KillerDeals 1.0.1 hits the shelves

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Last Thursday KillerDeals v1.0.1 hit the shelves in the iPhone AppStore. It was only a minor update to fix a few bugs that appeared post release. So we got right to work hammering out a quick fix and Apple approved the update in no time flat. This was good news.

The necessity for the "emergency" update got us all really talking about the future of this application and where we want to head in the future. Here's a short list of the plans that will be rolling out over the next few releases:

  1. Create a KillerDeals web service – Currently our application communicates directly with the ODAT web sites, retrieves the content, parses it, and redisplays it in its current format. Although this is a completely acceptable approach, we are at the mercy of Backcountry. If their developers change the website format or content, our app is too tightly coupled to handle this change and thus we would need to release another application version through the iPhone store. But if we moved the retreval and parsing code to a Grio owned server, we can make changes on the "fly" without ever having to release an update through Apple. Much faster response time to content related issues.
  2. Push notifications -This app was meant to incorporate Apple's Push Notification system. Apple has been promising this technology for quite some time and iPhone 3.0 will finally deliver it. We all very excited about this. We have some very unique ideas about how Push alerts should be configured but you'll just have to wait to check out our innovative approach.
  3. More sites -  Recently added to the ODAT family are Brociety.com and Chainlove.com. Expect to see these sites in KillerDeals sooner than you might think. But with 6 stores the tabs might get a little crowded. So we'll just have to see what our crafty Grio developers come up with.
  4. More information – KillerDeals is lacking a few bits of crutial information in its current state. Items and time remaining are key indicators for the ODAT sites. Expect to this this data ticking down the seconds in an upcoming version of KillerDeals

In summary, I guess you can expect KillerDeals just to get better with every release. Remember we are exicted to here from our users so drop us a note or leave us a blog comment. We'll be waiting.

Launching EC2 On Demand: Video Transcoding

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At Grio, we use EC2 to power almost all of our server needs. Amazon hosting provides a convenient means of housing a web server and database server, a wiki, and our client development environment. It’s a cost efficient solution for companies like ours, in that we can avoid the hassle or purchasing and maintaining hardware. The strategy allows us to add servers only when we need them and remove them when they are no longer needed. Since Amazon’s pricing structure is based on the duration of server’s up-time, we want to make sure that we only use a server when necessary.

Keeping it Clean: Creating a Profanity Filter with Flex

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I was recently tasked with writing a profanity filter for the chat module of an AIR application. I did some research and alas, there were no Flex examples to be found. I thought I’d share my implementation with you.

The filter needed to replace naughty words with asterisks: so profanities such as ‘f— you’ would appear as ‘**** you’. The filter also required the ability to use localized word ‘blacklists’.

KillerDeals v1.0 iPhone Application submitted to Apple

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Recently, we submitted our new iPhone application to Apple and it is currently under review. It has been approved and is available at iTunes store. It’s called KillerDeals. It’s a lifestyle application targeted at users who are either currently fans of sites like Steepandcheap.com and Tramdock.com or new users who are looking for amazing retail deals on outdoor clothing and equipment.

KillerDeals gives you access to 4 of the hottest sources for outdoor gear on the web in the one convenient application. Now you can check the latest deals anytime, anywhere.

Adding Sound Effects to Your Flex/AIR Application

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It’s easy to add sounds to a Flex/Air application. Here we’ll see how to add whirrs, chirps, and bloops to your application’s button clicks and mouseovers. We’ll also see how to use Air’s EncryptedLocalStore to add mute and volume controls.

The first step is to create a sound manager for playing the sounds. The sound manager will make it possible to centrally apply user preferences like volume to all application sounds.

Intercepting Hyperlinks in HTML Component of Adobe AIR

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AIR’s HTML control provides an easy way to render complex html content. It also gives user flexibility in manipulating events and data it contains. For instance, one can easily react to a hyperlink click in an html document.
Consider the following html snippet:

 

var str:String = ‘Go to <a href=”google.com” id=”linkGoogle”>google</a>’;
html.data = str; // html is of type HTML…

When a user clicks on “google” link, by default, the HTML control will navigate away from the current page and go to google.com. Let’s assume that we’d like to do something different. Let’s say we want to display a native AIR dialog box (called GoogleDialog) that has a text field to accept keywords to search, Search button and Cancel button.

Grio Opens San Francisco Office

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Grio announced today that it has opened its main office in downtown San Francisco. Located in the heart of the financial district, Grio's new offices provide additional workspace for its growing software development team. 

"Having an office downtown brings us closer to our clients and is very convenient for our employees" says Douglas Kadlecek, co-founder of Grio. "We are very pleased with this central location."
Grio is a San Francisco-based sofware consulting company. Founded in 2008, Grio has grown quickly in its first year of operation. 

For more information about Grio and its services, email info@grio.com or call 415-395-9525.