Thursday, January 09, 2014

10 Commandments forFront End Web Development

Here's some thoughts I had today on my roll as a web developer/designer.   Hoping to open this up for discussion. 

- andy!
  1. Work with the functionality, not against it, or around it.  The best products are a good marriage of form and function. The worst products focus on one or forget the other. 
  2. Think in terms of user tasks, not pages—This is rule #1 for mobile
  3. Do anything, as long as you do it consistently
  4. Be brief, be upfront. Web users rarely read past the first paragraph
  5. Graceful degradation is an acceptable practice.  Don’t waste effort on (money) forcing legacy browsers the exact visual experience as newer browsers, as long as the functionality is there (I’m talking to you Internet Explorer 8!)
  6. Your visual elements should use HTML 5 first, and images where it’s not possible.
  7. JavaScript/jQuery is great for interface logic, not business logic.
  8. Use JavaScript and CSS as complementary tools, they are not always mutually exclusive.
  9. You don’t have to be original. Look to see if someone else has done it before you, and follow their example.
    (or “Good programmers write good code, great programmers steal someone else’s” - old internet adage)
  10. Be inspired.  Look at other sites often to see what other people are doing different, and doing well. 
BONUS: Whenever possible put a picture of a pretty girl on the home page. (see above photo for example!)

Friday, September 07, 2012

My Plan For America

Having seen nomination exception speeches from both President Obama and Governor Romney I decided that since I will be eligible to be president on Election day I should let America know what my platform would be if I were president.   

  • Reform the tax code:  Either a flat or fair tax.  I might even be wiling to consider a VAT tax, as long as income ceases to be a consideration in taxation.   The progressive tax system has become so progressive that politically it is impossible to propose tax cuts without being accused of giving tax cuts to millionaires.  Of course the critics are right, since those are the only people actually paying taxes anymore.
  • Resolve the housing crisis overnight by privatizing Freddie Mac and Fannie May while repealing the Community Reinvestment Act.  I would also appoint Chris Dodd and Barney Frank as their respective CEO’s.  Without federal funding those companies would immediately collapse.  As soon as bad mortgages stopped being issued, the housing market rebounds.
  • Deal with Iran… indirectly.  Since we are already planning to leave Iran and Afganistan I would park some of our bombers, tanks and other military equipment over in Isreal… maybe even leave the keys in the ignition of some B-1 Bombers.  Isreal, Do what you have to do… We’ll look the other way.
  • Open up drilling EVERYWHERE.  This creates jobs and affordable energy.
  • Healthcare:
    • Repeal Obamacare. 
    • Enable individuals to buy insurance across state lines 
    • Allow portability of insurance over an individual’s lifetime.
      • A policy is opened at 18 years of age
      • As long as that policy is maintained
      • Covers 99% of pre-existing conditions (because most 18 year olds are healthy)
      • Keep it until you die.
      • No unreasonable penalties for changing your plan attribute over time.
      • This creates competition, individual responsibility and lowers healthcare costs while increasing service through the free market.
(Yes, this is a de-facto healthcare savings account with the added benefit of economies of scale.)
    • And give more people access to Healthcare Savings Accounts
  •  Medicare
    • If you are over 40, you can opt to keep Medicare.
    • If you are under 40, see the above Healthcare point.
  • Debt:
    • Reduce spending to 2006 levels
    • Federal Spending  freeze for 10 years
    • Pay down national debt
    • If that doesn’t work, sell California (and everything in it) to the Chinese.  They’re practically communist there already. Should be a smooth transition
On my second day in office I’ll take Air Force 1 to Cuba, open up trade, smoke Cigars and drink margaritas on the beach. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

I Only Eat Free-Market Chicken

Boycotts never work… just sayin’

So a private citizen who owns a private company makes public his personal opinions on an issue and a couple of mayors don’t want him doing business in their cities.

What the hell happened?

It all started in Chicago where an alderman wanted to block the opening of a Chick-fil-a restaurant because of the CEO’s public support of “The biblical definition of marriage” 

But the restaurant chain had already obtained zoning and other licensure for the opening of the store.  So, what real grounds does this statist really have to evoke this power?   Well that’s a whole other issue…
But what I really enjoyed was this quote from Mayor Rham Emmanual, “Chick-Fil-A’s values are not Chicago values”  Really, Mr. Mayor.  If dozens of people were murdered at Chick-Fil-A stores would you then approve?  

I know some gay people.  For the most part they've been pretty cool around me.  But having first-hand experience with divorce I would say that I really wouldn't want anyone to have to go through that.  Maybe it's a little callus but I honestly believe that the true motivation behind the gay marriage initiative is gay divorce (male same-sexmarriages are 50 percent more likely to end in divorce than heterosexualmarriages, and female same-sex marriages are an astonishing 167 percent morelikely to be dissolved).  Remember: always follow the money.  Also, another issue…

But what really gets under my skin is liberal politicians who want to limit free enterprise on unrelated political statements! 

Why I am going to Chick-Fil-A for lunch today is to prove that the free market is more powerful than political ideology.  

Let me give you some more instances where this applies:  

Apple has a well documented history of liberal leadership;  But I still have an iPhone.
Jos Wheaton   is pretty much a socialist, but I still saw Avengers opening night in the theater.
Dan Rooney II is currently Obama's ambassador to Ireland, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are still my favorite sports franchise

I have an iPhone because it is a superior product.
I saw Avengers because it was a great movie.
I root for the Steelers because they are awesome! 

And what their ownership thinks about any issue does not affect the product they provide to me. 
So I will visit Chick-Fil-A today because I support free markets more than I care about the gay marriage issue (or any issue for that matter). 

Friday, January 06, 2012

To Van Halen or not to Van Halen?!?!

That is the question.

It was a late Christmas gift I received when I logged onto facebook and saw an announcement from the official Van Halen website about tickets for a new tour going on sale in mid January.

Lets back this up for a moment.  Van Halen is my favorite band of all time!  In fact I pretty much dont even listen to music if its not Van Halen. I saw them twice on their last tour, and at least once on every tour since 1995. If you are keeping track, thats 5 shows, plus the Daive Lee Roth/Sammy Hagar show dubbed the Sans Halen tour.  I even once painted my computer to look like Eddie Van Halens guitar.   I should find photos of that.

But I digress

I am left with a dilemma.  When I bought my first Van Halen album back in 1991, I had two  options: Cassette or Compact Disc. Having just received a CD player for Christmas that year I opted for CD.  Come to think about it, I think I got that one through one of those Columbia house deals in a magazine. Do they still have those?   You get your first 7 CDs for a penny, then you buy 3 more at regular price, unless you sign up a friend, then you get two more at half price.  But if its a Tuesday and you are wearing green pants theres a bonus disc you get for half price if you buy two more at regular price

What can I say It was the 90s.  Thats the decade when Nirvana was popular.  A lot of bad decisions were made.

But I digress again.

Times, and technology have changed.  I honestly cannot remember the last time I actually loaded a CD into any type of device for listening purpose. Come to think of it, I dont remember the last CD I purchased in physical form!  Why? Because ever since iTunes, I can download music faster and cheaper than it would take me to drive to Wal Mart, purchase it and even if I play it in my car, let alone bring it home to play it on my Bose system.

Speaking of playing CDs in my car.  The Neil Diamond Christmas (do you get the irony?!?) album has been the only disc in  my car stereo for at least two years now.  

But I digress...  Oh you should be used to it by now.

At one point I had a shelf with every Van Halen album sitting on it in order of release date.  So aside from greatest hits compilations in which I only downloaded the newest songs,  I have the complete set.  But what’s the point of physically owning music? Will “A Different Kind Of Truth” be the first Van Halen album that wont be on my shelf not that I still have that shelf, all my CDs are in a box in a closet.  But I do like to read liner notes.

What do I do!?!?!
Please vote in my poll!

Van Halens new album A Different Kind of Truth will be released on February 7, 2012

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Twenty-Three Short Stanzas About 2011

T’was the day before New Years
I’m here on my Blog
Not a creature is stirring,
I just checked the log.

As I sit on the couch
With my kitty cat near
I can’t help and look back
At what happened this year.

Brief highlights I can remember
Reflecting now in late December
Baseball saw a great game in 11 innings
And Charlie Sheen wore out the word #WINNING!

New Years was met with family-like friends
But someone was sad
It was a foreshadow in my Iliad
This year would see things would meet their ends

The next month joy came back
But ended in woe
My Steelers faced the Pack
But lost the Superbowl.

It was not long after
That my year hit a low
My wife of eighteen months
Had asked me to go

I tried to debate
I tried to reason
I offered concessions
She just wouldn’t listen.

It was hard to explain
I had to decide
Which friend to tell first
In whom I could confide

Life changing events
Will always let you know
Who your closest friend are
Their actions will show.

I’ll take this stanza
To let you all know
Words are never enough
For my gratitude to show.

But I reorganized my life
A bachelor again, you know
But I still have a companion
A kitty named Moe

Summer was nice,
I swam at the pool
Made some new friends
It was rather cool

Our family saw a death this year
Given his story, it’s hard to shed a tear
Almost 100, he died happy
Still we will miss our dear Pappy

A silly woman entered my life
Sometimes I think she'd make a great wife
Her name is Siri, she’s sarcastically prone
But she only exists inside my iPhone

I was enjoying the place of my labor
Like Kramer, I was a goofy cubicle neighbor
But when the new boss came in
He wanted me gone, but I knew not when

“I’m completely changing your job description”
Wanting me to do something, against my intuition
I had no input into his decision
He wanted me to become a statistician

On December 9 they asked me to exit
I was left to wonder what would come next
So I went to the bar, got inebriated
I was surprisingly not very jaded

Unemployed and napping, I was being a slob
I was somewhat enjoying not having a job
I had not yet started some planned edification
Honestly, I really just needed a vacation 

But a lady called with very good news
Enough that I didn’t mind ending my snooze
Luck is now on my side, so it seems,
She called to say, I got the job of dreams!

This year seems to be a tale of woe
But I never lost faith, you know
God has a plan, of that I have no doubt
You don’t always get what you want…

But sometimes you get what you need
It was Mic Jager who sang that, indeed.
I resolve to never wallow in the mire
Honestly, my situation was never that dyer

Two thousand and Eleven, I must say
I’m not to sad to see you go away
Tonight we welcome January, 1
I am once again hopeful for the year that’s to come

I think I’m done here; I have nothing left to write
Oh, yes, I have one last expression to do
Happy New Years to you,
Please be safe tonight!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lets Talk iPhone

I’ve been planning on buying iPhone 5 for two years now.   That’s about the average life of a phone right?  I purchased the iPhone 3Gs when it first came out because for the first time an iPhone could record video!  And I wanted to take it on my honeymo…. I wanted to take it to Hawaii.
The iPhone 4 came, had some issues, and is now the world awaits iPhone 5.
Or is it iPhone 4s?

Nobody knows until Apple’s big announcement on Tuesday.  But here’s the speculation so far:

Concept iPhone with tapered back.  
I think this design would make it harder 
to play Angry Birds

  1. An aluminum unibidy construction.   This is cool.  The MacBooks are made this way and it makes them smaller and lighter than other computers that are held together by a multi-part chassis. It only makes sense that Apple would include this design into their mobile line.
  2. Smart money is on this feature as an unintended posting of iPhone 5 cases has confirmed that the new iPhone will have a redesigned body.
  3. Improved 8 megapixel Camera.   This is a no-brainer.   All the competing phones have an HD, 8MP camera, why not iPhone? This is just keeping up  with the Joneses…. If by  Joneses you mean Google.
  4. Faster/more processers and Ram.  There is heavy speculation that iPhone 5 will have a full gigabyte of ram, doubling the previous incarnation.  It is assumed to also have the same a5 dual-core processer from the iPad 2.  All the thechnial specs aside, I trust apple’s hardware.  Think about all your friends who have the HTC Android phones.  How many times have they been replaced? I know people who have had to replace their handsets three times in a contract.  My first iPhone is still being used by my dad… and boy is it slow.  But it still works.  Solid!    
  5. Voice Integration.   This could sseriously be a gamechanger in the mobile market.   Don't belive me?  Well this article from Forbes should give you some insight.   iOS has had a voice integration for a while now, but it was fairly limited.  But imagine being able to control most functions of your smartphone without having to touch it?  Wow!  "Gamechanger" is an understatement!
  6. iOS5.  Really that’s all I need to say but there’s a ton of new features in here.   iOS (the system software that runs all Apple mobile devices) was announced at a spring event to be released “in the fall” but no specific timeframe was given.  Typically new hardware follows about 10 days after the big product announcement so I would speculate that, based on previous experience, iOS 5 will be available within 24 hours of the big announcement for existing devices.
    Another "thin" concept iPhone 5

    Features  include:

·         Twitter integration – You can now tweet from Safari
·         iOS Messenger – free texting between iPhones.  Also why you should cash out of your RIM stock IMMEDIATELY as this will finally kill the blackberry
·         Less intrusive update messages.  Lets face it, there’s nothing more annoying during a rousing game of Angry Birds than getting a Fox News update about something not as important as getting 3 stars on a level.  Especially when that alert pops up in the middle of aiming your slingshot.  Now the message will exist in a tab at the top of the screen where you can look at it later, thus helping you to get that 3 star award without interruption.   Believe it or not this is a HUGE deal!
·         iCloud – Very cool technology that lets you sync your phone wirelessly.  It’s about Fraking time for this one!   Though some are complaining that this does not let you stream your media to your phone from your home computer, I’m not sure why this is a big deal.  All iOS devices have a hard drive capable of carrying lots of media anyway.

Facebook is scheduled to launch their new iPad app at the event too.  Let’s hope that the app is more well received than their recent user interface upgrade.  Honestly, I don’t mind it, but that’s another blog post.

So the announcement is next week.  The phones will probably go on sale around the 15th.  I plan on getting my pre-order in as soon as they start accepting those and then I’ll have a kickass phone once again!

You know, I had an iPhone back when having an iPhone made you cool… Now I’m in an exclusive clique called “Everybody”! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Would Have Made a Great Series Finale...

I hold few things as sacred as a series finale.   While MASH claims to have the best ever (way too long but redeemed in the final 2 minutes) few series finales have lived up to the entire run of the series.

How this show USED to look!
Which brings me to last night's ninth-season-premier of "Two and a half Men".    The show starts with a funeral for Charlie. His trademark bowling shirt and khaki shorts (also my trademark) are hanging next to the closed coffin.  Most of his on-camera girlfriends are present, all saying horrible things about him. Alan (John Cryer) is giving the eulogy explaining how Charlie died in Paris.   Next Rose (Melanie Lynskey) explains how Charlie proposed to him, then she caught him with another woman, to which all the women in the audience sympathized.  Then she explains how he "accidentally" slipped onto the rail in front of an oncoming train.

This is exactly why 28 million people tuned in last night, despite an NFL game on ESPN (my cable isn't working so I didn't have that option).

So, we've resolved how Charlie Sheen is no longer on the show.  Do we care about anyone else in the house?  Not really, I was willing to leave it at that.  Charlie leaves the house to Alan and Jake, life goes on and if my cable was functioning I could have tuned away and not cared.

But My cable is not working so I continued watching.

The new man!
Alan can't afford the upkeep on the house and goofy internet billionaire Waldon Schmidt (Ashton Kutcher) enters, and after some mildly amusing antics buys the house.

Okay, now things are resolved.

Except for some reason we were left "to be continued..." though, if Schmidt is going to buy the house and he seems popular with the ladies (though I didn't need him to be so naked the whole episode) we now see that the house will continue to be a revolving door for good-looking loose women.

Life goes on and I wish I could tune to ESPN!

So this would have made a nice series finale. Charlie dies, Alan gets on his feet and Jake says something stupid (though that shtick hasn't been funny since he was a cute chubby kid).

Much like a bad car wreck causes people to rubberneck on the freeway, the real-life Charlie Sheen caused a media rubberneck as his life turned into a forty-car-pileup last spring.  People wanted to see the end result of how things fallout.

This episode is how the show should have ended, and if my cable gets fixed by next week, it will have ended here for me!

But how would it have stood up as a series finale?   Well, first off, there was the absolute lack of the star character.  So the finale seems a bit forced.  But at least all the loose ends would be tied up. And that's usually what an audience is looking for.   If they had sent Charlie off to get married or join the Peace Corps or beamed up to Mars by aliens, that would have left questions.  But he's Dead and I think most members of the audience are cool with that. More-so, I think at least half the audience tuned in for the closure on this show that seems to be persistent on every channel at all times. I expect at least a 50% falloff in the ratings for the next episode.  So instead of a single episode series finale, you get a whole season.  At least I have my closure.

RIP Charlie Harper, RIP Two and a half Men!