Add some pride to any picture

Pridefy.com – Inspired by Love and created with Love

Inspired by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to declare same sex marriage a constitutional right and the celebratepride tool that Facebook launched on that same day, I decided to create an MMS ( Twilio powered) version of the same for those who (and I’m not sure why) do not have a Facebook account yet. Here are the steps I followed to make this happen; if you want to see the demo go to Pridefy.com

Step 1 – Change Opacity:

First I needed to find a way to change the opacity of the rainbow flag; a 50% seemed like the right choice here but I made this option part of the input for the method, just in case you want to play with this in the future. Check this article for some more details into this.

I tried this method and got some results, but not quite what I wanted. See what I mean here:

Background Image with Overlay at 50%

Background Image with Overlay at 50%

Step 2 – Scale Image:

I wanted like the rainbow flag to cover the whole image, So I tried making both images the same size and this is what I got:

output2

Stretched with Uniform Ratios

This didn’t turn out like I wanted it. I needed to scale the image using ratios horizontally but needed to retain the same vertical height.

Check the results now:

Final Result

Final Result

Step 3 – Putting it all together for Image Manipulation

When I receive an MMS message what I get is not the actual file (binary) but a link to the media file in Twilio’s servers. Therefore I needed to do a webrequest to get the media file (this is the MediaUrl0 parameter). I grabbed the flag image from a public Flicker url.

I then do the scaling, overlay and return the (in memory) image to the main controller.

Step 4 – The MMS Controller

I created an MVC controller to handle the incoming images and return back TwiML markup (Note: This controller must inherit from TwilioController in order to be able to send that TwiML markup back). You can do the same with a WebAPI controller, Node, etc. I just went for simple here

The same way that Twilio sends images via MMS, I needed to send them back; this means I had to save the image somewhere and then send the URL to that media file back. To do this I used Azure Blob Storage; again nothing fancy here, check this tutorial for a quick how to. I created a container for my images,created a blob and uploaded the image to that blob.

Warning: don’t forget to set the Content-Type for the blob, failure to do this will serve the blob as “application/octet” which Twilio won’t be able to handle. 

Hopefully you enjoyed this little project, I surely did. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions with this demo.

Have fun and celebrate love

Neat tool to visualize your site’s attention hot-spots and visual clarity

I recently ran into EyeQuant a neat tool to visualize how cluttered a website is. Here is an example of the attention map with my own blog:

Attention Map

Attention Map

 

In addition to attention maps you can visualize how you scale in terms of clarity.

 

Visual Clarity

Visual Clarity

 

I had previously seen a post (somewhere) that detailed how the same analysis could be applied to resumes and other important documents. It is a little sad to see how even after this concept has been drilled into most of our minds, cluttered design and ad-ridden websites are so prevalent.

A blank canvas for your browser… and another nifty hack

Sometimes it’s the little things that make us productive (i.e. new browser tabs). I use many browsers and get teased regularly for having a hundred tabs open and hogging the memory of my pc, but amid all those tabs, and God forbid plugins you installed in your browser, there is a disconnect between the new tab page for each. You could call it visual clutter and disuniformity… or you could call it boring, whatever floats your boat.

If you use Chrome you will probably see something like this (FYI I had a theme installed at the time of the screenshot so yours might look “cloudy”) :

Chrome New Tab

Chrome New Tab

It has the small icons for recently visited pages and another search bar.

If you use Firefox you might get something like this:

Firefox New Tab

Firefox New Tab

It just has the recently visited pages but those icons are huge.

If you want something more productive and simple I recommend this little hack; paste this into your address bar and press enter:

data:text/html, <html contenteditable>

Peaceful isn’t it?

Did you notice it? Or were you just angrily looking at a white screen? Well if you clicked on the screen and started typing you would see that this white space is now editable! What this means is that this whole screen is now a fully equipped HTML notepad for you to write on.

This means you can copy and paste text and it will retain it’s hyperlinks and formatting; so maybe we can call this the poorman’s HTML editor too as all you have to do is then save the page and you have an actual HTML page you can host.

Advanced Tip:
If you want to take it to the next level, you can make this hack your default “New Tab” behavior. Follow this article to add an extension to Chrome or Firefox (sorry IE Users) and make this your new setting.

Have Fun :-)

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A night at #StartupGrind with John Cook (Co-Founder of Geekwire)

via Instagram http://bit.ly/1n0eBEg
Last Wednesday I had the chance to participate in #StartupGrind Seattle. We had the pleasure to have John Cook that night, for those who know, John is the Co-Founder of GeekWire the very famous Seattle tech news hub.
I gotta say John was very funny and insightful. Some items stuck with me like these:
  • Always be open to personal feedback. Especially the hard ones.
  • “If you are not having fun, you are doing something wrong” – self -explanatory no?
  • Don’t surprise people – when breaking  big news or internal company conflicts, always give the chance to talk or give a heads up to whoever will get impacted.
  • As with life (e.g. marriage), find partners/founders that complement you; ones with skills you don’t possess.
  • Learn how to fight (again, just like in marriage). Understand that even when things blow up, you will have to come down and do it quickly.
  • Collect a good set of mentors, including parents and colleagues in different industries.
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How Dominion made me like board games again

via Instagram http://bit.ly/L5pEjQ
I recently attended a potluck event with friends and got introduced to this little game called Dominion. Now, hear me out i don’t think i have liked board games since i was a kid. I hated playing monopoly for 4 hours to then just stop and see nobody win. That was not what i felt with this game. We played with an expansion deck but the dynamics made it a bit hard for the players, we went back to the original game and then “it was on!”. The flow was faster therefore more enjoyable. I don’t know how i hadn’t seen this game before but I’m glad I did.
If you are interested here is the original one: Dominion

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2014 A big year ahead

I tend to not post about personal topics but this one is self-explanatory and almost required.

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A year of Blogging AbeDiaz.com 2013 Review

Crunchy numbers

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

In 2013, there were 27 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 85 posts. There were 10pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4 MB. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 20th with 109 views. The most popular post that day was iPhone/iPad Simulator for Visual Studio at NashDotNet.

How did they find you?

Some visitors came searching, mostly for visual studio 2012 iphone simulator, abe diaz, and visual studio 2012 iphone emulator.

Where did they come from?

Most visitors came from The United States. The United Kingdom & India were not far behind.

Who were they?

Your most commented on post in 2013 was This is one way to never miss a sale – AT&T Developer Program Blogs

See you in 2014

Thanks to WordPress for the stats!

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