Loss of Reddit AMA staff member angers site visitors, moderators
The firing of an employee has caused community outrage over at Reddit today, prompting many parts of the site to be hidden from view by volunteer moderators. A number of the site's communities are setting their subreddits to private in protest of a decision by management to let go of Victoria Taylor, a staff member that managed the famous Ask Me Anything (AMA) section, with readers revolting over a lack of explanation for the site's actions.
Creating e-books and prepping paperbacks
You're at the stage now where you know you will never have to write another word of your book ever again. Meanwhile, we're at the stage of wondering how to break it to you that you still have some writing to do. However, we've decided to build up to that after taking you through the next stage of the e-publishing process. In this part of the Pointers Summer Project, we'll actually, genuinely, thoroughly produce an e-book. We'll also prepare the paperback, and you'll see why that takes a step more.
Responsive drawing app works wonders for those without a stylus
As we've stated before, the iPad has become a viable art tool in recent years, and there's no shortage of app developers who have taken notice. We've covered several different drawing apps, and they've all had their merits and disadvantages. Today, we take a look at Tayasui Sketches+, to see how it stacks up against the other apps that have come our way.
Photography resources, software at deeply-discounted price for charity
Last week, Foto Promos announced its largest-ever bundle of resources, software, training, printing, memberships and other pro-photographer education in a special offer available through MacNN and Electronista called The Big Deal that includes over $4,200 worth of downloadable products for just $99. The bundle, which runs through Thursday, has raised over $45,000 for charity, and features contributions from Lindsay Adler, Jared Platt, Dave Cross, KelbyOne, Lee Varis, Gavin Gough, Tony Sweet, Rick Sammon, Phlearn, Photoshop Cafe, Mylio, Eyefi, Viewbug, AthenTech, and B&H Photo and Video, among others.
Turn Camera Roll photos into stylish sketches
The recent trend of coloring books geared for adults is intriguing to us. We don't consider ourselves particularly artistic in the area of drawing and painting, but we do occasionally like to dabble. Sure, it's been a while, but we're reasonably confident we can still stay between the lines. The downside is we would have to color in images other people choose for us. We'd like to make our own coloring book, and we think we've found the perfect app to help us make it: Tracing Paper by Hesham Wahba.
Visual tool for marking up documents and images
Pictures are worth a thousand words, and yet writers still hang on to the fact that sometimes you need a caption. Napkin 1.5 is a tool for rapidly marking an image with captions, with annotations, with notes, with doodles.
Software, training, discounts, plug-ins, e-books, more offered for photographers
Foto Promos is currently running its largest-ever bundle of resources, software, training, printing, memberships and other pro-photographer education in a special offer available through MacNN and Electronista called The Big Deal that includes over $4,000 worth of downloadable products for just $99. Contributors to the bundle include Lindsay Adler, Jared Platt, Dave Cross, KelbyOne, Lee Varis, Gavin Gough, Tony Sweet, Rick Sammon, Phlearn, Photoshop Cafe, Mylio, Eyefi, Viewbug, AthenTech, and B&H Photo and Video among others.
Adobe starts selling stock images from within CC suite apps
Adobe's latest updates to its Creative Cloud have been revealed, with new additions accompanying mainstay apps. Improvements to the main app suite including Photoshop CC, Premiere Pro CC, and After Effects CC arrive alongside new mobile apps, with a large contingent heading to Android, while the new Adobe Stock is a marketplace for various assets useful to design projects created within Creative Cloud.
CNIL gives Google 15 days to implement search removal requests globally
Google is facing pressure to implement its "Right to be Forgotten" measures on all sites around the world, instead of just the European versions. French data protection regulator CNIL has demanded that Google allows European users to request the removal of certain search results in all global Google search sites in the next 15 days, or face the prospect of having sanctions imposed on the company's activities.
A Swiss Army Knife of image tools
It's misnamed. Not that we have any idea what it should be called, but Reformator 1.2.2 does so much more than reformatting that we'd contemplate a name like Image-o-Matic. Within this app, you can convert any or all of your photos between different handy formats, you can watermark them, do certain edits, and more.
Google adds Chromecast, AirPlay support to Slides apps
Google Slides, the search company's presentations app, has been updated to allow presentations to be shown wirelessly. Both the iOS and Android versions of the app have been given support for AirPlay and Chromecast, letting users take advantage of streaming devices such as the Google Chromecast to show their presentation on a television or alternative display, without needing to hook up a computer.
First 8K-resolution video posted to YouTube
YouTube is starting to show videos filmed in 8K-resolution, five years after it added support for 4K content. Appearing in the YouTube resolution settings as 4320p, 9to5google reports the label was added only recently, though Google claims the 8K video support has been available as long as 4K. The first 8K video, "Ghost Towns," was filmed on a Red Epic Dragon 6K instead of an 8K-capable device, with After Effects used to stitch together multiple videos to reach the resolution, instead of losing quality by scaling up the 6K content.
Browser-based version of Skype widens beta reach, global availability expected in weeks
Microsoft has opened up Skype for Web to more users, pulling it out of the closed beta and making it available to all current Skype users based in the United States or the United Kingdom. The widening of beta access follows after another web-based Skype change, namely a redesign of how Skype for Outlook.com appears and works for users of the browser-based webmail client.
Excellent mind mapping app gets redesign for OS X and iOS
Two things: first, we have previously said that MindNode in particular -- and mind mapping in general -- is best on the iPad. Second, we have never said, nor even thought of considering saying, that what the Apple Watch really needs is is more mind-mapping apps. Yet here we are with MindNode 2.0 for OS X, which makes us reconsider mind-mapping on the Mac, and MindNode 4.0 for iOS, which tries to tell us we're wrong about the Apple Watch.
Nvidia shows off its wares at Computex Taipei 2015
Electronista has had the opportunity at Computex Taipei 2015 to go hands-on with the eagerly anticipated Nvidia Shield Console and high-end GeForce GTX 980 Ti GPU. Although differing substantially in terms of overall processing power, both share Nvidia's latest Maxwell GPU architecture, and stand to put their respective competitors on notice. Read on for our first impressions of these intriguing pieces of technology, which also includes a look at how the GTX 980 Ti performs utilizing Nvidia's latest VR frameworks on the Oculus Rift.
New Summer Project, MacKeeper lawsuit, Google I/O make for busy week
It's been a big week here at MacNN, covering all the announcements from Google's I/O conference. You might think this wouldn't have much of interest to Apple users, but luckily, episode 17 of the MacNN Podcast is here to sort it all out. Google brought many of its announcements to platforms other than its own, capped off with a new web- and iOS-based Photos program to rival the recently-released one for Mac and iOS from Apple itself, which we talk about and compare.
Amazon Echo can read appointments stored in Google Calendar
Alexa, the virtual assistant that forms part of the Amazon Echo network-connected speaker, has been upgraded to allow it to read Google Calendar events. Android Central reports Alexa can now be linked to the user's Calendar and will respond to queries about it, such as "Alexa, what's on my calendar?" and "When is my next event?" So far, it appears Alexa can only read appointments, not add new items, but this could be included in a future update of the device.
Now also an excellent iPhone app
Where was this yesterday? We were in our car –– properly and correctly in a car park, we would never edit photographs on the Interstate –– and needed to do a tiny bit of work on an image that we'd forgotten to do earlier. Sometimes it's very handy getting to hide behind the third person: we were daft forgetting to do that image, we were daft forgetting to bring our iPads. If this were just about 18 hours later, we could've used the new Pixelmator 2.0.1 on our iPhones.
Very, very niche but well done tool
You're not going to need this often, but let's work it out. What Monodraw 1.0 does it let you produce ASCII art -- and already if you're blinking at that, you're not the market for this -- like those images you've seen that are made up entirely of letters. They used to be done on typewriters because we knew no better, they were then done on computers because we were young. The makers of Monodraw want you to do ASCII art because it will last forever. They're right.
Keep on using paper just a bit longer
Its full title in the App Store is Carbo -- Handwriting in the Digital Age and you're already thinking iPads, stylus or scribbling on the screen, but you're wrong. This is not another app about mimicking the experience of writing on paper, it's not really about replacing paper at all. Carbo is about letting you continue to use paper, but now use it in the digital world: take paper you write on and edit, copy or share it as you would anything you create online from scratch.
Easy to use, hard to spell, super graphics tool now on iPhone
You've got to say this for OmniGraffle: there aren't many other graffles in the App Store. There also aren't many tools that do what it does, and we've enthused before about OmniGraffle's ability to let the artistically-challenged among us sketch out plans, designs and notes on OS X. There's also been an iPad version, but OmniGraffle 2.1.1 is now a universal app, which means it is now on the iPhone for the first time.
Quickly fix photo problems and remove background blemishes
Erase. Ex. Spouse. Partner. Lover. Delete. There you go: just popping all the terms you'd put into Google if you were looking for software like this. However, it's not solely for removing your heartbreak, PhotoScissors 2.0 is actually excellent when you're making images for use on websites, because it lets you quickly remove unwanted backgrounds and emotional baggage.
Convenient color coding for visual thinkers
Naturally, you have not filled your Mac's desktop with folders. You've done it with files. But from time to time, when you can't see anything any more, you make some temporary folders and move everything into there. Job done. Until you now have millions of folders and unlike files, folders all look identical. Not any more. Not if you buy Folder Color.
Google takes on Twitch by offering live streams at 1080p 60fps
Google is making a number of small changes to YouTube, that will likely be welcomed by advertisers and gamers alike. YouTube's live streaming capability will now include support for 60fps streams, making it more suitable for gaming, while the initial advertising preroll that runs before many videos will now allow users to find out a lot more information about the advertised products, as well as making it easier to purchase.
Project Rigel to be available in late 2015, offer advanced features
[Updated with correction to erroreous CC subscription requirement] Adobe has chosen to withdraw its current photo editor for the iPad and Android tablets, Photoshop Touch, as of May 28, but has announced plans for new and supplemental technologies manifested in a number of apps to come later this year. A new photo editor, currently dubbed "Project Rigel," will offer greatly-improved speed, and was teased in a video that shows the program offering selective object removal, warping, and color swapping. The new app will be free of charge, unlike the $10 Touch app, and does not require a Creative Cloud subscription.
Wacom offers well-designed, albeit simple drawing app to pair with stylus lines
Design giants Wacom are known for their line of drawing tablets, which they've been producing for the better part of two decades. Because of this, they've become an industry standard when it comes to graphic design and digital illustration. Seeking to extend their market, Wacom recently made the leap of producing a line of Bluetooth-enabled styluses for the iPad, and with it came Bamboo Paper, a stylus-compatible drawing app designed for the iPad.
Ad blocking plans could result in request by carriers for advertising revenue cut
European carriers are allegedly working on blocking mobile advertising from major advertising networks, including those from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. A report claims the current plans to remove the online advertising from smartphone browsers in order to save on bandwidth costs, though it will also apparently have the ulterior motive of trying to force the advertising networks to share some of their revenue with the carriers themselves.
Design, print, and assemble paper-craft toys and art
Readers might remember our Hands On for Storest, an app that gives kids physical paper props with which to play store. Today, we take a look at Foldify -- Create, Print, Fold! by the same developer, Pixle. Much like Storest, Foldify is an app that kids -- or immature adults like us -- can play with and then take part of that app into the physical world by printing it out in paper.
Almost 59 percent of European search listing removal requests denied by Google
Google is not fulfilling a high proportion of "Right to be Forgotten" requests, with more than half of requests being denied by the search company. According to its latest Transparency Report, Google has evaluated over 922 thousand requests for the removal of search listings since the program began last year, but out of that figure, 58.7 percent of all requests have been rejected.
Access to Google Map Maker denied for all while moderation system gets overhauled
Google is temporarily preventing users from being able to access the Map Maker tool, following a series of incidents concerning its misuse. Starting from tomorrow, the tool will be pulled while Google works to add some sort of moderation system to it, in order to avoid further issues such as the recent image of the Android mascot urinating on the Apple logo appearing in Google Maps.
Design giant Adobe updates digital sketchbook to include flow, opacity, and size controls
Many people would be surprised to learn that the iPad is an entirely viable way to create art, but thanks to the amount of fully-functional drawing apps on the app store, that's exactly the case. Today, we took a look at Adobe Photoshop Sketch, the brainchild of digital design empire Adobe, to see how it stacks up to other sketchbooks on the App Store.
Complaints about net neutrality issues prompts expansion of Internet.org
Facebook is allowing more online services to take part in its Internet.org free access scheme, following complaints. The initiative, which allows for free access to certain web services for mobile phone users in emerging markets, drew criticism from some over the "walled garden" created by the free service, something which goes against the concept of an open Internet and net neutrality principles.
More discounts available via dedicated MacNN Deals site
Regular readers of our Daily Deals posts may have noticed a paragraph near the top of the list for the last few weeks promoting a dedicated deals page. Today, we've officially launched MacNN Deals over at deals.macnn.com, offering discounts on a wide range of items you will probably find useful, including sections for gadgets and gear, eLearning packages, and even one for drones.
Publishers could receive larger percentage of advertising revenue from Facebook-hosted articles
Facebook may host news stories and articles on behalf of online publishers, to make it easier for users to share them throughout the social network, a report claims. Titled "Instant Articles," the service could start as soon as this month, with users expected to be able to click on and read content directly from within Facebook itself, instead of waiting for the publisher's site to load.
Cloud storage service starts public testing of multi-user editing feature
Dropbox has started to publicly test a new note-taking service that could be competition for other online productivity services, such as Evernote. A beta sign-up page for the new service advises it is called Dropbox Notes, with it revolving around allowing individuals and groups to collaboratively write and edit a document, all at the same time.
Image on Google Maps depicts Android mascot urinating on Apple
Users of Google Maps may find an odd image if they search Pakistan. Team Android reports someone has inserted an image of the Android mascot urinating on the Apple Logo. While it is unlikely to be an addition by a Google employee, it is possible that the image was added as part of Map Maker, a system that allows users to submit edits to the map for inclusion into the main Google Maps service, with the insulting image possibly overlooked during moderation.
From raw audio file to 'ready-for-air' podcast file, plus hosting
Over the next couple of weeks, our Wednesday Pointers column will continue to be devoted to writing about how to create a podcast. In previous segments, we've talked about software and hardware one uses to record the audio that is the core of every podcast, either for live group conversations, VOIP-based group audio calls, or even if you're just recording yourself. We've discussed the different types of podcasts, and how to record the content suitable for each (basically, audio-only or enhanced with images, or full-on video). This time, we offer some editing tips, how to add in music/sound effects and artwork, and then lead into hosting and publishing your work.
Sprint International Value Roaming includes unlimited free texts, 2G data
Sprint has introduced a new International Value Roaming option that will provide free texts and 2G data to subscribers visiting a list of countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, and Mexico, with calls in the countries priced at $0.20 per minute. Along with the new add-on, which can be included with a number of plans at no extra charge, travelers can acquire International Speed Data Roaming Passes, providing connections at 3G speeds. The three passes consist of 100MB of data at $15 for one day, 200MB at $25 for seven days, and 500MB of data for $50 for two weeks.
Quickly and easily add geometric elements to cell phone snaps
We do enjoy fiddling with the pictures we take with our phones and tablets; it's a great way to pass the time, and exercise a bit of creativity. Tangent by Pixite, is a relatively simple photo-manipulation app that provides a bunch of overlays and filters for users to play with. The primary attraction of Tangent are the geometric patterns and textures which can be used to increase of pull focus to a particular point in an image, and give it an interesting look.
Create sleek iOS 7 styled blurred backgrounds from your photos!
Every so often we come across an app that fills a niche we didn't even know existed -- but once we find out about it, we wonder how we lived without it before. One such app is Blurify, an app that aims at helping you create esthetically-pleasing images with just a single shake. Blurify does one thing, and it does it incredibly well -- analyze photos to create an attractive, iOS 7-styled wallpaper. The app is designed to be utterly foolproof, requiring minimal input from the user while still creating a visually-appealing result.
New app lets you create stylish blogs and journals
Adobe continues its series of excellent and rather beautiful iPad apps with Adobe Slate 1.0.1, a free tool the company says is for telling stories with photos. And it is. It's also an attempt to get you into the Adobe ecosystem, but it does what it claims and makes concocting illustrated online articles very quick and stylish.
It's like Tinder for your camera roll!
The app's full name in iTunes is "Flic – Delete & Manage Camera Roll and Easily Delete Photos to Increase Disk Space", but we're just going to call it "Flic" from here on out. Lifehack Labs says it's like Tinder for your camera roll (or Grindr, or whatever "swipe right for yes, left for no" dating app you prefer). In spite of it having a very simple function and interface, the developers -- Lifehack Labs -- put a lot of thought into Flic.
Google using Microsoft-created API to fix scrolling issues in Chrome
Google is going to be leaning on some Internet Explorer technology to fix scrolling and touch support in its Chrome browser. At the same time, Google has launched an extension for the desktop versions of Chrome which aims to reduce the amount of data used to surf the Internet, a feature that has already made an appearance on iOS and Android versions of the browser.
Customize your phone to be every bit as unique as you are
Phones are personal, which is probably why we spend such a large amount of time fussing over them. When it comes to personalization, we take our phone cases, our styluses, and our screen protectors very seriously, so it only makes sense that we'd think just as much about our wallpapers. That's where
Pimp Your Screen comes in, an app that offers hundreds of high-quality wallpapers to help you make a statement with your iPhone.
One comprehensive app for photo editing on a mobile platform
Enlight by Lightricks wants to be your one-stop-app for editing, manipulating, and applying filters to your photos on iOS devices. We're pretty sure everybody can agree that the application of sweet filters and presets is certainly the easiest way to liven up an image, and Enlight certainly has its share of those. However, the app is also a full-featured image manipulation package with a clean-looking and easy-to-use interface.
Speed-boosting update to image editor free to existing users
The Pixelmator Team today released Pixelmator 1.1 -- a major update to its image editor for the iPad. Pixelmator 1.1 comes with a unique watercolor painting technology, a collection of artist-designed watercolor brushes, a new Color Picker, and stability and speed enhancements.
Big China carriers now offering latest LTE-capable iPad models for first time
Apple's sales in China are set to further increase now that the country's second- and third-largest carriers will offer the Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the latest iPads, the first time China Unicom and China Telecom have been able to do so. The special iPad models, which vary slightly from the North American and European versions, will support China's proprietary TD-LTE and FDD-LTE standards, as well as other LTE versions.
T-Mobile invites media to event on March 18
T-Mobile has sent invitations to the media for an event in New York City on March 18. The only clue included in the invitation is "This one's a real piece of work," which could point towards something for enterprise use rather than consumers. While this event does not bear the "Uncarrier" branding T-Mobile has used for a number of its major events, Uncarrier 8.0, the most recent event in the series held in December, involved the launch of Data Stash, a rollover data plan for consumers.
Titan X claimed to use 8 billion transistors, 12GB frame buffer
Nvidia is still producing new products in its Titan high-specification graphics cards range, with the company making an unexpected announcement during the Game Developers Conference. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang handed Epic Games CEO and founder Tim Sweeney the first GeForce GTX Titan X, declared by Huang to be the "most advanced GPU the world has ever seen."
First-class drawing tool for people who aren't first-class artists
Admit it: whether you're in the market for a drawing application or not, you're reading this in part because you hope to find out what a graffle is, and why you might one to be omni. We can't help you with the word, but we can say that OmniGraffle 6 for Mac is a superb tool for creating presentation graphics, design wireframes, and really just anything that you can draw more easily than you can write.