Design sketch of Canon D10 and Ixus 300

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 09:09 PM PDT

Oftentimes, I’d wonder where do manufacturers get their design concepts for their gadgets. Others merely copy, others innovate while a few may get some brilliant inspiration.

When we wrote our story about the Canon Powershot D20, we mentioned that the design of the camera looked like it was inspired from Dory of of the animated movie “Finding Nemo”.

Canon came back to us that there was a striking resemblance but could not verify if it was indeed the original inspiration.

However, they were able to share that the design of its predecessor, the Powershot D10, was inspired from a “bear” (sketch is shown in the picture above).

Also, one of the nicest designs I’ve seen on a Canon camera is an old model — the Ixus 300 HS. That one was inspired from a “night eye”.

When I wrote the review of the Ixus 300 two years ago, I really liked the color and finish of the camera and thought it was inspired from a luxury car like the Ferrari.

ToS;DR: Aims to end biggest internet lie

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 06:29 PM PDT

Every time we register to a service or install an app, there is always a lengthy stipulation that explains the company's/service provider's terms of use for their product. But how many of us have actually understood or even read any of the ToS that we saw before we actually agreed to it?

Terms of service may not be that big of a deal for most users, but for those few people who actually make it a point to know what the terms are and understand what it entails (I salute you), it can be a determining factor for them to use the service.

ToS or ToUs can be tasking to read let alone understand. Unless you make a living out of reading through an almost-a-novel-long stipulation that mostly contains a crap load of gibberish, or just plain cautious of things before you agree to it or sign it, the usual notion is to scroll down and find the "I have read and agree to the terms" button and click it with reckless abandon. But that is about to change (hopefully) with ToS; DR.

ToS; DR is short for Terms of Service; Didn't read. It's a relatively new online campaign aimed at giving users the power to understand what is under a company's/service provider's stipulation before unwillingly ticking the "I have read and agree to the Terms".

What the campaign does is that it grades a ToS of an app/service from A to E based on what the terms entail. The site also provides detailed information of the pros and cons of the terms which is rated with thumbs up for Good, thumbs down for Mediocre, X-mark for Alert and Arrow going to the right for Informative. Their findings are based on their unbiased opinions and the opinions of people who expressed theirs and are being discussed publicly.

This project will help people better understand the scope of the terms by making it easier for them to digest the information inside ToS agreement and with access to this information, people can now whole-heartedly agree or disagree with the terms of an app/service before they proceed with it. And maybe through this, company's/service provider's may have to revise their ToS and take out what may be potentially destructive to the interest of their users. You can find out more about their noble campaign by going their site.


Adobe Photoshop CS6: A Quick Overview

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 01:06 AM PDT

Back in May of this year, Adobe System Inc. unveiled the latest iteration of their renowned software; the Adobe CS6, which includes one of the most widely used software in that suite, the Adobe Photoshop. Let's take a closer look and see what Adobe has in store for the new age artist in the latest version of the software.

The improvements that Adobe CS6 brings to the table can be broken down in two integral parts; Performance Optimization and Tool/Process simplification. These characteristics aim to increase productivity of users by giving them more control over their work at the pace they're comfortable with. These improvements are very evident on all software under the CS6 umbrella including Adobe Photoshop CS6.

One of the very first notable features of the Adobe Photoshop CS6 is its refreshed and eye-pleasing UI. We really liked how the simplified workplace looks and functions. The background is initially dark grey which makes it easier for your contents to pop-out but it can be adjusted to lighter or darker shades. The new UI makes it easier for beginners to find their way in the tons of customizations that the software has to offer and makes it much easier for experts to get things done in less time.

In terms of performance optimization, Adobe adds Mercury Graphics Engine to the Photoshop CS6's arsenal. What it does is that it harnesses the power of a user's graphics card to make the software run at a faster and smoother rate. It also enhances a set of GPU-accelerated Photoshop CS6's and Photoshop CS6's Extended features such as the new Content-Aware tool and Lens Blur. With this new feature users can fully take advantage of their graphics card's true potential and be more productive and creative with their works. Here's a short clip to show an example of how the Mercury Graphics Engine increases a user's productivity.

For the Tools/Process simplification part, the new version of Adobe has put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to make sure that the new release will be as simple and as streamlined as possible in order for users to do more in less time. What we like the most out of all the new improvements in this new version is the Content-Aware feature. This feature is so sophisticated and powerful that it requires less effort from the user to get the results they wanted in jiffy. Here's a short demo of the Content-Aware feature in action.

Another great feature of this new release is the Adobe Camera RAW 7 which would definitely be appreciated by DSLR junkies. Adobe has used a new tone mapping algorithm for the feature to intelligently adjust the way it treats the Shadows, Whites and Highlights of an image. There are other features on the Adobe Camera RAW 7 that a user can take advantage of to have more control over the results of their contents and cuts the post-processing time to almost half. But we'll leave that for you to discover.

Apart from these enhancements, the Adobe Photoshop CS6 packs a lot of other new and cool features that would certainly increase your productivity and be more creative with your contents. With this said we can definitely say that the jump from CS5 to CS6 will be a worthy upgrade especially if Photoshop is your life and blood. For more information about the software and its other features , you can visit their site here.

Editor’s Note: We originally got the Adobe CS6 Master Collection for review but due to the number of applications included, we decided to chop the articles off by product. The huge file size of the downloads did not help either. More on the other products in the next couple of weeks. – Yuga