Batch Download iOS App Icons

This site has been in serious need of a redesign for years and a graphic designer friend of mine had the idea of spelling my domain using app icons! I loved this idea but I had a slight lack of letter based app icons to play around with (read: none).

It turns out Apple provides an iTunes Search API which I could use to programmatically access search results for any terms/categories/etc. The major limitation of this API is that it will only return 200 results for a single search term and has no way to specify pagination (so I can’t, for example, get results 200-400 in my request). The only way around this would be to download and parse the entire Enterprise Partner Feed which contains all metadata in the iTunes store. Regrettably, I am not an enterprise partner (yet) so I don’t have access to that data.

The JSON search results specify locations for both 60×60 and 512×512 app icon images. The script I’ve written prompts the user for a comma separated string containing a list of search results. The script will then query the Search API for each of the terms and download the 200 results into a subfolder named by the associated search term. There’s no support for searching in specific categories only or searching the top charts but that functionality would be trivial to add using the API documentation as reference.

Here is a link to all of the “letter icons” I’ve accumulated: (sorry, I only cared about SIDEAP)

I’ve also included the first draft of the new site logo (currently using the 2nd draft as of 8/29/14). If anyone wants to try their hand at another design I’ll give them two million dollars. Don’t forget to grab the source below as well! My apologies for the lack of comments in the code… I’m better than that.

Website Header Prototype A


FlowReader: A Revolutionary Way of Speed-Reading

Boston-based tech company, Spritz, has recently introduced a new speed-reading method. This technology utilizes a previously existing presentation method, known as RSVP (Rapid Serial Visual Presentation). A single letter is highlighted to focus attention to a natural center of the word. The brain processes the rest of the word through your peripheral vision. By keeping the highlighted word in the same place, Spritz is able to eliminate minute eye movements that make up a large part of our natural reading process.

My friend Julia Hlavacik and I were discussing this new technology when we realized we might be onto something interesting. Not only does this kind of program have potential for everyday uses such as e-readers, mobile web pages, and all forms of articles; it also circumvents a lot of the problems faced by dyslexic readers.

Dyslexic readers generally have trouble scanning lines of text, finding the next line of text, staying focused on a word in a line, reading on certain colors of paper/background along with some impairment of spatial awareness. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but all of these issues are either alleviated or circumvented through RSVP. Although normal readers may not experience these problems to the same acute degree as most dyslexic readers, this speed-reading program can still significantly boost the average person’s reading. This is particularly useful on small, digital screens where text can be difficult to adjust.

The video below demonstrates a brief proof-of-concept. The text you see is being presented at 250 WPM; the reading speed of an average adult. To many of you, this text will likely appear somewhat sluggish – most readers can easily adapt to 500 WPM or more. I chose to use an open source API called OpenSpritz as the Spritz API has limited customization options and forces users to create an account and sign in. Two examples of customization that would be impossible with Spritz’s API are the color theme and the ability to adjust the WPM on the fly to account for longer words or punctuation.

Windows 8 Lightscribe Disc Image

I couldn’t find any decent Lightscribe templates for a Windows 8 disk so I whipped one up myself using a mashup of others’ work. Enjoy!

The creator of the Windows 7 image this is based off has a Deviant Art account.

I was unable to find the creator of the Windows 8 logo I used in the image. Creator, if you stumble upon my website feel free to shoot me an email for recognition.

Download Windows 8 LightScribe Template (Version 1.0)
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