Archive for July, 2012


This is a tale of hubris run amok.  Apple has lost some of their glamour.

Massive patent lawsuits, manufacturing woes, public image hits, actual customer dissatisfaction and loss of focus have left the giant stumbling.  And now, their advertising is lame.  These commercials are not bad per se, but they lack the focus that creates genuine desire for a product.  They fail on selling the service aspect by depicting the potential customer as idiots.  But you judge.  Let us know what you think in the comments.

The great guys at HISHE have done it again for your laugh out loud fun.  Happy weekend.

The Avengers

Prometheus

Comic-Con

Element 3D not only provides effects, it can animate your objects.  This terrific plug-in is actually a program within a program for After Effects.  It even has its own interface that comes up when activated.  Objects can be completely manipulated, duplicated and animated within the scene.

Techsnoop puts this in the top 10 must-have designer tools.

What is Element 3D?  It is an unbelieveable plug in from Video Co pilot that allows you to easily manipulate 3D objects, text or particles in After Effects.  It also renders simple objects super fast with its own built in rendering engine.  Take a look and shake up your piggy bank, you’re going to want this.

Where’s my Coke, I’m going to be up a few days learning this.

ImageWell it’s Monday and time to open the Coke or pop the coffee.  Productivity is the game plan and Video Co-Pilot brings us yet another must-have plug-in to smooth and speed up workflow in After Effects.  Below are examples of what you can do with particles and text with this awesome plug-in.

The text manipulation would be great for creating title sequences or opening pages for websites.  Enjoy.

There is no argument that Adobe stepped up their game with CS6 release of design tools.  InDesign, in particular has received some great updates and tweaks.  With Liquid Layout, you can quickly change the size of a current design to fit a new device or layout type.

Adaptive Design helps you link content and create alternate layouts from the start of a design.  It allows the designer to adapt for any contingency up front and save design time later.  Both of these tools can save pain and time when working to meet publishing deadlines in the graphic design world.  And working quickly and painlessly is one of Techsnoop’s favorite things.

Grab a Coke or coffee cup and take a quick look.

Here is a great way to create a 3D space background in Adobe After Effects.  Backgrounds are the glue that holds scenes together when creating videos and effects.  If your background is fantastic, your entire project looks better.

Happy Wednesday

InDesign is a great tool for Graphic Designers, making it possible to create great projects for digital and print projects.  Adobe has spiced up the latest version of Creative Suite software with great new features.

Now with InDesign you can create PDF forms without switching to Acrobat.  Your form fields are created directly in InDesign and exported to a usable PDF form.  Additionally there is a new Content Collector feature that allows you to quickly reuse all the content in an InDesign document on other pages or in completely different documents.  The content can be linked or not to automatically update when the original is changed or keep original formatting.  You can even create groupings of content that can be reused together as a group.

Grab a cup of coffee or Coke and take a look.

Don’t just veg out on Saturday, learn something new!  Techsnoop has gathered some awesome tutorials to help you keep your design skills on the cutting edge.  Make a digital comic, or try out Adobe Creative Suite 6 with new javascript integration in Dreamweaver or make mobile designs or mobile apps.  CS6 has a host of powerful features designed to serve up mobile content.  And, in a nod to mobile platforms that are not Flash-friendly, Flash can now output to HTML animation instead of SWF.

So get your favorite energy boost (yay Coke!) and learn something new to wow your friends and co-workers with next week.

Ever wonder why ads you see while browsing the web are for items you recently looked at?  Ever had an account hijacked by spammers?  Does fear of identity theft prevent you from using the web’s most powerful features or getting bargains online?  Techsnoop is here to help with a little education and ammunition.

Computers are tracked by IP (internet protocol) addresses which are generated by your computer or assigned by you internet provider (ISP).  This address can give general location information and more specific browsing history to those with access.  Who has access?  Your ISP, the government, marketers and even hackers.

Unless you take specific steps to block tracking, assume everything you do and say online is public.  Yes, Facebook, Twitter, Google and other sites have privacy policies but these policies do not protect you from marketing and tracking companies who profit from your browsing activity statistics or from hackers.

Using strong passwords, a great firewall and antivirus and regularly changing passwords is a great way to block hackers.  But what about marketing and tracking companies?  Blocking this activity will require additional steps to secure your privacy.

Turn off cookies in your computer to keep sites from tracking you.  This step also clears out any “keep me logged in” sites as they use cookies to do this.  Set your browser to clear your history on shutting down your computer.  Again, this has drawbacks if you visit the same sites daily.  Also turn off auto-complete for logging in on sites, especially if you are using a shared or public computer.  All settings are in your browser settings or options.

Use a proxy server service which routes your browsing through anonymous servers so activity cannot be traced to your computer.  Proxy.org has a list of good ones or use a VPN (virtual private network) like Hotspot Shield which comes in a free or paid version.  Or use a browser plugin like Do Not Track.  which is compatible with all major browsers and notifies you if a site is trying to track you.  The option to allow becomes yours, giving you more complete control.

If you frequently surf on computers that are shared or public or use public Wi-Fi, you may want to use a software that is kept on a USB drive.  This means it is portable and can be used anywhere.

SurfEasy is a tiny flash drive for your USB port that plugs into your computer and launches a browser.  It is password protected and already configured for privacy.  A great option for the tech-impaired.  It costs $59.99 and will mask your IP address and use a proxy network.

If you need a free solution, use Tails, a software you can download on your own flash drive and run on any computer anywhere.

Which ever solution you choose, know your privacy options online to keep your information secure.  Happy Surfing!

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