Kids Activities Place


We’ve released a new web project which aims to be filled with creative and fun kids activities!  The site is a Pinterest style (masonry) layout.  With young active kids of my own, I enjoy spending time building and making projects with them.  There are several other great activity websites for kids out there, but I thought it would be fund to do a website that isn’t so ‘blog-esque’.

I have hopes that the site will be more tutorial-based, in that parents and caregivers can post creative kids activities that are high-quality and written in a tutorial based style (with steps, guides, and materials).  The site features several types of categories for organizing the articles such as: Age, Type, Cost, Occassion etc.

If you’ve got active youngsters give the site a try!  We’ll be adding new content weekly.

iPhone 6 Design Camera Worst

How’s that for keywords in the title?!

Hey Apple, I know you’ve been busy with they keynote and all, so I went ahead and fixed the screenshots for your iPhone 6.  You forgot to show the camera sticking way out of the phone on the top right side.  It’s a subtle, but very important omission. Here you go:






You’re welcome.  I get how it may be an obvious mistake not to have noticed how the camera sticks way out of the phone.  I mean, all of your demo phones are sitting up on holy pedestals like this one on the left, so you may have never actually set the phone on a flat surface like say.. A desk, or counter, or cabinet, or table.  That’s usually where I sit my phone, as the dang thing just won’t stay on my wifes exercise ball.

Don’t get me wrong,  I’ve probably got 5/16 spade drill bit in my garage I could notch a hole in my desk with to have the phone slot down in there, but my old phones non-lightning cable connector probably won’t charge the Ryobi battery without a $35 dollar adapter, so I’m likely going to have to settle for setting it on the desk.

I had a few extra minutes, so I wen’t ahead and fixed one more screenshot you seem to be using a lot.  It’s confusing with all the different options out there, but the thickness of an item is actually the dimension at the widest point, not the thinnest.  Sorry to break this to you after the keynote.  I wasn’t aware you’d design a completely worthless unusable phone with a protruding camera that won’t sit flat and can be only used with an obnoxious overpriced case.  You may want to send me some prototypes before you’re next release, and I’ll give them a 5-second look over and save you the embarrassment before they ‘big show’.

As a quick tip: You may want to omit the ‘weight’ and ‘thickness’ categories from your spec sheet, as they don’t really mean a single thing, seeing how you can’t use the phone without the added weight and thickness of the case.  The phone is essentially useless out of the box.  I see you have had the oversight to adopt omitting important technical specs from your phones for several years (like RAM, and Processor speed), so this should be a fairly easy modification to push the ranks.  Here are those fixes.  I’ve of course made up my thickness number as my I left my Caliper in R&D.

iphone6-thickness-fixed iphone6-thickness


But hey, the free U2 album is great, was just out of this world, completely un-related to the iPhone, and would have been super sweet.. in 1985.

Web Design Course

I’ve finished up launching another site that may be of use to those learning Web Design. The site is a training based web design course, which walks students through the entire web design process. We assume students know little or nothing about web design, Photoshop, or code and take then through intermediate to advanced web design topics.

Head over to the web design course website to check out a few sample videos and get a feel for the teaching and learning style. Many more web design course series are in the works!

The Great Bait & Switch AT&T Saga

I’ve been wanting to rant about this for a while now. Here is my one sentence summary: Why is it that AT&T can pull the bait and switch on millions of customers, and still be in business at all?

I signed up for an iPhone smart phone when the second generation phone came out. It was the iPhone 3G. It cost me oodles per month, and I was guaranteed “unlimited” data. A few months later (after they had hundreds of thousands of customers switch, because of their exclusive deal with Apple) they quickly dropped the “unlimited” data, and added tiered data plans.

It’s the classic bait and switch. It’s dirty, it’s mis-leading, it’s shady, it’s AT&T.

But they let you keep your unlimited data right? You’re grandfathered in, right?


Shortly after the loathed ATT&T added their data plans, they “capped” unlimited data users. If you used a certain amount of data passed what their lowest tiered plan was, they throttled your connection speeds. Some users even took them to court over it.

Shortly after that, the pathetic AT&T company made it so you couldn’t even ALTER your plan, without losing unlimited data.

Shortly after that, they said in order to use Mobile Hotspot, you couldn’t have an unlimited data plan. (I maybe can see why here…)

Shortly after that, they said in order to use Apples “Facetime” plan, you can’t have unlimited data.

Mind you, if you wanted to do any of these features, you had to relinquish your unlimited data, and drop down to a capped plan.

Bate & Switch idiots.

Here’s what really got me. I had an unlimited plan with 250 text messaged a month. I was moving and knew I was going to be using text a bit more than on average in my new surroundings. I also knew this would be temporary. I called ATT to up my messages from 250 to the next highest. I told the agent I just wanted to do this for a month or two, and then go back to my old plan. He promised that I could do this without any problems, and it wouldn’t affect my plan or contract at all. If only right… ?!

I call 2 months later to switch back, they tell me that they no longer offer 250 text plans, and that I’d have to switch to “unlimited” texts. Which of course is only offered with a tiered data plan, which I’d have to sign up for, which would make me lose my unlimited data, and it’d cost me more per month, and I’d be in a new 2 year agreement. BUT, I’d have unlimited texts!!!

So AT&T refuses to downgrade me, and I’m stuck paying more money for texts that I’ll never use. Idiots. Complete idiots.

I drop calls like 50-cent drops $ in Vegas.

I can’t upgrade to the iPhone 5 and use face-time over cellular unless I’m on a family share plan. (Guess what, I’m single. So I guess I can’t do video chat.)

Shouldn’t a business that runs such “scams” have an F BBB rating? Honestly?

Needless to say, I’m ditching the scum-bags for some other hopefully less-scumbag-teleco company.

I do love how whenever I call up AT&T they make it a point to thank me for being a “valued iPhone customer”. What a crock-of-crap.

So, until I switch I’m going to upload some MASSIVE gigabyte file to my FTP server. And just download that puppy ALL NIGHT over 3G EVERY NIGHT. At least I’ll be getting my moneys worth for my useless ‘unlimited’ data plan…

Not only did they lose a customer, (whose dropped thousands in their pocked), they’ve lost credibility. I’ll rant and rave to anybody and everybody how crappy they are, their business practices are, and their actual cellular service is. and will recommend anybody or anything over their service.

The big joke for years was and is “I just wish I could use the ‘phone’ part of my iPhone with AT&T”.

My phone call placed to them today, where the customer service lady explained to me that the facetime over cellular feature that was only allowed on mobile data share plans was an “Apple restriction” (which I called her out on), was the last straw. Don’t try to place your pathetic restrictions on “hardware” and “Apple” and use some fancy terminology that would confuse most people. Idiots.

The views of this article accurately, exactly, and necessarily represent the opinions and views of ballyhooblog and its affiliates. :)

Restrict Access To Front End WordPress Content For Members Only

How’s that title for keywords!

Do you need to restrict access to certain portions of your website based on the post category? So did I. I tried a few different methods, and ended up mashing up my own workflow for content restriction in WordPress. I’m really not sure of how other plugins are accomplishing this, but here is mine:

Here’s our workflow and outline.

  • Creating a custom taxonomy (or use the default WordPress categories if you like)
  • Creating custom user roles & capabilities
  • Assign our custom capabilities to our administrator role (else admin won’t be able to see your restricted content)
  • Use WordPress Shortcode API to filter access to specific front-end content based on the category and user role
  • Assign our Users to their respective roles

One important note. This tutorial covers just the front-end restriction. It doesn’t have anything to do with the backend roles of post/category creation, editing, and so forth. Others have written tutorials about that.
I loosely got my idea for this from JT

Step 1: (The custom taxonomy)

Remember, you can skip this step if you just want to use the built in categories and posts.. It isn’t really needed at all.

We’re going to create a custom taxonomy called “goods”. We’ll then create a few types of ‘goods’ and eventually restrict font-end access to posts that are associated with various “goods”

Here’s the code for your ‘goods’ taxonomy. You can place all of the code in your functions.php file.

//hook into the init action and call create_goods_taxonomies when it fires
add_action( 'init', 'create_goods_taxonomies', 0 );

function create_goods_taxonomies(){
	register_taxonomy( 'goods', 
		array('post'), /* On what post type this taxonomy will appear */
		array('hierarchical' => true,     /* if this is true it acts like categories */             
			'labels' => array(
				'name' => __( 'Goods', 'bonestheme' ), /* name of the custom taxonomy */
				'singular_name' => __( 'Goods', 'bonestheme' ), /* single taxonomy name */
				'search_items' =>  __( 'Search Goods', 'bonestheme' ), /* search title for taxomony */
				'all_items' => __( 'All Goods', 'bonestheme' ), /* all title for taxonomies */
				'parent_item' => __( 'Parent Goods', 'bonestheme' ), /* parent title for taxonomy */
				'parent_item_colon' => __( 'Parent Goods:', 'bonestheme' ), /* parent taxonomy title */
				'edit_item' => __( 'Edit Goods', 'bonestheme' ), /* edit custom taxonomy title */
				'update_item' => __( 'Update Goods', 'bonestheme' ), /* update title for taxonomy */
				'add_new_item' => __( 'Add New Goods', 'bonestheme' ), /* add new title for taxonomy */
				'new_item_name' => __( 'New Goods Name', 'bonestheme' ) /* name title for taxonomy */
			'show_ui' => true,
			'query_var' => true,


Step 2: Add our custom user roles & capabilities

add_action( 'init', 'bh_roles_manager_activate');
function bh_roles_manager_activate(){
	$role = 'level_1_member';
	$display_name = "Level 1 Member";
	$capabilities = array('level_1_member' => true);
	add_role( $role, $display_name, $capabilities ); // Add our "level 1 member role"

 	$role = 'level_2_member';
	$display_name = "Level 2 Member";
	$capabilities = array('level_2_member' => true); 
	add_role( $role, $display_name, $capabilities ); // Add our "level 2 member role"
	$role = 'premium_member';
	$display_name = "Premium Member";
	$capabilities = array(
							'level_1_member' => true,
							'level_2_member' => true
	add_role( $role, $display_name, $capabilities ); // Add our "Premium Member role" who has access to both level 1 and level 2 content

	// Give the administrator (or any other default wordpress roles) access to the content, else they won't see it either
	$admin_role = get_role('administrator');

Special Note: You don’t want to hook the role creation to INIT (like I’ve done), else it will fire each time INIT does. You only want to create the roles once, and would be ideal to put this in a plugin and have the role creation code execute on the plugin activation hook…

The code is pretty simple: It adds three new roles, gives each role a custom capabilities, and then we give the admin user access to the capabilities as well. We’re going to use these capabilities in our next step to restrict access to whatever pages we want.

Step 3 – Restrict Access via Shortcodes

Here is where the trick lies. We create a custom shortcode, and inside of our shortcode, we pass the value of one of our custom capabilities. We then use a bit of logic to restrict access if the users are not of that particular ‘role’.

add_shortcode( 'bh_goods_access', 'bh_goods_access_check_shortcode' );

function bh_goods_access_check_shortcode( $attr, $content = null ) {

	extract( shortcode_atts( array( 'permission' => null ), $attr ) );
	if ( current_user_can( $permission ) && !is_null( $content ) && !is_feed() )
		return $content;

	return "You don't have access the view this content.";

This code simply takes a shortcode of this structure (which you would put in your post content):

[bh_goods_access permission="level_1_member"]

Restricted Content Goes Here.  It could be just a portion of the post, or the entire post's content.  If the user is assigned to the "Level 1 Member" role, they'll have access, and see this content.  Otherwise, they'll see the 'restricted content' message we set up above..


Now you can set up your posts, and categories however you like. In order to restrict access, you just add that simple shortcode, and put the capability name in the permission value. In order to grant permission to certain users to see that content, you just edit their profile, and assign them to the corresponding user role. Piece-o-cake. You could even extend it a bit further by auto-assigning them to a role through any particular action they take on the site (i.e. when they purchase a product, when they comment, when they dontate etc).

You could extend this a bit by returning different values in the shortcode return statement based on their role, and then doing additional logic in the theme template file such as redirection, custom messages etc. You could also check which post category (or custom taxonomy) inside of the shortcode logic, and restrict/grant access based on their role along with the category/taxonomy the post was assigned to.

Any other tricks ya’ll have up your sleeve for content restriction?