Knowledge Roundup: Week of 12/14

This is just a dumping ground for articles/books/tools that stuck out to me over the last week.

Most of the articles I read come from some excellent newsletter sources: Javascript Weekly, HTML5 Weekly, Ruby Weekly, Node Weekly, Database Weekly, and the Code Project Newsletter. Books are from a variety of sources, including Achieve Your Goals podcast, Entrepreneur on Fire and the Ameer Rosic Show (among many others and random internet discoveries).

Articles

http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/12/critical-git-bug-allows-malicious-code-execution-on-client-machines/

The official git clients for Mac and Windows are vulnerable to an attack. Time to update. If you’re using homebrew, this article will help – http://artarmstrong.com/blog/2014/12/18/install-and-update-to-git-2-2-1-on-mac-osx-10-10-yosemite-using-homebrew/

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2859176/why-google-should-leave-europe.html

Interesting article about the increasing pressure being placed on Google in the EU. I had no idea how wacky some of the stuff was they were doing to google – for instance, forcing them to pay fines for referencing news items from Spanish news sources. Now that they are pulling their news service there, Spain is trying to force them to stay and pay the fines. Nutty.

http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/12/some-100000-or-more-wordpress-sites-infected-by-mysterious-malware/

This is relevant for anyone with the Slider Revolution installed in WordPress. A colleague of mine had one WordPress site (of dozens) with that plugin, and it was infected.

http://www.drdobbs.com/architecture-and-design/farewell-dr-dobbs/240169421

Dr Dobbs will no longer be publishing new content. End of an era – I used them for years as a reference and knowledge source. They’ll keep the doors open and available with all existing content, so that’s the only upside.

http://ionicframework.com/blog/the-final-beta/

The final ionic beta brings some really great updates and performance improvements. I’m just starting to play with it now and I can’t wait for the 1.0 release!

http://moduscreate.com/the-state-of-html5-gaming

Nice overview of some of the better HTML5 options for writing games. I’m partial to Phaser myself, and find it to have a really robust, fairly intuitive API. And it’s fast and awesome on mobile.

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2860466/coder-sell-thyself.html

Some practical, useful (if not general) advice in here about becoming and growing as a freelancer. Only qualm I have is with the advice to straight up quit your job. I think there is a point to be made about leaving room for opportunity to find you, but you can start slowly by taking on opportunity on your off-work time. Then as you grow in your skills and your client base, taking the leap to full-time freelance is an easier (and more secure) decision. Just don’t wait too long, once you’ve decided it’s right for you.

Books

Sleep Smarter – http://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Smarter-Proven-Better-Success/dp/0984574522

Just finished this one up and it was definitely enlightening. Already starting to implement some of this advice – making sure to sleep between 10 and 2 has made a noticeable difference in how I feel in the morning. Probably the most difficult thing to overcome will be reducing “screen” time before bed. TV and Phones/Tablets use near bedtime have a detrimental effect on the quality of your sleep, apparently.

Tools

https://github.com/gajus/brim

iOS7 came with the (developer) useful, but (user) confusing “ui-minimal” viewport tag (see the Safari section in that link). Unfortunately, user confusing beats out developer helpful and it was removed in iOS8 – but some of the behavior of it remains. This library gives some useful tools for understanding when the user has caused a minimal-ui mode to be entered.

https://github.com/Maatwebsite/Laravel-Excel

Sweet little Laravel service provider for interfacing with the PHPExcel library in a Laravel project. Provides a nice facade for the library, and even makes it possible to generate excel files based off of blade templates (containing tables).

https://github.com/zzarcon/focusable

Could be a good basis for a walkthrough library. Helpful to be able to guide a user through the screen, focusing on what aspects are important and describing them.

http://www.appgyver.com/supersonic

Interesting Ionic competitor. Actually uses the ionic styles, but claims to have superior performance. The highlight of it for me was that you can actually manage certain native components as if they were html. Also supports some form of framework agnosticism – though I think to achieve that you’d lose some of their features.

https://github.com/sferik/active_emoji

Because ruby.