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Upcoming 3Things Event

April 17th, 2014 - by Agency Fusion - Salt Lake City, Utah

3Things Lecture SeriesOur second 3Things event is just around the corner. Tuesday 4/22 at 6:00 PM we’ll be featuring three more dynamic speakers, each presenting for 20 minutes:

Bret Rasmussen | Founder, Kuru
3 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Andrew Scarcella | Copywriter, Ancestry.com
3 Things You Can’t Do, But a Copywriter Can

David Johnson | Art Director, Agency Fusion
3 Things to Keep Your High-maintenance Creatives Happy

 

 

If you plan to attend please RSVP to 3things at agencyfusion.com.

Date: Tuesday, 4/22/14
Time: 6:00 PM (sharp)
Location: 155 N 400 W, Ste 460, Salt Lake City, UT 84103 (map)

Visitor parking is on the north side of the building. If there aren’t any visitor spots open, just grab an open spot anywhere that doesn’t say ‘reserved’. When you exit the elevator on the 4th floor, go through the door on the right side and then turn right down the hallway to the Agency Fusion office.

Fusion Radar: April 16, 2014

April 17th, 2014 - by marissa - Salt Lake City, Utah

Keeping up with technology is a lot of work. Luckily, we enjoy wading through the noise just to find the gems of awesomeness sprinkled throughout. Fusion Radar is our gift to you, Current or Potential Client, so that you can enjoy all of the awesome without any of the drudgery. Unwrap it each week, and know that you’re loved by the geeks and pixel-pushers at Agency Fusion.

Amazon Dash

Amazon Dash is the new AmazonFresh product that aims to simplify shopping (even more than Amazon already does). The Dash is a small, handheld device that allows you to either say an item name or scan an item, and Amazon will automatically add it to your shopping list. Dash is also WiFi-enabled, so you can add items to your shopping cart throughout the day without pulling out your phone or going to your computer.

Amazon Dash

Reasons to Use Open Source Are Changing

For several years, the relatively low cost of open source software was one of the only reasons companies would consider using it. As the article title suggests, however, that’s changing, and fast. A recent survey suggests that now most companies that use open source software do so because it produces high quality products and attracts top talent. There’s also the benefit of being able to modify and customize software without having to build a whole new base.

Open Source For Businesses

Habit List

Habit List is a new iOS app designed to help users set and achieve maintenance goals. It’s sort of like a combination of Cal (a daily schedule app) and Everest (a goal-oriented app). Habit List focuses on how long you can maintain an activity–how many days in a row you complete items on your personal to-do and goal list. The app also sends you reminders of activities that still need to be done that day, and creates graphs of your weekly progress.

Habit List

MinnowBoard Max

Intel recently unveiled a smaller, faster version of its original MinnowBoard SBC: the MinnowBoard Max. This open hardware embedded board features more memory, a faster core, a microSD slot, and various other improvements over the original MinnowBoard. While it hasn’t hit the market yet, Intel plans to release it in June or July of this year.

MinnowBoard Max

Driving Curve

Driving Curve is an iOS app that records and analyzes your driving behavior. It uses your phone’s GPS to capture your speed and then evaluates your performance based on how quickly you stop or accelerate, and how steady your speed is overall. The app then ranks you along with other Driving Curve users and builds your driving profile.

Driving Curve

The Right Way To Ask Users For iOS Permissions

Brenden Mulligan, co-founder of Cluster, recently published an article aimed at app developers who lose users when they ask for iOS permissions. Mulligan’s main takeaway from the article is: don’t ask for access to something until your app really needs it, and plainly tell the user what they’ll get in return.

The Right Way To Ask Users For iOS Permissions

Velositey

Velositey is a free Photoshop extension that allows designers and developers to create prototypes of website designs within Photoshop. The extension comes with a pre-generated grid system and starts you off with standard elements like headers, sliders, content areas, and footers.

Velositey

Typeform

Typeform is an online survey builder that sets itself apart from the competition with its clean design, straightforward copy, and simple pricing tiers (including a free option). The idea behind Typeform’s slick look is that site visitors and customers are much more likely to fill out questionnaires when presented with something that looks simple, professional, and engaging. Their surveys are also mobile friendly and allow companies to incorporate their own branding.

Typeform

Style Manual

Australian designer Andy Taylor recently published a “Style Manual,” which he claims combines the best rules from British- and American-English. He admits that each system has both commonsense and nonsense rules, and highlights those rules that make the most sense. In his online guide, Taylor touches on issues like most commonly misused words, punctuation, and styling.

Style Manual

A Brief Typography Primer

April 8th, 2014 - by marissa - Salt Lake City, Utah

History

This month’s internal training was a crash course in the basics of typography. The history goes back several hundred years. Although Gutenberg is often called the “father of typography,” it was actually the Chinese that first started creating woodblock printings and wooden movable type as early as 1100 A.D. However, the simplicity of the Latin alphabet allowed printing presses to be created and used quickly and efficiently; whereas the Chinese language had thousands of characters, making the typesetting process much more complex and time-intensive.

Gutenberg’s first type blocks used a typeface called Black Letter, which resembled the handwriting in books and manuscripts at the time. Type slowly evolved to more legible letter forms, like Roman and Caslon. The first sans-serif typeset was developed in 1816 by William Caslon IV. Some of the most famous fonts, Futura and Helvetica, were created in 1927 and 1957, respectively.

Modern Typography

Letter forms have anatomy that typographers can refer to when describing them. Some examples include bowl, counter, stem, tittle, and leg. There are even more terms when it comes to digital typesetting processes, including leading, kerning, point size, line length, and tracking.

Few people outside of the typesetting industry understand the difference between typography and lettering. Typography is the style and arrangement or appearance of typeset matter, whereas lettering is the art of drawing letters.

Users also need to beware of free fonts! More often than not free fonts have poor quality, poor auto kerning, a limited glyph library and formatting issues. Often, if you’re looking for a font for your business or project, it’s going to be worth it to purchase a high-quality font.

Fusion Radar: April 2, 2014

April 2nd, 2014 - by marissa - Salt Lake City, Utah

Keeping up with technology is a lot of work. Luckily, we enjoy wading through the noise just to find the gems of awesomeness sprinkled throughout. Fusion Radar is our gift to you, Current or Potential Client, so that you can enjoy all of the awesome without any of the drudgery. Unwrap it each week, and know that you’re loved by the geeks and pixel-pushers at Agency Fusion.

RoomScan

RoomScan is a new app by Locometric that can produce an accurate floor plan of any room in less than 30 seconds. Users just walk around the room, touching their phone briefly to each wall. RoomScan uses the iPhone’s sensors to create a drawing of the room, accurate within 6 inches. The app also includes the ability to add doors and windows to the generated floor plan.

RoomScan

Linux Commands

This guidebook is an extensive reference list that sorts and explains Linux commands. While it’s designed to help those who are trying to learn Linux for the first time, it’s also a great Linux refresher. The categories are fairly broad, with titles like “System,” “Hardware,” and “Network,” and each one of the commands listed links to a more detailed article about that particular command.

Linux Commands

Wolfram Language Code Gallery

We mentioned the knowledge-based Wolfram Language a few posts back. It’s been growing in both size and popularity, and now its creator has released a language code gallery with examples of what  Wolfram can do. This gallery includes a variety of projects–from mapping volcanic ash cloud advisories to making a Hipstamatic filter–that are all created using the Wolfram Language.

Wolfram Language Code Gallery

Foldscope

Foldscope is a new, economical microscope that is printed-and-folded from a single flat sheet of paper. Not only is it cheap to make (costing less than $1 in parts), but it also is quite powerful: the Foldscope provides over 2,000X magnification. Its creators, a team of Stanford University scientists, are hoping that the low cost and durability of Foldscope will help revolutionize medicine in third-world countries.

Foldscope

Serve

Serve is a small web server and rapid prototyping framework for building web apps and simple websites. This open-source, Rack-based project can use a variety of languages to create these sites, including HTML, ERB,  Markdown, and others. It builds static or dynamic sites, and has helper methods that can simplify complex logic.

Serve

PsySH

PsySH is an interactive, open source PHP REPL that combines a runtime developer console with an interactive debugger. PsySH differentiates itself from other runtime developer consoles by including features like supporting readline, listing sets of defined classes/function/constants, and showing the source code of any function available to the current environment.

PsySH

Down For Everyone or Just Me?

This is a simple but useful tool that can let you know if the problems you’re experiencing with a particular site are happening everywhere, or just on your computer. You just submit the site address, and Down For Everyone quickly generates a site report that tells you what you need to know.

Down For Everyone or Just Me?

Mailparser.io

Mailparser.io is a fast, lightweight email parser that automatically processes incoming emails, then extracts and converts their content into easy-to-handle data. You can download the parsed data as a spreadsheet, send it to your CRM, or send it via webhooks.

Mailparser.io

Slick

Slick is a great tool you can use to build just about any kind of carousel you need.

Slick

The NASA Z-2 Suit

NASA has been working on the construction of their newest spacesuit: the Z-2 Suit. And now that they have most of the technical details figured out, they want to hear your opinion on what it should look like. They’ve released 3 different designs and have asked people to vote for their favorite; the winning design will become the new look for NASA astronauts.

The NASA Z-2 Suit

Fusion Radar: March 26, 2013

March 26th, 2014 - by marissa - Salt Lake City, Utah

Keeping up with technology is a lot of work. Luckily, we enjoy wading through the noise just to find the gems of awesomeness sprinkled throughout. Fusion Radar is our gift to you, Current or Potential Client, so that you can enjoy all of the awesome without any of the drudgery. Unwrap it each week, and know that you’re loved by the geeks and pixel-pushers at Agency Fusion.

Macaw

Macaw is a web design tool that allows you to “draw” your code. It’s as flexible as your standard image editors–and at $129, is much more reasonably priced than most of them. In addition to the low price point, Macaw also writes semantic HTML and succinct CSS for you while you design. This allows designers to define responsive breakpoints, resize all elements on a canvas at once, and build clickable prototypes with dynamic interactions.

Macaw

Offscreen

Offscreen.js is a lightweight jQuery plugin that can detect if an element is cut off by the sides of your screen, and adjusts its placement accordingly. More specifically, Offscreen.js adds a special class to the offscreen element, bringing it back into view so you can address the problem.

Offscreen

Madeira

Madeira is a set of powerful and simple tools that allow users to design, build, and manage their AWS cloud. It uses drag-and-drop controls to help you quickly and efficiently design your application architecture. It also enables users to configure specific resources and security group rules. Finally, users can launch their design into a real environment to see how well it works.

Madeira

Gremlins.js

Gremlins.js is a monkey testing library you can use to test the robustness of web applications. The creator states that it “unleashes a horde of undisciplined gremlins”; Gremlins.js basically throws events at your HTML, and is able to report back when something goes wrong.

Gremlins.js

Squirt

Squirt is a simple speed reading web app that shows users one word at a time, allowing them to read up to 600 wpm. (Note: the average adult reading speed is 300 wpm.) You install Squirt as a bookmarklet in your browser; then, whenever you come across something you want to speed read, click on the bookmarklet. Squirt will help you speed read your way through whatever text is currently on the page.

Squirt

NameChk

NameChk is a simple site and iOS app that lets you search for available usernames on dozens of social networks sites all at once. Simply type in your desired username or url and NameChk will review sites like Pinterest, reddit, LinkedIn, and about 80 other sites for that name’s availability.

NameChk

Why Don’t Designers Take Android Seriously?

Cennydd Bowles, a design lead at Twitter, recently wrote an article that explores why he thinks Android will be the dominant platform of the next decade. Among other reasons, Bowles cites Android’s universally accessible software that enables it to work with devices from many different companies. He also takes some time to address the issues he sees as the biggest barriers to designing for Android.

Why Don’t Designers Take Android Seriously?