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Web Development is finally cool

Chrome Developer Tools

Chrome Developer Tools (Photo credit: RubyJi)

I’ve been working in web development as a developer since 1998.  Many developers work at companies with large buildings with many offices, and teams are often moved around for logistic purposes. And a curious trend is happening: developers tend to end up in nice shiny offices, whereas other departments – like Administration and Finance – are slowly being pushed down into dingy basements.

OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but you get the idea: developers might not get all the girls like in the movie The Social Network, but sure they get better coffee and wider windows. All this confirms a simple thing: developing is cool again, although some detractors may say that it’s finally cool, implying that it was never cool at all.

The main reason for its rise in popularity is, in my mind, the myriad of apps that are constantly launched now are having more impact on other people’s lives than ever before. Developers are finally producing things that are closer to people, and like for books, movies or songs, it’s easier to imagine a real person behind them. Many believe that the marketplace offered by iTunes App Store played an important part in transforming developers into superstars, but the point is: coding is now closely associated to creation, in a space where art and logic come together.

So whether your purpose is to make money or to express yourself (although you could achieve both), this is a great time to learn developing skills. There are many possibilities to choose from: websites, web applications, or apps for computers and mobile devices.

Making it to the hall of fame of ITunes is hard, and many failed while few succeeded. However, to be a successful developer you don’t have to go the rockstar way, you can work on customized jobs for specific clients too. All sorts of companies, big and small, are hiring developers to create customized apps to improve their customers’ experience and take advantage of the explosion of mobile usage.

At this point, the last preconception about code programming is that it’s very hard to learn. The good news is: it’s not, not harder than any other skill anyway. You understand the basics, climb up the learning curve a little, and after that it’s all about exponential learning.

How does that sound? If you feel like giving it a go, or if you have just started, let us know what you are interested in for your learning adventure.

NOTE: We have teamed up with TeamTreehouse to offer you a way to learn how to program if you want to learn to build websites, create iPhone and Android apps, code with Ruby on Rails and PHP, or start a business head over to TeamTreehouse – START TODAY!.

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Collecting Business Cards, The Digital Way

PHOTO: Jason A. HowieDo you like exchanging business cards, but don’t know how to efficiently organize the information they contain? Applications like CamCard and CardMunch make exchanging business cards easy by taking the information from the card and adding it directly into your smartphone.

CardMunch for iOS devices

 

How would you like to attend a networking event and gather contact information without having to collect any cards at all? Those with a LinkedIn account can use the free application called CardMunch to snap a photo with their iPhone to capture full contact information and then hand the card back to its owner.

CardMunch doesn’t use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) as many other business card utility apps do. Instead, it transmits the card image to a team of human (that’s right, human!) transcribers at LinkedIn.

According to PCMag.com, to ensure accuracy, every card goes through at least three transcriptions through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform, which employs a global staff. It may take a little more time to go from paper business card to detailed contact information on your iPhone — transcription may take a few minutes or up to several hours.

The information you get for each contact depends on the person’s LinkedIn status. With non-members, you’ll typically get exactly the information that appears on the business card, while with LinkedIn members you’ll get their full LinkedIn profile and an indicator of how closely you are connected with them.

To search for a contact, just start typing their name. With each letter typed, the list narrows to include only first names, last names, or company names that start with the letters you’ve typed. You can also turn your iPhone on its side to get a carousel view of the cards you’ve scanned that you can flip through.

Tap the envelope icon on the contact page and an email message will appear, pre-filled with standard text, including your LinkedIn profile page URL. Before sending, you can rewrite the text to say whatever you want.

You can also access a menu to forward contact information into another email account, save information to your iPhone’s contact list, delete the contact, or resubmit the card for transcription again. If you select “Auto Save to iPhone,” your contacts will get saved both within CardMunch and in your phone’s built-in contact list.

Although CardMunch has many pros, there are also a few cons — you must be a LinkedIn member to use it, its use is limited to devices running iOS 4.0 or later, and there is no way to do a bulk transfer of the files to your PC, according to DEVsource.com.

PHOTO: Flickr user TwisterMc

 

CamCard Business Card Reader for Androids

 

According to blogger Jack Wallen of Tech Republic, CamCard Business Card Reader easily transfers business card information into Android contacts — perfect for busy networkers who collect dozens of business cards.

Like all business scanning apps, CamCard uses the camera of an Android phone to take a picture of a business card, and then processes it on the phone. One handy feature of CamCard is its “Batch Mode,” which is its capability to quickly capture a whole stack of business cards and process them all later. Business cards are saved in CamCard in the “Card Holder.” Once your cards are in Card Holder, you can long-tap on any of them to call, SMS, or email the contact.

But CamCard isn’t just an app. If you sign up for Cloud Sync, all your business cards can be synchronized to the company’s Cloud Sync server, which allows access to your cards on any iOS or Android device, or online. When saving your cards with CamCard, you can also have them exported to the address book on your phone, or to iCloud, Gmail, or Exchange. One or multiple cards can also be exported to CSV, Excel, or vCard, and you can use the card to surf their website, search LinkedIn, or request to add them as a contact.

Just Snap It

Think business cards are old school? Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s the way they are collected and how their information is managed with smartphone applications that makes them relevant and essential tools for business networking.

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iPhone 5 VS iPhone 4

Progress is always developing. Old models are displaced by new technologies. New models are improved, they have new possibilities. Comparing iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 we will better understand development of progress.

Advantages of iPhone 5 in comparison with iPhone 4:

  1. The iPhone 5 is more comfortable in using. It is thinner than iPhone 4(9.3 mm VS 7.6mm). You even don’t feel it in your pocket.
  2. Both of them have Retina displays. But display’s surface is better. Color saturation has increased to 40%.
  3. The iPhone 5 is longer than his predecessor. More space for photos, videos, apps, and websites.
  4. This new model is vastly lighter versus iPhone 4(137g). His weight is 112 g.
  5. The iPhone 5 work faster. The iPhone 4 has A4 chip, which performs four times slower in compare with A6. In speed new iPhone has cracked a record to the smartphone.
  6. The iPhone 5 doubles 512 MB of random-access memory (RAM) in iPhone 4. New model’s RAM is 1 GB.
  7. The iPhone 4 offers only one variant of flash memory-8 GB. The iPhone 5 give you possibility to choose flash memory, which you need- 16/32/64 GB.
  8. New model has 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution). LTE download speed ranges from 8Mbps to 40Mbps. The iPhone 4 has only 3G speeds.
  9. Battery life of iPhone 4 is 7 hours. With iPhone 5 you can talk an hour more. It is really achievement, because of LTE.
  10. The camera in iPhone 5 is fine and spiky. Your video and photos (720p video to 1080p video), video calls will be more qualitative, because of improvement of the front-facing (Face Time) camera (from VGA to 1.2 MP front).

Progress will never stand. During the time, people’s demands change and, as a result, new models become old. Today the iPhone 5 is significantly more perfect and improved in comparison with iPhone 4. Tomorrow iPhone 5 will be less advanced because of appearing iPhone 6.

This article was written by Anna Lia. guest blogger from Chisinau, MD. She is now writing for FastLoanTree.com

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What can CT5K and Community teach us about the web?

DSCN4986
Image by Brian Cribb via Flickr – I looked a lot like this when I was running, really!

The CT5K
Recently a young family friend went to the hospital because of heart issues.  Not totally uncommon among American society today – but alarming, none the less.  Shortly after I caught a Facebook update which said something about CT5K – I didn’t know what the meant at first, but finally figured out he was working on a popular running program called “Couch to 5K“.

It looked pretty good and with a dark outlook on my life expectancy (I’m very over weight and have been for a long time, my Mother passed away from breast cancer in her early 50’s and my Dad of a heart attack at age 61) – not the odds you want to bet on.  So I downloaded an iPhone app to assist and started the CT5K myself this week.

Community (the real stuff – not this “made-up online stuff)
On my first day of training a family friend had stopped at our house just before I had a chance to leave – we talked for a bit, he left and I started my 9 week (which I’m gonna need at least 12 to get through) training regiment.  This friend is an avid runner, about 1/2 way into the “run” he passed me on the  road…he didn’t stop to chat, just smiled and a waved – it wasn’t “regular” wave, but it was a “I’m proud of you Tom wave” and I know he was.  It made me feel good – a nod of approval.

The second night of the program was last night.  It went a little better than the first, but the best part was when i was in cool down mode and almost home.  My neighbor from a few houses down pulled up beside me and said “Hey – are you exercising!?”  I said “Yea, is that OK?”  :)  She said yes, but you know – if you keep that up we might have to start too.  We talked for a bit longer – I cannot tell you the last time I spoke to her…it had been a while – but I felt good.  I couldn’t help but think of this as a community experience.

How does it all tie together?
I just couldn’t help but think of my work as a web designer and as a technologist and social media user/advocate.  I thought about how many hours I have spent online – building websites, reading about social media, reading about how a successful community works, thinking about new ways to engage audiences and it just basically hit me like a ton of bricks.

It’s about doing – not watching/lurking/monitoring.  We have to wade in the river – for realz!  Not read about the best practice, not buy the newest plugin or pickup the lastest book by the coolest new author – but really just do it.

So what?
It felt so comforting to know that two real people where proud of me and tat we engaged in something.  Now – I know, this same thing can happen online and virtually…but it still ties in.  You have to get off the couch and get in the game.  And when you do – you know what, its kind of fun.

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Should Your IT Department Support the IPhone

When making a call, the iPhone presents a numb...
Image via Wikipedia

Here is a post I found last week but didn’t get to it until this morning…this is a great post.  It is from cio.com – “Should Your IT Department Support the IPhone

When the iPhone was first launched in June 2007, it was generally panned by IT managers and systems administrators. It didn’t support any encryption of user data, could not have any enforced security policies and offered no way to remotely wipe data if it were lost or stolen. At the time, a lot of companies weren’t prepared to accept those security gaps. Perhaps more importantly, the iPhone didn’t yet support any third-party applications or interact with most office suites.

Another good point is budgets.  At my company many of the perks (cell phones, internet service at home and others) were cut out of the budget the last few years.  This meant IT geeks like myself would have to provide their own phone.  Many went for the iPhone.  Now we’re being asked to “plug in” on our own dime and our own time – but I say too, on my iPhone (or Android).  I’m not planning on giving up my smart phone for a blackberry – no thanks.

It will be itneresting to see how rumors of a new iPhone 4G and new models of Google’s Andriod will affect these interesting times for IT and support of personal equipment.

When the iPhone was first launched in June 2007, it was generally panned by IT managers and systems administrators. It didn’t support any encryption of user data, could not have any enforced security policies and offered no way to remotely wipe data if it were lost or stolen. At the time, a lot of companies weren’t prepared to accept those security gaps. Perhaps more importantly, the iPhone didn’t yet support any third-party applications or interact with most office suites.

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