IT Digest: Windows 8.1 Review, Meet Firefox 22, Photoshop for Web Designers and Much More!

July 1, 2013

What is the freshest news from the world of informational technologies? Find out in our weekly digest from the 1st of July.

 

Top Seven News:

windows 8.1 review
Windows 8.1 Preview

Build conference was held last week by Microsoft. Windows 8.1 Preview appeared as its long-awaited result. Let's see what's new is there as well as the video review. The new IE is exactly for the new Windows. The updated IE11 knows how to work with WebGL, SPDY/3 and got innovative tools for developers.

firefox 22
Firefox 22

Let's meet the Firefox 22 new release that is characterized by two interesting innovations - Asm.js support and WebRTC technology enabled by default. A few more words on WebRTC.

reader
The life of RSS after Google Reader

Just in a few days Google Reader will cease to exist. Such monsters as AOL and Digg offer their services for those who are seeking for something similar. Feedly that suddenly became so popular sums up the last 100 days. And this collection includes top-9 services to read RSS.

custom fonts
Custom Fonts

We offer you a great post where the author answered most of the questions about web fonts that you might have. If you have enough theoretical knowledge, then let's move to practice and get acquainted with the online service for creating your own icon web font and Font Custom -generator of custom icon web fonts via the command line.

css 3
CSS 3

The nearest future of CSS is not just flexbox. CSS Shapes Module might appear to be quite a powerful tool, which promises to bring a revolution to web design and allows its users to form the content in informal way. Also, it makes sense to pay attention to CSS3 Regions and CSS Background Blend Modes, which are already available in Chrome Canary and WebKit Nightly.

This repository that contains a selection of questions used on the interviews for the post of front-end developer is not something new. However, it's never too late to challenge yourself and try to answer these questions. Who knows, maybe it will help you during your next interview to get the vacant post in the company of your dreams.

Probably, almost everybody sooner or later faced the subnet of TUTS+ websites. They were launched within the Australian startup Envato that assists some people to gain knowledge on the Internet, and others to earn on it. As a result, not all their courses are free, but this time they pleased us with the "Photoshop for Web Designers" free manual that consists of video tutorials on Photoshop CS6.

News:

  1. Goodbye, Moto — with the following slogan the legendary manufacturer of mobile phones launches its new advertising campaign on the streets of the United States of America. All of us know that the company was exactly the first to create a mobile phone a long time ago. Now Motorola is ready to retire... to rethink its nature and to arise from the ashes like a real phoenix soon + Goodbye MOTO exploration.
  2. Sublime Text 3 Public Beta released — a new build 3047 implemented on June 28 is now available not only for the registered users, but to all others as well. Web developers have already reported that this is the fastest, the most stable and the best version of Sublime Text that currently exists. In general, hundreds of small updates in almost all the features of Sublime Text were made. You can download it and see a full change log here.
  3. Google is making Android game console, smart watch, new Android OS and much more — according to Wall Street Journal, Google is currently working on several new devices running Android: game console, smart watch and the next version of the strange ball called Nexus Q (it seems to have another new name and to work differently). World Street Journal states that the company will release at least one of these devices in Q3 2013 while Google itself will be responsible for both design and manufacturing process.
  4. PayPal launches Galactic software to prepare payment systems for the space commercialization — international payment system PayPal announced the launch of the Galactic software in order to explore the possibility of making payments in outer space. According to the author of the post the company intends to help people who appeared outside the Earth to make any mandatory payments. In particular, we are talking about the astronauts who will be able to pay bills and buy digital content while staying in the outer space.
  5. HTC First is over — in April 2013 (a little less than 3 months ago) Facebook unveiled a special Android-based application, which turns a smartphone into Facebookphone. HTC First became the first and the only one smartphone with the pre-installed Facebook Home. Now it became known that AT&T operator which was selling this smartphone in the U.S. managed to sell the last one of the purchased devices and is not going to renew the contract.

Build 2013:

  1. Windows 8.1 review — last Wednesday Microsoft unveiled Windows 8.1, the first significant update to its desktop/tablet OS at the Build developer conference. Since Windows 8 was found confusing, as it contained a set of features and other design cues that didn't relate to all devices Microsoft decided to bring back previously familiar features with Windows 8.1 emphasizing the idea that this version of OS can work equally properly on a desktop or a tablet device + Windows 8.1 video preview.
  2. What's new in Windows 8.1 — being revealed at Build conference in San Francisco, Windows 8.1 contains a large number of new and refreshed features for a free update. According to Microsoft's introductory blog post the updated PC settings in Windows 8.1 give users an access to all their settings on their devices without any need to go to the Control Panel on the desktop. This post includes the detailed description of the new main features of the first major update to Windows 8.

Virtual Maps News:

  1. Clouds are removed from Google Maps and Earth — with the satellite view the user can see the finest details anywhere in the world. But all these images are collected from a great amount of photos where the clouds were their integral part. Now Google announced that they managed to remove the clouds (and this is not the only one change). New cloudless images of the planet on Google Maps allows users to see the topographical details of the planet, and to have a closer look at those parts of the surface that were in a very low resolution before.
  2. Errors in 3D maps from Apple can be considered as masterpieces — Peder Norrby, the founder of the Swedish company named Trapcode, collects the most strange "glitches" in 3D maps making high-resolution screenshots. But the error must have an artistic value in order to get to the Norrby's collection. This post contains the most interesting copies of his collection.

Smartwatch News:

  1. Sony unveils Android-based water-resistant, NFC-ready SmartWatch 2 — the company announced the second version of Android-based smart devices SmartWatch 2. According to the manufacturer the design and the display of the new device were significantly improved in comparison to the first version as well as the battery life was extended and the UI was considerably optimized. Sony is currently developing a number of applications for smartwatches in order to make it easier for users to manage their phone calls, to make remote photos, and control presentations with Presentation Pal, to read their mail and social net messages and much more + Sony smartWatch 2 for Android smartphones video.
  2. Emopulse Smile Smartwatch with 2 GB of RAM, 128 or 256 GB of flash memory — this devices has all the chances to become one of the most-intelligent smartwatches while it is equipped with two flexible OLED-displays, three cameras and up to 256 GB of flash memory. All these powered with Texas Instruments OMAP 5 CPU can be worn as a bracelet on the arm. Additionally the device with two displays has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GSM-and LTE-ins.

Browsers:

  1. WebGL, SPDY/3, new dev tools & much more officially confirmed for IE11 in Win 8.1 — just before the Build conference in San Francisco, Microsoft released Windows Server («Blue») for MSDN subscribers. Build number is 9341, and Windows 8.1 is 6.3.9431.winmain_bluemp.130615-1214. IE11 is gaining 351 from 500 points in HTML5 tests, getting 25/25 for WebGL support. Microsoft has already officially confirmed its support for WebGL, SPDY/3 and new tools for developers in IE11. Some of the new IE11 features are shown in the screenshots of this post + Internet Explorer 11 preview.
  2. Firefox 22 with Asm.js released — Mozilla has officially unveiled the release of Firefox 22 as well as the mobile version of Firefox 22 for Android. In a short time Firefox 23 branch will move to the stage of beta testing, and aurora-branch Firefox 24 will be separated. In accordance with the six-week development cycle, the release of Firefox 23 is scheduled for August 6, and Firefox 24 for September 17 + WebRTC comes to Firefox.
  3. Network Monitor is now in Firefox Beta — after the recent release of Firefox 22 Mozilla announced updates to its Firefox Beta channel, which is now on version 23 for desktop and Android. One of the updates is another important component to Firefox's developer tools, namely a network monitor tool. As the name suggests, the tool makes it possible to monitor and time network events, useful for debugging a page or optimizing loading times.
  4. Sign-in process is improved in Google Chrome 28 — Google Chrome currently remains at version 28.0.1500.63 Beta. The updated Beta version of the browser was unveiled just after a stable and development version was officially released.
  5. Dolphin Browser joins Mozilla Firefox to create its own HTML5 app store — the new store for HTML5 apps for Android and iOS smartphones is currently created under Dolphin Browser supervision. According to its officials the firm provided their developers with access to more than 150 internal APIs via Dolphin Garage service, with the browser supporting apps developed in PhoneGap HTML5 app framework from Adobe.

Amazing Websites' Design:

  1. Weekly web & mobile creativity n.19.
  2. 10 ultra-minimalist websites.
  3. flandriatype.com — a website-presentation of the font.
  4. flatguitars.com — a stylish one-page guitar website.

Design It:

  1. This is responsive — patterns, resources and news for creating responsive web experiences.
  2. A complete infographics kit: tutorials, vector kits and examples.
  3. A good User Interface.
  4. Business cards: 22 elegant business cards for your inspiration, 25 inspiring business card designs of 2013.
  5. Ultimate guide to flat website design.
  6. Website Designs based on solid single colored background.
  7. 40 colorful web designs to inspire you.
  8. Colors that tweak the web of today.
  9. Startup design examples of login forms and signup pages.
  10. Redesign of popular websites: 16 beautiful examples.
  11. New features of Adobe illustrator CC.
  12. 30 enlightening compass logo designs for inspiration.

A Bunch of Design Freebies:

  1. New on DesignTNT: textures, text styles, brushes, vectors & more.
  2. Web icons and Web UI kits for your web projects.
  3. Collection of free fonts and typefaces for June 2013.
  4. Templates: 35+ free login form PSD files, 10 free UI wireframe kits.
  5. Icons: 30 beautiful sets of free web icons, 12 beautiful sets of free flat icons, 200 Foodie pack: a free set of Food icons.
  6. Brushes: A collection of free Paper brushes for Photoshop.
  7. Fonts: 50 creative free fonts for designs from Nexa to Idolwild, Track free font — the header sans serif font with Latin capital letters and numbers.

Services:

  1. Mobile emulators & simulators: the Ultimate guide.
  2. picssel-art: the generation of images with CSS.

RSS:

  1. From Google Reader to the Feedly Cloud: summary of the last 100 days.
  2. Digg Reader rollout.
  3. Aol Reader — all your favorite websites, in one place.
  4. Top 9 Windows RSS feed readers and news aggregators.
  5. Reader is dead — a collection of tools to help with the impending Google Reader shutdown.

Demo:

  1. Animated logo in 3D.
  2. Ultra liquid loading.
  3. Showcase of logos and characters on pure CSS.

Development:

  1. HTML 5.1 Nightly — a vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML and XHTML.
  2. Everything you need to know about web fonts.
  3. Join the Icon Fonts revolution.
  4. Font Custom — generate custom icon web fonts from the comfort of the command line.
  5. Fullscreen - living specification.
  6. Dimensions — a free tool for designers to quickly test responsive websites.
  7. Mobile web problems and how to avoid them.
  8. A huge list of frontend development resources.
  9. PNG vs SVG for sprites.
  10. Expanding search bar deconstructed — a tutorial on how to create a mobile-friendly and responsive expanding search bar.
  11. In details about the main element.
  12. iOS 7 beta and the new Safari for web developers.
  13. Snake game using HTML5 Canvas and KineticJS.
  14. Creating a Swipeable Side Menu for the Web.
  15. Page Load Performance presentation by James Simonsen.
  16. jQuery UI Widgets vs HTML5 presentation.
  17. 10 must-have Chrome extensions for developers.
  18. Twitter Bootstrap – decision time [flowchart].
  19. Fishing with dataURI.
  20. MV* and local storage.

CSS:

  1. Create a 3D animating sidebar.
  2. Working around a lack of element queries.
  3. CSS Flexible Box layout module.
  4. Loading images on demand with pure CSS.
  5. A set of experimental modal window appearance effects with CSS transitions and animations.
  6. The Layered Look: better responsive images using multiple backgrounds.
  7. CSS Background Blend Modes are now available in Chrome Canary and WebKit Nightly.
  8. Wrapping content in shapes with CSS3.
  9. CSS Shredder: making a shredding machine with CSS3.
  10. How to scale and maintain legacy CSS with Sass and SMACSS.
  11. Working with pure CSS modules.
  12. Designing with Pseudo Elements in IE10.
  13. Cardinal — a small “mobile first” CSS framework with some useful default styles, scalable typography and much more.
  14. LOL Box Model.
  15. Create a CSS flipping animation.
  16. Developing With Sass and Chrome DevTools.

JavaScripts:

  1. Media Queries are not the answer: Element Query Polyfill.
  2. Web Telephony API Draft published.
  3. HTML5 Genetic algorithm 2D Car Thingy.
  4. Native equivalents of jQuery functions.
  5. Learn AngularJS in 5 steps.
  6. jQuery Keynote video from jQuery conference Portland 2013.
  7. Advanced unit testing techniques in JavaScript.
  8. Making Sass talk to JavaScript with JSON.
  9. jQuery.Viewport.
  10. CollagePlus - an image gallery plug-in for jQuery.
  11. Chance — a minimalist generator of random strings, numbers, etc. to help reduce some monotony particularly while writing automated tests.
  12. Yass.js — a small standalone SrcSet implementation.
  13. SimpleWebRTC — a simple work with WebRTC.
  14. Clientside JS error reporting services.
  15. Static Memory Javascript with Object Pools.
  16. Advanced Grunt tooling 2013.
  17. JSON for linking data.
  18. X-editable — in-place editing with Twitter Bootstrap, jQuery UI or pure jQuery.

Fun & Entertainment:

    1. Important message from Facebook's White Hat program.
    2. 50 animated Gifs for every situation ever.
    3. Malware Distribution by Autonomous System. Info from Google.
    4. Adobe Creative Cloud: What it means for you.
    5. 2013 IT salaries: 15 titles getting the biggest pay raises.
    6. Explore Views of the Burj Khalifa with Google Maps (video).
    7. What's the difference between a geek and a nerd?
    8. 10 fun facts you didn't know about Google.
  1. New Nokia commercial: Don´t flash. Amaze.

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