It’s time for my annual Favorites of the Year post. Much like 2012, 2013 was a great year. I saw a dream of mine come true by getting my second book, Responsive Design with WordPress, published by PeachPit/New Riders. They’ve published most of the books that I read to learn about web design/development, so it’s a real honor to have my work published through them. And of-course, there’s all of the tech and media of the year. Here are my favorites.
For the last week I’ve been out in California geeking out Disney-style by visiting Disneyland and attending all 3 days of the D23 Expo. These types of events always provide opportunities to see and do awesome things and this one is no different. In the first two days there were keynote events. Here’s what we saw!
I’m going to be honest here. 2012 was a pretty great year for me. A lot of amazing things happened in both my personal and professional life; most publicly, I got my first book published, and I hope do the same in 2013. While I don’t have too many traditions on this blog (something I hope to change in 2013), my Favorites of the year post has been a pretty good staple.
- 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.
- Obama may Face new Kind of Crowd at State of the Union (usa today):Â “The choreographed standing and clapping of one side of the room — while the other side sits — is unbecoming of a serious institution.”
- Comic: 3D (xkcd): String Theory is tricky…
- Introducing Technically Media (sean blanda): Sean is doing some cool stuff in Philly and beyond- I suggest you check it out!
- Cell Phone Holdouts are Right: Buy a Cell Phone, Become a Baby: It’s true. People are also becoming ruder and less considerate because they think the cell phone gives them a free pass!
- The Best Times to Buy Anything in 2011 (lifehacker): I love that they do these calendars. I want to buy a new car this year- looks like September is my best bet.
- Quote- Steve Jobs & Exit Strategies (37signals): When I did the business plan competition, “Exit Strategy” was a required section of the plan. I didn’t really know how to answer besides, “Umm, none?”
- Our Biggest Android Annoyances & How to Fix Them (lifehacker): Great guide- very helpful no matter how long you’ve had an Android phone.
- Apple’s Making it Impossible to Open Up Your iPhone (gizmodo): They are swapping out screws and replacing them with ones that don’t have a commercial screw driver. Are you surprised? I’m not.
- Ronald Reagan: A ‘Folklore’ President who Led a Revolution (usa today): â€Ž”This hard, no-compromise is not the Reagan approach,” Brinkley says. “He was the person who ended conservatism as being ideologically frozen, and he became the genial, pragmatic conservative…”
- Eek! A Male! (wsj): This is true. I’m actually self-consciousÂ about being pinned as such, and it’s not healthy. On a side note, this is the second article from Lenore Skenazy I’m linking to from this week. I think I found a new favorite writer.
- ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Villains Revealed: Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Tom Hardy as Bane. Sounds good to me.
- Larry Page to Replace Eric Schmidt as CEO of Google (mashable): Interesting news. Schmidt will still serve as Executive Chairman, but Page will take care of the day-to-day stuff.
Also, last week I launched my new website for Manifest Development. Check it out if you didn’t already!
- Favorite Tech Toy: Amazon Kindle. Competition was pretty stiff this year with all of the new gadgets I got- an iPad, a new Macbook Pro, and most recently, the HTC Incredible. I also broke from choosing my cell phone as my favorite tech toy. I got the Kindle for Christmas last year and love it. I’m including it in the 2010 running because most of the use came in 2010. The reading experience is superior to the iPad, the book selection is huge, it’s lightweight and very portable, and I love that you can make notes and annotations on it. I feel like I read more in 2010 because of the Kindle.
- App/Website: Dropbox. This is another thing I had in 2009 but didn’t start really using until 2010. Dropbox makes it amazingly easy to sync across all of my devices (Mac, PC, iPad, Android Phone). I’m considering upgrading so I can try some of the neat advanced things you can do.
- Favorite Book: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. My friend Katie recommended it, and even though it’s a fairly long book, it’s a quick read because of the fast pace of the story. I highly recommending it. I’ll be starting the next one soon!
- TV Show: Dexter. I was lucky enough to start a series this year that I’ve been missing out on. Dexter is an awesome show about a good guy who’s also serial killer. The show is thrilling and intellectually stimulating, and the acting is rock solid. I highly recommend it if you’ve never watched it.
- Movie: Inception. Leo DiCaprio had a great 2010. For a while, I though Shutter Island would be the best movie of the year. Then Inception came out and blew my mind. Cause for a lot of discussion and speculation, it’s a movie that keeps on giving, and an original idea at that.
- Music: The Gaslight Anthem. My brother Phil and friend Danny told me about them in August/September and I’ve been listening to them daily since. I love their classic alternative rock sound (non of this new-alternative Nickelback crap) and the lead singer’s vocals are awesome. I highly recommend them. As far as new in 2010, Mumford and Sons is pretty awesome. You should check them out too.
- Super-Toys Last all Summer Long: Fun that he wrote this 2 days after I bought mine. He’s dead on about sharing though. There needs to be an easier way. Full review from me coming soon.
- Bypass Facebook Fan Pages: Can we all stop liking those stupid pages now?
- Nordstrom’s Employee Handbook- short and sweet: If I ever have a full on company, my employee handbook will be similar. I hate stupid, pointless rules.
- 6 Secret Monopolies You Didn’t Know Run the World: I know I started on the 2nd page, but #3 is the most important one (for all of you fanboys out there).
- NationÂ DisappointedÂ by Great World Series Matchup: Incredibly true. Anyone who’s said this is a bad World Series is clearly only a Yankees or Phillies fan, not a baseball fan. [note: I’m a Yankees fan, but I love good baseball.]
- Ron Howard Explains Keeping “Gay” Joke in The Dilemma: There are so many other more important things people should be getting mad about. If you don’t like something said in a movie, don’t see that movie!
- Really Really Bad Headline: This happens too much.
- Dribble – Utah: Great designs here. I wish I could do stuff like this.
- PHP SOAP Extension: I had to do some work with SOAP this week and found this link to be helpful. I’ll also probably do a full write up on using SOAP with PHP and the problems I ran into.