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Technology in the News

Technology is constantly changing and providing the casual user with challenges never dreamed of. Technology in the News is provided in an effort to assist you in getting the most out of your computer, while avoiding some of the pitfalls. Your computer really isn't out to get you. Why not learn to be friends?

      
 Title   Date   Author   Host 

A List Apart

by Veronica Picciafuoco

December 4, 2012

A design contract is like a business card-it comes from the same desk, and bears the same creative mark.

But it's also the business card you hate handing out: a folder of legal gibberish with terrible formatting that reminds the client of everything that could possibly go wrong before the work has even started. Is this just a necessary evil? Why can't contracts evolve like everything else? Actually, they can-and should. Modernizing your contract will not only make it match your carefully crafted brand, but it can also help you reach an agreement faster, and even strengthen your position when negotiating.

A List Apart

by Mat Marquis

May 15, 2012

The goal of a "responsive images" solution is to deliver images optimized for the end user's context, rather than serving the largest potentially necessary image to everyone.

Unfortunately, this hasn't been quite so simple in practice as it is in theory. Recently, all of the ongoing discussion around responsive images just got real: a solution is currently being discussed with the WHATWG. And we're in the thick of it now: we're throwing around references to picture and img set; making vague references to polyfills and hinting at "use cases" as though developers everywhere are following every missive on the topic. That's a lot to parse through, especially if you're only tuning in now-during the final seconds of the game. The markup pattern that gets selected stands to have a tremendous influence on how developers build websites in the future. Not just responsive or adaptive websites, either. All websites.

A List Apart

by Sara Wachter-Boettcher

February 28, 2012

The future is flexible, and we're bending with it. From responsive web design to futurefriend.ly thinking, we're moving quickly toward a web that's more fluid, less fixed, and more easily accessed on a multitude of devices.

As we embrace this shift, we need to relinquish control of our content as well, setting it free from the boundaries of a traditional webpage to flow as needed through varied displays and contexts. In the words of futurefriend.ly's Brad Frost, "get your content ready to go anywhere because it's going to go everywhere." But don't unlock the shackles just yet: our content is far from future-ready.

A List Apart

by Lea Verou

February 14, 2012

Public service announcement: Every time you call a proprietary feature "CSS3," a kitten dies. Any -webkit- feature that doesn't exist in a specification (not even an Editor's draft) is not CSS3.

Yes, they are commonly evangelized as such, but they are not part of CSS at all. This distinction is not nitpicking. It's important because it encourages certain vendors (*cough* Apple *cough*) to circumvent the standards process, implement whatever they come up with in WebKit, then evangelize it to developers as the best thing since sliced bread. The shiny new toys dazzle us and we start promoting them too, contributing to the echo chamber.

A List Apart

by Harry Brignull

November 1, 2011

We might not like to admit it but deception is deeply entwined with life on this planet. Insects evolved to use it, animals employ it in their behavior, and of course, we humans use it to manipulate, control, and profit from each other.

With this in mind it's no surprise that deception appears in various guises in user interfaces on the web today. What is surprising, though, is that up until recently it was something web designers never talked about. There was no terminology, no design patterns, and no real recognition of it as a phenomenon at all. If it wasn't a taboo it certainly felt like one.

A List Apart

by Neil Jenkins

November 1, 2011

An expanding text area is a mutli-line text input field that expands in height to fit its contents.

This UI element is commonly found in both desktop and mobile applications, such as the SMS composition field on the iPhone. Examples can also be found on the web, including on Facebook, where it's used extensively. It's a good choice wherever you don't know how much text the user will write and you want to keep the layout compact; as such, it's especially useful on interfaces targeted at smartphones.

A List Apart

by Ethan Marcotte

May 25, 2010

Unlike the web, which often feels like aiming for next week, architecture is a discipline very much defined by its permanence.

A building's foundation defines its footprint, which defines its frame, which shapes the facade. Each phase of the architectural process is more immutable, more unchanging than the last. Creative decisions quite literally shape a physical space, defining the way in which people move through its confines for decades or even centuries. Working on the web, however, is a wholly different matter.

abajournal.com

by Radley Balko

July 1, 2013

Are cops constitutional? In a 2001 article for the Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal, the legal scholar and civil liberties activist Roger Roots posed just that question.

Roots, a fairly radical libertarian, believes that the U.S. Constitution doesn't allow for police as they exist today. At the very least, he argues, police departments, powers and practices today violate the document's spirit and intent. "Under the criminal justice model known to the framers, professional police officers were unknown," Roots writes. The founders and their contemporaries would probably have seen even the early-19th-century police forces as a standing army, and a particularly odious one at that. Just before the American Revolution, it wasn't the stationing of British troops in the colonies that irked patriots in Boston and Virginia; it was England's decision to use the troops for everyday law enforcement.

ABC News

by Christian Stocker

July 27, 2009

With every high-tech gadget we buy, we give up a little more privacy. Many devices today are in constant communication with their manufacturer. And it's not just consumers who are losing their rights.

Don't look now, but no matter where you go, you're connected. We -- or most of us, at least -- have opened our front doors to large corporations, hardware manufacturers, software firms and search engines. We have allowed them to rifle through our jacket pockets and handbags. And now they can do as they wish with us, or do the bidding of the powers-that-be -- in the form of a totalitarian government, for example. Don't believe it?

ABC News

by Hoda Farhanghi

February 6, 2009

There is the Facebook relationship status, the Facebook Weddingbook and now what may be the world's first Facebook divorce.

Emma Brady, a 35-year-old conference organizer, told the U.K. Daily Mail she was shocked after finding out her husband had changed his status to "Neil Brady has ended his marriage to Emma Brady."

      
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