Pressgram: The app that could be so much more.

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Pressgram Header

Almost eight months ago, word of a new Kickstarter called “Pressgram” had surfaced around the WordPress community to some praise, some criticism but mainly a lot of curiosity. This was after Instagram had begun to be a victim of the fiery rage of people who like to know what’s happening with their content (I’m guilty). The official WordPress app had been (and still is) lacking in photo customization for people who want to post things on the go. You could always edit them in some third-party app (iOS 7 filters weren’t a thing) and email/post them that way but who wants to work, right?

Two months ago, Pressgram was no longer the idea of John Saddington and was an actual living, breathing iOS app and WordPress plugin and the ranks rejoiced! Or, well, most of them.1

Now we’re two months in and people have either fallen head over heals for it or seen no point in having it. I fall in the middle. There’s so much potential to be had and a lot of my complaints seem to be features coming in 2.0 which is “a long ways off“.

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  1. For the record, I completely agree with both of these posts. I set up a separate account dedicated to Pressgram with distinct passwords. I believe the ToS terms have been cleaned up as many services have done in the past. 

Genesis: Enable External Links as Titles

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I’ve been interested in the ability to replace post titles with external links on sites such as MacStories.net, The Loop, and Daring Fireball. With word of the Post Formats being a big part of WordPress 3.6, I was excited to have something equal to a self-hosted Tumblr where I could have full control over everything but have custom post formats. However, that dream soon died as they couldn’t agree with a layout and promises of a plugin haven’t quite come to fruition.

Screenshot 2013-11-10 11.16.03

Normally this wouldn’t be a hassle but since the Genesis framework makes you use hooks, this was a bit cumbersome and I couldn’t find a guide. So I made my own.

First, this guide is assuming you’re using Advanced Custom Fields. You’ll need a regular text field named External Links (‘external_links’ should become the field name). For reference, here’s the screenshot:

Screenshot 2013-11-10 11.07.47

Your default rule should be Post Type is Equal To Post.  From here, go to your functions.php file and add in this little bit of code to the end.

//* Add Link Functionality
add_filter( 'genesis_post_title_output', 'link_titles' );
function link_titles() {
	if ( get_field( 'external_link' ) ) {
		echo '<h3 class="entry-title"><a href="';
		the_field( 'external_link' );
		echo '" title="';
		the_title();
		echo ' [External Link]">';
		the_title();
		echo ' &rArr;</a></h3><h5 class="entry-title"><a href="';
		the_permalink();
		echo '" title="';
		the_title();
		echo ' [Internal Link]">&crarr;</a></h5>';	}
	else {
		echo '<h2 class="entry-title"><a href="';
		the_permalink();
		echo '" title="';
		the_title();
		echo '">';
		the_title();
		echo '</a></h2>';
	}
}

After that, go ahead and add a new post. Below your content editor, you’ll be greeted by a box like the one below.

Screenshot 2013-11-10 11.05.19

Insert your link (“http(s)://” prefix included) and post!

Some notes:

  • Your external link title will be the same as the title of your post. You can easily add in another custom field and slip that into your code but I don’t see the point, personally.
  • Your title has been dropped from an h2 to an h3 in size to easily indicate the different.
  • An arrow pointing right indicated the external link while the arrow going down and to the left indicates your post’s permalink. Both of these are visible in the first screenshot.
  • As far as I can tell, this works in both HTML5 and non-HTML5 themes (did testing on some old themes I developed on both versions).

Questions/comments? I’m @zachflauaus on Twitter.

Microsoft: Your Feedback Matters. Please give us your money.

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You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.

So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360.

…was there really any doubt of people enjoying being able to take their discs to their friends’ houses and play without issue? Or of how abysmal the state of broadband internet in the United States still is? Or the fact that soldiers like to game but don’t always have an Internet connection (not to mention the ability to have the Kinect watching them)?

Welcome back to reality, Microsoft.

EA does it again! SimCity pulled from Amazon’s Download Center

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Simcity Pulled from Amazon

Anybody with a brain could see that the latest SimCity reboot was going to be a disaster with it’s requirement that the computer it’s installed on must always be online. After averaging a whopping one star on Amazon with 853 reviews (as of this posting), either Amazon or EA has pulled SimCity from Amazon’s Download Store. You can still purchase the physical media version but it still has a note to buyers, saying that EA is working to resolve the long waits to sign onto SimCity which have been up to an hour in length to play a single player game.

In the meantime, I’ll be over here playing games offline since EA hasn’t messed up Mass Effect 3… Much.

[Kotaku]

Twitter kills off what made TweetDeck great

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Twitter has basically killed off the first client to make the service popular–a year and a half after buying it and making it into a lackluster HTML5 app.

To continue to offer a great product that addresses your unique needs, we’re going to focus our development efforts on our modern, web-based versions of TweetDeck. To that end, we are discontinuing support for our older apps: TweetDeck AIR, TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone. They will be removed from their respective app stores in early May and will stop functioning shortly thereafter. We’ll also discontinue support for our Facebook integration.

Another point of irony? TweetDeck posted their update on Posterous, another Twitter service that will close its doors at the end of April.

It’s not a trap: Disney buys Lucasfilm/Lucasarts

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On the day of the announcement that Disney bought Lucasfilm (and Lucasarts by extension) from George Lucas for $4 billion in cash and stock, my first reaction was, “Damn. He’s even richer than before!” Then I immediately panicked about the future of the franchise, that it would be Disneyfied, so on and so fourth. I’m a lifelong Star Wars fan and I’ll proudly admit it. I have all of the DVDs released, the Blu-ray set, the soundtrack to accompany the movies, The Clone Wars seasons 1-4 and a few mini action figures from that series. Also, I have a fair number of the Expanded Universe books and even a few of the radio novelizations. Yes, call me lame, I know. I’ll treasure it dearly.

I’m sure from this, you can see why I was concerned when I came across the story. Once the panic set in, I had visions of Jar Jar dancing around network, holding hands with ewoks while singing “It’s A Small World After All.” That’s what nightmares are made of. Then I came down from my surprise and started to think about this rationally and came away pleasantly surprised.

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The Nexus 7 or “How Google Got $249 of My Cash”

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I’m going to consider this Part 1 of… Well, a multi-part thing. I can’t (and won’t) cram every impression of the Nexus 7 into a single post without having it turn into an Ars Technica review and I guarantee it would be less interesting to read.

When Google announced the Nexus 7 at Google I/O 2012, it immediately caught my attention. Yes, companies like Samsung and Amazon had tried a 7-inch form factor. I even ended up giving my mom a Kindle Fire for Christmas because it seemed seamless enough for her to use without much confusion and she loves it. But I couldn’t deal with a mediocre product like the Fire or the Galaxy Tab 7″ or whatever Samsung decided to call theirs. I call them mediocre products because for a geek, they are mediocre products. There’s little support from the manufacturer and they often don’t end up getting software updates.

Then this beauty was announced.

It became an immediate buy–just wanted to wait until the checkbook agreed with the brain.

I’ve had the Nexus 7 for a week now and I can’t put it down. The build quality is great, the hardware is fantastic and the software is also not too shabby. Perhaps I should say this: for $200, all of the above is true. I haven’t even used my iPad for more than an hour since then (a nice aluminum paperweight right now). It’s that good (and this is coming from an Apple fan who also owns stock in the company).

I used to think that a 7-inch form factor was ridiculous, that it was literally an overgrown Android phone. And to some extent, it is. The problem with Android on tablets that has plagued it forever is the fact that there are very few tablet-oriented applications. What ends up happening is that you get a blown-up phone experience which, still, isn’t too bad. This is helped by the Galaxy Nexus having a resolution of 1280×720 versus the 1280×800 on the Nexus 7. App assets (like images for backgrounds, menu bars, gradients, etc.) aren’t always blown up like they are on non-retina iOS applications and leaving them jaggy and ugly.

Again, I’ll do specifics in later posts; one for hardware, one for software. But here’s where I stand with the Nexus 7 right now.

It’s not going back to Mountain View. 

Is it perfect? No, but neither is the iPad. Are there some rough edges? Oh definitely, but Google is slowly making advances in the right direction. They’re beginning to push manufacturers to slim down their lineups and keep their phones updated so that more people can get the same experience–like iOS. They’re beginning to push developers to keep their apps updated and take advantage of new APIs and features so their apps can compete with iOS.

This is a perfect consumption device. It’s light enough at 12 ounces to be held in one hand while you’re drinking your morning coffee, yet sturdy enough that it feels like it can take a bit of a tossing in your bag and survive.

Google has a solid product and since they’re both the hardware seller and software maker, they have tight control of how this will play out–just like Apple. This is already a successful