Browsing articles from "March, 2009"

The new iPod shuffle

Mar 24, 2009
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Apple have released a third generation iPod shuffle. Naturally this ipod is smaller than the last and adds some innovative touches. Storage has been upgraded to 4GB.

The shuffle itself has no buttons at all with only a switch to turn it on or off. The controls have been moved to a controller integrated with the headphones that allows volume adjustment and track skipping. This means that any existing headphones will not work with the shuffle, headphone manufactures are likely to release compatible headphones if the standard Apple supplied headphones are not to your liking.

A new VoiceOver feature can tell you what song is playing and allows you to navigate between multiple playlists. This is the first time that multiple playlists are supported with a shuffle.

The shape of the shuffle returns to a stick shape and does away with the dock, the shuffle can connect to your computer via a rather short USB to 35mm cable that connects directly to the shuffles headphone jack. At this time the shuffle is available in black and silver only.

More information here.



iPhone 3.0 Software Update Coming

Mar 20, 2009
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Apple has announced some features of the next iPhone software update. Some of the obvious features that have been lacking from the iPhone that have been the source of many complaints will be addressed with this update.

A beta of the update has been released to developers, with the final version released to the public (hopefully) in the near future.

Features include;

Copy and Paste
MMS messaging
Spotlight and Mail searching
Landscape mode used in more places, such as Mail
Note Syncing
Bluetooth stereo support (For wireless headphones and speakers)
Voice Memo

Features that developers can take advantage of to incorporate into their applications include;

Internet Tethering (Connect your computer to the internet via your iPhone)
Turn by turn GPS navigation
Push notifications
Peer to peer network support

Quick Tip: Content-Aware Scaling in Photoshop CS4

Mar 10, 2009
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The early adopters are already into Adobe CS4 and seeing the benefits of the new features.

One of the hottest features is Content Aware Scaling which can potentially reduce the time it takes to “extend that background” by 10x.

When you choose Content Aware Scaling from the Edit Menu, the toolbar at the top of the screen displays the options you have which affect the behaviour of the scaling. The “Protect:” menu lets you choose an Alpha channel you may have created around content you DON’T wish to scale. This doesn’t need to be an accurate channel either – just close enough to indicate to Photoshop the protected area.

The next icon to the right is a person icon. If you click this icon then the Content Aware Scaler will try NOT to scale any skin tones. This may be a quick and easy way to extend a background which has a person (or people) in the shot.

For the best results we recommend the use of an Alpha channel to show Photoshop what you DON’T want to scale. This is one of those times where using the lasso tool is precise enough to make a selection.

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Happy “Content Aware” scaling!

Acrobat 9 Checking Tools

Mar 3, 2009
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Did you know Acrobat Pro 9 has a number of “prepress” tools built in allowing you to check PDFs for RGB images, CMYK black text and more?

If you have your PDF open in Acrobat Pro 9, go to the Advanced Menu and choose the Print Production sub-menu. In there you will notice a whole host of tools. The most interesting for checking purposes are the Output Preview and Convert Colours items. Output Preview allows you to “show” any items which fit a criteria such as “All RGB”. This will tell Acrobat to only show the items which are RGB.

Once you have these, you can choose Convert Colours and take these RGB items through to CMYK using any profiles installed on your system. If you would rather have Acrobat check and fix any issues for you, choose the Preflight option, select a profile for which you would like the PDF to measure up to and click Analyse and Fix to have Acrobat resolve any print issues for you. While not perfect, Adobe claim it is an improvement over Acrobat 8.