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30 Cool Dads That Did Parenting Right [PICS]

hongkiat.com - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 14:01

When it comes to parenting, jokes and folklore say that the person who faints in the labor room, pukes while changing a baby’s diaper, and shies away from the birds and the bees talk is, the dad. "Go ask your mom" may have been the standing slogan of last generation’s dads but this generation sees the rise of the cool dads, the dads that took a look at a Dummy’s Guide To Parenting book, closed it and said, "Shove it, I’m going to be a dad my way."

There are plenty of viral videos and stories online that have captured that notion so beautifully, giving many dads out there a second chance at redeeming themselves (and perhaps be rid of those terribly biased parenting jokes, forever).

While we’re not sure which of the following dads deserve the Father of the Year award for 2014 (can’t they ALL win?), it’s not too much to say that they all deserve to be the apple of their kids’ eyes.

The Dad Who takes His Kid drifting

Toxa Avdeyev from Kazakhstan took his 4-year-old son, Timofey for a spin on a closed racing track, and of course filmed his kid’s face. There is nothing but pure joy and excitement in young Timofey’s face while his dad sped away. In fact he liked it so much that Toxa lamented that his son demanded, "Once again."

Toxa did deliver, a year later and again he has the video to prove it. My, my how quickly do children grow.

The Dad Who CGIs His Kid’s Home Videos

Like any doting father, Dreamworks animator Daniel Hashimoto likes taking videos of his son, James. Unlike any other father however, Daniel gives his videos of James the magical touch, turning home videos into stunning action movies, like having a working lightsaber, playng the game "the floor is lava" and speeding through a collapsing bridge (Watch out, James!). For more adventures of the Action Movie Kid, click here.

The Dad Who Sings

Damn you, tear glands! This one made headlines that you would definitely have come across. After a complication during a C-section, Chris Picco’s wife Ashley passed away, leaving premature son, Lennon to Chris’ care. Before the incident struck, Ashley had told Chris of how Lennon loved listening to music while in the womb, so the father did what any father could, sing to Lennon in his incubator. Unfortunately, Lennon, 4 days old, joined his mother shortly, but you don’t have to be a father yourself to know how much was lost.


(Image source: Ashley Picco Memorial Fund)

The Dad Who Raps

Anyone remember Derek Clerk rapping with his boys while driving last year? Since then, other dads began to drop sick beats as an opportunity to bond with their children. Like this father-daughter duo lip syncing along to Iggy Azalea’s Fancy.

And this dad who decided to shorten story time by rapping out Harry Potter to his son. The little guy is having none of it though.

But all those dads probably got nothing on Ricky Weems and his girl, Kayliyah. Watch them kickin’ it together as they bring their A game here.

The Dads Who Did The Twist

Dads love to dance, as this Tumblr shows, especially with their daughters. It’s what happens when mothers leave the kid to their fathers at home. They do the Shake (it off)…

… and sometimes choreograph their own routine (Dad’s keeping up pretty well).

Some dads like it so much, they do it when they get home from work every day!

But not everyone can get up on stage like Mike Carey here. In his daughter’s beauty pagent, he got up on stage, picked up his daughter McKenzie, who suffers from mobility problems from mitochondrial disease, and waltzes with her to the tune of Miley Cyrus’ "The Climb". You Sir, are doing parenting right.

The Dads Who Make Music

Of course, a father’s musical talents don’t just stop at song and dance. They can play instruments too. But making music is always more fun when you do it with your kids, again, when mom is not home.

Sometimes, when you don’t have instruments, you have to improvise, like this dad who turns his son into his personal drum set.

The Dad Who Made It Snow

Eric McGehearty lives in Dallas, Texas where the annual snowfall is a measly 1.3 inches so when a sudden snowstorm hits, a father has to do what a father’s got to do: take the kids sledding! Eric strings 3 laundry baskets together, has his 3 sons sit in them, and tows them down the snow-covered pavement. Just hear them scream in delight!

The Dad Who Loves Halloween (& His Kid)

Being a mere 6 months old, baby Geraint is much too young and small to go trick-and-treating. Ryan didn’t want his son to miss out on the celebrations though so he thought up a costume that would allow Geraint to go out trick-or-treating, in style. Lo behold, the Sunder mech costume Ryan built for his son. Check out the video to see it in action.


(Image source: Imgur)


(Image source: Imgur)

There are plenty of other dads who like to build cool things for their kid, like the dad who constructed a roller coaster in the backyard for his kid.

Or the dad who made a spaceship simulator in his son’s bedroom.

And here’s one who built the ultimate treehouse.


(Image source: Daily News)

The Dads Who Don’t Mind Dressing Up

Mark Wilson’s son has cancer and the doctors gave him only one more year to live. So for his son’s 5th birthday party, he dressed up as none other than Spiderman, Jayden’s favorite superhero and swung by to wish him a happy birthday. As you can tell from Jayden’s face, it was totally worth it.


(Image source: Hope For Jayden)

Other dads play dress up in different forms, like the one who came home from the war in time for his son’s birthday and came in dressed up as Captain America.

This dad helped his 5 daughters release their inner Elsa (and his too). Awww!


(Image source: Cosmopolitan)

This dad gets mad props for dressing up as "Princess Leia" to accompany his daughter, "Han Solo" for Halloween.


(Image source: The Huffington Post)

The Dad Who Cooks For His Kids

When your dad is a professional illustrator, he might turn your food into works of art, which is what Nathan Shields does… with pancakes! Talk about delicious designs.


(Image source: Saipancakes)


(Image source: Saipancakes)

Other cool dads like this one make lunches for their kid, then doodles on the sandwich bags.


(Image source: David Laferriere)

And there is no stopping this dad who turned food into cartoon characters to get his kids to eat their veggies.


(Image source: Funky Lunch)

This is one lunchbox made with love.


(Image source: Lunchbox Dad)

The Rest Of The Cool dad Gang

Some dads are not good with making food or building costumes, or even dancing but every dad has their own way of showing their kid how much they love them. There’s:

… this dad who embarrassed – sorry, waved goodbye to his son as he boards the school bus, in various costumes for 170 days. Because nothing says "I love you" more than embarrassing your kid by giving him a memorable send-off.


(Image source: The Blaze)

… and the dad who wore skirts and dresses with his 5-year-old son in public because his son prefers them. Way to show solidarity for your son and his choices, sir.



(Image source and story: The Daily Beast)

… and this dad who wrote 826 lunch notes for his 14-year-old daughter to last her till high school, in case he doesn’t (from kidney cancer).



(Image source and story: LA Times)

… and the dad who hacked Donkey Kong for his 30-year-old daughter, so she could play as the damsel-in-distress, Pauline — only this time, Pauline gets to save Mario instead.


(Image source and story: Mashable)

… and this is the dad who spent 13 years making and personalizing this graduation present for his daughter. Ever since she graduated kindergarten, her father had reached out to her teachers, coaches and principals to pen something about her in her most favorite book in the world, Dr Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go. He finally handed it to her on her high school graduation day.


(Image source and story: Imgur)

You know what would be a good idea, right about now? Giving dad a call.

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5 Best Podcast Apps for Android

hongkiat.com - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 11:01

Podcast is a digital audio file which is mostly available in the form of episodic series. The podcast resides on the server of the distributor as a web feed, and listeners like you and me must install an application, commonly called as a podcatcher to access this web feed

The podcatcher also checks for updates in the audio series and downloads any new files are uploaded in the series. We’ve previously written about setting up your own podcasts but for this post, we’re looking at the best podcast apps to get, for Android devices.

Note: Unless a price is listed, the app is free to use.

1. DoggCatcher Podcast

Key features of DoggCatcher Podcast include support for ChromeCast, easy subscription to new podcasts/feeds, automatic downloading and cleanup of media files, playback of audio and video files while offline, customization of audio playlists and a highly configurable interface. DoggCatcher Podcast Lite is a battery and data plan friendly application.

[Get the app – $2.99] For further details visit the official website of DoggCatcher Podcast.

2. PodCast Republic

PodCast Republic lets you search for podcasts in iTunes directly from an Android device. Some of its notable features are ability to search almost any podcast available, ability to add a podcast manually, support for multiple languages, podcast feed, ChromeCast support, built-in media player, download management, multiple playlist support, easy customization and much more.

[Get the app]

3. BeyondPod Podcast Manager

With BeyondPod Podcast Manager, you can save your feeds and check them out when you’re offline, download content automatically, play podcasts with the integrated player, generate smart playlists based on your listen preferences, have one button-access to your podcasts with a widget, discover and search new podcast/RSS feeds, use the sleep feature etc.

[Get the app] The app is a free version but to unlock pro features, you need to install the key to unlock it ($6.99). For more info, visit the official website.

4. Podcast Addict

Podcast Addict is an app which allows you to manage all your audio and video podcasts, iTune podcasts, YouTube channels and news feeds. Some of the features of Podcast Addict include support for ChromeCast, automatic update and downloading, advanced deletion features, variable playback speed, search engine for searching podcasts, sleep timer, various themes, full app backup etc. [Get the app]

5. PodKicker Podcast Player

PodKicker Podcast Player is a free to use podcatcher with an easy to use, intuitive and clean user interface. It lets you stream and download podcasts and has support for both audio and video files. You can also import and export OPML files, search for podcasts with it, and it will serve recommendations of podcasts based on your current subscriptions. Browsing can also be done according to region.

[Get the app] This app is the free version. For more advanced options, you can get the Pro version for $1.99.

Bonus: More Podcast Apps

Watch your podcasts with Player FM – Podcast & Sync even while you are not connected to the Internet. Important features include cloud synchronization on multiple platforms, hundreds of topics, quick synchronization, full catalogue, episode management, and an active and attractive interface etc. For further details, kindly visit the official website here. [Get the app]

RatPoison Podcast Player is a podcast as well as YouTube RSS player. There are more than 30,000 podcasts and a few radio channels that are registered under the umbrella of RatPoison Podcast Player. You can also subscribe to or add YouTube channels as well via this app. [Get the app]

DoublePod PodCasts for Android lets you enjoy more than 250,000 free podcasts in a fast and convenient way. It allows you to search, download and delete the podcasts easily too. Country settings allow you to filter out the podcasts from a specific country. [Get the app]

Notable features of Podcast 02 are cloud backup (with Google+ account), variable playback speed, automatic downloading, sleep timer, auto cleanup, iTunes based search, support for streaming and importing media files as virtual podcasts. [Get the app]

Smart Podcast is an integrated audio and video player for playing podcasts but you can use any good external media player as well for this purpose. Where it truly excels is in its powerful podcast search function. Search for podcasts based on keywords and the list of podcasts being downloaded will be automatically refreshed in the background. You can determine how often the lists get refreshed. [Get the app]

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50 Cosplay Costumes That Will Blow You Away

hongkiat.com - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 16:01

In recent years, the cosplay community continues to grow and become a creative outlet for lots of fans to create and show off their awesome self-made disguises, beautiful craftsmanship, and their favorite fictional characters. The selections below will reveal the entire spectrum of the art of cosplay, from alluring beauty to huge robots, from anime to movie stars.

You can tell that all of the cosplays featured here took a lot of time and devotion to complete. These are just some of the best cosplayers who have done a wonderful job of bringing many of our favorite characters to life. I’m still baffled at the amount of time, money and dedication that went into this incredible costumes. From superheroes to video game characters, just take a look at  50 of these amazing cosplayers in all their glory.

p.entry-image { margin-bottom:40px; } Movie Cosplays

Spiderman by WicKeDM6. Everything here is amazing – the lighting, the pose and the spidey suit. This shot capture the realism of the film quite nicely. (Image source: WicKeDM6)

Captain America by Rot Schwarze. Fantastic portrait. I like this classic patriotic uniform of Captain America better than his new uniform on Winter Soldier. (Image source: Rot Schwarze)

Black Widow by Micawber. Micawber did a marvelous job at portraying Black Widow. And she slightly resembles Scarlett Johansson on this angle. (Image source: Micawber)

Winter Soldier by GuiltyOne. That movie-accurate facial expression and pose of the cosplayer is well-suited to the character. (Image source: GuiltyOne)

Thor by Dusty Surfer. By Odin’s beard, Dusty Surfer nailed it! He came close to being the God of Thunder. Check out that Mjolnir too. (Image source: Dusty Surfer)

Loki from Thor by Lane Devlin. Detailed down to the facial structure, this guy looks just like Tom Hiddleston in his Loki costume. (Image source: Lane Devlin)

Incredible Hulk from Montreal Comiccon 2012. This is how Hulk look like in real life. Incredible indeed! This is not a statue or painted human body. Its a suit by an unkown cosplayer from Montreal Comiccon. (Image source: Geekorner)

Hulkbuster from Avengers: Age of Ultron by Pablo Bairan. Made by Filipino cosplayer, Pablo Bairan, this Hulkbuster will make its first appearance in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’. Other than the scale, everything looks like film quality. And yes, there’s a person inside. (Image source: Comic Book Resources)

Wolverine by Fatalis-Polunica. Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine is hard to copy but this guy killed it without even wearing a costume. (Image source: Fatalis-Polunica)

Mystique from X-Men by Meluxine. Big props to Charlotte Clark’s makeup skills in transforming Meluxine into a beautiful Mystique. Those repeating scale patterns actually look attractive and organic. That’s not easy! (Image source: Meluxine)

Gambit from X-Men by Akaius. Akaius’ cosplay of Gambit is just impressive. The whole costume and card props are well made and accurately depict Gambit’s special powers. (Image source: Akaius)

QuickSilver from X-Men: Days of Future Past by Josh Atb Gahstly. Josh Atb Gahstly does QuickSilver justice with this replication. Also, the remarkable resemblance to Evan Peters surely helps. (Image source: Carlos Adama)

Superman from Man of Steel by David Arran. Ok, he may not have the face nor body of Henry Cavill but his suit is perfect. His Superman suit is well detailed, from its textured, chainmail-esque design to the boots and flowing cape. (Image source: David Arran)

Wonder Woman by Rileah Vanderbilt. Rainfall Films produced a great looking short film about Wonder Woman with Rileah Vanderbilt as Diana of Themyscira. I think she fits the bill better than Gal Gatot. (Image source: Rileah Vanderbilt)

Batman from The Dark Knight by Thad Laskowski. In the endless ocean that is Batman cosplay, this is the one that we deserve. At least to look and marvel at. (Image source: MTV)

Catwoman from The Dark Knight by The Lazy Cosplayer. Looks like a scene from The Dark Knight. I really like that they went for the modern Catwoman suit. (Image source: Mikey Andersson Photography)

Elsa from Frozen by Angelina Goncharova. Wearing the glamorous gown, glittery blue shoes, long braided blonde hair and complete with additional background effect, Angelina Goncharova captures the magic of Frozen. (Image source: Angelina Goncharova)

RoboCop by Andrea Starchild. RoboCop was updated into a new and more advanced RoboCop 3.0. Andrea Starchild gave special attention to reconstruct his all black and tactical armor, combining it with few different shades of black to bring out its distinctive sense of presence. (Image source: Andrea Starchild)

Maleficent by S-Lancaster. S-Lancaster in her black, christening gown with picturesque drape and famous curved horns. Her appearance, look and feel definitely resembles the Maleficent that we know. I mean, just look at that crow! (Image source: S-Lancaster)

Groot from Guardians Of The Galaxy by Daniel Ramos. Groot is one of the most strangest characters Marvel has ever created on film. Daniel Ramos took on the challenge of bringing this character to life. He took a total of nine days to create this costume and even had to use under armor long johns of sorts for comfort. (Image source: Daniel Ramos)

Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story by N8Zim. Buzz Lightyear is one of the most memorable Pixar characters and this particular cosplayer does the most accurate renditions of Buzz that I’ve seen so far. (Image source: RawrBomb)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Jake Montalvo. Cowabunga! These guys definitely deserve a pizza! (Image source: Jake Montalvo)

Gandalf from The Hobbits and Lords of the Ring by Mellefuielle. This Gandalf the Grey cosplay came out looking like a movie still. (Image source: Tsutsumoto)

Princess Merida from Brave by YunaDaKilla. YunaDaKilla looks astoundingly similar to Princess Merida of Disney’s film, Brave. With her beautiful fiery red curls and lavish gown, she captures the enchanting image of this determined princess. (Image source: YunaDaKilla)

Wyldstyle and Emmet from Lego Movie. These huge LEGO costumes are not made by a fan. They are marketing figures, but that didn’t stop them from making it realistic. (Image source: Westender)

Captain Jack Sparrow by Slava Grebenkin. Slava Grebenkin was born to impersonate Johnny Depp, I mean Jack Sparrow. Looks almost like the real thing! (Image source: Slava Grebenkin)

Ariel from The Little Mermaid by Lisa Lou. Lisa Lou is not only the creator and model of this popular mermaid outfit, but is also a big fan of Ariel (if you didn’t get that already). This talented lady spent many hours working on this intricate costume from scratch. (Image source: Martin Wong)

Optimus Prime from Transformers by DarkGodMaru. Woah! Did Optimus Prime just walked out of the theater? This guy takes cosplaying to an out-of-this-world level. (Image source: Darkgodmaru)

Jules & Vincent from Pulp Fiction by Elliott Branch and Dave Colbert. Elliott Branch’s cosplay of Samuel Jackson is so on point and Dave Colbert even has that smug, squinting look of John Travolta. Tarantino must have missed these two perfect stunt doubles. (Image source: LAWeekly)

 

Video Games Cosplays

Redeemed Riven from League of Legends by ZerinaX. Not only did this cosplay by Christina Sims aka ZerinaX come out looking splendid, she is also a very talented costume maker. (Image source: ZerinaX)

Salvaged Confederate Adjutant from Starcraft 2 by Avery Faeth. Is someone actually inside this costume? This is good enough to be in a Blizzard commercial. (Image source: Avery Faeth)

Dante from Devil May Cry 3 by Leon Chiro. From the design of Dante’s jacket to the beautiful details on his weapons, his hair and eyes, everything is amazingly crafted. Plus, having that face and body makes Leon Chiro the real-life version of Dante. (Image source: Leon Chiro<)

Judge Gabranth from Final Fantasy XII by Shoko-Cosplay. The level of detail and accuracy within this cosplay is amazing. It’s hard to believe that the armor is all hand made. (Image source: Shoko-Cosplay)

Phantom Assassin from Dota 2 by QTCosplay. QTCosplay is wonderful cosplayer and had played many other fantasy characters. The attention to detail is excellent on this one. (Image source: QTCosplay)

Juliet Starling from Lollipop Chainsaw by Jessica Nigri. Jessica Nigri is probably the most famous cosplayer in the US. She portrays Juliet Starling very well here.(Image source: LJinto)

Raiden from Metal Gear Rising by keruuu. This image almost looks like a 3D render. Love the pose and lighting in this shot. (Image source: Keruuu)

Harley Quinn from Batman: Arkham City by Maise Designs. This is the new costume of Harley Quinn from the popular video game, Batman arkham Asylum. Quinn’s character is a violent felon whose only motivation is to please Joker. I hope DC Comics has added her to their future films. (Image source: Adam Patrick Murray)

Night Elf Druid from World Of Warcraft by Kamui. German cosplayer, Svetlana, really loves making detailed armored costumes from video games. Most of her creations are epic art masterpieces. Here’s one of them. (Image source: Kamui)

Daedric Armor from Skyrim by Zerios88. This is pure badass. I’ve seen many Daedric costumes and this is the best one. (Image source: Olimpia Shiva)

Enira Queen of Banshee from Lineage II by Yaya Han. I’m not familiar with Lineage II, but the magnificent gown, makeup and that spooky skeleton make this great. (Image source: Yaya Han)

Elise from League of Legends by IssabelCosplay. Looking scary and deadly, the quality of Issabel’s costume is mind blowing! The entire costume is just flawless. (Image source: IssabelCosplay)

Lara Croft from Tomb Raider Reborn by BGZStudios. It looks so real with the dramatic pose and chosen environment. It perfectly matches the Tomb Raider’s new look. (Image source: BGZStudios)

DeadPool by NoxDMartinez. All I can say is everything on this photo is spot on! For this movie to succeed it needs an R-rating to stay true to the character. Let’s hope they give us the Deadpool we all know and love and have been waiting to see on the big screen. (Image source: NoxDMartinez)

 

TV Shows/Anime Cosplays

Naruto Uzumaki by Twin Fools. I’m not usually a fan of Naruto cosplay since it’s so overdone, but this one is outstanding! (Image source: Twin Fools)

Brandon Heat from GunGrave by MEG-Cosplay. The craftsmanship on Brandon Heat costume is incredibly acurate and the weapon props are phenomenal. MEG fully represents the protagonist from GunGrave. (Image source: MEG-Cosplay)

Super Sayian Goku from Dragon Ball by AlexCloudSquall. My favorite Goku cosplayer hands down! Yeah, someone finally styles Goku’s wigs perfectly. (Image source: AlexCloudSquall)

Green Arrow by Jonathan Duran. This is a beautiful shot with the costume and the gorgeous background setting. I’m thinking it’s a bullseye for Jonathan. (Image source: Jonathan Duran)

The Flash by Michael Cox. The nice choice of fabric for this modern Flash costume complete with this action pose makes this interpretation of The Flash terrific. Adding some trailing effect to this shot just makes it better. (Image source: YourMojoByJojo)

Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones by ADJalbert. ADJalbert is lucky to sit on the Iron Throne with her stunning Daenerys costume. This happen at the all-day marathon of Game of Thrones event in Vancouver. (Image source: ADJalbert)

Walter White from Breaking Bad by Carlo Orlandi. Breaking Bad’s Walter White has become one of the most famous anti-heroes in television history. Carlo Orlandi shows no half measures with his Heisenberg outfit. (Image source: Carlo Orlandi)

All of them are good enough to be cast in a movie or in video game posters but which are your favorites? Do you cosplay? Why or why not? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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7 WordPress Themes to Build Your Own Crowdfunding Website

hongkiat.com - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 14:01

Crowdfunding is a great way to get funding without the hassle and red tape delays. All you need to do is create your product, and play with your creativity while you’re at it. Today, there are many great many ideas that came to be with the help of crowdfunding. Pebble had its start there, raising $10 million from more than 68,000 backers, way before smartwatches got the same treatment from the giants.

Most people would take their projects straight to these popular crowdfunding sites, but if you want to run your personal crowdfunding campaign on your own website though, you can, with WordPress.

WordPress is extensible through themes and plugins, and crowdfunding is one of the many features you can give your site. Here we have put together 7 WordPress themes that are you can build a crowdfunding website with.

1. CrowdPress

When talking about crowdfunding we cannot overlook this particular theme. CrowdPress is a theme built by IgnitionDeck, which has recently acquired WordPress’ first crowdfunding plugin called Fundify. This theme integrates very well and works out of the box with Fundify. Building and running your website takes just minutes.

Demo | Get this theme ($74)

This theme provides almost everything you need for a crowdfunding site. You can start create campaigns by filling up info about the campaign description, amount goal, campaign period, and make reward levels based on the amount of donations. What’s interesting is that with this theme, users can make they own campaign and submit it to your site.

2. Franklin

Franklin is an elegant WordPress theme which seamlessly integrates with plugins like Easy Digital Download (EDD) and a crowdfunding plugin by Astoundify. Note: Astoundify crowdfunding plugin was just removed from the WordPress.org plugin repository, but the theme author will develop a new plugin which will replace it. In the meantime, you can still download the crowdfunding plugin from this repository in Github.

Demo | Get this theme ($58)

With this themes, you can create as many campaigns as you want. Visitors can see your campaign, the description, how much money you want to raise, current funds raised and total backers. Aside from EDD, this theme also supports WPML plugin which allows you to easily translate the theme for other International languages.

3. FundingPress

FundingPress is a theme for building crowdfunding sites similar to Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Users will be able to create their own campaign from the frontend. It is easy to use and users can easily monitor the progress of their campaign. This theme also handles the funding process.

When a pledge is made, the admin will be able to see who made the pledges. We can also set whether the campaign will accept all the funds made regardless of whether the campaign reaches the funding goal or not.

Demo | Get this theme ($58)

4. GIG

GIG is a WordPress theme aimed for musicians and bands. This theme can be integrated with the IgnitionDeck Premium plugin to turn it into a crowdfunding website. Users can support your project on some level of payment with different reward as you specify. As in the original features of ignitiondeck, users can pay via paypal, as well as others payment gateway.

Aside of that, GIG comes with a number of facilities that makes it customizeable – you can easily change the color scheme to limitless colors, pages can each have their own unique sidebar, and it is also responsive which makes it looks good in both desktop and mobile devices.

Demo | Get this theme ($58)

5. Mission

Mission is a church theme that offers all the things features like podcasting, calendars, online commerce, and fund-gathering. Like GIG, this theme uses the IgnitionDeck Plugin to enable crowdfunding functionality.

Need to start a fundraiser? Create a project title and description, determine the amount you want to raise, add a touch of video or images to showcase the purpose of the fundraising, then publish to start raising funds.

6. Be Human

Running a crowdfunding campaign does not necessarily have to be for commercial purposes only. We can adopt crowdfunding to help raise awareness of human causes. This is what this theme, Be Human, is created for. It is designed for charities and non-profit organizations.

The theme supports the IgnitionDeck plugin, so on top of creating new campaigns, you get features to choose to take the money immediately, or after your goal is reached, and also to accept payment through Paypal as well as other payment gateways.

Demo | Get this theme ($58)

7. Fundit

If you are an artist, a musician, or a film maker you probably will love this theme, Fundit. This is specifically designed for professionals who need to raise funds for arts or music projects. It’s a simple single-page theme with the corwdfunding facilities built-in.

Users can easily choose how much money is going into your campaigns or projects, and what they get, before proceeding with their payments. You can use the funds raised overall, even if funding does not reach 100 percent.

Demo | Get this theme ($49)

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10 Simple &#38; Smart CSS Snippets

hongkiat.com - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 14:01

CSS is the underlying language that gives websites its look. Although CSS is a straightforward language and easy to learn, it can be difficult to harness in some cases. Nothing to fear, there are workarounds that you can find online, and here are but just 10 handy ones that you can use.

If you want to wrap long text, autoadjust the width of your table columns, or create a simple loading state without the use of Gifs, we have the snippets that will deliver, and more.

1. Vertical Align Anything

If you work with CSS, then this will bug you: how do I align text or an element vertically of the container? Now, with the use of CSS3 Transforms, we can address this problem more elegantly, like this:

.verticalcenter{ position: relative; top: 50%; -webkit-transform: translateY(-50%); -o-transform: translateY(-50%); transform: translateY(-50%); }

Using this technique, everything — from a single line of text, a series of paragraphs, or a box — will align vertically. As far as browser support is concerned, CSS3 Transform works in Chrome 4, Opera 10, Safari 3, Firefox 3, and Internet Explorer 9.

2. Stretch an Element To Full Window Height

In certain scenarios, you might want to stretch an element to the full window height. Basic element resizing will only resize up to the container size so to make an element span the height of the entire window height, we need to span the top-most element: html and body.

html, body { height: 100%; }

Then apply 100% height to any element, like so:

div { height: 100%; } 3. Applying Different Styles Based on File Format

Sometimes you can have several links that you want to make look different from others, in order to make it easier to know where the link is going. This snippet below will add an icon before the link text and use different icons or images for different kinds of sources, which in this example is an external link.

a[href^="http://"]{ padding-right: 20px; background: url(external.gif) no-repeat center right; } /* emails */ a[href^="mailto:"]{ padding-right: 20px; background: url(email.png) no-repeat center right; } /* pdfs */ a[href$=".pdf"]{ padding-right: 20px; background: url(pdf.png) no-repeat center right; }

Here’s what it looks like.

4. Cross-Browser Image Grayscale

Grayscale can deliver a deeper tone to your website making it look more classy and sometimes minimalistic. Here, we will be adding a grayscale filter to an image using SVG. Here’s what we do to apply grayscale:

<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg"> <filter id="grayscale"> <feColorMatrix type="matrix" values="0.3333 0.3333 0.3333 0 0 0.3333 0.3333 0.3333 0 0 0.3333 0.3333 0.3333 0 0 0 0 0 1 0"/> </filter> </svg>

And to deliver this cross-browser, we use the filter property this way:

img { filter: url(filters.svg#grayscale); /* Firefox 3.5+ */ filter: gray; /* IE6-9 */ -webkit-filter: grayscale(1); /* Google Chrome, Safari 6+ & Opera 15+ */ } 5. Animating A Gradient Background

One of the most enticing feature in CSS is the ability to add animation effect. You can animate background color, opacity, size, but unfortuantely not for Gradient Color. Currently, you can’t animate the gradient background however this snippet may be of some help. It moves the background postion to make it look as if it is animating.

button { background-image: linear-gradient(#5187c4, #1c2f45); background-size: auto 200%; background-position: 0 100%; transition: background-position 0.5s; } button:hover { background-position: 0 0; }

Here’s a demo to show you what it does.

6. CSS Table Column Autowidth

Tables are a pain especially when it comes to adjusting the widths of columns. However, there is a shortcut you can use. Add white-space: nowrap in the td element to easily correct the text wrapping.

td { white-space: nowrap; }

Check out the demo to compare the result.

7. Showing Box Shadow Only on One or Two Sides

If you want to have box shadows, try this trick which can give you box shadows on either side of a box. To make this, first define a box with a specific width and height. Give it a shadow using :after pseudo element and play around to get the right positioning. This is the code to make a bottom-only shadow:

.box-shadow { background-color: #FF8020; width: 160px; height: 90px; margin-top: -45px; margin-left: -80px; position: absolute; top: 50%; left: 50%; } .box-shadow:after { content: ""; width: 150px; height: 1px; margin-top: 88px; margin-left: -75px; display: block; position: absolute; left: 50%; z-index: -1; -webkit-box-shadow: 0px 0px 8px 2px #000000; -moz-box-shadow: 0px 0px 8px 2px #000000; box-shadow: 0px 0px 8px 2px #000000; }

This is the demo:

8. Wrapping Long Text Context

If you ever come across a word that is longer than the container itself, this trick will be helpful to you. By default, the text will fill horizontally regardless of the width of the container for example:

With simple CSS code you can make the text adjust the width of the container.

pre { white-space: pre-line; word-wrap: break-word; }

This is what it looks like now:

9. Making the Blurry Text

Want to turn text blurry? What we can do is make the color transparent,t hen add text-shadow like this.

.blurry-text { color: transparent; text-shadow: 0 0 5px rgba(0,0,0,0.5); }

And voila, you got yourself some blurry text.

10. Animating Ellipsis Using CSS Animation

These snippets will help you make an animation called ellipsis, useful for making simple loading states instead of using a gif image.

.loading:after { overflow: hidden; display: inline-block; vertical-align: bottom; animation: ellipsis 2s infinite; content: "\2026"; /* ascii code for the ellipsis character */ } @keyframes ellipsis { from { width: 2px; } to { width: 15px; } }

Lets see the demo.

Do play with the snippets and experiment with what more you can do with it.

Related posts:

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  2. Creating a Stitched Effect Using CSS
  3. A Look Into: CSS Border Corner Shape
  4. A Look Into: CSS4 Image Set








Web Developers: 10 Best Podcast Channels You Need To Subscribe To

hongkiat.com - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:01

Web development is a fast ever-changing industry. To stay in the loop, you have to constantly stay informed with the latest and greatest, and one of the best way to do this is by subscribing to a podcast. Podcast or Podcasting is a fascinating medium to get information and news especially for times like when you’re commuting to the office or having a run at the gym.

Some channels may come in audio only while others with videos. Since it is common to have a smartphone or tablet with us, enjoying a podcast is real easy these days. You just need to obtain the RSS URL and add it to the app and the app will grab the latest episode for you. Some podcasts are also available on iTunes. Alternatively, you can use:

Now that you have your means, let’s check out the content, shall we? Here are the podcast channels to subscribe to to stay in the game as a web designer.

Responsive Web Design Podcast

This podcast is hosted by Ethan Marcotte – the developer who coined the term Responsive Web Design – and Karen McGrane. At the time of this writing there are 14 episodes released. On each episode Ethan and Karen interview designers and developers who implement responsive web design on notable company websites such as Marriot, Virgin, and Starbucks. You can dig into the guest’s experiences and the challenges of implementing responsive design for corporate sites.

ShopTalk Show

One of the most popular web design podcasts, hosted by Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks and Dave of Paravel, ShopTalk invites an expert in various fields to talk to for each episode. They currently have more than 100 episodes already, and counting, and podcast releases are on a weekly basis.

The Web Ahead

The Web Ahead is a podcast hosted by Jen Simmons. The podcast is largely an interview of invited experts – like Paul Irish, Eric Meyer, and Ethan Marcotte – to share their thoughts on a variety of subjects including HTML5, Web Standards, and Responsive Web Design. Listeners get a new release every week, and each episode is on average an hour long.

Boagworld

Paul Boag a well-respected name in the web design industry. He is an author who has released a number of bestselling books and is a founder of the UK-based design agency, Headscape. Boagworld has been on air since 2011 with more than 100 episode, making it one of the longest-running podcast channels in the industry. You can subscribe to Boagworld through RSS or through iTunes.

Drafts

Giovanni DiFeterici and Gene Crawford are the guy behind Drafts, the show that talks about many things online including web design trends, concepts, web standards, and technicalities about crafting websites. The 15-minute episodes keep things short and sweet. One of my favorite episodes of this show is Native vs. Web, which touches on the pros and cons of using native platform code (Objective-C for iOS or Java for Android) vs using HTML/CSS when creating a mobile application.

OnTheGrid

Featuring Matt McInerney, Andy Mangold, and Dan Auer, this podcast discusses broadly about design fundamentals and principles. They have great material for web designers and episodes come out on a weekly basis. You can subscribe through iTunes, RSS, or follow their SoundCloud channel to enjoy the show.

User Interface Engineering

User Interface Engineering (UIE) is a consulting firm specializing in web user interface and usability. Alongside trainings and events, UIE also holds a free podcast weekly in which Sean Carmichael, the host, and his expert guests converse about user interface, user experience and anything in between.

The Big Web Show

The Big Web Show is hosted by the Jeffrey Zeldman, a founder of A List Apart, and the one dubbed as the King of Web Standard by BusinessWeek. The topics talked in the show covers web design, typography on the web, web publishing, and many things. It is one podcast that you should subscribe if you are really into web development.

TheBuildUp

Hosted by Bobby Solomon and MediaTemple creative director, Jon Setzen, TheBuildUp features light conversation between the two about various topics on designs, typography, art, news and tech. Episodes are released once every two weeks, and so far there are 9 episodes you can check out. This podcast is currently only available through RSS but there are plans to make it available on iTunes.

The East Wing

The East Wing is hosted by Tim Smith. It features anything about the Web and Internet. Aside the recorded podcasts, you can also enjoy the show through live streaming; make sure to check the schedule for when new episodes will be aired. The podcast is available through iTunes, RSS feed and Pocket Casts.

Related posts:

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  4. Frankendesign – When Re-Using Old Designs Makes Sense








Here Are The 10 Coding Initiatives That Prove Girls Can Code Too

hongkiat.com - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 14:01

One of the biggest conversations that is rife in cyberspace is about the ratio of women in tech. The issue wasn’t that there aren’t great women in tech but that there aren’t enough of them. And as the diversity reports from each tech giant show, the inbalance needs some rectifying. Google decided to lead the way by establishing Made With Code to teach girls coding but their endeavor isn’t the only one.

These 10 initiatives aim to break down the stereotype that women are not interested in coding and computer science. And they do this by reaching out to girls and inculcating in them a love for coding. Many of these initiatives started small and localized but have since expanded across the nation and gaining a global presence.

Made With Code

We’ll start by highlighting Google’s initiative which was launched in June 19, 2014. Made With Code is a community-based site filled with fun projects to encourage girls to learn coding. The site also hosts additional resources for parents and teachers, and a notice board for events. There is also a Mentors, and Makers sections: both highlight stories of women who code for a living. [Visit site]

Girls Who Code

Reshma Saujani founded Girls Who Code, which can be considered America’s national coding initiative for girls, back in 2012. Still going strong, the non-profit organization conducts summer camps and helps start computer science clubs to train high school girls to code. The camps are backed by tech giants and their participants get to meet key people in the tech industry. [Visit site]

Hackbright Academy

The Hackbright Academy markets itself as a software development program exclusively for women. Founded by Christian Fernandez and David J. Phillips, Hackbright Academy organizes proper coding courses throughout the year. There is no age limit for enrolment, and participants are between the ages of 20 and 40. Classes are conducted hands on, with a qualified instructor from the tech industry. [Visit site]

Black Girls Code

Like most of the initiatives, Black Girls Code not only wants to bridge the gender gap in tech but also the wage gap. Founder Kimberly Bryant launched the initiative in April of 2011, introducing coding to girls aged 7-17 through workshops and after-school programs. Black Girls Code also organizes workshops on robotics, and throw hackathons which is inclusive of hosting talks from women already working in tech. [Visit site here]

Rails Girls

Rails Girls which was started in Helsinki, Finland in November 2010, holds events all over the world, to equip girls and women with tools and technical knowledge. Being a non-profit that caters to the international community, their site hosts materials for organizing workshops, and also guides in various languages. It also carries events listings and there is a blog that details its activities. [Visit site here]

Girl Develop It

Girl Develop It is a non-profit that provides coding classes for women founded by Sara Chipps and Vanessa Hurst back in 2010. Classes are made to be affordable and are available at many cities across America. In fact, each city has its own chapter, which organizes hackathons and tech-related events on top of classes. [Visit site here]

Vidcode

Vidcode, a Kickstarter project, is a web app that helps girls to learn code through applying effects to video. Creators Alexandra Diracles and Melissa Halfon came up with the concept after discovering that girls like to pair up programming with their hobbies. The app they created teaches code by displaying the code when the effects are applied on the video, and explaining the code in simple language on a sidebar. [Visit site here]

Ladies Learning Code

This coding initiative started as a seminar in Toronto in July 2011. Founded by Heather Payne, it soon expanded to the whole of Canada, providing workshops suitable for beginners. The workshop was such a hit among participants — normally in their 20s — that the organization decided to hold additional programs for girls aged 6-16 and kids in general. [Visit site here]

Code First: Girls

For ladies living in the UK, this is for you. Code First: Girls aims to help young women currently attending university as they would be entering the workforce after their studies. They also offer courses for graduates but it’s only limited to the general London area at the moment. Other events that they organize include hackathons and tech career talks. [Visit site here]

Girls Teaching Girls To Code

Now this deserves special mention for the way it conducts events. Girls Teaching Girls To Code is a program where female students from Standford’s Computer Science Department teach computer science to high school girls. Not only do they help pass on the love for coding to their younger peers, these university students serve as mentors to the younger girls. Sisterhood for the win. [Visit site here]

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10 Essential Windows Phone Apps for Avid Travelers

hongkiat.com - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:01

Traveling around the world sounds (and actually it is) a lot of fun. We are going to discover new attractions, foods, people, and more importantly tasting places. But before we are going on your new adventure, we will have to get a lot of stuff prepared to accommodate the journey until we are back at home, including installing mobile apps.

These mobile apps will help in many ways such as planning on route, finding deals of hotels and flights rate, car rentals or taxi, and places and foods. If you are an avid travelers and a Windows Phone users, following are several essential apps to install before you go.

Hotel Tonight

The first thing you would probably need to do once you arrived at the city or country you are visiting is finding a hotel to stay the nights. Hotels Tonight is an app that will help you find the best hotel rates and makes booking a room easy. This app hand-picked and the list to include only the best hotel to stay. Even more, you can find others customers review and ratings to help on your selection.

Note: Hotel Tonight currently works in this cities: . But the list is growing.

Kayak

One of the most popular sites for travel, Kayak, has finally come to Windows Phone with official solution. It brings all the features of the website on your hand. Through the app you can plan your destination, find the best flight rate, as well as book the hotel room of the destination.

Uber

Uber brings new experience in car rental. Uber allows you to request a ride or get picked-up. You can select various of vehicles from an SUV to an exclusive Mercedes Benz. Tap, get picked up in minutes, and pay the rate through your mobile phone. No whistling, no waving, no cash needed.

Note: Uber currently works in selected countries. So, check whether you travel destination has been covered.

Easy Taxi

In case Uber does not cover the city of your destination, you can get picked-up with Taxi instead. You can use this app, Easy Taxi, to easily find and reserve taxi near you location and get picked-up in minutes. EasyTaxi works in a number of countries in South East Asia.

Bing Translator

One of the common problems when you are traveling in a foreign country is the language you don’t speak. So, have Bing Translator installed in your Windows Phone. In the case like, you should install Microsoft very own app, Bing Translator. Bing Translator is able to translate both text and voice. It is also equipped with a special lens which you can use to translate directly through camera (see the screenshot below).

Zomato

Let’s not forget about the best part of traveling. Whenever possible, I recommend to always try new taste and authentic food of new places you are visiting. Zomato is the app you should install on that regard. Zomato will give you recommendation of the restaurant as well as menu in the city.

Note: Zomato currently only works in the selected countries.

Here Explore

Here Explore helps you discover new places to stay, eat, and hangout. Launch the app, and the app will show a number of places around your current location in a floating sign as you are walking around. You can save the places you like within your Favourite box or else share them with friends through social sites.

Note: the app currently only works in US, UK, Canada, Germany, Austria, and France.

Moovit

Moovit is an app that will help you for traveling with bus or train. The app supports hundreds of metro and stations in many cities worldwide. Through the app, you can check the route map, arrival schedule, and discover the fastest route to take.

I’m Here

This is app can be very helpful in many situations. Just tap and the app will show your location which then you can share to your friends or families that you have arrived safely to your destination. Or else, in case you are traveling with friends and accidentally seperated, use this app to tell them your location.

XE Currency

Traveling abroad means that you will likely have to exchange your money to local currency. Use this app to check the current exchange of any currency worldwide.

Bonus Compass

Before the GPS, people use stars and compass as their guide on traveling. If you are an adventurer who like to explore forest, jungle, mountains, or places beyond the reach of the Internet, you can install this app to add compass ability to your Windows Phone.

World Prayer Time

Prayer time for Muslim would be different from each countries, particularly of which far above or below the equator line. The prayer time for Muslim is calculated against the Sun position. Use this app to easily figure out the prayer time when you are traveling far to different countries.

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Mind-Blowing Street Art By Smates

hongkiat.com - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 14:01

Whether you love or hate it, street art is something that is here to stay. Going beyond just traditional canvases and materials, street artists are constantly pushing the boundaries and and playing with ideas to make you stop in your tracks. One such street artist that is making waves now is Smates.

This Belgian artist uses space in a clever way that not only reflects the intricate detail of his works but at the same time clearly depicts a message in his work. From human faces that look right at you to playful and cool animals, Smates pieces will have you doing a double take.

Check out just some of his cool graffiti below and if you’re interested in looking at more of his stuff, his website and Facebook page features more of his amazing creations.



(This photo is based on a work by Karen Dillabough)

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10+ Collaboration Tools for Designers and Developers

hongkiat.com - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 11:01

Web designers and web developers are no strangers to collaborative projects. Perhaps you work in a small or medium-sized company, and have had enough of checking your inbox for new messages from your co-workers from the umpteenth meeting you have had in the first week of the month.

Rather than fall back on email and less-than-productive meetings, try out some of the online solutions that exist in the form of collaboration tools. These solutions are perfect for professional creatives, since they allow you to focus on doing a great job, rather than waste too much time on trying to keep the project wheels rolling.

Here are 14 collaboration tools designers and developers should try out, if they haven’t already given them a run.

Paymo

Paymo is an online project management tool that offers ‘digestible’ project templates, and proposes a clean way to take care of time tracking, task management, expense estimation, file sharing, interaction among team members, and invoicing. Paymo comes complete with widgets for Mac and Windows, and is also available as a project management app for Android and iOS. It also supports 16 languages. [Visit the site]

Creately Diagramming

Creately is the tool to use when you want to create diagrams of a database, sitemap, or even a UI or UML mockup. It also works great for group discussions on budgets or dispensing of resources with team mates. With it, you can hold live whiteboard sessions with team members or clients. It also comes with a series of fabulous diagram templates with tweakable layouts and Smart Shapes. [Visit the site]

TeamGantt

Keep all your team members on the same schedule with this project scheduling app. With each team member sticking to the schedule, you’ll be able to better manage the outcome of team projects, particularly if you are team leader. TeamGantt helps you establish task dependencies and project baselines, with integration with your desktop calendar. A must-have for web design and web development projects. [Visit the site]

Wrike

If you prefer the "social network" approach in your collaboration style, Wrike has you covered. With Wrike, users gain facilities like activity streams, newsfeed updates, and a Notification Center. Multiple team members can edit documents and modify task descriptions. Aside from that, Wrike also works across Android and iOS devices. [Visit the site]

Notism

Notism is a visual design feedback tool for creative teams where users can share, discuss and review design and motion work in a simple, effective and streamlined manner. Add clickable hotspots and turn static screens into interactive web and mobile prototypes. This platform also helps to improve your workflow and create better design layouts in a faster and more efficient way than ever before. [Visit the site]

Crowdbase

Knowledge is power, and Crowdbase is a lofty collaboration solution that understands that well. It lets you gather precious information, see activity stats and reports pertaining to certain user groups, and share files with your colleagues. Keep your team members up to speed so there are no weak links in your organization. [Visit the site]

Mural.ly

Most creatives wrinkle their noses when they’re supposed to work on UX design, yet also have to deal with software for project collaboration. Mural.ly can help you with that. Users can add any sort of content to its canvases, be it from their own folders, or taken from the internet. What is more, Mural.ly also includes a voting feature, handy for knowing which side your team mates are leaning towards. [Visit the site]

Teamfocus

Quick, what are the things you hate most about working in a team? If you say meetings, mishandled budgets and shoddy work, then you shoud take a look at Teamfocus. It’s allergic to emails, something most of us would love to claim to have. But jokes aside, Teamfocus helps you stay connected with your peers, meet your deadlines and work better as a team, while getting the job done efficiently. [Visit the site]

Fuze

Why type when you can talk, gesture, smile and have friendly banters with your colleagues. Fuze is the tool you need for a better way to meet and greet your fellow collaborators via video conferences and virtual meetings. Itworks for Mac, Windows, iOS and soon, Android too. Now if only it could do some magic with the different timezones global teams have to deal with. [Visit the site]

Podio

Podio has been featured multiple times on the site which is understandable since it is a great project management and chat tool to have. Work with the team via browsers and across the iOS and Android system with this, and if you want to take it a step further, they have an open API which you are free to extend in the direction that you need for your team. [Visit the site]

ViewFlux

The top most collaboration-enhancing venues go to great lengths to deliver visual solutions. One such tool is ViewFlux, whereby web designers are at liberty to store the source files for their designs, share photorealistic prototypes, and enable customers and team members to impart their views on it in an engaging setting. [Visit the site]

Glasscubes

Yet another stellar collaboration tool is Glasscubes. It has all you could wish for in a private platform for project management: a direct path to share files, gather feedback, communicate, and command a winning project. Besides, Glasscubes is currently employed by ringing brands like The Open University, LG, and British Council. [Visit the site]

PBworks

Secure, comprehensive and customizable, PBworks comes with a range of specialized solutions depending on the industry you are in. On top of being a great tool for designers and developers, it is also great for advertising and marketing agencies, education platforms, event organizers and also law firms, providing a safe harbor for any company’s confidential files. [Visit the site]

Redbooth

My one last recommendation for a collaboration tool is Redbooth, which boasts SSL-secure 256-bit encryption for hosting your company files. Don’t want your materials to be anywhere online? This splendid collaboration tool is also available on-premise, should you prefer to rely on the security of your own servers. [Visit the site]

Have you had the pleasure of working with any of these tools, and if so, did they fulfill your needs? Please tell us all about it.

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Samantha Lee Plays With Her Food With Deliciously Stunning Results

hongkiat.com - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 16:01

There are plenty of creative people out there who work with unconventional mediums. For Samantha Lee, her medium of choice turned out to be food.

Referring to herself as a ‘food artist’, Samantha Lee, who hails from Malaysia, is inspired by popular culture and the things around her. She’s been making making her culinary masterpieces since 2008 but started gaining attention when she started sharing them on Instagram in 2011.

Not only are her creations extremely adorable, they are healthy and wholesome as well. Featured below are just some of her delightful and detailed work, courtesy of her Facebook page. If you’re keen to have a more in-depth look at her work, take a look at her website and her Instagram.

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10 WordPress Plugins To Improve User Management

hongkiat.com - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 11:01

Working with WordPress you probably are familiar with the different roles you can assign members of your team. The roles include administrator, author, contributor, subscriber and regular user, each with their own roles, capabilities and restrictions, for instance, contributors can only edit their posts, whereas editors can edit everyone’s posts.

If, however you want to be able to have improved control over user management, here are a few WordPress plugins that can help you alter, extend or change the capabilities for different roles in your website.

User Role Editor

User Role Editor adds functionality and flexibility for changing role capabilities for user roles. The plugin shows the list of capabilities of each role, and you can enable or disable the capabilities of specific roles. This plugin also allows you to create a new role with its own set capabilities.

New User Approve

By default, WordPress will accept every new user registration. If you want to prevent every registered user from gaining direct login into the site after they register, use this plugin.

With it enabled, when someone registers, the Administrator (most probably you) will receive a notification email, then you can decide whether to approve or reject the registration. Approved users will get an email with login credentials for granted access to the site.

Members

Members make WordPress more powerful in terms of user accesibility. Aside for enabling editing, creating, and deleting roles and capabilities, it also allows you to set permission to control which content is available for any specific user.

Multisite User Management

Multisite User Management is great plugin if you enable your WordPress site as Multisite (see our previous post in this matter: Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Multisite). This plugin enables you to add users with specific roles to each site in the network.

User Switching

User Switching allows you to quickly switch between user accounts on your site. Instantly log out from your current account and log into the another account simply by clicking the “Switch To” button, once the plugin is activated. It’s particularly handy for user testing during plugin or theme development.

Advanced Access Manager

Advanced Access Manager is powerful plugin that controls access to specific areas of your site like posts, pages, categories, widgets or menus for a specific user, role or visitor. This plugin also lets you manage roles and Capabilities so you can create, update or delete any user role or capability.

Other features include securing admin login by limiting login tries, controlling access to media files, tracking logged-in user activities, and the capability to filter backend menu and metaboxes or widgets.

Delete Me

Delete Me is a plugin which allows users to delete themselves. Upon activating the plugin, the “Delete Profile” link will appear on the user profile pages. By clicking this button and confirming the choice, users can get their account, posts, links and comments all deleted in one go.

PauPress

PauPress brings CRM (Contact Relationship Management) functionalities to WordPress. This plugin allows you to build user profile and add as many custom fields as you need to provide more details about the users. With this plugin, you can keep track of each user on the site by monitoring their activities and logs.

User Meta Manager

User Meta Manager is a handy tool for modifying user metadata as well as adding custom meta. So, if you want to add new user input for example, telephone number or address, this is a good plugin to get that done.

WP-Members

WP-Members is a free membership management plugin that restricts content to registered users. While WordPress by default allows all content to be viewable by all, this plugin restricts all posts by default. You can however change the setting to restrict only some of the content.

The plugin comes with additional registration fields including name, address, phone, and email but if you need to, you can create your own custom registration fields.

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10 Hidden CSS3 Properties You Should Know

hongkiat.com - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 14:01

CSS3 have made designing web more exciting with the introduction of new properties. While you might know of the popular ones, such as the box-shadow, border-radius, and transform, there are plenty more properties that you may not have heard of or tried, but would be glad to know of its existence.

W3C is constantly working on new CSS properties to make the web much better for designers, developers and users. In the meantime, let’s take a look at these 10 properties you may not know of but should really check out.

1. Tab Size

Most code editors are equipped with Tab Size control that allows developers to specify the code indentation width made with the Tab key. It was only recently that we were also able to customize the indentation of the code embedded on webpages.

pre { tab-size: 2; }

Note that each browser may have their own interpretation of how long the tab-width unit should be. So, we may expect to see some discrepancies among different browsers. In terms of browser support, the tab-size property works in Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and Safari according to CanIUse.

2. Text Rendering

The text-rendering property will tell browsers how they should render the text within webpages. The text will be optimized for performance, legibility, or precision, which will eventually determine the text quality. Take a closer look at the kerning of the text in the following screenshot for a comparison between ‘normal’ text and optimizedLegibility text:


Comparison courtesy by AestheticallyLoyal

For more advice on good typography, check out Practical Typography.

3. Font Stretch

Some fonts provide additional faces aside from the regular Normal, Bold and Italic. Helvetica Neue or Myriad Pro as an example comes with faces such ‘Condensed’, ‘Ultra-condensed’, and ‘Semi-condensed’. This is where a new property called font-stretch is introduced; it allows us to apply these faces.

We may use font-stretch in conjunction with font property like for instance,font-style. Here is an example:

h1 { font-style: bold; font-stretch: ; }

The font-stretch property currently only works in Firefox and Internet Explorer 9 (and above).

4. Text Overflow

The text-overflow property specifies presentation of content that is overflowing or truncated by its container. The default value is set to clip which simply hides the truncated text. Alternately, you can set it to ellipsis to depict the truncated text or content with horizontal ellipsis, as follows.

.content-box { text-overflow }

In case you are wondering, horizontal ellipsis is the three dots at the end which usually indicates omitted content.

5. Writing Mode

Not every language is written from the left to right direction. A few languages are instead written from top to bottom like Japanese or right to left like Arabic and Hebrew.


Image courtesy by AimiriFont

To accommodate these languages, a new property named writing-mode is introduced to let developers change the content writing direction through CSS. This code snippet, as an example, directs the content flow from the left to the right (regardless of the language).

p { writing-mode: rl-tb; }

To change the flow of content, moving from top to bottom, set the property with the vertical-lr value:

p { writing-mode: vertical-lr; } 6. Pointer Events

The pointer-events property allows us to control element behavior under pointer events like dragging, hovering and clicking. Using this, the affected link will do nothing when it is clicked; the link will be completely disabled, and will not even direct users to the address specified in the href attribute.

a { pointer-events: none; }

Due to some critical issues however the pointer-events property is put on hold until the next CSS revision, CSS4.

7. Image Orientation

In an image editor such as Photoshop, you can change the image orientation by rotating or flipping the image. Now CSS3 allows you to do the same to the images on webpages through a new property called image-orientation. Here is an example on how we can flip an image horizontally using this property.

img { image-orientation: flip; }

You can also retain the original image orientation by specifying the property value to from-image, like so.

img { image-orientation: from-image; } 8. Image Rendering

Similar to the text-rendering property, image-rendering defines the image quality on webpages, in particular when the image is forcefully resized. With the advent of this property comes a number of new values, and browsers have their own specifications in this matter. The crisp-edges value, for example, which preserves contrast and prevents blurry edges of images, is currently translated as -webkit-optimize-contrast in Webkit browsers and nearest-neighbor in Internet Explorer.

img { image-rendering: crisp-edges; image-rendering: -webkit-optimize-contrast;/* Webkit */ -ms-interpolation-mode: nearest-neighbor; /* IE */ }

It’s an experimental technology, so we will likely see a few changes in the implementation.

9. Columns

The columns property allows developers to arrange web content into columns with ease. We split the content into two columns like this:

.content { columns: 2; }

In the browsers that support this property – like Chrome and Safari – we will see the content arranged like so.

Coupled with CSS Shape and a bit of creativity, you can have a fluid and more enticing content layout much like what you see in a fashion magazine on your websites.

10. Flex

The flex property aims to make building responsive grid more seamless while solving a couple of issues in the current mainstream method for web layout arrangement – the float property.

On top of that, by using the flex property, the web layout will take the full height of its container, which was quite cumbersome to deal with previously (take a look at our previous post on this matter: Equal Column Height With CSS).

Now, assuming you would like to build a web layout that comprises of three columns, you can have the markup arranged this way.

<div id="container"> <div class="col">Column 1</div> <div class="col">Column 2</div> <div class="col">Column 3</div> </div>

Then, build them into columns using the flex property, like so.

#container { width: 600px; height: 300px; display: flex; } #container .col { flex: auto; }

With additions of decorative styles like font and background color, we will get the following result.

Related posts:

  1. UI Design: Applying CSS Based on Screen Orientation
  2. Better Paragraphs with CSS3 Hyphenation
  3. Customizing Browser Scroll Bar With CSS / jQuery
  4. 3 New LESS CSS Features You Should Know








5 Internet Acts That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

hongkiat.com - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:01

Tired of the bad vibes you have been getting all year long? If it feels like your peaceful life is being uprooted from its core with disheartening news, take a break. Restore the faith with feel-good stories, and find comfort in knowing that there are a lot of good out there, because deep down inside, we all like to go to Heaven, even if some of us don’t believe in it..

Lucky for you we have an ever-expanding series of wonderful acts found on the Internet that will do wonders to your faith in humanity. If you like to see earlier parts of the series, check out our previously published compilations, or if you have a story to share with us, let us know in the comments.

Read also:

1. Lost and Found: Mother

If you don’t hold Redditors in high regard, perhaps this story will change your mind.

One afternoon in April 2014, Josh Goldberg discovered that his 59-year-old mother, May Goldberg with advanced Alzheimer’s, was missing. Mayhad apparently had walked out of her apartment and didn’t return. After searching and contacting the necessary authorities to no avail, Josh decided to ask Reddit for help.

It worked.


(Image source: Josh Goldberg)

Josh’s mother was eventually found by fellow Redditor geryorama, who had chanced upon Josh’s mother wandering around the street, recognized who she was, double checked her photo to confirm that it was her, then took her to a hotel lobby to contact authorities. He also contacted Josh to tell her that his mother has been found safe and sound. A grateful Josh duly rewarded geryorama for his kindness.

2. Reddit talked teen out of suicide

Here’s another one about Redditors, only this time they were saving one of their own. What would you do if you come across an actual suicide note online? While you think about that, let me tell you what a group of Redditors did when faced with the same situation.

Redditor NotARomanGuy has been suffering from depression for 8 years. He seeked solace by playing Minecraft (as CaesarOctavius) and by contributing to the Minecraft subreddit. But life happens and eventually he couldn’t stand it anymore and one day he decided to take his own life.

As a farewell to the other Minecraft Redditors, he posted a heartbreaking suicide note on subreddit r/UltraHardcore.


(Image source: Mashable)

Some Redditors recognized the name CaesarOctavius and immediately responded with kind words and anecdotes detailing the good times they had with him. But the support didn’t stop there.

50 other community members joined a TeamSpeak room — which allow users to send voice calls to each other — to talk him out of his plans. There was also intervention by Redditors from the subreddit r/SuicideWatch.

And everyone’s efforts paid off. An hour later, this was posted.


(Image source: Reddit)

3. 9/11 Photo Returned, After 13 Years

Ground Zero is a site synonymous with the tragedy of 9/11 that shook the world in 2001. It was also the site where someone found a wedding photo, one that haunted Elizabeth Stringer Keefe for 13 years. You see, Elizabeth had received the photo from a friend, who found it amidst the rubble. Her friend was moving away and had asked that Elizabeth do something meaningful with the photograph.


(Image source: E. Stringer Keefe)

She decided to return it to its rightful owner, in spite of what she might find on the receiving end. Every year on September 11, she would share it on various social media sites.

Every year on #911 I post this photo hoping 2 return 2 owner. Found at #groundzero #WTC in 2001. Pls RT pic.twitter.com/mZ9LdQqE7x

— E. Stringer Keefe (@ProfKeefe) September 12, 2014

Yet, no one came to claim the photo. Still, Elizabeth persisted. And that persistence paid off when one of the people in the photo, Fred Mahe, came across the retweet by country singer Blake Shelton. Fred went on to thank Elizabeth and was glad to report that all 6 people in the photo are alive.

@ProfKeefe 9/11 we remember what we lost. 9/12 we remember what we have. 9/12/01, I saw the best of humanity. Elizabeth is 100% 9/12 #9/12

— Fred Mahe (@FredWMahe) September 13, 2014

4. Stand Up To Bullies!

This story is one reason why we need to teach kids that all forms of bullying is wrong and not be dismissed as “boys would be boys” or “boys being mean”.

10 year old Jetta Fosberg had beautiful long blonde hair like this:


(Image source: Stand With Jetta)

… and a kind soul to boot. She decided to cut off her long locks and donate them to Wigs For Kids, which makes wigs for kids with cancer. For her kind act, she got bullied in school on a daily basis, being called nasty names by male students, chiding her for wanting to be a boy, all because she decided to cut her long hair short.

Her mother, Heidi approached the principal to take action against the bullies. Instead, the principal told Jetta to just "toughen up".

Eventually the bullying took a toll on Jetta, and her mother had to pull her out of school for her safety. Hoping to find support online and to cheer Jetta up, Heidi created a Facebook support page Stand With Jetta, which gained overwhelming support by visitors. Many also shared their personal stories and encounters with the bullies in their life.

Being the strong girl that she is, Jetta soaked up all the support, saying in an interview that she appreciate knowing that her haircut is cute, and that she is a good person. "It kind of helps me fight against [the bullies].”


(Image source: Stand With Jetta)

Her Facebook page also helped spread the word for Wigs For Kids, prompting many young girls to follow in her lead and donate their beautiful hair to those who need it.

5. Grandma Celebrates 104th Birthday In Style

Betty Musker will celebrate her 104th birthday on Oct 24. She however didn’t want anything, except perhaps a card. Betty’s family and the rest of the nursing home staff decided to surprise her with as many cards as possible for her birthday, and Betty’s great-granddaughter Vicky Thomas took to work by using Facebook to ask for cards for Betty. They were hoping to get 104, but got a whole lot more.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Post by Vicky Thomas.

Vicky’s post went viral and cards started to trickle in to the nursing home’s postbox in Warrington, UK. Not only were the cards from all over the UK, they were also from all over the world. There were so many cards that the local post office had to designate a special space for Betty’s cards!


(Image source: BBC News)

When October 24 came around, the staff gathered all the cards they have received to present to Betty, all 5,700(!) of them. Betty was understandably overwhelmed, and touched that so many “lovely people had taken the time out to send them”.


(Image source: BBC News)

And that, kids, is how you rock a 104th birthday.

Related posts:

  1. 10 Viral Stories That Turned Out To Be Hoaxes
  2. How Internet Acts Restore Faith In Humanity – Part III
  3. 5 Times Internet Keyboard Warriors Didn’t Save The Day
  4. 20 More Tumblr Tips, Tricks & Tools








30 Tree Tunnels That Will Take Your Breath Away

hongkiat.com - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 14:01

Tree tunnels are one of nature’s curious and beautiful phenomenon. By definition, a tree tunnel is described as a road or street that has rows of trees grown on both sides. The trees somehow form a canopy overhead which gives the effect of a tunnel.

Some tree tunnels are natural due to the nature of the tree branches whilst others are man-made as they are grown that way using gardening techniques. Whichever they are, tree tunnels make lovely settings for photography as these photos of 30 magnificent tree tunnels from around the world shows.

Tunnel of Love, Kleven, Ukraine. (Image Source: Oleg Gordienko)

Jacarandas Walk, South Africa. (Image Source: imgur)

Cherry Blossom Avenue, Bonn, Germany. (Image Source: Marcel Bednarz)

Hilly Autumn Avenue, USA. (Image Source: wallpaperstock)

Yew Tree Tunnel, Carmarthenshire, UK. (Image Source: Guy Stitt)

Bamboo Path, Japan. (Image Source: forwallpaper)

Wisteria Tunnel, Kawachi Fuji Garden, Japan. (Image Source: Unknown World)

The Dark Hedges, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. (Image Source: Travel And Tourism)

Ginkgo Tree Tunnel, Tokyo. (Image Source: sun-surfer)

The Tree tunnel, Halnaker, England. (Image Source: Daily Fresher)

Gormanston Fairytale Tree Tunnel, County Meath, Ireland. (Image Source: jacco)

Sena De Luna, Spain. (Image Source: BuzzFeed)

Oak Alley Plantation, Louisiana, USA. (Image Source: BuzzFeed)

Cypress Tree Avenue, Point Reyes, California, USA. (Image Source: Bored Panda)

Avenue of Oaks, Dixie Plantation, South Carolina, USA. (Image source: Bored Panda)

Gyeonghwa Station, Jinhae, South Korea. (Image Source: Bored Panda)

Parque Francisco Alvarado, Costa Rica. (Image Source: Vytautas Šėrys)

Laburnum Tunnel, Bodnant Gardens, UK. (Image Source: Tony Shertila)

Sakura Tunnel, Tokyo, Japan. (Image Source: Masai Okeda)

Rua Gonçalo de Carvalho, Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Image Source: Stephen Messenger)

Maple Tunnel, St. Louis, Oregon, USA. (Image Source: Bored Panda)

Tunnel of Love, Kawazu-cho, Shizuoka, Japan. (Image Source: Agustin Rafael Reyes)

Jerez street, Spain. (Image Source: Aidan McRae Thomson)

Tree Tunnel, Neatherlands. (Image Source: Lars van de Goor)

Tree Tunnel, Maluhia Road, Koloa Town, Kauai, Hawaii. (Image Source: Parrish Kauai++)

Smuggler’s Notch State Park, Vermont, Connecticut, USA. (Image Source: Emlii)

Natural Tree Tunnel, Mendocino County, California, USA. (Image Source: Ultimate Places)

Maple tree tunnel, Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi, Japan. (Image Source: Flavorverse)

El Paseo del Espolón, Burgos, Spain. (Image Source: Vado a Spain)

Maekdo Ecological Park, Busan, South Korea. (Image Source: Busan Haps)

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10 Free Tools For Creating Your Own Maps

hongkiat.com - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 11:23

Maps are handy for a lot of reasons. Not only do they help us navigate through certain areas, they also enable us to learn more about the world and what it has to offer. What if you’re someone who wants to create a map instead?

Sure, there’s Google Map and Google Earth to help you out but there are actually other tools to choose from as well. Here we’ve gathered 10 free amazing tools that you can use to create your own maps. From maps that are conveniently made for sharing to ones that are quite interactive, the selection below has a range of things to satisfy your mapping needs.

1. Animaps

If you’re looking to create and view beautifully informative animated maps then this is the tool for you. Animaps basically extends the My Maps feature of Google Maps so that you create maps with markers that move, lines and shapes that change over time and images and texts that pop up on cue. The final result is an animated map.

If you send an Animap to your friends then it will display like a video which they can play, pause, slow and speed up. It’s simple to learn if you go through the basic tutorials. You can easily sign up for a new account on Animap or even sign up via your Facebook account. [Visit site here]

2. UMapper

UMapper is a useful map creation tool used by publications like National Geographic, Star Tribune, USA Today and other well-known organizations. UMapper provides an effortless approach in creating Flash maps that are easy to embed and distribute through a website or blog.

You can use any one of the top map providers such as Bing Maps, Google Maps, and Open Street Map to get your map out there. With the help of UMapper, you can also make money by displaying advertisements. If you’re keen on more features, you can have a look at the premium packages. [Visit site here]

3. Scribble Maps

Scribble Maps is a mapping tool that provides a comfortable platform for drawing and sharing maps. Using this tool, you can easily add custom images, place text and markers, draw shapes, calulcate distance, save a map in PDF format and much more.

You can also send maps to your friends or embed them on your website. The basic Scribble service is free while Pro Scribble Maps allows you to import KML files, spreadsheets and SHP files at a certain price. [Visit site here]

4.Click2Map

Click2Map is an easy to use mapping tool which allows you to create customized maps according to your needs. Click2Map conveniently lets you place built-in markers from their huge library to make your map more informative and interactive.

You can also add lines and polygons on your maps for various purposes such as to indicate a particular geographical area. Once you are done with creating your map, you can download your newly-designed map and publish it on your website/blog at no charge. [Visit site here]

5. ZeeMaps

ZeeMaps enables you to design and publish your interactive maps without having to sign up. By using ZeeMaps, you can place customizable markers and highlight countries, states and cities too.

A cool feature is that you can add video, audio or sound clips along with the markers. In addition to that, you can add customizable search fields for your map as well. ZeeMaps is offering free as well as paid versions at different prices which you can check out here. [Visit site here]

6. MapTiler

MapTiler is a mapping tool with lots of rich features. The features are top-notch as this tool is used by Google, NASA, Apple and other big organizations. With MapTiler, you can effectually render the geodata into map tiles that are highly suitable for Google Maps API mashups, MapQuest, Microsoft Bing and Google Earth amongst many others.

You can use MapTiler on Windows, Linux and Mac making this tool quite versatile. If this sounds interesting to you, there’s a free version that you can try out as well as 4 paid versions with different prices and different bundles of features. [Visit site here]

7. TargetMap

TargetMap is a handy tool for creating and publishing your maps. The website encourages a sense of community as sharing maps help to enrich and boost the knowledge of the participants. This is because once your map is published, you can compare it with similar maps done by others and this helps you improve.

You can also embed your maps into your website or blog. To use TargetMap as a free tool, you have to share your maps with others but if you want to keep your maps private then you can opt for the ‘Not to Share’ option. The free version of this option comes with limited features as opposed to the premium version, so what you decide on really depends on your needs and capabilities. [Visit site here]

8. HeatmapTool

HeatmapTool is a nice and easy tool for making attractive heat maps from a CVS file. You can scale the heat map as you like and conveniently update it in real-time. You can also cool down the heat map by dimming it accordingly and sharpen or soften the edges of the heated area as well.

Another handy feature is that you can create an overlay for the Google Maps API. Like the other tools, this one is free but if you’d like more advanced features, you can check the pricing here. [Visit site here]

9. GmapGIS

GmapGIS is a simple tool which is used for mapping purposes. You can easily draw lines, shapes, add labels, add markers and measure the distance on maps without using a Google account.

Once you are done drawing and labeling a map, a link is automatically generated for your map which you can share with others. With GmapGIS, you can choose to save the map in a KML format or view it in Google Earth. [Visit site here]

10. geoCommons

GeoCommons allows us to create, use and share rich interactive maps regardless of your experience with mapping tools. It lets you map real-time social data and over 50,000 available open source data sets. This is a great tool to view a large amount of data and to animate a map in just a few seconds.

You can also filter the data and maps in the GeoCommons database using any number, string or date attribute of database. If you’re interested in sharing your map, you can embed it within your website or blog and share it via social media. You can sign up
for free and start using its services right away. [Visit site here]

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8 Free Apps To Monitor Your Kids&#8217; Smartphones Activities On Android

hongkiat.com - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 16:01

These, days, there is no stopping a child from growing up without the influence of tech gadgets, online content, and the Internet in general. Being a parent is already a tough enough task, but shying away from the topic or completely shutting out technology from your children’s lives isn’t going to help.

What you can do however, is to have more control over what they are exposed to while on their gadgets, and this post will try to help you with that, particularly on Android.

Google Play Store may not have tougher restrictions than those found on Apple’s AppStore so if your kids own an Android device (or have access to your device at their liberty), you might want to set up some of these parental apps to help you monitor your kid’s online activities on the device. Some allow restrictions of online sites they can visit, the monitoring of their text or call usage, app downloads, location and how long they can spend on their devices.

If you are on iOS, check out this post on 5 ways to make your iOS devices more kid-friendly and child-safe, and if you are on Mac, we also have a list of 10 Parental Control Apps you can try out.

1. Kids Place – Parental Control

Kids Place is a comprehensive parental control app. Some of its handy attributes include a customized home screen showcasing approved apps only, the ability to prevent your child from downloading or buying new apps as well as a time feature to specify a schedule for using the smartphone.

On top of that, it’s also capable of blocking incoming calls and disabling all wireless signals. When you install and use the app for the first time, you have to first set a PIN for security purposes. [Get it here]

2. KuuKla Parental Control

KuuKla Parental Control App helps you tailor your Android device into one which is suitable for your child. It gives you the opportunity to select the applications that you want to appear for use on the home screen while disabling access to all other applications. It also allows you to define a schedule for using apps and the Internet on the smartphone.

Once you’ve download the app and registered your email address, a PIN code will be sent to the email address provided which can only be used by you to control the device. [Get it here]

3. Abeona – Parental Control & Device Monitor

The Abeona app actually comes with a complementary app called Device Monitor. Abeona – Parental Control allows parents to monitor the mobile apps usage of their child, view call logs and check whether the device of child is online or offline among other things.

The Device Monitor app must be installed on the child’s device in order for the parent to receive reports of device usage and location. The app is great for use on multiple devices, for instance if you need to get reports from multiple Android smartphones or tablets, all at once. [Get them here and here]

4. SecureTeen Parental Control

Worried about your teen being exposed to mature or adult content online? Try SecureTeen Parental Control which can filter out most if not all adult content. SecureTeen allows you to monitor your children’s online activities, applications they download and their location.

If you don’t like an app that’s installed on your child’s phone then SecureTeen allows you to shut it down, even if it’s still installed. SecureTeen can be managed remotely online by logging into the website. [Get it here]

5. Screen Time Parental Control

As the name indicates, Screen Time is a helpful app which lets you manage how much ‘screen time’ your kids get. The key features of Screen Time includes blocking different apps according to the time.

For example, you can block only games at bed time but still allow readings apps then choose to block all apps when it’s time for lights out. Screen Time also allows you to set a daily time limit on the apps you want to restrict access to. [Get it here]

6. Kids Zone Parental Controls

Kids Zone is another handy parental control app. The chore mode gives you the capability to set a time limit that determines when your child can use the smartphone.

Other notable features include relocking the device after rebooting, blocking phone calls as well as text messages and Internet access, blocking apps installation and in-app purchasing, and various other features. [Get it here]

7. Parental Control Board

The Parental Control Board app helps monitor, manage and track a child’s activities on a mobile phone. It can monitor a list of all installed apps on the phone and you can even restrict some of them such as YouTube or Google Play, if you need to. Get the precise location of your child at any time and control and see all call logs and SMS that goes through their phone.

One of the useful things that this app has is the ability for parents to setup black lists and white lists of phone numbers for incoming/outgoing calls and messages. [Get it here]

8. Norton Family Parental Control

This Norton Family Parental Control app allows you to see which websites are visited by your child. You can also restrict access to pornographic and inappropriate websites and can setup email alerts that notify you whenever your child attempts to do something that he/she shouldn’t.

If you don’t mind spending a bit of money, you can get the premium version which lets you view logs of text messages, monitor the apps downloaded by your child and even block some of those apps amongst various other features. [Get it here]

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8 Ways How Freelancers Can Launch Your Startup

hongkiat.com - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 11:01

These are great times to work as a freelancer. The freelancing industry is catching on like wild fire, with more and more money being poured into the mix. There are already tons of businesses using the industry. If you are a young, up and coming entrepreneur, you want your startup running on the lowest of overheads. Cutting costs and externalizing as much as possible is your No.1 priority.

That’s exactly what the freelancing industry can do for you. It’s a catalyst for rapid growth. But this needs to be done carefully. Sometimes you’ll want a firm, other times you need just one freelancer. There are also parts of your business you want to keep to yourself, and parts which are best managed by freelancers.

Here’s a guide on when, where and how to use freelancers for your startup.

1. Accounting

Yes, I am starting with accounting, the dreary, taboo topic nobody in the business world really likes to write about. That’s because it doesn’t really make for great headlines or high clickrates. ‘Experts’ love to hype things and talk about ‘business’ like it’s a Superbowl commercial: loud, simple and colorful.

The reality is, if you run your own business, accounting should be the most important thing for you. And no, it’s not always fun. That’s exactly why you need a freelance accountant working for you.

You don’t want a big accounting firm managing your startup. You’ll get as much attention as Shuffleboard competitions on Eurosport: really close to none (Shuffleboarding at its best. Your rivals probably wish you have long hours of “fun” with it).

So what you want is a freelance accountant, who will be on your call 24/7. As an entrepreneur, you are a jack of all trades especially accounting. Keep your hand on the pulse of the business. Ask questions. A lot. Don’t be afraid to look stupid in front of your accountant. That’s the one place you are allowed to be.

A freelance accountant will give you one-on-one time. You’ll have him or her under control. You’ll learn more. Go for local freelancers as opposed to hiring somebody you can’t meet. This is one place where freelancing sites aren’t that great. However, you can find accountants by:

  • Asking other entrepreneurs
  • Posting questions on accounting forums (that’s how I found mine)
  • Posting a listing on job sites
  • Looking for Facebook groups related to entrepreneurship and accounting
  • Reading finance blogs and interacting with other visitors
2. Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are great tools, in the hands of the right expert. If you are a startup, go with a ‘lone wolf’, don’t hire the pack. Go for just one freelancer. If there’s any place you want to spend a little more, this is it. That’s because there are just so many phony individuals in this niche. Everybody is an SEO expert nowadays.

The truth is, experts do cost more, but don’t be fooled by the price tag. There are many dumb ‘SEO experts’ who cost a fortune. Real SEO experts get results – and results are the only thing that matters. Make sure you set goals for your expert and make sure his pay is conditioned by achieving those goals.

Don’t be fooled into hiring ‘social media experts’ or ‘market research experts’. That’s basically all hype. Do all the social media management on your own (here are some social media marketing cheatsheets to get you started) or if the volume of work is too big, through a virtual assistant. You just set the tasks, and then hire a decent, english-speaking VA.

The truth is social media isn’t hard. You just need to act like a real person. There are tons of tutorials out there on how to manage your Facebook, your Twitter, your Pinterest and every other profile. Try to read as many of them as possible and then get to work.

3. Design

If you are developing a website to help your business or your entire company relies on an e-commerce website, you should, by all means, use a professional freelance designer. From logo creation to website design, to banners and flyers, your company’s image really makes a difference. This is the second best place to invest your money in, after SEO and SEM (traffic is the most important thing by far).

Make sure your freelance designer knows a bit of coding. Great designers usually do. You want a design which is easy to implement, not just something which looks great. Also, it helps to know what your e-commerce site needs to have, so you know what you are getting into.

4. Coding

Now, for coding your site, that’s a totally different story. Great coders are usually very reluctant to interact with people. That’s why you want a freelance firm. More and more companies are enlisting their services on freelance websites. But if you can, work with a local company for the coding part. It will be easier to push them in the direction you’re wanting.

Another crucial reason you want a company, and not a freelance coder is the fact that you need an interface between you and the programmer. You need someone to put some pressure on the coder every now and then (and Lord knows that you won’t be able to scare him into delivering by writing in CAPS LOCK on Skype). A firm is just safer. They’re also less likely to steal your startup idea and more likely to get the job done fast.

5. Analytics

Here’s one ‘meal course’ you’ll want to handle on your own. Don’t hire anyone for this. You need to know what CPM, CPC, funnels, bounce-rates and all that other weird gibberish means. Again, there are loads of tutorials out there. Here are a few found here to get you started:

6. Newsletters (Writing)

This is such a delicate topic. If you’re a startup relying on sales via the Internet, collecting and maintaining an e-mail list is the absolute way to grow. Creating the newsletter then becomes a high priority task. Either daily, weekly or monthly, you need to take the time and practically create a sales letter from scratch each time you send out an e-mail to your subscribers.

There are some great freelancers/entrepreneurs out there who can work for you on this one. But they charge a lot. That’s not the way to go if you’re just starting out. This is one just for you.

First thing, you need to create is the prototype of your subscriber. If you haven’t already, ask your subscriber details about his age, sex, location and keep a history of how often he visits your site or buys from you.

Important note: keep changing the appearance of the newsletter, at least monthly. Experiment and keep an eye on your clickrates and open rates. I’ve personally doubled our clickrate for 2 weeks on one e-commerce site I owned by applying text-only newsletters, written in a personal, friendly fashion.

7. Blogging

There’s absolutely no reason why your company shouldn’t own a blog. I get it, you’re busy actually doing the business, you’ve got no time to write about it. Get a freelancer!

Hire a blogger. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling flake food enriched with beta carotene for ornamental fish. You can blog about it and people will visit. Sometimes, being the big fish in a small pound equals success. You never know, the blog might become a business in and of itself.

Just write!

8. Customer Care

Here’s one area you won’t want to work with any outside people. You’ll find cheaper local labor. And even if you don’t, it’s worth paying more to get a local person. Customer care (CC) is basically the interface between you and the customer. As such, CC creates the user’s experience. And medium to long term user experience is the most important factor in determining the success or failure of your company.

You want a local employee, whom you can supervise. A lot. Clients will create problems in places you thought didn’t even exist. Quite a bit of your input will be needed. The key to massively successful companies such as McDonald’s is the experience the user has when interacting with the company. Learn from that.

User experience is always worth investing in, even if it doesn’t yield immediate return.

Conclusion

Working with freelancers isn’t for everybody. We’re still a long way from reaching the full potential of the freelance industry. It’s still in its infancy. Some entrepreneurs prefer working with people directly, in a more hands-on fashion in an office environment. But if you’re a startup, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t leverage the opportunities this industry lays out for you.

By employing freelancers in certain key positions, your startup can have multiple departments, just like a corporation. And in the ‘virtual world’, your online presence will often times be more immaculate than that of big companies.

Related posts:

  1. How To Hire & Build An Awesome Team








10 Cool Sites To Create Your Own Comics Online

hongkiat.com - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 14:01

Contrary to popular belief, comics aren’t just for kids. They have the capability to tell a story in a visual way that is truly unique and an experience on its own. Generally, you can only create your own comics if you can draw. Or at least that’s the notion that most have.

These days every one who wants to is able to create their own comic stories online. With just a few simple clicks, you too can create you own characters that bring a comic strip to life. If you want to, you can even draw your own original characters. Featured below is a collection of 10 awesome online tools to create your own comics.

p.entry-image { margin-bottom:40px; } Create Your Own Comic by Marvel

Marvel Comics or Marvel Worldwide Inc. is an American publisher of comic books and related media. If there’s a company that knows what it takes to build great comics, it would be Marvel. This DIY comic site is simple and cool. You can use different scenes, characters and objects from the Marvel comic universe to create your own stories online.

Bitstrips

Bitstrips helps you create a cartoon version of yourself. You can give yourself a new hairstyle, add some makeup, adjust the size of the face as you like and even change the outfit. The image below is an example of my own attempt at creating a Bitstrip version of myself. Besides the browser version, they also have an app that was ranked as one of the top downloaded apps by Apple enthusiasts.

MakeBeliefsComix.com

MakeBeliefsComix is a free comic strip creation tool that provides students with a lot of characters, templates and prompts for building their own comics. This is so easy to use that a child could definitely use this with no problems. However, one limitation is the color. You can change the background color, but characters will stay black and white anyway.

ToonDoo

ToonDoo gives more freedom to your imagination. While there’s a standard set of characters and background templates, the service lets you create your own personas and even paint some objects freely. Moreover, here you can use your own photos in the comics and manipulate them as you like.

Comic Master

Comic Master is a flash-based site that’s easy to navigate. With this service, you can create your own comic heroes and craft original stories for them. Here, you go through a simple step-by-step process that starts with creating a layout and ends with an awesome finished comic strip.

Chogger

Chogger is a free comic strip creation service offering a good collection of editing tools. You may use existing images or draw your own. With Chogger, you can even take a picture from your webcam and insert it into your artwork. There’s also an option that lets you customize each frame you add.

Pixton

Pixton is a drag-and-drop comic creation tool which allows anyone to create their own comics regardless of their artistic talents. All you have to do is join the Pixton community and you can start sharing your creations with others.

Strip Generator

Strip Generator doesn’t really give you a lot of space to show off your personal style – you can only use existing characters and templates. However, there are a lot of options to choose from. To create your own comic, just pick a frame you like and drag characters and objects into it.

Write Comics

Write Comics is another simple site for creating comics stories. You don’t need to register or fill in various forms. Select a background from the menu and choose your characters and speech bubbles. And just like that you have your own comic.

Witty Comics

This online tool would be extremely useful for teachers and students who are learning languages. This service allows you to portray dialogue between two characters. All you need to do is pick a pre-drawn scene, select your characters and add some text to it.

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5 Things You Can Do With HTML Meta Tag

hongkiat.com - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 11:01

Meta Tag is used to store a piece of information on a web page. Essentially, it is information about data. Its purpose is for browsers and search engines to understand and know the page better.

As web developers, we’re used to setting the page description, author, or keyword via meta tag. However, there are a number of meta tag capabilities that most of us probably aren’t aware of. Here I’ve put together 5 meta tag features that you may have not heard of before.

1. Controlling Browser Cache

When you visit a web page, it stores the web page in cache to make it load faster in subsequent visits. You may have come across an instance where your page is not updated with the changes that you’ve made. This is because the browser shows you the cached page. To prevents this, you can disable browser cache by using meta tag. To disable browser cache, you can use:

<meta http-equiv="Cache-Control" content="no-store" />

This meta tag is recognized in Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Even more so in IE, where you can use more values and specifications to disable caching, as follows.

<meta http-equiv="Cache-Control" content="no-cache" /> <meta http-equiv="Pragma" content="no-cache" />

You can also set an expiration date to ensure that the browser will show the file that’s fresh from the server, rather than from the cache.

<meta http-equiv="expires" content="Fri, 18 Jul 2014 1:00:00 GMT" />

The meta data above means that document is considered expired after the specified date and time. If you set it to “0“, the browser will check for a fresh new document on each visit.

2. Setting Cookies

Similar to cache, cookies is a small piece of data that is stored in the browser by the websites you’ve visited. Websites may reuse the cookies to tailor some website functionalities. A real everyday example is when you shop in an online store. If you’ve added a few items to the basket, as long as you have not yet checked out, the items will remain in the basket even though you have left the browser for several days.

To set cookies on meta-tag you can use:

<meta http-equiv="Set-Cookie" content="name=data; path=path; expires=Day, DD-MMM-YY HH:MM:SS ZONE">

name=data is the name of the cookies which determines the values set in it. path is the path of document. Whereas, the value of expired indicates the time and date when cookies are deleted from your computer. If you leave the expired date empty, the cookies will be deleted once you quit the browser.

As an example, if we want the cookies to expire on 31 January, 2015 we can set:

<meta http-equiv="Set-Cookie" content="name=data; path=path; expires=Thursday, 01-Jan-2015 00:00:00 GMT"> 3. Refreshing Web Pages

You can set a page to refresh after a certain period. meta http-equiv="refresh" specifies a delay in seconds for the browser to refresh the page automatically. This meta-tag specification below will make the browser reload the page every 5 seconds.

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5">

Below, you can see that the page is automatically refreshed by the browser.

4. Redirecting

We can also use the refresh meta tag to redirect a page to a specific destination. This following example will lead us to example.com after we view the page for 5 seconds.

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5; url=http://example.com/">

You can see it live below.

To redirect the page immediately, set it to 0, as follows:

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=http://example.com/"> 5. Page Transition

You can also apply transitions to your web pages with meta-tag in a way that is similar to PowerPoint. The syntax of page transition with meta tag looks like below:

<meta http-equiv="page-enter" content="revealtrans(duration=seconds,transition=num)" /> <meta http-equiv="page-exit" content="revealtrans(duration=seconds,transition=num)" /> <meta http-equiv="page-enter" content="blendTrans(duration=sec)" />

Note that this only works on ancient Internet Explorer since page-enter and page-exit are Microsoft’s proprietary meta tag specifications. You can specify how long the transition will run for using duration. The Transition should be filled by a number/integer between 0 – 23 that refers to the transition type provided by Microsoft. Whereas, <meta http-equiv="page-enter" content="blendTrans(duration=sec)" /> is another value that comes without a transition type.

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