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.

Chew, Then Swallow

From AFP:

A great white shark that washed up on an Australian beach this week had a sea lion stuck in its throat which likely caused its death… The Western Australia Department of Fisheries said it had no visible signs of injury or disease, but had a large sea lion lodged in its throat.

I’m chewing more today.

Move Over Keynote: Flowboard For Mac Thinks Different

When it comes to apps for your Mac the old adage ‘Different strokes for different folks’ definitely applies. And it explains why we have so many different Mac word processors, notes apps, photo enhancement apps. Almost every Mac user needs an app in those categories. Less popular are presentation apps on the order of Keynote, which is free for Mac users.

If necessity is the mother of invention, someone decided Keynote could be improved and developed Flowboard, arguably the most unique Mac (and iOS) presentation app you’ve never used, and probably won’t.

Flowboard is a bit like Hypercard Meets Keynote. Screens are interactive and may contain videos, galleries, links to other pages, documents– almost anything. The app plays well with an interactive audience where the presenter can delve deeper into a subject or topic, or move quickly to another area of interest.

Flowboard starts with a few dozen templates where you can add images, videos, documents, photos, and text, so in that regard it’s much like Apple’s popular and free Keynote. But you can also link to other Flowboards which makes it far more dynamic. Photo and image galleries are added easily to a Flowboard. PDF documents, too.

Flowboard - Mac

Much of what you like about Keynote you’ll like more in Flowboard. For example, you can export an entire Flowboard as a PDF to share, but export it to the web to share online. Flowboard can be displayed on a Mac or iPad, and can use AirPlay to run on a wide screen television.

As with Keynote, Flowboard also is cloud-based, too and you get 500MB a month upload and premium features that can be added later. A Flowboard saves your work locally as you work, but drafts can also be saved to the cloud account.

If you enjoy using Keynote and remember the interactivity that came with Hypercard back in the day, you’re likely to enjoy using Flowboard, too, and Keynote experience will help reduce the learning curve.

In the end, though, both apps produce classy presentations; one is free and mature, the other new, a bit different, but comes with more interactivity and a price tag.

“4 Stocks I’d Buy If I Had $10,000″

Ryan Newman writing for The Motley Fool:

My fellow Motley Fool writer Owen Raskiewicz yesterday named the four growth stocks he would buy if he had $10,000 to invest. While each of the companies he chose represent fine businesses, I thought I would also share which companies I would buy (or top-up on) if I had the same capital to spend.

Why should anyone take advice from someone who writes about stocks for a living and doesn’t have $10,000 to invest?

10 Best Used Luxury Cars Under $30,000

Luxury for less. Jason Notte’s list:

With a little help from the folks at auto pricing site Kelley Blue Book… the best luxury vehicles that 2011 had to offer and see how they’ve matured into certified pre-owned steals.

Is it an advertisement or an article?

Spoiler Alert!

  • 2011 Audi A4
  • 2011 Volvo XC60
  • 2011 Cadillac DTS
  • 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK
  • 2011 Infiniti G
  • 2011 Cadillac CTS
  • 2011 Audi A6
  • 2011 Acura TL
  • 2011 Lexus ES
  • 2011 BMW 3 Series

All 2011 models.

A New Tesla

Justin Hyde:

Tesla Motors went the simple route for its first two models, with the Model S for sedan, and Model X for crossover. Today, Tesla’s Elon Musk revealed that the third, smaller sedan Tesla plans next will be called the Model 3 — and by doing so, will still keep an inside joke alive.

The inside joke?

Musk has long said that after naming the S and the X, the next model Tesla built should be called the Model E so that the lineup would spell S-E-X. The only hurdle: Ford, which feels somewhat aggressive about non-Ford cars named Model anything, and threatened a lawsuit should Tesla go ahead with the E nomenclature. So, Musk says for the Model 3, Tesla will represent it with three bars — spelling S-III-X instead.

Clever.

The Death Of Cheesy, Cheap Clip Art

I started buying clipart so far back in the day the Mac was still in a box and the clipart wasn’t digital. It had to be scanned to be used by a computer. Fortunately, in the age of vector graphics and high resolution images, cheesy, cheap clip art is a dying breed. As a long time Mac user I’m a sucker for packages, and PrintLife is one that is hard to ignore.

Other than the price, there’s little to not like about PrintLife; a package of templates and artwork for anyone who needs to print or design anything graphic and do it in a hurry. This isn’t just another package of clipart. This is a package of templates that do almost everything from labels and greeting cards, to certificates, invitations, business cards, posters, flyers, ads, and anything else that requires a graphic touch.

Here’s the requisite sample composite.

PrintLife Samples

Alright, they’re attractive, professional caliber designs. How do you get them onto your Mac?

The app and package is a no-brainer. Select from over 600 print project templates, hundreds of label templates, and even 150 business card templates. The tools let you drag and drop and mix and match design components for your project.

PrintLife Templates

The key to using PrintLife is the template package. In fact, there are more than 5,000 graphic element, and the download of the entire collection is over 7.6 gigabytes. The app tools are simple to use, too. Select a template, select graphic components, drag and drop. Or just change the text in a template to match what you need to create.

I’ve bought dozens of graphic artwork packages through the years; many priced less, and often priced higher. This is a good one for the neophyte designer, print shop, and web graphic designer. The entire package costs less than the popular Print Shop 3 package, but has fewer images, fewer templates, fewer effects, and no additional fonts.

Otherwise, PrintLife is a good package that’s easy to setup and use for those who don’t want to invest too much time and money. With PrintLife or The Print Shop 3 on a Mac I can declare the death of cheesy and cheap clipart packages.

What The iPhone 6 Needs

As if there is a shortage of what Apple must stuff into the upcoming and so-called iPhone 6, the irrepressible Adrian Kingsley-Hughes adds more to the list:

Speculation as to what the iPhone 6 will bring to the table is reaching fever-pitch, and as usual the internet is awash with mockups and what claim to be leaked parts. But rather than wade through the gossips and conjecture, I’m going to approach my take on the iPhone 6 from a different angle and look at what it needs to stay ahead of the game.

Spoiler Alert!

  • Bigger screens
  • Better battery life
  • Tougher screen
  • Waterproof
  • Faster Wi-Fi
  • Leverage advanced features

Yes, people get paid to write stuff like that and call it analysis. Maybe it was a slow news day.