Archive For July 11, 2017

Before The Spider-Man: Insomniac Games’ Awesome History

Before The Spider-Man: Insomniac Games’ Awesome History
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Insomniac 2

Insomniac Games has been gaining quite a buzz in the comic book industry since it was announced last year that it would be producing a new Spider-Man game for PlayStation 4. But, believe it or not, the studio has built up quite a reputation long before the web-slinger came along.

The studio was founded with just a handful of employees back in 1994, under the creation of Ted Price, who’s still with the team today. It was initially founded under the name “Xtreme Software,” though that would change to the more familiar Insomniac moniker just a year later. read more

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Microsoft wants all of rural America to get high-speed broadband

Microsoft wants all of rural America to get high-speed broadband
Enlarge / Illustration of a white spaces network.

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Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age: The Kotaku Review

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age: The Kotaku Review

One of the strangest features in Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, which comes out today, is called the gambit system. This system allows you to write out a sequence of if-then statements, like “if you see an enemy, then attack it” or “if your HP goes below 100%, then use a Potion.” You can assign these gambits to your entire party, scripting them to automatically fight, cast spells, and heal one another at optimal times. In other words, you can teach the game to play itself.

What to make of a system like this? Is Final Fantasy XII trying to train us all to become programmers? Are the developers trying to automate the menial parts of traditional role-playing game combat? Are the creators suggesting that RPG combat requires so little thought, you can create AIs to handle it for you? read more

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Apple Has ‘Just Weeks’ to Solve iPhone 8 Touch ID Dilemma

Apple Has ‘Just Weeks’ to Solve iPhone 8 Touch ID Dilemma

For all the rumors we’ve seen recently surrounding Apple’s upcoming “iPhone 8”, one of the most inconsistent remains the fate of its Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology in the redesigned flagship device, which is expected to launch in September.

In late May, supply chain sources suggested that Apple had overcome technical hurdles and that the OLED iPhone will have Touch ID integrated into the display. However, according to a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier this month, Apple plans to replace Touch ID in the iPhone 8 with a facial recognition security system – a prediction echoed by both JP Morgan analyst Rod Hall and Bloomberg. read more

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Building Pattern Libraries With Shadow DOM In Markdown

Building Pattern Libraries With Shadow DOM In Markdown

Some people hate writing documentation, and others just hate writing. I happen to love writing; otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. It helps that I love writing because, as a design consultant offering professional guidance, writing is a big part of what I do. But I hate, hate, hate word processors.

My typical workflow using a desktop word processor goes something like this:

  1. Select some text I want to copy to another part of the document.
  2. Note that the application has selected slightly more or less than I told it to.
  3. Try again.
  4. Give up and resolve to add the missing part (or remove the extra part) of my intended selection later.
  5. Copy and paste the selection.
  6. Note that the formatting of the pasted text is somehow different from the original.
  7. Try to find the styling preset that matches the original text.
  8. Try to apply the preset.
  9. Give up and apply the font family and size manually.
  10. Note that there is too much white space above the pasted text, and press “Backspace” to close the gap.
  11. Note that the text in question has elevated itself several lines at once, joined the heading text above it and adopted its styling.
  12. Ponder my mortality.

When writing technical web documentation (read: pattern libraries1), word processors are not just disobedient, but inappropriate. Ideally, I want a mode of writing that allows me to include the components I’m documenting inline, and this isn’t possible unless the documentation itself is made of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. In this article, I’ll be sharing a method for easily including code demos in Markdown, with the help of shortcodes and shadow DOM encapsulation.

An M, a down-arrow plus a dective hidden in the dark symbolizing Markdown and Shadown Dom

CSS And Markdown Link

Say what you will about CSS, but it’s certainly a more consistent and reliable typesetting tool than any WYSIWYG editor or word processor on the market. Why? Because there’s no high-level black-box algorithm that tries to second-guess what styles you really intended to go where. Instead, it’s very explicit: You define which elements take which styles in which circumstances2, and it honors those rules.

The only trouble with CSS is that it requires you to write its counterpart, HTML. Even great lovers of HTML would likely concede that writing it manually is on the arduous side when you just want to produce prose content. This is where Markdown comes in. With its terse syntax and reduced feature set, it offers a mode of writing that is easy to learn but can still — once converted into HTML programmatically — harness CSS’ powerful and predictable typesetting features. There’s a reason why it has become the de facto format for static website generators and modern blogging platforms such as Ghost.

Where more complex, bespoke markup is required, most Markdown parsers will accept raw HTML in the input. However, the more one relies on complex markup, the less accessible one’s authoring system is to those who are less technical, or those short on time and patience. This is where shortcodes come in.

Shortcodes In Hugo Link

Hugo3 is a static site generator written in Go — a multi-purpose, compiled language developed at Google. Due to concurrency (and, no doubt, other low-level language features I don’t fully understand), Go makes Hugo a lightening-fast generator of static web content. This is one of the many reasons why Hugo has been chosen for the new version of Smashing Magazine.

Performance aside, it works in a similar fashion to the Ruby and Node.js4-based generators with which you may already be familiar: Markdown plus meta data (YAML or TOML) processed via templates. Sara Soueidan has written an excellent primer5 on Hugo’s core functionality.

For me, Hugo’s killer feature is its implementation of shortcodes6. Those coming from WordPress may already be familiar with the concept: a shortened syntax primarily used for including the complex embed codes of third-party services. For instance, WordPress includes a Vimeo shortcode that takes just the ID of the Vimeo video in question.

[vimeo 44633289]

The brackets signify that their content should be processed as a shortcode and expanded into the full HTML embed markup when the content is parsed.

Making use of Go template functions, Hugo provides an extremely simple API for creating custom shortcodes. For example, I have created a simple Codepen shortcode to include among my Markdown content:

Some Markdown content before the shortcode. Aliquam sodales rhoncus dui, sed congue velit semper ut. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent.

{{<codePen VpVNKW>}}

Some Markdown content after the shortcode. Nulla vel magna sit amet dui lobortis commodo vitae vel nulla sit amet ante hendrerit tempus.

Hugo automatically looks for a template named codePen.html in the shortcodes subfolder to parse the shortcode during compilation. My implementation looks like this:

{{ if .Site.Params.codePenUser }} <iframe height='300' scrolling='no' title="code demonstration with codePen" src='//codepen.io/{{ .Site.Params.codepenUser | lower }}/embed/{{ .Get 0 }}/?height=265&theme-id=dark&default-tab=result,result&embed-version=2' frameborder='no' allowtransparency='true' allowfullscreen='true' style='width: 100%;'> <div> <a href="//codepen.io/{{ .Site.Params.codePenUser | lower }}/pen/{{ .Get 0 }}">See the demo on codePen</a> </div> </iframe> {{ else }} <p class="site-error"><strong>Site error:</strong> The <code>codePenUser</code> param has not been set in <code>config.toml</code></p> {{ end }} read more

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Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age review: Reinforced for reexamination

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age review: Reinforced for reexamination
Enlarge / Hunts for named monsters are one of the only reliable ways to make gold.

Final Fantasy XII has always been a bit of an oddball within the long-running series. Its real-time combat smacks of an MMO, like FFXI and FFXIV, but it’s still a single-player adventure centered around a core party of characters. Throw in a Gambit system that lets players “program” party behavior and a story more about political intrigue than gods or monsters, and XII just might be the weirdest main game in its franchise—at least compared to what passes for normal in Final Fantasy. read more

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Twitter lets users mute notifications from unknown accounts

Twitter lets users mute notifications from unknown accounts

The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo File photo of the Twitter logo displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE Thomson Reuters

(Reuters) – Twitter Inc , in its latest step to curb abusive behavior on its platform, rolled out new features on Monday to help users disable notifications from accounts that they want to avoid.

The microblogging website said its “advanced filter settings” will now have options for users to mute notifications from accounts that they do not follow as well as from accounts that do not follow them. (http://bit.ly/2tABSdf) read more

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How to Wirelessly Transfer Photos from Your DSLR to Your Smartphone

How to Wirelessly Transfer Photos from Your DSLR to Your Smartphone

You’ve got a great digital camera. You’ve got all your social media apps on your phone. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could snap a beautiful shot with your DSLR and shuttle it right over to your phone to throw up on Facebook or Instagram? With an inexpensive upgrade, any camera can become a Wi-Fi enabled one. Article is shared from https://howtogeek.com/...

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What the Amazon Dash Wand Can (and Can’t) Do

What the Amazon Dash Wand Can (and Can’t) Do

The Amazon Dash Wand is a $20 dongle-like device that’s marketed as the definitive kitchen assistant. It can shop for groceries for you and has Alexa built in, making it the cheapest Alexa device that Amazon sells (especially if you consider the fact that it’s basically free after the $20 credit you get when buying it). However, there are a lot of things it can’t do. Here’s a little rundown of that the Wand is and isn’t capable of. Article is shared from https://howtogeek.com/...

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5 steps to avoid a virus on iPhone or Android: July 2017 edition

5 steps to avoid a virus on iPhone or Android: July 2017 edition

Today we’re going to run down several ways in which the everyday average iPhone or Android smartphone user can avoid a virus. The rules are very simple, and they begin with the golden rule in software: “avoid that which is unfamiliar.” Users that are inexperienced in software code or identifying reliable sources for legitimate apps should exercise a base level of caution at all times. It’s not a matter of always being ON ALERT – but of being conscious of what one is doing with every tap. read more

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