See ‘em to believe ‘em. From Answers (18 click slideshow). My favorite:
See ‘em to believe ‘em. From Answers (18 click slideshow). My favorite:
Hundreds of millions of people around the world use Google Search more than any other Web service as they seek out information on anything and everything. It’s pretty amazing, though, how little people really know about the world’s top search service considering how many of us use it each and every day.
Among my favorites, geographic search, wildcard asterisk, and wiki.
What does it take to create a professional quality portrait photo? Depending upon the quality you want, the list of basic requirements can be extensive; ranging from an expensive DSLR, to lighting equipment, to Photoshop (with the requisite background in learning Photoshop). Or, you can add Portrait Plus to your Mac and enhance almost any portrait photo to near professional level.
They say it’s best to have the right tool for the job and if you want better portrait photos then a portrait retoucher app gives you results that compete with Photoshop but without the expense or the extensive learning curve.
Portrait Plus, as the name implies, does portraits. That means the app is almost automated. It can detect a couple of dozen facial features and improve the face with just a few clicks.
Improve? Skin blemishes, discoloration, scars, and wrinkles are easily removed with basic presets, while it restores skin smoothness, texture, and color. The user interface is straightforward and uncluttered.
Portrait Plus facial recognition means faces can be adjusted in shape to appear more symmetrical. Smiles can be enhanced, freckles removed or subdued, eye color adjusted, wrinkles removed, and eyebrows enhanced. All with a few clicks.
Presets and focus make the difference here. The learning curve is mild because every tool is there to enhance the face; eyes, nose, skin, smile, shape, color, texture. Batch processing is built in and helps to reduce the time to enhance a portrait to near Photoshop-like levels.
There’s a lot of sophisticated photo processing power here, but it’s gently applied, non-destructive to the original photo, and improved results are really truly merely a few clicks. If there’s a negative at all, it’s the price tag, though Portrait Plus goes on sale often, and there’s a try-before-you-buy version.
The app’s actual name is Portrait+ rather than Portrait Plus. Either way, the name is lame and does not do the app justice. Any application or product name that incorporates “plus” or “+” is lame and lacks imagination. Yes, Google+ included.
Even with the anemic product name, Portrait+ is worth a try, especially if you love taking portraits but can’t afford Photoshop or all the equipment you need to do it like the professionals.
Christine DiGangi on the lies job hunters put on their résumés that don’t get them the job:
The magnitude of the lie doesn’t matter, because any form of intentionally misleading a prospective employer is sure to hurt your chances of getting the job
Evan Niu grabbed the latest rumors about Apple’s iPhone 6 and made a list:
We now have a likely date in hand for Apple’s iPhone 6 event. The iPhone maker is reportedly set to unveil the latest model on September 9.
What’s on the list of features?
Many years ago I had the pleasure of going to work for an company full of engineers. That experience taught me to think in a different way. Most of the engineers relied on two things each day. A white board with markers, and a spiral bound notebook. White boards are a good way to flesh out ideas, describe basic processes, highlight problems, develop solutions. A spiral bound notebook is good to keep track of everything that takes place in a meeting, especially action items and who said what.
The world is far more digital these days, but I keep track of the day’s details– engineering style– by using a couple of basic applications on my Mac– a diagramming app, and a notes app. For simple white board-like layout and thinking, there’s Shapes, a digital diagramming app. For notes, I use Evernote, among others.
If you’re new to digital diagramming but understand the benefits of white board thinking, Shapes is a good choice. It’s elegant, almost simple, but has enough symbols and functions to be useful in almost any environment.
Shapes is easy to pickup and has almost no learning curve. Pages and Symbols are displayed in the left sidebar, while individual shape or object details are available in the right sidebar.
Shapes makes easy work of wireframes, organizational charts, processes and flowcharts. Drag a shape to the main workspace, add a caption, link it to other shapes. All the basic OS X tools are built in, too, including fullscreen mode, autosave, and versions.
Do a quick search on “diagrams” on the Mac App Store and you’ll end up with a dozen options, each with functionality similar to Shapes. My favorite is Diagrammix, which is more full featured, but also priced much higher. Likewise, Scapple has more features than Shapes, but is priced higher, too.
That’s why it’s wise to start off with an app like Shapes; if anything, to see if you can adapt your thinking and organizing process to a digital diagram app. If it works well for you, then the more feature-laden apps may work better.
Video of McLaren P1 vs. Nissan GT-R Nismo at a southern California stoplight: Zach Doell in BoldRide:
Filmed from behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang, this cameraman captured a striking yellow McLaren P1 open the throttle against a white Nissan GT-R in Southern California. After chatting for a bit, the lights turn from amber to green and both drivers give it the beans, sort of.
The GT-R sprints away into the distance while the P1 – the world’s biggest traffic cop magnet – lets off the juice after a short run. And honestly, we’d probably do the same. There’s no sense in owning a $1.15 million hypercar if you no longer have a license.
File this one under the “I didn’t know that” category. Mike Gikas writing for Consumer Reports:
GPS devices are covered under distracted-driving laws. Whether you’re in compliance depends on how you use them, even how you install them. And failing to follow the rules is not only expensive in terms of tickets, points against your license, and higher insurance premiums, it can also be dangerous.
The key seems to be whether you’re holding a GPS device or not; which includes a smartphone with GPS.
Tero Kuittinen on the coming flood of weird but smart devices:
Semiconductor Industry Association threw a curve ball by announcing that chip sales actually increased by a surprisingly robust 11% in the first half of 2014 compared the same period in 2013. SIA is actually hiking its annual growth estimate to 6.5% from earlier projection of 4.1% growth. How can chip sales growth be accelerating if phone and tablet markets are mediocre?
New ‘smart’ devices.
As cars and medical devices grow smarter and demand more and pricier semiconductor components, some rudimentary intelligence is starting to pop up in a startling range of formerly dumb objects, from lightbulbs to coffee makers.
My favorite is Vessyl, a smart cup that tells you what you’re drinking.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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):
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
A true land yacht.