How To Use Your Mac To Re-date, Re-name And Re-organize Photos Based On EXIF Data

Mac users who are also photographers come in all shapes, sizes, and capabilities. If you have 30,000 photos stuffed into iPhoto, Aperture, or Lightroom, then you’re more serious than most folks with a camera and a Mac, and you can spell EXIF.

Most cameras today spit out plenty of EXIF data with each photo. Exchangeable Image File Format is important because it carries detailed information about the camera, file format, date and time, and much more inside the photo file. With the right Mac app that data can be used to change dates and rename photos for easier organization. All you need is shootShifter on your Mac.

I prefer to think of shootShifter as a photo and video organizer (yes, it does videos, too) which lays out files in a chronological order, but every file, photo or video, can be modified by date or name using the built-in tools.

shootShifter

It’s simple to apply date changes to an entire folder of photos. Why would anyone need to do that? Remarkably, there are times when the camera’s date is off, wrong, or reset. Those dates show up in the photo’s metadata and shootShifter can fix it by changing to whatever date and time you want.

The built-in magnifying loupe gives you an option to delete photos that don’t measure up, so shootShifter works as a photo organizer, too. Photos and video clips can also be renamed using the built-in tools.

shootShifter

Other Mac tools can edit EXIF metadata and still other apps can be used to organize photos, but shootShifter does both and is nominally priced considering it fixes time and file names so quickly.

Why Samsung Sells Copiers

In light of the nearly-an-iPhone-6-clone Galaxy S6, Kate MacKenzie offers an irreverant look at Samsung’s research and development division.

Of course Samsung sells copiers. There’s a whole division of copiers. We call them copiers. You can buy one to copy a document. Samsung calls them R&D devices.

There’s no need for Samsung to employ expensive engineers to design new products. All they need to do is use a copier, make copies of Apple’s latest smartphone and tablet designs, hand the copies to manufacturing and say, “Build this and stick a Samsung logo on it.”

Funniest Bumper Stickers

Only click through the list if you’re totally bored but need a little laugh. 15 Bumper Stickers Guaranteed to Make You Laugh (not sure what you get if you don’t laugh; so the guarantee may not amount to much).

My favorite.

Bumper Stickers

5 Hottest Cars You Can’t Buy

One day I hope to be able to go to real car show (not the local auto show sponsored by First Hawaiian Bank). The place where they show off cars that are not being built and you couldn’t afford if they were. Jim Holder has examples.

There are an awful lot of fast cars and supercars on display this year. What you see now is an industry that has got its swagger back and wants to show off a bit rather than put its hair shirt on about high miles per gallon and these slightly more mundane things.

Like the kinds of automobiles you can only look at, not touch, can’t afford.

Audi R8 V-10 Plus

Spoiler Alert!

  • Audi R8 V10 Plus
  • Mercedes Maybach S600 Pullman
  • BMW 2201 Gran Tourer
  • Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce
  • Ferrari 488 GTB

How To Keep Awake Pesky, Sleeping Mac Hard Disk Drives

Allow me to be the first to point out that my sleeping disk drive problem isn’t a problem that every Mac user has. If you don’t have a problem with disk drives going to sleep when you don’t want them to, and there are many who do not, fine. Move along; there’s nothing to see here. But if you’re using a Mac app and click the Open menu and have to wait 10 to 20-seconds for a sleeping disk drive to spin up, here’s the solution.

First, the problem. My Mac is home to a number of external disk drives connected to my Mac via USB. There’s Time Machine, a couple of disks that are clones of my Mac, and a couple of disks where I store backup files. Some of the disk drives are from different manufacturers, and most spin down into sleep mode at the worst possible time. So, opening up an Open… dialog box requires the disk drives to spin back up and that takes time and reduces my patience.

Next, the solution. Actually, it’s a simple, elegant, remarkably useful Mac utility that just works. It’s called Disksomnia. It runs in the background (but is accessible from the Mac’s Menubar) and every x-number of seconds or minutes (you get to choose in Preferences) Disksomnia writes a little text file to the external disk drive of your choice, thereby keeping the disk drive alive, awake, ready to be viewed when you click an Open… menu.

Here’s what Disksomnia looks like in the Menubar.

Disksomnia

How simple is that?

Click the On button to activate Disksomnia. Then, click the Preferences to setup Disksomnia. You can tell it’s working because the icon in the Menubar is solid (not greyed out), and the timer counts down when the next text file copy function begins.

Disksomnia works with external disk drives connected to you Mac, and effectively fixes those that refuse to honor Energy Save preferences. Any Mac user with files on multiple disk drives will understand the Open… dialog box and wait routine.

Preferences are nominal, simple, and mostly– but not quite– self explanatory.

Disksomnia Preferences

Disksomnia writes a small text file to each external disk drive every x-number of seconds (up to 999, but I left my setting at 55-seconds) to keep that disk drive spinning. The plus sign lets you select which hard disk drives to enable, and it can be set to work only when specific applications are running.

So, every 55 seconds Disksomnia writes a small text file to the selected disk drives, which prevents them from spinning down and going to sleep, which prevents the need to wait for a disk drive to spin up when opening the Open… menu in an app.

The only problem I ran into had to do with permissions on specific external disks which would not show up in the Disksomnia selected disk section (left sidebar). A quick email to the developer got a response the same day with a solution– change the permissions of the disk drives that could not be selected.

Disksomnia - Disk Permissions

All I needed to do was to select the disk drive in the Finder, do a Get Info, and select the Ignore Ownership on this Volume at the bottom of the settings. That was it.

Disksomnia is a bit more expensive than I would have preferred but it stopped a longstanding and very annoying problem– waiting for sleeping external disk drives to spin up so I can save or open a file.

What gets written to the text file? A bit of an homage to The Bee Gees, circa 1978.

Ah ha ha ha, stayin’ awake, stayin’ awake

Wonderful.

Compared: Samsung’s Galaxy S6 To Apple’s iPhone 6

Daniel Howley’s review compared the S6 to a standard display iPhone 6 instead of the iPhone 6 Plus, which has a screen size closer to the Galaxy model. Amazing similarities in the Samsung phone (Samsung has been sued by Apple and lost for copying Apple’s designs).

With a trimmed down TouchWiz, Samsung may finally be able to go toe-to-toe with Apple in the software department. It’s still too early to tell whether Samsung’s Galaxy S6 has what it takes to topple the iPhone 6, but based purely on how the phones match up on paper, the S6 at least has a shot.

Of course, Apple will announce iOS 9 this summer, and introduce the iPhone 6s models a few months after that.

The Bouncing Brick

I love this. Zach Doell on what happened when a would-be thief threw a brick into the window of a Mercedes.

Pub owner Gerry Brady and his business partner left work late one night to find a man passed out in the road next to his partner’s Mercedes E-Class Coupe. When he came to, the man was adamant that neither of the two call the police or an ambulance. Noticing the various damage to his partner’s car, Brady called the cops and reviewed his security footage to see what happened.

What happened is what should have happened.

After pelting the Mercedes’ windows with a few smaller stones, the thief then graduates to a large brick, but it’s quite obvious this Mercedes just isn’t giving up without a fight. The hurled brick bounces off the Mercedes and collides with the would-be crook’s face – knocking him out cold.

‘Beefalo’?

Anne-Marie Bullock:

There is a strange hybrid creature – an alien, the result of a failed breeding programme – causing havoc in the Grand Canyon.

Its destructive ways are alarming both environmentalists and Native American groups who want it removed, yet tourists find it so intriguing they’re putting their lives at risk to catch a glimpse.

It’s called the ‘Beefalo.’ Seriously.

This thirsty beast can consume 10 gallons each per trip to a watering hole, which means they can drink a source dry in no time.

But the animals’ environmental impact doesn’t stop there. They also defecate at the watering holes and their hefty weight compacts the soil.

Looks like a buffalo, works like a cow.

How To Edit Fonts For Fun, Profit, And Art

Way back in the day, during another life, in the days when Apple was a fledgling company that produced the LaserWriter printer, I dreamed of designing fonts for the masses. The tool of choice back then was Fontographer which Mac designers used to turn bit-mapped fonts into beautiful works of artistic fonts.

As it turned out, Fontographer was a great tool for those with patience and artistic ability and a more youthful me had less of both. Then along came TypeStyler, the Mac app which took any font and manipulated words, stylized letters, and constructed text logos with little more than point and click. It was, for those in the last century and users of Mac Classic OS, the de facto way to turn text into art.

TypeStyler came upon hard times during the early days of OS X and seemingly vanished from planet earth. A few years ago it returned, better than ever, and more affordable. What you see is what you get. Letters and words turn into art with just a few clicks.

TypeStyler

As if not wanting to ruin a good thing by improving the look and feel, TypeStyler today looks and works much like the original from back in the day. Toolbar across the top highlights basic functions, while floating palettes of tools and preferences for each can be moved around on the Mac’s screen.

TypeStyler takes pretty much whatever font or graphic shape you throw at it, and turns it into art; grunge effects, gradient fills, strokes, color combinations of each element, even 3D-like graphics. TypeStyler doesn’t care much about what size you want your creation to be. Choose stamp size or poster size. Also built-in are commercial quality packaging prototypes, a 3D visualizer (think spheres, cones, disks, planes, cylinders, et al), and the whole shebang works well and plays nice-nice with Photoshop, Illustrator, Apple’s Keynote, and other Mac graphic design tools.

The package of font and shape tools makes TypeStyler an easy way to create posters, logos, advertisements, video titles, brochures or tracts, catalogs, newsletters and anything else that need a stylistically designed combo of text and shapes.

While TypeStyler was hibernating many Mac designers flocked to Art Text which remains a popular choice for font and text manipulation; which works much the same way but costs half as much.

Shoddy Reporting

Rene Ritchie busts the attention grabbing headline that Apple’s OS X and iOS have more security vulnerabilities than other popular computer operating systems.

The relative security of a platform has nothing to do with how well a company reports the vulnerabilities they fix — though seeing good reporting is certainly comforting. The relative security of a platform certainly has nothing to do with grossly distorted and disingenuous attention-bait.

In other words, don’t worry. For OS X and iOS users, there are more threats to your security from the government, your family, your neighbor, or co-worker than from a list of so-called ‘vulnerabilities.’

Tesla’s Elon Musk Hates This Toyota

It’s quite likely that Drew Harwell is drawing on his imagination rather than asking Tesla CEO Elon Musk what he thinks about Toyota’s new hydrogen powered car, but it’s the future so anything goes, right?

Toyota this week officially rolled out what it’s betting will mark “a turning point” in automotive history — a sleek, affordable, eco-friendly “future” car that can drive for 300 miles, takes less than five minutes to charge and comes with three years of free fuel.

It’s everything haters of gas-guzzling car culture could love. And the biggest name in electric cars hates it.

Harwell is talking about Toyota’s Mirai (means ‘future’ in Japanese), a mass market car that runs on hydrogen fuel cells, so it’s even more green than electric cars, which is probably why Musk hates it, though hate is such a strong word. Musk actually said this:

If you’re going to pick an energy source mechanism, hydrogen is an incredibly dumb one to pick. The best-case hydrogen fuel cell doesn’t win against the current-case batteries. It doesn’t make sense, and that will become apparent in the next few years.

Musk isn’t so much on ‘hate‘ as he is on ‘dumb‘ which changes the meaning a bit. So, why is it a dumb idea? And, why do we have to wait a few years to figure that out?

Muslims Predict Jesus Will Defeat ISIS, Beginning in 2015

Good grief. Where do these things come from? Dr. David Liepert:

One way or another the end of ISIS is in sight, and it’s all resting securely in the hands of Jesus, peace be upon him.

Uh, OK. How’s that again?

Mainstream orthodox Muslim websites are already predicting Jesus’ return as early as 2022, starting an Islamic prophetic clock set to run over the next 7 years, in the purportedly rapidly approaching run-up to Armageddon.

Somehow I missed that even though I’m known to watch CNN.

Even though ISIS claims they’re fighting on the side of the angels, it’s obvious they’re not, and it should become progressively clearer to even the most misguided Jihadi that either ISIS is wrong about Armageddon or that they’re on the wrong side, because of all the things Muslims know are supposed to happen.

Oh, boy. I see a mini-series in the making. Maybe it will be limited to Netflix. What about Jesus?

Even though Muslims and Christians disagree about what he is, with Christians claiming he’s God and Muslims declaring he’s not, everybody agrees about what sort of a person he was, is and will be: a man who fulfilled the Jewish Covenant and taught benevolent compassion to his followers, his example remaining a source of hope and inspiration to all humankind for the rest of time.

Sigh.

If You Take Photos Seriously You Need This Mac App

As a photographer, Mac user, and app reviewer I try not to review the same apps too often, but I’m willing to make an exception in this case. If you take photos and store them on your Mac you will love using Snapheal. There are a number of apps that help to remove unwanted objects in a photo and they range from nearly free to Photoshop’s monthly rental fee, but none do the deed quite as easily and effectively as Snapheal.

Start with an otherwise decent photograph that happens to have a few objects visible in the photo that you’d rather not see. Trees, telephone poles, people, pimples, or whatever. Snapheal’s simple tools make it a pleasure to delete objects you’d rather not see in the photo.

Here’s a perfect example.

Snapheal

Snapheal comes with a few additional features for color correction and photo enhancement but the claim to fame is ‘healing’ a photo by removing objects or imperfections you don’t want in the photo.

Pimples are easy. Simply dot the offending blemish with the Snapheal tool. The tool ‘reads’ the area around the pimple, then fills in the blemish hole with skin texture and tone that matches the surrounding area. The same goes for poles, trees, wires, lines, even people. Objects are erased, but the gap is filled into by calculating the texture and color of the nearby portion of the photo; think of it as spot healing.

Snapheal comes in two versions; vanilla which should be used mostly for quick photo enhancements and removal of unwanted objects, and Pro which is faster and has more precise healing, but also works as a plugin to Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture (for as long as it lasts). The developer makes a try-before-you-buy version, but that requires an email address and you will be bombarded with offers forever and ever.

High Tech Karma

Chris Matyszczyk:

One man got on the subway train last Monday morning and wasn’t in the mood for politeness or pleasantries. As another man stood in his way, he shoved him and, so that there was no doubt as to his intent, told him to “Go f*** yourself.”

It happens. We’ve all see it happen. This is what happened next.

Perhaps the curser thought nothing more of it. He went about his day. He even had a job interview later in the afternoon.

He walked in and, within seconds, began to curse himself. For his interviewer turned out to be the very man he’d cursed at on the subway.

Some call it Karma, some call it ‘What goes around, comes around.’ Or, just desserts. He didn’t get the job.

Should You Turn Your Computer Off At Night?

It’s an age old question answered by experts who still do not agree. Simon Hill:

The idea that you should avoid turning your computer off at night is pretty popular: After all, frequent shutdowns and start ups are going to have an impact on the components and wear them out faster. Aren’t they? On the other hand, you’d imagine having your computer running all the time is going to contribute to wear and tear as well, wouldn’t you?

So, it the end, it depends. If you use it all day, don’t turn it off for brief periods. If you use it for a few hours only, turn it off.

The 10 Most Expensive Cars You Can Own

There must be a reason we’re attracted to lists of vehicles most of us will never see, let alone drive, let alone own. It takes a few clicks to get through Exotic Whips list of expensive cars, #10 starts at $445,000.

If you happen to have a TON of cash sitting around collecting dust, this is going to be a great guide on how to spend that cash quickly! However, if you’re the typical gear head and you love checking out ridiculous cars, you’re who this is meant for! These are the current most expensive rides you can buy. This has been a pretty amazing year for super cars. We were introduced to the LaFerrari, Porsche 918, and McLaren P1…all of which made our list of most expensive cars, go figure

Spoiler Alert!

  • Lamborghini Aventador Roadster – $445,000
  • Rolls-Royce Phanton Extended -$550,000
  • Porsche 918 Spyder – $850,000
  • 2013 Henneyssey Venom GT – $1,000,000
  • 2014 McLaren P1 – $1,150,000
  • 2013 Pagani Huayra – $1,500,000
  • 2013 Koenigsegg Agera R – $1,700,000
  • 2014  Ferrari LaFerrari – $1,700,000
  • 2013 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse – $2.25-million
  • 2014 Lamborghnini Veneno – $4-million

What $4-million gets you.

Lamborghini Veneno

I prefer red.

Free: Cosmic Brush Is The Coolest New Mac Paint Tool

Photoshop competitors have come out of the woodwork in recent years, starting with Pixelmator and more recently Affinity’s new Photo app. In between are a few hundred photo enhancement, paint, and drawing apps which fill specific needs, but at a much lower price point than Adobe’s Create Cloud’s monthly rental fee.

The latest to hit my Mac’s screen is Cosmic Brush. I’m not sure if it’s merely a colorful way to doodle over a photo or create a radiant piece of neon art, but the results speak for themselves.

The first screen shot image has ‘doodle’ written all over it.

Cosmic Brush

Cosmic Brush brings multiple tools and options to fullscreen mode, including layers, color sets, undo and redo, and the all important customizable color palettes. Keyboard shortcuts make it easy to navigate through and around an image, matched with trackpad gestures.

Unique to Cosmic Brush and obviously resembling the name are the brushes; 3D-Shaded Brush, Plasma Chain Brush, Translucent Brush, Halo Brush and others. Yes, there’s even a built-in eraser because, well, you know; trial and error is your friend.

Cosmic Brush can be downloaded and used free from the Mac App Store, so you can get an idea of how it works. To remove the advertising and add more tools, including more layers, and multiple paper color options, the pro version will set you back a few dollars.

Cosmic Brush

I can see how the effects generated by Cosmic Brush, even in the free version, could be useful. They’re cool and colorful but altogether limiting. Every example given indicates Cosmic Brush could just as easily be renamed Neon Brush.

Apple Car: ‘Hairball’

From Dan Akerson, former CEO of General Motors on Apple building a car.

I think somebody is kind of trying to cough up a hairball here. If I were an Apple shareholder, I wouldn’t be very happy. I would be highly suspect of the long-term prospect of getting into a low-margin, heavy-manufacturing” business… A lot of people who don’t ever operate in it don’t understand and have a tendency to underestimate… They’d better think carefully if they want to get into the hard-core manufacturing… We take steel, raw steel, and turn it into car. They have no idea what they’re getting into if they get into that.

Of course, Apple didn’t know diddly squat about the smartphone business before taking away the industry’s profits.

7 Surprising Facts About Cannibalism

I can’t be the only one disturbed by the fact that someone tracks these kinds of facts. Phil Edwards explains:

Historians and anthropologists, however, have tried to study the history and science of cannibalism over the years: why it happens, when it occurs, and who’s affected. It tests the ultimate boundaries of cultural relativism, health, and ritual. Though this list isn’t at all comprehensive, it catalogs some of the unusual things about cannibalism you might have missed.

Spoiler Alert!

  • Humans are mostly hard-wired against cannibalism — but not always
  • Animals are mostly hard-wired against cannibalism — but not always
  • “Cannibalism” was named after people who might not have been cannibals
  • Cannibalistic rituals could be surprisingly complex
  • Cannibalism was practiced in colonial America
  • The Donner party wasn’t solely about cannibalism
  • Cannibalism was sometimes used as a medical treatment

Apple Car Is Fantasy

Former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée on the potential for an Apple car.

Apple has made a commitment to better in-car systems, not in and for themselves in isolation, but as a reinforcement of the iOS ecosystem. If the large number of engineers that they’ve “poached” from Tesla seems a bit much, consider again the enormous size of iPhone (and iPad) revenue for this past quarter: $60B – compared to GM’s $40B for the same period. To Apple, anything that helps the iOS ecosystem is well worth what looks like oversized investments to outsiders.

So, it’s Apple wanting to put iOS into every car on planet earth vs. making one with an Apple logo. Do you want one?

An Apple car feels good: design, quality, service, trust. A winner. I’ll buy two. It’ll work because it’d be really great if it did… but a small matter of implementation – actually the larger Moore’s Law intrudes.

The fantastic Apple Car is a fantasy.

But what a great fantasy to ruminate over for a few years? Just like we’ve done with an Apple-branded TV. My only question is, “Where is Gene Munster on this rumor?