Daily Archives: 16 agosto 2010

Web Design Trends: Skylines and Cityscapes

One common trend that a number of web designers are using is to include skylines and cityscapes in their designs. In some cases it is a silhouette in the background, in other cases it may be a more significant part of the design. In this post we’ll showcase 25 examples, and at the end of the post you’ll find links to some Photoshop brush sets that will allow you to add this to your own work.

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Infographic of the Day: Does the U.S. Waste Money on Innovation?

This infographic by accounting firm Grant Thorton purports to show how efficient 30 different countries are at innovation. How? Simply by showing the ratio between patents granted in a country, and the total R&D expenditures there.

Thus, the bigger the box in each country, the more innovation (as measured by patents) it gets for every R&D dollar:

So for the U.S. it looks really, really bad. Even though we grant more patents than any other country in the world, we also seem to simply throw money at the problem of innovation–and in the long run, that can’t be good for our own economic competitiveness.

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The Newbie’s Guide to Test-Driven Development

Nikko Bautista

Testing your code is annoying, but the impact of not doing so can be orders of magnitude more annoying! In this article, we’ll use test-driven development to write and test our code more effectively.

What is Test-Driven Development?

Since the dawn of the computer era, programmers and bugs have battled for supremacy. It’s an inevitable occurrence. Even the greatest programmers fall prey to these anomalies. No code is safe. That’s why we do testing. Programmers, at least sane ones, test their code by running it on development machines to make sure it does what it’s supposed to.

Test-driven development is a programming technique that requires you to write actual code and automated test code simultaneously. This ensures that you test your code—and enables you to retest your code quickly and easily, since it’s automated.

How does it work?

Test-driven development, or TDD as we’ll call it from now on, revolves around a short iterative development cycle that goes something like this:

1. Before writing any code, you must first write an automated test for your code. While writing the automated tests, you must take into account all possible inputs, errors, and outputs. This way, your mind is not clouded by any code that’s already been written.
2. The first time you run your automated test, the test should fail—indicating that the code is not yet ready.
3. Afterward, you can begin programming. Since there’s already an automated test, as long as the code fails it, it means that it’s still not ready. The code can be fixed until it passes all assertions.
4. Once the code passes the test, you can then begin cleaning it up, via refactoring. As long as the code still passes the test, it means that it still works. You no longer have to worry about changes that introduce new bugs.
5. Start the whole thing over again with some other method or program.

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Top 10 Ways Your Brain Is Sabotaging You (and How to Beat It)

An unexamined brain is a tricky thing to carry around. You’ve got unintentional biases, marketing weaknesses, “overclocking” issues, and all kinds of other mental bugs you may not know about. Here’s a helpful list of the mind’s weird ways.

Photo by Digital Shotgun.

10. Knowing You Can Get Smarter Makes You … Smarter

Top 10 Ways Your Brain Is Sabotaging You (and How to Beat It)There’s a way of thinking that goes that, since you didn’t grow up with genius parents or Einstein’s instinctive reasoning, you’re only going to be so intellectually able throughout your life. But consider that when a group of college students were given a course that studied the ability to grow smarter and improve performance, they performed notably better in their further college studies than those students who were never taught such thinking. You can easily convince yourself that rigorous study can be a time sink, or let yourself believe in the brain’s ability to adapt, and then actually adapt your own gray matter. And it kind of applies to the rest of this list, we’d hope. Photo by Adam NFK Smith. (Original post)

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Marketing by Cheryl Cole, David Beckham & Marmite…

After months of meticulous planning, a hotly debated X Factor performance and the fastest-selling single of 2009, Cheryl Cole’s solo album sold in record numbers as a result of some clever micro-marketing and a lot of hard work. A glance behind the glitz of the album release, though, reveals an industry in flux, and shows how labels are changing in the face of mass digital piracy and plummeting profits.

Peter Loraine, general manager at Fascination Records, the pop label behind the album and part of Universal, put it bluntly. “There is less money to spend these days and you have to make it go further,” he said. “You have to be a lot more creative, with a lot fewer resources.”

High street record stores may have disappeared, but a huge, and growing, range of online retailers needs to be catered for. Cheryl’s label made sure that each one got a special piece of her to offer fans. Amazon got 200 signed albums; Play.com, a meet and greet and a shopping trip offer; HMV.com, personalised calendars; Orange, signed lyrics; and iTunes, an exclusive track, digital booklet and remix bundle.

“We had to make sure we were catering to every fan out there,” said Loraine. “Every outlet felt involved and excited about the release – no one was left out.”

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25 Essential Social Media Resources You May Have Missed

If you’ve some catching up to do this weekend, we’ve got a list that’s hot and fresh from the Mashable HQ kitchen. This is your one-stop shop for all the resources you might have missed.

In the social media department, you’ll find some useful tools to track those pesky Twitter (Twitter) unfollowers, some handy tips for dealing with Twitter complaints, and some funny web comics.

Tech and mobile brings you some great Safari (Safari) extensions for power-browser and some cross-platform development tools for the versatile mobile app builder.

Check out the business category for a look at current web design trends, a behind-the-scenes peek at the offices of 360i, and analysis of social gaming — the next big money maker on the web.

Looking for even more social media resources? You can find this guide every weekend, where you can check out all of the lists-gone-by.

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30 Inspiring iPhone Application Websites

Back in February we published a list of 50 Inspiring iPhone Application Websites showing some really inspiring app websites. Since great iPhone apps are always being launched and their websites are usualy beautiful and have a unique style, we decided to gather a new list for you. This time we followed your tips and included a small ‘about’ on each one of the apps. Once again, I have to say that I really like iPhone (and everything related to it) apps websites, their visuals are usualy simply awesome. They get your attention and before you notice, you’re already at the Apple Store.

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Gabriel Catalano

agosto 2010
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