On the subject of

On the subject of jQuery 1.9

All of the stacks listed on the Stacks4Stacks website were tested back on 20th December 2012 and were confirmed to be working fine with jQuery 1.9 Beta, release candidate one. The 'gold master' of jQuery 1.9 went live and was publicly released a few days ago. It has always been my policy to monitor jQuery development very closely and test my stacks carefully and throughly against the latest Beta releases; as soon as such versions become available to me. For example, right now I'm reading up on version 2.0 and plan some testing in the next few days. This policy ensures that when new versions of jQuery automatically gets loaded into your website, everything should hopefully work seamlessly. Unlike some other Stack developers, I don't wait until after jQuery updates have taken place, before realising thousands of my customers websites are broken! Any updates required to my stacks are made and committed many weeks in advance of jQuery updates becoming available. In my opinion, it's a common-sense approach. Read More...

The rise of Android

As I mentioned a few months back, I was really wowed by the new Nexus 7 by Google. From a hardware perspective, it was (and still is) a really neat bit of kit. Very comfortable to hold, good quality screen, excellent battery life and features like GPS (which my iPad was lacking). But it was the Android operating system that really made the difference. Not only does Android have a Maps app that actually works, but it provides a fast, safe and very 'open' experience more likened to a standard desktop computer; like the ability to setup multiple user accounts on a device and easy installation of apps without requiring access to an app store. It remains my best gadget buy this year and I'd have no trouble recommending it to others.

It seems I'm not alone. Usage of Android on phones and tablets is growing massively, as indicated by this info graphic released today by Jessica Wallance. Read More...

Engineering The Internet

The Internet is amazing. It allows us to communicate instantly, search for and find information on nearly anything, stay abreast of current events and, of course, watch the latest cute animal video. But how does it actually work? Made up of servers (the machines) and clients (the users), the Internet uses a common language, called a protocol suite, to help devices "talk" with each other via telephone wires and satellites. Every device that connects to the Internet, be it a laptop, a smartphone or a gaming system, has an Internet Protocol, or IP, address. Using these addresses and the protocol suite, the Internet lets users upload, download, share and stream little packets of information. An infographic by Sarah Wenger: http://open-site.org/blog/engineering-the-internet/

Enemies of the Internet

Another infographic by Sarah Wenger:

"If you think that identity theft is the worst-case-scenario of Internet use, you clearly don’t live in any of the nations that make the list of top “Enemies of the Internet.” Not only do these governments monitor their citizens’ web activity, but they also make it nearly impossible for them to safely share and gather information through anonymous microblogs, Facebook pages or Twitter accounts."

Power to the internet people

A quick link from Sarah Wenger, to another one of her excellent new infographics:


You can't really argue with any of the points raised. Bad bits aside, the internet is a force for good and is continuing to become an ever-more connected and powerful platform. Humans are an inquisitive species and crave knowledge. The early internet so far has provided a solid foundation to continue our quest for knowledge and help map a prosperous future. Openness and freedom of speech will always prevail, regardless of what the traditionalists and power-thirsty politicians try to preach!

On the subject of iPhones

The true social and environmental cost of iPhones to be exact. At the start of the week I got emailed a link to an interesting interactive graphic, entitled "the true cost of an iPhone". You can view it here:

Bottom line - new gadgets are great. Although much of the social and environmental implications relating to manufacturing are largely beyond the control of average consumers, there are still things we can do to be responsible consumers. Read More...