April Fools

March 26, 2015

April fools is a huge holiday for tech companies with lots of effort being put into the day for many years now. One of the first known large scale pranks, was 15 years ago, with Google claiming that they could telepathic do your search via MentalPlex.

Some of Google’s Best April Fools Pranks

Google is sort of the king in this arena. It’s rumored their office culture is also big on april fools pranks, and as such they have some of the best pranks on the internet. This is not an exhaustive history, but just the ones that I find the funniest.

In 2004, on April 1, google made two announcements. One that they were releasing gmail, that would forever change webmail. And the second, that they were taking resumes for a new lunar colony called Luna/X. One was true, one was false.

In 2008 youtube (a google company) linked all featured videos on their homepage to “Never Gonna Give You Up” by British singer Rick Astley. This is what started the rick-rolled meme.

In 2011, gmail had a body motion feature, where gmail would act based on your posture. To go along with this, the gmail product manager was in a high quality professional video using this new functionality in gmail.

In 2014, google added Pokémon characters to their map platform. Additional, Nest (a google company) teamed up with Virgin Airlines to make it seem that you could control the air temperature directly around your seat in the plane.

Google does multiple April Fools Jokes a year, normally matching the year. Meaning they did 2 in 2002,  8 in 2008, and 14 in 2014. This year they are likely to do 15, although not ever year do they follow this exactly.

Netflix

Netflix is a new-comer to the April fools game, but has done some good ones. In 2013 they added some totally obscure categories to their video service. “Movies Starring Estelle Getty and Some Other Guy” (with only the film Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot listed), “Movies That Are in English, But Still Require Subtitles” (with Snatch and Trainspotting), and “TV Shows Where Defiantly Crossed Arms Mean Business!” (featuring television shows with cover art showing people with their arms crossed)

In 2014, netflix made a big announcement involving their original series, which were blowing up in a huge way at that time, like House of Cards. Complete with press releases, they announced their new series, which consisted of two episodes, one of chicken on a rotisserie and another of bacon and little else.

Others

benIn 1980, the BBC reported that big ben would be updated to a digital clock, to keep up with the times.

In 2013, twitter announced it would charge five dollars per month for the use of vowels.

In 2012, mashable declared Conan O’Brien their CEO, and he appeared on every page of the website, normally creeping up from a corner or sliding down from the top.

Interestingly, Apple does not participate in this annual event, thought the company was founded on April 1, 1976.

So this year, don’t believe anything you see on April 1. Heck, maybe not even April 2.

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Alan has been creating websites since CompuServe was huge. Today he still is developing websites using technologies such as CSS3, HTML5, jQuery and CakePHP.

HTML – Document Setup

March 16, 2015

In the last tutorial, we looked at organizing and setting up the basics of a web page. This includes adding your first tag within <head> portion of your website, the <title> tag. This will become the page title in the browser and to the search engines.

<title>My Awesome Website</title>

In today’s installment, we’ll take a closer look at the <head> tag and the information that can be placed within.

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John is a designer at Sephone.

SkillsUSA

March 3, 2015

For the past few years I have had the privilege to help out in a small way at our local SkillsUSA competition.

"SkillsUSA"  logo may be obtained from SkillsUSA. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

“SkillsUSA” logo may be obtained from SkillsUSA. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

What is SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a civic organization that provides structured competitions to vocation school students. These competitions start at schools like UTC in Bangor. Winners progress to regional competitions and eventually to national competitions.

What I do

I have a very minor role. Mike Preble, the Information Technology (Web Design, 3D Animation & Graphic Arts) Instructor, invited me several years ago to be a judge for the web design competition. Occasional I may also help in other competitions, such as game development.

Mike is recently a winner at big-gig for his work at The Maine Game as well.

Energy

I personally think energy is highly contagious. When you are working with people that are excited and eager to work hard, that has the ability to also affect you.  It’s very good to be around those people from time to time. There is a certain enjoyment in watching people develop and hone their skills as well.

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Alan has been creating websites since CompuServe was huge. Today he still is developing websites using technologies such as CSS3, HTML5, jQuery and CakePHP.

Find out who likes your Facebook page

February 26, 2015

Every now and then we like to go through the folks that have liked our page and reciprocate.  A few weeks back, we attempted to do this and found that the familiar process we took to find the people who had liked our page was no longer available.  So I went digging and found a way to see the full list of likes on your page.  Keep reading to find out what steps to take to get this list.

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Brady is the voice on the other end of the phone line when you call Sephone. He graduated from the New England School of Communications in 2009 and assists Sephone in building and maintaining our sites.

Protecting the Content on Your Site

February 19, 2015

Protecting your contentA couple of weeks ago I noticed that a local news organization had used a photo I’d taken of downtown Bangor to go along with a story. You might think that would be flattering, but as a photographer I’m sad to say that it’s not the first time it had happened – and happened even without the courtesy of giving proper credit.

In the world of the shareable web, how can you protect the content on your site from being used by others? Luckily there are a few options available.

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Justin is one of the developers at Sephone. He's interested in user-driven design, social media, and web services. He also enjoys learning and exploring new ways for businesses and people to use the web.

What Happens to your Facebook Page after you Die

February 16, 2015

Have you ever thought about what happens to your Facebook page after you die? I have a little. In recent years several of my distant friends have passed away. Often the page will turn into a memorial of sorts.

Legacy Contact

One of the new features in FB is legacy contact. This will allow you to pick somebody to make certain decisions about your profile after you die. Go to settings -> security to pick your legacy contact or decide to just delete your account after you die.

leg

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Alan has been creating websites since CompuServe was huge. Today he still is developing websites using technologies such as CSS3, HTML5, jQuery and CakePHP.

What’s The Priority?

February 5, 2015

When you are going shopping, you make a list.  When you are at work and you have multiple  things to do, you make a list, right?TO_DOLIST

At Sephone, we have a staff meeting every week. The Agenda includes multiple “Roll Over” items that we discuss every week.  Most of these   items involve clients, sites or applications that need group input and a run thru of our online Task Management System (designed by Sephone,  do you need one?) read more

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Kelly's been known as the Marketing Maven since before the term was hip. (That means she's old.) As a natural Community Builder, she loves to get people together, bring resources to the table and solve problems!

Denial of Service Attacks

January 23, 2015

In the past several months there has been lots of in the tech news about Denial of Service Attacks or DOS’s. Most of the more notable ones in the last year are rackspace, basecamp, 1&1 hosting, and the St. Louis County Police’s email and website.

What is a DOS

A graph showing a spike in traffic, when at 10 o'clock the DDOS attack was started.

A graph showing a spike in traffic, when at 10 o’clock the DDOS attack was started.

A DOS is when a server (or piece of network equipment) is overloaded with requests and the server can no longer handle any more requests. Once the server is overloaded, legitimate traffic can no longer get through. The result is that the website or app seems down.

One derivative of the DOS that is particular difficult is the distributed denial of service or DDOS. This is where the attack is coming from many different IPs or computers. With a simple DOS, you can normally block the one IP where the attack is originating. With a DDOS it becomes nearly impossible to tell the attackers from legitimate users.

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Alan has been creating websites since CompuServe was huge. Today he still is developing websites using technologies such as CSS3, HTML5, jQuery and CakePHP.