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Experimenting with WordPress child themes and overriding template-tags.php December 14, 2017

Posted by Steven in Software, The-Web.
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I recently realized a small project with WordPress. If I do get my hands dirty, the projects are really tiny so I usually resort to very simple platforms such as Squarespace, wix.com or indexhibit. Just anecdotally I believed WordPress has become to complex and the time vs. quality ratio of pulling together a good WordPress platform (with different plugins, template configurations and so on) is just not worth it. But as so many sites on the web are powered by WordPress I wanted to give it another shot.

I must say in current version 4.9.1 WordPress feels swift and powerful and also -in my view- the documentation improved and is now really easy to understand. So it was quite fun to set up the project.

Some things did not change: So either you fork $ for really complex and customizable themes or you start with a free theme and will eventually have to adapt it. Really any kind of intimate visual tweaks do require some jumps to the php / css code editor. I learned that my old copy paste approach is not the way to adapt themes. So I created a proper child theme. The procedure works fine but I must say.. again.. comparing it to Squarespace or the like: It is quite an intricate operation for something as simple as adapting an existing theme.

So I got basic custom styles and formats in and .. fast forward .. I needed to adapt some entry-meta-information. This resulted in the need to change php functions in:

template-tags.php

I used the good old child approach and simply tried to override the file in

<theme folder>/inc

But it turns out this approach does not override the functions loaded in the parents function tree. :-(

I googled and this forum post explains it very well:

https://wordpress.org/support/topic/customizing-inctemplate-functions-php-in-child-theme/

So the solution is to take great care in how the classes and functions are loading. And when you really step into this order of functions loading (pls. see the link above) than you can make it work and get your custom tags and stylings in.

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Simple and Creative Wireframe inspirations December 6, 2017

Posted by Steven in The-Web.
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Here is a great blog post by inVision which showcases great wire-framing work:

https://www.invisionapp.com/blog/wireframe-examples/

of course the team promotes their own tool: freehand by invision.

Learn about the CMS used by media upstart Vox December 4, 2017

Posted by Steven in In-Media, The-Web.
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Here is an interesting write-up of the CMS “Chorus” an in house developed super tool for vox media.

https://pfauth.com/publishing-platforms/vox-medias-chorus/

Design Inspirations November Edition November 30, 2017

Posted by Steven in The-Web.
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Showcases and curated visual lists of front-end designs for inspiration purposes.

https://dribbble.com/Stugbear

https://medium.muz.li/ui-interactions-of-the-week-101-72fb2885d477

https://muz.li/join/

 

https://www.invisionapp.com/blog/introducing-design-systems-handbook/

 

Excellent Summary of Discounts (Germany Black Friday) November 24, 2017

Posted by Steven in In-Media, The-Web.
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I am getting really distracted by all of these Black Friday deal adverts. My gut feeling is that many retailers really stepped up their game: E-Mail marketing (lots), instagram adverts, even updated shop apps which reflect special icons / banners to guide shoppers to the “crazy discounts”.

In my quest to bring order to the chaos I found this brilliant blog which nicely lists prices and discount offers grouped by item category. So one can really decide what one needs and look it up.

http://www.schimanke.com/

 

The End of Flash October 11, 2017

Posted by Steven in The-Web.
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When I was a student in school a whole new world opened up with the boom of the internet. Back then with slow modems and AOL access software which was shared on CD-ROMs. From the beginning on my friends and I tried to scope out how much you could do with the world wide web. How much “multi media” and how much interaction could you send through these tiny pipes.

Obviously in these wild times of the 90ies the company macromedia and their incredibly promising flash / shockwave product attracted our attention.

Well time moves on. Flash’s is quite a similar fate to that of other 90ies stars like Netscape or Nokia (for completely different reasons though). There were so many exciting options with Flash in the 90ies: Interactions beyond having to input a form and press submit + real rich animations including vector shape modifications. However the world moved on and the pipes became bigger and the interaction frameworks surrounding dynamic HTML and several JavaScript engines matured so quickly. Steve Jobs famously condemned flash in 2010. And the highly optimized browsing platforms of modern day laptops just can’t really run Flash in a secure, non-annoying and battery-saving way.

So even the now-Flash-Owner Adobe has realized: Flash has to be decommissioned.

https://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2017/07/adobe-flash-update.html

So with my positive experience in the 90ies and with looking at the long Flash history, I wanted to reiterate. It is good that Flash will die. But it has had its place in digital history.

 

Portals for Design- / Webdesign-Services December 19, 2016

Posted by Steven in The-Web.
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DAS AUGE
https://dasauge.de

Dribble
https://dribbble.com/

Designen Lassen
https://www.designenlassen.de/

Fiverr
https://www.fiverr.com/

Content.de
http://content.de

Freelancer.com
http://freelancer.com

Playstation Vita Error C2-12828-1 Help April 2, 2016

Posted by Steven in Freetime, gadgets, The-Web.
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Always on the road I really enjoy a casual mobile gaming experience. Of course a tablet and a smartphone is great for gaming. But I do use a Nintendo 3ds and a Playstation Vita every now and then.

Recently though I ran into a strange issue while playing ‘Uncharted Golden Abyss’ on my Playstation Vita.

While using the game and occasionally while booting up the game I received a tough error and the game would crash.

The Error Code: C2-12828-1

Time to find a solution.

Unfortunately the official Playstation Support Site is not of much help. Really misleading it describes a NAT / networking / demilitarised zone issue: http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/PS-Vita/Fixing-the-Error-c2-12828-1-issue-on-your-Vita/td-p/15328217
But I don’t believe this C2-12828-1 is a networking issue at all.

From my experience with the issue (very random occurrence, usually involving large chunks of data being loaded, game-brraking) I do not believe it is networking related at all.

I would rather side with the other sources I’ve found on gamefaqs and reddit and the like. There you read a lot of warnings that this bug might get worse over time and it might destroy download data and save data. As in my experience game crashes are mentioned and worse: random shutdowns of the whole system. From all these reports this seems to be a nasty memory/file system error. The Vita uses a proprietary file-system plus heavy encryption. Something along side of heavy use, constant Vita-standby-mode and quick switching between big games may case defects in memory which worsen over time due to read/write activity. Ultimately the whole partition gets damaged and a Vita showing this bug should not be used but rather should be ‘fixed’ quickly. So how could this bug be fixed?

Fix

Based on: http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/656455-madden-nfl-13/64026055
In short the only known fix is to backup the data of your Vita and then thoroughly wiping and rebuilding the console’s memory and then restoring.

Prerequisites for the fix:

  • Vita System and Data Cable
  • Sony Content Manager Assistant software for Windows or Mac
  • Free space on your PC/Mac (if you have a 16GB memory card the. At least 16GB free)
  • time and patience

 

Steps to fix C2-12828-1 :

  • Delete all games and apps you no longer need
  • Sync trophies / save-data with PSN server and do a full backup of your Vita using Content Manager Assistant. Basically hook up the Vita with a PC running Content Manager Assistant and copy over everything.
  • Remove any game card from the system.
  • Turn Vita off completely -> turn Vita on in SAFE MODE -> using Power button, PS button + R trigger to start it up.
  • At SAFE MODE screen select option (3) to Format Memory Card
  • Afterwards turn Vita on in SAFE MODE again, and select option (4) to Restore PS Vita System
  • Once again, get your Vita back to SAFE MODE and select option (2) to Rebuild Database
  • Turn your Vita on regularly and it should look fresh again. Icons everywhere. Don’t bother with changing any settings as the backup has it all; though you will have to re-arrange icons. At this point, go into Settings -> Format -> Format Memory Card (one last time).
  • Then get back to Settings and connect the Vita to your usual internet connection and sign in to your PSN so that it is authenticated.
  • Open Content Manager application on the Vita and Restore From Backup – connect to where your backup is stored.
  • After all is done, the icons are shufffled so get them re-arranged, make sure your time is set right using the internet

For some games the data was apparently so corrupted so it could not be restored. This happened for round about 5 out 30 games. I re-downloaded these games and downloaded save-data from PSN.

After all that was done, I was able to use my Playstation Vita as expected. The whole procedure especially re-downloading some larger games was cumbersome but in the end I seem to have a stable system now.

Upgraded to OS X 10.10 Yosemite: Notification settings not being saved April 26, 2015

Posted by Steven in Apple, The-Web.
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Judging from several threads in various forums: quite a few people seem to have this issue.

I use various MacBooks. All of them had several iterations of OS X installed. Now I upgraded all of them to OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

Several people noticed: On the new system you can set preferences for notifications for example (i.e. not seeing banners for every Facebook notification). However these settings are not being retained when the machine is being rebooted.

Here are some reports of the issue:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6605975

https://discussions.apple.com/message/26851563#26851563

https://discussions.apple.com/message/26857242#26857242

https://discussions.apple.com/message/26863504#26863504

Fortunately very clever people found a solution for the issue. I am referring the wonderful site:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1803815

So here is the step by step solution for the issue:

  1. Open the Library folder in your Home folder.
  2. In the Library folder, open the Application Support folder.
  3. Locate the folder named NotificationCenter. Drag this folder to the desktop.
  4. Next, open the Terminal application.

    Copy and paste each line of these commands into the Terminal window, in order. Press return after each line:

    cd `getconf DARWIN_USER_DIR`
    rm -rf com.apple.notificationcenter
    killall usernoted; killall NotificationCenter

  5. Close the Terminal app.
  6. Restart your computer.
  7. The notification preference changes won’t stick until you restart a 2nd time after this.

This should be fixing the issue. Check for yourself if your Mac exhibits the issue and then let me know if the fix helps.

FYI: Free Service to review your ip Address for various services January 19, 2014

Posted by Steven in The-Web.
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Recently I reviewed a couple of VPN services. I must say those services – now in 2014 – seem mainly reasonably priced and improved dramatically in performance.

Also with tunnelblick (OS X, Linux) and OpenVPN (Windows) there are decent well supported front-ends for switching the VPN on and off.

Once you play around with VPN services you would like to know how you’re identified on the internet (hopefully it’s with the outbound servers of the VPN services). One interesting method to test this for the bit torrent part of the internet is this site:

http://www.checkmytorrentip.com/#

It pushes a test download file to you and after a few seconds it will show you the ip address the service found. It’s quite handy, free and elegantly done.

Abmahnwelle – RedTube Streaming – Aktuelle Lage (16.12.) December 16, 2013

Posted by Steven in The-Web.
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Heise Online hat berichtet erneut über die aktuelle Lage rund um die Abmahnwelle nach RedTube Streaming. Die aktuellsten neuen Infos scheinen aus der Welt am Sonntag zu stammen. Dort wird berichtet:

  • Die RedTube Überwachung und die ersten Abmahnungen waren für die Kanzlei U+C ein “Testballon”
  • Es wird damit gerechnet, dass weitere Nutzer (anderer Portale) ebenfalls abgemahnt werden
  • Anwalt Urmann berichtet der Zeitung: für ihn stelle das Herunterladen von Video-Bits in den Arbeitsspeicher (beim Streaming) “eine Vervielfältigung im Sinne des Urheberrechts-Gesetzes” dar. Der Anwalt erwarte in fünf bis acht Jahren eine abschließende Entscheidung dazu durch den Bundesgerichtshof
  • Meine Einschätzung: Wenn U. damit Recht behalten sollte könnte hier wirklich eine Büchse der Pandora geöffnet werden. In ein paar Jahren soll also das höchste Deutsche Gericht bestätigen dass jeder Streaming Vorgang eine (meist unerlaubte) Kopie herstellt. Damit kann jeder arglose Internet Nutzer beim Klick auf ein nicht Musik-Video etc. abgemahnt werden
  • Weiter unklar ist die 100%ige Rekonstruktion der U+C Vorgehensweise bei der Erfassung der IP-Adressen
  •  Indizien sprechen dafür, dass den RedTube Streamern / oder besser den Porno-Interessierten mit Zwangsumleitungen eine Falle gestellt wurde.
  • Meine Einschätzung: Absolut unglaublich wie die Kanzlei mit einem fadenscheinigen Gutachten und mit Piraten-Methoden hier Nutzer abzockt. Angeblich gibt es ein super GLADII Tool welches im Gutachten völlig unzureichend erklärt ist. Irgendwie sollen ganz sicher und richterlich nicht angreifbar IP Adressen ermittelt worden sein. Wir müssen dringend verstehen wie und möglichst viele Nutzer müssen sich gegen diese Piraten-Anwälte und Abzocker zur Wehr setzen!!!

 

Paypal regelmäßige Abbuchungen (wie Einzugsermächtigungen) prüfen December 15, 2013

Posted by Steven in The-Web.
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Erst kürzlich fragte ich mich wer denn da bei Paypal so alles bei mir automatisch abbuchen darf. Augenscheinlich gab es keinen Knopf in Paypal wo man mal alle “Einzugsermächtigungen” prüfen kann.

Paypal scheint dies erstmal sehr gut zu verstecken.

Es gibt aber doch ein Dialogfeld. So erreicht man es: Paypal > Mein Profil > Mehr > Dann links Bankdaten auswählen > Dann rechts “Die automatischen Zahlungen verwalten, die ich an Händler sende.”

Dort kann man dann auch gegen die komischen Warnungen von Paypal einfach Einzugsermächtigungen stornieren.

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