WhatsApp Messenger Makes Your SMS Chat Messages FREE ~ Talk Using Siri

Posted by: GrowMap on August 21st, 2012 in Technology

Sending Places and Adding Group Icons in WhatsApp When you use the WhatsApp Messenger app on your smart phone you don’t pay for the messages you send.

Imagine – no more SMS message costs!

You can get WhatsApp Messenger for Android totally free, but the WhatsApp Messenger iPhone app costs $0.99 from the iTunes Store.  WhatsApp Messenger is also available for Blackberry, Nokia Symbian, Nokia S40 for free.

Whenever you’re in range, WhatsApp uses your
3G or WiFi to message with friends and family.

The WhatsApp Messenger Windows Phone version is free to download, but costs $0.99 per year after the first year. (Still a bargain if you have to pay per message or get hit with additional charges for sending more than your limit of text messages.)

Even if you have to spend 99 cents imagine what you can save in SMS charges!

Whatsapp Messenger Downloads:

There are separate versions of Siri for different kinds of phones, but all they work similarly.
The main difference is finding the information about each one and particularly where to download Siri.

Talk to Your Phone Using Siri

What could be better than text messaging? How about voice messaging – or at least controlling your smart phone by talking to it. That is what Siri does – allows you to use your voice to ask your phone to:

  • Listen to your text messages and respond with your voice
  • Check movie show times
  • Tell you the weather – some even holographically!
  • Ask questions and get answers
  • Set an alarm
  • Manage your agenda
  • Transcribe (type) what you say

For more on what Siri can do see this Lifehacker post
All About Siri, Your iPhone’s New Assistant

Siri Humor

One of the most popular things people do with Siri is ask questions just to see what the app will answer. There are dozens of funny videos on YouTube of Siri’s hilarious answers and having one Siri talk to another Siri.

There is also a site dedicated to Siri messages called WhySiriWhy?

There are many humorous videos recording Siri answering questions including Siri on the meaning of life

Holographic Siri:

Have you seen the holograms Siri can generate reminiscent of the original “Help me Obi Wan Kanobi you’re my only hope” from Star Wars?

Well – maybe not so much given the one I saw just shows you the weather forecast – but you get the idea. (If you don’t, there are YouTube videos of that, too.)


What Does Siri Look Like?:

Some Siri videos have found what they called a “hidden” Siri function that not only shows you an image of Siri but lip-syncs the image to the voice.


Does Siri Really Have an iPhone Self-Destruct Mode?

Have you seen the video of Siri cracking the iPhone display after the wrong password is entered too many times?

Is Siri distruct real or a joke? Your guess is as good as ours.
Maybe someone will comment and let us know.


How to Use Siri:


Android Siri

Android Siri AIVC (Alice) is a free version of an Artifical Intelligent Voice Control App. For the pro version with additional features and no ads see AIVC Alice Pro.


iPhone Siri

Official Apple Siri information including what apps Siri for iPhone works with, what Siri does and how to ask Siri questions.


Languages Siri Supports

According to the Wikipedia Siri Page, Siri works in these languages:

  • English (United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada)
  • French (France, Canada, Switzerland)
  • German (Germany, Switzerland)
  • Japanese (Japan)
  • Spanish (Spain, Mexico, United States)
  • Italian (Italy, Switzerland)
  • Korean (South Korea)
  • Mandarin (Taiwan, China)
  • Cantonese (Hong Kong, China)


Siri Controversy in the News

  • Cult of Mac: IBM Bans Siri ~ Was IBM Right? Is Siri a Threat to Business? Read the ironic way IBM wipes employees phones!

Are you using WhatsApp or Siri? Have tips to share or questions? Leave them in the comments.

Tips for Basic WordPress Theme Customization

Posted by: Jennifer Mattern on May 6th, 2012 in Website Design, Website Templates, wordpress

In the past we talked about some of the most important HTML and CSS tips for WordPress newbies. Today I’d like to expand on that a bit more generally, talking to new blog owners about the types of things they can do with free (or even premium) blog themes to make them appear more unique. After all, no one wants to use the same old design being used on dozens or hundreds of other WordPress blogs. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Things Your Ex Can Teach You About Web Design

Posted by: Jennifer Mattern on August 10th, 2011 in Website Design


Credit: BigStockPhoto.com

Are you a professional Web designer? If so, we have a few business tips for you today. And do you know what? They’re things you could’ve already learned from your ex! (I bet you never thought your ex-girlfriend — or boyfriend — knew a bit more about business than you.)

Sure, some designers already have a handle on these freelance design issues. But many don’t. So let’s explore some things you might have heard during a break-up that apply equally to your Web design work. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Awesome WordPress Themes of 2010 (You May Not Have Seen Yet)

Posted by: Jennifer Mattern on June 8th, 2010 in Website Templates, wordpress

I could spend all day perusing collections of WordPress themes. They’ve come a long way since I started blogging back in 2004. And these days many of the free WordPress themes even rival the premium options. Every year WordPress designers get even more impressive, and 2010 is no exception. So today let’s take a look at ten recent and awesome WordPress themes you might not have come across yet (or if you’re a WordPress junkie like I am, maybe you have).

Here are ten of my favorite themes recently released, in no particular order. I tried to choose a combination of “themed” themes for specific types of sites as well as some more general WordPress themes you could adapt to just about any kind of site or blog run on the WordPress platform.

Note: While I tried to stick to themes released in 2010, it’s possible a few 2009ers  managed to sneak in where release dates weren’t obvious.

1. Webfolio

I’ve seen Webfolio featured on several sites, so you might have stumbled across this one too. But for those who haven’t been on a recent theme hunt, I think it’s one they should see. Gorgeous, no?

Webfolio WordPress Theme
Webfolio WordPress Theme from Site5

Price: FREE  | Info and Download

2. Glory

Glory is the only WordPress theme on this list I’ve actually had the pleasure to use yet (I usually design my own or have them custom-made). I loved the earthy feel of this one so much that I used it to set up my sister’s first blog — a blog on college vegetarian cooking — at DormVeg.com. The only minor complaint I had about using it was that the logo is very difficult to change since there was no logo PSD (unless I missed it somehow) and the logo itself is on a background pattern. Very frustrating, but it was manageable as you can see on the edited site.

Glory WordPress Theme

Glory WordPress Theme from HostWisely

Price: FREE  |  Info and Download

3. Corporate Life

Corporate Life is a gorgeous professional WordPress theme that’s ideal for a business site or a portfolio site promoting services. Everything you’d want on a basic business site is accounted for right on the homepage, saving you from having to adapt a more traditional blog format.

Corporate Life WordPress Theme

Corporate Life Theme from GetACustomDesign.com

Price: FREE  |  Info and Download

4. Choco

While Choco could easily be adapted to just about any niche, it’s one I stumbled across while looking for decent food blog themes. And there really aren’t many great food blog themes for WordPress out there yet. If you’re looking for one, this might be one to consider.

Choco WordPress Theme

Choco WordPress Theme from NewWPThemes.com

Price: FREE  |  Info and Download

5. Brave Zeenat Pro

Dark themes and templates really don’t appeal to me visually, but this one stood out. It struck me as a nice theme option for a photography blog or maybe something in high fashion.

Brave Zeenat WordPress Theme

Brave Zeenat WordPress Theme from DizenoCo.com

Price: $37 (they also offer a free version)  |  Info and Purchase

6. Classic Theme

I’m a big fan of minimalist Web design, especially when it comes to creative professionals’ portfolio sites. And the Classic Theme is a lovely black and white minimalist WordPress theme that really called out to me on that front. This is another one I think could work well for a photographer’s site, or any kind of site or blog where you can’t afford to have the sidebar content detract or distract from the main content.

classic theme

Classic Theme on ThemeForest.net

Price: $27  |  Info and Purchase

7. Portfolius v.11

Speaking of WordPress themes that would make for great portfolio sites, this one also stood out. While the overall design is pretty simple, and while the header doesn’t really appeal to me, it was the layout and typographical choices that really made it “pop” next to the competition. I could see this being used for a copywriter’s blog, a sales letter / product site, or something else relying on text-heavy content.

Portfolius v11 WordPress Theme

Portfolius v11 WordPress Theme from PremiumWP.com

Price: $19.95-29.95  |  Info and Purchase

8. iGifts

I love this one for its simplicity. It’s a pretty basic theme, and there are lots like it. This one jumped out because of the decidedly female focus. I’ve had a tough time finding good female-oriented themes in the past (many are too image-intensive and therefore more difficult to customize). So I could see this used for anything from a mommy blog to a shopping or beauty blog. It’s also professional enough that you could easily adapt this to a magazine-style setup. Love it. And if pink’s not your thing, changing it up for another niche should be relatively simple with this theme.

iGifts WordPress Theme

iGifts WordPress Theme from NewWPThemes.com

Price: FREE  |  Info and Download


This is another WordPress theme some of you might have seen around already, but one I think deserves some attention for those who haven’t come across it yet. This theme is designed for use with a very specific type of site, other than a blog. Its purpose is to let you set up your very own Q&A site (like Yahoo! Answers).

Answers WordPress Theme

Answers WordPress Theme from Templatic.com

Price: $49 – 99  |  Info and Purchase

10. Fresh Life

This theme jumped out at me because it’s just so versatile right out of the box. The color scheme is perfect for not only business sites and blogs, but news sites as well. Plus, I love a nice bright design any day, and the double-bar navigation really appealed to me. Take a gander.

Fresh Life WordPress Theme

Fresh Life Theme from Theme Junkie

Price: $29.95  |  Info and Purchase

By no means are these the only great WordPress themes out there, even just from the most recent releases. But they’re the ones that caught my eye amongst the crowd, and I think they’re all worth sharing. Remember to keep on looking — new WordPress themes are released pretty much every day!

Do you have a favorite new WordPress theme put out in 2010? Leave a link in the comments to tell us about it.

Why Its Better to Avoid Web Templates With a Lot of Stock Images

Posted by: Jennifer Mattern on April 19th, 2010 in Website Design, Website Templates

Years ago, when I first started working online and long before I learned how to design my own sites, I relied heavily on Web templates. I loved them. They made my life easier and they were an affordable option for a new start-up. Over time I came to realize that the most attractive Web templates were also often the most problematic for a new site owner — they relied too heavily on images (stock images to be exact). Today I’d like to talk about how stock images can pose problems for new site owners, and why designers might benefit more from creating less image-intensive designs.

What I Mean by “Stock Photos”

I want to be clear. When I’m talking about stock photos in Web templates causing a problem for the webmasters using them, I’m not talking about images that make up the basic site structure (like buttons or navigation link backgrounds). I’m talking about those creepy corporate smiling faces and very niche-specific photos so many designers love to use.

Most often I see these types of photos used in headers of Web templates. However, I’ve seen a few with stock images peppered throughout. Let’s look at why adding them might not be the best idea.

Why Stock Photos are a Problem

There are a few reasons stock photos can be a problem for people using a Web template. But first, let’s look at a common target market for these templates. Yes, some more experienced site owners still like to use templates and just customize them for their own use. But many Web template users (whether buyers or users of free templates) are new to managing their own websites. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Make Any Designer the Designer of Your Dreams

Posted by: Jennifer Mattern on March 12th, 2010 in Website Design

It isn’t always easy to find the right designer for your projects, whether we’re talking about Web designers, logo designers, ad designers, or any other type. But is that really designers’ faults? In many cases, no. It’s ours (as the buyers).

Let’s assume that we’re not talking about newbies, but truly competent and experienced designers here. They can get the job done. So why does your designer not give you exactly what you want? Simple. Designers aren’t mind readers. Problems with design projects can easily stem from a lack of communication (from both parties), but especially in cases where the buyer takes a “I’ll know what I want when I see it” approach.

As a writer I deal with the same thing on the service provider side. As a client of designers I know I’ve caused my fair share of problems too — it’s why I do much of my design work myself and simply outsource the coding these days. It’s not that I don’t trust the designers I know. It’s that I know myself — I can’t always visualize exactly what I want from a design and sometimes I can’t express what I want well enough to help a designer visualize it either.

Many buyers don’t come to this realization though. They expect a design professional to magically be able to figure out what they want and give it to them. Now don’t get me wrong. Not all buyers are like that. My point is just that even if you are fussy about designs like I am, there’s still hope. You can not only find the right designer for your project, but you can help any competent designer be that “right” designer. It starts with you! Read the rest of this entry »

The Most Important HTML and CSS Tips for WordPress Newbies

Posted by: Jennifer Mattern on February 15th, 2010 in Website Design, Website Templates

I know that some of you are probably designers yourselves, or are at least somewhat familiar with CSS and WordPress theme styling. However, I usually work with writers. Many of them love WordPress for hosting either blogs or professional websites, but they often aren’t sure how to make simple CSS and HTML changes to improve their designs or alter a free theme they’d like to customize.

I’m sure there are plenty of bloggers outside of the writing community with the same problem. They use themes out-of-the-box not necessarily because they want to but because they don’t know how to change things. With those WordPress or CSS newbies in mind, let’s take a non-technical look at some quick HTML and CSS tips and tricks a new WordPress user can use to improve their blog design. Note: I’m not a designer — these are meant to be practical tips to help non-coders work around common WordPress design issues on their own. I do not claim that they’re necessarily the best solutions in all cases. If you’d like to share other methods, please do so in the comments.

1. Replace your blog title with a logo

By default, your WordPress theme might include a blog title link in the header, but to customize and brand your site you want to replace it with a logo. Here’s how to do that. First upload your logo image and have the URL / address for the file on-hand. Then go to the WordPress templates editor in your admin panel and find header.php. You might see something like this:

<h1><a href=”<?php echo get_option(‘home’); ?>/”><?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?></a></h1>

That code adds a link to your home page (with the text of your blog title). On my business site, this is what the site name looks like without a logo: Read the rest of this entry »

The Secret World of Cats

Posted by: Anastasia on May 20th, 2009 in General

I’m a big cat lover but I have to wonder: do I actually know my cat? Do I know what it does when I’m not at home, when I sleep, or even when I’m at my computer and it’s not sitting next to me?  Cats can do some strange things when we aren’t there to watch them. The creators of the artwork below were an exception to the rule. They managed to capture cats in all of their occasional craziness (or at least what we imagine they really do when we’re not looking). Enjoy!

Cat Alley

by Bobby Chiu
Software: Painter, Photoshop

That sweetheart of a kitty begging its owner for some milk? This is what he does to the neighbor’s dog when you’re away.


What Your Cat Wants

by Serena De Biasi
Software: Painter

This one is definitely my kitty! My computer is turned on all day. It’s no wonder I found a file on world domination!


Fish And Cat at Granny’s House

by Dave Davidson
Software: CINEMA 4D

Looks like the cat of the future, but personally I prefer real cats to their mechanical brothers.


Read the rest of this entry »

Amazing Examples of Typographic Style

Posted by: Anastasia on May 11th, 2009 in General

Typographica — Review of typefaces and type books

Website: http://new.typographica.org/

Typographica is an excellent review of typefaces and type books with occasional commentary on fonts and typographic design. The site was founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell.


Louis Verhoeve

Website: http://louisverhoeven.be

Louis Verhoeve is a Dutch designer who has a unique showcase on his portfolio website. He creates great font-based printed designs and book covers.


Silva! Designers

Website: http://www.silvadesigners.com/

Silva! Designers is an editorial design agency based in Chiado, Lisbon, old city. They do typographic design work for magazines, book covers, and catalogs. Their art is definitely stylish and original.

silva Read the rest of this entry »

Demonic Girls: Digital Art Through Photomanipulation

Posted by: Anastasia on May 6th, 2009 in General

Demon Inside?




Harpy Demon

demon3 Read the rest of this entry »