Tech News

consumer electronics show convention season

Savvy, Savvy Tech News ON The Savviest Consumer Electronics Show

Las Vegas! Hot as blazes (by American standards), seedy and cheesy, and crazy hyped all the time, but when the consumer electronics show convention season starts up it’s like they’re the top spot for geeks and electronic nerds. Might as well browse the list of things to look forward to at this year’s CES and get a lead on the next buzz early, because you’ll be hearing about at least some of it soon enough.

Our bets on what will pan out:

  • Ultrabooks – Hot! They’re just the next generation of laptops, after all.
  • Windows 8 – Let’s see, is Windows still relevant? Yeah, for a while. Hot!
  • 4K TV – Snoo-o-o-ore! Look, bigger, bustier TVs are just for rich wanks to show off. Nobody else really cares. We still like our black-and-white model with the knobs and rabbit-ears we got in 1955. Buying a $4000 unit doesn’t make the shows any better.
  • 3D – Snore. 3D just isn’t here yet. It’s like the flying car from Blade Runner.
  • Ice Cream Sandwich – Hot! Brilliant name, that.
  • Digital cameras – Ah, yeah, they’re very nice. Sorta hot, but where else can it go now?
  • Video content – Hot, but we agree that industry needs to get off the fence and make it more available. Naive international content barriers don’t help.

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Internet Usage

Your Wealth Affects Your Internet Usage

A stunning new report from Fast Company asks Why Are the Rich So Good at the Internet? It kind of seems obvious at first, but even within the tiers of people well-able to afford technology, there’s a difference in how much you use the Internet depending on your income.

The report is fascinating, and puzzling. But we think we can make some guesses as to what’s going on (take these with a grain of salt; they’re just theories):

  • The rich have more leisure time, so more time to play online.
  • The rich got that way through being thrifty, so they’re keener to use online shopping to find a bargain.
  • The rich have higher-tech jobs, so they’re naturally more Internet-savvy.
  • The rich are better educated, so they know more about what computers can do.
  • The rich have been able to afford computers for a longer time and so are more experienced. This is a little Easter egg – a $40,000/year and $80,000/year salary can afford the same computer – in 2010. In 1990, computers were much more expensive compared to the cost-of-living then, so only the richer household could have afforded them then. The poorer users have to catch up in learning.

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An enhancement for UIAlertView

I like objective-c protocols, and I am a fan of the interface oriented designs that it allows for. But, sometimes the indirection of using a selector with a defined signature just works better, and the problem is that UIAlertView does not take a selector. Instead, UIAlertView defines a protocol, UIAlertViewDelegate, that the alert’s delegate adopts to receive notification of the user intent. To be fair, UIAlertView communicates a bit more information back to it’s delegate than the target of an NSAlert, and the UIAlertViewDelegate protocol does a fine job achieving that goal. 99% of the time, however, I want to show an alert and have it call my named selector when it is done. To that end, I finally busted out the admittedly tiny class that does the job.

Now in my client code I show an alert like this:

RSAlert* alert = [[RSAlert alloc] initWithTitle: @“Title” message: @“Message!” target: self selector: @selector(dismissedAlert:buttonIndex:) cancelButtonTitle: @“OK” otherButtonTitles: nil];


and handle the result with a selector, similar to NSAlert:

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WWDC 2006 Decompression

Fellow sheep Matt Joss and I spent the last week at Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC. This year’s conference came with a preview of the next version of the Macintosh operating system, Mac OS X 10.5, code named Leopard. Although we can only publicly discuss what was revealed in the keynote speech, let me assure you there are many exciting things under the hood that look to make Leopard interesting. I am personally really excited by the new CoreAnimation framework and advances in CoreImage and other graphics technologies in Leopard. Updates to the development tools like Xcode 3.0 and technologies like iChat Theatre and Time Machine are also tantalizing to the extreme. I can’t wait to spend some quality time with our preview seed.

While I hope to be able to write some more in-depth analysis of the publicly revealed goodies in 10.5, I’ll leave my one observation for now centered around speculation of what was not revealed. If you watched the keynote you probably noticed that iChat and other applications that were brushed metal in 10.4 are now sporting something closer to the unified toolbar look found on applications like Mail in Tiger. I predict that Leopard will see the (long anticipated by many) death of brushed metal. If you couple this detail with the observation of what appeared to be a metal-skinned finder in the public demos, I think its not to much of a stretch to imagine that the infamous and much maligned Finder will see some changes for the final release of 10.5. Dare we dream of improved UI consistency and a better Finder all in one release? Perhaps a future sans beach-balling network shares with one UI to bind them all is more than just a dream…

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Apply Core Image effects to InDesign images

Magma Effects™ allows you to apply a variety of image-enhancement and stylizing effects directly to any bitmap image placed in Adobe® InDesign®. Enhance photos with color adjustments, sharpening or white point adjustment. Apply special effects such as star-shines and zoom-blurs or glass distortion. Make your images stand out with style by applying spotlight, bloom or shaded material effects. All without leaving Adobe® InDesign® for another application.

Easy to use and available directly in InDesign  

Simply select the image in your InDesign® layout and bring up the Magma Effects dialog to gain access to any of the Core Image filters available in OS X Tiger. Change filter parameters with real time previews while you add effects to the chain as needed. When you are done editing, press the apply button to save your edits and instantly update the image back in your layout.


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