Image via Dunked
Basic programming knowledge is a decidedly good skill to have these days, but sometimes you need to build something for yourself without the requisite two weeks muddling through tutorials and GitHub repositories. For the designers out there looking to get a digital portfolio together fast, allow me to introduce Dunked.
Similar to the About.me’s of the world, Dunked allows you to upload your artwork to a pre-designed template, then simply drag and drop things around to your liking. If you want to tweak your own CSS, it’s no problem. Dunked even hosts the site free of charge. The really cool stuff under the hood is device compatibility: Dunked makes sure your site looks good on any mobile device, be it iOS or Android, retina or…what did we call screens before retina?
A good sign: Dunked launched just last month and already has 8K+ Twitter followers.
Image via Justin Beere
If you’ve recently jumped on the cloud storage bandwagon with the likes of Google Drive or Dropbox, you owe it to yourself to understand the single greatest misconception about cloud storage: files you sync to Drive or Dropbox do not live exclusively on some remote drive in Oregon; they still reside on your physical hard drive. A cloud-based service isn’t meant to replace your local storage. Rather, it’s meant to allow your stuff to automatically reside locally on multiple devices.
It doesn’t necessarily have to work like this, exactly. You also owe it to yourself to understand the single best-kept secret of cloud storage: selective storage. You can tell these cloud services to keep certain files exclusively in the cloud, and in doing so protect some valuable hard drive space. Super easy to do in both Dropbox and Google Drive.
Image via Pizza Compass
The only question when it comes to pizza is how to make it easier to acquire. Domino’s took a giant leap forward with the Pizza Tracker®, which, scandalously, has never appeared on the cover of WIRED. Though IT Girl has a point that they may have have gone a little too far with it.
The next step is mobile, and for that we now have Pizza Compass. Next time you’re in need of on-the-go sustenance, skip the Google and Yelp searches and go straight to the compass. The app’s tongue-in-cheek execution notwithstanding (“a life-affirming iPhone app that helps pizza get to your mouth”), it’s worth noting that Pizza Compass provides reviews of the pizza joints it lists. Those reviews aren’t powered by Yelp, but rather by their fast-approaching competitor Foursquare. Interesting.
Image via WIRED
I’ve been perusing the WIRED 20th Anniversary edition for two days now, and still it feels like I’ve only scratched the surface. If you don’t have a hard copy, I do recommend getting your hands on one just to feel the texture of the cover. Otherwise, you can start right here, with the alphabetized collection of story subjects. Three highlights:
Storage: Oh my god: Zip Disks!
Kozmo: +50 bonus points if you were around for one of the dotcom era’s biggest names (and busts).
Platon: The photographer. Don’t miss this captivating gallery of tech’s luminaries, all shot with an old-school Hasselblad 553 ELX.
Or, if you’re short on time and just want to get the 20 year summary in six seconds, there’s a Vine for that.
Image via iDownloadBlog
One of the first things a new startup does is get business cards printed up, and many of them use Moo. Moo excels at making nice-looking, high-quality business cards at an affordable price. Now Moo is offering cards with embedded NFC chips, which will activate special content on a smartphone when waved near one that’s NFC-equipped. Really cool functionality (I like how they call NFC the card’s “third side”), but is it just a gimmick? After all, you still have to hand out the business card.
And what of mobile payments via NFC? Total number of merchants that offer NFC payment within three blocks of my office: three. And I live in a city. So what say you, Insiders. Should the next iPhone have NFC? Is it ever going to be a thing?
Image via 200Rooms
April can be a tough month to go to New York. With the Tribeca Film Festival in full swing, reasonable hotel prices are hard to come by. So last month I found myself at a new spot: The ACE. Nestled in a kind of no-mans-land at 28th and Broadway—actually it’s NOMAD, or “North of Madison Park”—the ACE could easily serve as the geographic capital of Silicon Alley. What I learned in my first stay, however, is that it may also be it’s official capitol.
During the day the ACE’s first floor is a co-working and networking hub where every other overheard snippet is accelerator-this and seed funding-that. I had three new LinkedIn connections after my first morning. There’s plenty of comfortable seating, free WiFi, and a lovely waitstaff that serves coffee from…oh yes…Stumptown Coffee. Add in 24 hour room service and the fun cocktail atmosphere at night, and you’ve got yourself a new go-to in NYC.
Image via Justin Beere
Welcome to another edition of Smarter Upstarter’s latest column gimmick, entitled “Let’s Learn Internet Terms Together.” Today’s lesson is brought to us by Facebook, who just introduced a brand new logo set featuring a “flat design” look. We’re all hearing that term a lot lately, so let’s be sure we know what it is.
Flat design, as you may have suspected, simply refers to a look that’s the opposite of 3D or otherwise multi-dimensional design. See exhibit A above with Twitter. The one on the left looks somewhat bubbly and reflects an imaginary light. On the right you have a textureless, flat design.
I’m not sure why, but flat design is just easier on the eyeballs. It’s a stop sign instead of a bright red light. And it’s not just for logos. Microsoft made a whole OS around flat design. A good one. Check out this excellent Pinterest gallery for many more soothing examples.
Image via The Webby Awards
In 1997, there were 14 categories in the Webby Awards. This year features over 150, and now includes awards in the mobile space. Here are some of Smarter Upstarter’s picks for a few favorite app categories:
Utilities & Services (Tablet)
The Pick: Join.me
Share your iPad screen with anyone over the web. Instead of sending huge files ahead of a conference call, just send a link to your join.me.
Social Gaming (Handheld Device)
The Pick: Songpop
If Zynga had made it, it would be called “Name That Tune with Friends”. Or something. Zuckerberg gave it a shout out last year.
Best Use of GPS
The Pick: Google Maps
I downloaded this for iPhone 5 roughly eight minutes after it launched. Google should thank Apple Maps in their acceptance speech.
The Pick: HBO Go
Does HBO Go win because it’s the best streamer, or because it’s the only one with “Game of Thrones?”
Check the full list here. You could be nominated and not even know it.
Image via Yahoo
The terrible horrible no good very bad week. For the last seven days, our social media feeds have been filled with the solemn yet necessary updates out of Boston and Texas, leaving all of us feeling a little spent. But today’s a new Monday, and Smarter Upstarter’s got three pieces of good news:
The Girl Scouts, the organization that brought us badges well before Foursquare, is now working to deliver a new video game design badge. Smarter Upstarter salutes their efforts to foster a new female force of young game designers.
The new Yahoo! Weather app (iOS). With gorgeous Flickr images to accompany each city’s weather report, cheerful little icons to denote sunshine level and wind speed, and polite font choices, this littlesurprise will quickly become one of your regulars.
Crimer is a Twitter account that, through bad spelling and short, familiar plot lines, tells the story of a daring criminal (Crimer) breaking the law and evading arrest. It’s hilarious, it’s a great internet diversion, and it’s just one click away.
Image via Status Board
Modern furniture and ping pong tables are pretty standard fare when it comes to startup office decor. But when it comes to demonstrating a technical cool factor along with a cultural one, the cool kids make good use of the digital status board. Exhibit A: this impressive row of eight status boards at Square’s HQ.
These screens can display traffic graphs, Twitter mentions, location usage charts…you get the idea. The only catch is that the display content usually has to be made from scratch by the engineers. That’s where Status Board comes in. Hot off the presses from popular Mac software firm Panic, Status Board is a plug-and-play iPad app that turns your iPad into a status board. Good name, right? Out of the box it lets you customize a display with all kinds of social and statistical content, with the option to add HDTV out for displaying that hockey stick grown on a big screen.