The Objective Blog

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

Fusion Radar: July 25, 2012

July 25th, 2012 - by brittany - Salt Lake City, Utah


Fetchnotes is a note-taking application, but instead of having lists within lists, like Clear or bucketed lists like Evernote, Fetchnotes is one large list with descriptive tags. It is also cross platform, unlike Clear. Also, by using hash tags to label notes, you can view notes in multiple groups.


Wappwolf is an action automation service similar to IFTTT. Wappwolf connects web services and app actions specifically to your Dropbox folders. Once the files are saved to Dropbox, you can then have them synced to your Kindle, Facebook, etc. One particular use that we found interesting: If you are using your Dropbox as a collaboration tool between you and a client, you can add an action to your shared folder to receive text messages when a file has been uploaded or modified.

T- Twitter for Command Line

T is a Ruby gem that allows its user to Tweet from the command-line. It was built on the idea of SMS tweeting, whereby typing the action and then the tweet allows you to compose tweets, mentions, and direct messages from the command-line. You can use T to get profile information for a Twitter user, retrieve stats for multiple users, follow users, check followers, create a list, view a list, list those you follow who don’t follow you back, etc. If you love both Twitter and the command-line, T is for you.


blink(1) is a KickStarter project that brings notifications to the physical world. blink(1) is a small USB RGB LED that gives you a ‘glanceable notice’ of anything on your computer or the internet. Using the Arduino IDE, users can create functions for blink(1) to notify them when their favorite designer sends a tweet, they receive an email, act as a “Busy” indicator for a cubicle or office when they are in a meeting or on a call, create multi-modal notification light for rack mounted servers, etc. So go donate and get ready for the light show come October!

Adobe Shortcut Wallpapers created some great desktop wallpapers for the designer in us all, which show shortcuts for the Adobe applications Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Flash.

Mobile Design Pattern Gallery

Mobile Design Pattern Gallery is a collection of … uh, mobile designs and patterns. The small amount of visual real estate inherent in mobile devices can often feel limiting. Use this site for inspiration and take the limitations as a challenge. And remember what E.F. Schumacher said, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex,…It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”


Mandrill is a transactional email product that allows you to send automated one-to-one emails (password reminders, shopping-cart receipts, personalized notifications, etc.). The service also offers tracking, reporting, loads of template options, a mobile app for monitoring, API and webhooks support. Mandrill was created by the team at MailChimp.


browserling is an interactive, cross-browser testing tool. The browsers are run in fully interactive sessions on the browserling servers, so it’s like using a virtual machine without the install and hassle. It runs entirely on <canvas> and javascript so there is no need to add a Flash or applet plugin.

100 Principles for Brand Identity

Brand Identity Essentials is a site that provides insight into developing a brand identity. Often identity is confused with a logo. Once a logo is in place many people think that the work is done. In reality, the identity of a company, like the identity of a person, is comprised of numerous factors that evolve over time. The 100 principles section of Brand Identity Essentials breaks these areas down and provides a handy list and explanation of each principle of brand identity.

The Noun Project

The Noun Project is a collection of uniform, free symbols. The site’s mission is to “add to the highly recognizable symbols that form the world’s visual language, so we may share them in a fun and meaningful way.” Because they are a group that “get[s] excited about things like scale, proportion, and shape,” you can probably expect great (or at least useful) things from them.

Fusion Radar: July 18, 2012

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


Parse is a mobile app platform for developers. It allows developers to focus on app development and functionality rather than developing, deploying, or maintaining their own server-side stack. The Parse SDKs (software development kits) provide all of the server-side functionality for internet-enabled applications. With Parse you can save and manage data with the spreadsheet-like interface for objects, integrate push notifications more easily, allow multiple users and sessions, create social integration, utilize geolocation functionality, and update an app without having to submit a new bundle. It sounds too good to be true, so if any of you have tried it or try it in the future let us know if it really is a dream come true.


UserVOD is a spy camera for your app. It is a mobile SDK that allows app creators to capture videos of app users using the app. The SDK records videos of user sessions and captures their actions and gestures within the app. It runs in the background of the app and claims to not impact user experience. It allows the flexibility to control which sessions are recorded and tracks crashes. If UserVOD can make good on all of their features, it will be a be a very valuable tool for app development.


ClickTale, like UserVOD, hopes to make the online world a more useful and streamlined place for users. ClickTale is ‘in-page web analytics’ that allows you to analyze the performance of your site through video recordings and visual heat maps. Such detailed analytics could allow site managers to make adjustments to their site more quickly with less guess work if they know where users are leaving the site or how they use certain tools.


In the words of the man in charge at Rocketr, “Rocketr bridges two worlds that could not be further apart right now- how we capture information (using personal tools), and how we get work done (using team-based tools). We’re betting that these worlds will converge, because if they don’t, it will get harder and harder for teams if they can’t collaborate at the spread that information is changing around them. Oh…and the medium we use to facilitate all this is note-taking – something we all know how to do.” It seems market-y because it is. It’s his pitch to investors. And since the tool hasn’t been released we don’t have much more to go on, but if he can bridge those two disparate worlds, at least some of our team would be willing it give it a try.


An oldy but a goody. Kuler is a tool for finding/creating color palettes . Kuler is an Adobe project that allows you to search thousands of existing palettes or create your own from color schemes or images. If you like color and analyzing different combinations and the emotions they create, you’ll love Kuler.

The Evolution of the Web

The Evolution of the Web is a site that beautifully displays, uh… the evolution of the web. The site uses color bands to represent the interaction between web technologies and browsers that ultimately result in more technologies (the end looks like many of the pages of our childhood coloring books). We like it not only for the information but also the representation and design (we think it’s sexy). If you have a minute and want to learn about the history of the Web through aesthetic pleasure, check it out.

PHP: The Right Way

PHP: The Right Way is a site dedicated to the proper learning of PHP. As they say, “There’s a lot of outdated information on the Web that leads new PHP users astray, propagating bad practices and bad code. … PHP: The Right Way is an easy-to-read, quick reference for PHP best practices.” So if you are looking to make your way from the shallow end of the pool (HTML and CSS) to the more secretive depths of the development pool, this site will help you avoid the sharks (or at least know the pool rules so the other developers don’t pick on you).

Fusion Radar: July 11, 2012

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


orly is a gem developed by Yon Bergman that notifies you when it is necessary to run either ‘bundle install’ or ‘rake db:migrate.’ It does this by detecting changes to the Gemfile and/or changes to the schema and migrations. It is most useful when doing a git pull, but you can also run a check without git pull, for those who are a little more forgetful, with the command ‘orly –run’.


Symbolset is a collection of semantic symbol fonts, which means that symbols or icons are assigned to keywords instead of letters. Unlike emoticons where <3 would be a heart, you type the word ‘heart’ and a heart appears, or the word ‘twitter’ and a twitter icon appears. Symbolset can also access symbols using standardized Unicode values. This allows code to be human and machine-readable. It also cuts down on bulky image loading for icons by accessing an entire set of icons with just one HTTP request.

Cloud9 IDE

Cloud9 IDE is an IDE (integrated development environment) tool that allows developers to store, access, edit and collaborate on their code from anywhere. Whether a developer is on the go and needs the store/access/edit capabilities or has been looking at the same project for months and needs some collaboration to fix a bug Cloud9 IDE is a handy tool. For the developer on the go, the recent addition of offline syncing could be useful so code can always be available (even when offline). Add to that the ability for developers around the world to edit the same code and chat in real-time using the collaboration tool and it could be a pretty useful tool.


Toggl is a time-tracking app that is compatible with Mac, PC, iOS, and Android devices. And by allowing a user to track time via timesheet or timer, it will fit any preference. With features like Quickbooks/Freshbooks/Basecamp syncing, the ability to create Excel or pdf reports (for internal or client use), flexible billing (different rates for clients or team members), and creating time budgets (handy for project managers and business development teams), it seems worth trying.


skrollr is a stand-alone parallax scrolling library built with “just plain JavaScript (and some love).” Because it is independent it allows users who only know HTML and CSS to create a site with parallax effects. There are some limitations that may make it less useful for more advanced developers and more advanced sites, but in general it seems like a good tool for beginning or mid-level developers or for low-budget projects.

Use it or Lose it

Use it or Lose it is an iOS app that allows you to take a photo, upload, and organize your possessions. If you are a business owner and want to keep an inventory of your assets, a pack rat that needs to keep track of things in various storage spaces, or just a cautious individual who needs to know exactly what you have, this app can act as your memory. The web tool could also be handy for online “yard sales,” by allowing you to tag or group items you would like to get rid of and share a link to that collection. So here’s to getting organized and decluttered.


For anyone who has used RVM, you know it’s awesome in how easily you can switch between versions and patches of Ruby. Now add to that rvm-patchsets, which is a library of special patches you can install for different purposes (we know, your mind is blown) and things get even easier. For example certain patches allow you to benchmark the performance of Ruby to test for memory performance against garbage collection, or some other suspicious behaviour of your Ruby app. Rvm-patchsets makes it convenient to test, debug, optimize performance or just use a patched version of Ruby for a particular application.

Kill Comic Sans: Now With High Scores

July 18th, 2012 - by Objective - Salt Lake City, Utah

Our Kill Comic Sans game has been such a hit that we decided it was time to add a high score leaderboard to make things a bit more interesting. So, if you a) still hate Comic Sans, and b) love to see your name in lights, it’s time to check out Kill Comic Sans again!

New high scores for Kill Comic Sans game

Fusion Radar: July 4th 2012

July 16th, 2012 - by brittany - Salt Lake City, Utah

Web Design Icons

Brankic1979 has created an icon library with “350 pixel perfect icons” available for free download.

Datavisualization is a news and knowledge resource site for data visualizations and infographics. The site not only provides great data, it also provides tools for data visualization and infographic creation. One of the features on their site is the selection tool, which allows designers and developers can view examples of what is possible for data visualization on the web. Using the selection tool, visitors can filter by what type of visualization they are looking for — whether maps, charts, or data — and can also select whether they are willing to write some of their own code or not.


Leap is a device that allows you to control a computer with natural hand and finger movements. The device is about the side of an iPod Touch and creates a 3D interaction space of 8 cubic feet. It senses your hand and/or finger movements, as well as other items (like a pen). The device won’t be ready until the end of 2012, but check out their demo video and get excited for the release. is an in-browser web design tool. Currently it is in alpha stage and requires requesting an invite, but if you are looking for a streamlining tool, it might be worth your time.


SpaceMonkey is a device that allows users to “take the cloud out of the data center and move it…into consumers’ homes.” Each device provides 1GB of space for personal use and 1GB of space for the SpaceMonkey system’s use. The extra gigabyte on each device is used for storing backups of other users’ data. Rather than having all user data stored in one place, SpaceMonkey distributes the data across all user devices for a decentralized approach to redundancy.


ShortcutFoo is a website that teaches users how to work faster by learning shortcuts for applications such as Vim, Sublime, TextMate, Xcode, Command Line, and Photoshop. The site helps you “become a shortcut ninja through interactive learning and repetition.” You can also add your own shortcuts that you’ve created.

Also: Download CheatSheet from the Mac App Store to view available shortcuts of the active application on your machine.

Adobe Shadow

Adobe Shadow is a tool that allows developers to quickly preview and customize websites for mobile devices. You can wirelessly pair multiple iOS and Android devices to your computer, and while browsing with Chrome, you can also browse on all devices in sync. You can also remotely inspect and debug sites by targeting a device and using basic dev tools to make changes to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (AND see it on your device instantly). So, if you are developer struggling with mobile web testing and debugging, get the download at Adobe Labs. is a free service that allows anyone to create a wildcard DNS for any IP address. This will allow you to access hosts on your development web server from devices on your local network (iPads, iPhones, other computers, etc.) does this by running a custom DNS server on the Internet. So when your computer looks up the domain you created, the DNS server extracts the IP address and sends it back in the response.


Tactus is a tactile UI for touch screen devices. Tactus gives dimension to your touchscreen with physical buttons that rise from the surface on demand, and then recede back into the screen. Tactus claims that this new feature for touchscreens will eliminate the two problems inherent in glass touchscreens, “confirmation” and “orientation.” Quite possibly the coolest feature would be the ability to customize button layouts, shapes, locations, and sizes. So how do they do it? Well, we will let them tell you.


Skillcrush is a community-driven way to learn about web-related technology. The site offers things from tech term definitions to interviews.