All posts tagged “Know”

Five things you need to know about the FAA’s new rules for flying drones

The Federal Aviation Agency just introduced its long awaited proposal for new drone regulations. Right now it’s illegal for companies to operate drones over the U.S. To fly commercially, companies must get a specific exemption, and only a handful have obtained them so far. The goal of these new rules is to open up the skies to any company with a qualified operator that is willing to follow some basic guidelines.

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Skills Your Web Developer Should Know

Web developers can’t be one trick ponies that “only” toss together a WordPress page and leave their clients in a lurch when it comes to search engine optimization, social media integration or logo designs. As a “web developer“, these professionals must encompass a variety of skills and tools not just to stay competitive, but also to offer holistic services to their clients.

Skills Your Web Developer Should Know

Many people in need of a website don’t know all the intricacies or why LSEO is important—it’s the job of a good web developer to educate, inform and offer one stop shopping.

If that sounds like a tall order, it’s because it is. It’s impossible for even the techiest of geeks to have solid skills in every realm of web development from graphic design to coding. That’s why many web developers end up starting their own businesses or working in tandem with skilled, complementary professionals—it’s the only way to offer genuine “full service” to clients.

Here are a few of the skills web developers should know (or at least offer as an outsourced possibility by working with fellow techies):

1. Search engine optimization (SEO) and local SEO

There’s a reason there are so many SEO firms and agencies: It’s a very complex and constantly evolving field. It can also easily be a full-time job to consistently boost search engine rankings for a website. A web developer that creates a website without SEO integration is basically signing up for double work or ensuring their client will need to hire an SEO guru to “fix” a shaky foundation.

Search engine optimization

2. Social media integration

A website is part of a total “web presence” and needs to complement social media campaigns. This includes having appropriate buttons for sharing on certain landing pages, guiding clients towards the best social media platforms for them (not necessarily the most popular) and if hired on retainer, perhaps taking over part of the social media management, too.

3. Communication

Communication skills are crucial in any service industry, including web development. While tech geeks aren’t always known for their social skills, being able to stay professional on the phone, email, live chat, etc. (especially when clients might be frustrated) is critical. Without basic (and preferably advanced) communication skills, clients won’t be happy and business will suffer.

Communication

4. Graphic design

You can get a degree in graphic design, so of course this isn’t something every web developer can be highly skilled at. However, a good web developer should at least be able to put together a lovely montage of images using stock photography or whip up a simple logo in a pinch. Most clients who have a serious business will outsource their most important graphic design needs, but a savvy developer can hone these skills to scoop up a little extra revenue.

5. Web content writing

You’ve been hired to create a website, and then your client starts asking about homepage content, “About Us” sections and basic writing for the “Contact” page. Writing flawlessly is challenging enough, and web content writing is a very special niche. Chances are, you’re not a fantastic web developer and web content writer (and if you are, you’re an incredible rarity). However, a developer should have strong enough writing chops for basic content—at least until the client secures a professional writer.

6. A knack for mobile readiness and responsive design

Who cares if the website is gorgeous if it only displays quickly and perfectly on a few browsers and gadgets? It’s now a mobile ready world, and you need to respect that shift. Knowing how to implement responsive design and mobile readiness, as well as test for it, is critical for any web developer worth their salt.

A knack for mobile readiness and responsive design

7. PPC

Pay per click and other forms of advertising can fall within the realm of web development—at the very least, your web developer should know the basics like the best placement and formatting for advertising. While there are programs such as Googles that let you automatically incorporate PPC, banner ads and the like into your website, it’s impossible to automize optimization. Choose a web developer who has a foundation in marketing and advertising.

8. Logo creation

While this might technically fall into the realm of graphic design, it’s a niche type of graphic design that’s incredibly convenient for clients. Your logo is part of your branding and ideally it’s classic and will last you a lifetime. Having a web developer who can create logos and complementary, mini logos to pepper throughout your website will save you time, hassle and money to outsource this single task. If a web developer has graphic design chops, make sure that includes logo creation.

9. Web hosting mediation

In most cases, your web developer won’t double as a web host but they should at least have recommendations for the best web hosts and options for you. Chances are you’re going to go with a shared server managed by a reputable company, but how can you get the least amount of shared customers and the best service? Instead of having to research this yourself, your web developer should serve as a fountain of information to save you time.

10. Gallery creation

Whether you’re a retailer, artist or restaurant, having a gallery on your website is a great way to give consumers a sneak peek at what to expect. It’s nearly a requirement for some industries, such as a hair salon, and a functional, attractive, fast loading gallery can make the difference between a new customer making an appointment or not. Creating galleries that work with responsive design isn’t easy, and continuously testing them is incredibly time consuming. Rely on a web developer who specializes in this type of formatting.

11. Meta tags with SEO elements

This falls under SEO in general, but unfortunately meta tagging often gets pushed to the back burner with overarching SEO campaigns. Meta tags, those snippets of information that pops up in search engine results, are a great opportunity for SEO and to reel in customers who have just landed on search results. It’s the underdog of SEO and regularly overlooked but a web developer who’s detail oriented takes are of it and explains the function of meta tags to the client.

Meta tags with SEO elements

12. Blog management

You can’t expect a web developer to also double as a blogger (although if they do, that can be a great boon for you). However, you should expect them to be able to set up and manage a blog for you so that all you have to do is enter information into a field. They should be able to make this easy, intuitive, and maybe even possible for you to manage basic functions. Blogs are an integral part of many marketing campaigns, and if a web developer can’t hook you up then that’s a huge red flag.

13. Product description creation

This will likely be an additional task on top of general web development, but what happens when a retailer has scores, hundreds or even thousands of products that need descriptions? It’s often best to hire a professional writer, but if the information is very straightforward and fill in the blank, a good web developer will be able to offer this service, too. However, just be prepared: You might be paying a premium for a service that, albeit tedious, isn’t very challenging.

14. WordPress manager

Yes, WordPress is supposed to be the platform that allows just about anyone to create a website, and it it—but it can have a steep learning curve. If you’d rather have someone else set up the basic skeleton and then walk you through how to update it, that’s exactly what a skilled web developer can do. All you should be required to do is give them ideas of your style, the information you want, and let them roll with it. A great web developer is a great listening and can intuit your preferences.

WordPress manager

15. Online payment manager

If you accept payments online, it’s crucial that you make it as easy as possible for consumers to give you money. This means offering every possible means from all type of credit cards to PayPal, electronic check/debit or even a cashier’s check. A web developer worth his salt can create an easy form that’s secure, fast and easy for your customers. Otherwise, payment requirements that are too complex can drive customers away before they hit “send”.

16. Live chat host

Just like accepting money, it should also be incredibly easy for your customers to reach you. This often means offering live chat, video chat or other digitally-focused forms of communication on top of phone and email. If this is the case, you need to have a web developer in your corner who can set up this kind of arrangement without it being obnoxious. It’s all about balance, and your customers deserve serious service.

17. A clean back end

What your customers don’t see when they visit your website is just as important as what they do see. This means no invisible text that’s really SEO black hat tricks, quality and authority links, and clean coding that won’t leave a mess for future web developers to clean up. How can you know that your back end is clean and in control? Talk to your web developer about it and let them walk you through how they organize things behind the scenes.

18. The ability to test, test, test

Getting a gorgeous website up and running is one thing, but what about maintenance? A great web developer will offer ongoing maintenance and support that includes constant testing for analytics, SEO, responsive design, mobile readiness, link quality and a myriad of other things. Without regular testing, what’s a killer website one month can be a dud the next. It’s impossible for the average website owner to keep up with QA, which is why a professional needs to be on top of things.

19. Creating easy to read analytics reports

There are numerous options for running analytics—many of them free—and you need to stay on top of your numbers for your website, social media and any other type of online presence. While many of these reports are designed to be easy to create and read, if you’d rather your web developer take care of it then that should be an option. You should be able to tell them the type of formatting you want, the numbers you want, and they should let you know of any disparities they notice. Whether you want reports weekly or monthly (or every third day if that’s how you roll), a solid web developer should meet your desires.

Creating easy to read analytics reports

20. Image/video curation

Sometimes you need something more than graphic design—you want an actual photograph or video that already exists, but is available for you to use. Maybe you have a budget for these types of curations or maybe you need stock or other free products. Either way, a web developer needs to be an impressive image and video curator who already has connections and networks so they’re not starting from scratch. Some clients might need scores or even hundreds of images curated and a web developer needs to be up for the task.

21. Networking

This means literal networking with others in the industry, not setting up IT networks. A web developer is in the thick of the fastest growing industry and can’t be a Lone Wolf. You can’t expect your web developer to be an expert at everything you need, but you should expect them to be able to refer you to a trusted colleague when you have a special request. You’re not just paying for a web developer’s services, but also her connections, and she should be happy to share. A true professional knows that success comes from mutual benefits.

22. Listening skills

Genuine, active listening is a rarity, but your web developer should at least be on the right track. This means truly digesting what the client is saying and not just getting ready for their turn to speak. You’ll be able to tell right away whether your web developer is a listener or not, and if they’re more interested in hearing themselves speak then think twice before hiring them. If a web developer isn’t listening to you before you hire them, what makes you think they’ll listen to you when a problem strikes?

Listening skills

23. Empathy and compassion

These are both innate traits as well as learned skills—and you need them in a web developer. This professional should be able to put themselves in your shoes, which means that they’ll always have your best interests at heart. When they treat your website like they would their own, you know they’re going to do the best they can to make it successful. It’s kind of like hiring a babysitter: You want someone who truly treats your children like they do their own, including the love and discipline.

24. A little Type-A, overachiever, dedicated spirit

You know the type: They never miss a deadline, are always looking for the next big thing, love learning and are probably a morning person. You’ll be able to tell if your web developer falls into this category during the first conversation. It’s a great perk since you know there’s no worry over them putting you on the back burner, forgetting a task, or that you’ll have to “stay on them” to get the job done. It shouldn’t be up to you to micro manage your web developer, so why start out with a personality that clashes with what you need?

25. Typography skills

Your web developer doesn’t need to double as a font creator in his spare time, but he should have a respect and taste for typography, fonts, and spacing. It’s what sets each website apart, what makes it look professional, and what lends it to a more classic, modern or quirky flair. If your web developer doesn’t have a favorite font, steer clear—this means he’s not interested in style and design.

Typography skills

 

The more diverse and complex your web developer is, the better. Jack of all trades, master of none? That’s a red flag—but master of a few things while jack of all trades? That’s the golden ticket that’s going to make your website the best it can be. Don’t rely on price alone or word of mouth when choosing a web developer. Do your homework, ask questions, see portfolios and most importantly trust your gut. This is going to be the creator of “your baby,” so choose wisely.

Visit us at InstantShift.com

PSD to HTML


InstantShift

10 Random Facts About Valentine’s Day You Probably Didn’t Know

Valentine’s Day is coming soon and the obligatory exchange of roses, chocolates, dinner and date rituals will begin come mid-February. Meanwhile I get thrown a challenge to write about 10 interesting things I didn’t know about Valentine’s Day.

The bad news is I can’t write about the usual stuff like how Valentine’s day got its name or what the color or number of roses in a bouquet symbolizes. The good news is I get to extend the scope to cover love, February 14th, traditions, weird facts and quirky deviations. Whether you’re 1/2 of a couple or if you’re living up the single life, there’s actually quite a bit about love that most of us don’t know.

More on Hongkiat.com:

Here are 10 nuggets of info about the Day Of Love you can share with your better half over candlelit dinner.

1. The Phrase "Wearing Your Heart On Your Sleeve" Came From A Real Event

The saying "wearing your heart on your sleeve" is a common expression used to indicate the feeling of love. We’ve heard this so many times before but do you know its origins? There are plenty of different stories but my favorite is the one that takes places during the Middle Ages.

(Image Source: Fabrics And Frames Furniture)

There was a Roman festival held anually in honor of Juno, the queen of Roman gods and goddesses. Men would draw names to determine who would be their potential sweetheart. These men would then wear the name on his sleeve for the remainder of the festival. This makes it quite similar to being a lady’s champion during a jousting match.

2. Chocolates Is Synonymous With Valentine’s Day Gifts Because Of Cadbury

Chocolate and Valentine’s Day go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. It’s an image that many of us are used to seeing but just where did this tradition come from?

(Image Source: Valentines Images)

Richard Cadbury from the Cadbury chocolates family is responsible for the earliest box of Valentine’s Day chocolates. In 1868, he gave chocolates to his beloved in a heart-shaped box. He apparently also made the boxes more unique by using his own paintings to decorate the box lid.

3. The Longest Marriage on Record Spans 8.5 Decades

If you have come across more breakups and divorces than everlasting love and successful marriages, this might cheer you up. The official world record for the longest marriage for a living couple belongs to Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher, who were married for a total of 86 years and 290 days, before Mr. Fisher passed away. Talk about a marriage that lasts a lifetime.


(Image Source: Pozitivnap)

However, there is a couple in the UK who have been married for 88 years, it’s just that the marriage betwen the 108-year-old and his 101-year-old wife wasn’t officially noted. But who’s keeping score?

4. Pets Can Be Your Valentine Too

There are very few things that we can say that we really love in this world. For most of us, pets aren’t just pets, they are family. So, it’s really not surprising to find out that come Valentine’s day 2015, pet owners in the US will be spending $ 703 million on their gifts for their pets.

If you think that is a lot to spend on a pet, it’s only a fraction of what couples will be spending on each other — USD18.9 bilion’s worth — for Valentine’s Day.

5. There Is Such A Thing As A Record-Breaking Kissing Event (And There Is More Than One)

Here’s a little interesting fact: kissing increases a person’s pulse to at least 110 beats per minute (bpm). Well, people in the Philippines came together to get their hearts pumping by locking lips at a particular event called Lovapalooza.

(Image Source: China Daily)

More than 5300 couples came together in a mass kissing record attempt back in 2004. This was to beat the previous Guiness World Record of 4445 couples held by Chile. Unfortunately, this record was beaten by a similar attempt in Hungary where 5,875 couples kissed at the Elisabeth Bridge in Budapest in 2005. Not to be outdone, 6124 couples locked lips in Pasay to reclaim the record back for the Phillipines in 2007.

6. Vengeance From The Jilted Got This Valentine’s Day Custom Banned

In France, there used to be a Valentine’s Day custom called “The Drawing For Love”.

Single people of various age groups would enter into houses that were opposite each other and call out through the windows till they paired up. If a male wasn’t happy with his partner, then he could leave her and pair up with someone else.

The women who were left single would build a large bonfire and conduct ceremonial burning of the pictures of men who left them high and dry — cursing was included. Of course, it’s easy for feelings to spiral out of control (whether good or bad) and when things got out of hand (as expected), the custom was eventually banned by the French government.

7. The Chinese Has An Alternative Valentine’s Day Inspired By Lost Love

It is better to have love and lost than never to have love at all. The Qixi Festival is a celebration of love that is based on the love story between a weaver girl and a cowherd. The weaver girl was actually a celestial being; the cowherd, mere mortal. They fell deeply in love and had two children together before they were forced to part, separated by a river until the end of days.

(Image Source: Wikimedia)

Magpies took pity on the two and form a bridge for them every year on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month of the Chinese calendar, reuniting the two and their children for a brief but special moment. Today, the festival is also known as the Magpie Festival as well as the Chinese Valentine’s Day. It inspired similar celebrations in Japan, Korea and Vietnam.

8. South Koreans (Sort Of) Celebrate Romantic Holidays Every Month

In South Korea, the 14th of every month marks a romantic holiday of some sort. That’s 12 presents to prepare. Here’s a quick list of what’s celebrated every month in order: Candle Day, Valentine’s Day, White Day, Black Day, Rose Day, Kiss Day, Silver Day, Green Day (seriousy), Music Day, Wine Day, Movie Day, and Hug Day.

Black Day, celebrate on April 14th is the one aimed primarily at single folks. Singles will come together and eat Jajangmyeon, a noodle served with a black bean sauce (like this one below).


(Image Source: Wikimedia)

They also dress in black, wear black accessories as well as black nail polish. It isn’t all gloomy though; think of it as an annual support group where people eat and talk about their singlehood… until they pair up and become a couple.

9. Singles Get Their Own Day In China

If you didn’t know, Valentine’s day is also Singles Awareness Day. But we’re going to talk about China’s single’s day instead. Celebrated on Nov 11, Singles Day (aka Bachelors Day) is more famously known for online shopping, than it is for moping around because you don’t have a partner to buy you roses.

Nope, rather than wallow in self-pity, singles (and even those who are part of a duo) sit behind a computer and shop til they drop with China’s version of "Black Friday" sales.

(Image Source: Miui)

Scratch that, it’s way bigger than any Black Friday sale you know of. In 2012, China spent $ 3 billion on Single’s Day; by 2013, that rose to $ 5.75 billion. In 2014, China spent $ 9 billion on online shopping bargains — all within 24 hours. Who needs love when you can shop from the comforts of home instead?

10. You Can Help End Gender Violence Via The Other V-Day

Valentine’s Day is a day to show the people around you that you care for them but how about this year, you show the world you care? V-Day is an activist movement that helps raise awareness to end violence against women and girls. It started out as a benefit back in 1998, in New York, inspired by the work of Eve Ensler, the playwright and activist behind The Vagina Monologues.

Since 2012, V-Day had been organizing major campaigns all over the world to help put a stop to gender violence, particularly on February 14th. This year it is no different. You can join or contribute to their efforts, and find out more by checking out their page: 1 Billion Rising Revolution.





hongkiat.com

10 Windows Phone Tricks and Settings You Should Know

You feel so excited as you have just received a brand new Windows Phone. You start exploring the phone in almost all the corners. You have already installed many apps which appear on the start screen. You’ve get used to the gestures, and eventually also find some hidden features.

Yet, with all the features that ship in Windows Phone, there’s a chance that you have missed a couple of handy tricks and useful settings to configure and tune up your Windows Phone. So, here are 10 tricks and settings that you should know to get the most out of Windows Phone. Let’s check them out.

Capitalize and All-Caps Words Quickly

Typing in Windows Phone can be so much faster, if you know this little trick. For example: while typing, you may highlight a word and tap the Shift key to capitalize the first letter. Tap it a second time and it will capitalize the whole word. Holding down the Shift key will turn on the caps-lock mode.

Turn Off Navigation Key Vibration

Windows Phone handhelds ship with 3 physically sensitive buttons – namely the back button, the home button (which is depicted with the Windows new logo) and the search button. These buttons will vibrate as you tap. If you feel that the vibration is kind of annoying or you simply want to switch it off for whatever reason, go to Settings > Touch and turn off the Navigation Bar.

Action Center Half-view

Windows Phone has finally come with an Action Center that stores app notifications as well as a couple of shortcut settings for quick access. To view the Action Center, swipe your finger from the top edge of the screen down to the bottom. Alternatively, halt your finger at the middle to only view the shortcuts.

Configuring the Action Center Shortcut

There are 4 shortcuts present in the Action Center, but a Windows Phone with a wider screen will have 5. Configure the shortcuts with ones that you frequently need most with Settings > Notification+action menu. Tap one of the current shortcuts, and select another on the list as the substitute.

Remove All Your notifications In One Swipe

You can remove a notification in the Action Center by swiping your finger from the left to the right of each notification item. But, sometimes you can have heaps of notifications that will tire your fingers out. In that case, use 2 fingers to swipe all of them away in one swift motion.

Move and Install Apps to SD Card

One of the best things about a Windows Phone is that the storage capability is upgradable with an SD Card for up to 64GB. You can store files, images, videos, and even apps in the SD Card instead of within the internal storage.

So, if you have an app that takes up a lot of internal storage, it’s better to move it into the SD Card. To do so, go to Settings > Storage Sense. Tap the app+games and select the game. You will find the button to transfer it to the SD Card.

Note: This button will only appear if you have your SD Card installed.

Mute the Shutter Sound

When taking a picture or taking a screenshot of the phone, you will hear the shutter sound that is similar to the sound a real camera makes . Did you know that you can turn this sound off? If you don’t want people around you to notice that you are taking pictures, go to the Settings > ringtones+sound and untick the Camera shutter.

Assign Nick Name for Cortana

Cortana, though in Beta, is very capable and and up to par with its competitors. Cortana can help you call or text a specific person by calling his/her name. Alternatively, you can also call the nickname. So, instead of call “John Doe”, you may simply tell Cortana to call “Driver” (if he really is so).

Go to the Cortana’s Notebook. Then, select the Inner Circle option and select the the person from the contact list to be assigned for a nickname – you can assign up to 3 nicknames. Cortana’s Notebook is where Cortana learns about you. Therein, aside from the Inner Circle, you can specify your Interest and Favourites as well.

Projecting Screen

You can project Windows Screen to a TV or to your PC screen. This can be very useful for creating screencast tutorial and demonstrating Windows Phone in a presentation. To do this, you will have to install Project My Screen. Connect Windows Phone to PC with USB, and start projecting the screen through the Settings > Project My Screen.

Additionally, turn on the Show touch option to show your finger position on the PC screen with a dot.

Note: This is only applicabale in Windows Phone 8.1.

Disable Narrator Text

Windows Phone is built with accessibility in mind. People with vision disabilities can use Windows Phone through the Narrator function. The Narrator will read aloud the text on the phone. I myself once enabled the Narrator, and it honestly freaked me out.

Once this feature is enabled, some features are disabled, like Swiping, and I could not find my way back to turn it off in the Settings. At the end, I was able to sort it out. You can do it by holding the Volume button and tap the Windows icon at the same time.





hongkiat.com

10 Linux Desktop Environments You Probably Don’t Know

Unlike Windows and Mac OS, Linux offers a variety of desktop environments for its users. Each desktop environment (interface) has its own appearance, style and features and a user can install any one of these desktop environments on the basis of his/her requirements. Some of these desktop environments are also suited for machines with low hardware configurations.

If you’re not sure which Linux desktop environment is the most suitable for you then don’t worry, we’ve put together 10 Linux desktop environments along with their features to assist you in selecting the best one for your needs.

More on Hongkiat.com:

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is based on Gnome library files and designed for Linux Mint. It is an easy to use powerful desktop environment which is flexible and combines the traditional layout with advanced features.

Cinnamon consists of 3 main things: a single panel located at bottom, a clock and system tray and various other things located on the right, and the application menu on the left side of the screen. You can also customize the application menu by adding applications of your choice. To ensure that this runs smoothly, your machine should have a powerful graphics card and updated drivers. [Get it here]

2. GNOME 3.x

A few years back, GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) was the most popular and widely used Linux desktop environment. The transition of GNOME to GNOME 2.x series brought simplicity and ease of use that attracted a large number of Linux users to move to the GNOME 2.x series.

GNOME 3.x was introduced to provide easy access to all of your data by integrating it with online accounts. Some other important features offered by GNOME 3.x are Activities Overview, side-by-side windows to view several documents, and an easy way to deal with notifications comfortably. [Get it here]

3. KDE

KDE (K Desktop Environment) is one of most popular Linux Desktop environments and also a contender for GNOME. It resembles the Windows Desktop so if you want to experience a desktop similar to Windows OS, this is the option for you. While KDE comes with a visually intriguing GUI and a bunch of powerful features, the combo makes it a resource-hungry desktop environment.

This means you may not be able to run it smoothly on older desktop/laptop computers with low hardware configurations. [Get it here]

4. MATE

Despite its popularity with earlier versions, the simplistic design of GNOME 3 didn’t sit too well with many GNOME users. The Linux community decided to continue development of GNOME 2 and designers came up with MATE. MATE offers a GNOME 2 environment with new features and improvements to assure users of an improved computing experience. [Get it here]

5. LXDE

LXDE (Lighweight X11 Desktop Environment) is a fast-performing desktop environment. It’s designed for cloud systems that usually have low hardware configurations (less CPU power and less RAM) and older desktop/laptop systems.

Although it is a lightweight desktop environment, it still has a simple and attractive user interface. It also provides multi-language support and on top of that it supports standard keyboard shortcuts and allows tabbed file browsing among other things. [Get it here]

6. Xfce

Fact: the abbreviation for Xfce doesn’t really stand for anything. It’s a traditional desktop environment which is very lightweight but in terms of functions, it is similar to GNOME 2. Xfce has its own lightweight programs as well as some GNOME programs to provide a balance in between performance and functions. [Get it here]

7. Unity

Currently, Unity is the native desktop environment for Ubuntu, replacing GNOME. It comes with an application dock which can be scrolled if the number of applications exceeds the screen view area. You can also search a particular file or application by typing its name in the searchbar. Unity works smoothly on a system with good hardware configuration. [Get it here]

8. Openbox

Openbox is a desktop environment which is lighter than LXDE and Xfce due to its minimalistic design and appearance. It is a highly configurable desktop environment and has a completely bare desktop which makes the loading process really fast. Right clicking anywhere on the desktop to open the application menu.

You can also combine the functionality of GNOME or KDE with the speed of Openbox to make your desktop faster and cleaner. Openbox is ideal for Linux users with low power systems. [Get it here]

9. Razor – Qt

Razor – qt is a fairly easy and lightweight desktop environment for Linux users. It bears similarities with KDE but it is designed to offer simplicity with speed. It comes with minimal built-in applications; you can install the applications you need yourself (find the list of third-party apps youc an get on Razor-qt here. It should work smoothly with older systems with low hardware configurations. [Get it here]

10. Xmonad

Xmonad is actually a tiling window manager which means instead of overlapping windows on your desktop, it will automatically arrange them in a non-overlapping order, leaving behind an organized desktop. It does not come with too much of a decorated user interface but that makes it a fast, user-friendly and stable desktop environment. [Get it here]





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QUIZ: How much do you REALLY know about graphic design?

Read more about QUIZ: How much do you REALLY know about graphic design? at CreativeBloq.com


How much do you really know about the creative medium within which you work? Here’s a quick and fun test to find out just how much you’ve learned about graphic design over the years. And don’t be shy – see if you can beat your creative colleagues!




Creative Bloq

3 huge design trends for 2015 you need to know

Read more about 3 huge design trends for 2015 you need to know at CreativeBloq.com


Each month, experienced London-based creative consultancy FranklinTill Studio curate the Trends section inside Computer Arts magazine. Here, co-founders Kate Franklin and Caroline Till look back on last year’s most prominent visual aesthetics and predict the trends that will shape design in 2015… 2014 was the year with a fresh new attitude. It boldly moved away from the saturated ‘heritage’ aesthetic that’s dominated graphics and branding over the last few years.


Creative Bloq

10 Free Apps for LinkedIn You Need To Know

If you are reading this, chances are you have a profile on LinkedIn, the popular networking site for professionals. It doesn’t matter if you like or hate the network (plenty of supporters on either side of the fence) anyone who wants to tap into its network of more than 300 million members will want in on that piece of pie.

To help you with that, we have here a list of apps – found within and outside LinkedIn – that can help you do more with your LinkedIn profile, and help you improve your value as a professional worker, in general.

From knowledge builders, to connection-making apps, powerful search engines and free templates to help you better approach a potential client, here are 10 applications to help you supercharge your personal value in LinkedIn.

More posts for professionals here:

1. Resume Builder

This nifty app converts your LinkedIn profile into a clean professional-looking resume within seconds. Choose form 11 templates to create your resume: Clean, Executive, Classic, Gray, Orange, Slice, Law, Twocol, Business, Blue and White, then add special formatting using Markdown.

You can also share, manage and print your resume directly from the app itself. The only drawback to Resume Builder is that you can’t edit your resume without editing your LinkedIn profile first.

2. INstant Search

Don’t let INstant Search’s simple appearance fool you. Login then type any keywords related to your field into the search box, and the app will instantly pull out the profiles of LinkedIn users whom you probably know in real life – even if they’re not officially in your LinkedIn network.

3. Advanced Search

For people whose top priority is expanding their current networks, INstant Search might enough. But if you’re looking for someone specific, you can use Advanced Search to find them.

Use a specific first name, last name, company, title, relationship connection level, location, or other specific keywords and Advanced Search can narrow down your search with the selected parameters and help you find that person pronto.

4. Job Search

LinkedIn launched its own Job Search mobile app back in June 2014 giving LinkedIn users fresh job alerts, customizable search and recommendation for suitable jobs etc. It also dishes out vital information on the companies you want to apply for.

This is exactly what you need to tailor your application, stand out in interviews, and prove that you’re a good fit for your dream company. [iOS only]

5. SlinkyApp

SlinkyApp takes the stress out of crafting tailored introductions for every new LinkedIn contact, and you know how important it is to make a good first impression. SlinkyApp helps you create and edit templates for Introductions, Messages and InMails.

The app, which is available as a Chrome extension, will pop up and ready itself for use, everytime you visit a relevant page on LinkedIn.

6. Connected

When it comes to LinkedIn, quality connections matter. LinkedIn’s Connected helps you develop these connections by notifying you of contacts’ birthdays, anniversaries, and other important life events.

With this information, you can drop your contacts a quick message and show that they are a valuable part of your network, just as much as you will be a valuable part to theirs. [iOS only]

7. BlinkChat

If you’re looking for a way to send instant messages to your LinkedIn contacts, look no further than BlinkChat. BlinkChat lets you send both online and offline messages, the latter of which is useful when the person you want to chat with is away at the moment.

The app also imports your contacts and keep them within your reach all day, every day.

Click here for the Android version of BlinkChat.

8. ThinkerTen

Want to know whether you have quality connections or not? ThinkTen can answer that question with its analysis feature, which generates numbers and graphs based on data from your network.

The app also has other capabilities but most of them can’t top what LinkedIn already has built in. Still, we live in a time when analytics can be the feature that makes or breaks an opportunity, so why not give it a go. [Android only]

9. SlideShare Presentations

Boosting your knowledge bank may not have a direct effect on your LinkedIn influence, but it does make you a more interesting person in general. With SlideShare Presentations you can explore presentations, videos and other visual content about (almost) any topic under the sun.

You can also follow top tech companies, keep track of trending topics, and even save your favorite presentations for offline reading!

Click here for the Android version of Slideshare Presentations.

10. Pulse

If you access LinkedIn from a desktop computer, you’ll notice that Pulse is automatically a part of your profile (mobile users need to install the app separately). Similar to SlideShare Presentations, Pulse is a knowledge booster, albeit one that concentrates on written, rather than visual content.

You can keep abreast of the latest trends in your industry, share content on your other social networks, and save your favorite stories on Evernote, Pocket, and Readability.

Click here for the Android version of Slideshare Presentations.





hongkiat.com

Everything you need to know about the Sony hacks

A lot’s happened with Sony, The Interview, and North Korea over the last three weeks, and it’s been easy to get lost. So we’ve put together a quick refresher on all the news that’s come out since the attacks began. It’s been one of the strangest and most befuddling stories of the year, but we’ve answered the biggest questions below.

What happened to Sony?

On November 24th, the computers at Sony Pictures Entertainment abruptly stopped working, blasting a red skeleton image onto every monitor along with a message. The message said that they had been hacked by a group called the Guardians of Peace, who pledged not to stop until Sony Pictures was destroyed. Attackers wiped every hard drive, shut down the email system, and made off with a…

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The Verge – All Posts

10 typography tricks every designer should know

Read more about 10 typography tricks every designer should know at CreativeBloq.com


In this article, we’re going to reveal some typography tips and tricks that you can use to boost your design skills and impress friends and colleagues. But before you even begin getting into the intricacies of setting type in the likes of InDesign, it’s important to know the basics.




Creative Bloq