October 1, 2014

The CS Gas Incident

So I'm not sure what I was doing, initially, but at a certain point in time, I found myself watching a YouTube video of some random guy shaving his own head. This, of course, is the exact type of situation that YouTube can bring about with its near-endless collection of videos. (According to them, 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute. That's a lot of cats.) So regardless of the original idea that triggered my binge-watching, I evidently decided, at one point, that I wanted to know how people managed to shave their own domes. And so I got an answer to that question, and while doing so, I also discovered an interesting YouTube personality. Over time, I watched more of his videos, and eventually, subscribed. Photo by The…
March 9, 2012

Thoughts On Cross Browser Testing (And a Tool to Simplify the Process)

If I were asked to identify one primary annoyance associated with a web development career path, it'd be the abundance of browser inconsistencies. From the consumer's point of view, the web is an endless source of content, and they are given the ability explore that world. Browsers permit such exploration, but the resulting experience depends on a multitude of factors, most of them transparent to the consumer. There's an organization known as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and their entire goal in life is to ensure the long term growth of the Internet. In accordance with this objective, the W3C took the time to define standards for the core technologies they created, such as HTML and CSS. Yet, the reality is that browser developers don't…
July 27, 2011

Distraction-Free Writing in WordPress 3.2

As a fan of WordPress, as soon as 3.2 was released, I found myself reading the changelog. While doing so, I noticed a very intriguing feature addition: Start writing your first post in our redesigned post editor and venture to the full-screen button in the editing toolbar to enter the new distraction-free writing or zen mode, my personal favorite feature of the release Zen mode? Distraction-free writing? Sounded good, so I proceeded to update all my WordPress installations. To fully impress upon you how significant of a feature it is, here's what the typical WordPress WYSIWYG editor looks like: It's a full-featured page, that's for sure - but it also has quite a lot of controls surrounding it. The text editor itself loses some screen space to these…
June 10, 2011

One Way to Defeat YouTube Spoilers

For a while, the concept of a spoiler was fairly new to me. I knew exactly what it meant, but had never really seen what damage they could do firsthand. Then, in college, I once accidentally revealed a critical plot twist in the Max Payne 2 storyline. My friend's disappointed reaction was enough to burn the moment in my mind, ensuring that I would never slip up again. I began to be extremely conscious about what I said, knowing that any information revealed on my part might impede the person's ability to fully enjoy the media. Currently, there are numerous solutions to help people deal with spoilers online - but the one I'd like to share today tailors specifically to YouTube videos. Meet - feed…
February 3, 2011

Coupon Codes Made Easy

As a guy who makes a good number of online purchases, I've grown familiar with the concept of coupon codes. Like their physical equivalents, coupon codes can be applied while checking out of certain stores, allowing customers to benefit from reduced prices. Unfortunately, online coupons are similar to physical coupons in that you must know about them to exploit their benefits. Thankfully, I discovered a solution to that a few years ago, greatly increasing my ability to take advantage of these coupons. Meet RetailMeNot, a site that encourages users to share coupon codes with the world. In the past, I was rarely able to partake in the coupon code mechanisms offered by retailers. RetailMeNot changed the game by introducing the possibility of searching for codes…