Instead of putting an actor on each of 50 pages, Yahoo breaks up the 50 by days. Sigourney Weaver is ahead of Brad Pitt, who just made the list.
Hardly a day goes by that I don’t check on an app that could replace an app that I’m using on my Mac today. If what I’m using now works well and does the job, why bother to look around for a replacement. I once heard it said that ‘Nothing improves without change.’ So, I have favorites, but I look for options that might be better.
This week I came across Color Picker, one of about a dozen Mac color pickers actually named Color Picker. What’s the claim to fame? The distinction with this Color Picker is that there’s really no distinction.
That thought sent me to the Mac App Store where I entered the search term ‘color picker.’ The result surprised me. Despite a number of color pickers named Color Picker, the first five on the list of search results were not color pickers at all. They were screen capture apps.
ColorSnapper, one of my favorites, came in at #6, and ColorSchemer Studio, another favorite, came in at #10 in the search results page. Changing the sort to Relevance instead of popularity brought the color pickers (and the Color Pickers) back to the top.
Most of the bona fide color pickers range in price from free to 99-cents, sometimes $2.99, but seldom more. I like Color Shades but it hasn’t been updated in nearly two years and weighs in at a whopping $15.99.
It’s hard not to like the even more expensive ColorSchemer Studio which handles color palettes, color wheels, and pulls color palettes from photos.
Changing the search to customer ratings brings Frank DeLoupe nearer to the top. This clever color picker dispenses with palette captures and lets power users hit the keyboard instead.
My favorite and the one to beat is ColorSnapper which has a good loupe and stores recently picked colors in one of 14 different color formats, and it works great on multiple displays.
There’s also an option to adjust the magnifying loupe with a slider bar.
Also indispensable is the ColorChooser app which brings the built-in and third party color pickers to the Mac’s Menubar.
Great list of crazy laws still on the books from Pet360. A few:
Dog and cat owners in North Carolina must keep them separated, since it is illegal for them to fight (try enforcing that one)
Photographing rabbits from January to April in Wyoming is not allowed without an official permit (who’s going to tell – the rabbit?)
Iowa cowboys must restrain their horses from eating fire hydrants (can it really be that hard?)
And my favorite:
Apparently dogs in Colorado can read, because the dog catcher must notify them of potential impounding by posting a notice on a tree for three days prior.
No one should be surprised that Apple is working on a larger screen for the iPhone. Chris Smith has shocking details from Taiwan:
Apple may shock us all and the larger phablet version might not actually be part of the iPhone family… the larger 5.6-inch iOS smartphone will be an “experimental” device that won’t come with iPhone branding — a dubious claim considering the popularity of the iPhone brand. The publication does not offer an alternative name for the 5.6-inch iPhablet, and it doesn’t mention when it might launch, but says that the bigger smartphone will come with sapphire glass.
Kim Bashin with a devastating series of photos and commentary from a J.C. Penney store employee.
What you’ll see is that the J.C. Penney brand is going down the hill big time. Racks are messy, visual presentation is non-existent and [former CEO] Ron Johnson’s ‘shops’ are not being kept up or filled with merchandise. It’s sad to see the brand devalued.
I once worked in J.C. Penney’s advertising department. JCP, Sears, Kmart are dying breeds.
There is something about pastels that I find intriguing. They’re colorful, but not harsh or demanding of your attention. Instead, they’re sweet, soft, almost feminine, yet vibrant enough to evoke a pleasant personality. For Mac users who want to dig into the inner beauty of pastels, there’s iPastels, an inexpensive but feature laden drawing app.
It’s not a paint app in the MacPaint vein. iPastels simulates soft chalk pastels, oil pastels, and excels at color blending to bring out the digital artist in you. The app is instantly familiar with a wide array of tools, brushes and color palettes.
For a modestly price Mac drawing app, iPastels has plenty of the features you would expect. You can blend colors using the Smudge or Cotton Swab tools, draw in fullscreen mode, and even hid the toolbar if it’s visually distracting.
Use the Mac’s trackpad or keyboard shortcuts to zoom and pan. Draw either paint or chalk on different layers (limited to foreground, middle, or background).
And, of course, you can create customizable color palettes to save and use again. While iPastels for the Mac is a good way to get yourself into the joy of pastels, either chalk or paint, and it’s modestly priced, it’s also missing a free trial version, and weighs in a few dollars over my threshold for buy-without-a-try dollar limit.
There is something of a bonus with iPastels for iPhone and iPad. The iOS version is free and unlocks more tools in the in-app Premium version which costs less than half the Mac version.
Looks like Microsoft is hedging on Office for iPad. Gregg Keizer gets details from Tami Reller, Microsoft’s chief of marketing on what to do with Office on non-Microsoft portable devices:
With Windows, we’re obviously spending a lot of time thinking about how we continue to differentiate the full Windows experience, particularly as we think about our partners and how we differentiate for them to pick Windows over Android.
So you’ll see us be thoughtful about how and when we bring what applications to what platforms
We come at it from that angle, which is ‘What businesses do we need to drive forward?… That’s how we will make the decision [to go cross-platform]. It really ends up being business by business, product by product. There’s no sweeping one decision.
It sounds like Microsoft is hedging on an iPad version of Office, yet can’t figure out how their own mobile devices can be differentiated without Office.
Frankly, iPad users don’t need Office. Android smartphone and tablet users don’t need it, either.
Ever heard of the Hennessey Performance Venom GT? It’s one of the 10 insane cars from what Ben Stewart calls boutique carmakers.
Today’s restomodders, replica builders, and tuners take an obsessive approach to performance. These vehicles are modified to a level of detail so far beyond their original roots that they are better described as brand-new production cars and trucks rather than upgraded versions of the original
- Hennessey Performance Venom GT
- Icon Thriftmaster Pickup
- Singer Vehicle Design Porsche 911
- Lingenfelter Performance Engineering Reaper
- Shelby American 50th Anniversary Shelby Cobra 289 FIA
- VL Automotive Destino
- Superformance Caterham Seven
- Legacy Classic Trucks Power Wagon
- American Expedition Vehicles Brute Double Cab
- Brabus B63S-700 6X6
Dan Kloeffler with video and details on the origins of MAD’s fold-ins, and one that didn’t see the light of day.
That idea was born when Jaffee saw fold-outs in magazines such as National Geographic and Life and, in typical MAD fashion, decided to do the opposite, creating the fold-in. A single image appears on the inside back cover along with a question. The reader folds the page in to reveal another image and the answer to the question. Thinking it was a “one-shot” gag, Jaffee was surprised when his editor demanded a fold-in for the next issue and it quickly became a regular feature.
I grew up on MAD Magazine (which accounts for the warped sense of humor). The video in the article displays the fold-in that didn’t run.
How many ways can a Mac user grab a screenshot? Base on the number of screenshot tools in the Mac App Store, at least a few dozen, and they range from free to about $100. Here’s one that cost less than a buck and does something unique and very useful.
This neat app is cleverly titled Screenshot. As with many screenshot apps, this one resides in the Menubar and lets you take full screenshots with ease; even with keyboard shortcuts.
Even Apple built-in Grab app– which records an app window, an entire screen, a timed capture of the screen, and a section of the screen– does not do this.
Screenshot grabs an irregular portion of the Mac’s screen as if you outlined a section and captured only that section. This screenshot tells you about all you need to know.
Select Screenshot from the Menubar, point the Mac’s screen pointer to a section of the screen, draw around what you want to capture, and… well, done. While Screenshot works very well and is simple enough, it’s thin on additional features, and you won’t find much information about the app on the developer’s Tumblr site.
Apple is the surprise leader among enterprise smartphone deployments according to Larry Dignan:
Apple’s iOS smartphones accounted for 54 percent of enterprise activations as Android’s share dipped to 26 percent… Overall, custom enterprise mobile applications surged.
Apple makes deployment of custom mobile apps easy, and the iPhone is known for a lack of malware and security issues.
Salvatori Cardoni on yet another reason why India is not on my bucket list.
For the last six weeks, those living in India’s northeast states have been looking over their shoulders whenever they venture outside… a tigress has killed 10 people, eluding determined hunters at every step of its murderous spree.
The tiger has been cornered a number of times.
The day before, hunters cornered the big cat, which has been given the name Mysterious Queen. But it was not enticed by a trap baited with a live cow.
I thought cows were sacred in India? Why is the tiger after people?
Tiger conservationists cannot say with certainty why Mysterious Queen is preying on humans, but one expert surmised it might be because it is simply hungry.
That’s not comforting.
Stephanie Pappas on yet another reason why Australia is not on my bucket list.
In Australia, they observed freshwater crocodiles basking on low-hanging branches day and night. When approached by boats, the crocs splashed into the water below to escape. Climbing Aussie crocodiles were more likely to be small or juvenile; hatchlings are sometimes able to cling to brickwork and escape crocodile farms.
Oh, good. Only the smaller ones climb trees. That’s comforting.
Mac users seem to be divided into two camps. The first group uses the Desktop more or less like a real desktop; a place to drop files and folders; something of a workspace. The second group avoids the Desktop metaphor and treats it as it really is– a folder that holds frequent and recently used files and folders.
The difference between the two usages is obvious. With latter, the Desktop background wallpaper is seldom see, while with the former, the Desktop background wallpaper is cluttered with files and folders.
SlideTop is a free Mac app aimed at the Desktop user who wants to view background wallpaper photos from collections as a photo slideshow.
There’s not much going on with SlideTop, hence the free price tag. Create a folder of photos and SlideTop adds them to the Desktop as individual slideshows.
Create a folder of photos for each corner of your Mac’s screen (even works with multiple displays connected to your Mac).
SlideTop cycles through the photos, presenting them as a slideshow on your Desktop.
Not bad for free, right?
My personal preference would be to have a stack of photos from a folder of photos float on top of both Desktop and open app windows and cycle through the photos. I treat my Desktop as a folder, so anything plunked on top of the wallpaper is usually obscured by app windows.
A stunning look at what the iPhone can do today and all the gadgets you needed to buy in 1991 to do the same thing from Steve Cichon:
So here’s a list of what I’ve replaced with my iPhone.
- All weather personal stereo, $11.88. I now use my iPhone with an Otter Box
- AM/FM clock radio, $13.88. iPhone.
- In-Ear Stereo Phones, $7.88. Came with iPhone.
- Microthin calculator, $4.88. Swipe up on iPhone.
- Tandy 1000 TL/3, $1599. I actually owned a Tandy 1000, and I used it for games and word processing. I now do most of both of those things on my phone.
- VHS Camcorder, $799. iPhone.
- Mobile Cellular Telephone, $199. Obvs.
- Mobile CB, $49.95. Ad says “You’ll never drive ‘alone’ again!” iPhone.
- 20-Memory Speed-Dial phone, $29.95.
- Deluxe Portable CD Player, $159.95. 80 minutes of music, or 80 hours of music? iPhone.
- 10-Channel Desktop Scanner, $99.55. I still have a scanner, but I have a scanner app, too. iPhone.
- Easiest-to-Use Phone Answerer, $49.95. iPhone voicemail.
- Handheld Cassette Tape Recorder, $29.95. I use the Voice Memo app almost daily.
- BONUS REPLACEMENT: It’s not an item for sale, but at the bottom of the ad, you’re instructed to ‘check your phone book for the Radio Shack Store nearest you.’ Do you even know how to use a phone book?
You’d have spent $3054.82 in 1991 to buy all the stuff in this ad that you can now do with your phone. That amount is roughly equivalent to about $5100 in 2012 dollars.
Bret Swanson has a great look at a price adjusted iPhone from 1991.
In 1991, a gigabyte of hard disk storage cost around $10,000, perhaps a touch less. (Today, it costs around four cents ($0.04).) Back in 1991, a gigabyte of flash memory, which is what the iPhone uses, would have cost something like $45,000, or more. (Today, it’s around 55 cents ($0.55).)
The mid-level iPhone 5S has 32 GB of flash memory. Thirty-two GB, multiplied by $45,000, equals $1.44 million.
For Apple, Google, and Microsoft, where does the money come from? Ed Bott has three graphs which show revenue sources for each. On Google:
Advertising revenues made up 97 percent of our revenues in 2009 and 96 percent of our revenues in 2010 and 2011
Then along came Motorola which dropped advertising revenue back into the 80-percent range. Now Motorola is gone and Google remains a one-trick pony. Advertising.
I’d like to see a similar set of graphs for profits.
The great and powerful Woz has officially jumped the shark. Kate MacKenzie:
Does he have some advice for the folks at Apple? Yes. And said advice is clearly cause for an intervention for our favorite high tech Ewok.
What about jumping the shark?
The great and powerful and non-stoppable Woz thinks Apple should make an Android smartphone.
Mac users on a budget, or those of us with unusual purchase discipline can find plenty of free apps that improve productivity and efficiency. For those in the graphic design field, there are many free tools for the trade, including thousands of free fonts and icons.
Here’s a quick look at an app package that caught my eye– 2,800 free icons– and the state of fonts (free and not so free) from the Mac App Store.
First up is the appropriately named 2800 Icons for Developers, a free package of PNG icons from MAS. The package is aimed mainly at developers and designers who need simple, elegant icons at a competitive price. Not much is more competitive than free.
What’s great about 2800 Icons for Developers is how quickly you can get an icon into your graphic design app. Click the Menubar icon, search for the type and size of icon, drag and drop to your app.
You might think it worthwhile to have the icons in vector format, but the package includes icons sized up to 512 pixels so they work well and there are enough sizes to make it worthwhile. The icons are outline style, though, so they’re really nothing more than basic icons.
Now, about fonts on the Mac App Store. If you work in graphic design you can never have too many fonts, and surprisingly, MAS has plenty, some are bargain prices. Enter ‘fonts’ in the MAS search field and you’ll be treated with a few dozen font packages and a similar number of font tools.
A few thousand fonts are available to download with a click, many are free or bargain priced, most won’t compete at the high end with, say, Adobe’s font collections, but many are worthy additions for the value minded Mac user (and most are OpenType, so usable on Windows PCs, too).
There are plenty of font utilities, too, so you can view fonts before installation or use, and a growing number of free font packages, and packages for a few dollars– tech fonts, cursive fonts, comic fonts, creative styled fonts, even kid and holiday theme fonts.
A similar search for icons on the Mac App Store will turn up more icon creation tools than icon packages, but they’re similarly priced from free to a few dollars.
Has any new tech gadget done $17.5-billion in sales the first year? Analyst Katy Huberty thinks Apple could do it.
Our working assumption is that iWatch largely will be adopted as an accessory device and, therefore, sold into the existing customer base, like the iPad, rather than to new customers, like the iPod or iPhone.
The key here is the so-called installed customer base, which for iOS devices, now numbers into the hundreds of millions. The iPhone sold a paltry $2.5-billion the first year. The iPad was more successful with sales of over $12-billion the first year.