Monthly Archives: October 2012

Cool App: Paper from Fifty Three

As well has having a new wonderful Colour mixing and blending features Paper 1.2.1 also includes new pressure sensitivity. This works in conjunction with TenOne Design’s Pogo Connect Bluetooth stylus, which requires no calibration to use. It works just like a normal rubber-tipped stylus, except information about how hard you’re pressing is sent to the app via Bluetooth.

Obviously of great benefit to digital artists.

Check out the official site.


Paper is alive with color. Bring your creations to life using our collection of brilliantly expressive Palettes and mix your own colors with the Mixer—a completely new way to explore color and the biggest leap in color controls in the past 40 years. Built on our powerful new color technology, the Mixer combines an intuitive mixing control and our custom blending for color that looks and feels right. Welcome to a colorful new world of possibilities.

You can find Paper over on iTunes.

Color / Mix it Up from FiftyThree on Vimeo.


Windows 8 is here

Windows 8 is finally with us. Microsoft’s latest version focuses on the new, tiled, interface which, if you have been using a Windows phone, will be familiar to you. Of course you can still use a mouse and keyboard with the new look and if that doesn’t do it for you there is always the option to flip back to the traditional Windows desktop.

Windows 8 should perform better than Windows 7. As well as the new look desktop there is also a new lock screen which features a clock, how many emails you have and more.

There is also the ability to now have various apps on your PC, phone and tablet with everything talking and sharing via the cloud.

All in all there is a lot of potential with Windows 8.

Lifehacker also put together this video about the new system.

What are your thoughts on Windows 8?

Halloween Fun: Make A Spooky Face In A Mirror

It is Halloween at the end of the month so here is a cool effect for a Halloween party or event using LCD screens.

I created a “spooky face in-the-mirror” special effect in 2009. The effect is of three green glowing framed mirrors that have a spooky face which appears to move from frame to frame on a continuous loop throughout the event. The effect was created with 3 UNG DRILL frames from IKEA, which I painted fluorescent green. The UNG DRILL frames come with clear plastic which you can either use as a measuring guide to have 2-way mirror custom routed/cut, which I did, or you may try to use a 2-way mirror film to apply to the included plastic. I purchased 3 of the most inexpensive widescreen 19″ LCD’s I could find. The initial installation enabled me to place widescreen LCD panels behind faux walls, mounting the frames flush on the walls. I wanted to be able to use the frames elsewhere when I would have to have the LCD display taking up space behind the frame, so I designed an ornate black frame inspired by wrought iron filagree which was cut from black Sintra, a pvc sheet product which can be computer cut by a CNC router. I used a heat bender to raise the framework out from the wall just enough to accomodate the LCD panel. It works very well at hiding the display and visually anchors the mirror to the wall.

The video below shows it in action. Read the rest of this entry

Apple loses appeal against Samsung

Remember when Samsung lost the court case for infringing several software patents, and the look and feel of the iPhone. They had to pay Apple over $1 Billion?

It is not over yet.

Apple has lost its appeal against a UK ruling that Samsung had not infringed its design rights with regards the Galaxy Tab computers.

A judge at the High Court in London had originally ruled in July that the look of Samsung’s Galaxy Tabwas not too similar to designs registered in connection with the iPad.

He said at the time that Samsung’s devices were not as “cool” because they lacked Apple’s “extreme simplicity”.

He also ordered Apple to run ads saying Samsung had not infringed its rights.

A spokeswoman for Samsung said:

“We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple’s registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art.

“Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited.”

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XBox Music is almost here

They have been working on it for a while, but now Microsoft have finally unveiled XBox Music.

The service goes live from tomorrow.

According to Gizmodo the new service is basically Xbox Music Pass and Xbox Music Store together.

Music Pass is a streaming service that replaces Zune Music Pass with both a freemium tier and a $10 per month plan, similar to Spotify or Rdio. The freemium level gets you unlimited streaming to Windows 8 PCs or tablets, while the $10 subscription lets you download songs, and use the service on your Xbox and Windows Phone. The Music Store is similar to any other digital music store, like iTunes.

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Bits and Pieces – Mini iPad, Weyland Corp, Amazon and more

– According to the Prometheus Blu-ray this is the week that the Weyland Corporation began. Next thing you know we will have humanoid robots and space travel. What could possibly go wrong?

– Amazon makes no money when you buy a Kindle Paperwhite or Fire HD – BBC

– Apple may be tracking you through iOS 6. Find out how to turn it off – Gizmodo

– I-Wave receiver turns any iPod Dock into a wireless music player – Lifehacker

Mozilla pulled the Firefox 16 download they released yesterday, due to a security vulnerability.

– The Best Word Processing App for Mac? – Lifehacker

– 8 pieces of flair for your iPad – Wired

– Below are some images of what is supposed to be the new mini iPad. The rumour is it has a 7.85in liquid crystal display. As you can see it will have the same connector as the iPhone 5 – Daily Mail

Real Time Motion Capture and Virtual Reality gets one step closer

Remember how years ago virtual reality (VR) was going to be the next big thing? We were all going to wear those funky Daft Punk style visors and enter virtual worlds of wonder. I remember a couple of arcade games that used the basic technology. They were not very good.

Then VR fell by the way side as the consoles took off and the graphics got better and better.

Yet for games such as Skyrim and the Halo series it would be incredible to have the immersion that VR would give.

Unsurprisingly, the technology is still being worked on and the video below shows how far the technology has advanced. The real time motion capture on display is incredible and would work wonders in a multiplayer video game.

They use 17 YEI 3-Space Wireless Sensors and 3 3-Space Wireless Dongles motions for the motion capture.
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Watch a Man Freefall from the Edge of Space

Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space that will try to surpass human limits that have existed for more than 50 years. Supported by a team of experts, Felix Baumgartner will undertake a stratospheric balloon flight to more than 120,000 feet / 36,576 meters and make a record-breaking freefall jump in the attempt to become the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall (an estimated 690 miles / 1,110 kilometers per hour), while delivering valuable data for medical and scientific advancement.

If the weather conditions are right you will be able to watch the launch on the live stream below from 5:30AM PT/12:30PM GMT.

UPDATE: Launch has now been delayed until 8:00AM(MDT) / 14:00PM GMT
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Facebook made an Advert for having 1 Billion Monthly Users

To celebrate that they have 1 billion active monthly users Facebook made an advert. The first question is, if you have that many people using your service do you need to advertise the fact?

Here is what Mark Zuckerberg had to say about hitting the 1 Billion mark. No Doctor Evil maniacal laughter please.

This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month.

If you’re reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you.

Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.

I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you, and hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too.

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The HAL 9000 Desktop

You computer desktop usually has either the standard plain wallpaper, a photo or an image which just sits there behind the icons.

It is possible to make your desktop more dynamic by customizing it. One such way of doing this is by using Rainmeter.

Rainmeter displays customizable skins, like memory and battery power, RSS feeds and weather forecasts, right on your desktop. Many skins are even functional: they can record your notes and to-do lists, launch your favorite applications, and control your media player – all in a clean, unobtrusive interface that you can rearrange and customize to your liking. Rainmeter is at once an application and a toolkit. You are only limited by your imagination and creativity.

One great example of what can be done with Rainmeter is this HAL 9000 desktop.
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