Adobe Max

Yesterday was day one of Adobe’s annual event Adobe Max in which they announce all of the neat things they’ve been up to. Here are a few of the highlights I’m most excited about in the new Adobe CC applications:

Photoshop:

  • select text with click and commit text by clicking
  • multiple undo function (just keep hitting Command Z to undo)
  • content aware fill
  • frame tool (much like indesign’s frame tool)
  • symmetry mode

Indesign:

  • automatically adjust layout when changing page sizes, margins, and bleeds
  • activate fonts within indesign
  • import and export comments into pdf format

XD:

  • auto-animation
  • add voice interactions
  • responsive resize tool
  • developer plugins

Illustrator CC

  • edit repeating objects across art boards with global edit
  • complex colour gradients
  • custom toolbar

And what’s very exciting (though not coming until next year) is the full version of Photoshop on iOS!

Here’s the highlight reel from yesterday:

The Bad Review Revue

Night School: “Night School is a lesson that often feels more like punishment.” — Wenlei Ma, news.com.au
The Nun: “At one point a character rips a burial crucifix right out of the ground hoping it will ward off these malevolent forces; I’m beginning to think I need one of those for lacklustre horror films such as The Nun.” — Robert Kojder, Flickering Myth
Peppermint: “Peppermint is not some model of equality, it’s just violent escapism that happens to have a woman in the lead role.” — Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press
The Predator: “Watching this movie is as close to what I imagine going insane is like.” — Dan Murrell, Screen Junkies
Hell Fest: “You’ve seen it all before, and better: A blade to the chest, an axe to the leg, a syringe to the eye.” — Keith Uhlich, Hollywood Reporter

Facebook Abusing Your Contact List

As if you needed more reason to despise Facebook, Kashmir Hill reports on Facebook’s truly garbage practise of violating your contacts information without disclosing that’s what they’re doing.

Facebook is not content to use the contact information you willingly put into your Facebook profile for advertising. It is also using contact information you handed over for security purposes and contact information you didn’t hand over at all, but that was collected from other people’s contact books, a hidden layer of details Facebook has about you that I’ve come to call “shadow contact information.” […]

Facebook is not upfront about this practice. In fact, when I asked its PR team last year whether it was using shadow contact information for ads, they denied it. Luckily for those of us obsessed with the uncannily accurate nature of ads on Facebook platforms, a group of academic researchers decided to do a deep dive into how Facebook custom audiences work to find out how users’ phone numbers and email addresses get sucked into the advertising ecosystem.

The researchers also found that if User A, whom we’ll call Anna, shares her contacts with Facebook, including a previously unknown phone number for User B, whom we’ll call Ben, advertisers will be able to target Ben with an ad using that phone number, which I call “shadow contact information,” about a month later. Ben can’t access his shadow contact information, because that would violate Anna’s privacy, according to Facebook, so he can’t see it or delete it, and he can’t keep advertisers from using it either.

The lead author on the paper, Giridhari Venkatadri, said this was the most surprising finding, that Facebook was targeted ads using information “that was not directly provided by the user, or even revealed to the user.”

You’ve got to read the whole Gizmodo article. As John Gruber put it, “[…] Facebook [is] a criminal enterprise. Maybe not legally, but morally.”

(via DF)

Anonymous – The Story of Aaron Swartz

I first discovered Aaron Swartz while watching Ze Frank’s The Show in 2006. Aaron had donated a $100 for a gold ducky sponsorship link and I clicked it— and I remember thinking at the time, who has a hundred bucks for a stupid gold ducky?! But the paid sponsorship took me to his site and pretty much I knew immediately I had discovered a genius. (I only learned later that Aaron had so much money from selling Reddit).

I read his blog religiously. At one point he started a serial short story, Bubble City, about a dystopic future in which Google’s powerful reach is able to help the government spy on the protagonist — Aaron updated not quite as often as I would have liked. Later he started writing about being investigated by the FBI himself — the actual FBI. It’s surreal thinking about all the things that Aaron is and was famous for, I just liked him because I thought he was an amazing writer. Who was this person?

I was shocked when I found out he worked for Wired Magazine and got fired for reasons that were never really clear but gave me the impression he might not be the easiest guy to get along with; not to mention was going through some pretty tough depression. The comments about the Wired/Fired shirt were prescient.

Well, I don’t know the fashion in ‘cisco, I’ll admit. Also, my comment about hoping all is going to be well, on second thought, is very silly; as Aaron is brilliant and well-connected, I’m certain he’ll be just fine :)

Provided he doesn’t kill himself.

I remember thinking that one day I was going to go out of my way to meet Aaron, but at the same time, I didn’t have a clue how I was going to make that happen. I did email him once, and he replied promptly, but that was about it and I’ll always regret never getting a real conversation going with him.

I was devastated when I heard the news about him in 2013 and I still think about him every once in a while.

Here’s a documentary about his life:

The Bad Review Revue

The Meg: “It’s not fun, it’s not serious, it’s not scary. It is stupid.” — Johnny Oleksinski, The New York Post

The Happytime Murders: “A few critics are calling it the worst movie of the year. Unfair! This R-rated look at a serial killer running wild in a puppet-populated L.A., has what it takes to be a contender for worst of the decade.” — Peter Traverse, Rolling Stone

Mile 22: “If the nonstop reign of skull crushing, eye gouging ultra violence isn’t enough to exhaust you entirely, trying to keep track of what’s important and why definitely will.” — Meg Downey, CBR

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: “Is there any future in the Jurassic Park franchise? They were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” — Clarisse Loughrey, That Darn Movie Show

Slender Man: “This tawdry, shoddy stinker is a movie of rare and total incompetence, literally unwatchable thanks to some of the worst cinematography in film history.” — Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review

Chicken Taco Salad

I’ve been having fun with time-lapse videos lately. Here’s one of me making Chicken Taco Salad from this evening. All ingredients can be substituted as per what you have and how much you like it. This recipe was basically me just eyeballing it.

Recipe:

two large chicken breasts
1/2 cup corn (I used corn on the cob)
a head of romaine lettuce
1 tomato
1 avocado
1 cucumber
a couple handfuls of nacho chips
some grated cheese
a couple dollops of plain yogurt
an equal amount of your favourite salsa

Cook chicken until brown and reaching an internal temperature of at least 74°C. Mix the rest of the ingredients and serve.

Rice Crispy Squares

Looking for a super-easy treat for the next potluck you attend? There’s nothing easier then rice crispy squares.

Enjoy:

3 table spoons butter
1 package (about 40) large marshmallows (or 4 cups of mini marshmallows)
6 cups rice crispies

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add rice crispies cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

Ooey Goey Puffed Wheat Squares

If you like Puff Wheat Squares, you are going to love these.
I got the recipe from http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/2009/10/ooey-gooey-chocolatey-puff-wheat-squares.html

Ingredients
8 cups puffed wheat
2 cups Corn Flakes
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
Directions
Combine butter, corn syrup, sugars and cocoa powder in a heavy saucepan.
Bring to a boil. (Very important)
Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Pour over puffed wheat
Mix well and press into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Messages within Messages App on macOS Not Delivered

A couple of weeks ago I had an issue with my iPhone and decided to log out of iCloud and then log back in. That fixed whatever problem I was having (I don’t even remember what it was) but from that point on the Messages app on my MacBook Pro stopped being able to send messages. Anytime that I would try I would just get the “Not Delivered” error message. Clicking retry didn’t help either. After some frustrating searching of old forums and searching through settings to find anything that I could turn off and turn back on, I finally decided to just log out and log back in. It fixed the problem.

What are the Fonts Included with the Adobe Typekit Free Plan

One of the great things about an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription is that it comes with a basic “free” TypeKit plan which gives one access to 280 font variations (20 at any one time). Something that is not so great is that there is no obvious way to find out which fonts are included without swimming through the thousands of possible font choices that are not included in the basic free typekit plan.

Recently I came across a lesson on Lynda.com that shared all of the fonts in the free plan and I’ve updated the list and made it into a .pdf to share — Fonts Included with the Adobe TypeKit Free Plan.

Enjoy!

Updated version August 2018.

Update: Interestingly, I discovered that while difficult to make a file with all of the 280 free fonts in the same document, once I exported the finished document, I was able to sync all the fonts and leave them activated.