Silicon Beach: Refresh Miami, October Edition

Categories: Silicon Beach
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From Dominguez's presentation.
Old skool versus web design on steroids.
This month's Refresh Miami was held at the elegant Mayfair Hotel ballroom in Coconut Grove. It seemed like an unlikely place for geeks, what with the fancy decor and mood lighting. Had we all been wearing tuxes and gowns, it could've easily been mistaken for a geek prom.

Seriously. On the menu were complimentary hors d'oeuvres, cocktails from a cash bar, and, of course, geeky presentations that had everyone salivating over the latest in web design.  Kudos to Mayfair Hotel for supporting geek talk in Coconut Valley.

Nick Dominguez (@nicolau), a South Florida designer, talked about the new kid on the block, HTML5, which will apparently blow former versions of Hyper Text Markup Language out of the water.  (HTML is a coding language that builds web pages.)

According to Dominguez, HTML5 is exciting because it's innovative. Designers will be able to manipulate audio and video without having to use applications like Flash. HTML5 will also allow for new services. "We have plenty of photo editors out there online, but expect to see a great video editor in a few years," he said. 

An online video editor? Though it went unsaid, yours truly had to wonder if this would finally improve the quality of amateur porn.  God bless technology.

The second presenter was Chris Jennings (@chriskjennings), Director of User Experience at local startup Scrapblog.  Like Dominguez, Jennings went all ga-ga about the coolest thing in web design since sliced bread -- CSS3.  (CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets.  It's a coding language that brings bling to web pages, making them look all sexy.)  According to Jennings, CSS3 will let designers add rounded corners, text and box shadows, opacity options and other stylistic features without having to use actual graphics.

Both Dominguez and Jennings agreed on the importance of adopting advances in design. "We have a responsibility as developers and web designers to innovate," Jennings concluded.

After the lecture, Refresh Miami founder Brian Breslin gave away some geeky how-to books, courtesy of Rey Bango (@reybango) of Mozilla.  The hefty paperbacks got nabbed faster than a stack of Hustler magazines in a mens' locker room.  A group from the crew then proceeded to Barracuda's for beers and a very lively debate on the state of tech in South Florida.

Learn more about future meetings and events at Refresh Miami.
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