Jan 162013

Want a smartphone on the cheap? Usually that means going the subsidized route, signing up for a two-year contract that’ll cost you a small fortune by the time you’re done.

The Kogan Agora is an unlocked Android 4.0 smartphone priced at $149 (plus shipping). Due to arrive in the U.S. next month, it’ll support no-contract, pay-as-you-go plans from AT&T and T-Mobile. Oh, and it has a 5-inch screen.

To put that in some perspective, the similarly phablet-size LG Optimus Vu 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 sell unlocked for $860 and around $700, respectively.

Needless to say, $149 won’t buy you quite the same level of specs that you’ll get from those models. But as entry-level phones go, the Agora might prove appealing to budget-minded buyers.

MORE:  Kogan announces $149 unlocked Android smartphone




Jan 162013


Have you signed up for the new Myspace? If so, we have some useful tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of the revamped social network.

Whether you want to add music to mixes more easily, understand how connections work or change your location in your posts, our easy guide can assist you.

Take a look through our handy hints

MORE:  New Myspace: 8 Essential Tips and Tricks.




Jan 102013


The Facebook Pages Manager Android app offers a variety of features.

You can post new updates and photos and answer user comments. You can reply to private messages sent to your page. You can also receive notices about new activity on your page and see data revealing how many people are checking out your page. You can even manage multiple pages from the app.

Facebook has long offered a similar app for iOS. So it’s about time Android users had their own version.

MORE:  Facebook’s latest: A Pages Manager app for Android




Jan 102013


There’s nothing “wrong” with using pixels in an otherwise responsive layout, but if you do you’ll likely end up writing more code than you would using flexible units.

Jon Allsopp’s A Dao of Web Design predates responsive design by a decade, but its prescient advice remains perhaps the best way to approach any design, responsive or otherwise: “It is the nature of the web to be flexible, and it should be our role as designers and developers to embrace this flexibility, and produce pages which, by being flexible, are accessible to all.”

More than just embracing the nature of the medium, building your sites atop what developer Trent Walton calls “Flexible Foundations” can go a long way to making development easier. As Walton points out in his post, using pixels often means more code since pixel-based type, margins and padding mean you need to add new values at every responsive breakpoint.

“In many ways,” writes Walton, “every time we use a pixel value in CSS we’re rasterizing what was a fully-scalable web.”

MORE:  Simplify Responsive Design by Embracing the Flexible Nature of the Web




Jan 092013


On March 15, all users will be switched over to Skype, which the software giant acquired for $8.5 billion in October 2011.

“We are retiring the existing Messenger service globally … and bringing the great features of Messenger and Skype together,” Microsoft said, adding that Messenger will continue to be available in mainland China. Last November, Skype president Tony Bates confirmed in a blog post that Messenger would be shuttered in the first quarter of 2013.

The company also encouraged users to “update to Skype,” and sign in using their Microsoft account (formerly known as a “Windows Live ID”), which includes an email address and password. All Messenger contacts will be included in Skype upon sign-in, the email said.

MORE:  Microsoft Officially Ditching Messenger, Switching Users to Skype in March.




Jan 092013


It seems that for teens it is Tumblr that is de rigueur for the latest information about their innermost feelings. In this survey, more teens dedicated themselves (and their selves) to Tumblr than to Facebook, even though Tumblr is fairly tiny in comparison.

There are other deep teenage loves that emerge from this data.

Teens are very partial to Instagram. They outnumber adults there almost two to one. Naturally, Snapchat has also captured their imagination like, like, you know, like, sort of, it’s so cool.

These results concur neatly with an interview performed by Branch co-founder Josh Miller on his 15-year-old sister.

MORE:  For teens, Facebook is old | Technically Incorrect – CNET News.




Jan 092013


2012 was a banner year for Kickstarter, the crowdfunding service.

Last year, 2.2 million people pledged nearly $320 million to projects across the service. All told, 18,109 projects were successfully funded. To put that into perspective, $99.3 million was pledged via the site in 2011.

Kickstarter also shed some light on last year’s power backers Nearly 571,000 people backed two more projects, but 50,000 backed 10 or more. And about 450 people backed 100 or more projects.

MORE:  Kickstarter has monster year with nearly $320 million pledged




Jan 092013


Nothing gets a web developer’s hackles up quite like older versions of Internet Explorer. The web browser we all love to hate still manages to hang around after all these years — in the case of IE 6, the persistence is strong enough that even Microsoft has a website dedicated to getting rid of it.

While almost no one likes older versions of IE, most of us still need to support it to varying degrees. Mobile web expert Peter-Paul Koch recently ended an informal survey of web developers asking them which versions of IE they supported, tested in and whether or not they charged extra to support older versions of IE.

The results — from nearly 18,000 replies (1,150 for the least answered question) — are surprising in several ways, like the fact that 2 percent of web developers surveyed still support IE 5.5.

MORE:  For Most, Supporting Older Versions of IE Remains a Necessity




Jan 092013


If design and content strategy stops when the build phase starts it’s time to rethink your process. The role of a modern front-end developer goes beyond following pre-defined blueprints. An iterative, agile-like approach is vital to account for responsive design challenges that inevitably arise as a website takes shape.

With that in mind here are my 5 tips for responsive builds:

1. Utilise breakpoint zero

Start by writing HTML in a semantic and hierarchical order. This is dictated by content priority, and a bit of common sense.

MORE:  5 Tips for Responsive Builds – David Bushell – Web Design & Front-end Development.




Jan 092013


Some Hollywood executives are questioning the value of Facebook ads and fan pages, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The report says film execs “confide privately they are considering cutting their spending on Facebook ads,” though everyone on the record said the social network was still one of a number of important channels to drive awareness about upcoming films. The article suggests that studios, like companies in other industries, are skeptical of the returns on paying for Likes, especially as News Feed changes limit the organic reach of page posts.

But with the way most studios approach Facebook ads, it’s no wonder why they would think the cost is too high and the results aren’t there. That doesn’t mean Facebook is an ineffective channel; it means Hollywood isn’t using it in the best way for its business. Movie marketers are emphasizing Likes at the wrong point in the funnel, and they’re not using the right ad formats for their goals.

Facebook’s head of entertainment measurement Fred Leach told the LA Times that 99 percent of all films released in the past year advertised on the social network. Yet, when was the last time you saw a sponsored movie trailer in your desktop or mobile News Feed? Most people would say “never” because studios typically run ads in the Facebook sidebar — the unit with the lowest clickthrough rates and highest costs per click. Few studios, if any, are taking advantage of the more prominent placement directly in the feed. Not only are users more likely to click and engage with these ads, the branding is more significant even at an impression level. For Hollywood, which likes to wrap buses and buildings with promotional material and take over web homepages, it’s a surprise the News Feed isn’t regularly swamped with movie marketing.

Instead, studios often run marketplace ads with a small image, body copy and a Like button. First of all, it’s odd to ask users to Like a movie before they’ve seen it. Similar to many advertisers in other industries, studios are leading with Like campaigns when awareness and content marketing make more sense. For studios’ other online advertising, trailer views are typically the most important KPI, but often on Facebook they inexplicably run Like ads rather than video ads.

MORE:  What Hollywood gets wrong about Facebook marketing.