How BlackBerry Could Benefit From a Swedish Redesign

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Research in Motion announced this morning that it acquired Swedish interface design firm TAT, whose initials stand for The Astonishing Tribe.

RIM clearly plans to use the Swedes’ talent to beef up future versions of the BlackBerry user interface, which despite the addition of touchscreen tech in the last year still seems clunky and quaint compared to iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7. That could make future BlackBerry phones — not to mention the upcoming Playbook tablet — a whole lot more exciting.

That got us wondering: What might the future, TAT-enhanced BlackBerry UI look like?

We have no idea, but if these concept videos produced by TAT are any indication, we’re guessing your next BlackBerry might have:

  • A touch- and motion-sensitive UI that reponds to your body’s movement as well as your fingers on the screen
  • Eye-tracking technology to provide enhanced 3-D effects
  • A slicker, easier-to-manage interface for switching between multiple apps
  • Eye-popping 2-D and 3-D visuals

What do you think the future holds for BlackBerry? Let us know in the comments.

This page: TAT’s vision of the “Future of Screen Technology” video (also embedded below) includes some pretty eye-popping examples of touchscreens embedded into every aspect of daily life. A man wakes up and checks the news on a stretchable screen that starts out iPhone-sized, but which he pulls on to make it nearly iPad-sized. A woman brushes her teeth while reading headlines and checking her calendar on a touchscreen mirror. A man composes a sport publication on a translucent touchscreen display whose images he can flip around, so coworkers on the other side of the screen can see them. Cool stuff!

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10 useful new WordPress hacks

Remove comments autolinks

If someone leaves a comment containing a url, the url will be automatically transformed to a link by WordPress. This can be useful, but personally I don’t like to see many links in comments, especially when they’re a bit spammy.
This is why I decided, on the latest CWC theme, to remove comments autolink. Doing so is pretty easy, just paste the following into your functions.php file. Once you saved the file, you’ll notice that autolinks have disappeared.

remove_filter('comment_text', 'make_clickable', 9);

» Source: http://www.wprecipes.com/wordpress-hack-remove-autolinks-in-comments

Automatically notify your users of new posts

If you run a private site using WordPress, then it could be useful to notify your users when a new post is published. The following snippet will get all user emails from your database and will send an email to them automatically when a post is published.
Of course, you shouldn’t use that code on your blog as it does not currently have any unsubscribe option.

function email_members($post_ID)  {
    global $wpdb;
    $usersarray = $wpdb->get_results("SELECT user_email FROM $wpdb->users;");
    $users = implode(",", $usersarray);
    mail($users, "New WordPress recipe online!", 'A new recipe have been published on http://www.catswhocode.com');
    return $post_ID;
}

add_action('publish_post', 'email_members');

Twitter style “time ago” dates

Displaying dates using the “5 days ago” format is becoming very popular on blogs, thanks to Twitter popularity.
I have seen lots of complicated tutorials to use this format on your WordPress blog, however many people don’t know that WordPress has a built-in function to do the same thing:

human_time_diff()

.

Paste the snippet below anywhere within the loop, and it will display your dates using the “time ago” format.

Posted <?php echo human_time_diff(get_the_time('U'), current_time('timestamp')) . ' ago'; ?>

» Source: http://www.phpsnippets.info/display-dates-as-time-ago

Display post thumbnail in your RSS feed

Introduced in WordPress 2.9, the

the_post_thumbnail()

function is very useful to easily add and display a thumbnail attached to a post. Unfortunately, there’s no built-in way to display this thumbnail on your RSS feed.

Happily, the function below will solve this problem. Simply paste it in your

functions.php

, save it, and the post thumbnail will be automatically displayed on your RSS feed.

function diw_post_thumbnail_feeds($content) {
	global $post;
	if(has_post_thumbnail($post->ID)) {
		$content = '<div>' . get_the_post_thumbnail($post->ID) . '</div>' . $content;
	}
	return $content;
}
add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'diw_post_thumbnail_feeds');
add_filter('the_content_feed', 'diw_post_thumbnail_feeds');

» Source: http://digwp.com/2010/06/show-post-thumbnails-in-feeds/

Block external requests

By default, WordPress does some external requests in order to get the available updates and the WordPress news shown in your dashboard. Personally, I don’t mind them, but I’ve recently had clients who didn’t wanted any external requests. So, I’ve blocked them using this interesting hack.
Simply add the following line to your

wp-config.php

file:

define('WP_HTTP_BLOCK_EXTERNAL', true);

If you need to allow some external requests, it it easy to create a whitelist, as shown below:

define('WP_ACCESSIBLE_HOSTS', 'rpc.pingomatic.com');

This line of code have to be pasted in

wp-config.php

as well.
» Source: http://digwp.com/2010/08/pimp-your-wp-config-php/

Easy debug mode

When things go wrong, you can always use the super useful WordPress debug tool,

WP_DEBUG

. By default, you have to paste a line of code in your

wp-config.php

to make the debug mode available.
By if you need to easily access the debug mode even when your site is live, you should edit your

wp-config.php

file and replace

define('WP_DEBUG', true);

by:

if ( isset($_GET['debug']) && $_GET['debug'] == 'debug')
  define('WP_DEBUG', true);

Once done, simply add a GET parameter to the url of the page you’d like to debug, as shown below:

http://www.catswhocode.com/blog/about?debug=debug

Of course, for obvious security reasons you should replace the name debug by a random word of your choice so no one will ever see your site in debug mode.
» Source: http://yoast.com/wordpress-debug/

Use WordPress shortcode in theme files

WordPress shortcodes are a super easy way to add content such as rss feeds, google maps, galleries and more into your posts or pages. But what about being able to output shortcodes in your theme files?
A built-in function exists, but most people never heard of it. The function is called

do_shortcode()

. It takes one parameter, the shortcode you’d like to display. I’ve heard you can ad more than one shortcode as a parameter, but I haven’t tried it yet.

do_shortcode('[gallery]
');

» Source: http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/do_shortcode

Allow upload of more file types

If you ever tried to upload some not so common filetypes, such as Textmate’s

.tmCommand

to your WordPress blog, you may have experienced an error, because WordPress simply doesn’t want you to upload some other file type.
Fortunately, you can add new file types to WordPress whitelist. Doing so is quite easy, just paste the following piece of code in your

functions.php

, and you’re done.
Note that file types have to be separated by a pipe.

function addUploadMimes($mimes) {
    $mimes = array_merge($mimes, array(
        'tmbundle|tmCommand|tmDragCommand|tmSnippet|tmLanguage|tmPreferences' => 'application/octet-stream'
    ));

    return $mimes;
}

add_filter('upload_mimes', 'addUploadMimes');

» Source: http://www.wprecipes.com/wordpress-tip-allow-upload-of-more-file-types

Google Docs PDF viewer shortcode

Google Docs is definitely the easiest way to read documents in .pdf, .doc or .xls online. So, if you want to share a PDF file with your readers, what about creating a shortcode that will open the PDF in Google Docs instead of forcing download?

Simply paste the code in your

functions.php

.

function pdflink($attr, $content) {
	return '<a class="pdf" href="http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=' . $attr['href'] . '">'.$content.'</a>';
}
add_shortcode('pdf', 'pdflink');

Once you saved the file, you’ll be able to use the shortcode on your posts and page. Here is the syntax:

[pdf href="http://yoursite.com/linktoyour/file.pdf"]View PDF[/pdf]

» Source: http://www.wprecipes.com/wordpress-tip-create-a-pdf-viewer-shortcode

Detect the visitor browser within WordPress

Well, this hack is not so new, but it still remains one of my favorites. What this code does is pretty simple, it detects the name of the visitor browser and adds it to the

body_class()

function.
That way, you can correct browser-specific problems extremely easily. The function has to be pasted in your

functions.php

file.

add_filter('body_class','browser_body_class');
function browser_body_class($classes) {
	global $is_lynx, $is_gecko, $is_IE, $is_opera, $is_NS4, $is_safari, $is_chrome, $is_iphone;

	if($is_lynx) $classes[] = 'lynx';
	elseif($is_gecko) $classes[] = 'gecko';
	elseif($is_opera) $classes[] = 'opera';
	elseif($is_NS4) $classes[] = 'ns4';
	elseif($is_safari) $classes[] = 'safari';
	elseif($is_chrome) $classes[] = 'chrome';
	elseif($is_IE) $classes[] = 'ie';
	else $classes[] = 'unknown';

	if($is_iphone) $classes[] = 'iphone';
	return $classes;
}

The function output will look like:

<body class="home blog logged-in safari">

» Source: http://www.nathanrice.net/blog/browser-detection-and-the-body_class-function/

Like CatsWhoCode? If yes, don’t hesitate to check my other blog CatsWhoBlog: It’s all about blogging!

10 useful new WordPress hacks

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Get Started

Getting started with a multimedia and video package from BoonJack Media is simple and easy, hey it’s not just a slogan that’s how we do it. The real magic happens on our Partner Portal, the first screen shot below is the homepage listing all of the areas in the portal. We’ll start by clicking on the “Place An Order” icon.

The BoonJack Media Partner Portal Homepage

This is step 1 on the ordering screen, you’ll want to select a product or service category first. The default category is our Multimedia packages, we’re going to select the “Marketing Expert” package, hey it says best value… sweet!

Step 1: Select a product or service category type and package

Moving on to step 2, we’re going to select a Domain for our multimedia package. There are three choices, 1) purchase a domain directly from us 2) Transfer a domain you already own to use with your multimedia package 3) Use a domain you own and change the domain nameservers to point to your multimedia account. We going to register a new domain cause that’s how we roll, and hey look – mysupercoolhdvideowebsite.com is available… awesome!

Step 2: Select the type of Domain service

On Step 3 you can configure any options or domain addons for your multimedia package  and the payment terms, then click on “Update Your Cart” to continue.

Step 3: Configure any package options and payment terms

Here’s step 3 (continued), we bought extras for our supercoolhdvideowebsite.com domain. Hey we know it could be considered excessive, but we just can’t help splurging!

Step 3; (cont...) Select any domain extras you might need

On step 4 you can configure your domain extras and set your Nameservers (optional) for your domain. We are going to use the default anonymous Nameservers provided for free, because we dig our privacy. Confirm the order looks OK, then click “Checkout” or you can continue shopping and stuff your cart full of goodies.

Step 4: Configure any domain extras then click checkout

On Step 5 fill in your account details and information. We recommend choosing a strong password and using a security question, better to safe as Mom always says.

Step 5: Complete your account details and registration

Step 5 (continued), use your account details for your domain contact or enter a any new details here. Select your payment service either Authorize.Net or PayPal, both are excellent and accept all major credit and bank debit cards. Add any notes or other information to send to us, most people just type something in here like, “You All Are Awesome!” or similar. Read through our legal stuff, click agree to our terms and conditions, then activate your account!

Step 5: (cont..) Select a payment method and Activate your account!

That’s it you’re ready to deliver HD multimedia and video at unheard of speeds! Go ahead and access your client area dashboard now.

Your complete package details and instructions for your new multimedia website package will be emailed to you. We highly recommend saving this welcome email, but if you don’t it’s no problem. In your client area Dashboard, every email we send to you is saved and archived appropriately under “My Emails”.

Here’s some more screen shots below of the client area called “Your Dashboard” which is the one stop, one access point where you can completely manage every service under your multimedia account. Put quite simply, it rocks!

The client area called "Your Dashboard"

Client area  “Your Dashboard” continued… you’ve complete control with easy one-click logins to access all of your server account administration services.

Client area "Your Dashboard" (continued)

Want more? No problem, just create your free account here and fill in your information, then browse around the Partner Portal with full access! BTW we provide that cool “Your Dashboard” page for free accounts too.

Below are all the screen shots you can click to view larger images, use the >> located at the bottom right to cycle through.

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