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The State of HTML5 Video

Jan 30, 2012   //   by David   //   Blog, Coding  //  No Comments

Excellent article by LongTailVideo on current (Jan 2012 article, Nov 2011 data) support of HTML5 video features on various devices and browsers.

Keep in mind that this is specific research and should be balanced using your own site analytics (eg. Your site gets mostly Firefox traffic vs IE you can move towards certain features sooner).


QR Codes and vCards

Jan 11, 2012   //   by David   //   Blog, Coding  //  1 Comment

While playing around with QR Codes as discussed here and here I found myself wondering if I could throw together a dynamic QR Code for creating a vCard. The answer was yes. With a couple small caveats, it looks ugly and I’ve tested it but you need to test it yourself before publishing the QR Code, I’m pretty happy with the results.

I did find that my favorite QR Scanner I use on my iPhone was one of the many that suffers from poor vCard support so data was getting put in the wrong fields. Once I tried QRafter (vCard support is good, but I’m still not sold on the rest of it) I was able to properly test the images.

Feel free to give it a try, right-click on the preferred image to save and post your comments or feedback here. I get the feeling I will be updating this to make it more useful.

My Dynamic QR Code Creator for vCards

Emails and Newsletters

Dec 1, 2011   //   by David   //   Blog, Business  //  No Comments

If you are collecting emails on your website for newsletters or email updates you’ll want to make sure that you are compliant with the US CAN-SPAM and/or Canadian C-28 regulations depending on where your email servers and clients are located.

Using ShortCodes in WordPress Text Widgets

Nov 24, 2011   //   by David   //   Blog, Coding  //  No Comments

Shortcodes can be incredibly useful in WordPress posts but have you ever tried to put them into a text widget? Not much luck there when all you get is the text showing the [shortcode] you entered.

Well, there is a quick and easy solution. Just add this to your functions.php file:

add_filter( 'widget_text', 'shortcode_unautop');
add_filter( 'widget_text', 'do_shortcode');

Source: using shortcodes everywhere

Simple. Now you’ll be able to use your cool shortcodes within text widgets.

Siri, Google Calendar and Unexpected Invitee Emails – New iOS 6 Update

Nov 18, 2011   //   by David   //   Blog, iOS Tips and Tricks  //  19 Comments

I love my iPhone 4S. I love Siri. I love Google Calendar.

However, using Google Calendar there doesn’t seem to be a way of turning off the automatic invite email that gets sent when you tell Siri to “Schedule a meeting with [person’s name] on Monday at 10am”. If the the person is in your contacts with an email address they are added as an invitee and Google Calendar automatically emails them the invite. Of course, there are ways around this by changing what you tell Siri but that misses the point of the intuitive nature of Siri and impacts it’s usefulness.

I’ve had a few emails go out to unexpected invitees for tentative meetings I was just planning before contacting the client. I really wish Google would made the automatic sending of invite emails a setting based feature.

If you know of a fix, add-on or workaround that includes leaving the name of the person in the meeting request to Siri, please comment here. Of course, if I find anything on the web I’ll be sure to post it here too.

UPDATE: September 2012 – I’ve updated to iOS 6 and have been testing the unwanted automatic email invitations and it looks like Siri is doing something a little different. I’ll keep playing around with it but at the moment it seems to still be adding the event to the invitees calendar.

UPDATE: For a little clarification in why I point to Google Calendar as the source of the problem, when I create an appointment WITH someone and it sends out the automatic invitation to the meeting it comes from the email address associated with my Google Calendar not the email address used on my iPhone. Looking at the message source code you can also see that it is coming from Google Calendar calendar-notification@google.com

UPDATE: April 2013. FINALLY…Thanks to Peter here is a usable workaround. You can say “schedule quote lunch with Joe end quote at noon” so that no email is sent and they are not added as attendees.

Multiple Google Calendars Using Sync

Nov 11, 2011   //   by David   //   Blog, iOS Tips and Tricks  //  No Comments

Are you using Google Sync but can’t get more than one Google calendar to appear on your iPhone?

On your iPhone open safari browser and go to m.google.com/sync and login with your Google account. Select all the calendars that you want to sync. The default is to only sync the one calendar but from here you can select up to 25 calendars to sync.

Personal Hotspot Not Showing on iPhone 4S

Nov 11, 2011   //   by David   //   Blog, iOS Tips and Tricks  //  3 Comments

On my main settings screen under Airplane mode and Wi-Fi, Personal Hotspot wasn’t showing so I just assumed my carrier (Virgin Mobile Canada) was blocking it. Turns out the reason it wasn’t showing was it wasn’t turned ON under Settings->General->Network->Personal Hotspot (iOS5). Once I turned it on, it showed up on the main settings screen.

For iOS6, you should find Personal Hotspot ON/OFF under Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot (listed below Cellular Data and Data Roaming).

It’s available via USB, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Sorry I doubted you, Virgin Mobile. 😉

Got a Smartphone, Get a QR Code Reader

Oct 31, 2011   //   by David   //   Blog, Business  //  1 Comment

qrcodearticleFurther to my popular post about QR Codes, I figured it was time to talk about reading these codes.

QR Codes are starting to gain a little ground in advertising, who am I kidding, they are popping up everywhere. One of the early adopters of this technology was Real Estate agents and like most implementations you have a broad mix of excellent use to useless. I’ve seen lawn sign with QR Codes in front of a home for sale that link me directly to the house details (photos, price, agent contact info) and location-aware functionality that shows me other homes the agent lists in the area. I’ve also seen the same kind of placement that send me to the agent’s website with no easy way to find details about the house I’m standing in front of. I have clients using them for newsletter signups at their retail counter, others with them on their front door to send after hours visitors to their website and some using them on all their print marketing to engage that “younger audience”. No matter what they are doing with them, it’s up to the viewer to have some way of using the QR Code.

iPhone, 1 Pixel Out Audio Player and HTML5 – The Prequel

Sep 14, 2011   //   by David   //   Blog, Coding  //  14 Comments

Lots of response to my original article about HTML5 and the 1 Pixel Out Audio Player. Unfortunately, most of it was because the original code and links died. I was able to get in touch with the author and he was kind enough to send all his files for me to repost and host here. Below is Ryan’s original article (with a couple minor edits requested):

Solution to WordPress “File param is missing” no CSS

Jun 14, 2011   //   by David   //   Coding  //  No Comments

If you’ve loaded up your WordPress site and found the CSS gone, you’re not alone.

Turns out there is a new bug in the W3 Total Cache plugin of WordPress where the minified CSS and JS files aren’t accessible. Your site will throw a 400 Bad Request error and if you try to access the referenced file directly you’ll get a “File param is missing” message.

The quick fix until it is addressed by the folks at W3 Total Cache is to disable the “Rewrite URL structure” option on the Minify tab in the W3 Total Cache options panel. Hopefully it’s just temporary and the next update will resolve the issue and you can turn the rewrite back on.