Since the Samsung Galaxy SIV was announced, I was pretty much waiting on baited breath for its release for Verizon customers; I was so excited I went out and picked it up the day after it was released, the soonest I could (I had actually pre-ordered it on May 18th through Amazon, but due to some issues I cancelled the order and picked it up at my local Best Buy). I really liked the form factor, features, and of-course, the amazing 13MP camera it touted. So does the phone live up to my expectations? Let’s see.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday officially kick off the Holiday, and subsequently the gift-giving, season. I often like to publish lists like this, that will help you shop for the web nerd (or just nerd) in your life, and 2012 is no different. With all kinds of new services, gadgets, and toys, 2012 is a great year to be a nerd! Here are some of my recommendations.
I recently purchased a Nexus 7 and absolutely love it. It’s small enough to use with one hand, but really great for watching videos. I use it more than my iPad (3rd generation). However, if you are looking for a bigger tablet, Google also released a Nexus 10, and a Nexus 4 smartphone to boot. These devices are great and the price points are fantastic. Plus, they are great for testing, reading, or just geeking out.
I cannot recommend these books enough. I have all of them, and still need to read a couple, but I’ve learned an incredible amount from them. You can pick up the whole series using the link above or pick and choose the ones you want to start with. These are a necessity for any web developer’s bookshelf.
Everyone needs a good place to keep their ideas, sketches, and random thoughts. Ugmonk (@ugmonk on Twitter) makes really fantastic things and this journal is no exception. I got one for my brother last year and his exact words were, “This is so nice I need to find something really good to use it for.”
This is bar-none the best web development magazine in the world. For us stateside it’s a little pricy but well worth it. You’ll get the latest news, recommended tools and techniques, interviews, and more. My favorite section is the website build-off, where 3 designers get a type of site (college, ebook, etc) to build. They then explain their decisions.
The ones I link to/picture above are the V-MODA Crossfade LP Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphones, which I picked up in August and I love them. I can’t hear anything while using them, they fit comfortably, and include a really nice carry case, as well as interchangeable wires for standard headphone jacks and amplifiers.
Alternatives: Audio-Technica ATHM50S Professional Monitor HeadphonesÂ | Buying Guide
As a web developer I usually carry around a bunch of gadgets, my laptop, notebooks, pens, pencils, etc. so I, like most developers/designers, need a good bag to lug that stuff around. I just picked up the one above and I love it. It’s reasonably priced, durable, and there is a ton of room. This makes for a great and thoughtful gift!
Alternatives: Â If you’re looking for something more high end, I’m a Fossil faithful and would recommend the Fossil Estate Messenger.
Spotify Premium (and other Entertainment)
I really can’t recommend this enough. Access to new music every week, no commercials, and mobile support to boot. This is absolutely perfect for anyone who sits at a computer all day.
Alternatives: Pandora One
So this one is a bit more abstract as everyone gets inspiration from different places. I saw a fantastic talk by Meagan Fisher (@owltastic) recently where she mentioned where she gets herÂ inspirationÂ and it lead me to buy some none-web related books to use when looking for that stroke of genius I so desperately need. Meagan recommends Posters for People: Art of the WPA. Lately I’ve been looking for inspiration through architecture, but in general, here are a couple of books I would recommend.
- The Elements of Typographic Style
- The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
- The Art of Pixar: 25th Anniversary
I love accessories for my gadgets. Here are some that I would recommend for varies devices.
- Stylus: Bamboo Stylus DuoÂ |Â Adonit Jot Pro
- Cases: For Nexus 7 | For iPad | Mujjo Sleeves Collection (For iPhone, Galaxy series, Macs, and more)
- Bluetooth Keyboards: Logitec Tablet Keyboard for iOS | Logitec Tablet Keyboard for Android | Keyboard Case for iPad 2+
- Misc: Ugmonk Leather Mousepad | Apple Trackpad | Anything Twelve South makes
I hope this list is helpful! If there’s anything recommendations you’d like to make or anything you think I left off, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section!
- 2009 Called (xkcd): I will have to remember this one.
- .tel, .xxx, and .mobi are all pointless and idiotic: Agreed. There’s really no way to prevent sites that fall under these categories from purchasing the .comÂ equivalent, or vise-vera.
- The State of the Freelancer: I love me some nice infographics.Especially helpful ones.
- CBS will Remove some Showtime Shows from Netflix (bgr):Â Translation: People weren’t buying Californication or Dexter on DVD anymore. I guess I won’t become a Californication fan then…
- Friday by Rebecca Black- Cover by Matt Mulholland (youtube): Awesome. Thank you @joelmchale
- What we Have to See in iOS 5 (brg): He’s right on all account, especially that people are going to buy it anyway.
- Amazon.com lets you play with an Android virtual machine, try apps before you buy them (engadget): This is pure awesome. Couple that with the fact that they give an app away everyday, and you’ve got a really great Android Market competitor.
- 5 Things They Never Told You (cracked): This is by far the best cracked.com article I’ve ever read.
- 18 Million WordPress.com Websites Now Available in iPad Format (mashable): They are using a (free!) plugin called onswipe. It’s now being used on this site as well!
- The Path to Productivity: Short Hours, More Breaks (workawesome): I like to break my day down into tasks that I complete then follow with a quick break. However, if I am in a groove, do not disturb me!
- Web Standards Sherpa: This website sets out to promote web standards through articles and feedback from the experts! If you’re a web developer, this is a no-brainer as far as must reads goes.
- Microsoft to Discontinue Zune (bgr):Â That is a damn shame, as the Zune is a MUCH better mp3 player than the iPod. Maybe if Microsoft ran an ad or two…
- Making Twitter More Secure: HTTPS: Twitter has now added an option to force all of your Twitter dealings to use secured browsing. I strongly recommend turning this setting on.
- You Have a Disease; Here’s the Cure (nettuts+): Just because the Internet is always on doesn’t mean we have to be too.
- Microsoft is More Ethical than Google, Apple, and Facebook: Take note, Fanboys (as a Google Fanboy, I am included)
- Android’s Browser is Way Faster than Safari on the iPhone (gizmodo): In the words of Steward Scott, booyahh.
- Over-the-Air iTunes Syncing now Free for Android (lifehacker): I’ve been testing Music WithMe- seemed shaky at first but it’s working now and is really awesome!
- Yanko Design: Some really inspiring & innovative product design here.
- Dabble.In: A new website that asks, “What do you Dabble?”
- 10 Tips for Working While on the Go (lifehacker): Pretty helpful stuff here- especially if you travel a lot.
- Why You Should Keep a Mileage Log (workawesome): This can save you quite a bit of money at tax time!
- Anaheim school district handing out GPS trackers to chronically absent students (engadget): Having trouble with a student? Lojack them. I can’t see anything wrong with this.
- Know Your Way Around Facebook Privacy (web.appstorm): Web.Appstorm published an article of mine that serves as a pretty comprehensive guide to Facebook Privacy. You should check it out.
- MLB Dedicated to Educating on Tobacco Risks (mlb.com): My question is why are US Senators getting involved at all. Dear Representatives, it’s not your job to tell us what to do, or to prevent people from poorly influencing us, or to protect us from ourselves.
- 60 Beautiful Wallpapers for Your Android Phone (android.appstorm): Some really nice wallpapers here. I picked up a few myself!
- Apple to Announce iPad 2 March 2nd, WSJ Reports (bgr): Begin the tablet frenzy 2011. My money is on the Moto XOOM being a better device, but I’m a little jaded.
- 6 Bad Habits to Blame on Technology: Everyone should read this. Fact: It’s no OK to constantly text someone while you’re having a conversation with someone in real life. Get some damn manners.
- If Apple Made Bottled Water (image): “If you’ve been drinking the juice, you’re ready to drink the water.”
- The PHD Comics Guide to TA Office Hours (comic): That attendance graph is 100% true.
- The Likeability of Angry Birds (theoatmeal): Also True. I hate that green bird.
- How The Social Network Saved Mark Zuckerburg (wired): Really good read. I actually think the movie villainized the twins who sued him more.
- What Happens if Yahoo!Â AcquiresÂ You (37signals): This is the main difference between Google and other companies. It’s really a shame what Yahoo! does to great web apps.
- Visualized: Android activations mapped geographically, chronologically, breathtakingly (video, engadget): This, is a very cool video.
- Design and Develop a Complete Website, Part I (webdesigntuts): I think I’m going to do this just to try and change up my design process a little.
A few weeks ago, the fine folks at Google announced the web based version ofÂ theirÂ Android Market. Much like the iPhone/iPad App Store in iTunes, the online Android Market let’s you browse from your computer and install apps on your phone. The main difference, and it’s a big one, is there is no sync required. Click install on the web, it gets installed on your phone.
- Freelance Freedom: Email Delusion (comic): This is oh so very true. It’s kind of sad.
- Back to the Future (photography): This is really cool; the photographer recreates old photos using the same person 20+ years later.
- Psychic Show Cancelled due to “Unforeseen Circumstances” (wired): This isÂ hilariousÂ to me.
- Twitter Faux Pas (red cross): It’s cool to see somethings that could have been a PR nightmare turn into something good. Kudos to Dogfish Head.
- Twitter’s Biz Stone: “We are not Valued at $10 Billion” (techcrunch): Oh hey…people are over-inflating an Internet company’s value? Kudos to the Twitter guys for squashing this!
- Apple’s App Store Bad for Consumers, AT&T CEO says (bgr): I have always thought this. It’s one of the main reasons I prefer Android to iOS.
- LEGO Robot Solves a Rubikâ€™s Cube in 25 Seconds Using Droid Phone: Oh good. Another Android phone that is now smarter than me.
- Sync Your Android with Your Mac using Syncmate (android.appstorm): In my latest article on Android.Appstorm, I look over the software Syncmate, which allows you to sync Calendar, Contacts, Bookmarks, iTunes, Photos, and more with your Mac.
- Why You’re a Bad Programmer (nettuts): Seriously, don’t be a wang.
- Poster: Mixed Reviews: These are some pretty sweet posters showcasing the great beverages of great movies. I may have to get 1 or 5.
- Minimalist Task Management with Todo.txt Touch (android.appstorm): I take a look at my new favorite Android app, Todo.txt Touch.
- Comic: The 6 Crappiest Interview Questions (the oatmeal): That’s about right. If there’s a better interview answer for “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” than “Here, working my away up the ranks,” I’ve yet to hear it.
- 10 Great Sites for Finding Great Deals (web.appstorm): Twice published by envato this week, I take a look at my 10 favorite sites for finding awesome deals.
- Comic: Unmatched Parenthesis (xkcd: This bothered me a lot. I wonder if it broke any automatic parsers.
- ‘Oopsies!’: Us Weekly apologizes to Sarah Palin over using fake quotes (foxnews): I heard US Weekly said, “Well, I read it on the Internet, so it must be true.”
- Rdio: I’ve been using this music streaming service for the last 5 or so days have I’ve been digging it.
- Image: Pyramid scheme (lamebook): HA!
- 20 Awesome Android Apps for Students (android.appstorm): Great list! Kinda makes me wish I was still a student, but I suspect I can try some of these out as a teacher.
- Watercooler: The Forecast for Mr. Sunshine (tvguide): I really liked the show- I’m also a big fan of Matthew Perry. PS- they use a quote from yours truly in the article!
Recently I signed up for online music streaming site Rdio as I was looking to fill the void that lala left after Apple ate them up and never spit them back out. I was using Grooveshark for free, but everything was pretty unorganized. I decided to take the plunge and pay the $5 monthly subscription for Rdio, and justifying the purchase is pretty easy.
Read More “How to Justify the $5 (or $10) for Rdio”