Adobe Creative Cloud – What Are You Doing With It?

It’s been about a month since Adobe released Creative Cloud, and CS6.  I’m just curious how many of you have upgraded to the new version of Creative Suite, or if you went for the subscription.  If you have subscribed to the Cloud service, and now have access to applications that you hadn’t used before what are you working on, or looking forward to working on?

I am most looking forward to tinkering around in the video creation apps to curate my photo collections for posting on the web.  I also have an interest in trying out Edge, and Muse for their web creation tools.    I generally use Dreamweaver, and code by hand in php, HTML, and Javascript.  Muse looks like it may be a good site planning tool, although I am not sure about the code output.

As always I’ll be using Photoshop, and Lightroom for my photography.  You can read about my endeavors in that area over at Zenphotoshop.

Feel free to comment below.  I’m interested in what you’re up to.

How to delete your Instagram account

If you are concerned about what is going to happen to your data and photos on Instagram now that Facebook has scooped them up there is a way you can delete your account.  I personally haven’t had any issues with privacy because I have always been sure to go into the settings, and verify my visibility.  If you have your doubts, and wanted to delete your Instagram presence you can do so according to this help page on Instagram.    Per Instagram you can permanently delete your account so that it is irrecoverable.

Trojans and viruses on the rise for Mac users

Do you run anti-virus (AV) or a third party firewall?

I was a Windows user for years, and was accustomed to running something in the background to protect against trojans, viruses, and more recently infected websites.  I always heard from my Mac friends that they didn’t need to worry about that since there were no viruses for the Mac.    Any system can be hacked.  The fact the Mac held such a small portion of the market probably conferred some of the “protection”, but I think that will be changing.  I know several people including myself that have purchased a Mac in the last year.   I also think iPads, and iPhones are also helping to drive sales.  It’s only a matter of time before we get our first OS X botnet.

The party is over.  Get yourself some AV, and maybe even a firewall or something that monitors your web surfing.   And lest ye forget to make sure all your apps are patched, and updated.  On the windows side Acrobat, Word, and Excel among others have had severe vulnerabilities that could allow someone to remotely control your system.

Be smart :

  • Make sure your OS and apps are updated to the newest patches
  • Run antivirus
  • Make sure you have a firewall installed
  • Don’t visit risky websites.  These could be anywhere but I especially am cautious of any URL ending in .ru, or cn.
  • Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know, or if you think it is out of character for them to be sending you.
  • Scan your downloads
  • Beware of phishing scams – an email from a Nigerian Banker needing your help, or even a woman who is in some third world country buying antiques, but lost her passport.  Ignore any request to get your account info or passwords, or anything personal.
  • Also beware of social engineering.  I recently had a bank call me about an account I held.  They wanted to sign me up for a debit card, and only needed my license number.  Gee that’s all?  Nobody should be requesting info from you in an email or over the phone.

Instagram on Android Finally

Finally Instagram was released for Android users.  I was excited to see what the excitement surrounding this app was all about.  It was only available for the iPhone until today, and I don’t have an iPhone.  I was a little dismayed when I went to Google Play on my Samsung Galaxy S2, and was unable to find the app in the store.    I was also unable to search for Instagram using my web browser on my computer.  I had to find it  via a link from an announcement I had read online.  I am guessing that Play hasn’t had a chance to fully update their listings?  It just seems odd that I was unable to navigate directly to the app.  In addition the only way I had to install the app was to select install in my desktop web browser,  and have the app pushed out to my phone.

You can find the App on Google Play via this link.

Let me know your experiences.


All Your Entertainment in the Cloud

I read recently that researchers are stating that a billion more movies will be streamed this year than watched on physical media.  That’s quite a number.  I wonder how they actually determine that?

Back to the point of watching movies without physical media.  I love this idea, and have been waiting for it for years.  Now I can finally stop buying discs, books, and magazines that require storage, and dusting.  Plus with all things digital I can have my entire library either with me, or available in the cloud.  Initially I was hesitant to the notion of my books, music, and movies existing only on a hard drive somewhere.  My argument was that instead of owning a copy of the work I would merely own a license to use that work.  Is that really a big deal?  Once you read a book how likely are you to go back, and read it again?  I know some books are classics that allow for a re-read, but for most new titles I am making a wild guess that once you finish it you won’t be back for seconds.  As for magazines I have always treated them as something that I read when I had free time. Unless they were news based there was no reason to break my neck trying to keep up as illustrated by the amount of back reading I have stored on my tablet right now  The beauty of this is that I don’t have them cluttering up my office, or living room.  I can take them with me wherever I go, and as an added plus they allow for light traveling.

I feel the same way about digital music.  In my youth I can recall buying a vinyl album, and reading the liner notes which gave way to reading the CD booklet.  Now I am lucky if I actually know the titles of the songs on a disc.  That doesn’t diminish the greatness of a song to my ears.  The added bonus of being able to store it on my device, and in the cloud just improves on the situation.  How many of us have been a victim of some household catastrophe in which your entire collection of books, and albums were destroyed by fire.  In the age of the cloud that is less likely to happen.

The only thing I have yet to figure out is a good cloud/backup strategy for personal photos.  I take several hundred gigabytes of images every year.  To store that in the cloud is next to impossible because many internet service providers have bandwidth limits for their customers.  My cap is set for 250GB/month.  It would take me several months to upload all of that without busting my cap.  My search continues for a viable solution.

The Rumor Mill – My Thoughts on the PS4, Apple Television, and smaller iPads.

Apple Television Rumors

If you didn’t follow the blogosphere last week you missed some rumors about forthcoming products.

Sony PS4

Some details about this leaked out last week.  Of course we haven’t seen anything at any of the trade shows yet so I give this stuff little credence, and deem it as vaporware until I see something official.  The detail that has most people barking is that the putative PS4 is a potential used game market killer.  The reports claim that the PS4 will lock games to a users PSN account.  When someone else tries to install the same copy of the game to another PS4 they will be forced to pay a fee.  So no more cheap after market games.  If this is true it makes one wonder how the Game Stop, and Game Fly’s of the world will fare.

Apple television

There have been rumors of an Apple television for a few years now, and Steve Jobs always insisted that they weren’t going there.  Now it seems they are headed there.  If they indeed do end up making a TV I suspect it is going to be much more than a TV.  It’s going to have to be revolutionary because TV sales are flat right now.  Just a few months ago I remember seeing bargain basement prices at Best Buy because they were trying to burn off all their inventory of those 3D sets that never sold.  If Apple is going to spend a lot of money on development of a TV it’s going to be something killer or else.

HD sets gave way to 3D which gave way to smart TV.  Regarding the smart portion of the sets I think that is going the way of set top boxes like the Roku, Apple TV, and to a lesser degree the Boxee Box, and Google TV..and maybe even the Xbox which released the Comcast app last week.  Sony has a few services offered on its PS3.  I think the TV is immaterial.  People want a nice display, but will continue to use these third party devices to play the role of portal.  If Apple expects people to buy their TV in droves for prices that Apple can command it is going to have to be something amazing.  I’m not sure what they can offer.  After all it’s a TV.

The only thing I can think is that it will act as the center of the iMac, iPad, Apple TV experience with an iTunes subscription service on board.  Honestly what would drive sales of the Apple television would be apps or exclusive access to a streaming service that you can only get via an Apple set.  Perhaps it is something that would compete head to head with Netflix?  The driving force here is going to have be apps or exclusivity.  After all that is part of what makes the iOS experience so much fun.  The apps with perfect presentation,and execution that you can only get on one set of devices.

Apple 5” Retina Device for 2013 from reliable Chinese sources, and Samsung execs.

I wonder how much traction this type of device would get considering that over 3 million people shelled out money for the new iPad already.  Unless they are shooting for some new niche market, or something in the enterprise I think they will only be competing with themselves.  Samsung has the Galaxy Note 5″ that they are getting good reviews for.  As far as I am concerned 5″ is too big for a phone.   I use a Samsung Galaxy S2 which has a 4.5″ screen.  It was an upgrade from an HTC EVO sporting a  4.3″ screen which was big enough for me to read, and small enough for me to control the device one handed.  On the go we want a single handed device.  With so many already owning a tablet, and possibly a large cell phone once again I don’t see this taking off.  Then again it is Apple.  Cult of Mac reported on it last week.

Apple 7.85” iPad for a sub $300 market

This could make things interesting.  They would directly compete against the Kindle Fire, and Nook Tablet.  The killer app here would be the fact that you could access iBooks, Nook, and Kindle plus Zinio, and other e-magazine providers all on one device along with having the refinement of iOS versus the one size fits one of Nook’s, and Fire’s skins.  I hate to say it, but this may be the eReader you get your mom.   Just keep in mind you’ll have to set aside some time for FaceTime with her.  I guess the big question is are you willing to go $50-100 more to get the Apple experience.  Apple Insider reported on last week.

That’s about it for now.  With a new week beginning we begin the next rumor cycle.

iPad Battery Charging Claims

After catching up on some reading today I dug into some articles about an issue I heard about over the weekend.  It was reported that the iPad battery was overcharging, and possibly damaging itself.    In short the circuitry in the iPad protects that from happening.  It reports 100% charge when it gets near capacity, and then goes to a trickle charge state according to an article I read on TUAW

Excerpt below.

Where Dr. Soneira’s analysis and CNBC’s reporting on the issue both go off the rails is when they both say that the iPad is actually overcharging its own battery and thereby causing damage to it. CNBC’s analogy is that a battery is like a glass of fruit juice: it’s meant to be filled to below the “rim,” and if you overfill the glass the juice can spill out. This is an insipid analogy that demonstrates ignorance of how lithium battery technology has worked since… oh, the mid-1990s or so.

Like all modern computers, the iPad’s charging circuitry automatically stops charging the battery and puts it on a trickle charge once it reaches 100 percent of its capacity.

They also offer some suggestions to maximize battery life whether you use it regularly or infrequently.

In my opinion if there is any new iPad battery damage I am sure that Apple will own up to it, and offer a solution whether it is repair or a swap out replacement.  I’m not worried, but will continue to follow the issue.

Does Your New iPad Get Hot? No Biggie.

There have been numerous reports over the past week that the iPad gets too warm.  Consumer Reports got a slap down last week after they sensationalized the issue.  I hate to even call it an issue…..but….it does get very warm….or at least warmer than I expected.     I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 that I don’t think left my side for the past 10 months.  It never even got remotely warm.  Then again I don’t think it had even had half the demands I put on the ipad.

I fall asleep a lot while reading in bed, and wake up hours later to a very warm, and awake iPad.  The eBook app I was using must prevent the iPad from going to sleep.  When I wake up it is generally very warm across the entire device, and the screen as well;  Not just the area where the A5X chip resides.

I also noticed that it gets very warm when I was do my best Eddie Van Halen impression using the smart guitars in Garage Band after lengthy use.  I figure it is from the speeding cacophony of my playing.  In my experiences so far it hasn’t prevented me from using the device.  Considering the processing behind it’s performance, and pixel driving GPU I am not surprised it gets warm.  I would say it is not as bad as a laptop, and for general on and off use through out the day is a non-issue.

C-net ran some tests and concluded that the heat is not an issue

Apple also contacted the Loop and made a statement to that effect as well.  An excerpt is below.

“The new iPad delivers a stunning Retina display, A5X chip, support for 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life, all while operating well within our thermal specifications,” Apple representative Trudy Muller, told The Loop. “If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare.”

Do you speak digital?