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SquareUp: Runaway Success or Soon to be Has Been?

In a fit of late night careerdom I became enamored with a really cool personal payment tool called SquareUp. It's a card reader that's about 1"x1" that you plug into your mobile device. Using the free SquareUp app, you can now accept credit card payments for a low, low, 2.75% service fee per transaction. The best part? The car reader is FREE! I may never take a personal credit card payment ever, but just knowing that I can is pretty damn cool. If you owe me money, watch out! I now take Visa, MasterCard, and Amex.

At first I was completely blown away by SquareUp. I ordered one immediately, of course. I've since reconsidered. Once NFC becomes mainstream, SquareUp better be well poised to be the PayPal of mobile personal payments or they'll easily be passed over by integrated hardware services. Maybe not. Either way, pay up suckers!



Our Latest Launch - Tervis Smart Cup

Recently we launched a unique and engaging campaign for Tervis Tumblers, everybody's favorite double walled insulated cup. The campaign brought to life both the Tervis lifestyle and the functional benefits of the Tervis Tumbler. Using the 3D panoramic platform KRpano, we built a series of immersive environments that really encouraged the consumer to engage and explore. Don't take my word for it, check it out!



Our Latest Launch - Children's Hospital Colorado Heart Institute

Today we launched the first in a series of updates to the Children's Hospital Colorado Service Lines web site. This marked the launch of the new site for the Heart Institute. Sporting an overhaul of navigation, architecture, and look and feel, this is a huge step forward for CHC. Don't take my word for it! Check it out!



Google Image Search Virus Leads to AV Showdown

The last few months we have seen a huge spike in viruses coming from Google Image Search. Our current solution just was not cutting it, so I took a day to test out some of the better known anti-virus programs. Here are the results:

- Microsoft Security Essentials: doesn’t block any virus sites, lets installer install and infects computers. Doesn’t catch virus if it’s in a USB. System down – Boo.

- Kaspersky: blocks about 20% of the viruses sites, allows installer to run and infect computer. Doesn’t catch virus if it’s in a USB either. System down – Boo.

- ESET NOD32: blocks all sites and infected downloads. Scans USB sticks for virus, but takes a little bit. If it has a virus on the stick, it will delete it. I can force the virus install if I really try, but it actively removes parts of the virus that send data, etc. during install. No real system downtime, but still need to manually remove a file so it doesn’t give an error at start-up – Very good, but a little room for improvement.

- Symantec Endpoint Protection: not only blocks sites with infected viruses, but actually bans the IP from their computer as well for one day (can be adjusted). Blocks infected downloads and bans IP from that as well. It doesn’t remove infected files from USB sticks, but at the same time it won’t allow the install at all like NOD32 did. No effect on the system at all – Very good and less room for improvement than NOD32!

Of course the above was just testing against the Google Image Search virus that is running rampant. If we take into account all aspects (computer resources used, track record for stopping viruses, as little user interaction as possible) there was one clear winner: ESET NOD32.



Our Latest Launch -

Today we launched an important informational site for Children's Hospital Colorado. addresses the issue of  Shaken Baby Syndrome, serving as a prevention resource for parents and caregivers giving them the tools they need to stay cool and calm a crying baby without resorting to shaking. Shaken Baby Syndrome is a real problem, and this site aims to solve it. Click here to learn more.



Favorite iPad App

One of the most common questions I get is "Matt, what are your favorite iPad apps?" This is a very difficult question to answer for a few reasons. The primary reason is the personal nature of the iPad. It's really meant to be a one man device. Unlike most modern day operating systems, the iOS was really not built for multi-user support. There is no way to setup multiple users that can access the device via unique logins which access unique profiles. The other reason is the personal nature of the apps I use. I tend to favor nerdier apps, apps that allow me to do my job, source code managers, remote desktop apps, file management apps, which most of the people who ask me would find no use for. That said, I think I can point to a single app that any iPad user will fund useful. AppStart for iPad is kind of like a guided tour of not only the iPad, but the world of tablet computing. It includes a ton of app recommendations for all sorts of purposes. It also explains how to do everything from printing to shopping to file management. All of the content is packaged in a very clean, user friendly, tablet-centric, touch interface. It even recommends The AppAdvice App if you seek more iPad app knowledge. Check it out!



Our Latest Launch - WaterPik Showers

I'm excited to announce our latest digital product launch - WaterPik Showers. This is the second to last piece in a year long overhaul of Following the navigation and architecture developed through previous portions of the project, the WaterPik showers site is right at home in it's new setting. There is nothing like an invigorating shower in the morning, and this new launch really brings that notion to life. Check it out!



Future of Gaming Arrives - OSN Shows Madden 12

The future of gaming is finally here! The Onion Sports Network gives us a glimpse into what EA has been developing for Madden 12.

  Onion SportsDome

One of my life dreams was to be in the NFL. Looks like I finally can live that dream, without getting the nice paycheck...



The Problems with Application Development for Facebook

Over the last year we have really dug our heels into the world of Facebook application development. Like so much of the internet, it it very much a wild west in Facebook land. As everyone knows, Facebook often changes layouts, formats, designs, and functions without much warning. In the early days of Facebook one of my favorite functions was your personal friend timeline. When you added a friend you also indicated the time and context in which you befriended that person (in real life). Based on that data a timeline of your life was generated that showed your life's timeline and the people you met along the way. I loved this feature, and one day a few years ago, it was gone. Bummer. Facebook's most recent change is to a new layout for fan pages. We have an application running that we are scrambling to test and modify, and that's just the problem. Facebook really does not have a real development environment. Sure, they have a sandbox mode for developers, but we need more than that. Typically we have 3 environments in our workflow, dev, staging, and production. The absence of a staging environment can be a real challenge, especially when reviewing an iteration with a client while the application is still in development. Boo. Top all that off with poor and out of date documentation, and you have a mostly unfavorable development workflow. My last gripe is with platform stability. While Facebook does not suffer from the prevalence of the fail whale like Twitter (will they every get it right), their are often bugs and quirks with the platform that are beyond a developers controls. When an issue arises I absolutely hate telling someone "it's a Facebook problem, we are waiting for them to fix it." In the middle of a lengthy campaign last week the Facebook Page Insights went haywire, and the data became inaccurate. There was nothing we could do. Mark Zuckerberg, if you are listening, HELP!



Waston ties for first round of Jeopardy

Watson, the IBM super-computer designed to "understand the complexities of human language," had its debut on Jeopardy tonight facing off against the show's most successful players: Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. Thankfully, James Cameron's judgment day will have to wait a few more years, as Watson proved itself quite fallible; and although its answers were at times uncannily fast and accurate; it didn't seem quite devious enough to be planning a nuclear holocaust. Three more rounds will happen the next few nights. Now if only Darrell Hammond would show up as Sean Connery, this could turn into an epic event.



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Zuckerberg, Eisenberg, and Samberg on SNL



Facebook Follows Suit with the Public Internet

It was bound to happen. Now I'm curious to see how far it goes or how well it is controlled. Facebook has fallen prey to the same litany of scams, frauds, and viruses as the public internet. For a long time the walled garden model suited Facebook well. A private island of in the middle of the internet just for you and your 600,000,000 closest friends. In this article from Gawker, they outline the top 3 ways people are getting cheated on Facebook. Read more.