kyleke.es
I'm Kyle Keesling, an Indianapolis-based pixel pusher

Boostrap 3 Responsive Button Groups

Ever been disappointed/pissed off with how Bootstrap handles (read ignores) button formatting on smaller screens? Check this out:

Makes this:

Look like this:

Aaron Draplin Takes On a Logo Design Challenge

I come across this video yesterday of Aaron Draplin, of Field Notes and DDC fame, talking about his approach to logo/corporate identity design. I’m a big fan of his style in general but he makes some really good points regarding how to approach these types of projects.

Submarine Sandwich

This video is just flat out weird, but I can’t stop watching it.

Rails Testing

Below is a series of tweets that I should’ve composed a quick post out of rather than rapid-firing it out over twitter. Maybe I’ll come up with some more to say about this here before long.

When Using CurrentC, You're the Product

I’ve only used  Pay a few times over the past two weeks, but I already find myself checking for it at every store I step foot into. It’s more convenient than getting into my wallet and swiping a card… and it’s just plain cool.

While the coolness factor will wear off over time, knowing the security measures being taken to ensure my financial/personal details are kept private is a huge win, even more so than the impending EMV roll-out (finally) happening here in the US over the next few years.

All that said, this week’s push-back really had me scratching my head at first. We first heard about Rite-Aid pulling all NFC-based payments from their stores, and CVS quickly follow suit, doing this in favor of a new service called CurrentC.

CurrentC is a new invite-only payment app created members of MCX, which is a group of merchants who are trying to “streamline the customer shopping experience across all major retail verticals.”1

Josh Constine’s article on TechCrunch does a great job describing the basics:

When it’s time for a user to check out, they request to pay with CurrentC. The consumer then unlocks their phone, opens the CurrentC app, opens the code scanner, and scans the QR code shown on the cashier’s screen. In some case, the reverse may happen where the consumer’s CurrentC app displays a payment code and the cashier scans it. If a QR code can’t be generated, a manually entered numeric code may be offered.

I can’t see how unlocking my phone, launching an app, and taking a picture of a QR code could even come close to the level of ease that  Pay, or any other NFC-based payment system, offers.

Rather than sending the customer’s financial data over the air, transactions trigger the transmission of a token placeholder. This is then securely converted by the financial institution to process the ACH payment and charge the user.

CurrentC notes it may share info with your device maker, app store, or developer tool makers. Oddly, it will collect health data. Precise location information is used to verify you’re at the retailer where you’re making a transaction, and if you opt in it can be used for marketing or advertising. CurrentC notes that you can opt in to be able to capture and store photos in the app for a hypothetical visual shopping list or other features down the road.

These quotes tell you all you need to know about MCX’s motives. This decision was made with the merchants’ best interests in mind, not the consumer, they get more personal data about their customers and cut out the transaction fees from the payment processors by using ACH payments. Many people, including myself2, actually prefer credit cards over debit cards/bank transfers. Points, cash-back, and travel credits are big business for banks, and can be beneficial to consumers too, so I don’t expect this to be ironed out any time too soon.

If you’re as interested in this as I am you may want to follow Nick Arnott’s coverage/commentary on iMore and twitter. He’s doing a great job of explaining the implications from both a consumer-facing and technological level.

  1. Read in @marcoarment’s ‘BRANNNNNDS’ voice

  2. Costco AMEX FTW

Fire Talk with Me

I recently started listening to a newer podcast on esn.fm called Fire Talk with Me. It’s a limited edition show that runs through each episode of David Lynch’s masterpiece Twin Peaks, and gives the perspectives of one person who experienced the show during its inital run, Jeremy Smith, and one who’s experiencing it for the first time, Allie Goertz. They have guests on along the way, but are very good about not spoiling anything for Allie. They have currently covered the pilot and the first four episodes, releasing a new one each week.

Whether you are a total Lynch fanatic, or know nothing about Twin Peaks, this is a great podcast to supplement your viewing experience, which can stream in its entirety on Netflix, or splurge for the Blu-Ray set, complete with the prequel movie, Fire Walk with Me.

Either way I can’t recommend you watch this enough. It gives you a lot of perspective as to what shaped some of the ideas/styles of some of today’s best television shows.

The Walking Dead: The Game - Season 2

The first season if this game was fantastic, and I highly recommend it, even if you aren’t particularly a fan of the TV show. These games are set in the same universe but follow an entirely seperate set of characters… with the occasional cameo :)

The Dirty Secret Behind the Salesforce $1M Hackathon

I know that if I put this much time and effort into something and the judges didn’t even launch my code, I’d be pretty upset, but anyone going into this thinking it was completely unbiased, and not a huge marketing ploy cooked up to benefit the host is just naive. On the other hand, it’s impossible to get the one true story in situations like these.

At any rate this is why I’m increasingly dismissive of any corporate “hackathon” competitions. They are rarely setup with the developers’ best interests in mind, but rather for some other type of self-serving agenda1.

  1. “I’m not lumping any type of charity/non-profit events in here, those clearly articulate who these projects benefit”

Creating a Repeating Footer w/ Prawn

I’ve been using Prawn for the past 3 years to generate PDFs in my Rails projects. It has a little bit of a learning curve up front but gives you much more power than just rendering out your web views as PDFs.

That said one problem I ran across was how to design/implement repeating footer. After a lot of digging I came up with the solution below:

If you are curious how you actually go about using this PDF in your project, you can refer to Ryan Bates’ always awesome Railscasts, episode #153.

On a side note, Ryan took the summer off and was originally going to come back in September, but then later announced he wasn’t ready to come back yet. While I can definitely understand burnout and needing some time away, I hope to see him back in action soon.

Mileage Log+

On the latest CMD+Space Myke interviews David Barnard of Contrast (formerly App Cubby). It’s an interesting discussion regarding some of the realities of what being an app developer is like, and sheds some light on what being on the top selling and grossing lists in the App Store really means. In addition to his thoughts of the App Store I also learned about one of his newest apps called Mileage Log+.

Mileage Log+ a handy little app that allows you to easily log and report on mileage you accrue for work purposes. I downloaded it last night and started to enter all of my weekly drives between Indy and Muncie. It’s a simple interface that allows you to quickly enter all necessary details, and even save certain trips as templates so you can quickly enter them again in the future. It also allows you to backup all of the app’s data to a Dropbox folder, making it simple to grab the data later without reaching for your phone.

Some people may scoff at the $9.99 price tag but think about this: after logging just one round trip for my work I’m able to write off enough money to buy the app five times over. The app essentially pays for itself!

If you log a lot of miles for work then I highly recommend picking it up, it’s worth well more than what it’s priced at.

Download (App Store Link)