Try The All-in-One Color Picker, Color Scheme, Color Palette Tool For Macs

Seldom do all-in-one, jack-of-all-trades, Swiss Army Knife tools live up to the hype. As far as color tools go, most of us have a few; color pickers, color wheels, color palettes. Few of them are all-in-one color tools, and one of the most popular in many years simply hasn’t been updated in recent years.

That brings me to Colors PRO.

This Mac utility is a color picker, combined with a color scheme tool, with color palette management, which makes it mostly all-in-one, though a bit different than my previous favorite, ColorSchemer Studio (which hasn’t been updated in years).

What you get are most of the color tools you’ll need to use, regardless of which app you use, yet available from within any Mac app. The three basics are a color picker, a color scheme tool, and color palette management.

Colors PRO

The color picker tool works much the same way every color picker works. Zoom into a pixel to select the color, then make the color code available in RGB, HEX, CMYK, HSB, etc– 20 different color codes. It’s fast, easy to use, but only the tip of the Colors PRO iceberg.

Also built into the app is an option to analyze the colors in a photo or image, giving you an accurate color scheme.

Colors PRO also lets you manage colors and color palettes from the same drop down menu.

More Colors PRO

It comes with plenty of import and export options, too– perfect to help you manage color palettes created from other graphic design apps, or simply to export as needed. Colors PRO can export as Adobe Swatch Exchange, and even import ColorSchemer Studio XML files.

As a good Mac app citizen, Colors PRO also comes with a trial option to try-before-you-buy. If you remember the popular Tangerine or worry about the future of ColorSchemer Studio, it’s good to know there’s still an all-in-one color management tool available. While I appreciate the try-before-you-buy option, I noticed that Colors PRO was not available on the U.S. Mac App Store, and there’s a similar but lower price version simply entitled Colors which has fewer features, though not clearly differentiated by the developer.

It’s Just Resting

Are tablets a dying breed? Already? That means Apple is doomed, right? Maybe, but not this year despite Best Buy’s CEO saying tablet sales are crashing. David Goldman with a theory on why tablet sales are tanking:

There are three big obstacles facing the market that are impacting demand for tablets: Smartphones are getting bigger, tablets last a while and businesses aren’t buying them. Who needs a tablet when you’re already carrying one around in your pocket?

Fair enough, though industry watchers speculate that the first tablet cycle is about the arrive and with it, more sales.

So the tablet’s not dead. It’s just resting.

Ejection Seat?

There’s a button on the Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet which looks like an ejection seat but it’s not. Joe Bruzek:

The Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet’s mysterious button hints that it expels something from the front seats, but it’s not the scented breeze of pine trees when your passenger can’t catch a hint. This button activates the Mercedes-Benz Airscarf feature, which was No. 1 on our Top 10 Most Extravagant Car Options list. Part of a $3,270 package, Airscarf places a vent in each of the front seats’ head restraints. Those vents blast a warm shot of air directly at the back of your neck on a cool day of drop-top driving. Our home base of Chicago recently experienced a dip in summer temperatures and the Airscarf worked wonders on 60-degree nights.

How about a glove box with built-in gloves instead Or, maybe a real scarf?

The Airscarf

The Shockwave Jet Truck is Over 100mph Faster than a Bugatti Veyron

Zach Doell

This souped-up Peterbilt Semi sports not one but three Pratt & Whitney J34-48 jet engines, the same type used in the US Navy’s T2 Buckeye training aircraft. Arranged in a triangular formation at the rear of the truck, each jet puts out a staggering 12,000-horsepower for a total output of 36,000hp and 19,000 pounds of static thrust.

Alright, how fast will it go?

Guinness World Records clocked Shockwave at a screaming 376mph. Even more shocking, it’ll cover a standing quarter mile in just six and a half seconds. Not too shabby considering the truck weighs about 7,000 pounds.

And the picture worth a thousand words (or less):

Fast Truck

Free: Screen And Microphone Recorder For The Mac

My Mac is graced with a number of screen capture tools, including a couple of the more expensive versions, a few of the mid-range screen recording apps, and, now, one that’s free. These apps have one thing in common. They capture the Mac’s screen as a movie, including sound. The free one is called Screen Replay. It doesn’t do much and that’s the point.

For Mac users who need to capture the screen as a movie the most important functions are 1) screen capture, 2) audio capture. Screen Replay does both and could not be much easier to use, even considering the lack of a price tag.

Open Screen Replay. Select Start Recording from the Menubar icon. When you’re done recording the Mac’s screen, select Stop Recording.

Screen Replay

That’s it. Screen Replay saves the screen video as a movie file in your Movies folder. It doesn’t care how long the movie is (within storage limits) or the Mac’s screen resolution (up to 4k). In addition to the video, Screen Replay saves the audio, too (including built-in microphone or an attached mic). Movies from Screen Replay can be edited or sweetened in iMovie or Garageband.

What’s missing?

Well, considering the price tag is free it’s hard to determine if anything is really missing, but there are no keyboard shortcuts, including the very basic Command-Q to quit. Either way, you still have to click on the Menubar. While it captures Mac system audio, I’ve had difficulty getting it to capture audio from some video clips. And, there’s no pause option.

Mac users have access to QuickTime Player and it does much the same thing and a little more– record the Mac’s screen as a video, records audio, too, which may account for Screen Replay’s lack of a price tag.

66 Seasons

MLB and Vin Scully:

It is very difficult to say goodbye. God willing I will be back next year. Over the years I have been blessed to have so many friends including those that sit in the stands and listen as well as those at home, who listen and watch. It is just too hard to say goodbye to all these friends. Naturally there will come a time, when I will have to say goodbye, but I’ve soul-searched and this is not the time.

I listened to Scully call games when I was a kid.

The iPhone 6 You Can’t Afford To Pre-Order

Chris Smith on the Brikk Lux iPhone 6 customized model available in 24-karat yellow or pink gold, or pure platinum (with diamonds):

Luxury retailer Brikk has decided to throw its hat into the iPhone 6 preorder ring as well, and allow potential buyers to request their custom, and extremely expensive, 24-karat gold iPhone 6… will be GSM unlocked for worldwide use and will be packaged in a “custom metal first aid box” that will contain all the iPhone materials and accessories you expect.

Pricing starts at $4,495 and goes up to $8,795.

Will Aliens Go To Hell When They Die?

Ken Ham:

I do believe there can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel. You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation.

Neil deGrasse Tyson:

That’s messed up… I wonder if, in fact, we have been observed by aliens and upon close examination of human conduct and human behavior they have concluded that there is no sign of intelligent life on Earth

How This Photo Studio App For Mac Has Almost All Of What You Need

The number of photo enhancement apps continues to grow in number and improve in capability. Here’s the story of a Mac photo app that’s easy to use to improve and enhance photos, but comes with a price beyond the price.

The app is called Photo Studio and the claim to fame is automatic photo enhancements. Well, not completely automatic. You need to drop in the photo, select the type of adjustments to make, but the process is quick, simple, and yields good results with minimal effort.

Open a photo to enhance, and let Photo Studio do the work.

Photo Studio

Photo Studio is a good way to get quick improvements on a bunch of photos in batch processing mode, though each photo can be adjusted manually for more creative changes, or simply to tweak the automated changes.

The effects and filters are mostly the same as built-in to OS X, so Photo Studio blazes new ground only during the automated and batch settings.

More Photo Studio

The manual tools are simple enough to learn, so tweaking a photo– even one already enhanced in the automated mode– can be done in seconds. The problem lies more in knowing what to tweak and when, and that brings me to the major issues with what should be a decent and useful photo app.

Where are the app’s instructions and examples? They don’t exist. At almost $10, Photo Studio needs a free trial version so Mac users can sample how the app works (even if there’s no way to learn other than trial and error).

Overall, despite Photo Studio being attractive, and yielding good results with minimal effort, it suffers because there’s no trial, no instructions, and the developer’s website is a Facebook page.

That’s not good enough. The competition among photo apps for the Mac is intense, and many apps do more and cost less, including these two, and this one, and these three.

Apple Cheated Out Of $300,000

Sharon Lavern Parrish, Jr. (a dude) scammed Apple employees 42 times to the tune of $309,768 worth of Apple goods. Dave Smith:

Parrish allegedly visited Apple Stores and tried to buy products with four different debit cards, which were all closed by his respective financial institutions. When his debit card was inevitably declined by the Apple Store, he would protest and offer to call his bank — except, he wasn’t really calling his bank… he would offer the Apple Store employees a fake authorization code with a certain number of digits, which is normally provided by credit card issuers to create a record of the credit or debit override… as long as the number of digits is correct, the override code itself doesn’t matter.

I suspect that hole is being plugged. How many digits was it?

World’s Most Expensive RV

This is not your father’s Winnebago. It’s called the eleMMent Palazzo, a luxurious recreational vehicle that looks like an RV from the future.

That’s the claim being made for the 40-foot-long eleMMent Palazzo, from Austrian company Marchi Mobile. It sold for a purported asking price of $3 million. That is somewhat understandable considering its outside is supposedly covered in gold.

Gold paint?

eleMMent Palazzo

A true land yacht.

Critical Tweet? No Plane Ride

I don’t think people truly understand “free speech.” Daniel Bean with details on a critical tweet about service that got a man and family removed from a Southwest Airlines flight:

The father/social media enthusiast let the agent know he would “be sure to tweet about” the poor service. After he did, Southwest’s social media team informed the crew, who found the tweet to be “threatening to its safety.” That’s when the family was removed from the plane; the man says he was forced to delete his tweet before being allowed back on board.

The constitution doesn’t protect free speech from consequences.

How To Do To Digital Photos What You Can Easily Do To Paper Photos

What are the two most surprising issues with the Fold Defy app for the Mac? First, why no one came up with an app to do what Fold Defy does years ago? Second, why you would want to do to digital photos what most of us would not do to paper photos.

Fold Defy takes ordinary digital photos and makes them look as if they’re paper photos which have been folded, creased, and crumpled– all in an attempt to make the photo appear as if it was crunched up, then smoothed flat.

That’s easier said than done, yes, but the proverbial ‘picture worth a thousand words’ applies.

Fold Defy

Fold Defy has three basic folding styles.

  • Fold – which automatically adds both vertical and horizontal folds (change direction on each)
  • Crease – add creases and folds to the image by simply drawing a line where you want the crease or fold to be
  • Crumple – actually simulates a crumpled piece of paper that’s been smooth flat (with controls over perspective and scale)

There are also options built-in to add the crease and crumple as a 3D effect with surface shadows, natural looking highlights. It also comes with a library of paper textures to apply to each crumpled photo.

Even the crease crinkles and folds are adjustable, as are the fold direction, surface height, and width. Weathered and distressed photos can be saved and then exported as high quality .PNG or .TIFF files with transparency.

More Fold Defy

You won’t use Fold Defy as your go-to app for photo enhancements, but adding a distressed or weathered look takes only a few clicks.

5,000 Horsepower

Devil Sixteen claims 5,000 horsepower in a custom built roadster. 16 cylinders. 4 turbos. What does one do with that much horsepower? Nelson Ireson:

The oddly shaped, somewhat ungainly, and clearly hand-built Devel Sixteen not only runs and drives, it sounds pretty healthy, too. To our ears, it’s no 5,000-horsepower megawatt power plant, however. If anything, it sounds like an aggressively built normally aspirated Chevy LS-series V-8. That could mean as much as 700 horsepower on a big cam build, maybe a bit more. But that’s a far cry from 5,000 hp, even if you factor in enough nitrous oxide to power the entire Fast & Furious movie series.

One-off only.

“Diagnostic Capabilities”

All the recent noise about ‘back door’ holes in Apple’s iOS are attributed to the obvious. Jason D. O’Grady:

Apple today addressed some of his concerns with a new knowledgebase article called iOS: About diagnostic capabilities. In it Apple refers to the services identified by Zdziarski (including “pcapd,” “file_relay,” and “house_arrest”) as “diagnostic capabilities to help enterprise IT departments, developers, and AppleCare troubleshoot issues.”

Inocuous? Or, not? Tin foil hat and conspiracy theorists won’t let this go.

Give Up Cable TV To Save Your Retirement

Interesting perspective on yet another way to have more money when you retire. David Ning:

Consider the impact your cable TV bill has on your monthly expenses. Many people pay $100 a month or more for the privilege of channel surfing. A $100 per month bill costs you $1,200 per year or $36,000 over a 30-year career.

Compounded that’s even more money, though 30 years of retirement and cable TV could end up costing much more.

A Free Blast From The Mac’s Past

Who among the Mac faithful do not have a few utility apps which perform functions that once were common, but have altogether disappeared as OS X advances in the 21st century? That’s the case with FinderPop, once a classic Mac OS utility that give us one-click access from the Menubar to any and every file, folder, and app on the Mac.

FinderPop lives.

Back in the day we Mac users could create a customized menu folder and get to files, folders, and apps with a click to the Menubar. OS X doesn’t provide that kind of simple navigation (though it can be built-in to the Dock) but FinderPop does and then some.

FinderPop is simple for even Mac novices to use, but is also a geek’s delight, overflowing with options to Appearance, Exclusions, Options, and more in the System Preferences > FinderPop menu.

FinderPop

Even the basic default settings are enough to make FinderPop a worthy addition to your Mac. Right-click contextual menus give you a list of apps to use. From within FinderPop you have access to basic Mac file handling– from delete to copy to move, from Preview to QuickLook to GetInfo, and more.

There’s also an option to launch the FinderPop menu without having a Menubar or Dock icon. Simply click in the Menubar. The FinderPop folder is fully customizable. Simply create aliases to apps or files and drop them into the Library > FinderPop folder.

There’s lots more under the hood, but FinderPop has earned a place on my Mac through the years because it brings back functionality the Mac once had but was removed in older versions of OS X, and it adds functions you won’t find in the Dock.

FinderPop is free to use, but should also be called donationware (at least, donations enough to cover the cost of a beer).

Free? Or, Not?

Jeff Gamut with details and perspective on the European Union’s attempt to get Google and Apple to stop calling free games with in-app purchases “free.”

Google has capitulated, and now the EU is calling out Apple for failing to take action, although Apple thinks it’s already doing more than other companies to keep consumers well informed.

But not any more.

EU’s concerns stem from complaints that free games often include on-app purchase options that trick children into spending real money. With real money changing hands, the EU doesn’t think the games qualify as truly free and shouldn’t be labeled as such.

I have mixed emotions on this. The games are free and playable. More features cost more money, and in-app purchases for such have become a big business for Apple and developers. If children are old enough to download games, they should be able to read, and if they can read then what’s the problem?

Apple’s Magic Decade

The top company so far in the 21st century? Robin Harris on the new Apple-IBM deal:

The Apple/IBM deal is good for both companies. Both are premium brands. They don’t compete.

IBM is investing heavily in back-end technologies. Apple owns the premier mobile front-end. Apple’s iOS developer base and enterprise footprint make it low risk for IBM. If IBM can’t make it work, shame on them.

And:

Apple’s magic decade, producing the iPod, iPhone and iPad in a single 10-year period, isn’t going to happen again. Apple caught the mobile wave and surfed it brilliantly, while its competitors were scuffling in the low-margin Wintel box wars, just as Team Android is today.

Too Cheap

All you need to know about the 707 horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, from Patrick George:

Muscle cars are all about numbers, and the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has them in spades. Numbers like 707 horsepower, eight cylinders, 6.2 liters, and a 10.86 second quarter mile time on drag radials. Now we can add another number to that list: $59,900.

That’s more expensive than the 580 horsepower Chevy Camaro ZL1 and the older Ford Mustang GT500.