All posts tagged “Them”

Penguins love eating fish but probably can’t taste them

You’d think that penguins would love the meaty taste of fish, but it turns out that they may not be able to taste their food much at all. A new genetic study out of the University of Michigan finds that penguins appear to have long ago lost the ability to taste sweet and bitter flavors, as well as the savory, meaty flavor known as umami. Together, sweet, bitter, and umami make up three of the five basic tastes. The other two, sour and salty, may still be present in penguins. The findings are being published today in Current Biology.

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Gods of Marketing, What We Can Learn From Them

Learn several tips from marketing gods that made a name for themselves thanks to powerful advertising campaigns.

This spider combs its tiny silk threads to make them extra sticky

There’s a spider in Britain that’s a tad unusual. Instead of spinning “thick” silk threads (in this case, thick means several micrometers), the garden center spider can spin tiny nano-scale threads that are also extremely sticky. This is particularly useful when catching prey, but until recently researchers didn’t now how the spider managed to make such sticky silk. Now, researchers say they’ve figured it out: the garden center spider’s silk is sticky because the spider combs and pulls at the tiny threads to charge the fibers. In other words, this spider appears to have figured out how electrostatic interactions work.

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The 8 biggest responsive web design problems (and how to avoid them)

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I created a survey asking fellow designers about the problems they faced when creating fully responsive sites. This article will list the most common problems they reported and offer possible solutions, along with suggestions to consider on your next projects. The information contained here is based on hundreds of survey responses (if you’d like to add your own answers, the survey itself is still open) along with problems I’ve also come across in my own work at Offroadcode.

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These Pets Are Masters Of Camouflage! Can You Find Them?

Have you ever could not find your pet or accidentally stepped on your puppy on the carpet? Or sat on your cat on a chair? That’s because animals are truly masters of camouflage! Below is the list features photographs of these masters who use their camouflage to hide from their owners.        …

5 common design mishaps… and how to avoid them

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Image courtesy of Nick Webb; Want to have a long career as a designer? It doesn’t matter how advanced your software skills, or how keen your artistic eye: some things can take even the best designs from great to subpar.

Creative Bloq

Hidden Features in iOS 8: You’ll Wonder How You Ever Lived Without Them

Apple did a magnificent with its latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, integrating a lot of features that users have been suggesting and craving for a long time, as well as some new additions of their own. While some of the features are obvious right from the first second, others are a lot more subtle, and seem to be there to enhance the overall experience without ever stepping into the spotlight.

Hidden Features in iOS 8: You’ll Wonder How You Ever Lived Without Them

Subtle or not, the changes brought by iOS 8 will change the way iPhones are used, making everything smoother and more intuitive than ever. It’s enough to take iOS 8 for a quick test and you’ll soon end up asking yourself how you ever lived without these features.

Here’s a list of the iOS 8’s new features – both the obvious and the less obvious ones.

1. Interactive notifications

Interactive notifications

One of the main focus points of iOS 8 was to make notifications of all kinds less intrusive, and it certainly succeeded. Notifications are now interactive, so if you happen to receive a text message when you are playing a game or watching a movie on your phone you will see a tiny notification bar with the message, which will also allow you to compose a quick reply directly, without minimizing the app you were using and launching the messaging app.

2. Text Predictions

Text Predictions

In order to make interactive notifications even more effective, but also aiming to improve the overall messaging experience, iOS 8 introduced a very powerful text prediction feature that reads your mind and give you exactly the words you are thinking about. Ok, maybe it doesn’t quite read your mind, but it does a very good job at predicting the words you may want as soon as you start typing. What makes this feature even more awesome is that it monitors the way you chat with different people, and adapts the predictions based on the person you’re chatting with, so when you’re chatting with a friend with whom you tend to use slang or shortcuts a lot, the predictions will fit the profile, as opposed to them being all grammatically-correct and formal when chatting with a business partner that you’ve only had formal communications with.

3. Customizable Keyboard

Customizable Keyboard

iPhone fans have been craving for alternatives for the classical keyboard for quite a while, and Apple seems to finally listen to their wishes and make it happen. iOS 8 comes with support for third party apps that offer all sorts of customizable keyboards, so you can now pick the right size, color and features you want for your keyboard.

4. Major Changes in Messages

Major Changes in Messages

The Messages app got some massive improvements over the last version, boasting quite an impressive set of features and tweaks. With the addition of audio, video and location support directly in messages, Apple attempts to make users want to choose their app instead of third party messaging apps such as WhatsApp. You can now add audio and video to your messages with a simple swipe of the finger; Apple also added an option that allows the customization of how long are these in-message videos and audios saved for in order to preserve space on the device.

Location sharing is great for when you’re planning to meet with friends and don’t want to go through the hassle of opening a maps app – simply toggle location on, and they will get the exact location you’re at.

A subtle but very useful addition targets group conversations, where you now have the option of setting the conversation on mute or even leave it altogether, if you don’t want spontaneous chatter to interfere with your concentration at work, or when you simply don’t want to be bothered.

5. Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi calling is another feature implemented by Apple in an effort to make users ditch third party apps for calls and texts. Even though it’s currently only available for a limited range of devices (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C), and a modest choice of service providers, Wi-Fi calling has a great evolving potential, and might pose some serious competition for VoIP service providers. Basically, the feature allows you to use a Wi-Fi network as a communication method when placing a call rather than the cellular network. This can cut down on communication costs if you have a subscription plan that doesn’t offer a lot of minutes, but have a Wi-Fi network at your disposal and friends that use iOS 8.

6. Time-lapse Photography

Time-lapse Photography

Apple introduced a new camera mode: time-lapse photography. This mode captures consecutive shots at dynamic intervals, and when you press “stop” it automatically stiches the pictures together creating a time-lapse video. Getting to master this mode can prove to be quite tricky, but after you do, you can create amazing videos of sunsets, clouds passing by or a flower blossoming – videos that would otherwise require a lot of editing to create.

7. Better Photo Management

Better Photo Management

Another newly introduced feature focuses on privacy, and allows you to hide certain photos. While the hidden photos are still available if you go to the Albums menu, they are hidden from the Moments, Collections and Years modes, allowing you to present a slideshow to family or friends without including any personal photos.

Organizing photos is also made easier with the addition of the “recently added” and “recently deleted” options, which allow you to see your most recent additions to the albums, but also the files you just deleted. The “recently deleted” feature is extremely useful if you happen to accidentally delete something you actually intended to keep. Deleted photos stay in the “recently deleted” folder for a pre-set period of time, during which they can be recover, but are gone forever after the time expires or when you manually hit the remove button.

Better Photo Management

Searching through photos was enhanced by giving you the ability to search by location, which will display all the photos that were taken into a specific location. Finding those awesome holiday snaps just got a whole lot easier.

8. Siri Got Smarter

Siri Got Smarter

Siri was already a very smart virtual assistant, but the iOS 8 update made it even more powerful. For starters, Siri is now integrated with the popular music recognition software Shazam, so instead of having to launch Shazam when an awesome track is playing, you can simply ask Siri and it will attempt to identify the track for you.

When your phone is connected to a power source, such as when charging or while driving, you can launch Siri without even touching it by simply saying “Hey Siri”. While this feature may seem like a tiny rip-off from Android and their “Hey Google”, it does do a good job of allowing you to take control of Siri hands-free.

Under the hood, Siri seems to be packing some more upgrades, as it can now display your voice input as you say it, as opposed to waiting to receive a full command or query. This will help you see if your commands are interpreted correctly in real time, as well as improve the way you dictate text messages or emails to Siri.

Last but not least, Siri can now access the App Store, making it easier and more convenient to look for apps and to install them.

9. Family Sharing

Family Sharing

If there are multiple iPhone users in your family, iOS 8 now allows you to share the apps between devices without having to buy them separately for each device. This means that, if you buy an app, every member of your family will be able to install and use that app with no additional costs. It’s not just apps that get shared between members: music, photos, videos, book – everything can be easily accessible from all the devices in the family. A nice option is to import other family members’ calendars into a single calendar file, thus being able to see when and how much free time everyone has, making it easier to organize family activities together.

10. Customized Sharing Sheet

Sharing is not limited to your family, as sometimes you want to share something on the social media. One of the most annoying things you can run into when trying to do so is being presented with a never-ending list of sharing options, when you only use two or three services. Now you can organize that sharing sheet, and leave only the social networks or sharing options that you really use.

11. Find My Phone Gets Last Location Feature

The “Find My Phone” feature is extremely handy to have, for those situations when you misplace your phone, or worse, lose it. However, there’s not much the feature could do in the case of a dying battery. iOS 8 addresses that by adding a function that allows the app to report the last known location of an iPhone when its battery is dying. This should make it easier for you to find your beloved device even if it runs out of power.

12. Location-aware Apps

Location-aware Apps

An interesting new feature brought by iOS 8 is the introduction of location-aware apps recommendations. For example, when you walk into a Starbucks, you will see the Starbucks app displayed directly on your lockscreen, giving you easy access to the app, if you already have it install, or a quick way of installing it. This feature is perfect for locations that have dedicated apps that you may not be aware of. However, some people are afraid that this feature will act as a privacy intrusion, which brings us to the next feature.

13. Better Control of Apps that Use Your Location

Better Control of Apps that Use Your Location

Since the number of apps and services that use your location is quickly rising, Apple made it simpler to control which apps can use the feature and which can’t. This way, you can grant the apps you trust access to your location, as well as remain untraced by apps you don’t feel comfortable about.

14. Better Control over Battery Usage

Better Control over Battery Usage

A new option called Battery Usage gives you the possibility to view how much battery juice is used by every app, even those running in the background. You get the usage on a 24-hour basis or on a 7-day basis, thus getting a pretty good idea what apps are worth keeping or which ones are merciless on your battery and you’re better without.

15. iOS to Mac Screen Capture

iOS to Mac Screen Capture

Whether or you’re an app developer or just the techie guy in your family, having the ability to easily record what’s happening on the screen of your phone can prove to be quite useful. iOS 8 allows you to do that on the fly by connecting your iPhone to your Mac computer. You can showcase a new game or record the instruction on how to use an app, and then send the video to family or friends that are struggling with the app in question. Easy.

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10 free Photoshop brushes for painting clothes – and how to use them

Read more about 10 free Photoshop brushes for painting clothes – and how to use them at

The various options offered by today’s painting software are not only making it possible for digital artists to recreate all of the effects of traditional media, but also enabling them to create their own brushes of a kind that were inaccessible to the old masters.

Creative Bloq

100 Ways to Increase Blog Traffic – Do You Know Them All?

The blog post contains nearly 100 tips and tricks that will help you increase your blog traffic.

Design Trends: Do We Follow Them Without Realizing It?

Quick – what’s the hottest design trend right now? Whether you answered ‘flat design‘ or something similar, it doesn’t really matter. The fact is, we all know what the trends currently are, and we all have opinions about them. The truth is, every designer hops on the current trend bandwagon in some way.

Some are more obvious about it than others, but cultural design trends do seep into our consciousness whether we want them to or not. So, designers: are you following the latest trends without even realizing it? I think you are, and today we’re going to explore some reasons why.

A Product Of The Times

Take a look through any design annual from before the turn of the century, and you may notice something interesting. The designs featured there, though they may all be different and unique, still have a certain type of aesthetic. For example, designs from the 1990s were heavily influenced by the New Wave and grunge styles, and thus overwhelmingly feature distressed looks and bold, unusual type treatments. The same goes for design work produced in any period, whether it’s baroque, psychedelic, Dada, Bauhaus, and the list goes on.

Even if the designers didn’t associate with one another at all, their work can still look alike. This is because of the shared ideals of a particular generation. People living in a particular time and place are influenced by the socio-economic realities of that era. If there’s a war going on, or if there was a devastating natural disaster that is still fresh in people’s minds, these things will come out in their work. Even music, television and film, paintings, sculpture, and every other kind of creative work will share this kind of collective commonality.

Faster Trend Cycles Today

It seems like we go through trends much faster than people did in the past. A design style can be around for mere months before everyone is tired of it and moving on to something new. This is largely because of the Internet and the increased speed of communication. When ideas spread at lightning speed, it becomes much harder to hold on to a trend and to make it stick.

But what does this mean for design? It means that designers are all aware of this faster cycling, and will adjust their work to keep up with the bandwagon. They may not want to, or they may even deny that it’s happening, but they still do it. When those likes on Dribbble or Behance start to dry up, designers may grudgingly adapt to keep their popularity strong.

Do You Have To Be Conscious Of It?

In a word, no. As we saw, designers can have no connection whatsoever to one another or to any particular style, but they will still echo the current events that are happening in their part of the world through their design in a similar way. We humans are very adaptable – any time something changes in the world, we unconsciously adjust our worldview to deal with it.

Take me, for example. I completely ignored the coming of “flat” design – didn’t care about it at all until last year’s iOS 7 update for the iPhone forced me to notice its predominance. Yet my work still echoes that of others who were consciously embracing it all along. I didn’t intend for that to happen, but I was still exposed to the same environmental influences that others of my generation were. It’s odd, but that’s just the way it happens.

What Goes Around…

So, what do you do when people start comparing you to designers you’ve never heard of? Do you correct them and insist that your ideas came to you independently? Do you change your style, or is it better to just stick it out and wait for the trend wheel to come full circle? What if the person everyone is comparing you to actually came after you, and they’ve got it backwards? Is it appropriate to point that out, or will that just make your reputation worse?

I think that, if your work is genuinely good, it doesn’t matter whether it’s “in” or not, or whether people know who influenced whom. The work will always be new to someone, after all. If your clients are happy, and you are happy, there’s no need to worry about what others are thinking. If you like, you can lay out your own creative “family tree,” as explained by Austin Kleon in the book Steal Like An Artist. Kleon advocates making a public note of your influences, as well as those creatives who are doing anything similar to your own work.

What Do You Think?

Do you pay attention to trends? Is your work suggestive of the trends of your generation anyway? (Yes. The answer is yes.) Tell us your trendy thoughts in the comments.