Why Nick is Wrong – TechFan Podcast #124

On June 29, 2013, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

tf124
Tim Robertson and David Cohen talk language, iTunes U, the new AppMinute, independent apps, modding, in-app purchase, Steam, Parenting, iTunes Radio, Nick Rodriguez, and more.

Links:
AppMinute

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Portrait+ for Mac – Review

On June 27, 2013, in Macintosh, Photography, Review, by Curt Blanchard

Portrait+ for Mac
Developer: ArcSoft
MSRP (download): $161.99
Portrait+

Facial enhancement on photographic portraits is a process that requires skill, experience, and patience. Removing a blemish is relatively easy, but getting skin smoothing and shine removal done well is more difficult. One-click facial enhancement with Portrait+ is instant and the results are often startlingly effective.

TCcrop1

Before and After.

Portrait+ includes 19 preset Style fixes and 8 preset Makeup settings; all are one-click fixes. For more granularity, there is a DIY panel with 8 adjustment sliders for additional fine grain tweaking—Soften Skin, Remove Shine, Brighten Eyes, Remove Circles, Whiten Teeth, Enlarge Eyes, Deepen Smile, and Slim Face. The latter three are dimensional distortions that reshape facial features. They need to be used with restraint.

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The one without the big Guy – MyMac Podcast #463

On June 24, 2013, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

MyMac463
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Guy is away and Gaz chats to Will Green from the British Mac about all sorts of Mac and of course non Mac related items. Do you know why its best not to eat reheated rice, no, no neither do we. We chat about why Apple should create products that are simplistic in their use, the Mac Pro (well briefly) and all the usual mad capped stuff.

Links:
What we didn’t see at WWDC
Are we back in love with Apple now?

Gaz’s App Pick: Less an app more a Mac App company
Will’s Picks: Mac – IOS
People’s Pick: Prismadrop.

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Flame Painter – Review

On June 24, 2013, in Apps, Review, by Donny Yankellow

Flame Painter
Company: Escape Motions
Price: $29.99 personal $59.99 pro
Available in the Mac App Store

icon

When I first saw Flame Painter by Escape Motions I didn’t know what to make of it. Is it a paint program? Is it an effects program? Well, after playing with it for several weeks I’m leaning towards more of an effects program, although there are some fantastic examples of it as a paint program on the company website.

In simple terms Flame Painter lets you paint with different types of brushes on a blank canvas or a pre made image or photo. The brushes are not you ordinary brushes. They are flames, or ribbons, or strokes of color. The company calls them Flame Brushes and Flame Painter has a bunch of pre made flame brushes ready to go. There are also customizable settings to make the brush exactly how you want it. These brushes range in all different styles and colors. You can also use each brush in three different modes. It can be used in flame mode, follow mode (more like a traditional brush), and ribbon mode.

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Fired Up – TechFan Podcast #123

On June 22, 2013, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

tf123
Tim gets fired up about the XBOX 180. David gets his hands on a Windows 8 tablet after a horror story about Dell. Tim picks up a new Pioneer car stereo, Downcast is discussed, new shows in the Stoplight Network, iOS 7 and hands on experience, and how Staples ripped off some friends of Tim’s and how he made it right.

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Subscribe in iTunes
Links:
Stoplight Network
Downcast

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You’ve been Sherlocked by Mavericks – MyMac Podcast #262

On June 19, 2013, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

mymac462
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OK despite the best of intentions this is another long show. However we don’t think you’ll be bored because Gaz and Guy spend a lot of time discussing really cool stuff and, well make jokes at each other’s expense. So yeah same stuff, just longer. They talk a bit about WWDC (TF) and how well they did (amazingly so) on their predictions. Also, what some of their favorite apps and utilities are going to do now that a good deal of their functionality is being built into OS X.

Links:
Guy’s App PickMotion Composer by AquaFadas $149. Not cheap but amazing software for creating html5 and flash content for the web
Gaz’s App PickIcon Pop Quiz it does exactly what it says on the tin
People’s PickMaxam Dual drive docking station.

Take Control of Dropbox – Book Review

On June 19, 2013, in Book Review, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Take Control of Dropbox
Author: Joe Kissell
Publisher: TidBITS Publishing, Inc.
Price: $10.00
82 pages, ebook
ISBN: 9781615424214

TCo-Dropbox-160x136

Dropbox is the ubiquitous application that allows users to sync and share their files, and access them from computers, smart phones, and tablets. If you’re reading this review you probably are already a Dropbox user. Are you using Dropbox to its fullest potential? Do you have a hard time trying to explain the Dropbox concept to potential new users? Are you still a little confused about how Dropbox works? Answers to all those questions, and more, can be found in Joe Kissell’s new Ebook, Take Control of Dropbox.

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High Power 600mW Compact WI-Fi Range Extender (Model Rec 10)
Amped Wireless
Price $79.99

The Amped Wireless Rec 10 Wi-Fi range extender overcomes the problem of dead spots (and lost connections) within a 6,500 square foot area, or for a linear distance of 75 feet. Amped Wireless also sells more powerful Wi-Fi extenders that can cover up to 10,000 square feet, that are useful for small businesses or people living in modest sized castles.

Rec 10 Negri

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Instagrammification – but is it Art?

On June 17, 2013, in Opinion, by Curt Blanchard

blanchart
Opinion by Curt Blanchard

I’m increasingly uneasy about a growing trend in filtered photographs. No, I’m not a Luddite, I’m a digital designer with a BFA in Illustration who is now much more comfortable working on my Mac than at a drawing board.

There is a blurry line that separates using your eye, mind, and creative skills to make a good photograph from merely clicking a button to drop a filter over a cameraphone photo. A slope has started to slip making it possible for casual smartphone users to take a photo, any ol’ photo, and saturate it, age it, convert it to black and white, or otherwise distort it and then post it online feeling hip.

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Take Control of iTunes 11 the FAQ
Company: Take Control
Author: Kirk McElhearn
Format: PDF
Price: $15.00

BirdPhotoiTunes11FAQ

 

Having reviewed Take Control of Messages previously I was very interested to see what Take Control of iTunes 11 the FAQ has to offer. Take Control of iTunes 11 the FAQ starts with the introduction explaining the origins of iTunes. For readers who want to just use it without knowing all the ins and outs there’s a Quick Start section. Like all Take Control books you can get updates through the Take Control website.

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Newer Technology miniStack Max – Review

On June 14, 2013, in Features, Review, by Asher Weisberger

ministack
Newer Technology miniStack Max
Company: Other World Computing
Price: $319.19

There are many types of products on the market that help you cope with your storage, DVD/CD playback, or connection needs. You can easily go to a local store and pick up a few pieces of hardware like a Blu-ray player so you can view movies ,or a hard drive to store extra files of backups, or possibly a USB hub so you can meet your demand of USB connections.

Or instead you could use a product called the miniStack Max. The miniStack Max packs a whopping amount of hardware in a sleek aluminum body. You have many options when purchasing a miniStack Max. In total, 20 options. There are four different kits; within the first three kits there are six different storage size options from zero GB all the way to 4.0 TB.

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TechFan #122 – Mavericks

On June 14, 2013, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

tf122
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Tim Robertson, David Cohen, and Owen Rubin discuss WWDC 2013, including Mac OS X Mavericks, iOS 7, the new MacBook Air’s, and of course the new Mac Pro. Also on tap is a look at the Epson XP-600, Mail problems on the Mac, and how much they hate printing technology.

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WWDCTF? – MyMac Podcast #461

On June 11, 2013, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

mymac461
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Well WWDC is almost upon us and the internets is exploding with thoughts and ideas why someone OTHER than Apple’s executives should be creating new stuff. Naturally about the same number as Ivory Soap’s purity (99.9%) will be wrong. Guy and Gaz would like to add to that number by talking about what they think will happen and the BEST part is you’ll know immediately just how wrong they were since this comes out after the WWDC Keynote. YAY! Also, hope you got some extra time, this is a loooong show.

Links:
Guy’s App Pick: Video Editor Pro from DFAV Team. $29.99 at the Mac App Store.
Gaz’s App Pick: Time-Lapse will turn a sequence of images into a QuickTime movie.
People’s Pick: Paloma. For DVD Ripping, I always use AppGeeker. It is easy to use.

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Quirky Crossover iPhone 5 Case
Quirky
$34.95

The Quirky Crossover iPhone case has two silicone straps that cross over in the back of the phone. The silicone straps, 12mm diagonal length, intersect to protect the back and bumper areas.

CROSSOVER_3

As a rabid fan of wallet cases, I was delighted to review the Quirky Crossover iPhone 5 case.  The case protects the iPhone and allows a few credit or business cards to be stored under the intersecting straps. Quirky offers 12 colors, allowing the buyer to select the color combination for the two straps. The gray and orange straps of my review case were a lovely choice. The top strap has a hole for the camera lens. The bottom strap has a hole for the power button at the top and earbud at the bottom.

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Thanks, XBOX!! – TechFan Podcast #121

On June 7, 2013, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

tf121
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Perhaps the Wii U, which has had very disappointing sales so far, has a chance. After all, Microsoft just released more information on the XBOX One, and they seem to be in the business of screwing over customers. Plus, Black Sabbath! Wait…

David and Tim’s new favorite video

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Thule Perspektiv Messenger Camera Bag
Thule
Price: $139.95

THULE PHOTO 1 NEGRI

The Thule Perspektiv Messenger Bag is a tote suitable for your daily commute or a weekend overnighter. Persketiv becomes more than a mere tote or duffle when you unzip its cover and realize there’s a well-padded removable compartment inside that can accommodate a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera with a 70-200mm lens and battery grip attached. In addition, there’s a separate padded compartment for a 15-inch MacBook Pro, as well as an abundance of small zippered compartments suitable for SD cards, extra batteries, filters, and other small objects.

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Voila Screen Capture Suite – Review

On June 5, 2013, in Apps, Mac OS X, Review, by David Cohen

Voila Screen Capture Suite — Review
Company: Global Delight
Price: $29.99 (either from developer web site or the Mac App Store)

Does anyone remember Skitch? Developed by Plasq, it was a light, simple app that allowed you to quickly take screenshots on the Mac and then annotate them easily with text, callouts and graphics.
Skitch was acquired by Evernote a couple of years ago, and as it has become more deeply integrated with their platform it has refocussed on document annotation and as such has lost a lot of its charm. However, Voila from Global Delight boldly takes up that mantle and aims to deliver a complete toolset for any Mac user needing to work with screen captures.

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Podcasting Patent Trolls – MyMac Podcast #460

On June 4, 2013, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

mymac460
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Guy kinda likes Clams and Gaz is on the Go this week as they get down and dirty with the scourge of innovation everywhere (at least in the USA), the patent troll. Like heffalumps and woozals they shouldn’t exist but they do. If you would like to help those that CAN do something about it, please make a donation to the Electronic Frontier Foundationhttp://www.eff.org

Links:
Guy’s App Pick: Goldfish by Fishbeam Software $59.99 and $109.99 at the Mac App Store
Gaz’s App Pick: Timelapse Helper
People’s Pick: John Nemo iPhoto iOS app on the iPad, gen 2 and later. Terrific built-in effects, plus localized enhancements using custom brush edits. Best $5 you’ll spend all year.

Tropiformer Jacket and Vest
Scottevest
Price: $150

Blue-Tropiformer

This versatile multipurpose jacket and vest from Scottevest is one of the superior tech and travel garments ever. The $150 you spend on a Tropiformer will be the best purchase you make for years to come, due to the lightweight fabric, removable sleeves and hood, and a zillion pockets. Fit, feel, and finish are first-rate.

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Distant Suns (max) – IOS App Review

On June 3, 2013, in Features, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Review, by David M. Acklam

Distant Suns (max)
App Developer: First Light Design
Version 3.4.3
License: US $8.99 Compatible with iPhone (optimized for iPhone 5), iPod touch, and iPad. Requires IOS 5.0 or later.

Title 1

 

As an amateur astronomer and a volunteer telescope operator at the Flandrau Science Center observatory, I enjoy sharing the night sky with the public. My primary objective, when inviting the public to look through the telescope, is to encourage them to enjoy viewing the heavens and to ask questions. I recognize that not everyone wants to be an astronomer and I certainly understand the magnitude of what is required to pursue a career in this profession. Today, the “buzz word” in education outreach is STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Certainly STEM applies to the curriculum associated with earning the required credentials to be a professional astronomer.

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