If Coke has stuck doggedly to the use of red and its classic script logo, Pepsi has inexplicably clung to its banal bottle design. But no more. The sixteen-year-old bottle is now out and a rather lumpy replacement is in, which looks somehow more like a weapon of mass destruction than a soft drink container. Angelique Krembs, Vice President, Pepsi Marketing, tells us that "Our single serve bottle is the most visible and tangible connection point we have with our consumers, and we love how the new bottle expresses our brand DNA." Not convinced? There's more.
The press release goes on to say that "The new bottle's bold swirl and elevated profile reflect the brand's attributes and youthful spirit, capturing the excitement of now for Pepsi consumers. The etched, grip-able bottom allows consumers to have a more stimulating, tactile interaction with the bottle itself." Sounds like Pepsi guzzlers were getting just a little bit too excited and were dropping the bottle during their favorite reality show. Gotta love that "etched, grip-able" bottom.
Somehow Krembs' comments reminded me of The Society of the Spectacle, a classic work by French philosopher Guy Debord. While written in 1967, Debord's observations on marketing and mass media have a timeless quality, much like those of the Canadian philosopher Marshal McLuhan. Wikipedia summarizes this nicely, in stating that, "Debord argues that the history of social life can be understood as 'the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing.' This condition, according to Debord, is the 'historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonization of social life.' Feeling colonized yet?
Use this powerful new feature to adjust not only single still images, but to easily straighten and correct existing stitched panoramas as well.
It's been quite the week for Adobe. It began by announcing that it now has more than 500,000 paid subscribers for its Creative Cloud offering, up 153,000 in just three months, with an additional 2 million taking advantage of free or trial versions. Adobe sees most of its customers moving to the cloud by the end of 2015, resulting in 4 million individual and team Creative Cloud subscriptions. Adobe stock gains accordingly led to cigars all round.
That was the good news. Tempering that was the sudden departure of CTO Kevin Lynch, who next week will be working for Apple. Lynch will be remembered as Mr. Macromedia, who after the acquisition became the face of Flash as the solution for just about everything. After Steve "Flash Killer" Jobs led a highly public fatwah against Flash, Lynch was forced to regroup and became the architect and champion of Adobe's Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud. With Jobs now just a memory, there was no barrier left to Lynch's assimilation into the Apple mother ship. Will he be able to turn around the firm's feeble cloud initiatives? One can only hope so, although early reports are that his responsibilities will be in the domain of hardware. Go figure.
And the celebration? Apparently the Photoshop Facebook page has passed the five-million Like mark, and the dev team responded by compiling "some lesser-known facts" about the creation of Photoshop CS6, including the amount of beer consumed during its creation. Here's hoping they that top that for the creation of Photoshop CS7.
How did Apple rise through the ranks to become the world’s most profitable tech company? As it turns out, good timing and shrewd planning have played as much of a role as innovative thinking for the Silicon Valley juggernaut.
Apple also exercised a great deal of patience when it came to smartphone technology. The world’s first smartphone, the Symbian from Nokia, appeared in 2000 — seven years before the iPhone — and was equipped with features considered revolutionary at the time, such as a touchscreen and built-in camera. A few years later, Blackberry introduced the concept of email accessibility via one’s cell phone. By the time Apple released the first iPhone in 2007, the market was well-established and software developers had fine-tuned many of the technical kinks related to smartphone functionality.
In some cases, Apple has gained an edge over competitors by purchasing innovative software developed by smaller firms. That was the case with Delaware-based tech firm FingerWorks, whose brainchild, the TouchStream, was one of the first models of ‘gesture recognition’ technology. Apple purchased FingerWorks in 2005, two years before the release of the first iPhone; TouchStream’s technology and functionality heavily influenced the touchscreen features later implemented for Apple’s smartphone and tablet devices.
Really cool App that integrates your iPhone with your car's onboard computer. Just plug the Automatic Link into your car's data port. Your car and smartphone will automatically connect whenever you drive wirelessly and teach you how to drive more efficiently. It helps you save on gas, checks your engine and tells you what to do when something goes wrong. It also helps you find where you parked and even alerts 911 and your loved ones if you have an accident. Watch the video. Currently iOS only, but Android version should come in 6 month or so. You can pre-order for $70.
Okay, you can't control Photoshop with the MYO armband — yet. But given that this device, which uses the electrical activity in your muscles to interact with the digital universe, can connect to Mac or Windows (with iOS and Android to follow) it won't be long until it's harnessed for digital image creation and editing. The MYO is expected to ship later this year, with pre-orders now available from Canadian developer Thalmic Labs for $149. The clip below shows some of the situations in which it might be used.
Founded in 1923, it's now hard to remember just how pervasive and powerful a presence TIME magazine once was. While the publication has struggled in recent years, it has still managed to retain a readership of 25 million, the largest of any weekly news magazine. As part of its 90th anniversary celebrations, TIME is emphasizing its cover designs, in part by allowing visitors to vote for Which TIME Cover is Cheesier on its site. Hard to choose between the two above, for example. You can also watch 90 years of covers blaze by in the video below.
Despite every precaution and the expertise of those involved, there's always a certain amount of chance involved when full-color publications hit the press. And there's nothing quite like that sickening feeling when you realize that the beige you so carefully chose was rendered with pink overtones. But now you can try your luck with process color without risking your client's money or your reputation, thanks to CMYK playing cards from the Hundred Million site.
It's been a long time coming but early indications are that Adobe has delivered a solid iteration of Photoshop Touch for those with phones running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or using an iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 or fifth-generation iPod Touch. Priced at $4.99, it's now available for purchase on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
As expected, the app sticks closely to the approach provided by the earlier tablet version. Familiar Photoshop features notably include the abiity to edit images of up to 12 megapixels on three layers. The creative filters of the tablet version have also been kept, with the addition of just one new one, Ripple. Scribble Selection for finger-based selections is back, while Camera Fill for real-time creative blending of a camera feed with layers is a pretty nifty addition.
If the provision of layers, selection tools and filters, as well as tonal and color adjustments, adds up to a subset of the Photoshop experience that will appeal to a consumer-level user, it's still unlikely that pros will employ it to create finished work. Adobe clearly sees it as an element of its Creative Cloud service, thanks to the app's ability to automatically sync images to CC (2 gigabytes of storage are included for those using the free version of CC). JPEG, PNG, TIF and PSD are all supported by Photoshop Touch, with PSDX being its native format (RAW is not currently supported). So moving work via CC between the phone, tablet and desktop versions of Photoshop will become a common scenario for pros. Oh, and bonus for those using Galaxy Note phones is that Photoshop Touch supports their pressure-sensitive stylus. Sweet.
It would seem that sometimes even when you win, you lose. If Ang Lee's Life of Pi cleaned up at the box office and then swept the Oscars, this was in no small part due to the movie's masterful mix of live action and digital effects. These were created by veteran effects firm Rhythm & Hues which, despite its evident expertise, last week filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and fired 250 employees.
A worrying situation and yet when VFX supervisor Bill Westenhofer tried to mention the plight of the studio during the Oscars ceremony he was abruptly cut off. Since he was about to finger the studios for their increasing use of overseas effects firms, silencing him before an audience of a billion was perhaps not an accident. The Computer Graphics World site provides a detailed explanation of the digital wizardry behind the making of the film.
The Oscars have become a venerable (some would say tired) institution. Awarded consistently for apparently all the wrong reasons, this annual event still somehow holds our attention, to the point where it has become the platform for all kinds of riffs. Designer Matteo Civaschi of H-57 created a series of pictograms intepreting some of the hottest contenders, with the entire series available on the My Modern Met site.
MyScript Calculator recognizes your handwriting and performs mathematical calculations. It's really great to solve simple and complex equations. Perfect for kids to learn math. Use the scratch gesture to correct any item. And, use a '?' to substitute an item in your equation you want to find.
Best of all it's free in iTunes.
Basic operations: +, -, x, ÷, +/‒, 1/x
Misc. Operations: %, √, x!, |x|
Powers/Exponentials: ℯx, xy , x2
Brackets: ( )
Trigonometry: cos, sin, tan
Inverse trigonometry: acos, asin, atan
Logarithms: ln , log
Constants: π, ℯ.
That's right, today is the birthday of the King of Pop, that master shapeshifter who spent his career exploriring the intersection of popular culture, art and commerce. Mostly commerce, it would seem, since last year he remained the top-selling artist at auction. Sales of his work hit $381 million, with the wily old master Pablo Picasso coming in a close second at $381 million, trailed by Gerhard Richter, whose dour opus inexplicably found buyers willing to shell out $299 million. Yup, that adds up to a cool billion. Crisis, what crisis? For you and me maybe but apparently not for the happy few. Oh well, no point being bitter. Of the three, Warhol was by far the most amusing (I think in particular of his urine paintings), so why not join in the festivities by using EarthCam to experience live live views of the exhibits inside The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Nothing happening, you say? Boring? Ha! You have obviously not experienced Warhol's epic Sleep movie, which consists of five hours of someone sleeping. Try sitting through that.
Let's face it, most music videos are pretty banal, endlessly recycling a visual language that goes back to the 80s. So when an attempt is made to break out of this tired mold, it's worth celebrating. This is certainly the case for a recent interactive video created by design agency OKFocus to promote Not the Same, a tune by Tanlines. Best experienced with Google Chrome, the site mimics aspects of the Photoshop interface, complete with layers and a toolbar that lets move and resize band members and choose from a selection of backgrounds that includes webcams and animations. You can even click on the word Experiment up near the top to have your Instagram photos tagged with #notthesame show up as the background of the site's Instagram layer. Fun stuff.
Illustration of course has a long and rich history, so how could it be compressed into just a seven-minute presentation? Only by blazing through the high points at lightning speed, which is exactly what the latest episode in the PBS Off Book series covering art, design and culture does. The effect is rather dizzying but there's some interesting work presented — as long as you can hit the Pause button fast enough to get a chance to really look at it. I've posted a few favorites below.
Check out this awesome new iPad app listed for just $2.00 called 123D Creature. It allows you to model 3D characters on the iPad and paint them too. You can even get the final sculpture printed on a 3D printer.
Now well into its third decade of existence, Photoshop does indeed seem to incarnate Darwin's theory of evolutionary adaptation by natural selection, as put forward in On the Origin of the Species. And while Photoshop's rise to dominence has been inexorable one has to sometimes wonder — is it in our best interests that there is no viable alternative? It's something to ponder while scrolling through this nicely-done Photoshop timeline.
You may recall that Adobe recently posted download links to the entire Creative Suite 2, complete with license numbers, and then was shocked, shocked I tell you, when people mistakenly interpreted that as a gesture on the firm's part to make old, commercially unviable versions of their apps available for free download. You'd think Adobe would like that little incident swept under the rug. But here they go again, this time releasing the code for the mythic version 1 of Photoshop for download on the Computer History Museum site. So if you have a 20 year old Mac lying around, and can compile the code, a rare trip down graphical memory lane awaits you. Failing that, the screen shots below are evocative of the early days of digital graphics. Yikes, are we really that old?