There are weeks where I don’t find articles for the “Going Beyond” section of the Web Development Reading List at all. And then there are weeks like this one, where two brilliant pieces show up that reveal so much about how we live together with new technology and how this shapes our society.
Along with a bunch of good tech articles, a great way to leave you for the next two weeks. Please note that I’ll be away on vacation next week, so there won’t be a summary next Friday.
Are you passionate about something? Do you have a secret project? Not something that will change the world (though who knows?), but will definitely change you? Do you have a friend who complements your skills? Has anyone recently asked you for help with their project? Do you just have a digital dream, or is there also a plan to make it come true?
Every professional has something in common. It’s called the comfort zone. The first sign you're in it is when you see no challenge on the horizon. You know pretty much everything you need to perform well, and if anything unfamiliar comes your way it can be solved fairly quickly. It can take a while to realize you've stopped moving, and working on freelance projects seems like the only way to keep your brain busy.
Some folks love it, some hate it. Today's icon set, designed by Manuela Langella, is dedicated to both lovers and haters of... football! That's right, the 2016 UEFA European Championship starts tomorrow. Clink! Clink! Let the games begin!
You may modify the size, color or shape of the icons. No attribution is required, though reselling bundles or individual pictograms isn't cool. Please note that this icon set is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. We'd kindly like to ask you to provide credits to the creator and link to this article if you would like to spread the word about the freebie.
Petrograd, Russia, 1920. Deep in his scientific laboratory, a young Léon Theremin accidentally notices that the sound coming from one of his high-frequency oscillators changes pitch when he moves his hand. Popular culture is changed forever. The theremin’s unique sound proves perfect for sci-fi soundtracks and Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys. The world is a better place.
For the better part of a century, musicians have been waiting for a similar breakthrough technology to again change the way we create music. I’m delighted to announce it has already arrived. It’s called the Web Audio API.
There’s no doubt that simple design is hard, since it requires much more thought and inspiration. It’s about understanding exactly what your users need. Colors play a major role, and today I’d like to show you a couple of illustrations that may motivate you to try out some new color combinations and techniques.
Take a look at the following photographs, posters and book covers that have been created with some really inspiring shades and color palettes, and some even show how to cleverly use negative space. From 3D illustrations to artwork created with ink and watercolors, I’m sure there’s something that’ll spark your inspiration. Be warned though, some of them may even give you wanderlust from just looking at them.
2016 brings us new conferences, new topics and most of your favorite conferences from past years. Virtual reality has become a hot topic, with the release of two major VR headsets earlier this year, so look for conferences featuring talks on the subject.
We have a lot of passwords to remember, and it’s becoming a problem. Authentication is clearly important, but there are many ways to reliably authenticate users – not just passwords. Passwords are written off as inconvenient and unavoidable, but even if true a few years ago, that’s not true today. Due to a combination of sensors, encryption and seasoned technology users, authentication is taking on new (and exciting) forms.
Most other interaction patterns have been updated over time, but no one wants to mess with password authentication. It’s too serious. Or there’s too much liability. You know, like if you don’t clear the password input after someone types the wrong password, their credit card information is at risk.
In times where Facebook announces to track all web users whenever it can, it feels weird to work on disaster management tools. You may now ask why, but if you consider what data you work with in such a project, you’re likely to be monitored because of a lot of keywords in there.
And that’s what bothers me most: that people who want to do good need to fear that they’re under complete surveillance. I like Tor and secure VPNs more than ever for that reason. Speaking about web development, here’s why using Tor or VPNs for testing performance is a great idea.
It’s well known that, in the ’80s, Microsoft and Apple made the graphical user interface (GUI), the dominant interface on desktop computers. What’s less known is that the GUI, whose navigation is based on pages and links, is not the only possible interface. And we know that finding our way in a modern GUI, whether for a website or application, is not always easy.
One problem is of design, meaning that an interface could simply be poorly designed. But a different problem may very well be the way our brains are wired; even well-designed interfaces can be difficult to navigate and use.