Fuck WordPress

I can never believe how complex something can become in WordPress framework, something that is super simple to write in code. Fuck WordPress, and fuck shity devs who try to make everything WYSIWG!

Ted Talks – Beware online “filter bubbles”

An older but interesting Ted talk from Eli Pariser about “filter bubbles” created by customization of things like the Facebook news feed and google search results.

As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

Relevant and food for thought as I’m working on sorting algorithms in my new app.

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Adult Networks – A great alternative for Advertising

There is no denying that adult content has been and still is one of the driving forces behind the internet. Porn Hub shows up #38 on the Alexa top 500 sites, pretty impressive when you consider how many competitors there are. With in the past year, some big brands have had great success with campaigns running on Porn Hub, including Diesel Jeans, and Zomato who have a great blog post on it here.

The good news about advertising on porn is there is one main ad network for the big guys, since they are mostly owned by one company, Traffic Junky. Traffic Junky serves 1.8 billion web and mobile ad impressions to 70 million visitors daily. The offer from Traffic Junky is impressive, with excellent targeting, mobile and desktop, video and display, great stats and analytics, and an API for those integrating into existing solutions. That’s impressive, and costs are good, so it’s worth checking out!

Signup for an account with Traffic Junky

The More you Know: Dark Patterns in Web Design Used to Rip You Off

Ever signed up for something without realizing it, or checkout out of an ecommerce website only to find you’re enrolled in a subscription program? It happens to the best of us.

Confusopoly (aka Dilbert’s confusopoly) is an economic and marketing term referring to a purposeful act by a seller or group of sellers to confuse the buyer in order to ease the sale.

These dark patterns trick unsuspecting users into a gamut of actions: setting up recurring payments, purchasing items surreptitiously added to a shopping cart, or spamming all contacts through prechecked forms on Facebook games. These dark paterns just aren’t on the web, the The Columbia House mail-order music club of the ’80s and ’90s is a perfect example.

London-based UX designer Harry Brignull has documented it. Brignull’s website, darkpatterns.org, offers plenty of examples of deliberately confusing or deceptive user interfaces.

Design a Logo with Machine Learning

Mark Marker is a web bot that will generate millions of logos with a variety of designs until you find the perfect one.

Mark Maker is a prototype. It generates logos and refines them based on your feedback. As you use it, the system tries to learn what you like, and over many sessions, it attempts to understand the visual vernacular associated with logos for different kinds of companies.

It’s is pretty cool, and produces some good results. At the least it can give you some logos to refine and generate ideas.

Try Mark Maker for yourself.

Code Igniter vs Zend Framework 2

No in depth analysis here of two very popular MVC frameworks, Code Igniter vs Zend Framework. If you wan’t in depth analysis, you can go to one of the thousands of other blogs, all with the same content, pros and cons, split down the middle on which framework is better. I’m only going to give you my opinion and experience.

The down right better MVC is code igniter, and here’s why.

It’s way easier and quicker to pickup. I spent about less then a day and with in a couple of days I had written CRUD models for a complex database, and some content scrapers all with in CI. I spent a day going through Zend’s two tutorials, and then a few days trying to recreate them to create and read something from a database. My guess this is by design, Zend want’s you to pay in the thousands of dollars for their training.

You don’t have to use Composer. I’m not sure why it bugs me but it does, I can clone a git repo with out need to install additional tools.

Code Igniter has better documentation and their is more support online. Good luck trying to find even an outline of the complex module architecture in the documentation, not to mention there UI sucks.

Code Igniter is light weight. Bloat sucks.

So my advice is choose code igniter, you’ll be developing quicker, and can bring new team members up to speed quicker.

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A Technological Flip Early

What does an entrepreneur do when they are faced with choosing between multiple startup ideas?

Since my work situation has changed, I’ve been faced with this question myself. Should I keep working on business ideas I’ve been dabbling with for a few years, or do a flip and focus on one great idea, that may have come to me in my dreams (I really can’t remember).

I talked to my friends and family, a great help, and did some research online. One of the biggest things that helped set a clear path, a section in an article on Forbes about Abbreviated Business Plans. So I spent a few hours writing and researching a brief business plan for each idea. There where a few common themes about some of my business ideas:

  • Others trying in the space and not succeeding
  • A small market potential
  • Large capitol requirements
  • An industry shift, for example:
    • brands going direct to consumer
    • Self publishing on social media

With all those negatives one thing is for certain technology was never a barrier to entry. Which helped lead me to my new idea, which although it exists in a competitive market, it posses some attributes the others did not:

  • A huge market potential
  • Multiple sources of potential revenue
  • A clear weakness in the existing industry
  • Multiple clear exit strategies
  • Still something I’m passionate about

On the plus side I have a few pans B, C, D, E and maybe even all the way to Z (No I didn’t write that many, the rest I told my dog, :p), if one of them doesn’t work out. Just look at how many successful entrepreneurs have failed at first, Steve Job, Max Levchin, Henry Ford and the list goes on.

A New Theme

I recently launched a new theme on LawrenceStewart.ca, and to cut down on code maintance, I’ve made the theme flexible enough to support WindDude.com, which just relaunched with the new theme!

The exciting news for you is, I plan to release this theme shortly to the WordPress Community! There are just a few more bugs and enhancements to sort out in between my big projects which are staying hush for now.

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Google’s self driving car get’s pulled over

To be honest I’m not a fan of Google’s or anyone’s self driving car. They’re boring and let’s be honest driving is fun, and it is one of the first times a teenager has a sense of freedom. So I found it all to funny that Google’s driverless car was pulled over for going to slow.

Head over to TheNextWeb for the original article.

Auto-slalom in a Porsche 944

My second time running in auto-slalom at the Western Speedway in Langford, BC was in March of 2015. It’s definitely a rush! Lots of tire squealing and kicking the backend out in a friends Porsche 944.