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Date: Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 15:01

Onomatopoeia are words that suggest or resemble sounds. In simpler terms, they are sound effects. You see them in comic books where things go ‘Wham’, ‘Bam’, and ‘Smash’. Most likely you’ve learned some of them at a young age like how cows go ‘moo’ and cats go ‘meow’. They’re the reason Ylvis’ What Does The Fox Say? was stuck in your head for a while.

There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of sound effects. What’s more, they differ from language to language. This is what fascinated and inspired PhD physics student James Chapman. Hailing from Manchester, UK, the 25-year-old would scour the Internet for various onomatopoeia before compiling them and illustrating them into cute comics.

For more of James’ work, check out his Tumblr.

applause

cats

crying

drinking

eating

kissing

pain

popping

quiet

ringing

screaming

smashing

snoring

yawning








Author: "Leanne Tan" Tags: "comic, Inspiration, languages"
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Date: Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 10:01

We access the Internet through our web browsers all the time but it doesn’t really get a second thought. Windows OS users are probably more familiar with well-known ones such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera etc. In actuality, there are many other web browsers with plenty of unique features available in the market.

There are those catered to gamers and some are more for people who want a more integrated way for socializing. Here we’ve covered 20 web browsers for Windows that you may not know of. They could potentially make your life a whole lot easier.

1. Dooble Browser

Dooble is a new open source and multi-platform web browser launched in September 2009. Dooble aims to provide improved privacy and usability. Currently it is available for Windows, OS X, Linux and FreeBSD. Along with other features, Dooble has a built-in easy to use download manager and it can also support third party plugins as well. [Get it here]

2. U Browser

U is a free to use web browser developed by Conduit. It is a Chromium-based web browser with a user-friendly design and it’s great for people who are more into using social tools. It is really easy to cross over from the web to your friends, apps and even your phone by using U browser. [Get it here]

3. Coowon Browser

Coowon is a Google Chrome based browser and specially designed for gamers. It has some features that are perfect for online gaming such as performing automated tasks, Record and Play for mouse clicks, Gamepad Support and controlling your game speed while you play games. [Get it here]

4. BlackHawk

BlackHawk is an easy to use web browser. It combines the operating speed of Chrome and the practical functionality of Firefox. BlackHawk provides exceptional cookie handling. [Get it here]

5. Beamrise Browser

Beamrise is the latest social web browser that merges chatting and browsing together. It allows you chat using your regular social networks and video chat via the browser itself. There’s also awesome animations, visual bookmarks and even free texts powered by Android. [Get it here]

6. NetGroove Browser

NetGroove is a light, fast and tabbed browser based on the Internet Explorer Engine. The main feature of this web browser is that you can use it directly from your flash drive without having to install it. [Get it here]

7. Epic Browser

Epic is an Indian-based web browser which is powered by Mozilla. It provides you the latest films and songs, live cricket scores, news from multiple sources such as regional and Hindi language sources. While surfing the Internet on Epic, no one can track what you browse and what you search. [Get it here]

8. QT Web Browser

QT Web Browser is a portable, secure, fast and lightweight web browser with a unique user interface. It is an open source software based on Nokia’s QT framework and Apple’s Webkit. [Get it here]

9. Browzar Browser

Browzar is a privacy oriented web browser which does not save browsing History, Cookies, Temp files, Passwords, Cache etc. It is suitable for cloud and banking applications. Once you have finished your work and closed the browser, it cleans up automatically. [Get it here]

10. Wyzo Browser

Wyzo is usually referred as The Media Browser because it optimizes the online media experience of a user. It accelerates the web downloads and also allows a user to download torrents with a single click. It is totally compatible with all famous and common add-ons for Mozilla-based browsers. [Get it here]

11. SlimBrowser

SlimBrowser is fast, secure and powerful. It is one of the best web browsers for Windows in terms of time saving. It has an intelligent form filler which lightens the burden of completing web forms. It has a built-in ad filter and pop-up killer that eliminates annoying advertisements very efficiently. [Get it here]

12. Avant Browser

Avant web browser has a very user-friendly interface and it is totally free with no advertisements and malwares. It is a multi-processing and light weight web browser. It has a built-in download accelerator and video sniffer which lets you detect and download the videos from the current webpage. It has features ranging from private browsing to a flash animation filter. [Get it here]

13. Superbird

Superbird is a free, fast and alternative option to Google Chrome. It’s main emphasis is on speed, data security and stability. This light weight web browser with auto update functions comes with a variety of plugins. It has improved privacy as no data is sent to Google or other third parties. [Get it here]

14. Comodo IceDragon Browser

Comodo IceDragon is a secure, fast and feature-rich browser based on Firefox. It comes integrated with Comodo security. It scans webpages for malwares. Comodo IceDragon is fully compatible with all Firefox plugins. [Get it here]

15. Lunascape Browser

Lunascape is a free web browser which harnesses 3 popular rendering engines (Trident, Gecko, WebKit). By clicking on the smart engine-switch button, one can easily switch the rendering engine from any of the ones included for any webpage displayed on the browser. This browser is ideal for technology geeks and web developers. [Get it here]

16. TORCH Browser

TORCH browser is free like the other ones featured here. By using TORCH browser, you can easily search and share photos, videos and links in just one click and can download your favorite videos in a single click by embedded video grabber. Great for those of you who want to keep and share your memories. [Get it here]

17. Midori Browser

Midori is a free, fast and lightweight web browser which is specially designed for users concerned about their privacy. By default, it allows users to search through DuckDuckGo. It uses GTK+2 interface and WebKit rendering engine. [Get it here]

18. Maxthon Browser

Maxthon is a cloud browser with a unique dual-core design, which uses both Trident and Webkit. It offers cloud services, modes that make it easier for reading and features to make web browsing more convenient . It even provides easy screen grabbing and has great security and privacy functions. [Get it here]

19. Yandex.Browser

Yandex.Browser is a very simple and user-friendly browser which is based on the Chromium technology platform. It loads the webpages very quickly and provides plenty of space for viewing webpages. It provides a cloud-based safe browsing technology with Kaspersky Lab security solution. [Get it here]

20. QupZilla Browser

QupZilla is a cross-platform web browser built on the QtWebKit engine. Some of its important features include history and feeds, unified library for bookmarks, integrated ad blocker, cookie manager, speed dial and private browsing mode. [Get it here]








Author: "Fahad Khan" Tags: "windows, alternatives, Tools, browsers"
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 15:01

Badges can be quite handy for a designer as it can be incorporated into various items such as banners, landing pages and other things. It can even be used as your watermark. Instead of spending a lot of time creating your own badges, there are actually plenty of badges already available for your use.

In this showcase, I’ve collected over 20 free badges designs in PSD and AI files. All of them are fully customizable to meet your design project needs. Whether you’re looking for something with a more vintage feel or maybe something a bit more simple, browse through and have a look for yourself.

Free Retro Badges by Imagearea

Vintage Labels/Insignias by Raul Taciu

Design club label design by Freepik

Flat Badges V.01 (Ai, Eps) by blugraphic

Branding Bundle from Cruzine Design

8 Simple Badge Templates from Cruzine Design

5 Photo Neat Retro Badges (PSD) by blugraphic

Badge Templates (Psd) by blugraphic

Free Vintage Effects & Templates Toolkit by Hortensiu Milstein

4 Free Ornamental Headers v.2 by Cruzine Design

Premium Quality Badges (Vector / Psd) by blugraphic

3 Vector Badge Templates by inu mocca

Hand Drawn Badges By Callie

4 Retro Sign Templates by Cruzine Design

Premium Vintage Label by eightonesix

Free badge collection by Scredeck

Vintage Badge by eightonesix

Free vintage typography label art by Freepik

Retro label design art by Freepik

Vector stickers collection by Freepik








Author: "Nancy Young" Tags: "photoshop psds, badges, Web Design"
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 10:01

After Instagram released Hyperlapse, iPhone users are having a ball of a time making creative videos. As for the rest of us with Android phones, we are still waiting for the day when Instagram would make the app available for our phones and for Google to change their API. Sigh. But why continue to wait in frustration when you can join in and create your own timelapse videos with these alternatives?

overlapse

Of course as alternatives, these apps do not have the same technology as Hyperlapse such as its stabilization feature and the option to import older videos. These apps however will let you create timelapse videos without having to invest in expensive and sophisticated equipment. Interestingly some have even existed before Hyperlapse. Whether you knew that or not, you can now consider these 5 Android apps to create timelapse videos.

1. Lapse It

If you like the ability to control settings when shooting your timelapse video, Lapse It is for you. You can start setting things up like the white balance, ISO, resolution etc. when you first open the app. As this is a timelapse app, you would also want to set the app to capture a picture during each interval. The lower the number of intervals, the more shots are captured which in turn shows more changes.

When you are done recording, simply press the stop button. You can also pause the recording to record another scene. The app will then let you edit your timelapse, such as by applying effects and trimming the video length. It even allows you to add music, something the Hyperlapse app lacks. The best thing about Lapse It is that it lets you render your timelapse specifically for upload onto Instagram.

[Get it here]

lapseit

2. Framelapse

Framelapse was once known as Droid Timelapse. Like Lapse It, the app allows you to control your settings before recording. The app even comes with a Wizard mode which helps you set the frame interval. This is helpful for when you are not sure what to set it to, but are sure about the video duration. But of course, to not be limited by your shooting length, set your video duration to infinite.

There are some caveats to using Framelapse. First, the app does not allow you to share your timelapse to Instagram. It does however produce a high quality MP4 video that you can play on any device. Secondly when using the app, make sure there are no distractions by turning off notifications and putting your phone on airplane mode.

[Get it here]

framelapse

3. Hyper Timelapse

Compared to Lapse It and Framelapse, Hyper Timelapse offers the least control in settings. It is however the closest you can get to the directness of the Hyperlapse app. The app allows you to shoot your video first and set the speed of your timelapse later. You can set the speed of the frame rate from 2x to 8x with the latter being the fastest.

Being a relatively new app, Hyper Timelapse needs to first straighten a few bumps. It cuts your timelapse in half and it really needs more settings. The good thing about it though is that the app lets you share your timelapse across several social media platforms including Instagram and messaging apps.

[Get it here]

hypertimelapse

4. TimeLapse

Next in simplicity is TimeLapse. Upon opening the app, you can set the most basic of settings namely image interval, resolution, and the limit of photos captured. Once done, you can begin recording. You can even change the scene by pausing the recording and shifting your focus elsewhere. To finish up, simply press stop and the encode button to render it for sharing.

A fault with TimeLapse is that it doesn’t save your previous videos. Every time you take a new video, the app will inform you that it has to delete your previous ones. This can be a good thing though if you rather not have timelapse videos taking up your phone space. Like Hyper Timelapse, this app allows you to share your timelapse across various social media and messaging apps.

[Get it here]

timelapse

5. Overlapse

Overlapse is very different from the rest in that you have to manually tap the capture button to shoot your images. This is however its greatest strength as it allows you to take timelapse videos over a period of days, months, or even years. It comes with an overlay feature that shows a shot of the previous photo. The overlay helps to guide your next shot like Vine’s ghost mode.

This feature also makes the app ideal for creating stop motion videos. Taking into consideration that you might be creating several videos at any one time, Overlapse saves your images under different projects. To share your timelapse, you would need to first sign up for an Overlapse account. The app lets you share across different channels but sadly, at the time of writing, Instagram is not one of the them.

[Get it here]

overlapse

Are there any other apps that we’ve missed out? Please let us know in the comments below!








Author: "Leanne Tan" Tags: "Tools, hyperlapse, android"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 15:01

People love to follow trends. And there is nothing bad about that. In fact, in order to be “cool” following trends is a must. This is very important for web designers in order to keep up with the growing competition. But when it comes to following trends, web designers sometimes tend to overthink or overlook some of the most important details, especially for usability.

In this post, we’re going to try and point out some of the more “annoying” things of current design trends. When you understand what makes them annoying, you’ll be able to avoid doing them for yourself.

Infinite Scroll With Footer Content

Infinite loading is cool and in many cases people actually love the smoothness of it. Thanks to Pinterest, infinite scrolling is still hot up till now. The problem happens when a website scrolls automatically and it has footer content that gets pushed to the bottom all the time.

Here’s the perfect example of infinite scroll and footer combo.

annoying-web-design-trends-infinitescrollfooter.jpg

DVF.com uses infinite scrolling and they have their footer, well, at the bottom. I tried scrolling to catch up with the footer but the page just kept on extending.

This is not just annoying, this is a usability issue that needs to be addressed. Something that Facebook managed to solve quite easily. But when the infinite scroll was introduced to the site, they also had this problem.

annoying-web-design-trends-infinitescrollfooterfix2.jpg
(Image Source: Zachstronaut.com)

Parallax Websites Galore

Parallax websites are okay, and to a degree they are really pleasing to the eyes. These kind of websites used to be gems because of how rare and perfect they appeared to the regular user. Right now though it’s everywhere. The beauty in rarity is now dead, and even web design blogs are shunning parallax tutorials nowadays.

annoying-web-design-trends-parallax.jpg

Also, there is a slight misconception about parallax websites. There are people who think that a single page website that scrolls is considered a parallax site. This is wrong. Parallax websites display depth by having layers while regular single page websites don’t have the illusion of depth.

Now, parallax websites are great for introducing a product or a service, something that doesn’t need lots of text but a fancy presentation would be of help. The problem happens when parallax websites are used to replace regular websites with lots of content. Instead of separating them on different pages, they are all loaded up in one single page.

Another issue with the overuse and misuse of parallax websites, including regular single page websites, is when they get to the point where you need to scroll down for several seconds just to reach the bottom.

First, it can be tricky with browsing history. Secondly, these websites tend to be heavy in terms of loading the files. Which users with slow internet connection would definitely despise and most likely never visit again. But overall, when done right, parallax websites is still capable of captivating people’s heart.

Floating Elements

There seem to be a big fascination when it comes to floating elements in a website. Floating menu bars that stick around even after the users have scrolled down to the footer, floating social media icons that clearly begs to be clicked, and floating sidebar advertisements. This happens both on desktop and mobile websites.

Here are a couple of reasons why this is bad:

  • People who have small screens can’t fully see the content available.
  • It’s obnoxious.
  • Design-wise, they don’t look good at all.

annoying-web-design-trends-floatingelements.jpg

Take a look at the screenshot above. It’s my website and I hate 2 things about it. First is whenever I log in on my dashboard and visit the front page, the admin bar is always there to cover the links and search bar. Second is the menu bar itself that scrolls with the page. You can probably understand my frustration with this.

Here’s an example for mobile applications. It floats and when it’s closed, it appears after a few seconds (not minutes).

annoying-web-design-trends-sticky.jpg

Popups and Splash Pages

Splash pages are ancient. Popups are evil. But those that don’t provide value are basically the heralds of darkness (see screenshot below). And when I say no value, I mean popups or splash pages that exist solely to display a third-party advertisement or to solicit for Facebook likes and Twitter followers.

annoying-web-design-trends-popup.jpg

Splash pages are a thing of history and they should not be used at all. I’m not even sure why Forbes still clings to such a crude practice.

annoying-web-design-trends-splashpage.jpg

Popups are a necessary evil. And they work well. But people hate them. So, why do people keep on falling for these popups? Simple: it’s because they offer value. A free ebook, a discount coupon, great information that they will get when they sign up for a newsletter, and similar things.

My point here is as much as possible, try to avoid popups. However, if you can’t avoid popups because you have a product to promote, at least have the decency to offer something in return for people’s time (or email address).

Distracting Background

In every art form, beginners and experts alike love to tell everyone to always keep it simple, stupid! And rightly so, if the purpose of the website you are designing is to provide information, then the focus should be on the content, not on the background.

Here is an example of a website with a great fullscreen background.

annoying-web-design-trends-fullscreenbackground.jpg

If you head to the website itself, you will see that it employs several large images as a background. And it’s fantastically applied! The reason? The images used here are not placed there as a mere background, but as a means to direct people’s attention, to give visual cues on what really matters.

annoying-web-design-trends-backgrounddistracting.jpg

What do you think about the website shown above. Do you think it’s distracting?

Conclusion

It’s either by necessity or passion that the things above are born, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It only becomes “wrong” when they are used excessively or of without thought for the users.

Remember, designing is all about making people comfortable and to help them use your website with great ease, not to make them feel frustrated.








Author: "Rean" Tags: "General"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 13:01

With the release of the first Android Wear watches, many developers have started releasing apps that work with the wearable. Along with apps that provide different sets of functionality to the device, developers have released watch faces that allows users to customize the look of their wearable.

In this list, we pick our favorite and best looking 25 Android Wear watch faces you can get from the Play Store. Some of them just tell time while looking good doing it. Others do so in a unique fashion while some have extra functions that add to their value. Without further ado, here are 25 beautiful Android Wear watch faces.

Binary Watch Face

Android Wear users with the ability to read binary in an instant should try out this watch face. The hours, seconds and minutes are translated into binary, which on the watch is shown as colored dots. You can change the colors of the dots, with premium features letting you display the time in decimals, for those who need a little help. [Download]

Binary Watch Face

Convergence Watch Face

The new UI language for Android, Material Design, will soon be on phones with the release of Android L. For fans of the design, you can add in a watch face inspired by it with Convergence. From the paper stack feel, colorful circles and drop shadows, it’s one of the nicer looking faces you can get right now. [Download]

Convergence Watch Face

Chrono Watch Face For Wear

Combining the look of both an analogue and digital watch face, Chrono offers up a lot of useful information at a glance while looking slick at the same time. It even lets you get ahold of battery information of both your wearable and phone, along with the day and date in the middle. [Download]

Chrono Watch Face

Matrix Face For Android Wear

This watch face emulates the famous Matrix digital rain on your Android Wear device, letting you peer into the Matrix while knowing the time of day. [Download]

Matrix Watch Face

Timeless – Wear Watchface

A minimalists watch face that includes beautiful background photos and will transition between them over time. If you prefer it without the background, you can disable it in the settings. [Download]

Timeless Watch Face

Human Time Watch Face

If you want a more human readable watch that doesn’t involve numbers, download the Human Time Watch Face. Instead of numbers, the display will show the time the same way people say it, like “Nine o’clock” or half pass ten. You can customize the look of the face, from the background to the font. [Download]

Human Time Watch Face

Aviation Watch Face For Wear

This watch face was a contest submission for the Moto 360 watch face competition. It is based on an aircraft speed measurement instrument. [Download]

Aviation Watch Face

Orbital – Wear Watchface

A very simple, black and white watch face that tells time using 3 dots that represents the hands on a clock. [Download]

Orbital Watch Face

TextFace For Android Wear

Another human readable watch face, this time with a minimalist bent and the date of the day. [Download]

TextFace Watch Face

Woto Watch Face

Fans of the Moto 360 default watch face currently owning other Android Wear watches should give this a try. It will help you fantasize about owning one. And on its own, it’s a good looking watch face. [Download]

Woto Watch Face

Terminal Watch Face

Tech geeks and CLI purist should consider the Terminal Watch Face, which will tell the time in a command line environment. It’s not an actual terminal so you can’t actually give commands to your Wear but it will make you look like a retro hacker. [Download]

Terminal Watch Face

Minimalist Wear Watch Face

True to its name, this watch face is a minimalist, analogue style clock. You can change the color of any of the elements on the clock and that’s pretty much it as far as customization goes. [Download]

Minimalist Watch Face

Ingress Wear Watchface

Ingress players should download this watch face, as it shows the time to the next checkpoint as well as the time to the end of the current septicycle. And it looks good to boot. [Download]

Ingress Watch Face

DigiWatch For Android Wear

A no-fluff digital watch face for Android Wear. You can change the font, size and background color of the watch face to your taste. [Download]

DigiWatch Watch Face

9elements One Watch Face

A human readable watch face that looks like a word search puzzle. The time will highlight itself among the words. [Download]

9elments One Watch Face

Planets Watchface Android Wear

A watch face for the astronomy junkie, Planets will display the position and rotation of the planets in the Solar System behind an analogue clock. The data is taken from NASA so you can be pretty sure of the accuracy of the planets. [Download]

Plantes Watch Face

Wear LCD Watchface BETA

How about a little bit of nostalgia? 90′s kids will appreciate the Wear LCD Watchface as it is mimics the Baby-G of their era. [Download]

LCD Watch Face

Weather Wear Watch Face

Not only will this beautiful watch face tell you the time, it can also keep you up-to-date with the weather conditions in your area. [Download]

Weather Watch Face

Chron Watchface

A great, futuristic looking watch face that looks like something out of Tron. If the colors aren’t your style, you can change them to something that’s less neon. [Download]

Chron Watch Face

12Hours Wear

An Android Wear version of the phone widget, 12Hours will sync up with your calender and represent them on your Wear as time blocks. [Download]

12Hours Watch Face

Speeds Watch Face

Emulating the aesthetics of a sports watch, this watch face even includes a speedometer for use when running and cycling. [Download]

Speeds Watch Face

Watch Face For Wear – Square

A simple watch face that is mean to to give your Wear a more sleek and classical look. [Download]

Squares Watch Face

Just A Minute: Wear Watch Face

This watch face shows you how many minutes are left within an hour. Perfect for those who like to keep track of time right down to the minute. [Download]

Just A Minute

Wear Watch Faces

A collection of great looking watch faces in one app, this one having 4 to choose from. My favorite has to be “Back to the Watch”, which gives you a watch face inspired by Back to the Future. Download it to see what other faces it has to offer. [Download]

Wear Watch Faces

Android Wear Beautiful Watches

Another collection of great looking watch faces, this time 10 of them in the package. They range from analogue, digital to human readable but all of them look well made and gorgeous. [Download]

Beautiful Watch Faces








Author: "Azwan Jamaluddin" Tags: "android wear, Web 2.0, android"
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Date: Sunday, 28 Sep 2014 10:01

Identity branding is an intergral part of business. After all, you have make sure that you can market yourself properly. It’s not always easy trying to come up with a design that suits your needs. Something that not only reflects what you stand for but showcases the personality of your brand as well, whether it’s your personal brand or for a business that you have.

To help you out, we’ve gathered for you a few examples of simple and elegant brand identity design. Ranging from print to digital, these different brands will give you a better idea of what you need to do to get it right.

Corktow Seed

SD/

L A E – L A E

Brox

Bluebirds & Co

Creation Visual Merchandising (CVM)

Eskimo

Your Local

Revert Design

George Marez

Mignon

Ink

Garderobbery

Wave Rider

LOVE…etc

SUCH

“Oh, Honestly”

Coffee Supreme

Fresh Air Farm

Hamptons House

BV Photography

Benevolent Society

InexModa

International Games Day

Ritmia








Author: "Hongkiat Lim" Tags: "corporate identity, identity design, Ins..."
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Date: Friday, 26 Sep 2014 15:01

Logos, as you all know, play are a major part in branding. A good logo can help the masses associate and identify your product or service. This is precisely why logos go through vigorous designing and redesigning stages to communicate the brand they’re representing well.

Of course, there are those that don’t do so well as the meaning behind them somehow gets lost. For the ones that do their job successfully, you can’t help but marvel at how ingenious the design is and how they convey meaning with the use of space and symbols. That is, if you know what they mean or what to look out for. To help you with that, we’ve compiled 25 logos that we found have hidden meanings in their designs.

1. Amazon

The giant online store aptly takes on the name Amazon to convey its wide store directory. This is further hinted by the arrow linking the ‘A’ to ‘Z’ to say that they have everything from ‘A’ to ‘Z’. Which should be able to satisfy you, hence the dual meaning of the arrow being a smile.

(Image source: Business Insider)

amazon

2. FedEx

The shipping company’s logo seem like a simple one with only its name. However if you take a second look at the space between the ‘E’ and the ‘X’, you would notice an arrow. With it so perfectly placed there, it is no wonder that the arrow represents speed and percision.

(Image source: The Branding Journal)

fedex

3. Sony VAIO

VAIO is Sony’s brand line for its laptops. The logo is not just a sylized brand name but refers to turning analog waves into a digital form too. The analog waves are represented in the ‘V’ and ‘A’. ‘I’ and ‘O’ on the other hand can also refer to 1 and 0, which are the two digits used in binary code, the digital.

(Image source: The Branding Journal)

sonyvaio

4. Sun Microsystems

This logo was designed by computer science professor Vaughan Pratt. While not having designer chops, Pratt managed to come up with a ingenious design by making Sun’s logo into an ambigram, which is a typographic design that spells a word out in various directions.

Here, he constructed the design that no matter what direction you twist and turn it, you can still read the word “Sun”.

(Image source: Diply)

sun

5. Hershey’s

Hershey’s Kisses are so fun to give out as you can offer them to people with the quip: "Do you want a kiss?"

Bad jokes aside, turn the logo on its side and you just might spot a (chocolate) Kiss between the ‘K’ and ‘I’.

(Image source: Webneel)

hersheys

6. Carrefour

The popular French hypermarket’s name Carrefour translates to mean crossroads. Hence the red and blue arrows pointing at different directions. If you squint hard enough, you’ll be able to make out the letter ‘C’ which was cleverly incorporated through the use of negative space.

(Image source: The Branding Journal)

TITLE

7. Northwest Airlines

This used to be Northwest Airlines’ logo before it was retired in 2003. Simply put, the logo is well-designed by making use of negative space to both convey ‘N’ and ‘W’ at the same time. The triangle placed in the ring also suggest the image of a compass, with the triangle pointing in the northwest direction.

(Image source: Pixel Push)

northwest

8. NBC

NBC was once known as the Peacock Network when the bird was first used as its logo in 1956. The peacock has now evolved to this with its 6 colored tail representing the departments; News, Sports, Entertainment, Stations, Networks, and Productions.

Additionally, the peacock is depicted facing right to show that the television network is looking towards the future.

(Image source: The Branding Journal)

NBC

9. Goodwill

As a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged people, it’s easy to see that Goodwill’s logo featuring a smile means that the organization helps them to become better.

If you look closer at the ‘G’ in the wording, you would see the same half smiley face. Now is the logo a ‘G’ or a smiley face?

(Image source: Wikipedia)

goodwill

10. Toblerone

Chocolate again! Toblerone’s logo is lot more complex than Hershey’s. Look closely at the mountain and you’ll be able to spot a bear. The reason for this is because the Swiss chocolate company originated from the city of Bern, Switzerland which is also known as the City of Bears.

(Image source: Web Designer Depot)

toblerone

11. Le Tour de France

The name of the of the annual and vigorous biking competition isn’t the only feature in this logo. Look closer at the letter ‘R’ and the yellow circle next to it. You’ll be able to see a cyclist in racing postion. The yellow circle can also represent the sun to signify that the race takes place during day time.

(Image source: Web Designer Depot)

tourdefrance

12. London Symphony Orchestra

At first glance, this might seem to be a simple logo consisting of only the initial letters that make up the London Symphony Orchestra.

But if you take the trouble to visualize, the wavy line also conjures up an abstract image of a conductor waving his baton.

(Image source: Web Designer Depot)

LSO

13. MyFonts

MyFonts is a font resource for all your font needs. Being a font resource site, they’ve got to walk the talk by having a customized font as their logo. And what better way to do that than by having the ‘My’ stylized to also look like a hand? You know, to suggest that you can get your hands on the fonts you need.

(Image source: Web Designer Depot)

myfonts

14. Facebook Places

Anyone remembered the defunct Facebook Places? Considered to be a direct competitor of Foursquare, all you have to do is take a closer look at the design. Especially the rectangle meant to represent a map. Now is it just me or does the lines form a number 4?

(Image source: Business Insider)

facebookplaces

15. Spartan Golf Club

Like most logos on this list, this one tries to represent its name. And it does it well by representing 2 things. It first features a golfer swinging his club. With the use of negative space, it secondly features a side profile of a Spartan warrior.

(Image source: Somebody Marketing)

spartangolf

16. Cluenatic

If you couldn’t guess from the name, Cluenatic is a puzzle game. And a puzzle game needs a puzzle as its logo. Here, the letters making up the word ‘Clue’ is arranged to look like a maze. Additionally when you view the logo as a whole, it looks like a key.

(Image source: Stumblepod)

cluenatic

17. Cisco

Cisco is well-known for designing, manufacturing, and selling networking equipment. It is therefore not surprising that they decide to incorporate an illustrated digital signal into their logo.

But there’s another meaning to that digital signal. In fact it looks like an abstract of the famous Gold Gate bridge in San Francisco. By choosing this design, Cisco managed to both convey what they do and where they are located at.

(Image source: Business Insider)

cisco

18. Eighty 20

At first glance, you might think that this data company’s logo is just made up of random squares arranged into 2 rows. In fact, the squares are really binary codes with the top being 1010000 and the bottom being 0010100.

The binary codes form the numbers 80 and 20 respectively. When put together they form the company’s name. You get extra geek points if you managed to figure that out without the help of this explanation.

(Image source: Stock Logos)

eighty20

19. Nintendo Gamecube

I’m sure anyone will agree that this is a good logo with its clever cube-ception game going on. But it’s about to get even more clever. If you look at it this way, the blue lines also form the letter ‘G’ and the black space in between forms the letter ‘C’. And what do they represent? That’s right, Gamecube.

Well played, Nintendo. Well played.

(Image source: Business Insider)

gamecube

20. US Cyber Command

Why is this logo here? It looks like any ordinary blah government logo. That’s what the United States Cyber Command wants you to think. Look closer at the inner golden ring and you’ll find 32 characters.

The meaning of the characters is a little bit hard to decipher. Many speculated it’s Cyber Commmand’s mission statement encrypted in the 32 character code. For the logo’s meaning, check out this link.

(Image source: Business Insider)

UScybercommand

21. Microsoft XNA

XNA is a set of tools Microsoft came up with for games development. The orange dashed line that makes up one of the ‘X’ strokes is actually Morse Code spelling out XNA. _.._ is X, _. is N, and ._ is A.

(Image source: Wikipedia)

XNA

22. Picasa

Google’s image editing and sharing site does not only represent a camera shutter. Oh no. Its name Picasa is a word play on the concept that the site is a home for your photos. Casa in Spanish translates to house. Now do you see a house in the middle of the colorful shutters or do you see a house?

(Image source: Wikimedia)

picasa

23. Rdio

Rdio, although lacking an ‘A’, offers radio streaming services as its name implies. Its logo cutely uses the space in the ‘D’ and ‘O’ to contain musical notes; a semibreve and a crochet respectively.

(Image source: Business Insider)

rdio

24. The Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo can be found in New York City. Naturally being a zoo, they would use animals (in this case giraffes and birds) in their logo design. But wait, take a second look at the giraffes’ legs and you’ll see New York’s cityline artfully included through the space between the legs.

(Image source: Pixel Push)

bronxzoo

25. Pittsburgh Zoo

American zoos sure love using negative spaces in their designs. And they do it beautifully, as demonstrated by the Pittsburgh Zoo in Pennsylvania.

In case you don’t see it, there’s a gorilla and a lion staring at each other from the sides of the tree.

(Image source: Wikipedia)

pittsburghzoo







Author: "Leanne Tan" Tags: "Web 2.0, logo design"
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Date: Friday, 26 Sep 2014 10:01

It’s always good to have a bunch of resources available when you need to look for something in particular. This is why we’ve taken our time to perform a broad search and look for resources released recently that could be of use to all the designers out there.

Here we’ve organized a great list of items for graphic designers and developers to apply and enjoy in their next projects, including Themes, PSD freebies, Fonts and lots more. Whether you’re in need of a spanking new theme or a neat font for your site, we’ve got some great choices for you.

Themes

FastNews. FastNews is a news and magazine theme with a minimal, yet professional look. It is built with HTML5 and CSS3 to provide full responsiveness and contains diverse features such as social links support and a featured post slider. There are 2 versions available: A freebie and a paid version that gives you access to extra features.

Fast news

Devion. Devion is a fantastic theme made with Bootstrap 3, especially suitable for video sharing websites. Though it needs some plugins to fulfill this purpose, the setup is a breeze, and the result is amazing.

Devion

Pictorico. Pictorico is a single column portfolio theme with a grid to showcase your best artwork. It comes with features such as a post slider and big featured images, making this theme ideal for photo blogging or photography portfolios.

Pictorico

Make. Make is a premium theme with a free version; a minimal yet very powerful idea that is almost a theme builder in itself. The free version comes with valuable features like Google fonts, layout options, Jetpack support and many more.

Make

Creative. A minimal theme catering for creative agencies, it is made with mobile interactions in mind. The theme comes with features like Search Engine Optimization and cross-browser compatibility.

Creative

Stylish Portfolio. Stylish portfolio is a single page portfolio theme packed with canvas navigation and some other features such as smooth scrolling, Font Awesome integration, Google Maps footer and more. It was released under the Apache 2.0 license.

Stylish Portfolio

User Interface PSDs

Free Metro-style E-commerce UI Kit PSD. The Metro style is so visually appealing that it has surpassed Windows 8 in a lot of environments. This freebie brings all the essentials you need to create e-commerce apps and websites with this style.

Metro UI

Mobile UI Kit. The perfect thing to assist in your mobile app development projects. This mobile user interface contains elements for many different purposes such as a login screen, calendar, music player and maps.

Mobile UI kit

Bootstrap 3 Vector UI Kit. This UI kit has all of the interface elements included in Bootstrap 3, provided in vector format. Glyphicons are also included, as well as other additional items. Ideal for mock-ups of control and admin panels.

Bootstrap 3 vector

Numbers UI. This UI focuses mainly on charts, graphs and numerical data. It can be a great tool for creating edgy-looking mobile apps and designs.

Numbers UI

Morph Free UI Kit. A super complete, flat styled UI kit provided for free by the guys at Morphos. The kit is incredibly complete, featuring elements for data analytics, media playback, navigation elements and much more.

Morph Free UI Kit

Metro Food UI Kit. This set of colorful flat elements will allow you to put together a food-oriented website with widgets, pictures and icons. Perfect for restaurants or food blogs.

Metro Food UI Kit

Color Picker UI Kit. The title is pretty self-explanatory here, this PSD file will give you the ability to set-up a color picker for your next application, or get a bunch of colors for reference or help you pick something out with the eyedropper tool.

Color Picker

Fonts

Gist Rough Light Three Font. A beautiful typeface featuring a striking texture effect, making it perfect for special titles or header. The font is available for free at MyFonts.

Gist Light

Hans Kendrick. Hans Kendrick is a grotesque typeface with elegant and geometric design, compressed in one weight. This font is very legible in all sizes but is best suited for large displays. There is support for special characters and numbers.

Hans Font

Idealist Sans Font. Idealist is an extremely readable, rounded typeface that provides a pleasant view when reading body text. Its main feature is its versatility, since it manages Cyrillic, Western and Central European (and their respective special characters) with ease.

Idealist Sans Font

Archivo Narrow Performance Font. Sometimes you want a font that can just do the job: Be read. Archivo Narrow specializes in this task by providing a compact, highly readable typeface that works perfectly for both digital and printed environments.

Archivo

Icons

Hawcons. A massive pack of over 500 icons with sharp and crisp design. These are icons suitable for any purpose, and although they are created using Sketch, they are also available for Photoshop and Illustrator.

Hawcons

Transportation Icons. This set we have here is a compendium of 71 stroke icons depicting all the conventional means of transportation. The icons are vector shapes made with Adobe Illustrator.

Transportation icons

Mobile Icons. This set is probably the biggest mobile collection of icons you will get for free. It’s composed of nearly 10 thousand icons for leading mobile interfaces, including classic iPhone, iOS7, Windows 8 and Android systems in a neat 7Zip file.

Mobile icon

1000 Free Icon Set. Yes, you read that right. This massive package from Six Revisions contains 1000 free icons for your delight in PNG, EPS and AI formats. They cover many different topics and situations.

Free icons

Flat Icons in Brownie Theme. These fresh icons make a great combination of the new flat style trend with more retro ideas by featuring old colors over edgy icon designs. Definitely worth a look.

Brownie flat icons

iOS 7 Inspired Tab Icons. iOS icons can be subtle, sharp and avant-garde. This amazing set intends to replicate just those attributes with an extremely simple styling that works like a dream.

ios7 icons

Circle Social Media Icons. Social media icons are always needed to promote yourself all over the internet. We’ve found these rounded icons to be particularly attractive and might be able to call in a few extra users.

sircle social icons

Mobile Devices Icon Font. A simple idea for an icon font displaying cell phones and tablets in different positions and sizes. Perfect for retina-readiness and lightweight designs.

Mobile Devices

Templates

Resume Template. Flat style is not only for templates and apps; printed projects can make good use of it too. The following is a flat style resume template in a printable fashion that you can use to present yourself and your work when looking for a job.

Resume Template

Solid. Solid is a flat Bootstrap 3-powered HTML template made for freelancers and creative agency portfolios. It’s been created with some outstanding features like masonry, PrettyPhoto lightbox, Font Awesome and more.

Solid

Senkadagala. Named after a Sri Lanka city, Senkadagala is a minimal, single page template made for creative agency landing pages. It’s built on Bootstrap 3 and carries complete responsiveness.

Senkadagala

Halcyon Days. A minimal, yet impressive creative portfolio template made by Codrops. Mainly intended for startups and portfolios, it is built with some of the latest technologies including HTML5 and CSS3 and is completely retina-ready. Additionally, it makes use of utilities such as animate.css, Flex Slider and jQuery Waypoints.

Halcyon Days

Ophiuchus. Ophiuchus is a HTML5 and CSS3 single page template. Its creator worked under the Bootstrap 3 framework to create it and made it completely responsive. This template is ideal for use in mobile apps and landing pages.

Ophiuchus

AppView. AppView is a lightweight, flat style CSS template made for mobile app showcasing, or even landing pages to exhibit any product or service.

AppView

We + Coming. We + Coming is another HTML template for personal and commercial uses with exceptional quality. Built with slider and video background capabilities, it is powered with Bootstrap and is completely responsive.

Coming

Good to Go. Good to Go is a single page Bootstrap template that can be used in all medical related sites such as hospitals, medical schools, health blogs and even chemistry labs. It is responsive but at the same time, it comes in 3 versions – web, tablet and mobile.

Good to go

Frame. Frame is a simple HTML5 professional looking template that can be used for both personal and commercial projects, at the expense of a small attribution to Medialoot. This template is fully responsive and packed with other features for portfolio websites.

Frame

Magnetic Photographic Template. A pixel perfect web template made for photographers, graphic designers and all kind of visual artists. The clean, modern layout draws attention to the content and eliminates distractions.

Magnetic Photographic

PrasastiEnom Admin Template. A flat-styled PSD admin template so you can get rid of that old look when managing your site and say hello to a more modern environment.

Prasasti Enom

iOS Splash Screen Template. A very clever design by David Lillo that allows you to create all sorts of splash screens for iOS. Just download the PSD and change the smart elements to get started.

IOS splash screen

Sharp Flat PSD Template. A sharp PSD template for your next website styling big pictures. It comes with a modern, vibrant green color palette and is well contrasted with a dark background.

Sharp Flat PSD

More

Bootstrap 3 Grid. This one is a PSD grid system for designers to use in all their Bootstrap-based projects. Inside, there’s a set of 4 PSD files that allow you to make creations for desktops, tablet and smartphones in both landscape and portrait views.

Bootstrap 3 grid

Android Launcher. This one below is an Android launcher screen with carefully organized layers; its flat style blends with subtle textures, producing a pleasant look. The best thing about it is the way it presents itself.

Android Launcher

Zebra. Zebra is an elegant and innovative set of 10 screens for a blogging application you can build upon or use as they come for your next mobile app. It is carefully organized in layers, easily scalable and easy to edit.

Zebra

FontFace Ninja. FontFace Ninja is a convenient browser plugin for Chrome and Safari that allows you to not only see the web fonts a website uses, but also to download them if they are free fonts.

FontFace

Editor’s note: This post is written by Juan Sarmiento for Hongkiat.com. Juan is a designer and developer, founder of iconShock.com, DesignShock.com, ByPeople.com and TemplateShock.com








Author: "Guest Contributor" Tags: "web designers, designers, design freebie..."
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Date: Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 15:01

In this day and age, who doesn’t love Photoshop? With it you can manipulate any picture you want, however you want. Add in, remove, trim a bit here and there; if you know how to use Photoshop, you know how to truly edit a photo. So it’s no surprise that it’s considered the Swiss Army Knife for designers, letting them chop away at any flaws.

However, just with any tool, you need to be trained or you could end up with a blunder. Even the professionals sometimes don’t notice the mistakes they make, and it is especially funny to find a Photoshop error in a high end magazine. This list is the sequel of our previous worst Photoshop mistakes and this time we’ve featured other ads as well. You might find this hard to believe but we have 70 of them.

The left leg and hip don’t seem to connect very well, do they?

Adam Levine is trying to be a superhero by wearing that red carpet behind him. And it looks like Carson Daly has really long fingers.

Claire Danes’ right leg seems to have gone through the bed.

Again with the legs. I’m suspecting Photoshop hates legs.

I stand corrected (hah). Photoshop hates all limbs equally.

Because that F1 vehicle is obviously there.

Who needs a tummy tuck when you have Photoshop?

The only thing worst than the fact that some of her fingers are missing is the fact that she’s drinking McDonald’s coffee.

It’s the new thing in modelling. Two belly buttons. You heard it here first.

Lebron has learnt that floating towards the hoop is much more efficient that dunking the ball.

This bikini is brought to you by Microsoft Paint.

Those phantom limbs have to go somewhere, right?

Five fingers makes you play better than the love child of Hendrix and Clapton.

More arms means more dakka.

This image is going to give me nightmares for weeks.

All that cycling made her left foot grow more toes.

Holding on to a phantom hand.

The baby’s face is badly copied and pasted onto the bag.

Her hips don’t line up pretty well. Must be another modelling trend.

Again with the legs!?

Amazing airplane is able to stabilize without front wheel.

Amazing dad has three arms to hug family.

World’s most awkward thigh gap.

The woman is missing her entire lower body. Must have made it easier for him to carry her.

Left arm is missing. Sure it will turn up somewhere later on.

Or maybe people who Photoshop have some sort of amputee fetish.

See what I mean?

The girl must be some sort of contortionist to hold a man like that.

"My mommy has two hands on one arm!"

Whatever diet Adam Levine is on just cut away half of his torso.

Avril, you really should see a doctor about that right elbow.

Sunbathing can be dangerous. Here is an example where her right leg melted off.

Maybe a bit of Skele-Gro can fix that right leg of yours, eh Hermione?

That right hand looks like it’s been broken in two.

The day daddy decided to become a disembodied head was the happiest day for the family.

It’s more fun to pretend that all disembodied hands are actually ‘The Thing’ from The Addams Family, enjoying a career in modelling.

Someone call Sir Mix-a-lot. Those are some unusually huge hips.

2D Pokemon pants, coming to a Pokemon Center near you.

Careful not to hit Phil with that club there, Tiger.

The Thing offering congratulations to his opponent.

That necklace looks painful, being embedded into your skin and all.

Shadow: the natural enemy of Photoshop.

Proof that couples who stay together long enough begin to look like each other.

Does this snuggy make my head look big?

You should see a doctor about that small, thin and disjointed right leg.

The bikes are cutting it a little too close there.

In order to become the best chauffeur you can be, you must be one with the car.

Michelle Obama has plenty of fingers to go around.

The legs and upper body look like they don’t connect very well. And what in the world is between them?

Maybe he’s adopted. Or more likely they copied and pasted the face of an Asian kid.

Knew we’d find that missing arm somewhere. Under a desk of all places.

If it’s women, then big hands, big…?

It looks like a very uncomfortable position to hold a sign.

Again, somebody call Sir Mix-a-lot.

Mommy has really long legs.

The two towering bosses looming over their peons.

I’m running out of leg jokes.

This diet plan will turn your body disproportionately tall.

Model holding The Thing with his left hand.

The bride of Edward Scissorhands.

The arms are smashing into each other.

A pair of giant hands and a head on a pair of legs.

See? Told you double belly buttons would catch on.

No amount of Vaseline can help that hand of yours.

Sometimes, you feel like they hired 6 year olds to do their Photoshopping.

The Thing decided to try for a career in basketball.

That waistline cannot be healthy.

Another example of the torso not lining up properly.

Toes are unsexy so of course we have to Photoshop them out into blocks.

This baby will make a fine addition to the X-Men.

More Photoshop Blunders – Click Here For Part I »








Author: "Azwan Jamaluddin" Tags: "photoshop, Inspiration"
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Date: Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 10:01

There’s a wide variety of factors involved in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, this makes it quite hard to identify whether or not you’re on the right track. Sure, wearable fitness gadgets can really help in some form but they don’t necessarily provide a comprehensive overview of your health.

Thankfully, these days there are plenty of smart devices available for you to use in the comfort of your own home. They allow you to check your blood pressure and even monitor the buildup of muscle mass among other things. Today I’d like to showcase 20 innovative smart devices to help you get towards better health and fitness.

Vessyl Cup

Vessyl is not just a mug, it’s a smart revolutionary device that analyzes the liquids you put in it to tell you what you’re drinking. Moreover, it can even tell you the dietary content, such as sugar, protein, calories, fat, caffeine – even identifying the beverage by name. You can then take all of the results and synchronize them to your smartphone. [Get it here - $99 (pre-order)]


(Image Source: Wired)

Cue

Cue brings the power of a medical laboratory into your home. It allows its user to identify the level of testosterone, inflammation, Vitamin D, and fertility with small amounts of blood, saliva, or nasal swabs. It can also connect to your mobile device. [Get it here - $199 (pre-order)]

TAO

Tao is an isometric exercise device that tracks your fitness progress. It can help you to find time for a workout, even when you’re far from home or a gym. Besides the exercises, it can also keep track of your other activities, including meals that you have eaten. [More info]

The Cactus

Although currently just a concept, this is a device made specially for diabetics. It measures the level of glucose in one’s blood and then injects the necessary amount of insulin. [More info here]

iBGStar Blood Glucose Meter

Checking your blood glucose level with this device could not be simpler. With the iBGStar connected to your iPhone or iPod Touch, insert a test strip. You then use the lancing device to obtain a blood drop. Afterwards, touch the end of the test strip to your blood drop. From there, the results of the test will be displayed on the smartphone screen. [Get it here - $71.99]

SoundHawk

Soundhawk is the world’s first smart listening system. Don’t be mistaken as it’s not for the hearing impaired. It’s a unique blend of intuitive consumer technology and it’s a breakthrough in hearing technology as well. It’s designed to help people hear, communicate and connect. [Get it here - $279 (pre-order)]

CubeSensors

CubeSensors is a smart device that identifies air quality, light, glow, temperature, humidity, noise, shake and pressure. By identifying these factors, it alerts you accordingly. This helps you to become more aware and work towards breathing easily as well as sleep better among other things. [Get it here - Price varies with packs]

Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System

iHealth’s Smart Gluco-Monitoring System is made to make diabetics’ life easier. It is a detachable dongle that snaps onto the bottom of your iPhone, or other smartphones. You take a sample of your own blood using one of iHealth’s test strips, slip the strip into the dongle, and the iHealth app registers your glucose level. It then saves it and even charts it for you over time. [Get it here - $29.95]

PERES

Often at times, we dine outside and the food that we consume may not necessarily be the most hygenic. This device helps to determine the quality and freshness of different meats to avoid food-related illnesses. [More info]

Alima

Alima is a smart indoor air quality monitoring device. By learning our indoor environment and habits, Alima helps to change the behaviors that contributes to air pollution and ensures that the air quality of your home is the best it can be. [Get it here - €169]

Scanadu Scout

This gadget with its Apple-like design is the world’s first medical Tricorder. Generally, it’s a scanner with built-in sensors and a microphone that tracks and analyzes your vital signs. The scope measures heart rate, skin and core body temperature, SpO2 oximetry (Oxygen saturation), respiratory rate, blood pressure, ECG and emotional stress. [More info]

Kolibree

Kolibree is the first electric connected toothbrush. It can analyze your brushing habits with your iOS or Android mobile device. It helps you monitor the number of times you brush your teeth, provides you with advice from oral healthcare professionals and even keeps track of missing teeth. There’s even a handy game feature to keep kids happy. [More info]

Skulpt Aim

Skulpt Aim is a wireless personal gadget to measure muscle quality and body fat percentage. This is great for anyone who is serious about building muscle and losing weight as it can give you a clear indication of your fitness progress. With the app, this makes Skulpt Aim easy to use. [Get it here -$169 (pre-order)]

TellSpec

TellSpec is a biotech product which is able to analyze the ingredients of your meal or whatever you point it at and send this information to the smartphone app. This product is useful for people who have various food allergies or for anyone looking to take better control of their diet. [More info]

Kinsa

It markets itself as the "world’s smartest thermometer." Kinsa operates with the same function as a normal thermometer but it makes it easier for you to take your child’s tempreature as it works with an app that can help keep them calm. The app also helps you keep track of changes and allows you to pass on whatever information you have to your physician. [Get it here - $24.99]

Beddit

In order to get smarter about your sleep quality, this sensor easily slips underneath your sheets to give you some night time insights. The Beddit sleep and wellness device tracks your breathing, heart rate, movements, snoring, environment and sleep patterns. After that, Beddit will transmit data to your mobile device as well as give you some personal coaching tips to help you sleep better. [Get it here - €149]

HAPIfork

This smart fork is aimed to coach you into healthier eating habits. HAPIfork lights up when you eat too fast, letting you know that you should slow down your pace. You can see your eating stats by connecting the fork to your smartphone. [Get it here - $99]

Wello iPhone Case

This is not just an ordinary iPhone case, it’s a medical monitoring device. Simply put your fingers on the case and leave it there for a few seconds. Shortly the device can tell you your heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, oxygen level, stress level, temperature, and much more. It automatically connects to your phone via Bluetooth. [More info]

AMI Bolt

Formerly known as the Vitals Plus, this device is capable of not only measuring your blood pressure but also your blood oxygen levels, temperature and your body vitals. All without using a needle. Best of all, you can use it with the app to keep track of your overall health. [More info]

Withings Aura

Withings Aura is a smart sleep tracking system that uses a combination of a bedside clock and under-the-mattress sensor to monitor and improve sleeping patterns. Like almost every device from this list, it can be easily connected with your smartphone. [Get it here - €299.95]








Author: "Nancy Young" Tags: "fitness, Web 2.0, health, gadget"
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Date: Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 15:01

It has been almost a month since Instagram released Hyperlapse. The hype over the app is still going strong as Instagram (and iPhone) users continue to shoot hyperlapse videos on their phones.

With Hyperlapse seemingly mundane things look more exciting when they’re sped up 10 times faster. Of course, not everything looks good on Hyperlapse but the ones that do are worth mentioning. Here we’ve compiled 20 Hyperlapse videos that we think are worthy standouts.

Burberry‘s runway during London Fashion Week is akin to a color spectrum.

Ben & Jerry’s hyperlapse of a melting ice cream has never been more sad (and effective).

Oreo scores with this one by showcasing a Hyperlapse done by one of its fans.

Even the White House got in on some Hyperlapse action with this quick 15 seconds tour.

There’s a bizarre fountain in Millennium Park, Chicago that spouts water at you. Not bad at all @timelapsechicago.

US photographer David Guttenfelder recorded his commute with bisons for National Geographic.

Watching ants go about their business is surprisingly fun as seen by @jaymayerhiller.

Sunsets have never been more breathtaking, as depicted by @nintendroid.

@51.3hz captures the moving clouds as they transform the scenery into something more ethereal and fantasy-like.

@hyperlabbs makes watching the night sky full of stars an even more magical experience.

@cvladulescu pretty much gives us entertainment by watching cars looping on this winding road.

A night view of New York’s cityline is a must with this app, thanks to @chrispetescia.

But why stop there when @teamaphillyated can show you how the city turns from day to night?

@cshimala creates some magic by making it look like the clouds and the buildings are moving to the beat of the music.

@aapoliti shot this video of a hallway but really, who knew a museum in DC would have such a beautiful hallway?

@hancox92 knows that one way to make a clock timelapse interesting is to mix it up with a song remix beat.

Not sure how South African film-maker Mark Hofmeyr make those boats dance but it’s mesmerizing.

Artist Jesi is extremely talented with those paintbrushes of hers.

Why stop at recording what goes around when you can play around like @mihailonaca?

A Hyperlapse feature won’t be complete without this Hyperlapse within a Hyperlapse and it’s tastefully done by @v2rio.








Author: "Leanne Tan" Tags: "videography, hyperlapse, time-lapse, Ins..."
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Date: Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 10:01

We’ve all seen example after example of perfectly rendered designs that tickle our imaginations, and sometimes even make us a bit jealous. It seems as though some designers are divinely talented, able to create amazing work with almost no visible struggle at all. To some designers, this is an inspiration. To others, however (probably most of us), it can be a little frustrating.

How do these designers do it – what secrets do they know that the rest of us don’t? Today, we’re going to go over the importance of giving back to the design community. Yes, that means sharing your secrets with those who are less knowledgable. It’s a mutually beneficial process in many, many ways.

Process: How do you work?

Dribbble excels at this concept. Their unique format allows members to post and receive feedback on works-in-progress, both allowing the designer to get that vital outside perspective, as well as allowing others a bit of insight into how that rockstar designer creates his or her masterpieces.

The “rebounds,” or snapshots chronicling a project’s stages of completion, can be viewed in order and analyzed, so that the viewer might learn a bit about how the designer works.

This process is helpful because everyone works in a different way, even if the finished work is very similar. One designer may choose to start completely with pen and paper and slowly work with a layered approach, while another might go straight into Photoshop and work on the final piece directly, while the idea is still fresh in their minds.

Sometimes the same designer may switch it up, choosing analog materials on one day, and all digital the next. Design is a push-and-pull of creativity, resources, and experience, and it always helps to see how different designers choose to interpret this dance.

Show Those Sketches

Even before a work becomes a “work-in-progress,” though, it starts out (usually) as a sketch. A simple, black and white doodle on a piece of paper that, though unrefined for the moment, contains important information for the designer about what to do next. Like a blueprint for building a house, a sketch can give you both the vision and the technical components for making your idea a reality.

I love seeing a designer’s sketches, because it reminds me that even those designers that I admire the most have their off days. Sometimes a sketch may be “ugly” or it might not work perfectly at first, but it will later transform into something beautiful. It’s extremely helpful to many designers, both the newbies and the pros, to see sketches and rough drafts of finished pieces.

Let’s See How You Did It!

If you have knowledge of how to do something related to design, whether it’s a special trick in Photoshop, a way to get just the perfect alignment settings in Illustrator, or how to achieve some other cool effect, don’t hoard that stuff all to yourself.

Other designers would love to know exactly how you do what you do, so that they can do it too. I don’t mean so that they can steal your work – I mean so that they can use the fundamentals that you teach them to try their hands at something that uses a similar process.

Process shots are great, as we’ve discussed, but tutorials and other types of specific how-to’s are even better. Just remember to direct any potential clients toward your finished work, as they don’t really care about how you do what you do (if they did, they would design it themselves).

And if you’re worried about people aping your process from your tutorials, just remember that no two designers work exactly the same. Even if a designer starts out copying what you showed them exactly, they are inevitably going to put their own unique spin on the process, slowly turning it into something that’s all their own, and which they will hopefully put in their own tutorial for others to learn from.

Engage And Leave Your Commentary

Let’s face it: when we post a design up to Dribbble, Behance, or any other portfolio showcase, we like it when people respond and leave comments. Even if it’s nothing but constructive criticism, it’s extremely helpful to know that someone is at least paying attention to the work that you do.

By leaving comments and reaching out to your favorite designers, you get the opportunity to be that voice of encouragement for someone else. That’s the whole point of social media, after all – to be social.

Even if you think that you won’t get a response from the designer in question, you can still feel good that you left your mark and shared your own ideas about design. Someone else might come along afterwards and read what you wrote, then reach out to you in a meaningful way. That person could be a fellow designer, or it could be a prospective client who enjoyed what you had to say about someone else’s work, and who now wants to hire you based on that.

You can never really predict where your next breakout job is going to come from, so don’t be afraid to put your ideas out there, in as many different forms as you can.

What Do You Think?

Do you share your design know-how with your fellow designers? In what ways have people shown their appreciation for your helpful tips and advice? Let us know in the comments.








Author: "Addison Duvall" Tags: "design community, designers, Web Design"
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Date: Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 15:01

Where there is an idea, there is a way to express it – at least when it comes to art. Artists can come in many forms disguised as your regular barista who can make amazing latte art, 2D and even 3D, digital artists who make stunning QR codes that jump out at you, or very patient people who make amazing origami strucures from paper or dollar bills.

bring-me-back

Then, there are artists that create art out of non-regular materials, they create animal sculptures from fruit, silky and flowy sculptures from wood, and life out of inanimate resin. In this post, we’d like to look at 20 more artists who use very unconventional mediums to portray their love of art and skills.

Toilet Paper Rolls. Anastassia Elias uses toilet paper rolls to create miniature scenes of life. She cuts out the scene from paper and places it inside the roll creating a silhouette of life inside a paper roll. (Image Source: Anastassia Elias)

pyramid

3D subjects. Alexa Meade paints humans or objects to to look like 2D photographs. She paints directly on her subjects and manipulates the shadows in a way, that when it is photographed, it turns 2D. Want more? Check out these artworks that are totally not photographs. (Image Source: Alexa Meade)

blue-print

Human Body. Cecilia Webber uses human bodies to create her digital photographic images, specifically naked human bodies painted strategically to create repetitive patterns that reflect a plant or creature for one of her many masterpieces. (Image Source: Cecilia Webber)

bleeding-heart

Dice. Frederic McSwain created this portrait as a tribute to his friend, Tobias Wong, a Canadian artist and designer who died from suicide (while sleepwalking). The portrait was made using 13,138 dice – one for each day of Tobias’ short 35 years. (Image Source: Miller Taylor)

tobias-wong

Land. Cornelia Konrads works are inspired by land art and she is widely known for her site-specific art. She brings art outdoors by choosing a specific place and installing her structures, floating in mid-air! (Image Source: Cornelia Konrads)

moment-of-decision

Cassette Tapes. Erika Iris Simmons uses old cassette tape to create popular celebrity portraits. She likes to preserve old technologies such as cassette tapes that are no longer being used. With the tapes, she recreates portraits of celebrities such as John Lennon or Marilyn Monroe. (Image Source: iri5)

john-lennon

Matchsticks. Stanislav Aristov uses burnt matchsticks and bend them to his desired shapes before editing photographs of them via Photoshop. (Image Source: Stanislav Aristov)

burnt-matchstick

Paper Books. Guy Laremee erodes paper books in defiance of how everyone else uses books, as a way to accumulate knowledge. Nonetheless, the beautiful sculptures he makes out of these books can really blow your mind. More book art sculptures here. (Image Source: Guy Laremee)

the-great-wall

Pencils. Jennifer Maestre has always been attracted to sea urchins because of its beauty despite their dangerous spikes. A less-dangerous artificial alternative, sharpened pencils have thus become her main material for creating sculptures. (Image Source: Jennifer Maestre)

tea-tray-bat-open

Old Watch Parts. Susan Beatrice uses old watch parts to create steampunk sculptures. She mainly uses recycled parts which coincide with her love for nature. More amazing recycleables here. (Image Source: All Natural Arts)

watch-sculpture

Light and Shadow. Kumi Yamashita manipulates light and shadow to cleverly produce amazing shadow art. She places her solid materials in the direction of light and capture the shadows produced from the interaction. More beautiful shadow art here. (Image Source: Kumi Yamashita)

city-view

Sand. Kseniya Simonova uses sand to create animated stories. From a pile of sand, Kseniya can push, rub and pinch sand into accents that translates into beautiful depiction of stories. A quick rub and she can start from a clean slate and start telling stories with sand again. (Image Source: Simonova TV)

bring-me-back

Leftover Objects. Wolfgang Stiller uses leftover objects such as bamboo and head molds to create Matchstick Men, large wooden matchsticks that have faces on the burnt ends. (Image Source: Wolfgang Stiller)

matchstick-men

Chewing Gum. Here’s one with a slight eek factor: Maurizio Savini uses chewed bubblegum to create sculptures. He likes using chewing gum because of it versatile nature, working on the gum with a knife, while it is still hot. (Image Source: Etgallery.co.il)

chewing-gum-sculpture

Beer Cans. Paul Villinski is a visual artist that uses discarded materials such as beer cans to bring out his artwork in meaningful poetic ways. His concern for environment issues can be seen as he often use recycled materials and give them a new breath of life as art pieces. (Image Source: Paul Villinski)

beer-can

Resin. This is not a photograph of fish swimming in a barrel. It is a 3D sculpture of fish swimming in a barrel, recreated layer by layer in resin, a product of the genius that is Riusuke Fukahori. Each layer will be poured in, dried, painted on, and the process will be repeated until the full 3D painting is finished. (Image Source: Riusuke Fukahori)

resin-goldfish

Dirty Car. In Moscow, you may be given a fine if your car is too dirty but for Scott Wade, he purposely makes his car dirty (sometimes using artificial dirt) so he can create wonderful "dirty" art on the back of his car window. Find more dirty car art here. (Image Source: Scott Wade)

luncheon-of-the-boating-party

Nails. Vlad Artazov bends nails to portray scenes from real life but it is our imagination that helps his photographs come to life. Fancy using two bent nails to depict a young couple in love. (Image Source: Vlad Artazov)

nails-life

Iron Chains. While most people would not usually look at iron chains as an art material, Seo Young Deok uses iron bike chains to create lifelike human sculptures. (Image Source: Seo Young Deok)

nirvana-iron-chain

Paper Strips. Yulia Brodskaya uses the quilling process (coiling, shaping and manipulating) of paper strips to create this breathtaking look of an old man and his guitar. (Image Source: Yulia Brodskaya)

babushka








Author: "Guest Contributor" Tags: "artworks, artists, Inspiration"
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Date: Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 13:01

The Internet is so full of information that it’s nearly impossible to check its limits. That’s why, search engines were developed to maintain a search-able database of the web’s content. People employ the use of search engines to look up for information on the web.

In the midst of all search engines lies Google, the most popular and powerful search engine. You type in the query, and the search engine provides you with the search results. In most cases you’re satisfied but sometimes, you’re not. This is where learning the proper techniques to type in your search query comes in handy and this is what we’ll explore in this article.

Why The Need To Learn Proper Search Techniques?

Everyone including students, researchers, writers, etc. requires information, and they use search engines for that very reason. People spend most of their time continuously looking for the right information because they’re not aware of the proper search techniques. Learning and using good search techniques will help you in the following ways:

  • Better search results
  • Saves your time

Note: Search queries or examples are included inside [ ] for better readability. Please do not include [ ] in your search query.

How To Use Google.com

Google is a smart and intelligent search engine with many exciting features. But not all the features are rolled out instantly for all versions. Google.com is always first to get feature updates, and then updates are provided in versions specific to different countries such as google.co.uk, google.co.in, or google.sh

Google’s version for your country might not support all the search techniques described below. That’s why, it’s suggested to use google.com to avail maximum benefits of the search features and techniques.

Tip: Typing google.com automatically redirects you to its version for your country, but you can override this behavior by going to www.google.com/ncr

Basic Search Techniques

1. Keep It Simple

Keep your search simple and web-friendly. Start by entering one or two words, and gradually adding relevant or important words, if you’re unsatisfied with the results. Less is more for a search engine; meaning the less words you query for, the more results the search engine provides as output.

For example:

  • Query: [who is the president of america]
  • Better query: [president of america]

2. Order Of Keywords

Select the right keywords to make your search. Search results completely depend on the given keywords, and if keywords are chosen wisely, then results are more efficient.

Put yourself in the shoes of the author, and think of what words he/she would use to write/describe what you’re trying to find. If you’re looking for a phrase or quote, then keep the order of the words as accurate as possible to get the optimum search results.

For example:

  • Query: [itself divided house cannot stand]
  • Better query: [A house divided against itself cannot stand] (part of a quote by Abraham Lincoln)

3. Skip Unnecessary Parts

Google is smart enough to handle most of your typos, and other things that could just be ignored. That’s why you should skip those things in your query to save time.

You should not worry about the following when writing a search query:

  • Spelling
  • Cases (uppercase or lowercase)
  • Punctuation (dot, question mark, exclamation mark, and more)
  • Special characters (plus, minus, brackets, and more)

4. Social Search

Google is really good at handling searches related to people and social networks. You can search for people and their social profiles using:

+[profile-name]

By adding a ‘+’ before a profile-name, you can search for Google+ profiles and pages.

For example: [+hongkiat]

#[word]

Using the ‘#’ before a word enables you to search for hashtags in Google+, Twitter, and more social networks.

For example: [#privacy]

@[person-name]

You can search for social accounts associated with a person’s name by putting the ‘@’ sign before his/her name.

For example: [@hongkiat]

Intermediate Search Techniques

Note: Zip codes work very well for the US, but for other countries, it’s better to write the country name followed by the zip code.

For example: [new delhi, india] and [india 110033] is the same.

5. Get Sunrise And Sunset Times

You can use Google to get sunrise and sunset times for many cities of the world. Type your search query in the format of [sunrise place-name] or [sunrise zip-code] to get the sunrise time for the specified location. For sunset times, just subtitute the words as per the following style of [sunset place-name] or [sunset zip-code].

For example:

  • [sunrise chicago, usa] or [sunrise 60611]
  • [sunset chicago, usa] or [sunset 60611]

Advanced Search techniques

Note: You can use the Google Advanced Search form for a more convenient search.

6. Synonym Search

You can use the synonym search feature to tell Google to even search for synonyms of a specified word in the search query. This is helpful for when you want to search for a word and all its similar words without having to spend time looking for them individually.

Using the tilde symbol (~) before a word tells Google to search for the words and its synonyms too. Type your search query in the format of [~synonymWord otherWords] to search for the word and its synonyms in a single search.

For example: [~sweet fruit]

7. Search For Numbers In A Range

You can tell Google to search within a range of numbers, such as dates, prices, and measurements. Using two periods (dots) between two numbers makes Google search within that number range and skip other results.

Using two periods after a number indicates a lower minimum (number..) while putting it before the number indicates a higher maximum (..number). Type your search query in the format of [firstNumber..secondNumber otherWords] to search between a specified lower and upper bounds.

For example:

  • [android phone $300..$500]
  • [television 20..50 inches]

8. Search Using File Types

You can tell Google to search for a specified type of file for your query. Using filetype operators before a type of file tells Google to search only for specified file types and skip other files. Type your search query in the format of [filetype:type otherWords] to search for a specific file type.

For example: [filetype:pdf free photoshop books]

Complex Search Techniques

You can also use more than one of these techniques in a single search query. You can combine the above methods to make a complex search query, which will provide efficient and focused results.

For example:

  • [site:gov filetype:pdf "death rate"]
  • [site:hongkiat.com photoshop OR "adobe photoshop" tutorials]

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have learnt all the useful search techniques to make better searches on the web and have learnt all the tips and tricks to get better and efficient search results. Now you can save a lot more of your time and resources.

So why not head on to the site and try out your new skills? Feel free to share your experience with us too.

Read Also








Author: "Ashutosh KS" Tags: "How-To Guides, search engine, google"
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Date: Monday, 22 Sep 2014 15:01

It was not long ago that we highlighted some stories of how people touch other lives through the use of the Internet and social media. Since then, a lot more depressing news have surfaced, whether it is ongoing war in other parts of the world or the death of a beloved celebrity. Sometimes we even wonder if there’s any good news in this world left at all.

But of course there is. The magnitude of recent events may have overshadowed these stories or they might have simply not turn up in your radar. Whether it is a simple lost and found story or even a life-saving one, we hope that this selection of 5 stories depicting Internet acts will hopefully brighten your day and restore your faith in humanity.

Read also:

1. Reddit’s Photoshopping Skills

Nathen Steffel became a proud father to baby girl on May 30. His joy was short-lived as his daughter Sophia passed away 6 weeks later due to complications from a hepatic hemangioma, a live tumor in her liver. Heartbroken and grieving, Nathen wanted a photo as a reminder of his daughter and her short life. However, all he had were pictures of Sophia in tubes tethering her to life.

sophia
(Image source: Nathen Steffel)

Enter Reddit, known for being a cesspool of photos, memes, and photoshopped images. Trying to seek respite for his grief, Nathen posted a plea to anyone in the Reddit community to help remove the tubes in Sophia’s photo. His post was met with an overwhelming amount of photos and drawings as well as messages from the Redditors.

redditpics
Some of the modified photos and art that Reddit did. (Image source: ShareDots)

Nathen and his wife were extremely touched and grateful by Reddit’s immense response. Thanking the Redditors, he replied, “This is really amazing. Everyone you have made my day. All I wanted was a nice picture. What I received was a lot of love and support from a bunch of strangers.”

2. Found: Lobster Ring

It seems like an ordinary day at the beach for Jenn Birchim. She was strolling along Ellwood Beach, California when she stoop to pick up a bottle cap among the rocks. Only it wasn’t a bottle cap but a ring. Inspecting the ring, Birchim saw that the inside was inscribed with these words: “My Love, My Life, My Lobster”.

The unusual inscription perked her attention and she wondered if the ring belonged to a fisherman. Jenn decided to reunite the ring with its rightful owner by posting on Facebook.

facebookpost
(Image source: Jenn Birchim)

As this is Facebook, it didn’t take too long for multiple shares and likes to reach an acquintance of the Lindsays. Sarah Lindsay’s co worker came upon the post and showed it to her. Sarah knew right away that it was the ring that her husband Greg lost 2 years ago on the same beach. Greg was upset when he lost it then, as both the ring and inscription was meaningful to him.

“One of the episodes (of Friends) was where they talk about Ross and Rachel being each other’s lobsters and I looked at her and said, ‘Hey you’re going to be my lobster.’ And that’s why she had it inscripted in there,” said Greg in an interview with KEYT.

Within 4 days, Jenn met up with the Lindsays and returned the ring to the happy couple. The return of the ring couldn’t come at a more opportune time as the Lindsays were expecting a child in August. Here’s a picture of the Lindsays with Jenn on the left.

ringreturned
(Image source: Daily Mail)

3. Accessing Son’s Look Back video

Does anyone remember making a Look Back video for Facebook’s 10th Anniversary in February 2014? Everyone was creating and sharing theirs all over timeline while reminiscing on past events. It was what John Berlin did. His Look Back video struck a chord in him as it brought up photos and memories of his son Jesse who passed away on January 28, 2012.

Missing his son, John tried to find a way to view Jesse’s video. John was unable to as Facebook only memorilized an account and does not divulge the dead person’s account password. John tried emailing the social network and tweeting to Mark Zuckerberg but was doubtful about receiving a response. He decided to appeal through a video message.

videoappeal

Within 24 hours, John’s tearful video garnered around 700,000+ views and successfully caught Facebook’s attention. Soon Facebook got in touch with John and granted his request. Mark Zuckerberg himself even called John personally to thank the grateful father for bringing it to Facebook’s attention.

In gratitude, John shared Jesse’s Look Back video with everyone saying, “First of all I just want to thank everyone for all the shares and support. We couldn’t have done this without you.”

4. Tumblr user prevents suicide

People can be cruel on social media with their comments and messages leading to adverse results in the recepient. Which was what happened to one unnamed girl from New Jersey when she received a slew of online hate messages on Tumblr. The messages took its toll and she posted her last post announcing her intention to end her life.

On the other side of the screen at California is 18-year-old Jackie Rosas. Jackie had seen how the messages had tormented the 16-year-old Tumblr user who also struggled with depression. As she read the girl’s suicidal post, Jackie’s first instinct is to seek help. She called the suicide hotline but she didn’t have the teen’s last name. So she called the police.

tumblr
(Image source: Daily Mail)

This lead to a chain of people racing against time to locate the girl. Jackie passed details of the girl that she knew – first name and blog URL – to a police officer who in turn contacted the local high school’s assistant principal on the offchance that the girl is a student. Each contact lead to a dead end but whoever was contacted did their own sleuthing. They eventually found the girl’s Twitter account that has the same picture as her Tumblr blog.

That Twitter account proved useful when the police browsed through for information: a location and a last name. With the missing pieces at hand, the police were able to hand the information to the authorities from the correct district. They managed to find the girl who was unconscious after swallowing a bottle of pills. She was subsequently rushed to the hospital and lived.

5. Abducted baby brought back

This separate but no less chilling incident unfolded on May 26, 2014. A woman wearing a nurse outfit turned up at the Sainte-Marie Hospital in Montreal, Canada. Drawing no suspicion with her outfit, she walked straight into the maternity ward and carried a baby out who was wrapped in a blue blanket. She however left the hospital along with the baby in a red car with a ‘Baby on Board’ sign.

victoria
(Image source: La Presse)

Mélissa McMahon suddenly had a bad feeling after a nurse came into her room, saying that she had to take her daughter Victoria for weighing. She checked with the hospital staff on the nurse before rushing to the entrance. She was distraught when she found out that she was too late. Soon the police were notified. Hospital staff and patients who saw the woman quickly provided details of the woman and her vehicle. The police issued an Amber Alert as well as social media posts with the woman’s description and photo. The posts went viral.

amberalert

Four friends from Quebec were hanging out when they came across the alert on Facebook. Mélizanne Bergeron, her sister Sharelle, Marc-Andre Coté and Charlène Plante decided that they’ll try tracking down the woman with the description of her car. On closer inspection of the woman’s photo, Charlene realized that she recognized her old neighbour. She also knew where the suspect lives.

fouryouths
From left: Sharelle Bergeron, Marc-Andre Coté, Charlène Plante and Mélizanne Bergeron (Image source: National Post)

Armed with this knowledge the four decided to drive to the woman’s home. Sure enough, her car was parked outside the house. They called the police. Within minutes, the woman was arrested and baby Victoria was returned safely to her parents Mélissa McMahon and Simon Boisclair.

reunited
(Image source: Gawker)








Author: "Leanne Tan" Tags: "Web 2.0, social media, internet"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Monday, 22 Sep 2014 10:01

There are plenty of different smartphones on the market these days and they come loaded with all sorts of features. From an elegant and beautiful design to a good quality camera for that fame-worthy selfie, all these features matter when you’re considering a new phone. But perhaps the most important feature of all is a long battery life. Recently, an IDC survey revealed that 56% of Android buyers, 49% of iPhone buyers and 53% of Windows Phone buyers said that battery life was an important reason for them while selecting a particular device.

Keeping this in mind, sometimes we can’t necessarily increase the battery life at the physical level so easily. However, we can lengthen the battery life by using apps which can minimize the power consumed by our smartphones.

In this post, we discuss 12 Android based apps that can help in conserving the battery life of your Android device.

1. DU Battery Saver

DU Battery Saver is a free app that can be used to increase the battery life of your device by up to 50%. It provides pre-set power management modes such as Long Standby, General Mode and Sleep Mode. You can also set a customized mode of your own defined settings for the smartphone. If that’s not enough, you can upgrade the app as well to increase battery life to up to 70%. For further details about DU Battery Saver, visit the official website of DU Apps here. [Get it here]

2. Battery Save Booster

Battery Save Booster is a battery saving app which provides an easy way to increase the battery life of your Android based device with only one click. It does this by managing background processes and the Internet connection in an efficient manner. It even provides you with a notification about the battery level. [Get it here]

3. 2 Battery – Battery Saver

2 Battery has some handy features that can help you save your battery. It does this by employing a smart algorithm to turn the Internet connection on/off. It can also reduce the screen brightness by using a built-in screen filter and even turns off the screen automatically when you put the phone into the pocket or on the table. You can also try the PRO version of 2 Battery for 24 hours and even get a refund if you’re not satisfied. [Get it here]

4. COMODO Battery Saver

The COMODO Battery Saver extends your battery life by allowing you to switch your device to power saving mode and by letting you disable power hungry applications easily with a single tap. COMODO Battery Saver also provides you with details on which application(s) uses the most power of battery. The app can even alert you when the battery is fully charged. [Get it here]

5. Snapdragon Battery Guru

Snapdragon Battery Guru is a battery life extender which automatically learns how you use your smartphone and adjust the smartphone settings on the basis of learning. After a 2-4 days introduction period, Snapdragon Battery Guru learns the behavior of the user and then notifies them that it is ready to increase the battery life of device. For further details, you can visit the official website here. [Get it here]

6. JuiceDefender – Battery Saver

JuiceDefender – Battery Saver is a free and easy-to-use app designed to extend the battery life of your Android device. By using JuiceDefender – Battery Saver, you can easily control power consumption by managing 3G/4G connectivity, WiFi and CPU speed. It has 5 preset power saving profiles and you can also define a customized profile as well. [Get it here]

7. One Touch Battery Saver

As the name suggests, by using One Touch Battery Saver, you can enable Power Saving Mode with a single touch. The Power Saving Mode deactivates your WiFi, GPS location system, Bluetooth, vibration, background light and activates Silent Mode to increase the battery life. [Get it here]

8. Deep Sleep Battery Saver

Deep Sleep Battery Saver introduces a unique concept of Deep Sleep Mode. This app constantly puts your phone in a Deep Sleep Mode, where 3G and WiFi are turned off and background apps are stopped. It allows the device to wake up constantly at predefined intervals to download emails and other things that need to be updated. There are 5 predefined modes and you can also define customized mode. [Get it here]

9. Easy Batter Saver

Easy Batter Saver is a power saving app which extends battery life (up to 50%) by managing the phone’s network connectivity, screen timeout, screen brightness and considerable sleeping schedule. Easy Batter Saver has 4 preset modes and an advanced customized mode. [Get it here]

10. Bataria – Battery Saver

Bataria – Battery Saver is a battery saving as well as a task managing app. It activates a Power Save Mode that turns off all power hungry resources such as Background Data Sync., WiFi, Bluetooth and Display Brightness to extend battery life. [Get it here]

11. Battery Saver – Extra Power

Battery Saver – Extra Power is a free app which can boost your battery life. It has a range of battery saving modes to extend the battery life as per your desires and also displays the battery statistics as well. [Get it here]

12. Battery Defender – 1 Tap Saver

Now you can increase your battery life with just 1 tap by using Battery Defender – 1 Tap Saver. It disables data connections and WiFi automatically after the screen of your Android device is turned off. It also allows apps to sync every 15 minutes in order to extend the battery life. The ‘quiet sleeping feature’ disables data network and WiFi when the user is sleeping, which is something that can come in quite useful if you want a good night’s sleep. [Get it here]








Author: "Fahad Khan" Tags: "battery, Tools, android"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Friday, 19 Sep 2014 15:01

Most of us are frequent users of PDF. Whether we use it for work or for personal matters, it’s a format that is widely used as it’s reliable, trusted, accessible and is also adopted globally making it more convenient for people to share documents. It also works smoothly over multi-platforms, so a user can interact with PDFs on Windows, Mac OS, Android or iOS.

But what if you want to know more beyond the printing and simple reading of PDFs? What about if you need to convert it into a different file format or maybe even compress it to make sharing a breeze? In this post, we’ll go over 10 things you probably didn’t know you could do with PDFs.

1. How to Create PDFs Without Adobe Acrobat

Many people may find it a bit difficult to download an Adobe Acrobat Software and then to create a PDF document using it. But there are other simple and easy ways to create PDF files without installing and using Adobe Acrobat. Here are the different ways you can create a PDF without the software:

Google Chrome: Press Ctrl+P (Windows OS) or Cmd+P (Mac OS) to open the print settings window. Click ‘Change’ to choose the printer and select ‘Save as PDF’ to convert the webpage into a PDF document.

Broswers other than Chrome: You can do this by installing CleanPrint, which is a free add-on for browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and yes, even Google Chrome. There are different options you can choose from and they include print, PDF, Text, Email, DropBox, Google Drive and Google Cloud Print.

Online Web Service: You can also convert a webpage to PDF file using online web service named as htmlpdf. You can also create PDF files using the FreePDFCreator software.

File Conversion: You can also create a PDF by first creating a file using the most common file formats such as MS Word, PPT, etc. and then coverting that file into a PDF document using pdf24.

2. How to Merge Two Or More PDF Files

If you have multiple PDF files that you want to merge into a single file, then you can do it with ease using online web services such as foxyutils and PDFMerge.

If you are not much into online web services then you can use PDF Combine software for merging PDF files easily.

3. How to Edit A PDF File

PDF files are read-only documents but sometimes you may find a need to change or add something new to the existing PDF document. In these cases, tools such as PDFzen and TOUCHPDF are quite handy. If you rather use them offline, there’s nitropdf and Foxit, which are desktop softwares for editing PDF files.

4. How to Translate PDF Documents

If someone sends you a document written in French, don’t fret as you can translate it easily via Google Translate. If you didn’t guess by the name, Google Translate is used for translating text or documents from one language to any other language.

Once you’ve got the page opened, upload the PDF file using the browse button. Then, choose the language you want to translate your document into and click the blue translate button on the right side of the page. Just like that, you now have a translated document.

5. How to Convert A Bunch Of Documents To PDFs

Perhaps you have a bunch of documents, 40 or 50 documents, to be precise, and you want to convert these documents into PDF files. You can do so using 2 methods either doing it one by one (which can be quite time consuming) or in bunches. To convert a bunch of documents into PDF files, you can employ the use of services such as Peernet and ExtendOffice.

6. How to Print & Copy A Restricted PDF Document

Say, you stumble upon a PDF document over the Internet that is very useful to you and now you want to copy some of its text or maybe print it. However, you can’t due to the restrictions applied on the PDF document.

You can easily remove the password from a restricted PDF file or document by using a very useful feature of thepdf for removing PDF passwords. You can also use another online web service called PDFCrack to crack the password on a protected PDF document or file.

7. How to Convert PDF File To Other Formats

At some point, you may need to convert a PDF file into other formats such as into a MS Word file, HTML file or even a PowerPoint. Here are the different ways you can do so:

MS Word: The online PDF to Word Converter can be used for conversion. This makes it more convenient for any editing that you wish to make.

HTML File: If you want to convert a PDF file to an HTML file for easy publishing on your blog or website then convertpdftohtml and PDFHTML are some of the tools that you can use to do so.

PowerPoint: You can convert a PDF file to a PowerPoint File easily using PDFConverter. It is a 3 step process. First, upload your document, then provide the email address where the converted PPT file will be sent to and finally hit the start button.

8. How To Extract The Text From A Scanned PDF File

It is really easy to extract the text from a PDF file by using the text selection tool but that’s not always the case when it consists of scanned pages or images with text. To extract the text from a scanned PDF file, Google Docs can be used. All you need to do is upload the PDF file to your Google Docs account and it will convert the scanned http://media02.hongkiat.com/pdf-tips/pages into a format that you can select and copy the text from easily.

If you rather not use Google Docs, you can also use tools such as onlineocr and FreeOcr for the same purpose.

9. How To Extract the Selected Pages from a PDF File

If you have a PDF file with hundreds of pages and you want to extract only a few pages from that large file then PDFaid is an easy to-use online tool for this purpose. Just select the PDF file that you want to extract from, read through it and finally highlight the range for the pages that you want to extract.

10. How to Double Compress a PDF File

You may have a large PDF file that you want to send via email but due to the maximum attachment size restrictions you can’t. You can try compressing the PDF file as much as possible while retaining the quality of the original content.

You can use any document compressing software such as 7-Zip to do this. Although, if you want to compress it twice, you can do so using PDFaid and then again compress it by using 7-Zip for to minimize its size even further.








Author: "Fahad Khan" Tags: "pdf, Tools"
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Date: Friday, 19 Sep 2014 13:01

One of my favorite things, besides design, food, and writing about design and food, is perturbing my fellow designers with strange questions. You guys should try it sometime; it’s really fun. Anyway, today I was thinking about the dynamic of an in-house work environment, and how it compares to freelancing. I’ve done both, and I definitely have some thoughts on the matter.

Does the uncertainty and ever-changing nature of freelancing produce designers with sharper, more adaptable skills? Or does the social, fast-paced, and ordered workflow of an agency or design firm create more design superstars? Let’s see if we can find some answers.

Jobs Are Stable… Or Are They?

Not in this economy they’re not. Having a job these days, especially in the creative industry, is almost as uncertain as freelancing. In fact, it can be even more uncertain. But does uncertainty by itself create a more stimulating creative environment? In my experience, the answer is: yes and no.

Yes, you can feel challenged to perform well under pressure, and as a result create excellent work. But the opposite can also happen. You can freeze up if faced with too much pressure, resulting in disappointment all around. For this round, I believe freelancing and working in-house are tied. It all depends on whether you feel more pressure on your own, or beneath the watchful eye of a fickle boss.

The Truth About Being Your Own Boss

When you freelance, you call the shots. That means not only can you pick who to work with, you can also pick what you learn and whom you choose to associate with.

But are you truly better off on your own? Does the endless ability to choose your own projects and reject anything for any reason develop a tough enough hide to help you deal with scrutiny from users and the design community?

From my perspective, working as an in-house designer puts you in the position of an employee. You have an itinerary of things to get done, and there is a whole operation of people counting on you to do it all on time. You’re given a project and are told exactly what to do and when to do it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if all you want to do is design.

Freelancing is a business. One of the main reasons freelancers give up freelancing to work at an agency or firm is because they get tired of handling all the non-design, “business stuff.” Marketing and self-promotion, networking, bookkeeping, contracts and other legal issues; those things can get tiresome if you’re not the entrepreneurial type. It can actually drain some people’s energy which they would ordinarily use for creating great designs.

So, for this round, I’d say it depends on where you draw your energy and inspiration from. If you feed off of working for yourself and handling all of your own affairs (and I mean ALL of them), then definitely freelancing will bring out your best as a designer. But if you only want to focus purely on design itself, working in-house is the way to go.

The Social Factor

Let’s face it: freelancing can get pretty lonely sometimes. Especially if you do all of your work from home and not, say, from an office or even a coffee shop. If your family and friends are all at work or school during the day, or if you live alone, your exposure to healthy social activities can seriously suffer. Depending on the type of designer you are, this can either inspire you to work harder, or completely drain you of motivation.

If you’re more of an introvert, you may find freelancing to be pretty much the ideal lifestyle. There’s no office or co-workers to deal with, and you can pretty much work as much as you want without seeing another human face.

But if you’re more extraverted, you might find freelancing unbearable, and prefer the more social atmosphere of an in-house environment. There are other creatives to bounce ideas off of, and you can take the edge off the solitude of your work with friends near.

Again, it comes down to the type of person you are, and the ideal design workflow you wish to cultivate. There is really no “right” way to go here. Whether you freelance or work in-house, you can still have a social life and benefit from the spontaneity of having people around; you’ll just have to work a bit harder at it if you freelance.

It All Comes Down To The Work

In the end, of course, it doesn’t matter whether a great design was produced in-house or by an independent contractor. All that matters is that the work solves the design problems it was meant to solve. But what kind of work will your career choice bring you, and is the grass greener on the other side?

It’s true that, at an agency or firm, you (arguably) have more opportunities to land huge, corporate clients and work on large-scale projects which will be seen by millions. While as a freelancer you (again, arguably) have more opportunities to select meaningful projects that you truly believe in.

But let me play the devil’s advocate anyway. Does in-house work actually fill more pages of design annuals and win more awards than freelance work? Or vice-versa? I’ll leave it to you to formulate your own answers to these questions. (It’s no fun if I simply tell you, now is it?)

What Do You Think?

So, designers: what’s your verdict? Do freelancers make better designers, or does working in-house tend to bring out the best in creative professionals? We’d love to hear your thoughts.








Author: "Addison Duvall" Tags: "designers, freelance, Web Design, freela..."
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 15:01

There is advertising everywhere. Commercials on TV, billboards across the highway, page long newspaper ads, the dreaded pop-ups of the Internet. Everywhere you turn you just can’t get away from the stuff. Whatever medium you can think of, chances are it’s covered with Verizon ads selling you its high-speed Internet service (Can I have my money now?).

Not even the world of escapism is safe from corporate advertising. Advertisers are quick to use a new medium to push their wares and this is no exception when it comes to TV and movies. In fact, in the process of writing this article, I have become more aware of how rife they are with product placement. Some inconspicuous, many blatant. In this list, we have for you just 18 examples of obvious and shameless product placement in movies and TV.

Little Nicky

Adam Sandler loves to integrate product placement into his movies. In Little Nicky, we see the titular character being introduced to Popeye’s Chicken for the first time by his friend/talking bulldog, Mr. Beefy, where Nicky declares it as “f***ing awesome!”. A one off shout out is maybe acceptable but it became worst when later on in the movie it becomes an integral tool to defeat a demon horde, with said demon’s also declaring it as “the shiznit”, putting Popeye’s Chicken in the same pedestal of good as butterflies and fluffy things.

The Wizard

Probably the number one contender for biggest media attention seeker in the 80′s has to be Nintendo. When it comes to promoting their products, there’s no line the Big N wouldn’t cross. Their crowning achievement has to be The Wizard, a 90 minute commercial for Nintendo masquerading as a movie. It goes beyond simple product placement, with plot and narrative taking a back seat to the parade of games on show, including the yet unreleased at the time Super Mario Bros. 3. Take a look at this scene that is obviously a commercial for The Power Glove. Oh yeah, it’s bad.

Foodfight!

Think Toy Story or Wreck-It Ralph, but with food mascots instead. However, unlike the two, the mascots are horribly underused, with all of them appearing as simple background characters with no dialogue and little involvement in the plot. Just take a look at the poster below, where the mascots for real life brands, which do nothing in the movie, are prominently displayed while the main characters are in the background. It all feels like a cheap tack on just to promote the product. In the end though, the movie was so horrible that the brand executives probably wished they never got involved in the first place.

Foodfight!

The Island

Director Michael Bay is notorious for a lot of product placements in his movies, probably in the same tier with Adam Sandler. In his movie, The Island, there are around 30 product placements, prominently among them are the XBox logo during the game scene and a Calvin Klein ad that leading actress Scarlett Johansson just happens to be in at the time.

Michael Bay’s Transformers

If shilling for products in one movie isn’t enough, why not do it to an entire series? Granted, the whole concept of Transformers is to sell toys but Michael Bay managed to shoehorn in a few more products to showcase within the series. And when I mean ‘a few’, I mean more than 50 of them. The obvious is using GM cars for all the Autobots. Then we have a transforming XBox 360, a Mountain Dew vending machine, a Nokia cellphone and that’s just the first movie! Watch the series for them and you may even turn it into a drinking game. (Warning: we are not responsible for the alcohol poisoning resulting from watching a Michael Bay movie)

Mac And Me

Think E.T. but with a heavy dose of McDonald’s advertising. In fact, just like The Wizard, the whole movie felt like a giant, hour long commercial for the restaurant. Just take a look at the name, Mac and Me, where Mac is obviously referring to the Big Mac. Then there’s the five minute dance scene taking place in a McDonald’s birthday party complete with Ronald McDonald. Rotten Tomato called it “…a thinly-veiled feature length commercial for McDonald’s and Coca-Cola” while film critic Leonard Maltin described it as “more like a TV commercial than a movie”. Check out the dance scene below.

You’ve Got Mail

‘You’ve Got Mail’ is the popular (and trademarked) slogan for AOL back when it was the Internet for most Americans. So why don’t we feature that prominently as the title of a movie staring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? The movie of the same name is based on a 40 year old play but instead of snail mail, we have email, with the AOL jingle playing every time ‘you’ve got mail’.

Code Geass

Apparently, empires may rise and fall in alternate timelines but Pizza Hut is eternal. When not blowing stuff up with their mechs and weird eye powers to overthrow the British Empire, the cast frequently eat Pizza Hut pizza, with the logo prominently displayed for all to see. Also, one of the main character’s prized possession is a plush of Cheese-kun, the mascot of Pizza Hut in Japan. Pizza Hut paid a lot of money to be featured in the anime and now fans can’t think of toppling the established order without thinking what topping to have with their order.

Code Geass Cheese Kun

I, Robot

I, Robot takes place a few decades into the future but in one 15 second scene, Will Smith’s character will start wearing a pair of “Converse All-Stars Vintage 2004″, an obvious attempt to sell the sneakers. He even calls it “a thing of beauty” and another character comments that they are “nice shoes”.

Days Of Our Lives

Did you know the reason they are called soap operas is because they were funded by soap manufacturers? While the name has stuck around, soap operas today parade more than just soap. Take a look at the very long running ‘Days Of Our Lives’, which sometimes doesn’t even bother to seemlessly incorporate their product placement into the story. This Gawker article features some of the more hilarious ones. Below is an example and personal favorite, as you can’t tell if it’s from the show or an actual commercial.

Evolution

Evolution puts Heads & Shoulders shampoo front and center with the main cast using it as the MacGuffin to defeat the creatures that threaten them. They even manage to squeeze in a bit where some of the characters talk about the virtues of using Heads & Shoulders, on how it can keep your hair shiny and flake free. It’s played for laughs at the end where the main characters actually appear in a Heads & Shoulders commercial.

E.T.

Everyone loves E.T. (unless you had an Atari 2600). And if E.T. liked something, chances are you’ll probably like it too. In the movie, one of the more prominent food items that E.T. enjoys is Reese’s Pieces. While director Steven Spielberg wasn’t paid to use the product, the movie was a boon for Hershey’s as their profits went up by 65%. Funny enough, Spielberg originally wanted to use M&M’s but Mars declined, thinking the movie will not do well.

The Internship

While Google technically didn’t make any money from the movie that is arguably a 2 hour commercial about Google, it did lend its support in the production, with even a cameo appearance by Sergey Brin himself. The result is that the audience probably felt that they should have been paid to watch the commercial. Sure, Google may have gotten some perks with their brand name being so predominantly displayed. However, the movie, by most accounts, stunk.

Man Of Steel

Because nothing says Truth, Justice and The American Way more than product placement. In fact, it made $160 million even before it’s release. It did this by featuring a hundred different products in the movie. Some of them are subtle. Others, not so much.

Hawaii Five-0

They literally put a 50 second plug for Subway in the middle of an episode. It wasn’t even subtle, it really was a commercial that is playing out in the show. If you were to cut it out and place it in a normal timeslot for commercials, you would probably think that it was an actual commercial. Just take a look at the video below.

Back To The Future II

Whether back to the future or here in the past, product placement will always be with us and stay the same. While the first Back To The Future movie was fairly subtle in its product placement, the second one takes it up a notch, marketing the brands more directly to the camera. Let’s see, we have Pepsi out of a pneumatic tube, self laced Nikes, a Mattel hoverboard (still waiting on that one), Pizza Hut, etc.

James Bond

As a superspy, James Bond deserves the best and he gets the best, which is defined as who pays the most money for the next movie. Product placement has been in the James Bond movie since Dr. No and many people who grew up with the 50 year old franchise can probably name some of 007′s favorite brands. Aston Martin, his Walther PPK, Rolex and Omega watches, you name it. So it’s no surprise that the latest Bond movie, Skyfall, managed to rake in 1/3 of its budget ($45 million) from Heineken alone. Here’s a video and article that shows the history of product placement in 007′s long career.

James Bond Heineken

Jack And Jill

This movie takes Adam Sandler’s pandering to product placement to its logical conclusion, with the man himself playing an advertising executive. The center of the story is Sandler’s character trying to get Al Pacino to shoot a commercial for Dunkin’ Donuts. Spoiler alert: he succeeded and there’s actually a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial at the end, though it was played for laughs. However, throughout the movie you can still see several brands featured in the movie, par for the course in a Sandler movie. To end this list, here is Pacino rapping and break dancing in said commercial. God help you all.








Author: "Azwan Jamaluddin" Tags: "product placement, Web 2.0, advertisemen..."
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