listening, and covers important topics such as finding the most important online conversations, word-of-mouth marketing, using social media to guide marketing targets and starting your own viral marketing memes.

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[Giveaway] Comment To Win 10x CMS Templates From TemplateMonster - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:01

TemplateMonster is back in partnership with to bring you more stunning CMS templates. If you’re looking to spruce up your WordPress- or Joomla-powered site with a new premium template, you will be spoiled for choice by the thousands of CMS templates available.

TemplateMonster offers templates suited for more than 50 categories including cafe & restaurant, art & photography, transportation, hotel, holiday templates, law, personal pages, weddings etc.

In this giveaway, we’re going to give you a CMS template of your choice, from any of the categories, for free.

The Prizes

We’re looking for 10 winners to take home a CMS template (WordPress OR Joomla) each, and once again, you get to PICK which exact theme you want.

Here’s a taste of the kind of templates you might be winning from this giveaway.

How To Win

To win the theme of your choice:

1. Check out this link for WordPress themes. Or this link if you prefer Joomla themes.

2. Find your favorite then leave a comment stating the ID of the theme you want:

e.g. I’d like to win #48361.

That’s it! We will randomly pick 10 winners after the contest ends at 21 April 2014.Good luck!

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20 Smashing Editorial Design Pieces for Your Inspiration - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:01

With so many websites having similar designs and structures nowadays, it’s very important for any web designer to stay creative and unique in order to stand out from the crowd. This isn’t always such an easy task. So how about a different approach to web design? Today, we’d like to bring your attention to editorial design.

As a rule, an editorial design is custom-made and takes into account aspects such as readibility and visual attractiveness. It can be a mix of photos, typography, bold colors, and geometric shapes. Why the focus on print design? Well, because sometimes taking yourself out of the environment you have grown accustomed to can really spruce up the idea generator.

With that in mind, we have put together the following 20 smashing editorial design pieces for your inspiration. Also, if you haven’t already, check out our previous collections of printed brochure designs (Part 1 and Part 2) as well.

B A C K S P O T – Only style matters by Agustina Petrozzino

The Motion Theater by Caroline Grohs

O R I O N / by Flavia Schreiber

Calendar Girl by Matt Chase

GOOD Editorial Illustration by David Schwen

Graphic Design by Sebastien Bisson

Revista 30 Anos Unasp-EC by Felipe Pinheiro

Biombo by Magoz

Filter Magazine, August 2010 by Pleks

Editorial Illustrations 2011-2012 by Charis Tsevis

lg2boutique: Agropur Annual Report by Courtney


Field Magazine by Well Made Studio

Dale Mag by Emilia Molina Carranza

Revista Cuadro “Piel” by Fernando Torres Rojo, javier Dominguez, Stefan Angeles, Mariana González Roldán, and Carolina

STREETMAG Light by Paweł Brzezi&#324ski and Rytm Interactive

Johanne Kolstad by Tatalab, Velour, and Tata&Friends

Daniel Paper – Corporate Publishing by moodley brand identity, Sabine Kernbichler, Marion Luttenberger, and Katrin Scheikl

PS magazine – 13/4 by José Simon

Vague Magazine by Carolina Menezes, Daniel Rocha, and Li LOu

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Use Dashboard Widgets On Your Mac Desktop [Quicktip] - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 09:01

Dashboard allows you to install useful single-function widgets on your Mac, for instance, the calendar, calculator, reminder, etc. However, they are only available in their own separate space, meaning that you have to go to that space to use them.

If you’d prefer to not switch Spaces to get to your widgets, there is a way to place your widgets right on your desktop. You will need to use Terminal for this and it’s a real simple tip.

Getting Widgets On The Desktop

First we need to open up Terminal. You can launch Spotlight with the shortcut CMD + Space then search for Terminal before pressing Enter.

In Terminal, type in the following command and press Enter:

defaults write devmode YES && killall Dock

Now we need to make sure that your Mac is not showing Dashboard as its own space. Under Applications > System Preferences > Mission Control, make sure that Show Dashboard as a Space is unchecked.

The ability to use widgets on your desktop should now be enabled. To move a widget into your desktop:

  1. Pull up your Dashboard with the keyboard shortcut Fn + F12.
  2. Click and hold a widget you want transferred.
  3. Use the keyboard shortcut Fn + F12 again to move to your desktop, and release your widget.
  4. To put the widgets back, simply hold the widget and use the shortcut again.

Note: If the widget was created after the Terminal command was used, it should now be on your desktop. If the widget was already open before you run this tip, the widget will not appear until you put the following command into Terminal:

killall Dock

If you want to turn off this feature, use the commands below:

defaults write devmode NO && killall Dock

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8 Technologies That Will Shape Future Classrooms - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 17:01

What does the future of learning hold? What will classrooms of the future be like? Emerging technologies such as cloud computing, augmented reality (AR) and 3D printing are paving the way for the future of education in ways we may have yet to see. At the very least though, we can extrapolate from what these promising technologies and predict how schools will adopt them in time to come.

However, just as the original intentions for new technology often give way to innovative and unpredictable usage, we can never be sure if a twist is waiting for these rising stars. As for now, let us observe their progress and speculate on how these 8 up-and-coming technologies could potentially change education for the better.

1. Augmented Reality (AR)

We’re still waiting for Augmented Reality to take the world by storm by way of Google Glass, gaming and awesome apps for astronomy.

It’s expected to wow audiences with its AR capabilities, which allow users to see additional information layered over what they see through the lens. Currently, however, access to AR technology for educational purposes is mostly limited to smartphone apps.

Apps like Sky Map lets you scout the night sky for constellations, but they are not fully integrated as a component of education as they have yet to reach the stage of seamlessness. The AR experience must be immersive enough to blend information readily with the reality.

With Google Glass and the other AR-enabled wearable devices that will soon follow, students explore the world without having to hold up a device which could distract from the experience. Created by Will Powell, an AR developer for Oxford, a simpler version of the Google Glass showcases how effortless this can be. Check out this video to enter a world with seamlessly integrated augmented reality.

A New Way To Teach

Virtual field trips are also possible with AR. Physics teacher, Andrew Vanden Heuvel, taught from inside the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, streaming what he sees through a beta Google Glass to his students thousands of miles away. They see him, and he sees them; it’s as if they are in the same classroom! The "Hangout" feature in use here is particularly promising for team collaborations in projects and assignments.

In other cases, students may be able to see supplementary and interactive information appearing on historical artifacts for them to get to know more about its history, just like how this AR advertising app can recognize images in the real world and interact with them.

2. 3D Printing

What’s a better present for your 10-year-old than a LEGO set? How about a 3D printer, one specifically for children? The 3D printer should really be a must-have in classrooms. Instead of being restricted to what they can play with, pupils in the classroom of the future can print out 3D models for various purposes, including show-and-tell.

Engineering students and teachers are prime examples of who could directly benefit from 3D printing technology. In Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in Minneapolis, the school’s Dimension BST 3D printer lets students create design prototypes.

The 3D printer produces working mini-models to test out engineering design principles, so students can perfect their design before making an actual prototype. Together with CAD (computer-aided design) modeling software, 3D printing allows these students to experiment freely with their designs without expending considerable costs and time.

Abstract Thought, Real-Life Models

As it will be for many other subjects that require some form of visualization, the decreasing cost of 3D printers means that more teachers will be able to reconstruct complex concept models to teach theoretical concepts. For instance, the concept of molecular structures and configurations may be hard to grasp, but by printing out physical versions of these structures, this can help students put a form on abstract thought, and aid in better understanding.

3. Cloud Computing

"My dog ate my homework" just won’t cut it with teachers in the near future. Cloud computing is buzzing these days and will most likely continue to change many aspects of our society, particularly education. In a bid to modernize education in China, the city of Zhuji in Zhejiang has installed more than 6,000 cloud computing terminal devices in 118 schools.

In the future classroom, students may just need an electronic device to access all their homework and all other learning resources in the Cloud. This means no more lugging heavy textbooks to school, and having constant access to your reading materials as long as you have an Internet connection.

Such convenience will provide students the freedom to work on their projects or homework anytime and anywhere. The digital library is accessible even when the campus library is not. In fact you can skip hitching a ride there, or to the bookstore or even to class (but being sick may no longer be an acceptable excuse to skip "attending" class from your bedroom).

(Image source: jakartapost)

An Online Learning Opportunity

Cloud computing seeks to virtualize the classroom. Schools can now leverage on cloud technology and set up online learning platforms for students to log on and attend classes in a virtual environment.

Take for example, the concept of cloud-based virtual learning environment (VLE), which allows students to access learning content and participate in discussions in forums. Assignments or even tests can also be easily disseminated to the class, minimizing the need for students to be physically present, but to encourage interaction and discussion, educators require another channel.

4. Online Social Networking

Numerous universities have already registered themselves with the online virtual world, Second Life to provide students with an online platform to socialize with each other. As a big part of the cloud platform, such social networks allows students to share their ideas freely, while teachers moderate.

This is a very empowering notion because it will imbue learners with a new perception – that learning is a personal responsibility and not that of the teacher’s.

For Homework… Discuss

Furthermore, this many-to-many interactive learning where ideas are allowed to flow freely will be more aligned with real-world scenarios where collaboration is usually the norm. Social networking tools can be incorporated to enhance collaboration and team-building initiatives.

Still, if there is a need, teachers, lecturers and professors can lend some guidance in the form of responses to forum queries or by uploading useful information to the cloud community instantaneously. Another benefit is that It also serves as a great feedback tool, to help improve the courseware. A social-based approach to education will seem more than relevant to students of the future.

5. Flexible Displays

Note-taking on memo pads is still very much alive during lectures although there may be a shift from paper to laptops, netbooks or tablets. As educational settings become more digitalized, how will the future classroom reconcile the differences between pen and paper versus keyboard and screen?

The answer might just be flexible OLED-based displays. Just like regular paper, these displays will be lightweight, flexible and extremely thin. This means we can roll them up into tubes or fold them like newspapers.

Paper-Thin Smartphones

Unlike regular paper however, these plastic e-papers are not only durable ("unbreakable" is the correct term), but also provides interactivity. With swipes, taps and pinching (maybe), these flexible paper-thin displays can take over paper-centric industries.

Feast your eyes on this paper-thin, A4-sized digital paper prototype by Sony which weighs only a mere 63g. Laptops and even smartphones can’t hold a candle to that kind of portability.

(Image source: engadget)

6. Biometrics: Eye Tracking

One technology that’s been gaining recognition is biometrics. Conventionally biometrics are associated with the security industry, as it uses what is unique to each one of us to authenticate our identity: fingerprints, facial recognition, iris patterns, voice. In terms of education, some schools are only using fingerprinting to prevent truancy and for borrowing books from their school library.

However, eye-tracking can be helpful for instance, in providing invaluable feedback for teachers to understand how students absorb and understand the learning content. As a matter of fact, advertising research have been using eye-tracking technology to see how consumers respond to their ads and to determine what captures their attention.

(Image source: Lisa Hope)

Similarly, the same form of analysis can be conducted to ascertain course effectiveness or individual learning styles. Mirametrix is using its S2 Eye Tracker to assess how students learn by getting details of where they look during online learning sessions.

Cheaper alternatives are turning up in the form of Eye Tribe for Windows and Android, so it’s only a matter of time before this data is attainable by educators.

The data may then be integrated with interactive adaptive learning systems in a manner that adjusts the content to best suit each student’s learning style. Alternatively, the eye movement patterns may also guide the delivery of the content, taking into account concepts students might have trouble understanding evident in the longer time they spend gazing at that particular section.

7. Multi-Touch LCD Screens

Over the past few decades, we’ve seen the transition from blackboard to whiteboard, to overhead projector and to video projector for computers in schools. If you’re guessing that the next in line will be something that is akin to our smartphones and tablets, you may be right. Specifically speaking, the next "board" is likely to be a giant touchscreen LCD screen which allows a greater amount of interactivity.

After all, we’re talking about a screen that will be attached to a computer capable of generating infinite combinations of images, sounds and videos, just like our smartphones. The major difference with this new "board" and our smart devices is that it will be capable of detecting multiple touch inputs from many students simultaneously.

LCD Touch boards

Instead of the traditional big board in front of the classroom, it will probably be just like the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface, a giant tablet with its LCD screen lying flat atop a table-like structure. Students will sit around the table tablet, swipe on the board to manipulate and drag images around the screen, or type notes with their onscreen keyboards.

(Image source:

Think of the possibilities if every pupil gets one of these desks. Along with the social networking feature, these multi-touch surfaces will also allow students to collaborate live with peers around the world by manipulating virtual objects in real-time. The Multi-touch project by SynergyNet in Durham University is a great existing example of how such technology can be used by school children.

8. Game-Based Learning

Growing up at a time when the world is connected by the internet, kids today seems to have very short attention spans. This is unsurprising, since their childhood revolves around YouTube, Facebook and smartphones that provide them with on-the-go 24-hours updates and the answers to all their queries through Google and Wikipedia.

To cater to such a fast-paced generation, schools will eventually abandon traditional teaching methods of rote learning to align themselves with the times. One great way to achieve that is to use what had always been considered as a major distraction to learning – video games.

Gaming For Grades

KinectEDucation provides a one-stop online community for interested educators and students who want to use Microsoft Kinect for learning purposes. As can be seen from their video, some of the best suggestions on how educators and students can benefit from the motion-sensing technology include enabling students to learn sign language and how to play the guitar by detecting their hand movements.

In another example, a professor from the University of Washington Bothell teaches mathematics to her class by giving them the first-hand experience of learning through their motions which are captured by Kinect. Along with successful devices like Wii Remote and PlayStation Move, the motion-sensing technology is believed to be able to provide the necessary level of interactivity for students to feel more engaged with learning.

Learning To Design Games

Another concept adopted by educators does not focus on the gameplay or interactivity; rather, it emphasizes on how learning the game design process can educate students. In Gamestar Mechanic, the idea is to impart students with basic game designing skills (without the complexity of programming) to create their own games and consequently help them develop broad skill sets such as language, systematic thinking, problem-solving (through simulation, trial-and-errors, etc), storytelling, art and many more.

School children from fourth to ninth grade learn how to design one by playing a game itself where they assume the role of a young aspiring game designer who’ll go through quests, missions, etc to be awarded with various Sprites to use in their Toolbox (an area for them to design their own games). This is not unlike the role-playing video games we see in today’s market.

This illustrates how educators are moving away from traditional classroom teaching to that of letting students have fun and learn while they play interactive games. It’s inevitable that students in the future who grow up with such technology will require much higher levels of fun and excitement before they see education as appealing and captivating.

Education Beyond the Classroom

In the future, education will no longer be restricted to formalized institutes like schools and classes. Using AR, cloud computing, online social networking and adaptive learning systems utilizing eye tracking technology, learning can take place outside the tradtional classroom.

Experimentations and mistakes will also be encouraged as simulations are made possible through 3D printing and game-based learning without actually incurring real-world consequences or costs. Chief among all, students will soon be imparted with the wisdom of seeing learning as not a chore, but as a critical and gratifying part of their life which requires their proactive involvement.

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10 Best iPhone Training Apps For Runners - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 15:01

If you’ve felt like you’ve betrayed your New Year resolution to hit the gym and/or lose weight (again), take heart that you can easily redeem yourself by starting now. And what better way to hit the road than by running! It’s the simplest form of exercise, as there are no membership fees or extra equipment involved – all you need are a pair of running shoes and a willing heart.

To get you started, here are a few running apps for the iPhone which will turn the couch potato within you into a brand new road warrior. We’ll showcase 5 free running apps to start you off, and another 5 premium apps which may have more to offer.

From hooking you up with fellow runners, preparing you for a big marathon, or injecting some fun back into the simple exercise of a quick run, these apps will surely reinvent the way you view running apps.

1. C25K

C25K, or Couch to 5 Kilometres, is a popular training schedule for beginners unfamiliar with the running scene, particularly those who would like to learn how to sustain a run for longer than 5 minutes. It takes you on a very progressive running schedule which increases the intensity of running gradually to meet the needs of the self-proclaimed couch potato. The frequency of intensity involved is appropriately adjusted at each step of the programme – you will always feel as if you’re hitting your limit, but never like you’re pushing too far. [Free]

2. Strava Running

Strava Running utilizes the power of social networking to bring runners with the same interests together. On top of that it helps you log your running history and find running partners to run with in your area. Catered specifically towards the running community, it has all the bells and whistles you’d expect such as a timer, distance tracker and calorie manager. Definitely an app worth checking out. [Free]

3. Charity Miles

If you’ve always wanted to feel like you’re contributing to the society while you’re running, you can do more than just picking up stray garbage along your route or saving injured animals. Charity Miles is an app which donates money towards specific causes based on the miles you’ve logged in, so not only do you help yourself during your runs, you help others as well! Puts the saying, "Every Mile Matters" into perspective. [Free]

4. Mile Mapper

Mile Mapper is similar to WalkJogRun. It suggests alternative routes for you based on your destination, but what sets it apart is that it calculates an ideal route for you entirely based on its own mapping algorithm and Google Maps, instead of drawing from a catalogue of existing routes. It’s extremely fun for creating random routes on the fly if you’re bored of running the same routes over and over. [Free]

5. Fitocracy

Fitocracy is another social networking app for fitness buffs, and has a section dedicated specifically towards runners. What is special about this app is its unique scoring system, where you can rack up points based on your performance over the week then tally them against other runners. It puts a whole new spin on the concept of having a partner to run with, and helps immensely as a shot in the arm for motivation when you see yourself trailing. [Free]

6. Zombies, Run!

Ever wondered what it feels like to be running away from a zombie horde? Well wonder no more, as Zombies, Run! puts you in the middle of one. Using audio cues from the perspective of a radio operator trying to help you reach a human base alive, the app instructs you to run through a pretend apocalyptic settings, switching between brisk jogs and sudden sprints, putting the fun back in running. [$3.99]

7. WalkJogRun

WalkJogRun is a professionally running app which gathers the running routes of its many subscribers and stores it all in one central database. This can be useful if you ever find yourself in a new area you’re not familar with, but still want to bust up your miles. Even if you’re only using it from home, you can still use the app to switch up your running routes and keep your morning jog fresh. [$1.99]

8. Cruise Control

As the name suggests, Cruise Control learns from your running habits and tries to set up an ideal tempo based on your level of experience. It does this by analysing songs present in your media device and setting up a playlist of songs which are most suitable for a run, such as those with an upbeat tone or strong rhythmic beat. Best of all, it even adjusts the tempo of each individual song to coach you during your run, by speeding up when you’re slowing down and vice versa! [$4.99]

9. Battlesuit Runner Fitness

Do you like video games? Well then, we’ve got just the perfect app for you. Battlesuit Runner Fitness throws you deep into an exciting sci-fi adventure, running in a tactical mobilized battlesuit a la Halo or Iron Man. The action is fast-paced and the narrative, exciting, placing you in the heart of the action as a soldier in an alien war story. The story is interactive so you get to make choices along the way, and you do gain a sense of immersion while running with this app. [$0.99]

10. Hal Higdon Marathon Training Program

Much like C25K but on steroids, Hal Higdon Marathon Training Program trains you to prepare for a marathon from the get go. Its 18-week training program aims to turn you from a complete couch potato into a truly qualified marathon runner. Many novice runners have vouched for the effectiveness of this program, so if you’re aiming to do a full marathon but lack a personal coach or mentor, look no further than this app. [$9.99]

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What To Consider When Localizing Your Website Into English - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 12:01

Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Emma Bertouche, the Head of Digital Marketing for Capita Translation and Interpreting. Capita TI have a wide range of website localization customers, including MyProtein. You can contact them at Twitter or Linkedin.

For a lot of businesses the thought of expanding is appealing but the move can be fraught with concerns over cost and straying into the unknown. It is all too often the case that businesses find themselves in a catch-22 situation; the ROI of localization is an unknown, however it will remain unknown unless you take a leap of faith.

But what if there was an easier way? Did you know that you can initiate your expansion plans by targeting English speakers across the globe? Rather than worrying about producing content in a language you can neither produce or proofread yourself, there is potential "low hanging fruit" which can kickstart your expansion plans without the headache.

So You’ve Been Told To Export…

Since the recession, businesses have been repeatedly told that the road to recovery is to export, businesses localize their product offering and send it out into the wider world. But there is a message that has been undersold, which is that you do not have to localize your website into 5, 10, or 20+ foreign languages to capitalise on this growth.

Things you will need to consider (but probably haven’t even begun thinking about) are:

  • Your web platform — Can it support localized content?
  • Is your systems and technology integrated enough — Can you handle transactions in alternative currencies?
  • Is your current operation scalable – Can you meet the needs of other markets?
Where To Begin

As with any new project there will always be elements that you had never even considered, but you are not alone, help is at hand.

Converting your prices into US or Australian Dollars, Euros or Pound Sterling might seem easy enough. But if you want to really maximise conversion for these customers you need to consider that the tone and subtleties in spelling are correct in your chosen target language.

These implementations will also help you to identify any modifications that are needed to your technology in order to cope with your international expansion without the confusion of dealing with on-page copy that you don’t understand.


Free programmes such as Google Analytics provides your company with access to enormous levels of data on website performance, but the challenge is knowing what to do with the information before you.

There is still a sizable number of businesses that struggle to understand how to analyse the information at their disposal or have no tracking on their site – which means that they are immediately handicapped in understanding how effective their website can be.

No matter what language your website is in, you will find that you generally attract traffic from traffic across the globe, albeit to a lesser extent than the countries which are their primary targets i.e. USA, UK, Australia, Ireland.

Even without tracking your website traffic you may already know where all your converting customers are coming from because of the details you gather from them when they complete a call to action. But how many conversions would you gain if your site was tailored to the customer’s expectations?

Localizing Businesses

It’s well documented that visitors are far less likely to complete the sales process if they don’t understand the information before them — bit of a no brainer! But how many people are turned off by the idea that their purchase has got to cross the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean? In a world where people expect next or same day delivery, this could definitely be a factor.

What if you were to create the illusion that your business is in the same country that the purchase is being made? OK, if the buyer is savvy enough, they will be able to find out that your business is based elsewhere, but the majority of visitors probably won’t dig that deep, and even if they do, who’s to say they won’t buy your products regardless because you’ve gone the extra mile to present information to them in their plain English?

Points To Consider

Here are a few points to look into:

1. Getting The Product There

So, how do you win over as many visitors as possible? Firstly, make sure you can deliver! Identify how easy it would be to get your product to that country. Are there areas that might cause problems e.g. they’re remote, there are political issues, the cost of shipping outweighing product value, etc. (For UK businesses the UKTI offer a great business checklist or for the US the Office of the United States Trade Representative also has a wealth of information.)

2. Availability of Products

Are all your products going to be available to all countries? For example in the case of pharmaceutical or nutritional sites, there might be ingredients in some products that are banned in other countries. If so, you need to develop collateral omitting those products to avoid causing customer disappointment.

3. A Local Site

Format your site information so it looks local. This involves currency information, telephone numbers, even localized domains and email addresses. There are obvious details such as spelling differences and use of language; for example in the UK something that is customised can be referred to as bespoke, whereas this is not a term that people in the US would ever use.

Also make sure your pricing is competitive, taking into account shipping costs; you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste just because you’ve priced yourself out of the market when you could have easily avoided doing so.

4. Customs In Making A Sale

Lastly, think about the user journey; this might not be such a deal breaker as the previous points, but it is worth considering. Just because two countries broadly speak the same language doesn’t mean that their cultural ideologies are the same.

Some buyers are comforted by customer testimonials being displayed throughout the buying cycle; others prefer the checkout process to be as clean and simple as possible.

And if you do use customer testimonials, use customers that are relevant to those regions. If all your testimonials are from people in Australia this might not inspire buyers in the UK, or vice versa.

The Future And Beyond

The buying cycle doesn’t end once the goods are bought and paid for; your product might require repeat purchases, and if not, you might want a testimonial from that customer to spread the word about their fantastic experience.

Therefore it is important to consider your after-sales care. Do you need customer service representatives to be available over a more diverse range of time zones? Do you need to localize the content of your automated emails, invoices or receipts?

It’s these small things that could make a big difference.

Related posts:

  1. Get More Clients: How To Harness The Power of Testimonials
  2. 7 Tips & Tricks to Creating a Gorgeous Restaurant Website
  3. What Mom Never Told You About Building A Website
  4. International Marketing: Why Cultural Awareness Is Important

How to Create a Blog with Jekyll &#8211; A Beginner&#8217;s Guide - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:01

WordPress, which humbly started as a blogging platform, has now transformed into a full-fledged and a very popular CMS. With WordPress, you can build (almost) any kind of website, from a portfolio to an e-Commerce website.

But what if you only concern about blogging, and you do not need jam-packed features in WordPress like custom taxonomy, user management, comment moderation, and a nice media uploader?

In short, you just want to be focusing on writing and publishing your content. If that is something you have in mind, let’s meet Jekyll, a static blogging engine.

About Jekyll

Jekyll comes with the idea of creating a static (same old HTML) blog, one which is easily maintainable. In comparison to a dynamic blogging tool, like WordPress that is built with a server-side language like PHP, a static website has 2 key advantages.

First, it serves and perform faster. Second, it consumes less web resources namely memory and database I/O. Additionally, if you use Jekyll, you can host your blog in Github Pages for free.

Install Jekyll

First, let’s install Jekyll in our system. Launch Terminal and type the following command line:

sudo gem install jekyll

Once installed, run this command to ensure that jekyll command is functioning.

jekyll -v

The command should show the Jekyll version, like so:

Create a Jekyll Site

To create a new blog with Jekyll, type jekyll followed by new and the name of the site in Terminal. For example:

jekyll new jekyll-blog

In this example, it created a new directory as specified, jekyll-blog, as well as the following stuff within:

Type this command below to activate Jekyll server.

jekyll serve

You can also run the the server using the --watch flag; that way it will automatically update the blog everytime we made a change.

Go to the browser and type http://localhost:4000, or as shown in the Terminal screen to open the blog.

The Document Structure

Jekyll applies a specific document structure that we have to follow, so the blog could function properly. Let’s take a look at what we have in our blog directory below:

|-- _config.yml |-- _layouts |-- _posts |-- _site |-- css `-- index.html

First, we have _config.yml; it is the the blog’s configuration file written in Yaml. In this file we can specify the blog name, the permalink format, host, Port number, and etc.

_layouts is where we put customized layout for page or post.

_posts is the directory where we save all our posts. All the posts should be written either with Markdown or Textile. They will be compiled and save the output in _site directory; this is the directory where Jekyll will serve the posts in the Browser.

Lastly, we have css and index.html.

For now, we will leave them as they are, with no custom configuration. Let’s start writing our first post.

Writing a New Post

As mentioned above, in Jekyll, we either write the post in Markdown or Textile. We have covered in the previous on how to write with Markdown; you may want to check that link first before going any further.

Naming Convention

To create a post, we also create a new file that must follow this naming convention year-month-date-{post-slug}.{file-extension}, for example: Save the file in _posts directory.

Post Front-matter

Before we begin writing the body content of our post, we must first define the post front-matter namely the title and the post layout. We can also define the post categories and the tags, but these are optional. The most important thing is that the front-matter must be set within triple-dashed line. Here is an example:

--- layout: post title: Hello World! ---

Then we can write the content:

Hello world! Welcome to Jekyll. This is your first post.

Save the file. We will see the psot generated, and appear on our blog. Nice!

Wrap up

In this post, we have shown you how to install Jekyll and write your new post, which are the basic things that I think you ought to get to know before going further with Jekyll. There are a lot more things to explore in Jekyll, and we will discuss them in future posts. Stay tuned.

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Impressive Leaf Art By Lorenzo Manuel Dur&#225;n - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 17:01

Lorenzo Manuel Durán is a self-taught artist from Spain that started off with oil paintings on canvas. One day he was inspired by a leaf-eating caterpillar to switch to leaf canvases instead! Initial trials ended up with a lot of "wounded" leaves that end up in the trash but after a while, Lorenzo could create surgical-level leafy masterpieces with just dental utilities, a scalpel, and his hands (find out more on the process he uses here).

Lorenzo has taken part in solo and group exhibitions in the last few years, and is constantly looking for ideas for new leaf art pieces. His work is available for purchase on his website and Facebook profile. The following showcase of leaf cutting art by Lorenzo Manuel Durán serves as a reminder that anything is possible if you follow your dreams.

MARÍA (inspired by his daughter)






























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Marketing Yourself &#8211; Tips On How To Leverage Your Weak Points - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:01

Nobody’s perfect. Nobody needs to be. We all have weaknesses. Those weaknesses are the very fuel that can drive us forward. Humankind has done this for thousands of years. We invented spears to overcome our agility weaknesses and be able to hunt much faster animals.

We’ve got planes that help us soar hundreds of times faster than the fastest eagle. We can explore the depths of the darkest oceans, thanks to good strategies and correct implementation of those strategies. So you don’t need to be perfect. You just need to constantly improve yourself. Applied to the business world, that just means good marketing.

Marketing makes all the difference

Marketing sells. Before this, marketing used to be all about emphasizing your strong points. Basically, listing all the benefits of your product and trying to convince your client about what you’re selling. Today’s business environment is just too crammed of a space for that to work. There aren’t enough idle ears. In fact, there are none.

Everyone’s a client and a seller at the same time. What makes the difference now is the ability to hint at your expertise without actually stating it out loud.

That’s intriguing. That stirs emotion. That will get you clients. Here’s how this applies to freelancers and small business owners.

Weakness 1: Not Enough Time

Clients love experts. I’ve recently started outsourcing some coding jobs through sites such as oDesk and Freelancer. The competition in any freelancing domain, be it coding, design or video editing, is high nowadays.

However, clients are still very much willing to pay top dollar for an expert. But experts are busy people — make sure you come across as one, leverage the fact that you are freelancing partime and don’t have enough time for all your projects in your benefit.

When writing a letter to apply for a job, make sure you do mention the fact that your time is valuable and you don’t intend to waste it nor do you intend to waste the client’s time. You’ll work hard and fast, but only within the space of the job description. Such a blunt, aggressive letter is something that will catch the eye of the client, in the sea of willingful and timid freelancers.

You’ve just turned your weakness into an asset!

Weakness 2: Not Enough Skill

Experts are a bit arrogant. You should be too. Not over the top, and not at the price of honesty, but you should come across as someone who carries himself well. Let’s say your primary weakness is a lack of skill in a certain area. Leverage that to your benefit. Be honest, but cocky at the same time.

Here’s an example:

“My Java knowledge is limited and as such, I’m sure I’ll be able to develop a more simple, more compact and robust app, because I’ll be thinking from my VB Studio perspective. That means I’ll create a more unique, more innovative backstage solution (e.g. unseen coding patterns) which other specialized full time Java programmers couldn’t come up with. Sometimes thinking outside the box helps.

Are you willing to think outside the box with your app?”

Would you hire somebody who sells himself like that? I know I would.

The only thing is, you have to truly believe in what you are saying, in order to make anybody else believe it. The truth is in today’s world, a particular skill is something easily attainable. You can get a full expert course on just about anything for just a few hundred dollars. Check out sites like Udemy for that.

Weakness 3: No Experience

Well first, you have to admit that you lack experience in that particular field. Let’s say you’ve just made a new profile on a freelancing site. It’s understandable that you’d have no ratings and no job experience there. What’s not understandable is selling yourself short.

So if you’ve applied for a job you don’t have any experience (but you do know how to achieve the objective), try to tie in your other work experience in other fields with this particular work.

As an example, let’s say you’re a freelance writer trying to get into Photoshop Design. You’ve just bought an online course and feel confident in your designs skills thanks to it, but you aren’t getting any jobs, because of your lack of experience. Talk about how writing connects to design. Be honest about your lack of ratings, but shift the conversation towards your strong points.

Here’s how the letter of intent should sound:

I’m happy to design your website in Photoshop. I’ll bring all my fresh expertise in, and we’ll create the best custom site for your business. Please note I don’t have any job experience or ratings on this site. But I have all the necessary skills for the job.

So that’s why I’m the guy to pick!

Design is the most creative work on the Internet, isn’t it?

Because this will be the first job on this site for me, I won’t come with any restrictions in my creative way of thinking. As such, you’ll get the benefit of skill, without the troublesome hardships of working with an old style designer who isn’t willing to adapt, and just designs like a robot.

Here’s why I’m qualified to do the job:

I’ve done this before as a writer, writing for … and doing...”

And go on just listing your achievements as a writer.

Weakness 4: Not Big Enough

You should be proud that you are a small company. If you’re just one person, all the better! That can be easily leveraged into a benefit. When you’re small you can:

  • Give each client more attention
  • Provide faster, more personalized customer care
  • Be cheaper, because of lower overhead
  • Be more dynamic and more inventive

So make sure you convey all these points to your client. Nobody really wants to work with a big company nowadays, as everybody is aware of how they treat their clients. They don’t give the required attention to specific needs.

All that goes away when you’re small and you’re personally handling business for a client. So make that client feel special, make him feel cherished, as he should be. Be wary of rapid company growth. That may sometimes lead to disturbed clients, because of the attention they were used to getting.

Wrap Up

So there you have it. Your profile on freelancing sites, your own site, your mobile app, heck, everything visible by others, should be a weakness polished and turned into an obvious benefit. That’s good marketing.

Related posts:

  1. How To Balance Marketing Yourself With Getting Work Done
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Formatting Numbers with Accounting.js - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 12:01

While on the Web we use numbers to show unread messages, comments, likes, tweets, and bunch of other item counts, when it comes to formatting numbers for use in a bank or a financial institution, displaying a number may require some workarounds.

If you need numbers to appear in currency format or split with commas or decimal points, then you will love using Accounting.js, a JavaScript library for Money and Currency formatting.

In this article, we are going to show you some of its basic functionalities, then we will utilize it in an actual example to showcase how it works. Let’s get started.

Getting Started

Accounting.js is a JavaScript library with no dependencies. You don’t need jQuery to use it; it can run on its own. Download the source code from the Github repository, put it in an appropriate directory, and link the file in the HTML document.

<script src="js/accounting.js"></script> Basic Formatting

Accounting.js offers a few methods for formatting numbers. And the first one that we are going to take a look at is formatMoney(). This method is the basic function to turn numbers into currency. To use it, each method is intialized by accounting and then followed by the method’s name. For example:


In the default settings, Accounting.js will display the above example with the dollar symbol, separate each three digit with a comma, and use a decimal point to separate dollars from cents.


Some countries use different separators for every three digits (thousands) and decimal. Accounting.js is fully localisable. If the default output is not the way your local currency displayed, you can make changes with Options.

Below, we take German as an the example, which uses dot separators for thousand and comma for decimal:

accounting.formatMoney(2000000, { symbol : "€", thousand : ".", decimal : ",", });

This will output:


If you would like to format the number without the currency symbol, you can use formatNumber() method.

Rounding Number

Currencies may have decimals. But we usually round them up or down to the nearest value to make the number simpler to remember or guess. In Accounting.js, we can use .toFixed() to do so. This example shows how we remove the decimal digits as well as round them to the nearest tenth:

accounting.toFixed(102.58, 0);

The output is:

103 Building a Simple Currency Converter

In this section, we will be using those functions mentioned above to build a currency converter. We won’t be building an extensive converter, just a simple one to illustrate what Accounting.js can do.

In the exercise, we will convert USD to 2 currencies namely KRW (Korean Won) and JPY (Japanese Yen).

Let’s layout the document structure as follows:

<div class="currency-option"> <div class="row"> <h4 class="heading">From</h4> <select id="input-currency" disabled> <option value="USD" data-symbol="$" selected>US Dollar</option> </select> <span id="input-symbol">$</span> <input id="input-number" class="input" type="number" min="0"> </div> <div class="row"> <h4 class="heading">To</h4> <select id="output-currency"> <option value="krw" data-symbol="₩" selected>Korean Won</option> <option value="jpy" data-symbol="¥">Japanese Yen</option> </select> <span id="output-number">₩ 0</span> </div> </div>

As we can see above, we have two rows of div. The first row contains a dropdown option which is set to USD, and disabled so the user won’t be able to select the other option. This row also contains an number type input field where we will enter the amount of USD to convert.

In the second row, we have a dropdown option too, containing two currency options: Korean Won and Japanese Yen. Each option has a value attribute, and a data-symbol attribute to store the currency symbol. We use a span element to output the converted result.

Exchange Rate

At the time of this writing 1 USD is equal to KRW1077.80 and JPY102.24. We can retrieve these exchange rate values in real time from Open Exchange Rate. But, for now, we simply put the value in a variable with .toFixed() method to round up the number:

var jpy = accounting.toFixed(102.24, 0), krw = accounting.toFixed(1077.80, 0), Get the Option

Next, we will create a new function to get the value from the value and data-symbol attribute from the dropdown option. The values then are stored in an Array.

var getCurrency = function(elem) { var $curAbbr = elem.find(':selected').val(), $curSign = elem.find(':selected').data('symbol'); return { 'symbol' : $curSign, 'value' : $curAbbr, }; }; The Conversion Function

We want the conversion to occur in real time. It means that it will happen as the user is typing within the input field or switching between currencies.

To achieve this idea, we will assign #output-currency as well as #input-number with three JavaScript Events namely change, keyup, and keydown this way:

$('#output-currency, #input-number').on('change keyup keydown', function() { // the stuff }

Then, we will retrieve the value from the dropdown option, #output-currency, by using the getCurrency function that we created above. The values are separated within two different variables namely $symbol and $val, as follows.

var $currency = getCurrency($('#output-currency')), $symbol = $currency['symbol'], $val = $currency['value'];

We also need to get the number from the input field, and the current exchange rate value that we have set in jpy and krw variable; using the conditional function we can decide which currency rate (krw or jpy) to use.

// get number var mulitplyNum = ($val == 'jpy') ? jpy : krw; var $getInput = $('#input-number').val();

With those number above, we can calculate the result.

var $getTotal = ($getInput * mulitplyNum);

But, before we output the number, let’s wrap it in a proper format using .formatMoney() method:

var number = accounting.formatMoney($getTotal, { symbol : $symbol, precision : 0, thousand : ',' });

And lastly, we output the final formatted number.


And we’re done. You can see the demo in action below.

You can also try it yourself from our demo page.

Final Thought

Formatting plain number into currency is not as hard as you might have thought. Using Accounting.js, this thing becomes very easy. And we have also shown you how to implement the functions to build a simple working currency converter. Give it a go.

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