The Objective Blog

Keep up with what we're thinking, reading, and doing.

Fusion Radar: June 13, 2012

June 19th, 2012 - by brittany - Salt Lake City, Utah


Markdown-Here is an extension for Thunderbird, Firefox, and Chrome, that allows you to write emails in Markdown and render before sending. The creator, like most of us no doubt, felt it tedious to use the WYSIWYG editor in email clients and switched to using Markdown in the Github in-browser editor and then copying it into his email. This was also too tedious so he created a tool that allows you to write Markdown right in an email. It simplifies styling, and allows for syntax highlighting.

Even if you aren’t a developer this tool is helpful. It will take you less time to learn the Markdown symbols than it would to edit every email you write in a day with the WYSIWYG editor.

LLJS: Low-Level JavaScript

Low-Level JavaScript (formerly *JS) is “the bastard child of JavaScript and C.” It allows you to write CPU- and memory-optimized JavaScript code by using binary data instead of standard JS objects and types. It achieves CPU- and memory-optimization by allowing you to manage your memory explicitly, which cuts down on timed used by the JavaScript garbage collector. LLJS also cuts down on time by chaining several property accesses together and compiling them into a single memory access.

This tool isn’t the be-all-end-all to better performance, but in those instances when you need top performance it may be helpful.


Icenium is cross-platform mobile development tool. It allows you to create native apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle Fire using HTML5 and JavaScript. While there have been several tools over the last few years that claim to allow developers to develop native apps with web languages, Icenium’s features list convinced us to look into it. Icenium uses cloud services to manage all of your platform dependencies, which means you don’t have to worry about multiple software development kits. Also, because it uses the cloud, it allows you to access your code anytime from anywhere. The best feature Icenium has claimed is that you can see your changes in real time, which means no wasted time waiting while testing.


Laravel is a PHP framework that claims to be a “clean and classy framework…freeing you from spaghetti code.” It was built because Taylor Otwell wanted a framework that was up-to-date with the latest PHP 5.3 but that had enough documentation to allow anyone and everyone to learn it. Laravel’s community has grown quite significantly since its release last year and can be used as a resource, either through forums or providing bundles (packaged, shared Laravel code). The documentation is compelling because it shows the power and flexibility of the framework.


Gmaps.js is a JavaScript library that allows you to “use the potential of Google Maps in a simple way,” without extensive documentation or large amounts of code. Gmaps.js allows you to modify maps with map events and markers, add services (geolocation and geocoding), add overlays, customize routes, implement static maps, create table layers, create geo fences and more. With all of these features able to be implemented with minimal code we can’t think of too many mapping tools that are more comprehensive and easy to use.

Fusion Radar: June 4, 2012

June 19th, 2012 - by brittany - Salt Lake City, Utah

Any.Do is a cross-platform reminders app that “makes things happen.” We know, we know. There are hundreds of reminders/to-do apps out there, and finding the perfect one is like finding a developer that likes IE (it’s very unlikely). But with features like task organization (folders and/or dates), task notes, task reminders, audio tasks, the ability to sync between your mobile device and laptop/desktop, the ability to collaborate task folders, and a UI similar to Clear, gets as close as we’ve seen to a great reminders app. It may actually help you “make things happen.”

The Code Player

The Code Player is a site dedicated to the teaching and learning of HTML5, CSS3, and JS through “video coding.” The Code Player is interesting because it lets you watch or show a coding technique by providing a video of the code being created. The Code Player is still in Alpha testing so there are bound to be bugs, but the concept and site are promising. While you can get similar tutorials on YouTube or Vimeo, The Code Player offers only development tutorials so you are sure to not get distracted by a funny cat video or Charlie the Unicorn.


Panopticlick is a test to see how unique and trackable your browser is (even when you have cookies turned off). It tests your browser’s “uniqueness” based on the information shared with sites you visit. A few of these bits of information are timezone, screen size and color depth, system fonts, and browser plugins (as well as order installed). With an average of 18+ bits of identifying information, Panopticlick proves that the internet can still be a crazy stalker’s paradise even without using cookies to track you. But it can also be helpful to track users in contests and surveys. Because it allows you to track users on other information, Panopticlick ensures a more comprehensive check even when users have cookies turned off.


SPDY is an experimental networking protocol primarily for transporting web content. SPDY has yet to become a standard protocol, but is working towards standarization. SPDY is similar to HTTP but seeks to speed up page load times and improve web security. SPDY has recently become quite important since reference implementations have become available in both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.


Asana is a project management system touted for being “The modern way to work together.” Like any project management system Asana allows teams to collaborate and keep up with progress of projects no matter where team members are. However, with features like multiple workspaces, people views, task/project updates, and realtime updates, ASANA shows some depth that other systems lack. Asana also allows for email bridging and integration with a REST API, which means you can customize the way you use and share data with ASANA. At a reasonable rate of FREE for any teams with less than 30 members, and increased pricing tiers for teams above 30 members, it’s worth a look.

AF Labs Day: Major Innovation. No White Coats.

June 7th, 2012 - by Dallas - Salt Lake City, Utah

Remember when you were in elementary school and every once in a while, on a very special day, your whole class would pile into the big yellow school bus and leave for the day on a magical thing called a “field trip?”

This wasn’t that.

But it was almost as good.

For those of you that don’t know, the Agency Fusion Lab Day is a day in which we put our regular projects aside and focus individually or in teams on a project of our choosing. It gives us a chance to check out a new code library, or to explore what can be done with the clever use of an Arduino. Furthermore, it allows us to try a few things that are still to experimental to infuse into our clients’ projects.
Plus, it can be a lot of fun. If you’re into that sort of thing.

So, how did the day go? Awesome. In fact, this entire post is being written….by a robot we built from scratch yesterday!

Editor’s note: That last sentence is not true. However, we will soon be showing off–on this very blog–a cool piece of robotic genius that we worked with on Labs Day. Stay tuned.

Best of State–Fifth Year in a Row

June 5th, 2012 - by Dallas - Salt Lake City, Utah

But who’s counting?

So, this is what happened: we started hiring some really great web developers. And we landed some challenging projects on which to work. And, over time, we got more projects and more quality people–both developers and designers. And then we started to get recognized with a few awards like The Best of State, 2012 award for Web Development. If you were to ask us if it loses its appeal after five years in a row, we’d tell you no–and that we hope to discover whether it loses its appeal after six.

We know the real test comes not from an award, but from how well we concept, design and develop each and every project we work on daily. We’re up for the challenge.

Fusion Radar: May 25, 2012

June 4th, 2012 - by brittany - Salt Lake City, Utah


Uploadify is a jQuery Plugin that allows you to add a multiple HTML5 or Flash file upload functionality to your website. The plugin also has multiple features that will enhance the user experience including: drag and drop ability, real-time progress indicators, custom upload restrictions, and advanced customization. So if you are looking to build your own user-generated video library for your website, or just really like posting cat videos to your blog, click here to view the demo and learn how it works.