Kakuweb Blog Rants and raves. Some interesting stuff, most of it not.

The sure-fire way to buy a new video game

When your wife yells at you: “Another video game? You bought another video game? We need a new sofa and you bought another fucking video game???” You hold up you hand, palm out, and in a very calm voice, your best Ted Talk voice, you say: “It’s for the kids.” Of course, it’s all bullshit, it’s not for the kids, the kids would not be allowed anywhere near such a video game. But she doesn’t know that so it mollifies... read

Back to work

So it’s that time of the year again, the new year and back to work after the Christmas holidays, chock full of new year’s resolution waiting to be dashed against the rocks of every day life and humdrum routine. Resolutions that will, inevitably, succumb, to quote the poet Ace Ventura, to the chewy chunks of degradation. I’ve been gearing myself for this return to work and the inevitable stress that comes with it, for the past two days. Mentally preparing,... read

So you want to move to London

My advice: don’t! Don’t get me wrong, London is wonderful place, it is the centre of the universe, it is the most cosmopolitan and interesting city in the world (sorry New York). It has the most things to do anywhere on the planet. You could live in London your entire life and never see or do everything there is to see or do. It is the Silicon Valley of Europe. It’s also the banking capital of Europe. And it’s also... read

Using a Tap Gesture That Doesn't Interfere with a TableView in iOS

So if you’ve ever used a Tap Gesture on a whole ViewController only to find that it interferes with a TableView and now you can’t select any rows, you know how it can be a pain. The good news is that there is a really simple way to fix it. You don’t need to create any weird invisble views, etc. Just add this bit of code in viewDidLoad: tap.cancelsTouchesInView read

Best Way to Close the iOS Keyboard

I’m sure you’ve seen lots of different ways of closing the keyboard in iOS. One of the most popular ones seems to be to resign the first responder. And that one’s fine. But the one I like the most and I think is the simplest is to just force an end editing like so: view.endEditing(true) Put it into a function and call it from multiple places in your ViewController: read

Apple Radio = The HipHop Channel

So what’s a guy to do when Rdio shuts down? Apart from freak out and tear your hair out and then mourn and cry? What alternatives are out there? If you’re lucky to live in a country where Pandora is available, then that’s probably your first option. Not because Pandora is any good, but because they bought the last assets Rdio had to offer. If it’s not available then there’s Spotify. But I don’t really like it. The interface sucks,... read

Bicycle Wheel Sizes

TL;DR Version Q. Are mountain bike wheel sizes some marketing bullshit for the brands to sell more crap? A. No. They’re not. Q. Does wheel size actually make a difference in how the bike handles? A. Yes it does. Q. But how? A. Read on. I’ve been riding bikes every since I was about 5 years old. That’s 31 years ago. Back then there was only 1 type of bike, the ol’ banana-seat bike: banana-seatread

Swift is Actually Cool!

Who knew? I’ve written disparagingly about Swift in the past, but as I dig deeper and deeper into the language, and with the new 2.0 version just out, I’ve come to like it more and more. Closures Something that is really cool are closures. Closures are like mini functions that get passed as a parameter to another function. Yeah, sounds weird, I know but they’re great. They’re called lambdas in Ruby and you use them all the... read

The Apple Watch is a Gimmick

I’m an old Apple fan boy, but I don’t like the Apple Watch, I don’t own one and don’t want to own one. I think it’s a gimmick. What good is a timepiece that can’t fulfill its one, major, function: telling time, half the time? A timepiece that goes to sleep on you and won’t show you what time it is, one that you have to plug in every night because the damn thing’s battery won’t last even 20 hours?... read

The Irony of To Do Apps

For some years now I’ve been obsessed with To Do apps. I think it’s safe to say that anyone obsessed with technology, as I am, will also be obsessed with things like To Do apps since they represent the epitome of technology’s promise: to make our lives easier. Now, I’m not talking about a grocery list in a table view, that’s easy to do, you can whip one up in a number of programming environments with not too much effort,... read

The Order: 1886 Why All the Hate?

The Order: 1886 has been getting a lot of bad press lately, a lot or irate reviewers are saying you shouldn’t even play it. I really don’t understand what all the hate is about. A mini F.A.Q. Should you play The Order: 1886? Yes. You should play it. Don’t necessarily buy it, unless you have a lot of money to throw away, but definitely play it, rent it like I did or borrow it from a friend. Is... read

Swift is a Bit of a Mess

Apple’s new language is undoubtedly much more palatable and approachable than the dreaded Objective-C, no question about that whatsoever. Even if you’re a staunch, die-hard, crusty old Objective-C developer you have to admit that Swift is more elegant, less verbose (hell, even a 6-year-old girl is less verbose), easier to remember and, more important: easier to learn than Objective-C. It is Apple’s latest attempt at bringing a modern language to its modern Operating System. But it’s no panacea. Granted, this... read

Ajax and Rails, making it work

Every time I need to add some Ajax to a Rails project I need to look up documentation and search through all my earlier files to see how I did it. Maybe this is because I’m old and was doing javascript (which I hate BTW) the old-fashioned way so getting my head around the Rails way might be more difficult, I don’t know, but it’s a pain in the arse, so I’m writing a little blog post so I can... read

The Disappointment of Rubymotion

I bought Rubymotion last year in a frenzy of excitement over writing iOS apps. It cost me $200 which is a lot for an independent developer these days, especially when you consider that Xcode is free and they’ve just released Swift, a much more approachable language than the daunting and hated Objective-C. Hell I even bought the Rubymotion book by Clay Allsop in my excitement. But their website said that it was a one-time investment... read

Destiny is Disappointing

No, not the woven threads of fate, but the game by Bungie. How can it be disappointing? This was the most hyped-up game in the known universe, everybody and their dog was lined up waiting for the release, it almost reached iPhone 6 pre-release fervor! Plus, it was made by Bungie, creators of one of the best games of all times, a game whose innovations defined first-person shooters for decades. How is it possible for it to be disappointing? Why,... read

Bible passages explained in modern language

I’m not bashing Christianity or any other religion, believe in whatever you want, it’s your choice, you’re free to choose. I for, example, believe that my dog is my god. Think about it, we feed them, groom them, pamper them, take them for a walk, pick up their shit! Something I wouldn’t do even for my own kids, cater to their every need, stroke them, brush them, do anything for them, unconditionally. If that’s not the description of a god... read

Remove div wrappers from simple_form fields

The simple_form gem, by default will wrap all your input fields in different div classes. This is fine to get up and running out of the box, but it can be a real pain when you want to style your inputs in ways that conflict with the default CSS. To get rid of the formatting is very simple, use f.input_field instead of f.input = f.input_field :email, label:... read

Ubisoft Can't Tell a Story

It’s not that they’re not as good as Bioware or don’t have Naughty Dog’s flair for dialogue, it’s simply that they suck. They can’t tell a story to save their lives, it’s like all their writers are 13 year-old kids who’ve never read a book or seen a classic movie. Don’t believe me? Allow me to illustrate. Watchdogs Ok, the story here is so stupid and inconsequential that you’re better off skipping the cut scenes (those that will allow... read

Watchdogs Review

So Watchdogs, from Ubisoft, has been out for a while and you’ve read the reviews saying how wonderful and innovative it is, etc. Well, I’m here to set the record straight and give you my unbiased Watchdogs review. The TL;DR version: Watchdogs is 75% Assassin’s Creed, 10% GTA and 5% Deus Ex. There is virtually nothing innovative or that you haven’t seen before in Watchdogs. The story and characters are dumb and you don’t give a shit about any... read

Macaw - The Code-Savvy Design Tool

Update: Macaw has just launched version 1.5 and these are some of the new features: States Quickly add hover, active and focus states for any element. Seriously? In 1.5? This should have been part of 1.0! Display Toggling Take control of an element’s display and visibility properties for smart, responsive design. Once again, a 1.0 feature that was actually demoed in one of their videos but never worked. Rich Text Create and style nodes... read