Useful links: Flexbox, Ads, misogyny, HTML5 shiv

Putting Flexbox into Practice: A Presentation at Blend Conference with a lot of supporting material, slides, links, and tools. From Zoe Gillinwater.

Instagram will carry advertising soon. That’s what The Verge says.

TechCrunch apologizes for two misogynistic presentations at their hackathon. Good for TechCrunch!

Now there’s an HTML5shiv for WordPress.

The Whys and Hows of Two-Step Verification


I spent the weekend in Chicago at BlogHer13. One of my jobs there was to do a couple of sessions in the Geek Bar on two-step verification. While I have the information at my fingertips, here are the whys and hows of two-step verification


Why is every big company bringing in the opportunity for users to sign up for two-step verification? Horror stories of hacked accounts, mostly. All these companies have made it possible for you to use two-step verification.

  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WordPress
  • Evernote
  • Apple
  • Dropbox

Two-step verification adds a layer of security to your account and makes it harder for your account to be hacked.

Once your account has been breached, it can be used to broadcast spam or malicious links. Your password can be changed. Your information can be changed or removed (and there’s no way to get it back). If it is a Twitter or Facebook password that someone has figured out then all the sites that you sign into using Twitter and Facebook have been compromised as well.


You still need a strong password, even if you opt in to two-step verification. Remember that.

If you use two-step verification, here’s how you do it.

  • Sign in to your account on Facebook or Gmail or whatever service you are using. Find the settings in your profile.
  • Sign up for two-step verification and provide your mobile phone number
  • Now, when you go to the site and enter your password to sign in, you may be required to enter a second access code, which is sent to your mobile phone

On Facebook, for example, enable ‘Login Approvals’ from the ‘Account Security’ section of the account settings page

facebook opt in

On Twitter, visit your account settings page. Make sure you have provided a phone number. Check the “Require a verification code when I sign in” box

twitter opt in

Unless a hacker has your phone in his hand, he may have guessed your password, but he won’t have the code that gets sent to your mobile phone.

It depends on which company you are using whether you are asked to enter the second code every time you sign in. If you are signing in from a recognized device, you may not be asked for the second code.

Useful links: Wearable tech, placeholder text, CSS Zen Garden

Continuum screen shot
Image from Syfy

Motorola building a ‘world-class’ wearables design group says The Verge. I hope Motorola will make me one of those high tech suits like Rachel Nichols wears in Continuum. That suit makes the stuff we thought was cool in The Matrix look antique.

Using placeholder text in HTML5 forms across all browsers comes from TechRepublic.

CSS Zen Garden is back at the same old URL with a responsive design and a whole new set of design challenges and opportunities for web designers from all over the world.

Millennial Quiz gives you a score based on how open you are to change

The Pew Research Center has done a study on millennials and the millennial generation. As they put it, this generation is “confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living.”

Pew developed a millennial quiz, using the results of their study called How Millennial Are You? By birth, I am as far from a millennial as I can get, but on the quiz I come out somewhere between a Gen Xer and a millennial.

My results:

millinneal quiz results

The study breaks the data down into all sorts of categories and looks at the information in many different ways. There’s much more to the study than the quiz.

I found the quiz particularly interesting, however. I never fit any of the measures of my generation, and this is just one more example of the kind of oddball I am. I am an elder in a world full of young techies and often feel like a time traveler.

Is there some thing about education that can make people open to new experiences and willing to change with technology as it develops? Or is it strictly a matter of personality? Is it nature or nurture? Because if education can be used to train people to be open and willing to consider new ideas, I would like to know how it’s done!

If you take the quiz, I’d love to know your score and how that compares with where you sit on the generation spectrum in terms of actual years.

Binge Viewing, the Second Screen, and the Future

This is how I watch TV

I read an excellent article by Neicole Crepeau called Re-thinking the future of TV in the Age of Binge. The article made some interesting points about binge viewing and also about the increasing use of a second screen.

Since the readers of this blog are the people who make the web sites and apps that constitute the second screen, I think this topic is of importance to web educators and web developers.

My Binge Watching Habits

I love binge watching. I do it all the time via Netflix or On Demand. Recently I’ve watched season one of The Fall – twice. I also watched season one of Orphan Black – twice.

In case you aren’t familiar with either of these series, The Fall is a mystery drama starring Gillian Anderson as a police detective and Jamie Dornan as a serial killer. It’s subtle and nuanced and rich with detail. It’s like reading a good mystery instead of watching a TV series. The two main characters are mirror images of one another – one good, one evil – both meticulously obsessed with what they are doing. The performances are brilliant, the characters fascinating.

Orphan Black is a sci fi story about clones, with an underlying theme of nature vs. nurture. Tatiana Maslany plays the clones – 7 of them so far in season one – in an amazing performance that is truly a master work. She should get every acting award for her performance(s) as the various clones. The technical trickery that goes on so that she can be on screen as two or three different characters at one time is pretty impressive, too.

So I’m loving the characters, I’m loving the story lines, I’m loving the fact that I can watch every episode of a series in a matter of hours or days. I love binge watching.

What else am I doing while watching?

With these two particular programs I’m looking at for more information about the actors and writers and directors. I’m pursuing lines of thought like – Matt Frewer, bet he’s the bad guy, and hmmm, he was just in Eureka, and, yeah, he was Max Headroom. This division of attention probably explains why I’ve watched both these series twice. I miss things while I’m off interacting with the second screen.

Not all the second screen action happens during an episode. Between episodes, I might go to YouTube and look for interviews with the actors. I might read reviews of the shows. I might go to the web site of the network hosting the show and look for behind the scenes video or photos or interviews.

The App Connection

I mentioned the SyFy app a few days back. I use it when watching shows on the SyFy channel. One of the shows (Defiance) that the app syncs with also has an online game that ties in with the show.

I’ve seen other shows advertising their apps and urging viewers to download the app and sync in for more behind the scenes info while watching. I think this is going to be more and more common to the point where every network is going to feel the need for an app that lets viewers interact in real time with what’s on the screen.

Second Screen Conversation

Twitter, of course, has always been the go-to spot for sharing comments about what you’re watching. Now the apps are providing access to this kind of interaction built-in. It might include Twitter and other sources. The app might filter for specific parts of a conversation, such as tweets from the actors. The point is, a conversation is encouraged and there’s an attempt to keep it in the silo of the app or the game or the website.

The Future of Web Education

All this change in the way we experience TV means a huge job market for anyone who can develop apps, or games, or auxiliary materials on a web site to complement a TV program. And that means web education needs to be on-the-spot with instructions for building apps, building connections, building all the complementary information that can help promote a TV show.

And what about the people making the ads and producing the ad content? What about the marketing people who need to be able to talk intelligently with app makers or web developers about how to make ads work in this new environment? What about all those social media experts who will be needed? That sounds like a whole lot of new job opportunities.

Yes, things are changing. Are web educators preparing students for the future? I hope we are.

Useful links: Web Design Chemistry, Deliverables, Shared Streaming, Jobs vs. Cook

Atomic Web Design takes an interesting metaphorical look at how the bits and pieces (or atoms and molecules) of a web design work together.

The Big Think: Breaking the Deliverables Habit is from Robert Hoekman at Smashing Magazine and is definitely worth thinking about.

Not so long ago I wrote Shared Streaming: Good or Bad? Netflix has decided that shared streaming is happening whether they like it or not and is catering to it with Multiple User Profiles for Accounts.

Is it just me, or does it seem that now that Steve Jobs is gone the Apple fanboys (and fangirls, may I add) feel free to poke jabs and complaints at Apple for various decisions regarding new products? It’s as if they are challenging Tim Cook to earn their affections all over again regardless of the quality of the products. The tweets during the recent announcements about iOS7 were often critical and bitchy – where has the unquestioned glowing enthusiasm gone? Was it all about Steve Jobs and not about Apple technology at all?


Useful Links: Karen McGrane, Drones, Edu Apps

WYSIWTF at A List Apart is by Karen McGrane. I’ve shown her videos and linked to her speeches here several times lately. It’s because I’m convinced she is the most important thinker working on the web right now. She’s not talking about responsive design, which is important, she’s talking about content. How to make content that works. How to create CMS tools that let authors create content that works. How to get away from WYSIWYG and its formatting tools, and move into the underlying structure of content. How to make content useful. She’s an evangelist who’s out to change the web.

In case you may have blown off the previous mentions of Karen McGrane on this blog, I remind you of her keynote at Drupal Con, and the video of her talk called Adapting Ourselves to Adaptive Content.

You know drones are soon going to be everywhere when they start using them to deliver pizza. Technology replaces the pizza guy. Not much is left that isn’t changed forever by technology – especially privacy.

The Best Apps for Educators at Media Shift has 8 useful ideas.