Clayton Unicorn

If it's not obvious already, I'm a little crazy. That's probably why so many people call me "cray cray." I have been programming for over a decade and loving every minute of it! With experience in a wide variety of mobile, desktop and web languages, I now spend most of my time teaching others the trade. You can find me on most social networks as @thinkclay.

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Custom Markdown and Links in Redcarpet

ruby
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Third Party Rails Gems

Redcarpet is probably the most popular gem for parsing Markdown in ruby, yet finding great examples on how to do method overloading and custom tags can be difficult. One of the things that we wanted to do for our own website was to have non-internal links open in a new tab (target="_blank") and to allow authors to link to resources by id rather than permalink, which works against our SEO. So how did we accomplish this?

A better way to start iOS projects

swift
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Swift for Beginners

Xcode is generally pretty great. All the templates are minimal, and you get a hello world application out of the box. However, when it comes to teaching iOS, we often find ourselves needlessly repeating things like "delete the default view controller" and guiding users through the steps of organizing and rearranging their app code. Generally, we really like to follow the same conventions that have been battle proven in the web realm.

More money does not mean more secure

all
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Hacking

While investing in better security from a monetary standpoint is certainly not a bad thing, some of the most effective security is free. Educating employees on best practices, potential threats and maintenance is a great place to start. Most businesses leave security to the IT team and think that the responsibility ends there. In reality, everyone from the shareholders to CEO and custodial staff should care about security.

Governments and Banks are Ripe for Hacking

all
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Hacking

It’s a common misconception that big banks, government, and healthcare companies are secure from hackers. Conventional wisdom would say that people who have the most sensitive information should be the ones that have the best security, but the issue is that good security comes from good technology practices. In other words, really secure organizations pay regular attention to software and hardware maintenance, monitoring, testing and upgrades.

Common Hacking Methods

all
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Hacking

The resources for a hacker are so numerous, that it is entirely possible that no two hackers have the same tools or approaches for how they operate. With a choice of over a thousand programming languages, dozens of operating systems, and hundreds of different communication protocols, hackers have so many options to explore and test for vulnerabilities. While it would be impossible to describe every tool and technique, it is easy enough to talk address the most common form of attacks and how to protect against them.

Hacking as a Trade

all
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Hacking

Most hackers are hobbyists, tinkerers or they are employed in technology fields. Fictional tales have created the modern day image for what a hacker looks like. In such movies as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Ex Machina hackers are portrayed as possessing a rare combination of genius and skill. If you replace these characters with a humble family technician working for Google, you lose the mysterious edge to the tale. The truth is hackers can be average doers and dreamers with an above average interest in technology.

UI Freebie: Tinder Dating App Design Template

design
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Design Freebies

Everyone loves freebies, and designers rely on UI kits just like developers rely on frameworks. We made this design while working on an upcoming product that we are launching, and decided that the few iterations before the final would be useful for other designers. Artboards and groups are pretty well organized in this file, and the UI components and landing pages make for a great starting point for a number of different apps including a dating app design.

Famous Hackers

all
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Hacking

While most hackers escape with only minor traces of their organization left behind, there have been times when individuals have come forward or been captured. Most of these names never make the headlines, however, and thus tend to only be known within circles involved with security. Names like Snowden and Assange are recognized by most of the general public for their whistle-blower actions while other significant individuals like Mitnick, Iceman, Poulsen or McKinnon may go unnoticed.

Famous Hacker Secs

all
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Hacking

For years hacker secs have been relatively small and tight knit. Most have initiation rituals, similar to what you would see in a street gang or fraternity. For a black hat or grey hat group, the reasons behind this are fairly obvious. Since the activities of a black hat group are seldom legal, they need to be more selective about who they allow in. Often times this involves a hazing or initiation ritual to weed out the government spies and to quantify the initiate’s talents and abilities.

Design Principles: Contrast

design
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Design Fundamentals

By default our minds blur and average the information that our eyes receive. When you look at a photograph, your mind is really only processing core elements, shapes, patterns. All of the other core design principles deal with the physics of design, but contrast deals almost entirely with optical recognition. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and contrast tends to behave the same way. As such, the potential and successes or failures of this principle tend to be more extreme.

Structuring a Go Application

go
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Best Practices

Golang is one of the most popular languages growing amongst senior developers. With great concurrency, async, debugging and compilation baked in.. it's truly a pleasure to work with. One of the most common issues I come across when working with other Go developers is that many of them struggle to architect an application. We hope to remedy that by teaching some basic principles that will help in a variety of applications.

React and CoffeeScript (cjsx) on Middleman

ruby
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Middleman

Middleman and React are an incredibly simple and awesome stack. The alternative you will often see is with npm/browserify/gulp which I personally find to be more convoluted than ruby/gems. All I want to do is be able to separate and organize react components, be able to write with coffeescript and have them compile for production. These three requirements took me an hour or more to properly setup and configure with gulp/browserify but only a few minutes with middleman

Tips for Upgrading to Swift 1.2 and Xcode 6.3

swift
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Tips

Now that Swift 1.2 is out of beta and Xcode has been updated to 6.3, it's time to upgrade your apps to the latest Swift syntax! Make sure to read through the latest API changes in 8.3 as there are many large differences in some of the SDK and you will most likely be impacted by them. You can save yourself a lot of time by being proactive rather than reactive in learning about the updates directly from the source.

React Native: Build a Blog Reader App

javascript
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • 14 minutes
  • React.js

React Native makes it incredibly simple to build highly-performant mobile applications for Android and iOS. With the mantra of "learn once, write anywhere" all of the skills you acquire involving React translate well to both mobile and web. In this tutorial, we build out a basic reading app that digests the Unicorn.TV API for the user to read. You will learn how to: - User Tab Bar controllers for navigation - Organize controllers and views in your project - Create a UITableView (ListView) in React - Make HTTP requests to digest a web API

Interview with Jameson Quave

swift
  • Clayton Unicorn
  • Cesar Devers
  • 37 minutes
  • Tips Swift for Beginners

Jameson Quave, from http://www.jamesonquave.com, was one of the first out of the gate with great Swift tutorials. He is also an experienced iOS dev who has been building apps since the iPhone SDK first came out! In this episode, among many other things, we talk about similarities between iPad hype and Watch hype, why you should strive for being in the top 1000 of the iTunes store, and how to handle app store rejection.