The Objective Blog

Keep up with what we're thinking, reading, and doing.

Fusion Radar: June 25, 2014

June 25th, 2014 - by marissa - Salt Lake City, Utah

Keeping up with technology is a lot of work. Luckily, we enjoy wading through the noise just to find the gems of awesomeness sprinkled throughout. Fusion Radar is our gift to you, Current or Potential Client, so that you can enjoy all of the awesome without any of the drudgery. Unwrap it each week, and know that you’re loved by the geeks and pixel-pushers at Agency Fusion.

Fast.js

To put it simply, Fast.js makes writing very fast JavaScript programs easier. It includes fast replacements for several built-in native methods like .map and .reduce, as well as common utility methods like .clone.

Fast.js

Apple’s Swift Programming Language

Mashable’s recent Ask A Developer video is a quick, 2-minute long discussion that focuses on some of the ways Apple’s new programming language, Swift, could affect iOS developers.

What Apple’s Swift Programming Language Means for iOS Developers

Vessyl

We post a lot about smart devices on here–watches, thermostats, rings, etc. One smart object we hadn’t previously encountered, however, is a cup. And that’s exactly what Vessyl is: a smart cup that can identify and record almost any liquid you pour into it. It tracks the calories, caffeine, and amount of water you drink each day and syncs up with various fitness apps to help you stay healthy and hydrated.

Vessyl

A Comparison of Popular Ruby Application Servers

This article details a performance comparison of four application servers in Ruby: Passenger, Thin, Unicorn, and Puma. These four servers were compared across four different categories: mode of operation, use cases, configuration, and performance. Check out the article for a detailed description of how each server did in each category.

A Comparison of Popular Ruby Application Servers

Web Starter Kit

Google Developers recently released the Web Starter Kit, a responsive boilerplate and tooling that’s designed to be a great starting point for multi-device web development.

Web Starter Kit

Scribble

Scribble is a coloring device that can scan colors in the real world and transfer them directly to either paper or a mobile device. The pen/stylus is equipped with an RGB color sensor that you hold up to any object in the real world or on a screen. The pen has a small CMYK ink cartridge inside of it, which it then uses to produce an ink that matches the color you selected.

Scribble

The $5 Logo

Designer Sacha Greif’s recent article is a detailed review of his experience with Fiverr, a marketplace where design services start at just $5. His experience revealed some unpleasant aspects of Fiverr (including plagiarism and terrible artwork), and overall reinforced the idea that when it comes to design, you get what you pay for.

The $5 Logo

Pay It Forward

Content strategist and UX designer Karen McGrane recently published an article on Medium about paying it forward professionally; this was in response to another article written in the New York Post about professionals charging people for mentoring sessions. McGrane believes that a conversation she had with a professional in her field years ago set her on the right path to her current career, and thinks that people should always give advice and have conversations for free when they have the time.

Pay It Forward

Google Maps Borders

When it comes to controversial borders, Google Maps tends to cater to whichever country the viewer is from. For example, parts of the Tibetan border are different when viewed from India, China, and Tibet. The contested region, Arunachal Pradesh, is shown as part of China when viewed in China, as part of India when viewed as India, and as distinct from both countries when viewed in the U.S. and Tibet.

Borders Change on Google Maps Depending on Where You View Them

Best of State: Year 7

June 20th, 2014 - by Objective - Salt Lake City, Utah

Agency Fusion Best of StateWe’re honored to have been named Best of State for the seventh year in a row! It goes without saying that this is only possible because of a great team and great clients.

It’s very fulfilling to come to work each day and get to use our creative and technical skills to solve complex problems for clients all over the country. We’re a bit unusual in that we have some projects which are purely creative and others which are deeply technical. We’re branding one client and developing sophisticated software for another, and we couldn’t be happier about the fact that we get to do both.

Thank you, Agency Fusion clients and employees!

Fusion Radar: June 18, 2014

June 19th, 2014 - by marissa - Salt Lake City, Utah

Keeping up with technology is a lot of work. Luckily, we enjoy wading through the noise just to find the gems of awesomeness sprinkled throughout. Fusion Radar is our gift to you, Current or Potential Client, so that you can enjoy all of the awesome without any of the drudgery. Unwrap it each week, and know that you’re loved by the geeks and pixel-pushers at Agency Fusion.

Learn Coding Online

The Learn to Code movement is backed by public figures like President Barack Obama and Bill Gates. It encourages everyone to learn at least the basics of coding, as that can give you a competitive edge in the workplace or at school, and can teach you how to think more logically. Linked below is a list from Digital Inspiration of the best resources for learning to code, listed by language. They also differentiate between paid and free programs.

The Best Websites to Learn Coding Online

The Universal Typeface Experiment

The Universal Typeface Experiment is dedicated to exploring what they call the “Universal Typeface.” This typeface is a continually-changing series of letters based on the handwriting of hundreds of thousands of people, all around the world. Anyone can visit the site to make a contribution of their own, and see how it compares to other submissions and the universal average.

The Universal Typeface Experiment

A User In Total Control Is A Designer’s Nightmare

Smashing Magazine recently published an article exploring the question of how you can balance the creative control you give to users with the usability of the product.

A User In Total Control Is A Designer’s Nightmare

Learn The Basics Of Markdown in 10 Minutes

Tech site MakeUseOf recently published a video tutorial that helps viewers learn the basics of Markdown in a little over 1o minutes. Although it’s not anywhere near in-depth, this short video can help get you up to speed with Markdown basics like headers, formatting, lists, and adding videos and images.

Learn The Basics Of Markdown in 10 Minutes

Licon

Licon is a simple collection of lightweight icons made with CSS3. These icons do more than just look good, however; there’s also a separate, editable version available that can be modified. You’re also able to add effects from Animate.css to this pack.

Licon

Planleaf

Planleaf is an online tool that aims to simplify task management by creating a system that works entirely through email. There’s nothing to download or install; users just compose an email and Cc tasks@planleaf.com. Once you send the email, Planleaf formats your email into a to-do list with checkable boxes and deadlines.

Planleaf

Spent

Spent is an interactive online game designed and created by McKinney and Urban Ministries of Durham (an organization that helps people who are unemployed). It’s designed to show users how difficult it can be just to make it through a month unemployed. Spent pits you against the struggles low-income workers routinely run into, and subtracts or adds cash depending on your choices throughout the game.

Spent

Depot

Depot is a business management program that helps you organize sales, projects, teams, and finances all in one place: the cloud. This program is packed full of features to combine functions like CRM, timetracking, invoicing, and analysis, so users don’t have to use separate programs for each one. It also offers storage space for business files and other data.

Depot

Earin

Earin are tiny, truly wireless earphones that recently doubled their Kickstarter goal (with 34 days left to go). Although they won’t be available until January of 2015 (at best), these unique earbuds are worth keeping an eye on. They connect to your music device via Bluetooth, and the compact storage case the earbuds come with also doubles as a charging pack.

Earin

Ringly

Ringly is a line of wearable tech that aims to look gorgeous while being highly functional. These rings (crafted with 18K gold and semi-precious gemstones) connect to your phone via the Ringly app. They then send you customized notifications in the form of vibrations and lights.

Ringly

Fusion Radar: June 11, 2014

June 11th, 2014 - by marissa - Salt Lake City, Utah

Keeping up with technology is a lot of work. Luckily, we enjoy wading through the noise just to find the gems of awesomeness sprinkled throughout. Fusion Radar is our gift to you, Current or Potential Client, so that you can enjoy all of the awesome without any of the drudgery. Unwrap it each week, and know that you’re loved by the geeks and pixel-pushers at Agency Fusion.

Landing Gear

Landing Gear is a responsive HTML5 construction set designed specifically for building single-page landing pages. It has a simple drag-and-drop editing interface, automated color-matching between site theme colors and photographs, and even features like animations, parallax, and transitions.

Landing Gear

The CSS Will-change Property

Currently, when you perform certain CSS operations (like transforms and animations) on an element, the element and its contents might seem to flicker as they are drawn onto the screen layer-by-layer. Now, however, the will-change property means that you can tell the browser about the element’s changes ahead of time. This way, the browser has some time to prepare for these changes, so when they do occur, the element’s layer will be ready and the function can be performed smoothly.

Everything You Need to Know About the CSS will-change Property

Lyric

Lyric is a “smart thermostat” similar to Nest. It does boast a few features that Nest is missing, however. For starters, Lyric includes a feature called “geofencing,” which detects whether you’re at home or out based on your smartphone’s location, and regulates the temperature accordingly. It also allows you to control the humidity in your house, sends you alerts and reminders, and has a motion-sensing display.

Lyric

30 Incorrectly Used Words

Jeff Haden’s recent Time article goes over 15 pairs of easily-confused words (e.g. affect and effect) that you don’t want to get wrong in the business world. The list includes some common errors (your vs. you’re) as well as some mistakes that you don’t think about or use as frequently, like discreet vs. discrete, and number vs. amount.

30 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Horrible

Lumo Lift

Lumo Lift is a small wearable device that tracks your daily activity and helps you improve your posture. It measures how many steps you take a day, how many calories you burn, and how much time you spend standing or sitting with good posture. Lumo Lift also vibrates if you do slouch, sending you reminders to keep your posture straight and tall.

Lumo Lift

Forge

Forge is an instant PHP platform on the cloud of your choice (these choices include Linode, DigitalOcean, AWS, and Rackspace). It’s a way to host sites on a consistent, predictable, and flexible environment. Forge is reasonably priced, too: for a flat rate of $10/month, developers get unlimited servers, sites, and deployments via Forge.

Forge

Docker 1.0

Docker is an open platform developers can use to build, ship, and run applications. The very first version came out over a year ago–in March of 2013. Now, after millions of downloads and thousands of beta Docker apps, Docker 1.0 is finally out. It’s a great tool to use for distributing/collaborating on an app with a team, and for managing an infrastructure.

Docker 1.0

Lifetramp

Lifetramp is a site designed to help people find and explore their passions. The site will ask you what your interests are as you set up your profile. Then it matches you with mentors who can spend an hour or two with you, talking about their take on that industry and what you can do to excel.

Lifetramp

AppSignal

AppSignal is an online tool that can provide detailed monitoring services for anyone with a Rails application. It offers features like error and performance issue alerts, deployment tracking, and background job monitoring.

AppSignal

Type Sample

Type Sample is a tool for identifying and sampling webfonts. You simply add the Type Sample bookmarklet to your browser, then click that button anytime you’re on a page where there’s a font you want to identify. Then you hover over any text on the page and Type Sample tells you the name, size, and weight of the font.

Type Sample

Fusion Radar: June 6, 2014

June 4th, 2014 - by marissa - Salt Lake City, Utah

Keeping up with technology is a lot of work. Luckily, we enjoy wading through the noise just to find the gems of awesomeness sprinkled throughout. Fusion Radar is our gift to you, Current or Potential Client, so that you can enjoy all of the awesome without any of the drudgery. Unwrap it each week, and know that you’re loved by the geeks and pixel-pushers at Agency Fusion.

Top 10 Productivity Lessons

Recent graduate Chris Bailey dedicated the past year of his life to learning everything he could regarding productivity. Linked below is an article detailing the top 10 things he learned–including the three ingredients for daily productivity, how working too hard or too much shatters productivity, and his belief that the best way to feel motivated is to know why you want to get something done.

The Top 10 Lessons Learned After 365 Days Testing Productivity Theories

Drop

Drop is an iPad-connected kitchen scale designed to help bakers consistently produce quality baked goods. It can rescale quantities, offer substitutions, and can integrate with other Apple devices to update your shopping list or remind you of kitchen timers going off.

Drop

Runnable

The founders of Runnable noticed that rather than writing code from scratch, they spent most of their time combining open-source code, third-party APIs, and other bits and pieces from around the web to create new products and software. Runnable, then, is a site that combines libraries, APIs, SDKs, and other resources in the hopes of creating a central hub for easily finding and implementing reusable code.

Runnable

Common Mistakes that Rails Programmers Make

Rails is an open source framework that depends on users following standard conventions (for naming, code structure, etc.) in order to execute properly. This article linked below looks at 10 common mistakes developers make while using Rails. Some of these include putting too much logic in the view/controller/model, using too many gems, and ignoring log files.

10 Most Common Mistakes that Rails Programmers Make

Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal is a method of journaling called “Rapid Logging.” This process is meant to help you quickly capture and quantify all the different types of information you have to address on a daily basis. Put simply, it helps you figure out what’s important and what isn’t worth your time.

Bullet Journal

Apple’s WWDC 2014

Apple’s WWDC 2014 took place a few days ago, on 6/2. Dan LaCivita, president of digital creative agency Firstborn, wrote an article (linked below) detailing some of the most impactful new features.

Three Things Brands and Agencies Should Know from Apple’s WWDC 2014

How to Tell Someone’s Age When All You Know is Her Name

There are a number of sites devoted to exploring and tracking the popularity of baby names throughout the years–but not many that focus on the age of living Americans with a given name. FiveThirtyEight noticed the lack of that particular information, and used the Social Security Administration’s baby name database and its actuarial tables to produce it. They noticed that girls’ names tend to cycle in and out of fashion more quickly than boys’ names, and developed a series of interesting graphs with the median and interquartile range of the ages of people with different names.

How to Tell Someone’s Age When All You Know is Her Name

A Shapeshifting Display You Can Reach Through

MIT Media Lab recently unveiled their concept of futuristic UIs–and it has more to do with physical atoms than it does with digital pixels. They call this new “programmable matter” the inFORM, and it has the potential to let people remotely manipulate physical blueprints, interact with real-world objects, or even hold hands across the world.

MIT Invents A Shapeshifting Display You Can Reach Through And Touch

Supercook

Supercook is a website that helps you utilize the ingredients you already have in your kitchen. You just type in your ingredients (or select some from their list of commonly-used foods), and Supercook sifts through hundreds of recipes to produce meals that you can make using the food you have in the house.

Supercook