Apple’s 1.24.14 video pays homage to the Mac through the iPhone.
Latest comScore numbers show Apple holding tight to the number one position in the U.S. smartphone market.
How many ways can Mac users edit videos? The road less traveled is often less traveled for a reason, but there are more video editing apps than you might think. Apple includes iMovie with every Mac. At the high end there’s Final Cut Pro X and Adobe’s Premiere. In the middle are a number of Mac video editing apps, and I count nearly a dozen on the Mac App Store alone.
If iMovie is too complicated, and the others are too expensive, then try the free Shotcut. You may not think it’s feature rich when compared to iMovie, but Shotcut’s feature list is lengthy and different.
For example, Shotcut not only edits video clips, it’s also a video player that handles network video streams. Almost every kind of video or image format you throw at Shotcut works, and you can even mix and match video resolutions and frame rates in a single project. Look and feel in the user interface is more akin to a Windows video editor which makes sense. Shotcut is cross platform.
You can drag and drop video clips and photos from the file manager. Plugins add extra functionality including color modifications, and Shotcut has plenty of presets for exporting video, and it allows video capture in SDI, HDMI, webcam, PulseAudio, IP streams, and even JACK. Image processing is handled my OpenGL. Filters include a wide range of options from blur to color grading to mirror to saturation and many others.
Shotcut won’t win any awards for ease of use or layout design. It’s bare bones. But many of those bones have functionality you won’t find in iMovie which makes it worth a look. Free is free.
It’s been awhile since Apple launched a new product category killer on the order of iPhone (2007) and iPad (2010). What’s next? Nick Bilton on the iThingamajig.
In March 2012, Mr. Cook said Apple’s pipeline was “full of stuff.” In May 2012, he said “the juices are flowing,” at Apple and “we have some incredible things coming out.” Then in an April 2013 earnings call, Mr. Cook said that there was “the potential of exciting new product categories,” and that “we’ve got a lot more surprises in the works.” Again this week he promised a new product category.
Two years and nothing.
Many Apple Stores have an odd fragrance, most notable when entering the store. What’s causing the body odor-like smell? Rocco Pendola investigated:
You would think if the presence of what even Santa Monica Apple Store employees I spoke with define as B.O. has been a recurring problem elsewhere, management in charge of retail operations would have taken steps to safeguard future stores, particularly the brand’s most important ones. If you can hardly smell cigarette smoke in the best Vegas casinos, you shouldn’t be able to whiff stale sweat inside one of the world’s premier retail outlets.
Yet, the Santa Monica store has a distinct odor, probably not unlike that of the Apple Store in the nearby Ala Moana shopping center which differs from both the Waikiki and Kahala Mall stores within just a few miles.
Hunter Skipworth asks and answers the question in a look at Apple’s new Mac Pro.
Every nook and cranny of the Mac Pro has been sweated over, from the backlit connections on the rear, to the innovative ‘thermal core’ which keeps the computer so cool. Put simply, it is a design marvel.
Look at what you can do with an iPhone.
Just when I thought I’d seen about everything (as Apple says, ‘There’s an app for that.’) along comes a Mac app developer who truly thinks different. The app is called Animix and what it does is different. Think photos with animation.
Photos with animation?
No, it’s not a sequence of still photos from slightly different angles, cobbled together to create an animated scene. Animix actually embeds animated effects into a digital photo. Weather effects, water surface effects, sun and light flare effects, even the effects of camera movement. To get the effects, simply drop a photo onto Animix, and select the effect from the drop down menu. Water surface is a good example.
Each menu option has a variety of parameters; granular controls to adjust the effects. While the total number of effects is limited, how each one can be applied to a photo is near limitless.
Controls for each animation effect are simply to apply and adjust.
Animix provides effects and controls for Water Surface, Clouds, Smoke and Haze, Lens Flare, and one called Touch (basic filters to ‘touch up’ an image).
Some effects may require masking and Animix provides a masking tool with options. One example is adding rain on a photo but not on the person under the umbrella.
The question you probably have foremost in your mind is, ‘What good is an animated still image?‘ If it’s animated it can’t be a still photo and if it’s a still photo it can’t be animated.
So, what’s the point?
Animix also exports animated photos as screensavers and as a QuickTime movie. I have to admit that other than the nominal number of animated effects, I’m impressed with the output. It’s an easy way to create your own screensavers, or commercial screensavers with your photography, with the side benefit of a movie version.
The Animix developer shrewdly provides plenty of examples on the website, plus a detailed user manual, and screencasts of the app in use. There’s also an option to try-before-you-buy (or buy from the Mac App Store) so you can see and use Animix before purchase.
Not everyone needs what Animix does, but what it does is easier and faster than anything I’ve used.
This probably isn’t what you think. Porsche’s first vehicle dates back to 1898 and it was electric. Jacob Kastrenakes:
The first Porsche ever made has been recovered from a shed in Austria where it sat for over 100 years. The vehicle is called the “Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model” — nicknamed the “P1″ for short — and was created by Ferdinand Porsche himself in 1898.
An electric car from 1898?
Porsche says that the vehicle was capable of traveling nearly 50 miles at a time and had a max speed of about 22 miles per hour. The vehicle’s motor weighed 287 pounds and is said to have been able to deliver 3 horsepower during usual performance with bursts of up to 5 horsepower to achieve its maximum speed. The full vehicle weighed nearly 3,000 pounds and relied on over 1,000 pounds of battery.
12 of the environmentally dirtiest vehicles of the year.
The “dirty dozen” vehicles for 2014 all come from domestic and European brands, including the burly Ram 2500 pickup and the Bugatti Veyron super car.
- Ram 2500
- Bugatti Veyron
- Ford E150 Wagon FFV
- Bentley Muisanne
- Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG
- Mercedes-Benz G550
- Ford F-150 Raptor
- Ford Expedition FFV
- Rolls Royce Drophead Coupe
- Rolls Royce Phantom EWB
- Lamborghini Aventador
- Cadillac Escalade
Apple CEO Tim Cook on mobile payments:
The mobile payments area in general is one we’ve been intrigued with. It was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID [...] it’s a big opportunity
Use your iTunes account to buy physical goods? Why not?
Color me slightly amazed at the number of graphics and design applications for the Mac. Despite nominal marketshare, app developers continue to find new and clever ways to add functionality at a low price.
Here’s a look at three useful Mac apps for graphics designers, each a one-trick pony of sorts, each with functions which used to take many steps to accomplish, and each priced less than $3.
First up is Light Up. All it does is highlight part of an image or section of the Mac’s screen while dimming the area around the section. In effect, Light Up lights up any section on the screen.
Light Up lets you create rectangle, rounded, or oval areas on the screen.
Second up is simplyCircled. All it does is create a circle around a letter or number. Select the color of the circle, select the font, and simplyCircled keeps it nice and tidy within the circle.
SimplyCircled has more going on that meets the eye. Each character can be adjusted vertically or horizontally. Use a grid to align characters. Add a border.
Drag or drop a file or folder onto Icon Extractor and it, well, finds and pulls out the official icon from the app.
Three graphic designer apps for your Mac that you’ve probably never used that do what you probably need done, but not too often.
Kerry Acker with the List of the Day:
- Head Cheese – no head
- Pork Butt – it’s not the butt.
- Egg Cream – no egg, nor cream.
- Geoduck – pronounced ‘Goo-ey duck)
- Welsh Rarebit – not a rabbit
- Sweetbreads – not what you think
- Bubble & Sqeak – potatoes and cabbage
- Mountain Oysters/Lamb Fries – testicles all
- Mincemeat – what you think it is
- Spotted Dick – pudding. What’d you think?
I love lists and cars. This one combines both. Erich Schaal:
The auto shows of late 2013 and early 2014 demonstrated that the world’s top automakers are ready to introduce cars that will drive their brands in very different directions. In one case, it means a car brand known for excess will get an electric motor; in another, it involves a famously durable pickup truck getting a new suit of body armor.
- Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Crossover
- 2015 Ford Mustang
- Cadillac ELR
- Honda FCEV
- Kia K900
- Toyota FCV
- 2015 Ford F-150
What a crazy, mixed up list of cars and trucks you can buy and futuristic concept cars.
David Francis on the inevitable. Robot soldiers.
The Pentagon is considering replacing thousands of troops with robots… a DOD official has publicly acknowledged that humans would be replaced with robots on the battlefield.
Why not? Clowns replaced members of Congress years ago.
Unusual for Apple, at least in the Steve Jobs era, to look backwards. This time it’s Apple remembering the Mac’s 30 year history.
Thirty years ago, Apple introduced the Macintosh with the promise to put the creative power of technology in everyone’s hands. It launched a generation of innovators who continue to change the world. This 30‑year timeline celebrates some of those pioneers and the profound impact they’ve made.
My first Mac arrived in late March, 1984. 9-inch display, 128k of RAM, internal Sony floppy disk.
Steven Levy on the Mac’s birth.
The Macintosh was new, but the media would have to be old. There were no tech blogs, no Facebook, no Twitter, and certainly no Mac rumor websites. There were no websites at all. So Jobs had to generate his own campaign to tell the world about the computer that he would announce on January 24, 1984, 30 years ago today.
One of Apple’s early iPhone TV commercials highlighted the App Store’s growing number of apps with ‘There’s an app for that.’ Mac users have their own App Store, and it’s beginning to look as though there’s an app available for almost anything you need to do.
If so, you need a meme generator. Yes, there’s an app for that, too. It’s called Meme Generator. It’s free memes for all.
meme |mēm| noun
an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation.
• a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.
Instead of being creative and making up your own memes that no one will ever read or view, use Meme Generator and save time.
Meme Generator is the easiest way to generate memes in your computer. Download it now and start creating your own memes and sharing them with your friends. The fun never stops! Furthermore, this app is completely free, without any ads and doesn’t add any watermarks to your memes. And you can’t explain that!
So much for the elegant sales pitch from the developer. Meme Generator lets you create memes and attach them to your own photos which can then be shared with friends, family, or whomever you really want to annoy (via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit).
Meme Generator comes with all the bells and whistles. In addition to in-app sharing, Meme Generator also synchronizes your memes and photos between devices using iCloud. Yes, there’s a Meme Generator app for iPhone and iPad, too.
It’s not that Meme Generator does so much that cannot already be done. Well over 90-percent of the ratings on the Mac App Store are four and five stars.
Yeah, I don’t know what that says, either.
I love the looks of the 50′s era Ford pickups, but this F-100 takes the prize for the most expensive. Jeff Glucker:
This truck is a mashup of the classic F-100 goodness and modern Shelby GT500 go-fast parts… The final hammer price was $450,000, with all proceeds set to go to the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.
That explains the price.
David Strege on the strangest fish ever.
A fisherman in waters north of New Zealand came across an odd-looking, translucent sea creature swimming on the surface. Curious, he caught the creature—presumably scooping it up with a net—to get a closer look.
The photos of the fish are remarkable; as if the fish were made of clear jelly or plastic. What is it?
Fortunately, the folks at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, U.K., had an idea, identifying it as a Salpa maggiore (Salpa maxima).
That explains everything.
A salp is barrel-shaped, moves by pumping water through its gelatinous body, and that the life-cycle includes alternate generations of existing as solitary individuals or as a group forming long chains.
More than I probably needed to know. The fisherman took a photo then threw it back in the ocean.
Every now and then I check in to the Mac App Store to see what’s new, what’s updated, and what’s changed. My hope is that Apple has big plans to improve the search filters on the Mac App Store, but as of today there’s not much that’s changed. It’s still difficult to wade through apps to find the best of a particular category or key word search.
As an example, here are the top five free Mac photo apps (as of today) based upon some criteria which Apple doesn’t disclose.
iPhoto: It’s not difficult to see why this is at the top of the list, but it can’t be based upon the ratings. iPhoto is good and there are not many competitors that do as much and that might be the problem. There’s little competition for a free app that is heavy on basic features but hasn’t changed much in years.
Fotor: Why this is free is beyond my ability to understand obscure business plans. Fotor picks up where iPhoto leaves off with more editing tools, filters, and effects that make it an absolute bargain for wannabe photographers on a budget.
Photo Collage: Also free, Photo Collage does what you expect– easy photo collages in free style, grid, or classic, with frames and text. A Pro version adds more collage styles, over 50 collage templates, and over 100 unique greeting card templates.
Duplicate Cleaner: The age of digital photography means each photo is inexpensive to the point of free, which means we have more photos than ever, including plenty of duplicates. Duplicate Cleaner does what it says on the tin. Finds and deletes duplicate photos.
Composure: A relative newcomer to the Mac App Store, the free Composure combines a few photo tricks not found in many other Mac photo apps, including collage, stickers, borders, and backgrounds. It’s different, for sure, and you can’t beat the price tag.
The Mac App Store has many other worthy free photo enhancement and photo management apps, many one-trick pony utilities which do just one or two functions not easily done in more expensive apps.
What’s disappointing is the search capability of the Mac App Store itself. Categories still do not let you search for apps based upon ratings or number of downloads, a key shortcoming. Many apps which appear to have no ratings when listed as part of a search, actually may not have a rating for the most recent version, but plenty of ratings for previous versions. Apple doesn’t make it easy for Mac App Store customers to find the best apps, and maybe that’s the point. To Apple it may be that it’s best to have many apps in the Store, rather than fewer apps that are better quality.