Social Media integration

I’ve created a sprite for the social buttons which are now displayed on all single pages and the Milkdrop section. Facebook’s lack of customization for their like button has really held me back, but I’m glad I was able to use my own design for the share button.

Skins category introduction

I enjoy skinning random sites I frequent – usually open source supporters such as Reddit and OpenCart. As you can tell from ghostCode, I’m a fervent fan of dark themes.

Earlier this year I created a custom stylesheet for http://reddit.com/r/psybient . The subreddit is non-commercial, and I plan on creating a version of that theme which will be openly published with CSS commenting so moderators can learn Reddit’s styles. If you like chilled out music I highly recommend checking the forum out! Smile1

Theme adjustments

I’ve made a number of behind the scenes updates to the site.Kiko the Golden Retriever

  • Installation of lightbox gallery script (click the photo of Kiko on the right to see it in action)
  • Syntax highlighting for code discussion
  • More fluid front page

 

Below each posting I’ve begun to integrate a related posts section. The plugin I’m using guesstimates related posts through the tagging system and thread titles.

Z-index Youtube Embed Fix

I ran into an old bug when I added the page-following script to the navigation on the Milkdrop page. The embedded flash videos were covering up the navigation, masking it and rendering the following script useless.

Bugs to fix this have been around for a while, but Youtube has released a new embed code.

The fix I came up with was simple: Add &wmode=opaque to the end of the url

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/miUfEhInvtI?rel=0&wmode=opaque" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
</iframe>

The oldschool fix: so.addParam("wmode", "opaque");

Hopefully this will help other people.  It had been years since I  ran into that bug and I was surprised to say the least.

 

Youtube comment voting ‘feature’

Have you ever ‘thumbed up’ a comment on Youtube? Did you know if you re-visit that comment 6 hours later you will be able to thumb it up again – even if it’s your own comment? I was hesitant to discuss this because I knew Youtube was rolling out a new layout. Well, the new Youtube is here yet the bug is still present.Youtube voting up button

This isn’t something new. I’ve known about this for almost a year now, yet I didn’t realize how obscure this knowledge was until I tried googling it. You may ask, “What’s the point?” Well, some people are paid through Google’s Partner program which is connected to their Youtube Channel. Depending on the popularity of a video someone can drive their comment to the ‘top comments’ box on a video. Ultimately this would drive more users to their channel. If that user has an autoplaying video which they uploaded as their default channel media, then that means the view count gets a hit.

It might not seem worth it to you, but some people really obsess over their Youtube channels and it would not surprise me if this isn’t abused in many ways.

I hypothesize that Google does this for hardware reasons. Although Google has the largest server farms in the world, I’m willing to bet they save a lot of bandwidth and stress on their databases if their servers only had to remember a comment count without adding a name table to it. Side note: this ‘feature’ only works on comments – not video likes.

Font-smoothing: the good and the bad

What is font smoothing? Font smoothing, also known as clear-type, is a rendering method for showing text on your screen. Your computer will perform a sort of anti-aliasing on letters to make them seem rounded and less pixelated (see left image).

This can be a nightmare for people who are visually impaired. It’s a double-nightmare if the fonts are serif. Albeit, not all fonts are the same and not every computer is the same. Some people actually prefer font smoothing.

To Disable on Win7

  1. In the run bar type “clear” and select “Adjust Cleartype Text”.  Uncheck the box and click next through the remaining settings.
  2. Type “appearance” in the run bar. Choose “Adjust the appearance and Performance of Windows”. Scroll down until you see the option “Smooth edges of screen fonts” and uncheck it. It should be the fourth option from the very bottom.
  3. Type “window colors” in the run bar and choose “Change Window colors and metrics”. Go through each type of item and replace the font Segoe UI with a font of your choice. I usually opt for Arial or Verdana.

 

With font-smoothing turned off fonts become crisp and pixelated. For someone like me who reads an insane amount of information, crisp text is necessary.

Check out the Wikipedia Article

Gaming mice – also for designers

Razer hardware is notorious amongst the PC gamer communities as essential “1337” hardware. Not only do gaming mice look futuristic, but they are extremely accurate and fast. I just recently purchased a Razer Molten Naga(see left photo) and this mouse has made even my internet surfing more efficient.

How would this apply to design software? The Molten Naga has 17 buttons total, all of which are completely customizable to do practically anything. The secret is in AutoHotKey software, a freeware program that lets you change any mouse or keyboard button into a command. One such use is having the ability to change brush sizes with your thumb.