Chrome Extension Basics

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I use Chrome extensions all the time and decided it was time to figure out how to make my own.  I found it to be incredibly easy and I’d like to share with you some of the basics, as well as an example of an extension I made.  Let’s get started!

Android Tip: adb reverse

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I work from all over the place: Home, on public transit, the office, coffee shops, etc.

A big challenge to developing android apps in an environment where my laptop and phone are on different networks (wifi vs. LTE, or laptop tethered through phone) is the inability for my phone to see the API server that is often running locally on my laptop. Here is a simple tip to allow your phone to hit the backend over ADB and a usb cable.

Drinking The Koolixir – Part 2

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To get a better handle on Erlang’s behavior, I decided to install a popular set of tools for debugging and performance profiling: EPER. I think it stands for “Erlang PERformance tools”, but it could also mean “Everything Proves Erlang Rules” or “Egrets Prefer to Eat Robots” or really anything for that matter. One thing is for certain, however: getting these tools built and running on Mac OS X was fraught with danger and build errors.

The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide

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I’ve recently made it one of my goals to learn more about UX and design.  To that end, I read a book that was highly recommended by our Grio designers, The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide, by Lean Buley. The book is written for people who are or want to be UX professionals, with a focus on those who either the only person in their company working on UX or who are in some way UX evangelists in their organizations.  Although the intended audience of the book is UX professionals, there were also number of tips and ideas that a company like Grio can find useful.  On many projects, especially when budgets and time are tight, Grio takes on the role of UX evangelist for our clients.

Parallel Computing with a GPU

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Graphic Processor Units are becoming more and more important in recent years and are spreading into many different fields, some of which include: computational finance, defense and intelligence, machine learning, fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, electronic biology, physics, chemistry, numerical analysis and security. There are many reasons why a person should learn how to write code for a GPU. For example, GPU’s have been used to successfully decrypt passwords (add reference) in record time, a 25-GPU cluster is able to crack any standard Windows password (95^8 combinations) in less than 6 hours. Other applications of the GPU include data mining for Bitcoin and also applying machine learning for sentimental analysis on tweets.

Seeing With the Eye Vs. the Mind

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I recently gave a tech talk at Grio on the topic of Designing With The Photo: Cropping Methods and Other Techniques. One aspect of this talk covered different ways of seeing photos. I want to share this part of my talk in this blog post.

CSS Positioning 101

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Positioning an element on a web page can be tricky. You can specify the position of an element using left, right, top and bottom properties. But these properties will not work if the position value is not properly set. The positioning properties also display differently depending on the positioning value.

HOWTO: Status Check for a Website Database

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Many people know about services that allow you to ping your website to be sure it’s always online. The idea behind those is that they check every 5/10 mins sending a GET request to the given website and if they get an answer 200 they send you an email.

Internet Cryptography Demystified

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About cryptography

While going through a set of configurations to connect on a remote machine I was asked to upload my public key and I realized that I didn’t really know what that was for. If you are asking yourself the same question, or need to convince your mom she can safely use her credit card online, here is brief summary of what’s going on behind the curtains.

Expanding our Design Toolbox with Lean UX

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Recently Grio’s design team has adopted Lean UX that enabled us to expand our design toolbox in the following ways:

  • Conduct in-depth Discovery and Research to define the products
  • Inject a user-centric design focus
  • Incorporate “deep collaboration” internally, as well as with our clients