Graffiti lessons with Andy Seize

Graffiti lessons - Andy Seize 3

I had wanted to have a go at graffiti for years so when I received a voucher for an hour’s graffiti lessons with a top London based artist, I donned my hoody, legged it down to Waterloo station and entered another world.

My tutor for the day was Andy Seize who runs graffiti lessons in a place known locally as ‘The Tunnel’. Having entered the tunnel from the behind the taxi rank, I descended the stair case slowly into an array of colour. This was urban London at it’s finest. The dimly lit tunnel gave way to a disused exit ramp and here were 10 budding art pupils ready to learn.

Cookie Control

The issue of Cookies on websites held within the EU will rise in importance in the first half of 2012. Most websites do not have a plan for the deadline of 26 May 2012 and that includes the ICO.

They are yet to advise organisations throughout the UK on how to combat this major issue that has been set in motion without much foresight into the implications.

Yes, companies do track usage of users but most of it is anonymous data. When companies do hold information about users, it tends to improve the user experience by offering personalised content.

The future for movies: Netflix

Netflix

Netflix hit the UK market in January 2012 and I eagerly signed up for the free one month’s trial. I was a bit more in the know than the usual consumer because I’d been watching the online streaming market with much anticipation.

Being 28, I am the perfect age for being continually exploited by Hollywood. I grew up watching what I feel was the golden age for films with epic stories like Back to the Future and as these films aged, so did the multitude of formats that I could consume them on.

Back to blogging with a new design

Responsive web design by Ethan Marcotte

It was definitely a major buzz word during 2011 and I had always planned to ‘get round to it’ but as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Day, well probably when the haze lifted a few days later, I decided that 2012 would be the year I revolutionise my approach to web design.

I’d been getting tired of the same designs, tweaked and re hashed but based on the simple fundamental design rules.

Your search box must be above the fold.

Your logo must be top left.

It was time for something new, and time to think outside the box.

Google+ and referential integrity

So I have a personal Google account with a personal GMail address. I run most things via this account like contacting friends, using it as correspondence for banks etc…

When Google+ was announced, I signed up straight away and I was one of the few that understood when Google started deleting those fake accounts. I was one of the few that was frustrated that I was receiving follow suggestions for people in my address book, just because I had multiple email addresses for them but there are the principles of referential integrity.

One person, one record on the database.

Now even Adobe is killing Flash

The biggest story of last year was the Apple vs Adobe clash concerning Apple’s refusal to support Flash in iOS and therefore the iPad. Adobe responded with a satirical advertising campaign called We [heart] Apple but since then the arguments have died down.

As we all move towards mobile devices including tablets, the need for Flash is beginning to wane. Why should we create flash websites if we must also create an html version? In addition, why should we create flash elements for websites if we need to create a static substitute? The introduction of HTML5 and CSS3 with the inclusion of jQuery has also contributed to the demise of Flash.

Arne Bech produced some Flash vs HTML5 advert examples to see if the user could tell the difference between them. View the advert examples here and see if you can tell the difference.

Google Web Fonts updated

The updated version of Google Web Fonts was updated this week in what should go down as one of the defining projects of web design for many years.

The whole project has been rolling along for a while and has slowly been gathering pace but the announcement at Google I/O 2011 of the new online directory was one of the standout talks. David Wurtz (@davidwurtz), Raph Levien (@raphlinus) and Darren Glenister (@typedna) presented an amazing web based repository which makes ‘Font Book’ look like yesterday’s news.

They haven’t just improved on the old font directory. They’ve given designers and developers the ultimate tool in selecting the best font for your project.

Galipoli Again, what a treat

Galipoli again

As Friday evening draws nearer, plans for the weekend are laid out, more importantly though, where are we going to eat on Friday night?

Our bus route home travels the length of Upper Street in Islington, London and is lined with restaurants and bars from start to finish.

The many chain restaurants including Pizza Express, Strada and Carluccios eventually give out to the independent chains and that’s where the real fun starts.

Will the networks restrict iOS iMessage?

WWDC came and went with 3 major announcements and some future releases to look forward to.

We knew a lot about Lion and we could predict a lot about iCloud but I think some of the biggest announcements were made by Scott Forstall about iOS 5.

You couldn’t help but feel the tension amongst the room when some of the announcements blatantly conflicted with some of the developers’ plans who were present.

One huge announcement was iMessage. An obvious rival to BlackBerry’s BBM service and pretty much the only ammunition left in RIM’s locker against the invading forces of Apple and Google.

But, if we can send free messages through the new iMessage system, what happens to texts?

My iPad and iPhone run on separate contracts so how can I access messages on both systems?

Maybe you know the answer but could the networks potentially squander what could be a game changing feature?

It wasn’t long ago when Apple were touting ‘personal hotspot’ as a must have feature for iOS4 but can we access that in the UK? The answer is Yes…As long as you pay for it!

Will the same happen again with iMessage or does this spell the end of texting?

It won’t be long before we find out.

Foursquare superusers

I received my Foursquare superuser status this week and it opened all new realms within the game of the Foursquare world.

No longer am I just leaving tips, opening specials and gaining mayorships; now I’m actually helping the network to grow. And there’s more! There are different levels of being a superuser! So after investing the past 18 months on check-ins; I’ve unlocked a whole new world with access that other mere ‘users’ cannot access.

On the face of things, I’m massively talking it up.

It is, after all, just data entry. But, if you ever have a spare 5-10mins, you can feel like you are doing some good. Then, the next time you are checking in, you can see the changes instantly.

Obviously there are rules, there’s a style guide, which, although limited, could have acted as a barrier if it was any more extensive.