Microsoft Launches Modern.IE To Help Developers Test Their Web Apps For Legacy And Modern Versions Of IE

Even though Microsoft itself would prefer to change this, many users still rely on older versions of Internet Explorer. For developers, this means spending hours on testing their web apps to ensure they work on IE8 and IE7, for example. Microsoft, which has worked hard on making IE9 and IE10 compatible with standards like HTML5 and CSS3, is fully aware of this problem and today launched modern.IE to “make it easier for developers to ensure their sites work beautifully across Internet Explorer as well as other modern browsers.”

Microsoft Launches Modern.IE To Help Developers Test Their Web Apps For Legacy And Modern Versions Of IE

As Microsoft general manager for Internet Explorer Ryan Gavin told me yesterday, modern.IE consists of a number of free tools and resources, including a scanner that checks for common problems that may make a site incompatible with modern and legacy versions of IE. The scanner, Gavin noted, checks a given page to find common compatibility problems with the libraries and frameworks the developer used. It then recommends fixes and provides developers with information about which version of a given framework like jQuery offers the best compatibility.

This, Microsoft found, is a surprisingly big problem. More than 40% of the top 5000 sites by traffic and volume currently use an outdated framework or library that may cause compatibility problems with the latest version of IE and other modern browsers. Microsoft also found that 20% of these top 5000 sites currently use vendor-specific prefixes (-moz, -ms, -webkit, etc.) that can cause compatibility problems. The majority of these sites also use browser detection and often serve up incompatible sites to IE9 and 10 because they don’t recognize that these new versions of IE aren’t exactly legacy browsers anymore.

In addition to the scanner, Microsoft will also work with developers directly when it detects site-specific issues that it doesn’t can’t disclose publicly through the scanner.

The site also features a set of 20 best practice tips authored by jQuery Foundation president Dave Methvin and Microsoft technical evangelist Rey Bango and Microsoft has partnered with Browserstack to offer all developers three months of free service for the next year, allowing them to easily see what their sites look like across a wide variety of browsers and operating systems. Developers can use their Facebook credentials to sign up for this service. There are also Chrome and Firefox plugins from Browserstack that allow you to quickly test a site with just a click and a set of virtual machine images for Mac, Windows and Linux that allow you to run back level versions of Windows and IE for local testing. It’s worth noting that Browserstack is a useful tool for any developer and developers can use it to test virtually any browser on any operating system.

As Gavin told me, the idea here is to make it easier for developer to test their sites and make sure they are compatible with legacy browsers. He acknowledged that the legacy versions of Internet Explorer – that is all of those published before IE9 – make life hard for web developers. Modern.IE, Gavin writes in a blog post today, ” is just another part of our continued commitment to help developers spend less time testing and more time building amazing sites.”

Microsoft taps BrowserStack to launch Modern.IE, aims to ease the pain of IE testing for devs

Screen Shot 2013 01 31 at 1.50.48 AM 520x245 Microsoft taps BrowserStack to launch Modern.IE, aims to ease the pain of IE testing for devs

Shortly after releasing its surprisingly uplifting “Child of the 90s” campaign, Microsoft is back yet again to preach its progress with Internet Explorer.

This time, the company is speaking directly to developers with the launch of Modern.IE: a collection of free tools aimed at helping Web developers spend “more time innovating, and less time testing.”

At the heart of Modern.IE lie three tools: a ‘wizard‘ that scans sites for problematic coding practices, three months of free virtual testing via browser testing partner BrowserStack, and an editorialized selection of best practices. In addition, the company has also gathered together local virtualization tools and built BrowserStack add-ons for both Chrome and Firefox users.

According to IE senior director Ryan Gavin, this partnership with BrowserStack “is more of an opening note” than a final deal, which hints at the possibility of a longer term free offering of the typically $20/month+ service.

It’s noteworthy that Modern.IE’s scanning tool, on the other hand, is rather vague in the results it displays, in part for security purposes. However, devs can contact Microsoft for more details, as the company explains:

For security and privacy reasons, we don’t disclose these technical details on the site. Instead, developers can easily contact us, receive this info, and get IE engineering team support at no cost.

The service focuses on Internet Explorer, but also touches on other modern Web browsers. But when it comes to aging browsers, Gavin tells us Microsoft’s focus on IE was intentional. Web developers can learn more about Microsoft’s Modern.IE site via the link below.


For more developer-focused stories, head to our dedicated Design & Dev channel.

Breaking through the techno jargon: how to choose a laptop

A laptop is a necessity for the modern world, but choosing the right one for you can turn into a nightmare. With so many different brands, models and features on offer, the choice can become overwhelming – particularly if you’re just looking for something to browse Facebook and do a bit of online shopping.

A good bit of advice is to always go for a trusted brand such as Zoostorm, Toshiba or Asus. Not only are these manufacturers a good sign of quality, they are all usually reasonably priced too. Stick to your budget and don’t get distracted by lots of extras that will bump up the price – unless you really need them.

If you just need a laptop for basic word processing, you won’t need a great deal of memory. The standard 2GB of RAM and 250GM hard drive should be sufficient for your needs. This should also bring your total cost to under 500.

If you need something more powerful, perhaps to replace a desktop computer, then you will need to look for something with at least 4GB of RAM and about 500GB of space on the hard drive. This will give you plenty of space for storing documents, photos and videos. It’s also important to bear in mind that the more powerful a laptop, then bulkier it is likely be. So if you need something that’s easy to carry around and has good battery life, then you’ll probably need a less powerful laptop.

A netbook is a great option when portability is key, as their small and light design make them ideal for travelling. This does usually limit their capabilities to basic internet surfing and word processing. Tablets are another good option for people on the go, as they often have similar specifications to a netbook and can be accessorised with a bluetooth keyboard.

Now for the smaller details. If your laptop will be used as a desktop replacement, then check it has enough USB ports for all your connections, such as your speakers and mouse. If you plan to Skype, check it has a webcam of suitable quality. Portable laptops will not usually come with a DVD drive, so you will need to preload your music and videos to enjoy them on the go.

Related posts:

  1. 4 Ways to Maintain a Laptop Computer
  2. 4 Reasons A Laptop May Be The Best Option
  3. How To Choose A Domain For Your Upcoming Blog

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Skinit Miami Heat LeBron James #6 Action Shot Vinyl Skin for Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch -Sprint Reviews

Skinit Miami Heat LeBron James #6 Action Shot Vinyl Skin for Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch -Sprint

  • IMPORTANT: This product is NOT A CASE. This product is NOT rubber, silicone, gel, plastic, leather, or a hard case or cover. This product is a form-fitting VINYL skin, sticker, decal crafted to perfectly fit every corner, cutout and curve of the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch -Sprint.
  • Skinit skins, stickers, decals are engineered to fit perfectly and not interfere with other accessories.
  • Easy to apply and remove with no residue left on or damage done to your device. Simply peel your skin from its backing and stick it on your device.
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  • Skinit Miami Heat LeBron James #6 Action Shot skin, sticker, decal for Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch -Sprint

IMPORTANT: Skinit skins, stickers, decals are NOT A CASE. Our skins are VINYL SKINS that allow you to personalize and protect your device with form-fitting skins. Our adhesive backing can be applied and removed with no residue, no mess and no fuss. Skinit skins are engineered specific to each device to take into account buttons, indicator lights, speakers, unique curvature and will not interfere with other accessories. Our skins present a vivid photo-quality, glossy finish that shows off your st

Spigen Leather Case Folio Series for iPad – Gear Review


Like many, you may be in the market for a case for your iPad – and our friends at Spigen have got a folio case that just might suit what you’re looking for. The most popular of accessories for the iPad, the “folio” case, looks like a folder that you can slide your iPad into, and typically has features which not only protect your tablet, but also allow it to stand in a variety of positions for working or viewing.




Spigen makes a wide variety of quality accessories and tools for your mobile devices, and has been kind enough to send us their new iPad Leather Case Folio Series. Out of the box, I am instantly impressed with the quality look and feel of this product. While this case is made of faux leather, the craftsmanship and quality of the material make it difficult to distinquish this from the real thing. It feels quite sturdy and stable, and both the back and front are stiffened. On the other hand, the interior of the case is crafted with a very soft suede-like material which will protect every side of your iPad from scratches from the case.



The iPad is securely locked into place with a velcro sleeve that attaches underneath your device, and there is a 2-tier standing structure built into the cover. All of the ports [headphone jack and dock connection], as well as the control buttons [volume, sleep/awake, and vibrate] have generous cut outs in the leather, and we can’t foresee any accessory incompatibility problems when using the case. Other features included the magnetic sleep or awake function, and precision cut camera hole.The only flaw I find in the design here, is the lack of protection at the corners of your iPad. The leather is cut out and leaves your device subject to dings and dents if accidentally dropped. When closed, the inner corners are protected by the cover flap, but the outer corners are always exposed. The rest of the case though is rigid and sturdy, and feels like it will hold up to everyday wear and tear.What I liked: This cover is really sleek and well designed. Even though its not made of genuine leather, the material feels durable and sturdy, and you may even have a hard time telling this from genuine leather.What I didn’t like: The only real disadvantage I could find about this cover would be the price tag. At $67.99, it is pricey for a case not made of genuine leather, but for $91.99 Spigen does offer the same option in genuine leather.To buy or not to buy: If you’re in the market for a quality cover for your iPad, this is a good investment. Its beautiful, durable, well-made, and you’ll surely enjoy using it.

  • Accessory Name: The New iPad Leather Case Folio Series
  • Category: iPad Cover
  • Company: Spigen
  • Colors: Black and Dark Green in Faux Leather, Brown and Dark Brown in Genuine Leather
  • Price: $67.99 / $91.99
  • Score:

Collect Your Lost Belongings from Kleptomaniac Dinosaurs in Sneak Peek – iPad Game Review

Sneak Peek is dinosaur-themed retro-style arcade platformer that’s simple to play but hard to put down. In this game players will traverse levels, avoiding T-rexes afflicted with kleptomania.

If that sounds like an inventive theme, trust me, it is. The idea behind the game is that these rampaging T-rexes have stolen your belongings, so you must go through level after level collecting your items while avoiding giant dinosaur teeth.

Sneak Peek features unique controls for a platformer. You tilt your iPad left and right to move your pixellated character through each stage. Jumping is done with a tap on the screen.

Every level is populated with one or more T-rexes, which must be avoided. You can carefully sneak past them, through calculated pausing. The dinosaurs don’t detect you while you are standing still, so you can wait for them to turn around and sneak through the level.

If a dinosaur happens to see you and you move, you will be promptly eaten, so patience is the key to finishing stages. You can also touch on the screen while tilting to run forward, which can help you outrun the dinosaurs.


Levels in Sneak Peek are simple and well-designed, which makes for fun yet difficult gameplay. Sneaking past dinosaurs is easy for the first few stages, but it will become harder as you progress through the game. There are only 15 levels in Sneak Peek, but finishing them is quite a challenge!

Unfortunately, though Sneak Peek has innovative gameplay and a unique theme, the levels quickly become repetitive and slow. I enjoyed the game for the first couple of stages, but after that, the ultra slow sneak-oriented gameplay became tedious.


The game could stand to have power ups, additional types of stages, new items, or different dinosaurs to make the gameplay more interesting. It would also benefit from leaderboards and time-based challenges to complete. There are Game Center achievements to earn, but beyond that, there’s little incentive to keep playing.

Though I thought Sneak Peak tended to be repetitive, I still enjoyed the overall theme and the arcade style gameplay. It is just $0.99 to download, and supporting an indie developer is always worthwhile. I look forward to seeing the changes that may come to Sneak Peek in the future.

What I liked: Sneak Peek has a fun theme and great pixellated graphics.

What I didn’t like: At times, the tilt motion controls were hard to use. Jumping between platforms didn’t always work well, which was frustrating.

To buy or not to buy: If you love platformers and have an abundance of patience, you might enjoy Sneak Peek. It has a unique theme and it’s worth the price to support an indie developer.

  • App Name: Sneak Peek
  • Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
  • Category: Games
  • Developer: Steven Foskett
  • Price: $0.99
  • Score:

Engaging Students in Higher Order Thinking (Nova: Rise of the Drones)


“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz

Perhaps you’ve been lurking in the shadows reading my blog posts on Higher Order Thinking? If so, you’ve done nothing wrong even though the verb sounds creepy. Lurking is a perfectly good thing to do while you way the merits of an online dialog. So we all do it! But there comes a time when you have to fish or cut bait. Here is an idea you might wish to try when are ready to go fishing.

The PBS series Nova provides an ocean of timely science programming but their latest release Rise of the Drones is one of the best. It is packed with over fifty minutes of facts pertaining to military drones. It is sure to be of interest to students because it involves flying and the military but it also raises some ethical dilemmas. Have a look!

It think you’ll find it useful in engaging your students in a higher order thinking project especially if you require further reading on the topic. I suggest setting a minimum limit on the number of sources even for video presentations.



Watch Rise of the Drones on PBS. See more from NOVA.



As you know there are three levels of higher order thinking. Assignments can be given for each one.



In analysis we break information into parts by identifying motives or causes, make inferences and find evidence to support generalizations.” At this level your students can report of the various components of a drone and how they interact with one another. They can describe a drone’s;

  • input devices,
  • output devices,
  • processing unit(s),
  • propulsion,
  • navigation,
  • memory unit(s), and
  • control mechanism(s).



Synthesis involves compiling information in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions.” At this level you could ask the student to identify one or more technical flaws with the system and recommend an alternate solution. How might drones be improved? How might they be repurposed?



Evaluation occurs when we present and defend opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work based on a set of criteria.” Students at this level might discuss the ethical dilemmas associated with drones along with their recommendation for continuance or discontinuance of the project.


Anyway, you decide if this is a viable project to engage your students in higher order thinking. I suggest watching it through before deciding. You might also want to share the idea with your Principal or Dean first. People can be unreasonable at times and you wouldn’t want him or her caught off guard.

Nova is a PBS program. You can watch it on television, buy the DVD from PBS, or watch it online with your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The PBS app is free and available the Apple App Store.

New Apple TV set-top box coming

Rumors were flying that a redesigned Apple TV was coming, thanks to an FCC filing that revealed the new device. The specs seemed to indicate a smaller form factor, as well as upgraded innards. And for the second time in recent weeks, Apple has uncharacteristically responded to a rumor, telling The Verge that the form factor will be the same and that the component changes in the forthcoming device won’t be noticeable to customers: “We sometimes make component changes which require an updated model number for regulatory approval. The component changes we made don’t affect product features and Apple TV customers will continue to have the same great user experience.” AppleInsider and other websites are suggesting the device will get the faster A5X chip. The new device is expected this quarter.

Rumors aside, there is indeed news this week related to Apple TV: the release of version 5.2. The update adds Bluetooth support so that you’ll be able to easily type your search terms via a Bluetooth keyboard. Also, greater iCloud integration lets you browse and play your purchased iTunes music directly from iCloud. And a feature called Up Next lets you see upcoming songs when playing music so you can easily choose what plays next.