Become a master of Adobe Creative Cloud with these online classes

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If you’re a photographer, videographer, or graphic designer, you’ve got a lot of competition charging up behind you. Because while you’ve been trained as a content creator, the task of snapping brilliant images, capturing well-composed video, and posting effective social media is now part of literally everyone’s skill set.

For years, Adobe and their ubiquitous Creative Cloud suite of software have been the ultimate content creation tech for making pretty much anything. But while an estimated 15 million users have access to Adobe’s powerful stable of options, very few really know how to get the most out of all that creative magic.

With the training in The Essential 2020 Adobe CC Mastery Bundle, you can vault yourself out of the clueless camp, earning mastery-level command over four of Adobe’s most popular and most versatile apps.

Over 25 hours of instruction starts right at the pinnacle of Adobe’s dominance with their crown jewel app Photoshop. In Introduction to Adobe Photoshop 2020, even students who have never done any image editing can get up and running with the heritage app as they learn the interface and tools, start basic editing jobs and ultimately prepare images for printing or online posting before advancing to trickier works like masking, curves, and difficult skin and lighting adjustments.

In Introduction to Adobe Illustrator 2020, the training shifts to learning about the design, scalability, and versatility of building your own vector graphics as you take your first steps into creating sketches, logos, typography, and illustrations for print, web, video, and more. Read the rest

The big takeaways from Samsung’s Unpacked announcements

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Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

Samsung’s big Unpacked event went off with just a few hitches. It’s nice to know that even when an event is online some kind of logistical issue can cause AV problems and delay the beginning of a keynote. Makes everything feel a little more normal.

I tease — the event itself was actually well executed. Samsung didn’t fake an auditorium but still did its best to make the occasion feel big. Microsoft and Apple went much further at embracing a new online format, but Samsung managed it fairly well. There were definitely cringe moments (Samsung kept showing Bluetooth pairing interfaces?), but overall it was a strong event. Plus, Samsung had a much more diverse and engaging set of presenters than any other tech keynote in recent memory. Bravo,…

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Twitter is letting all users limit replies to their tweets on iOS

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Image: The Verge

An update to Twitter’s iOS app lets all users limit who can reply to their tweets. Twitter has been experimenting with this feature since May, but now seems to be rolling out it more widely.

“In May, we tested a new way to have a chat with exactly who you want, so you can create and consume more meaningful changes,” says the update text on the App Store. “Now, everyone can try this new feature and choose who can reply to their tweets.”

To use the feature, users simply tap a box above the keyboard when composing a tweet that says “Everyone can reply.” They can then choose between three options: everyone can reply to their tweet, only people they follow can reply, and only people they mention can reply. Choosing one option doesn’t make…

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These shoes are made from apples

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Sampla is a sustainable footwear startup from Ireland, and in their current Kickstarter campaign, they’re offering a new pair of animal-friendly shoes made from … apples?!

Rethinking the classic tennis shoe, the upper material of our shoe is made from a vegan material called AppleSkin™. It is made using repurposed apple waste from the juice industry in Italy. The other components of the shoe were carefully selected. Organic and recycled materials were consciously chosen where possible. Nice, simple and sustainable.

Partnering with Trees on the Land, we will plant an indigenous tree in Ireland for each pair produced. To keep carbon emissions as low as possible, our logistics partner sends our shoes using the most optimal route for each delivery. They are neatly packed and sent in our 0% plastic packaging.

And a little more detail about the actual process behind the AppleSkin™:

The apple core, pips and skins are dried and milled to a fine apple powder. Then it’s applied to a tear-resistant woven roll with cotton fabric. These rolls are heated and given an added protective layer to produce a weather-resistant durable fabric. Organic pigments are added to the brown fabric, producing colours of choice. We are left with a material that is breathable, durable, and of course, 100% vegan.

The Kickstarter Campaign has an “Early Bird Special” that’ll run you about $100 fora pair of apple shoes and a t-shirt (plus the carbon offset tree planting). This is apparently about 40% less than what would ultimately be the retail price. Read the rest

Spider Board: horripilating data recovery

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There are many nondescript and mundane tools for data recovery, but the Spider Board is not one of them. It lives up to its name, with 25 leglike needles that, carefully placed on copper traces on a denuded card, suck the data out of them like fly juice.

PC-3000 Flash Spider Board Adapter is a universal solution for safe monolith recovery without tedious soldering! Using it you don’t need specific adapters to each monolith you deal with.

It is designed for connection to internal contacts of NAND-based Flash drives manufactured as single-package chips (monoliths). The adapter consists of 25 universal contacts that support software configuration of their association with NAND interface signals in a corresponding task. Please note, that the adapter is supported by PC-3000 Flash Reader 4.0 only.

“Sufficiently advanced data recovery is indistinguishable from dark cybernetric ritual,” writes @esquiring.

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Miles the Spider Robot

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Who doesn’t love robotic spiders? Today’s biomimetic robot comes in the form of Miles, the quadruped spider robot from [_Robox].

Miles uses twelve servos to control its motion, three on each of its legs, and also includes a standard HC-SR04 ultrasonic distance sensor for some obstacle avoidance capabilities. Twelve servos …read more

Google has already discontinued the Pixel 4 and 4 XL

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verg

Google has discontinued the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, its flagship phones that were released in October of last year. Both devices are out of stock in Google’s store in the US, though some variants are still available in other regions for the time being.

“Google Store has sold through its inventory and completed sales of Pixel 4 [and] 4 XL,” a Google spokesperson confirms to The Verge. “For people who are still interested in buying Pixel 4 [and] 4 XL, the product is available from some partners while supplies last. Just like all Pixel devices, Pixel 4 will continue to get software and security updates for at least 3 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store in the US.”

It’s unusual for Google to discontinue a…

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This affordable VPN offers a strict no-logging policy without breaking the bank

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After years of hearing a steady drumbeat about the necessity of surfing the web under the protection of a VPN, even the most technophobic among us are starting to come around. But even knowing the dangers one can face from cybercrooks phishing for information from unsuspecting victims online, those last holdouts still have some fears. 

Chief among those fears is just the tech know-how needed to get a VPN to work. Thankfully, some highly-regarded VPN options like Goose VPN get high marks for their simplicity with even the most reluctant of new users.

Goose VPN is among the easiest setups in the VPN kingdom. After opening your account, just download their app to your device, and the VPN automatically configures itself.

With that, all your online activity will now be protected through Goose VPN’s ultra-secure 256-bit encrypted connection. Via their own owned and managed server network in over 25 countries, you can log in from anywhere, safeguarding your IP address and all other identifying information from any government watchdog or online criminal search for a new target. The protection even covers you and all your actions when logging on to high-risk public WiFi networks.

And since Goose VPN enforces a no-logging policy, none of your web activities is ever monitored or logged by Goose, ensuring where you go and what you do online always remains safely anonymous.

Goose VPN also allows you to circumvent international geoblocking restrictions, granting you access to popular platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and the BBC from anywhere in the world. Read the rest

Audi drops E-Tron price by nearly $9,000 and ups the range by 18 miles

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The 2021 Audi E-Tron, the company’s first all-electric car, will start at nearly $9,000 less than the current version and will get a range bump of 18 miles — bringing its total EPA-estimated range to 222 miles on a full battery pack.

The starting MSRP is dropping thanks to a new base version of the E-Tron SUV that will now start at $65,900, which is down $8,900 from the current $74,800 price tag. There are some sacrifices, of course. The company’s “Matrix” LED headlights (which aren’t available in the US to begin with) aren’t included with the base model, and neither is the Bang & Olufsen sound system. Audi will sell more fully-loaded versions of the 2021 E-Tron that start as high as $79,100.

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Here’s Exactly How Inefficient Wireless Charging Is

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News outlet OneZero crunched the numbers on just how inefficient wireless charging is — and the results are pretty revealing. From the report: On paper, wireless charging sounds appealing. Just drop a phone down on a charger and it will start charging. There’s no wear and tear on charging ports, and chargers can even be built into furniture. Not all of the energy that comes out of a wall outlet, however, ends up in a phone’s battery. Some of it gets lost in the process as heat. While this is true of all forms of charging to a certain extent, wireless chargers lose a lot of energy compared to cables. They get even less efficient when the coils in the phone aren’t aligned properly with the coils in the charging pad, a surprisingly common problem. […]

To get a sense of how much extra power is lost when using wireless charging versus wired charging in the real world, I tested a Pixel 4 using multiple wireless chargers, as well as the standard charging cable that comes with the phone. I used a high-precision power meter that sits between the charging block and the power outlet to measure power consumption. In my tests, I found that wireless charging used, on average, around 47% more power than a cable. Charging the phone from completely dead to 100% using a cable took an average of 14.26 watt-hours (Wh). Using a wireless charger took, on average, 21.01 Wh. That comes out to slightly more than 47% more energy for the convenience of not plugging in a cable. In other words, the phone had to work harder, generate more heat, and suck up more energy when wirelessly charging to fill the same size battery. […] The first test with the Yootech pad — before I figured out how to align the coils properly — took a whopping 25.62 Wh to charge, or 80% more energy than an average cable charge. Hearing about the hypothetical inefficiencies online was one thing, but here I could see how I’d nearly doubled the amount of power it took to charge my phone by setting it down slightly wrong instead of just plugging in a cable.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

LastPass Will Warn You If Your Passwords Show Up On the Dark Web

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LastPass is updating its Security Dashboard with a feature that provides an overview of all your accounts, highlighting any passwords that could pose a security risk. The password manager is also introducing dark web monitoring, although it will require you to be a paid LastPass subscriber. Engadget reports: If you already use LastPass and the Security Dashboard sounds familiar, it’s because it builds on the Security Challenge functionality LastPass developer LogMeIn added in 2010. As before, grading is a major aspect of the interface. When you first navigate to the Security Dashboard, you’ll see a score of all your logins, followed by a breakdown of passwords that are either old, inactive, weak or reused. You can click or tap on a problematic password to change it, and LastPass will automatically take you to the webpage where you can update your login information. LogMeIn hasn’t changed how the app calculates the overall score it gives to each user. But one significant improvement the Security Dashboard brings over the Security Challenge is that you don’t need to manually run it each time you want to see the security of your online accounts. The score and steps you can take to improve your online security are there each time you visit that part of the software’s interface.

With today’s update, LogMeIn is also introducing dark web monitoring. When you enable the feature, LastPass will proactively check your online accounts against Enzoic’s compromised credentials database. If it detects an issue, it will notify you through both email and the app. Dark web monitoring is available to LastPass Premium, Family and Business subscribers. The dashboard, by contrast, is available to all LastPass users.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

This $40 training is a step-by-step guide to learning Adobe Premiere

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You may not realize it, but some of the biggest films in movie history have been edited using the same tools some of you use to cut your video of vacationing at Disney World.

Giant movies from Oscar favorites The Social Network and Gone Girl to blockbusters like Avatar, Deadpool, and last year’s Terminator: Dark Fate have all been put together using Adobe Premiere, a video editing mainstay and one of the crown jewels of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of apps.

In fact, used in tandem with sister apps like After Effects, Spark, and Audition, filmmakers are finding they can achieve virtually any visual technique they can imagine with the same software used by millions every day.

The Complete Adobe Hollywood Filmmaker Bundle is the perfect introduction for those with an interest in shooting and editing their own professional-grade feature or just for those trying to make their kid’s Little League game footage as epic as Field of Dreams.

The collection includes five courses, each exploring one of five different Adobe CC apps that can help elevate your video production work.

The training starts with a deep dive into the core of Adobe video editing, Introduction to Adobe Premiere Pro 2020. Even first-timers will get a thorough understanding of everything Premiere can do as students are guided through the process of starting a project, importing and organizing footage, basic editing, color correction, compositing, graphic creation, and more with expert level precision.

With Adobe After Effects 2020, learners get a crash course in how to add those how-did-they-do-that special effects and animations that make any video look like it had a million-dollar budget. Read the rest

Trailer for Ridley Scott’s Raised by Wolves

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Raised by Wolves is the new TV show from Ridley Scott, coming to HBO Max on September 3. It looks completely deranged and I can’t wait.

Raised by Wolves centers around “two androids — Father and Mother — tasked with raising human children on a mysterious new planet. As the burgeoning colony of humans threatens to be torn apart by religious differences the androids learn that controlling the beliefs of humans is a treacherous and difficult task.”

The trailer looks and feels so much like Prometheus and Alien: Covenant that I can’t shake the feeling that he’s rebooting those stories, as it were — the same peculiar aesthetic and emotional setting, the same themes — free of all the Alien/Blade Runner universe baggage. Read the rest

My puppy wanted me to get out of bed

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When it is playtime for Electra, it is playtime for everyone.

Electra hasn’t quite figured out how to get on the bed, but she sure knows how to get my attention.

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Sure I was vaccinated today, but my energy levels are fine! #puppy #bark #dog #dogsofinstagram #cute

A post shared by Electra (@electra___cute) on Aug 3, 2020 at 8:00pm PDT

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