Archive | March, 2012

Photoshop CS6 Is the Best Version In Recent Memory—and the Beta Is Available Now

22 Mar

Photoshop CS6 Is the Best Version In Recent Memory—and the Beta Is Available Now.

Photoshop CS6 Is the Best Version In Recent Memory—and the Beta IsAvailable Now

I’m in love with Photoshop CS6 after working with the beta for the past few weeks. For the first time in many years, this one is a must-have update.

It will save a lot of time for professionals on the day to day, thanks to new and updated killer features, a new graphic engine, and a new—beautiful—streamlined interface.

Best of all: you can get it yourself, right now. For free.

I’ve used every release of Photoshop since version 3, which was released in 1994 and included layers for the first time. Layers felt like magic to me. Each version after that brought to me some life-changing feature (I remember going—”OHYES!”—with adjustment layers in version 4 or multiple undo—”FUCKYEAH!”—and editable type—”ATBLOODYLAST!”—in version 5).

In recent years, however, new Photoshop versions felt flat and bloated. The new features were “oh, neat, I guess that’d nice—sometime” and “ah, cool, I see myself using this at least once a month.” The last version left me mostly cold, as that 10% of the program that most professionals use to do 90% of their work went unchanged. It just felt like Adobe was just piling features on, trying to appeal to everyone. It seemed as they didn’t worry to make the basics better.

Until CS6.

This new version does exactly that: concentrate on the basics, the 10% that does the 90% of the work.

It has a great streamlined interface that will definitely save time and is pleasant to the eye. Tools as simple as the new crop tool have been greatly improved. They are easier to use, more powerful and smart. The new RAW import module is so incredibly good that I can see photographers reimporting all their RAW backups just to see the amazing results. The blur gallery—for artificial lensing—is great, as is the wide angle adjustments and the selection tools with skin detection features.

And I know this sounds like sacrilege, but for the first time the auto corrections are really, really,really good. So good that I found myself rarely touching levels or curves anymore.

The Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine is just awesome, allowing for real-time effects with any kind of image, small or large. Liquify, Puppet Warp, Crop, and Transform feel like liquid gold.

You can download it right now for free from Adobe and try it yourself. The beta is fully functional and will work until the final release comes out. It also works alongside any version of Photoshop you have installed—it will not delete it.

Stay tuned for the incoming review right here.

Microsoft Aiming for October 2012 Release of Windows 8, Tablets and PCs on Deck — Engadget

20 Mar

Microsoft aiming for October 2012 release of Windows 8, tablets and PCs on deck — Engadget.

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We knew good and well that Microsoft was aiming for a 2012 launch of its latest and greatest operating system, and if sources reporting to Bloomberg are accurate, it looks like we’ll have a date with Mrs. October. Purportedly, work will wrap on Win8 this summer, with PCs and tablets (!) to ship in October carrying the newfangled OS. We’re told that the initial rollout will include devices running Intel and ARM processors, and not surprisingly, this positions Microsoft to make a serious play for holiday dollars. Still wondering if it’s for you? Give the Consumer Preview a run, won’tcha?

PayPal Here Trumps Square’s Tech By Taking Camera Scans of Paper Checks and Cards

15 Mar

This is incredible. Hopefully with cheaper rates, PayPal will give some stiff competition to high-priced Square:

“Besides the card reader, vendors will be able to accept payments by using their phone’s camera to scan cards or checks. PayPal will also allow you to pay for purchases even if you don’t have a card or a check on you. If you’ve got a PayPal account, and the PayPal app on your phone, you can pay anyone with a PayPal Here account using your phone—given the huge number of people with PayPal accounts, this last feature might be the most useful of all.”

 

From a Gizmodo commenter:

the only other redeeming factor is if you use your PayPal debit card [provided for free] you get 1% back on purchases…. so they are saying thats like taking the 2.7% cut that they take down to a low low 1.7%

via PayPal Here Trumps Squares Tech By Taking Paper Checks.

TOSBack | The Terms-Of-Service Tracker

5 Mar

TOSBack | The Terms-Of-Service Tracker.

TOSBack is a brilliant service that allows you to track any changes to over 50 services’ terms of conditions. Terms and conditions you agree to are long and change all the time.

Track them with TOSBack.

AT&T Will Throttle Unlimited Data Plans (a.k.a. I hate you AT&T)

1 Mar

AT&T Will Throttle Unlimited Data Plans.

AT&T Will Throttle Unlimited Data Plans

AT&T on Thursday put limits on its Unlimited Data plans, slowing speeds for 3G and 4G customers who exceed 3 GB in a billing cycle and capping 4G LTE customers at 5 GB.

On a support page explaining the move, the carrier stressed that “you’ll still be able to use as much data as you want. That won’t change.”

Previously, AT&T had only slowed the speeds of customers who were in the top 5% of their respective markets, a practice known as throttling. Despite the changes, AT&T insists that 95% of smartphone users won’t be throttled. The change came about because “customers had told us that more clarity would be helpful,” an AT&T rep says.

Those that are affected will receive a text message explaining that their usage is near 3 GB (or 5GB for LTE users). Exceeding that threshold “will result in reduced data speeds, though you’ll still be able to email and surf the web.”

AT&T isn’t disclosing how fast speeds will run for users who have been throttled.

SEE ALSO: Your Bandwidth Will Be Throttled. Here’s Why.

Citing the strain on its network wrought by data-hungry iPhones, AT&T began throttling data for its top 5% of users last month, a practice also followed by Verizon. (Sprint, meanwhile, throttles just the top 1% of data hogs.)

Predictably, many AT&T customers have been riled by the move, citing the plan’s claim to “unlimited data.”

Though AT&T’s contract forbids such users from joining in a class-action suit, a California man last week successfully sued AT&T in small claims court, receiving a judgment worth $850.

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