Category Archives: Tech Opinion

First Impressions of Laravel

After having done substantial work with PHP, including using many MVC frameworks such as ExpressionEngine, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, FuelPHP, and Zend I have to say that Laravel is surprisingly refreshing. The creators have put a real emphasis on eloquent code, and code that is high-level / highly readable (as english). I like the static methods and helpers that the framework provides. The MySQL integration is nice, too, with both an easy query building helper, as well as an eloquent ORM. (The only thing I really don’t agree with is renaming “limit” to “take” – it’s not intuitive as it is not related to the underlying technology – leave it as limit please!) The artisan command line tool is also nice to help manage migrations. Laravel also has some pretty good built-in functionality, offering some authentication, validation, and csrf checking. The routes and controllers are also easy to set up for use with a RESTFUL model. Finally, I like that it is focused on the strengths of PHP. With some other frameworks (fuelPHP) I felt that they were powerful but were trying a little to hard to be Ruby / Ruby on Rails. All-in-all I am enjoying using it and I hope that it continues to be developed and gains traction in the PHP community.

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Google Uses Chrome to their Market Webapps

In case you have any plugins installed, or haven’t use a fresh and up-to-date version of Google Chrome lately (running the Canary build myself), you might not have noticed that the default “new tab” page / homepage has now changed to show some of the core google suite products: Chrome Webstore (this is not new) Google Docs Google Drive (seems to be a duplicate but maybe the brand is still transitioning) Gmail (easy access more so than marketing) Youtube Google Search Previously Google Chrome had focused on things like your recently closed pages, and the Chrome Store. It’s interesting to see more of their own products pop-up here. Their client base for people trying these things since they are presented with them has got to be growing. This is similar to the new start menu in Windows 8 – but with both we’ll have to see if people just get used to using the things they are familiar with and “see right through” the other things, or if they are tempted to explore. That’s UX / UI for you.

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Preview the new compose (Gmail)

Fast Compose messages right from your inbox. Simple Redesigned with a clean, streamlined look. Powerful Check emails as you’re typing, minimize drafts for later, and even compose two messages at once.

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Java – 3 Billion Devices Run Java

Java promptes itself as I install the latest version – Java Version 7 update 9.

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Typinator has a funny icon with two dots and is not working

On Mac OS X I use Typinator (Text Expander alternative) and lately it has been showing a weird icon in the menu bar (pictured below) and it is not working. The expansion is not paused, and I don’t see any options which would prevent it from working, but it is not working. Quitting and restarting the application does not help, but restarting the computer does fix the issue until it goes into this mode again. Solution for Typinator in Secure Keyboard Mode What does this mean? Typinator has detected “secure keyboard mode”. The icon with two black dots appears when Typinator cannot see what you are typing because your computer is operating in “secure keyboard mode”. Typinator uses an “event monitor” to watch you typing. For security reasons, Mac OS X disables the monitor when you are typing in a password field. However, there are a few programs that turn secure keyboard mode on and do not turn it back off when there no longer is any security risk. In this particular situation, secure keyboard mode was turned on by Typinator. If you do not know which application is causing the problem, try quitting applications one by one and watch Typinator’s icon in the menu bar. When the icon goes back to normal, you know that you have found the culprit. If you have further questions, please see our FAQ page for more information.

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LinksAlpha: New feature announcements

Dear Customer, Social Media Made Easy   You’ve been busy publishing on your website and Social Media Profiles, and we’ve been busy building great new tools to help you do just that! Managing your Social Media Publishing is going to get richer and easier with the launch of Post app by LinksAlpha.com.   Post App   Schedule your Posts The new Post app enables you to schedule your posts. You can always come back and edit your scheduled posts and change their publishing time.   Save Drafts Post app enables you to save drafts while working on the posts, making your scheduling and publishing to multiple networks and profiles much easier.     Analytics Post app keeps history of all the posts you have made to each of your Networks. And the application also keeps track of likes, comments, and retweets your posts are getting.   Upload Photos Your account now comes with bundled storage enabling you to upload and serve photographs from right inside the app using our highly scalable infrastructure.   Changes to existing plans With the launch of these new features, we are also rolling out changes to the existing plans that we offer. Since your account is currently subscribed to the free plan, we want to let you know the changes that will happen with the launch of these new features. Below is the quick check list of all that is changing. Please make sure that you are aware of the changes and upgrade your account … Continue reading

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Take Twitter with you. Get the app.

Twitter says “Take Twitter with you. Get the app.” I know why the have most of these apps, like the iPad / iPhone and Android. Hell, even the windows app. But why is the Nokia s40 so special that it gets it’s own app? Is this the European iPhone? Have your device with you? Visit m.twitter.com on your device » Questions about using Twitter mobile? Visit our Mobile Help Center » Privacy controls & notification settings? Visit our Mobile Settings page » About Help Terms Privacy Blog Status Apps Resources Jobs Advertisers Businesses Media Developers

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App Store: Force Reinstall of App

If you have an app that the App Store thinks is still installed but is really not installed, you can run this command to rebuild the database and fix the app from showing up as purchased, so that you can restart the App Store and then download / install the application a second time. /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user

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Captcha Advertisements

Looks like AOL has implemented Captcha Product Advertising as part of a spam-prevention initiative. The original captcha was annoying enough – trying to read distorted characters and type them in, usually spending a few attempts before being “rewarded” by whatever action you wanted to achieve in the first place – but these product ads for Captcha seem especially annoying. Ads were one thing when there were on the page and you could ignore them – but forcing your users to interact with them seems a little much. Maybe AOL is just going down hill fast and is trying for any extra revenue they can get – seems to be a little over the line though. Original Captcha example: And with the AOL logo:

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Increase Priority for Influential Twitter Users

One of the Rules / Macros on Desk.com is called “Increase Priority for Influential Twitter Users” The rule does basically what it says: if you have more than 5k followers on twitter you get higher priority support. I wonder how many companies that are using desk.com have this rule / filter enabled. Increase Priority for Influential Twitter Users IF ( Twitter User Followers Count greater than 5000 ) THEN Increment Case Priority

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