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The Tech Deck

Archive for December 2013

Follow Friday

Sometimes I find Twitter accounts that are just too awesome to not share. Here are a few of my faves:

 

How to add Spokesman.com to your mobile desktop

What's that? You got yourself a brand spankin' new phone for a gift? You'll probably be playing with it for the next 24-36 hours straight, without sleep, without showering, muttering “grph moar apps” under your breath like a downtown hobo grumbling about aluminum cans.

Whilst in the middle of your new phone activation / moar apps hysteria, a gentle voice of wisdom and knowledge (I imagine Cate Blanchett, but you might prefer Morgan Freeman) whispers in your ear:

“Dearest loyal Spokesman-Review reader, don't forget to add spokesman.com to your mobile desktop as a bookmark, so you can access the most rad daily newspaper in Spokane, 24/7.”

With that, here is how you can add spokesman.com to your mobile desktop on a number of devices. It's actually quite simple.

(Beware, thar be .gifs ahead.)

STEP ONE

Go to www.spokesman.com. Since you're probably on the site right now, you should open a new tab or window so that I don't go away. You might end up on m.spokesman.com if you're on mobile, but the process is the same whether you're on a tablet device or phone.

STEP TWO

Follow the easy to understand .gifs below for your appropriate device

iPhone

iPad

Android

STEP THREE

Drink cocoa. With some of those tiny crunchie marshmallows, which, I dunno. I don't think they're actually marshmallows. I think they stole the ingredients for those from the Lucky Charms factory, and they should expect an angry leprechaun on their doorstep any day now.

Thanks to Toyota 4x4 lover Patrick Hanley for the Android screenshots and Kaitlin Gillespie for the iPhone shots.

Browser slowing down?

Take this as a warning kids, I'm a professional.

If your computer is running slowly, and you're using Firefox, Chrome, Safari or that other one, the problem is probably in your computer's fleshware*, and I have a bugfix for you. But first, the problem.

So sometimes I like to keep a lot of tabs open. And when I say sometimes, I mean always. And when I mean a lot, well:


I mean a lot.

And that does horrible things to your computer, especially when you are accidentally running all this:

You see that number under “Real Mem”? Notice how it says 2.15 GB? That means you are using $12,480 worth of memory (if this were the year 2000) JUST for your browser pig. (I should fork Firefox and rename it that. Browser Pig.) Having all those browsers and Illustrator open at the same time doesn't help. I'm actually proud and surprised that Photoshop wasn't on that list as well.

Anyway, I have a bugfix that will solve your problems:

STOP IT

* That's computer nerd speak for “user error,” meaning it's actually *your* fault, not the computer's.

A few of my favorite Spokesman things

The Spokesman-Review has been printing the local news for 130 years, but in the past few years we've been able to stretch out a bit on the web with cool features that you can only find online at spokesman.com.

As the new guy here I'm still discovering different features of the site that I didn't know about, so I put together a list of a few of these features. Check them out:

Link: Letters

The Spokesman-Review prides itself on printing an exceptionally high amount of letters to the editor. Our letters page lets you read all of our most recently published letters and gives you a handy place to submit your own letter to the editor (sadly, not available via mobile. Yet.) Oh, and don't forget to read the Spokesman-Review's editorial pieces too.

Link: Then and Now

Francis and N Division

As someone with a deep love of history, I think my actual favorite feature of our site is the Then and Now section. It's hard to describe what Spokane looked like 25, 50 or 100 years ago, so why not let the photo archives of the Spokesman-Review do it for you? We have so many great photos of Spokane that our archives are a real treasure for the community.

Link: Twitter

You might be aware of us on Twitter as @spokesmanreview, but did you know we have a whole range of reporters, editors and generally good-natured newspaper folks who maintain active Twitter accounts? Check us out! As a side note, I need to figure out how to get my favorite account (@dangayle) listed on there.

Links: Feeds & Newsletters

If feed readers are your thing, we've sliced and diced spokesman.com into numerous different RSS feeds for you to consume. You can also subscribe to a custom email newsletter to get your news in your inbox. Follow stories by topic or check out our blogs, whichever way you want.

Link: e-Edition

Want to see the *actual* newspaper online, in its original paper presentation? Check out our e-edition, an alternate version of the Spokesman-Review online.

Links: Audio & Video

Admittedly, as a newspaper we don't do too much audio/video (it's a tad hard to print), but when we do, it goes here on spokesman.com.

Link: Soundslides

Speaking of audio, our Soundslides feature is criminally underutilized, but it makes for such great story telling that I have to include it here. The most recent soundslide has fantastic photography from Kathy Plonka along with audio of the septuagenarians in their own words. Speaking personally, would I normally spend much time reading a story about septuagenarians? No. But presented in this manner, I thoroughly enjoyed it. You will too.

Link: Data

At data.spokesman.com we try to put out information and data that might not otherwise be publicly accessible or useable. If you have ideas for a project, let us know.

Link: Today

Because the news is always flowing, sometimes it's a little hard to find an article that was in the print edition. That's where the Today feature on spokesman.com comes in handy. Every story and article that is published in the paper is organized into one easy to scan place. Everyone at the paper itself use this feature extensively.


That's all I have for now, but keep your eyes on this space. 2014 should introduce some new features to spokesman.com, some small and some big. Really big :)

Fonts.com Fontacular sale (last day)

You need to buy some of these fonts today from Fonts.com Fontacular Sale, which ends today. Some of them are darn good deals. I purchased Freight Display, because the Freight family is amazing and I need to start somewhere. This one is a headline font, useful in similar contexts to the Chronicle typeface used by the Spokesman, but sharper and a touch more oldstyle and with a much, much quirkier Italic.

I'm also considering purchasing some of the following:

Mundo Sans, which is an incredibly understated humanist sans that can and should replace any use of Gill Sans someone tries to foist onto you. This one is a real workhorse sans-serif and it's so transparent and easy to read that it makes one of the best body copy text faces you'll ever use.

Bodoni Egyptian is a historical fiction designed by Nick Shinn, who does a lot of bespoke newspaper typefaces. You will not find a more knowledgeable and discerning type designer on the planet, IMO. This one is a re-imagining of Bodoni as a monoline square-serifed Egyptian, which has an elegant yet rugged feel.

There are a few others in there that are really great also, so if you were in the market, there's something for everything. The ones I picked aren't sexy by any means, but they are serious workhorses that will stand up under the harshest of scrutiny and give your designs real street-cred amongst the font Illuminati.

Google autosuggest A to Z

For giggles, I decided to see what Google autosuggested for the phrase “is <insert letter here>.” Here are the results:

google autosuggestion for is a google autosuggestion for is b google autosuggestion for is c google autosuggestion for is d google autosuggestion for is e google autosuggestion for is f google autosuggestion for is g google autosuggestion for is h google autosuggestion for is i google autosuggestion for is j google autosuggestion for is k google autosuggestion for is l google autosuggestion for is m google autosuggestion for is n google autosuggestion for is o google autosuggestion for is p google autosuggestion for is q google autosuggestion for is r google autosuggestion for is s google autosuggestion for is t google autosuggestion for is u google autosuggestion for is v google autosuggestion for is w google autosuggestion for is x google autosuggestion for is y google autosuggestion for is z

My thoughts:

Must be chemistry finals?

Does no one wonder about the women celebrities?

The answer is to the question “Is 'vaping' safe” is: You look stupid.

Lastly, darn that pesky gluten.

Man of Steel vs Batman Comic Con reveal

I hadn't watched this until today, but if you're going to reveal to the world that Batman is going to be the, uh, villain? in the next Man of Steel movie, you couldn't do a better job than how Zach Snyder and Harry Lennix announced it at Comic Con 2013.

If you haven't read the Dark Knight Returns graphic novel (not to be confused with the Dark Knight Rises movie, which isn't related at all), you seriously need to get up, go down to Merlyn's, find a copy and READ IT. It's not only considered one of the greatest graphic novels ever, it's an even tossup between it and the Watchmen as *the* greatest. The art is great, the story is great, and the EPIC dual between Batman and Superchump is EPIC.

“I want you to remember, Clark…

in all the years to come…

in your most private moments…

I want you to remember…

my hand…

at your throat…

I want…

you to remember…

 

the one man who beat you.”

The movie won't be the Dark Knight Returns, but if they can capture some of the essence of that classic, the next Man of Steel movie will be awesome. I loved the first one, so I'm really excited to see how they manage to do justice to the two duking it out.

In a side note, apparently Wonder Woman will be in the movie too, because Justice League.

EDIT:

Snap. I also forgot to mention that it's in the Dark Knight Returns that you get to see the conclusion to the lifelong feud between Batman v. Joker.

“No, Joker. You're playing the wrong game. The old game. Tonight you're taking no hostages. Tonight I'm taking no prisoners.”

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