Entries Tagged as 'Featured'

Dream Jobs You’ve Never Heard Of: Parabolic Flight Crew

In Douglas Adam’s book Life, The Universe, and Everything, he shares the secret of flying: it’s the art of learning how to “throw yourself at the ground and miss.” Tim Bailey  teaches people how to do just that:  throw themselves at the ground (in an airplane) and miss in order to fly.

Tim Bailey — Parabolic Expert

Tim Bailey — Parabolic Expert

Professionally speaking, Tim wears a lot of hats. Although his LinkedIn profile gives his job title as simply “Catalyst”, it  then lists 10 separate jobs under “Current”. To name just a few, he works on SpaceVidcast, Space Task Force, Yuri’s Night (The World Space Party), and is the co-founder and Chief Operating Office of Sky Fire Lab—an independent organization promoting space travel in the media. See a theme yet?  But if you scroll down to the bottom of his lengthy list of job titles, you will see that he is also a member of the Parabolic Flight Crew for the ZERO-G Corporation. What’s that you ask? parabolic what?

Tim’s job is the closest thing there is to being an astronaut without actually going into space. He spends his days assisting and training people in aircraft flights that simulate a microgravity environment—effectively he’s a flight attendant teaching people how to fly—and he is one of only nine people on the planet qualified to do this.

Tim has performed over 150 such flights, each with multiple parabolas—where the craft goes up and down at a steep angles to create a “weightless” free-fall environment inside—equating to over 24 hours of his life that Tim has spent unencumbered by the Earthly bonds of gravity. This has led to Tim’s unique ability to, as he puts it,  “execute some fairly bad-ass flips in any axis [x, y, and z].”

In addition to being an evangelist and trainer for manned space travel, though, Tim is also a husband and recent father. Judging by his recent Twitter posts, he spends a lot of time with his family going between  Kennedy Space Center and Disney World—a true geek dad’s paradise!

I recently chatted with Tim about his job, his work advocating for manned space travel, and his own future in space.

Read the full interview on GeekDad »

Adding Transparencies and Gradients With CSS

24 Ways

24 Ways

The way you handle color in your web designs is about to change. Perhaps you’ve been playing around with hexadecimal color values since you were a wee web-babe; if you were, get ready to to grow up fast. CSS3 has arrived, and your palette is about to get a whole lot bigger.

Compared to what’s coming, it’s sas though designers have been color-blind, working with only a small part of the chromatic spectrum. No, new hues will not be added to the rainbow.

What will happen is that color values will be defined in new ways, the entire spectrum of opacity levels will be added and gradients based on pure CSS rather than images will be thrown in, too.

Some forward-thinking websites, such as the impressive 24 Ways to Impress Your Friends, are already playing around with RGBa for text and background color effects—and the results are great.

Read the full article on Webdesigner Depot »

Whatever Happened to Doctor Who’s Sarah Jane Smith?

The Sarah Jane Adventures wrapped its fourth season last Tuesday night (10/15) … at least it did in the UK. Alas, for we poor souls in the Colonies there is no firm date for us to enjoy the exploits of the plucky investigative journalist and her brave band of teenage sidekicks as they repel a seemingly endless stream of alien invasions. This is a shame because TSJA is one of those rare sci-fi series that my kids, my wife, and myself can all equally enjoy.

Read the full story Whatever Happened to Doctor Who’s Sarah Jane Smith? on  GeekDad »

Web Designers VS Web Developers

Some one sent me this insanely funny info graphic on Web Designers VS Web Developers. It reminds me of the series of articles I did for Webdesigner Depot: 5 Pet Peeves Designers Have With Developers (and How to Avoid Them … and the sequel 5 Pet Peeves Developers Have With Designers (and How to Avoid Them …

free website builder

Web Designers vs Web Developers is brought to you by Wix.com
Use creative design to make a Free Website
You are most welcome to share this infographic with your audience.

Get my new book on CSS3 for $9.99 (cheap!)

Buy the eBook version of CSS3:VQS this week for $9.99»

CSS3: Visual Quickstart Guide by Jason Cranford Teague

CSS3: Visual Quickstart Guide

After months of research, coding and writing, my latest book—CSS3: Visual Quickstart Guide—is finally in shops and available for purchase online. This book covers everything you can do with Cascading Style Sheets today, including the latest advances in design and interactivity. This is a particularly exciting time to be a Web designer: we are about to get a whole new set of tools for our Web designs. This book will show you how the CSS3 capabilities ready for prime time (or soon will be) that will explode your creativity.

CSS3: VQS is a slim concise volume covers the breadth of CSS3, much of which remains unchanged since CSS2/2.1. If you are an old hat at CSS, Here’s a brief peak of the new material I cover in the book:

  1. Borders –  Border images and rounded corners.
  2. Backgrounds – Multiple backgrounds can be added to a single element, backgrounds can be more precisely positioned, backgrounds can be extended clipped to the inside or outside of a border and backgrounds can be resized.
  3. Color –Color opacity settings, gradients in backgrounds, and HSL color values.
  4. Text – Text shadows, text overflow, and word wrapping.
  5. Transformations – Scale, skew, move, and rotate an element in 2D or 3D space.
  6. Transitions – Simple dynamic style transitions.
  7. Box – Drop shadows, boxes can be resized by user, overflow can be set separately in horizontal and vertical directions, outline offset allows you to set space between the outline and the border and box model specifications allows you to set how width and height are applied to the box.
  8. Content – Styles used to add content to an element.
  9. Opacity – Elements can be transparent.
  10. Media – Ability to style pages based on the viewport size, color, aspect ratio, resolution and other important design considerations.
  11. Web fonts – Updates and extends the ability to link to fonts for use in a design.

The book also includes:

  • Compatibility tables showing the exact browser version each CSS property is compatible with
  • Quick reference tables showing all property values, their compatibility, and default values
  • Quick fixes for common CSS problems
  • How to organize and debug your code
  • 33 best practices for CSS

A support Webpage where you can download all of the code from the book

For a limited time, you can buy an eBook version of CSS3:VQS directly from Peachpit for the low, low cast of $9.99. Get all of the advantages of the most thorough resource on the latest version of CSS3—with information on how you can apply these cutting edge techniques to your Web site today—in a convenient electronic format. This deal is only available from my publisher this week, so get it now.

Buy the CSS3:VQS eBook now for $9.99 and let me know what you think.

Blast From the Past: Me at SXSW2009

I was Googling myself today to see what images there are out there of me, and came across this video interview I did at SxSW 2009 for Austin Lifestyles. Wow! What a difference two years makes! This was taken shortly after I left AOL, so I was not working at the time. I still haven’t seen the last half of the final season of Battle Star Galactica, but I definitely know how Felicia Day is now and I’ve finished three more books since then.

10 Geeky Web Tricks with HTML5 and CSS3

It’s a glorious time to be a web geek! Did you see the cool effect the folks at Google added to their logo the day before they made their big announcement about changes to the perennial search engine? It’s gone now, but for a brief period when you moused over the logo, it flew apart in colorful blobs avoiding your mouse.

To most people’s surprise (OK, maybe only to most web geeks’ surprise), this interactivity was not created with Adobe Flash, but instead using the most recent versions of common Web technologies. It’s likely that you’ve already benefited from these new Web technologies: HTML5 and CSS3. They are already popping up all over the place, despite the fact that they are not supported in the most popular browser, Internet Explorer <insert dramatic pause here> at least not until today!

That’s right, the next version of Internet Explorer version 9 will support HTML5 and CSS3 and that version will be released today 15 September as a public beta!!

And there was much rejoicing!!!

Our long nightmare is finally over. Now everyone will be using a modern browser and Web designers can finally do really cool things without Flash. Ok, maybe I’m being premature — it’ll take a while before everyone is upgraded — but a guy can dream, can’t he?

The great thing about any ground breaking technology is all of the cool experiments that get thrown together. The early adopters are less worried about finding practical applications and more interested in just playing around to create new toys. Let’s play with a few today!

Below is a list of my favorite 10 new Web toys. Of course you will need a modern browser — Safari 5 or Chrome 6 are usually best, but Firefox 3.6 will work for a lot of them. If you are running Windows — and are very brave person — you should go download Internet Explorer 9 right now and test these toys out. Let me know in the comments if all of them are working for you in your browser of choice.

Continue Reading “10 Geeky Web Tricks with HTML5 and CSS3″ on GeekDad»

via GeekDad.

Beyond Biff, Bam, Pow: 10 Graphic Novels To Enjoy With Kids of Every Age

The Little Endless Storybook by Jill Thompson

The Little Endless Storybook by Jill Thompson

Comic books, graphic novels, sequential art or manga; whatever you call them, illustrated books are a great way to tell a story. I’ve been reading comics for most of life, except for a brief period from age 12 to 16 when I thought I was too old for them. Boy was I wrong.

I’ve been reading comics to my kids almost since the day they were born, mixing them in with other storybooks and eventually novels. One of the great things about reading comics is that graphic stories cut out all of the boring “He said” and “She said” stuff. If you combine this with distinctive voices for the different characters, your kids will always know who’s saying what, making stories much easier to keep up with.

Here are a few of their favorites, roughly arranged for age appropriateness from younger to older readers.

Read the full article on GeekDad »

Headed to Web Directions USA

The Web typography road show is heading to the southern USofA for the Web Directions USA Conference. Oddly enough, the conference was originally to be called Web Directions North, as a follow up to Web Directions in South, which is held in Australia. Someone must have pointed out to the organizers that any event with the word “North” in the title was not likely to draw a huge audience in Georgia.

Web Directions USA

A lot has been happening this years, and—now that I’ve finished my new book on CSS3—I’m turning my full attention back to Web typography. I’ve retooled and reworked my 2010: The Year of Web Typography presentation, expanding and enhancing information about Webfont service bureaus,and refining the slide layout and color scheme to make them a lot easier to read on those big brother style projectors we use to show our slides.

Web Directions USA isn’t free, but you can save a bunch of money using my discount code to get $100 off the ticket price. Just go to the Web Directions registration page and enter the discount code WDUSA-JCT.

But that’s not all! The day after the conference (Saturday) there will be a hack day event called Amped. I’ll be on hand to give 1:1 Web typography and CSS3 advice all day long:

Amped is the Hackday, reloaded, brought to you by Web Directions, happening in Atlanta this September 25. We’ve taken the traditional hack day, pulled it apart, thought long and hard about what’s great, what’s not so great, and how as many different kinds of web folks can come together for one intense 10 hour period of hacking, designing and making amazing things.
So come on out and say hello. See you in Atlanta.

Join Me At Voices That Matter

Voice That Matter Web  Design Confernece

Join Me!

I’m approaching the half way mark for my new CSS3 book, but I’m getting psyched up to amongst some heavy hitters in the Web industry at the upcoming Voices that Matter: Web Design Conference in San Francisco. It’s just a little over a week until I’ll be presenting a retooled and updated version of my session on Fluid Web Typography. If you want to get the latest on branding your sites through typography, be there.

The post-conference seminar with Tantek Çelik talking about HTML5 is already sold-out, but two days with Jesse James Garrett, Dan Cederholm, Steve Krug, and other luminaries is still yours for the taking.

If you are going to be there, let me know.

LIVE(ish) – Fluid Web Typography at SXSWi 2010

I was poking around the SXSW site, and realized that the recording of my session on Web typography is finally available. I had to pick through the code a bit, but finally found the file I needed to embed. For reference, I’m also embedding the slide share version of the presentation slides. It’ll almost be like being there!


View more presentations from Jason CranfordTeague.


The Evolution of HTML & CSS

I’m hard at work on my new book, CSS3 Visual Quickstart Guide, and I’m looking to get some feedback from you, my viewing audience. As part of chapter 1, I’ll be quickly tracing the evolution of both CSS and HTML, and I put together this timeline to help to show their relative development over the last 20 years (wow, has it really been that long). The bars in this timeline are based partially on the publication of each of the standards, but also on their relative effect on the Web. For example, although CSS1 was published in 1997, it took several years to catch on. Also, obviously, as one version of a standard grew in popularity, it’s predecessor would decline, but not always evenly.

This is not to meant to be an empirically exact chart, but to give viewers a general overview of when each of the standards was in it’s prime.

To help me out, either post a comment below or send me a message and let me know what you might add, subtract, change or improve, and thanks in advance for any help.

The Evolution of HTML & CSS Since 1991

The Evolution of HTML & CSS Since 1991

Heading to Berlin to Speak at Next10

I’m heading off to Berlin in mid-May to speak at Next10. The event includes over 100 high profile tech insiders speaking and is expected to draw over 1500 participants. The topic this year is “Game Changers,” and I have not one, but two, great game changers to talk about:

Marriott.com 2.0: Building the Next Generation Online Hotel Lobby

In August 2009 I took over as the Interactive Design Manager at Marriott.com. My first assignment was to launch Marriott’s new Web 2.0 face of Marriott; a game changer in the way that hotels present their front door to the world. When I started, the design was already finished and development was well under way. All I had to do was make sure it launched on time in November.  However, what I found was a product that would not work as designed. In this session, I will walk through the issues I encountered and how I worked with the designers and developers to solve them, showing how a few minor design tweaks not only allowed the site to be deployed on time, but also made it faster and more versatile.

2010: The Year of Web Typography

Fresh on the heels of my successful Web typography presentation in March at SXSW, I’m updating and expanding that work to help the thinkers at Next10. In this hour long session, I will not only show how modern Web typography works from a technical standpoint, but emphasize how businesses can use the new capabilities to help differentiate their online brand.

Use my promotional code to get a 20% discount on tickets: SpeakersFriends2010.

DEVO Focus Group Testing the Future at SXSW

I was privileged to participated in the DEVO Live focus group at SXSW this year, where I learned a lot about the rigorous of user research testing. If you look closly, I’m at the edge of the frame when the camera pans all the way to the left, wearing my Yuri’s Night T-shirt and standing next to my buddy Phil Djwa.

They also showed us this little movie explaing what DEVO is up to with it’s re-branding:

via DEVO – Focus Group Testing the Future – #3 .

Shame on You Apple: A Musical Odyssey

Most of my friends think of me as an unabashed Apple fanboy who drools over Steve Jobs’ every word. Truth-to-tell—although I’m a great fan of Apple’s products and design philosophy—many of their policies leave me chilled or outraged.

I was reminded of this recently while I stood watching the band Stricken City at the British Music Embassy that was a part of the SXSW festivities. I was really digging the band, who had shades of Siouxsie and The Banshees and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. As they started into their last song of the set, the lead singer gave out the obligatory URL and told the crowd that they could download this next song for free from their Web site.

You can't download music files directly from a Web site to your iPhone. Why not?

You can't download music files directly from a Web site to your iPhone. Why not?

Great, I’m thinking as I pull out my iPhone and navigate to the correct URL with my
“revolutionary Internet device.” I click the link to download the album, and an alert pops up telling me that due to restrictions by Apple, I cannot download the song with my iPhone. I will need to go to a computer if I want it for free or use the iTunes store to purchase it. I later choose the free option, sending the band a contribution for it’s hard work, but was miffed that I cold not grab the song and go.

There are no good technical, security, or legal reasons why I can’t download this freely available music file to my iPhone. The only possible reason for this “feature” of the iPhone is that Apple wants to be the single gateway for all information in and out of their devices. I can sympathize with this to a certain point. Apple wants to keep a quality and consistent experience for their customers. But not allowing me to download a music file and have it install in iTunes is going too far. This not only stifles competition, it also stifles innovation.

Take one of the most important apps on the iPhone: Mail. Mail has not undergone a significant improvement since it was first released with early model iPhones. It gets the job done, but there are some very basic and obvious features missing, most notably the ability to flag a particular message and view multiple accounts in a single list. Yet Apple obviously will not permit any competing products for this service. Yes, you can get some Web app based mail programs, but that’s not what I need.

I still think my iPhone is the best device I’ve ever owned, bringing me the promise of  40 years of sci-fi tech into my palm. But I would rather Apple not take page from the Microsoft playbook and establish itself as a monopoly.

Come on Apple, open up a little: you can still make the best products, gobs of cash, and keep that whole “Think Different” philosphy alive.

Sketchnotes for FWT

Thanks to Mike Rohde for making these great “sketchnotes” of my lecture at SXSW and the Web Typography dinner afterward at the Athenian Grill . For more of Mike’s great SXSW sketchnotes, visit his SXSW Interactive 2010 Flickr pages.

Sketchnotes from Fluid Web Typography.

Sketchnotes from Fluid Web Typography.

Sketchnotes from Web Typography Dinner

Sketchnotes from Web Typography Dinner

Meeting Bruce

I was watching Andrew Keen speak at SXSW Sunday. He’s the author of The Cult of the Amateur—a book that could be subtitled “everything Jason does is evil and destroying the fabric of American culture,” so I was not exactly an unbiased audience member. It was a surprisingly small room for someone as renowned as Keen, but then again, no one at SXSW was likely to be too hip to his message.

I arrived late, and slid into a seat in the back. In front of me were a couple watching intently as Keen blathered on in black and white terms about the evils of the modern Internet and how we were all doomed.

Keen kept referring to “Bruce has said…” and “In Bruce’s article, he writes that…” At one point the woman in front of me leaned over to her companion and whispered “Bruce” in what I took to be a questioning tone of voice. The man shrugged his shoulders, attention still fixed on Keen. Now, being the helpful kitty that I am, and thinking that they did not know who Keen meant, I leaned forward and whispered that Keen was referring to Bruce Sterling. Bruce Sterling turned around and told me that he knew who Keen meant.

Andrew Keen in the middle. Bruce Sterlings head is in the bottom right corner.

Andrew Keen in the middle. Bruce Sterling's head is in the bottom right corner.

If you don’t know, Bruce Sterling is one of the most famous and influential Sci-fi authors alive today. Bruce was one of the major voices in the cyberpunk sub-genre which predicted much of the culture you are experiencing today. If you haven’t read his books, I highly recommend you do. I’m a fan and have seen him speak on several occasions, so, when I saw his face, I recognized him immediately.

I was mortified, mumbled an apology, shook his hand, and told him it was a great honor. Fortunately,  I didn’t also say “I’m not worthy.”

After the session, I left post-haste, but it was like when you buy a new car: suddenly you start seeing that car everywhere you go. We passed in the hall within feet of each other three times that day. The next night, I’m at a totally random party, and who should walk past me but Bruce.

Now, I’m not saying Bruce Sterling was stalking me, I’m just saying that guy really gets around.

Jason Reads from SiS at SXSW 09

At my SXSW Book Signing

At my SXSW Book Signing. I don't usually look this menacing.

At SXSW last week, I read Chapter 3, “The Myths of CSS”, from my forthcoming book Speaking In Styles, and then did a book signing for CSS, DHTML, & Ajax at the Barnes & Noble booth. It was an interesting session, where I talked to several nice people, and even signed copy of my book for someone from Microsoft (hopefully he won’t be returning it).

SXSW posted an audio recording of my reading on their site and I am happy to re-present it here.

Speaking in Styles: A CSS Primer for Web Designers

Interview with New Riders at SXSW 09

I had a great time at SXSW 2009. Met a lot of great people, heard a lot of great ideas, and ate a lot of great food. While I was there, I did a quick interview with Gary-Paul of New Riders about my upcoming book, Speaking In Styles, although it was not the most flattering of angles:

What is an “Online Comic”?

It’s a little over a week until I’m at SxSW to talk about Online Comics with Richard Bruning (DC Comics), Ron Richards (iFanboy.com), and comic artist Rivkah. Richard is providing an industry perspective, Ron a reader’s perspective, Rivkah an artists perspective, and me? Besides moderating, I’ll be providing a technical perspective on what is possible with User Interface design.

In advance of the panel, I wanted to get down some of my ideas about User Interface design and online comics for feedback from interested readers.

Based on user interface design, I separate online comics into three basic categories:

Page Mimics

Balance & Grace Online Comic

Balance & Grace Online Comic Mimics a Page turning Metephor

Use the page metaphor with the linear “panel” concept for sequential story telling, either using fade, slide, or even simulated page flipping to transition between virtual-pages. Often these online comics are simply scans of print comics, so they keep the same vertical aspect, which is not optimal for the generally more horizontal computer screen.

Examples include:

Motion Comics

 

Sparks Motion Comic

Sparks Motion Comic

Although easily mistaken for a cartoon, these comics take existing sequential art and use a “tweening” process to create pseudo-animation. The story is still linear in nature, but becomes a more passive experience than static comics, which engage the reader to imagine the motion themselves. That said, motion comics are better suited than static images for the screen and Internet, but are still a young medium that I hope will become increasingly interactive.

Examples include:

Experimental UI

Experimental Comic "Shadows Never Sleep"

Experimental Comic “Shadows Never Sleep”

These are still comics in that they use static and/or sequential art, but presented in ways that break with other comic conventions in ways only possible in the online world. For example, “Shadows Never Sleep” allows the user to zoom in and out of the story, exploring the art and narrative at will. “ZoomQuilt II” breaks with the traditional horizontal nature of comics, instead allowing users to zoom vertically down the narrative.

Examples include: