Thursday, February 26, 2009

Experimental & Fun

Plex Media Center for OS X

Plex bridges the gap between your Mac and your home theater, doing so with a visually appealing user interface that provides instant access to your media. Plex can play a wide range of video, audio and photo formats as well as online streaming audio and video. The real power of Plex is found in its library features: Organize your media into versatile libraries, automatically retrieve metadata from the Internet, and display your libraries using one of the visually stunning skins.

The latest beta version of Plex adds many more features but is considered a beta program. New features include the Plex Media Server, online video (including Hulu, TED, CNET, Revision3, and more), full iTunes Music support, iTunes DRM Playback, iTunes Visualizers, and Sparkle Updates. Although its considered to be stable, users should note that their may be bugs and features and functionality are constantly changing.

OmniDiskSweeper is a FREE utility for quickly finding and deleting big, useless files

You then simply browse through the folders and files and delete the large ones which you are no longer using. If a file is part of the system, it'll say so on the panel (in the list of Packages the file belongs to), so you won't accidentally get rid of something that would make your system stop working. The free space on the disk and the ordering of the folders are automatically recalculated. If you aren't sure what's in a file, you can open it by double-clicking on its icon or dragging its icon onto another application. It's that easy! While this concept may seem awfully close to what the Finder does, it's actually amazing how much more useful it is for cleaning up your hard disks. Since the directories and files are sorted by size, you get to quickly zoom in on the big files that are taking up all the space and not worry about the thousands of tiny ones that aren't hurting anyone.

Temporary files, videos you don't want anymore, printer drivers for printers you don't actually own, that 80's music collection you probably shouldn't be storing on your work machine … OmniDiskSweeper helps you find everything that's hogging your drive and clear it out. That way you've got room for the stuff you actually need.

Computer Inside a Wall Plug

The incredible shrinking computer is about to reach a lower limit in size, with a new computer that's contained entirely within a wall-wart. Any smaller than this, and the computer would disappear inside the electrical outlet.

Called plug computers, Marvell's new gadgets will resemble cellphone chargers but pack a hefty punch.

Plug computers would draw just about 5W of power, come with a 1.2-GHz CPU, a USB port and internet connectivity. They won't have a display, but the devices can be used as a home server or a network attached storage for vacation photos and music downloads.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thanks for your comment


Give Up and Use Tables


I love these guys – and tables too. Here.

You know, we've all been there. We want to make it work with CSS. But sometimes it's just not worth the effort. The hacks and conditional comments ruin our clean markup. And we spend hours trying to make a simple layout work. Occasionally, we have to remind ourselves that we've done enough and it's time to move on.

If you're wasting time fighting with CSS -- and we know you are -- we've got just the tool you need. Download the Give Up and Use Tables timer. We've scientifically determined the maximum amount of time that you should need to make a layout work in CSS: it's 47 minutes. When your time is up, we'll even give you the table code you need. Take three minutes to build a table. And ten minutes to get a donut. Bill the client for an hour. Done.

Smooth Operator: Make More Flattering Portraits

700964032_8c422e79aa_m No matter how attractive the person you're photographing, most people can benefit from a bit of digital tweaking. Here.

If you watch old movies, you've probably seen the moment where the camera cuts to a close-up of a famous leading lady, and everything on-screen gets a little soft and dreamy. This is because many of those leading ladies insisted on being shot in the most flattering manner possible, so cinematographers filmed through gauze or other diffusing material to smooth skin texture.

When you shoot still portraits today, you can use digital equivalents of these same techniques to flatter skin tones and add a bit of glamour. I'll cover two approaches. The first is a manual technique you can use in Photoshop or another image editor. The second, more automated, technique relies on Imagenomic's Portraiture 2.0, an excellent Photoshop-compatible plug-in.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Flash Wiki: how many flash do you know?

The Flash is a character produced by DC Comics. Often called "The Fastest Man Alive", the mantle of the Flash has been worn by six individuals, all with the power of extraordinary speed stemming from a mysterious realm called the Speed Force. Here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Flip Mino HD

Last addition to my cameras and camcorders collection, was needed as part of the HD chain I'm putting in place.
Samsung LCD TV + Mac Mini + another Mac + MovieHD + Flip Mino HD.
More info here. And don't miss David Pogue review here. Conclusions: "Now, you can’t sell 1.5 million of something without attracting rivals. The Kodak Zi6, the RCA Small Wonder EZ300HD and the Creative Vado HD, for example, are all similar in concept and either available now or coming soon. Most have features the Mino HD lacks. But none is likely to have quite the combination of small size, polished built-in software, customizability and high video quality of the Mino HD. On top of all of its other superlatives, here’s another title that this pocketable hi-def cam deserves: most likable."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds”

from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends. Here.

The Ebb and Flow of Movies

Masterpiece of visualization. Here.
Summer blockbusters and holiday hits make up the bulk of box office revenue each year, while contenders for the Oscars tend to attract smaller audiences that build over time. Here's a look at how movies have fared at the box office, after adjusting for inflation.

Lego NYC

Christoph Niemann's Lego renderings of NYC ephemera are so totally great that they deserve a post all of their own. (The rest of his portfolio is well worth a look, too.)

Another great tutorial

How to Simulate Fractals in Photoshop
Have you ever seen those outstanding fractal images with a lot of swirls and colors? Some of those were build simulating fractals or repeating shapes, where each shape is a reduced part of the whole, others were build mathematically. In this tutorial, we'll create a stylized fractal design using only Photoshop.