Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development Resources: May 8, 2015

first_imgResponsive Design Dashboard: Find out how your content adapts to different screen sizes with SpeedCurve’s design dashboard. Learned today: press fn+f8 to pause the JS execution in Chrome so you can debug HTML/CSS that arrives onmouseover.— Zoe Mickley Gillenwater (@zomigi) May 6, 2015 Form Inputs: The Browser Support Issue You Didn’t Know You Had: The new HTML5 input types don’t behave as you might expect; browsers have implemented support in different ways across browsers and mobile platforms. Workarounds exist, but there are problems with the workaroundsWhat I Found InterestingLosing focus: Why tech is getting in the way of work: Do you find it more challenging to focus on tasks? According to this BBC article, you can blame it on technology. Getting into “flow” is a challenge, but there are apps and strategies to help you increase your attention span. How to Start a Podcast in 10 Days: Practical tips, resources, and lessons learned from Katie Kovalcic who, with Tim Kadlec, recently launched the Path to Performance podcast. This is the post I’m going to refer everyone who wants to start a podcast.Stephen Colbert shocks South Carolina schools by funding every single teacher-requested grant: Impressive. Comedian Stephen Colbert funds…nearly 1,000 projects for more than 800 teachers at over 375 schools, totaling $800,000. This month, for the first time (as far as I know), the avg. webpage weighs over 2MB(Src: http://t.co/iZTK3TtCo8) pic.twitter.com/aTfdYAIwCp— Scott Jehl (@scottjehl) May 6, 2015 Breaking into UX: Interview Planning Tips: Preparation determines success. Do your research, schedule your interview on a Tuesday morning, and use your resume as interview props, says Brian Sullivan.AccessibilityThe Accessible Technology Challenges Facing Millennials: Obtaining instructional materials in Braille, accessing online videos with quality captions, and lack of easy to understand websites were three of the challenges young adults discussed in last week’s community forum hosted by the Federal Communications Commission.Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Detroit Returns for Second Year: Our Detroit User Experience group hosts the second annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) event, an interactive event with workshops. Join us! CSS and HTMLFalling in Love with Forms: In his presentation at this week’s Microsoft Edge Web Summit 2015, Aaron Gustafson takes a look at forms, how they work and how you can mark them up for responsiveness and accessibility. He discusses new HTML5 field types, validation, and enhancing forms with JavaScript. When you say “that’s a 3rd party tool and we can’t control its accessibility” remember that you chose that 3rd party tool in the first place— Derek Featherstone (@feather) May 5, 2015 In this week’s roundup of web design and development resources, you’ll learn how to simplify your web designs, discover accessibility technology challenges facing millenials, learn about the latest WordPress security release, and more.Each Friday I publish a post with my favorite resources for user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, and HTML I’ve read in the past week. If you’d like to learn about resources like these on a daily basis, follow me @redcrew on Twitter.Today’s photo is from Miller Woods, one of my favorite places to look for spring wildflowers. As the temperatures get warmer, the white blossoms of Squirrel Corn are beginning to cover the forest floor. Tweet of the WeekToday I got notice that our sales team won a client by promoting our accessibility. It was a key sales point. #a11y is worth it! 😀— Brian Sinclair (@brianarn) May 7, 2015User ExperienceHow to properly simplify your web design: Jerry Cao of UXPin explains how to design a web interface around user decisions to ensure a simple layout.center_img Placeholder text: clever, or too clever?: Placeholder text is intended to give a hint about what you should enter in a form field. As Sarah Bourne points out, it can be used poorly and incorrectly in form design. Avoid confusion with placeholder text; test it with actual users before pushing it to production. WordPressWordPress 4.2.2 Security and Maintenance Release Available, Update Your Sites: The WordPress 4.2.2 release contains fixes for two security issues, the Genericons icon font package and a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability. If you don’t have automatic background updates enabled, update your sites now. Genericons and Theme Updates: For the first time, the WordPress core security team updated a number of themes in the repository without first notifying the theme authors. How to create better, more accessible WordPress themes: Sami Keijonen has compiled a helpful post on what he’s learned about creating accessible themes, with tips for ARIA landmark roles, forms, contrasts, headings, and the recently introduced screen-reader-text class. How To Set Up WordPress with DesktopServer: Mark Zahra offers a step-by-step guide for setting up the free version of DesktopServer, a tool for creating a local development environment (for Mac and Windows). Note: his guide focuses on OS X.Responsive DesignAn Introduction to Mobile-First Media Queries: Chris Poteet takes a look at the benefits of mobile-first media queries, how to create them, and manage them with Sass. Google finds a way to make ordering delivery food even lazier: Ordering take out just got a lot easier. Next time you do a Google search for restaurants in your area, look for the “Place your order” option in the search results. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedWeekly Roundup of Web Design and Development Resources: January 2, 2015Welcome to the new year! If this is your first time visiting my blog, each Friday I publish a weekly roundup of the latest web design and development resources for user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, HTML, and responsive design. In this week’s roundup, you’ll learn four simple ways to improve…In “Web design & development links”Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development News: June 16, 2017In this week’s web design and development resources roundup, you’ll learn what Alan Cooper has to say about conversational interfaces, find out how to navigate a website with a keyboard, discover how to use fr in CSS Grid, and more. If you’re new to my blog, each Friday I publish…In “Web design & development links”Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development Resources: October 28, 2016In this week’s web design and development resources roundup, you’ll learn how to improve user experience with micro-interactions, find a six-point checklist for creating accessible videos, discover some spooky CSS, and more. If you’re new to my blog, each Friday I publish a post highlighting my favorite user experience, accessibility,…In “Web design & development links” Browser Testing Is No Fun, But These Tools Will Help Make Your Life Easier: Whether you’re looking for your first browser testing tool, or you want to explore alternatives, this review of tools will make the decision easier. Silence is golden.So don’t set your your video ads to autoplay on full volume.Bad mannersBad #UX Bad #accessibility— Neil Milliken (@NeilMilliken) May 7, 2015 Don’t “click here” – 5 ways bad link text screws up your website: Want to annoy people reading your content? Use “click here” to hide the main point of your web page, says Max Johns. A UX Professional’s 5-Step Guide to Selling Your Design: Robert Hoekman walks you through the five steps you need to follow to successfully sell your designs to stakeholders. last_img read more

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South Africa – and Johannesburg – the richest in Africa

first_imgA view of the Sandton central business district in northern Johannesburg, which has the largest square metreage of office space in South Africa. The nearby suburb of Sandhurst is home to the largest number of dollar millionaires on the continent. (Image: South African Tourism. Click for a larger view.) • Andrew Amoils Head of reports team New World Wealth+27 11 884 3836 [email protected] • South Africa’s competitive advantage in the developing world • Strong showing in global competitiveness • Slow but steady: South Africa’s economy on the upward path • Brewing business success: SAB Miller’s Graham Mackay • South Africa’s black middle class on the riseSulaiman PhilipOver the next year 262 000 square metres of new office space will come on line in Sandton, northern Johannesburg – more than three times the amount of space developed in 2012, and 61% of all new commercial construction in South Africa. Sandton is set to have the country’s largest concentration of office space, surpassing the southern Johannesburg CBD’s 166 700 square metres, and pushing Cape Town, with its 93 5208 square metres of office space, down to third.All this construction will add more than 8 700 cars to the 19 500 driving into the Sandton area during the week. As odd as it may seem, the annoyance of daily traffic jams are a sign of a booming economy.The cranes dotting Sandton’s skyline are a concrete reminder that South Africa remains the largest and strongest economy in Africa. According to a new report, Wealth Statistics in Africa (PDF), compiled by consultancy New World Wealth, the average South African is now worth $11 310, up from $4 200 in 2000. The consultancy puts this 169% rise in per capita wealth down to policies protecting asset ownership, a well-regulated banking system, and a free and independent media.Security of investmentAccording to Andrew Amoils, a senior analyst at New World Wealth, while South Africa is still the strongest economy on the continent, this growth is slowing. For example, over the same period Angola grew by 737%. But investor security is what South Africa has over other African nations, Amoils said. “The right to own anything in South Africa is firm and this gives investors confidence and a will to buy anything from property to other assets in the country without worrying about ownership. Proper banking systems boosted investors’ confidence in the country and also promoted the circulation of cash.”The New World Wealth study analysed trends in 19 African countries between 2000 and 2013. It used government statistics covering income distribution to determine per capita wealth. Primary residences were excluded in the study, but assets, investments and equities were counted. The research pegged the total value of individual wealth in South Africa at $571.2-billion last year – with most of it concentrated in the City of Johannesburg, of which Sandton forms part.Starting with the discovery of gold in 1886, Johannesburg has grown into the economic engine of Africa. This “world class African city” (as the municipal slogan goes) of 4.4-million people lays claim to being the largest city not built on a near a major water source, and the world’s largest urban artificial forest. Johannesburg is now also home to the highest concentration of dollar millionaires in Africa.There are now more than 23 000 high net worth individuals who call the city home (PDF) – and 285 are multimillionaires, defined as having net assets worth more than $30 million. On average he – and it is a man – is black and in his mid-50s. He lives in Sandhurst and his wealth is derived from black economic empowerment deals. He owns his multimillion-rand home and spends his money on art, classic cars and private jets.The African listDespite its impressive growth, Angola was just ninth on the Wealth Statistics in Africa list. Libya was second with $11 040 per capita and Namibia third at $10 500. Ethiopia, by the consultancy’s measure, was the poorest country in Africa, with wealth per person of only $260. Zimbabwe dropped the furthest on the list, down to just $570.The global average is $27 600, but South Africa ranked healthily with its partners in the Brics grouping of major developing economies. Compared to South Africa’s $11 310, per capita wealth in Brazil is $20 000, in China it is $14 000, with India bringing up the rear at less than $2 000.Growth to benefit allAn assessment by the World Bank in April 2013 found that African economies, except for South Africa, grew faster than the global average. The biggest challenge is to keep growth on track to raise the quality of life of all Africans, according to Makhtar Diop, World Bank vice president for Africa. “Without investment in electricity generation and higher agricultural productivity, Africa’s development future cannot prosper. The good news is that governments in Africa are intent on changing this.”Angel Gurria, general secretary of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), makes the case that income equality remains the biggest challenge facing countries today, especially developing economies like South Africa. Higher growth rates have not translated to better living standards across income groups.In South Africa’s Brics partner, Brazil, the earnings ratio between the richest 10% and the poorest is 27:1; the difference in South Africa is more than 100:1. “High levels of inequality generate high costs for society, dampening social mobility, undermining the labour market prospects of vulnerable social groups, and creating social unrest.”Income inequality is one of the biggest challenges facing the country. The profound societal changes the country has undergone in 20 years have sharpened the inequality. But massive social grant and community development programmes have prevented the gap from widening further.Government spending on health and education – 5.3% of GDP for education and 4.6% for health – has also helped to curb inequality. Research by the OECD has shown that spending on social programmes and improvements to healthcare and education go a long way to creating equal opportunities for all.Economic expansion throughout Africa has seen the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day – the World Bank measure of poverty – fall to 48.5% from an estimated 58% between 1996 and 2013.Gurria and the OECD have decided to take a holistic approach to measuring living standards. They have developed new, measurable dimensions on top of income and GDP to measure societal wellbeing.“Life satisfaction, personal safety, and work-life balance matter as well. Social cohesion and inclusive growth are additional crucial perspectives to incorporate into public policies, targeting a renewed social contract that reduces inequalities and benefits the whole of society.”last_img read more

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New York ~ Sales and Use Tax: Sales of Warm Cookies Taxable

first_imgA taxpayer’s sales of cookies in a heated state through retail stores are subject to New York sales tax. The taxpayer’s business model is focused on selling warm cookies to customers. The cookies are baked at the stores and kept warm while displayed at the counters. Cookies purchased for delivery are kept warm in heat sleeves until delivered to customers. Whether the taxpayer sells cookies in small quantities in its stores, in larger quantities in to-go boxes or delivers cookies to customers, the cookies are always sold in a heated state. Thus, the taxpayer’s receipts from the sales of cookies are taxable, whether sold for on-premises or off-premises consumption.last_img read more

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Strategies for Managing Power Consumption in the Data Center

first_imgNewer servers of the Nehalem generation are much more energy efficient, if only because of the side effect of increased performance per watt.  These servers also have a more aggressive implementation of power proportional computing.  Typical idle consumption figures are in the order of 50 percent of peak power consumption. The Node Manager power monitoring and capping capability apply to a single server.  To make this capability really useful it is necessary to exercise these capabilities collectively to groups of servers, to add the notion of events and a capability to build a historical record of power consumption for the servers in a group.  The additional capabilities have been implemented in software through the Data Center Manager Software Development Kit developed by the Intel Solutions and Software Group.  An additional Software Development Kit, Cache River allows programming access to components in servers and server building blocks produced by the Intel Enterprise Products Server Division (EPSD), including the baseboard management controller (BMC) and the management engine (ME), the subsystems that host or interact with the Node Management firmware.  EPSD products are incorporated in many OEM and system integrator offerings.Data Center Manager implements abstractions that apply to collections of servers:  A hierarchical notion of logical server groups  Power management policies bound to specific server groups  Event management and a publish/subscribe facility for acting upon and managing power and thermal events.  A database for logging a historical record for power consumption on the collection of managed nodes. In spite of significant gains in server energy efficiency, power consumption in data centers is still trending up.  At the very least, we can make sure that the energy expended yields maximum benefit to the business.  A first step in managing power in the servers in a data center is having a fairly accurate monitoring capability for power consumption.  The second step is to have a number of levers that allow using the monitoring data to carry out an effective power management policy.While we may not be able to stem the overall growth of power consumption in the data center, there are a number of measures we can take immediately:Implement a peak shaving capability.  The data center power infrastructure needs to be sized to meet the demands of peak power.  Reducing peaks effectively increase the utilization of the existing power infrastructure. Upgrading the electrical power infrastructure to accommodate additional servers is not an option in most data centers today.  Landing additional servers at a facility that’s working at the limit of thermal capacity leads to the formation of hot spots, this assuming that electrical capacity limits are not reached first with no room left in certain branch circuits.  Hence measures that work under the existing power infrastructure are to be preferred over alternatives that require additional infrastructure. Be smart about shifting power consumption peaks. All the watts are not created equal.  The incremental cost of generating an extra watt of power during peak consumption hours is much higher than the same watt generated in the wee hours of the morning.  For most consumer and the smaller commercial accounts flat rate pricing still prevails.  Real time pricing (RTP) and negotiated SLAs will become more common to put the appropriate economic incentives in place.  The incentive of real time pricing is a lower energy bill overall, although the outcome is not guaranteed.  In pilot programs residential consumers have complained that RTP result in higher electricity costs.  With negotiated SLAs the customer can designate a workload to be subject to lower reliability; for instance, instead of 3 9’s, or outages amounting to about 10 hours per year, the low reliability workload can be designated as only 90 percent reliable, and can be out on the average of two hours per day. For the purposes data center strategic planning it may make economic sense to grow large data centers in a modular fashion.  If the organization manages a number of data centers, consider making effective use of the existing data centers, and when new construction is justified, redistribute the workloads to the new data center to maximize the use of the new electrical supply infrastructure.Intel has built into its server processor lineup a number of technology ingredients that allow data center operators optimize the utilization of the available power system infrastructure in the data center.center_img Beyond passive mechanisms that do not require explicit operator intervention, the Intel® Intelligent Power Node Manager (Node Manager) technology allows adjusting the power draw of a server and trade off power consumption against performance.  This capability is also known as power capping.  The control range is a function of server loading.  For the Intel SR5520UR baseboard on the 2U chassis, the server will draw about 300 watts at full load and its power consumption can be rolled down to about 200 watts.  The control range tapers down gradually until it reaches zero at idle. For power monitoring, selected models of the current Nehalem generation come with PMBus specification compliant power supplies allowing real-time power consumption readouts. Match the electric power infrastructure in the data center to server workloads to minimize over-provisioning.  This approach assumes the existence of an accurate power consumption monitoring capability. The abstractions implemented by DCM on top of Node Manager allow the implementation of power management use cases that involve up to thousands of servers.If this topic is of interest to you, please join us at the Intel Development Forum in San Francisco at the Moscone Center on September 22-24.  I will be facilitating course PDCS003, “Cloud Power Management with the Intel(r) Xeon(r) 5500 Series Platform.”  You will be the opportunity to talk with some of our fellow travelers in the process of developing power management solutions using Intel technology ingredients and get a feel of their early experience.  Also please make a note to visit booths #515, #710 and #712 to see demonstrations of early end-to-end solutions these folks have put together.last_img read more

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