Newsletter Popup Doesn’t Make Sense to Me

The newsletter popup that showing up in 70% of the news sites I visit, at least those sites that I visit via Twitter or Flipboard.

I don’t know since when the trend started, it started to feels like a boilerplate or industry best practice, everyone starting to follow suits, plugins available everywhere, and blog posts about how to craft effective marketing newsletter started to shows up.

While it would be nice that it’s easy for me as a user to be able to subscribe to a site that they enjoy reading, but personally I think it’s a step too much when the enormous overlay dialog that covered almost the whole page (specially in mobile phone) shows up the moment the page loaded, I’m not sure how much sign up those sites will get for the dialog to shows up on page load rather than a link to it, I know for sure it annoyed the hack out of me.

Hack Spirit newsletter subscription box

Hack Spirit Newsletter Subscription Box

This is from Hack Spirit, the moment the page was loaded, the newsletter sign up box shows up.

The Next newsletter signup box

The Next Newsletter Sign Up Box

Fort The Next beside shows up the sign up box right away on page loaded, it’s a huge one as well.

NY Post newsletter sign up box

New York Post Newsletter Sign Up

For New York Post it’s worse than the rest, it shows up at beginning of the post, it’s big, and it said Never miss a story, while it blocking the content I was reading, it’s kind of ironic isn’t it, the sign up box causing me to missing a story, by blocking me, and it ask me to sign up so that I won’t miss a story. To be fair with them, I never get the newsletter box anymore, assuming they changed it to a button instead of auto popup now, nice decision.

Thing that doesn’t make sense to me with this newsletter subscription box practice is, while its designed to let users subscribe and stay up to date with the new contents, the ultimate goal is for user to consume their contents (let’s just assuming not solely for ads revenue), but those popups keeps getting between the users and the contents they are reading.

Maybe a button to trigger the subscription box, put it at the bottom of the post will be much better user experience than the annoying popups.

 

Migrating WordPress to Azure – Part 1

From my previous post about moving away from HostGator, so I’ll have to move my WordPress as well. Thankfully Microsoft given away some free credits for Azure through Visual Studio Dev Essentials few months back, so I use the opportunity to migrate WordPress from HostGator over to Azure.

At first I thought it will be a troublesome process, as I might need to setup a VM, and install PHP, MySQL myself, but actually it’s very simple to setup WordPress on Azure.

Read more…

 

HostGator Storing Plain Text Password

I’ve been using HostGator for many years to host my blog, I’ve been wanting to migrate to DigitalOcean or other cloud hosting provider, but I haven’t found any motivation to do so previously, and I’ve found it last year (I’m cheap, I waited till it expiring so that I can move away), the main and only motivator is that HostGator keeping my password in plain text in support case.

Last year, I did upgrade my package so that I can support multiple domain, I’ve purchased extra domain so that I can host demo site for my clients, but I never really use it that much, so I raised a ticket to HostGator to request for downgrade my package, and before my ticket go through, I’ll need to key in my login and password for verification purpose.

Read more…

 

Frustration UX at Lego Ideas

UI and UX design wasn’t something that I’m good or decent at, and most of the time when developing some features, UX often come to my mind last, and usually ended up with following some most basic form of structuring the elements on the web page without giving much thought.

Recently I saw an amazing idea for Lego set posted in Lego Ideas page, so I decided to go and support the idea, so that it get make by Lego and I can get one for myself. So by default, when I saw something nice and I wanted to support it, I feel excited, and I immediately click the “Support” button.

Read more…

 

Open Source Software Licenses

Had some read up on open source licenses due to work related, and had a realization that  free software is not free as in beer, but freedom to change or distribute the software.

But not all of the open source licenses are friendly to a commercial product, the notable one is GPL, which required the project that uses it to be open source, it’s not so cool for commercial product that wanted to use GPL licensed library in small portion of the project, but required to open source all source code. But GPL license give the open source community an competitive edge to the commercial product by requiring project source code to be open. (read more here)

So, MIT license come to save the world, it basically allow linking of MIT licensed library in commercial product without open source the rest of the source code, neat. But I’ve came across another permissive license, but with cooler name, the WTFPL. As name implied, you can do what the fuck you want with it, and the license terms is short and easy to understand.

There is a website Unlicense.org provide more info about how to set the software free, totally free, more free than GPL, which set the software into public domain, and people can do WTF they wanted with it.

Still WTFPL has the coolest license name.

 

Remove Windows 8, Install Windows Vista from USB

Yes, Vista is old, yes, Windows 7 is much better, and yes, Windows 8 is already here. I’ve tried upgrade my Vista to Windows 8, and it was horrible for me.

First, when the system restarted and boot into Windows setup, it simply said unable to configure hardware, so it rebooted, and present me with Windows 8, Windows Setup and Windows Vista boot options, select Windows 8 will lead to another error and reboot, select Windows Setup and viola, corrupted the whole thing. So I decided to create an bootable USB and perform clean install, format my drive and then it shows could not install on selected drive error, after troubleshoot, use the command prompt in repair option to run some diskpart function, and it installed, and yes, the new UI have some inconsistent navigation flow (even for the very same button, it randomly navigate), very very confusing.

After installed and activated, try to run some update on the Windows 8 apps (the modern UI app thing), during update, it removed all the updating apps from my start menu, and the update keep on failing, I have no idea how to get them back. Then I try out the new split screen feature, and it keep crashing the Windows 8 apps, almost every time. Try to sync my iPhone through iTunes (the same installer I use on Vista and Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008), it just keep on disconnect my phone, too many trouble, so I decided to reinstall my Vista, this time, from USB. (Source)

To create a bootable USB from installer (I have ISO mounted), open command prompt with admin rights.

Read more…

 

iOS Search Went Back in Time

Just swiping around the pages of icons and the search screen on my iPhone without any objective, for the sake of enjoying the smoothness of it, and was wondering if the searches in iOS is really as fast as the counterpart Finder in the OS X, which is blazing fast when I’m searching on the OS X. So I decided to randomly search for something in my phone.

And so I search for “lol”

 

And not surprisingly, it shows the result very very fast, showing all my messages with my buddy that contains that word, and then I remembered…

I don’t have any message, but wonder how the search will get the result of old messages, but not recent one, which I deleted no longer than half hour, tapping on the search result simply bring me to Messages, without any message to be displayed.  Maybe iOS haven’t start some caching and indexing, maybe it’s purely a bug? It’s good that we might be able to recover some message from deleted messages (provided the preview showing the text), but also some minor privacy issue where people might be able to preview some of the contents on our phone.

 

Humble Music Bundle

Discovered Humble Bundle 2 years ago, and ever since Humble Bundle continue to offer great indie games with name your price model, and developers were kind enough to include their soundtrack with the bundle.

Humble Bundle just did something not game related (not entirely though), they introduce a music bundle, it came with 6 albums, though I might not heard any of the artists before, but I can tell they all produced hell good music, I got myself the bundle and I love almost all the albums (personally not interested with any game soundtrack, beside during in game). Looking forward for another music bundle!

 

Outlook.com, Microsoft updated their web mail

Microsoft just released their new web mail, Outlook.com, which heavily based on their awesome Metro UI Modern UI, and it’s so smooth and responsive compared to the old version.

 

Everything looks so gorgeous now (except those spams migrated nicely to my new inbox), the function bar (which I name it) now placed on top and bigger and easier to use. Clicking on the smiley face icon on the top right corner will bring up the chat panel on the right. I still not able to get it to show list of my friends who are currently online (at the time I’m testing it, and I just test it on my offline contact), though I can get to them by typing their name in the box. The new chat box also looks nice, but they seems like removed some icon, like the (h5) high five icon.

Composing email now made it even more easy to the eyes compared to the previous version.

Overall design of the new Outlook.com is amazing, so does the Metro UI, though it gave me some familiar feel with the Google+ and new Gmail interface — big plain blocky button.

It’s too late for it to be my primary email account now, but it would be a nice secondary email use to sign up account or  use to contact with some unknown contacts, to reduce spam chances on my new Gmail address.

Update: 

Seems like whenever it loading the interface or new mail/chat message, the whole thing will get super laggy for a laptop that running on Intel graphics.

Beside not able to show (or I just couldn’t figure out how) to display my online contacts on the messenger, it also didn’t change the browser title to notify me new messages like old Hotmail does, instead it showing the count on the small icon on the top right corner. This feature is useful for people that working on other window and does not have access to speaker for sound notification.