Wednesday, January 25th, 2006
CMX Weekly Newsletter
TODcon 2006 Announced!
For the few who haven't experience it yet, TODCon is the most informative yet informal Macromedia-related event you're going to find. Whether you're a seasoned veteran of Macromedia products or just starting out, you will have a great time learning a great deal from many knowledgeable speakers about CSS, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, ColdFusion, Flash, Central and even about running your business properly. Those who attend usually end up coming back every year because of the unique and informal atmosphere. You don't want to miss out on this event. This year, TODcon will take place in beautiful Orlando, Florida, just a hop, skip and jump from Disney World. You're invited to register for this fantastic, one of a kind event.
Skim Some CSS
While we realize that the CSS tutorials at Community MX are among the best out there, believe it or not, there are other places that have some darn good tutorials on CSS as well. If you want a quick way to find them, head over to SkimCSS.com. If you can't find it at Community MX, then you may find it there. Keep in mind, we do consider requests! Thanks go out to Judy (you know who you are) for pointing this website out to us. Oh... and the one below...
Are You In a Blue Mood?
For that matter, are you in a red or green mood? KrazyDad.com has a cool online utility called Colr Pickr that lets you pull images directly from Flickr and a few other websites. The neat part is that it pulls only pictures of a hue that you select with the color picker. Choose a particular shade of red for instance, and you'll get only images back that predominantly have that shade of red in them.
Wal-Mart - Trendsetter, or Hipster Doofus?
Wal-mart has announced a new online service where they'll make music videos and audio available for download. Their music videos will stream for free at Walmart.com, but downloading music comes with a fee. Some of the videos will be exclusive studio performances by several artists. The new service, called "Wal-Mart Soundcheck", will also feature interviews with recording artists, including punk and pop bands. It's unknown whether or not Wal-mart will censor the videos... Read more about it at Yahoo.com.
Please Let This Be The End Of FrontPage
Microsoft announced this week that they are releasing two new trial applications, or Community Technology Previews, as Microsoft is calling them. Expression Interactive Designer and Expression Graphic Designer are a web design program and a graphic design program, respectively. Neither program is quite complete, as the engineers say there are still features that need to be built into each application. Expression Interactive Designer is a WYSIWYG editor, but generates code in XAML, an XML-based programming language. Microsoft is hoping that releasing these barely-past-the-beta-stage programs that they can get plenty of feedback and get these apps up to par with the competitors. Read all about it ZDNet.com.
Satisfied Customers Speak Out!
"Human beings are human beings. They say what they want, don't they? They used to say it across the fence while they were hanging wash. Now they just say it on the Internet." — Dennis Miller
Spyware, Thy Name Be Mud
No one likes spyware. It's like the buddy that crashes at your house. It's great for a couple of days until he starts eating all of your food, spilling beer on the carpet and lighting your drapes on fire. Spyware usually comes in the form of a free utility or program for your computer, but wears out its welcome quickly by sending your personal information to people who shouldn't have it. A new project called Stop Badware is being sponsored by Google, Lenovo and Sun Microsystems, and it aims to... well, read the name. At StopBadware.org, users will be able to report spyware, share spyware horror stories. They also hope to shine a bright light on the people who manufacture spyware so that people don't download their wares in the first place. See the full story at InformationWeek.com. Meanwhile, some programs that purport to remove spyware may do the opposite. Thankfully Microsoft is there to sue their pants off, according to this InformationWeek.com article.
It Was Twenty Years Ago Today. Sargent Pepper Taught The Band To Make a Virus
This month marks twenty years since the discovery of the first computer virus. It was called the Brain virus, and could only be spread via floppy disk, rendering a floppy boot disk unusable. Computer viruses became famous in the movies, and had people believing that Matthew Broderick really could accidentally blow up the world simply by playing chess with an infected computer. These days, people have a greater idea of what computer viruses are and what they can do, and they've become a pervasive force to be reckoned with every day. If you're interested in reading more on the history of our little infectious friends, check out virus-scan-software.com for a lesson.
Take The Test And See If You Myth Any
Do cats really always land on their feet? Yes, pretty much. Is it true that chickens can live without their heads? Suprisingly, they can. Does it take years to fully digest a stick of gum? Heck no. How do we know all this? LiveScience.com has a list of the twenty most popular scientific myths and gives you the scoop on each one.
Darn. Almost Mythed This One
Speaking of myths, we've found a list of the top twenty PC myths. Included are "Magnets zap your data" and the ever-popular "Turning off your PC daily to save power shortens its life." Interesting reading, as some of these myths are pervasive on the internet, and can fuel some great arguments among folks. Check the list at PCWorld.com. The article's a bit old, but the information still holds true.
Google Officially Becomes Corporate
Google has agreed to offer China a revamped version of its services to accommodate China's restrictions on free speech. So while the Chinese people will have access to Google, there will be some terms that they will not be able to get hits on. Google recognizes that China is a huge market, and apparently want to get their foot in the door, even if it means aiding the government in keeping information from its people. To their credit, Google is not offering their Gmail, chatroom or blogging services to China for fear that the Chinese government would ask them to turn over user's personal data. More on this at bbc.co.uk.
CMX Mp3 Player for Flash
Something Most Of Us Can Sympathize With
We've provided a link to ClientCopia.com before, where people post about unusual things that have happened to them at work. Usually it involves a client who is unreasonable or perhaps a bit dim. But we just found TechTales.com, where tech folks can go and read about other tech folks who are worse off than they are.
Magazine Covers... Of The Future!! Bum-bum-bum (imagine dramatic music there)
What will magazine covers of the future look like, and what will their subject matter be? Magazine.org shares some of the more popular magazine covers of the future with us, like Good Housekeeping, Maxim and Elle, whose cover story is "How He Feels About Your Face Transplant" and "Claudia Schiffer - Still Sexy at 135!"
Blast From The Not So Distant Past...
One of the Community MX staffers stumbled upon a video from one of the past MTV Movie Award shows, and it's pretty funny. The premise is what if William Shatner played the three main characters from the movie "Seven", and played them as TJ Hooker, Captain Kirk and William Shatner? Check it out at Google Video.
Using Swap Image with a Select List/Menu - Part 1
Ever wondered how to do a cool motion graphic text effect without knowing how to use Flash or even do a tween? If you have After Effects, a simple drag and drop is all you need to know.
In the second article of the cool GoLive features series we will look at GoLive Smart Forms and International Smart Forms, two free extensions created by Adam Pratt that add 50 commonly used forms to your pages. If you ever laboriously typed out all the labels and values for a country list, or found yourself constructing an elaborate eCommerce form, you're going to love these starter forms and form objects.
Web designers and developers alike have been speculating wildly about the fate of the Flash Player, now that Adobe's acquisition of Macromedia is history. The most popular rumor is that the Flash Player will become one with Adobe Reader. If you've been flying solo with Macromedia products and never touched Adobe's line, you've probably still used the Adobe Reader, formerly known as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Adobe Reader can open, display, and print PDF files. PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and accomplished very similar feats for the printing industry as SWF did for the web industry.
Last time, we talked about little things coders can do to avoid friction with clients and co-workers when code is being prepared. This time we will examine the 'stage' on which we all present our content to the world.
WordPress has always been both powerful and empowering, and the new 2.0 ("Duke") release is no exception. This review discusses the new features in the latest edition of WordPress, and offers tips on installation and/or upgrading.
The release of Fireworks 8 brought with it many enhancements from both creative and production perspectives. This article focuses on one of the old FW features that was revamped for Fireworks 8 — editing text on a path. Adding text to a path breaks you out of the rigid formality of text blocks and gives you the freedom to make the text fit into your design in an almost organic fashion.
Part 2 of the series exploring ASP.NET v2 membership tags, the MS Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition, and the Cassini web server. The emphasis of this part is using the built-in ASP.NET Web Site Administration tool to enable roles and create access rules such that certain folders are protected from unauthorized access.
In this tutorial we will learn how we can access the search data a user entered on Google. We will then use that information to re-run a search on our web site to provide the user with more specific information about the item(s) they originally searched for on Google.
You've probably seen this little effect on television or in web graphic here and there. A little starburst effect is added at the edge of text or on top of some other object. Even though it's just a a little bit of eye candy, the results are quite effective when you want to make something shine just a bit and draw the viewer's eye to the graphic.
In the last tutorial of this series, you learned how cue points can be used to enhance video in Flash. In this installment, you learn how to add navigation cue points to a video source clip that will be compressed as a Flash Video file (flv).
A Gentle Introduction to SimpleXML
This week's Tip, Trick or Dirty Cheat is courtesy of Linda Rathgeber-Stewart
Use Your Own Swatches
Make a GIF of color swatches in Fireworks and export it to your assets folder for the site. When you want to sample a color from it, open the DW Assets panel and click on the Images button. Click on the swatches GIF so that it shows up in the preview pane of the assets panel. Use the eyedropper tool from one of the DW swatches pop-ups to pick a color from the GIF.
Would you like your tip published? Submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's it for this week. Stay tuned for the next CMX newsletter!