Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Geek deals: Dell XPS 8900 Skylake desktop PC for $729

Dell XPS 8900
If you’re looking for a powerful desktop that won’t break the bank, take a look at the XPS 8900 from Dell. With a Skylake CPU, fast DDR4 memory, and lots of customizability, this […] Read more

Ecstasy Gets FDA Nod for Large-Scale Clinical Trials

You’ve probably heard of MDMA, the party drug that’s been a favorite of music festival goers and ravers for years. Better known by the names Molly, Ecstasy, or just simply “X,” MDMA causes […] Read more

Autonomoose Is The First Driverless Car On Canada’s Roads

As of June, not even a single company had signed on to Canada’s autonomous vehicle test program. That finally changed, and just days ago the Autonomoose rolled onto Ontario roads for its first […] Read more

Eye Love To See You

You Can Finally Watch (Some) Netflix Videos Offline

Considering how much battery watching Netflix on your smartphone or tablet consumes, I often see people catching up on shows on the subway–until we go underground and they have to turn it off. […] Read more

Huge Chunk of Antarctica May Soon Collapse and Fall into Sea

This year has brought some really troubling signs of the global shift in climate. We’ve hit all-time highs for atmospheric carbon dioxide; the Arctic circle is 36 degrees warmer than it should be, […] Read more

SF Transit Hacker Makes Bold Threats, Gets Hacked in Return

Last week a hacker broke into the payment systems for San Francisco’s MUNI system, and now that same attacker, known by the alias Cryptom, is holding personal data on employees and customers if […] Read more

Apple Spectrum

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Is This Cheetos Store Real?! Did I Dream It?!

Add heading (3)
Okay, let me preface this by saying it’s 3:50 in the morning. I’m dealing with some insomnia and could be hallucinating this. I was scrolling through Facebook and found an ad for the […] Read more

Nintendo Worlds Coming to Universal Studios Parks

Areas filled with Nintendo rides, shops, restaurants, and more will be coming to three Universal Studios theme parks some time over the next several years. The Japanese gaming giant and Universal Parks & […] Read more

We Want to Shrink Down and Live Inside this LEGO Addams Family Mansion

Hugh Scandrett/LEGO Ideas
This LEGO design makes us want to snap our fingers and do the tango. An accurate replica of the Addams Family mansion (not life-sized unfortunately) was submitted to LEGO and if things go […] Read more

Winter Has Come With This Game of Thrones Gift Guide

From beer and food to books and toilet jokes, seek your fortune no further... Read more

Bacteria Eats Poop, Generates Power

Researchers at Ghent University (that’s in Belgium) might have discovered an awesome method for making extra power. And it works because humans poop. A lot. And they’ve trained bacteria to eat that poop […] Read more

‘Incorporated’ Has a Great Premise, but Not Much Else Yet

Syfy really wants you to know that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon produced their new TV series. It’s difficult to tell if their involvement had any effect on it’s quality, but Incorporated turned […] Read more

NASA Made an EmDrive, and It Works, But We Still Don’t Know Why

There’s a new engine that might just might, be able to propel humanity to the stars. It’s called the EmDrive. You might have heard about it not too long ago when some physicists […] Read more

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tesla’s More Advanced Autopilot Arrives Next Month

Tesla D
Autonomous driving on the highway? That’s nothing. Take a look at what a Tesla with the company’s new, more advanced hardware and software can do in a busy suburban environment. The video, uploaded […] Read more

Your Next iPhone Could Have a Curved OLED Display

The iPhone 8 probably won’t arrive until 2018, but we should see an iPhone 7S launching next year… and there’s talk that it could arrive with stunning, curved OLED display. According to the […] Read more

This Holiday Season, Why Not Have Your Pizza Delivered Via Reindeer?

‘Tis the season to order Domino’s Pizza and have it delivered to you via reindeer. Fa-la-la-la, la-la-la-really-inconvenient. That’s exactly what’s going on with Domino’s Japan this year, as reindeer are being specially trained […] Read more

5 Series From Marvel NOW! You Should Be Reading

While DC Comics has recently been going through their Rebirth initiative, meant to take the DC Universe back to its roots, with legacy characters and renumbering, Marvel seems to be going a different […] Read more

Retro Game Alternatives for When You Can’t Find the NES Classic Edition

Wow, the NES Classic Edition has been selling like crazy. It’s like Wii launch numbers here. I know, who would have thought a $60 mini-NES that looks cool and comes with 30 games […] Read more

Baby Post

Geek deals: Save big on Cyber Monday

Geek Cyber Monday
Hot on the heels of Black Friday, bargains are still popping up for Cyber Monday. We’ve found huge discounts on eReaders, 4K TVs, cloud storage, laptops, and so much more, and we’ve collected […] Read more

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Get Ready For the Virtual World With This PlayStation VR Gift Guide

The PlayStation VR is one of the hottest items in gaming right now and is sure to be one of the most sought-after items this holiday season. For those looking to purchase the […] Read more

Sailor Moon Gift Guide for All True Moonies

‘Tis the season to treat yourself and your loved ones to the magical world of Sailor Moon! The holidays are fast coming upon us, and in preparation we’ve compiled this magical girl gift […] Read more

Minecraft Gift Guide for Those Who Want to Bring the Game to Life

Minecraft gift guide 2016
With the holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to think about what sort of awesome stuff you’ll be getting your friends and relatives. Specifically, what will you be getting […] Read more

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Hayao Miyazaki Designed An Awesome Clock

CLock 2
Hayao Miyazaki fans are usually voracious when it comes to checking out what the prolific and beloved creator has brought to fruition. So the NI-Tele Really BIG Clock, or the giant clock at […] Read more

Friday, November 25, 2016

Doctor Who Gifts to Tickle Both Your Hearts

Untitled design (26)
Whether a Whovian of old or new to the man in the box….those dedicated to the Who crew are fierce and loyal to the beloved staple of British television. Doctor Who has enchanted us […] Read more

Alohomora a Potterhead’s Heart With These Gifts

Untitled design (43)
Potterheads are in the full throes of wonderous Potterverse love again, and all is right with the world. We have a new film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that’s finally out. […] Read more

Star Wars Gifts Are for Everyone and Here Are the Some Great Ones

You can't go wrong with Star Wars gifts, but here's how you go really right. Read more

Robots Deployed To Help Black Friday Shoppers Deal With The Insanity

No, not by helping you shoplift mass quantities of goods the way Bender might if you took him to the mall. These robots are all about providing the more traditional (and legal) kind […] Read more

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Page Loading: 4 Ways To Decrease Load Time

In the age of big data, data analytics has become a core business activity, with endless different metrics to monitor. These varied numbers help us track conversion rates by platform, measure employee performance through calling data, and determine if our content is performing to its highest potential. With so much data to sift through, it’s not surprising that some numbers, such as page load speed, slip through the cracks.

Why does something as small as page load speed matter for your business? A slow website is one of the surest ways to lose customers. Simply put, your clients aren’t going to wait around for your landing page to load.

According to Google resources, if your site takes more than 2 seconds to load, in the world of ecommerce, that’s too slow. Here’s what you can do to speed things up.

Check Your Pages

Your standard site analytics software may give you an average page load speed as part of its overall output, but don’t rely on that data alone. Instead, run your pages through a site analysis using Pingdom, Speedtest, Yslow, or one of the many other site speed testers. These sites will not only tell you how long it takes your website to load from both desktop and mobile platforms, but also make suggestions as to what you can change to make them load more quickly.

If your tests reveal that your mobile pages are especially slow, you might want to test out Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP strips down websites to their necessities and these pages load 85% faster than standard mobile pages. Customers don’t need all the bells and whistles on a mobile page, they just need a site that functions well and quickly.


Ultimate List of HTML5 Resources for Web Designers and Developers


Boost Your Hosting

There are a lot of different options for hosting a website, and many people choose the cheapest option, a type of shared server plan. This can significantly slow down your website depending on the other sites sharing that server. To boost your page speed, switch to a dedicated server or to a virtual private server. This will help your page move much more quickly.

Weed Your Website

If you’re using a WordPress site, one common cause of slow page load times is overuse of plugins. In fact, you don’t even need to be using that many plugins for them to become a problem. Instead, the simple fact that you once installed a plugin and left it to languish somewhere in your site’s code is enough to cause your site to lag.

Take some time to uninstall old WordPress plugins that you aren’t using and to reconsider the ones you keep active. Are these actively improving your website or are they simply slowing things down? The fewer unnecessary plugins your site uses, the faster it will load.

Photo Finish

Finally, large photos are a leading cause of slow site load times, so take a look at your website’s media choices. Optimize your image formats using both PNG-8, GIF, or JPEG formats and implement GZIP compression if possible. Not all sites support GZIP, but compressing photos is a great way to maintain image quality without sacrificing space and speed.

When it comes to site load times, every millisecond counts. That’s why you should put in the time necessary to speed up your site as much as possible. As many top websites prove, it’s possible to create an effective, aesthetically pleasing site that’s also faster than the competition.

The post Page Loading: 4 Ways To Decrease Load Time appeared first on SpyreStudios.

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10 Tutorials That Can Get You Started With Sketch

Sketch app is famous for being one of the fastest growing design tools in the industry. But its fame and glory didn’t go without a few hitches. Despite being an undeniable winner on the vector design scene, it’s also infamous for making its users pay for tutorials.

The Twitter discussion, featured at SketchTalk puts some light over the myths behind this statement but the question remains – are there any good SketchApp tutorials that users can use for free?

Free Beginner Tutorials for Sketch

The users’ undisguised disappointment doesn’t mean every single SketchApp tutorial will cost you an arm and leg. In fact, there are hundreds of free tutorials that can get you started with Sketch 3. And believe me, once you get a hold of the basics, you’ll learn that your time, efforts, and eventual expenses for migrating to Sketch will be significantly outrun by the advantages of this new design software.

To provide you with a better understanding of the techniques and principles of the Sketch design environment, I’ve prepared you a list of handpicked design tutorials. They will guide you through the fundamentals of the software and aid you in completing tasks as simple as setting up your workboard or as complex as creating a whole new design project from scratch. Let’s get started.

How to Build a Pattern Library in Sketch

Tutorial link: CreativeBloq

Created by: Richard Child

What you’ll learn: 

In order to ensure your website design is consistent and easy to change, you need to know how to create your pattern library in Sketch. The pattern library is a collection of design elements, like navigation, headings, forms, etc. that can be reused to design pages. When changing the qualities of repeatable components of your design in other conventional design software you’ll need to make separate changes to each object. What Sketch’s Symbols feature does is allow you to create a library of reusable elements that you can change simultaneously. The designer Richard Child will guide you through the fundaments of working with the Sketch pattern library.

Draw in Sketch With a Limited Set of Shapes

Sketch tutorial

Tutorial link: Medium

Created by: Yuki Erqiudao

One thing that makes vector design software so incredibly easy to use is the freedom it provides users in terms of content creation methods. Yuki Erqiudao, designer at Mind Labs shared his insights on creating illustrations in Sketch only with the use of rectangles, circles, and lines. Once you get familiar with the vector design environment, you’ll notice that it’s actually ridiculously easy to create illustrations with a flat design approach. This article will get you through all the basics, including a good load of shortcuts, to help you design your own illustrations in Sketch.

Guide to Login Form Interface Design For Beginners

Sketch tutorial

Tutorial link: Web Design Tutsplus

Created by: Armando Sotoca

Creating a login form is on the to-do list of almost every designer but that’s not the reason why this tutorial is so special. Armando Sotoca took the time to explain in detail every small step of the design process. From creating an artboard to managing the Inspector panel, and designing the basics of the layout, the author will guide you through every single action you need to take to create your own login form without leaving your questions unanswered.

Organizing Sketch 3 For iOS

Sketch 3 Tutorial

Tutorial link: Medium

Created by: Timur Nurutdinov

Since its initial launch, Sketch has developed tremendously. Its newest version has introduced numerous innovative features that allow users to take advantage of a bitmap design environment, use Symbols to facilitate the design of repeatable elements, export design files in an effortless way, and more. Timur’s Sketch tutorial will guide you through all of the above and go beyond that, providing you with valuable tips on managing your creative workspace with Sketch 3 for iOS.

Other honorable mentions:

Design a Colorful Switch

Sketch tutorial

Sebastien Gabriel‘s detailed tutorial will show you every single step of the process of creating a colorful switch icon in Sketch. You can check out his tutorial at Google Design.

Use Magic Mirror to Create a Poster Mockup

Sketch tutorial

In his tutorial, Marko Vuletič shows the basics of creating a fully-functioning poster mockup in Sketch. He will teach you how to use Magic Mirror, an image perspective transformation tool for Sketch and make your realistic poster mockup in just a few steps.

Create Your Own Sketch Plugin

Create Sketch plugin

Liu Liu, a UX designer at Google, shares an inspiring story and a whole tutorial on how he made his own Sketch plugin without being a code guru. He claims anyone can do it, as well, so why not give this one a try? You can read his tutorial here.

Best Practices for Using Sketch

Best practices for Sketch

Nick Woodman’s article is an honest and insightful guide through the fundamentals of using Sketch. Check out his seven best Sketch practices at his Medium blog.


Design Data With Sketch

Design charts and tables with Sketch

Ivo Mynttinen shares some time-saving techniques for designing tables and charts in Sketch. You can read his tutorial here.

Resizing Symbols in Sketch

Sketch tutorial

Jérémy Paul‘s handy tutorial will teach you how to rezise symbols in Sketch like a boss. His tutorial is especially useful for resposive web design as well as millions of other purposes. Read it here.

Craving more design tutorials? Read these:

Everything You Need to Know About Adobe Creative Cloud in 7 Tutorials


The 10 Best Parallax Design Tutorials Ever




The post 10 Tutorials That Can Get You Started With Sketch appeared first on SpyreStudios.

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