Adobe plans this week to update Photoshop's plug-in for importing and editing raw images from higher-end digital cameras, adding support for several new digital SLR cameras and improving noise-reduction and sharpening tools. Raw images are taken directly from a camera's image sensor without any in-camera processing, preserving more detail but requiring processing by a person into a more portable format such as JPEG; raw support is typically only available on higher-end cameras.
BOSTON--Adobe Systems sees the so-called YouTube generation as its next big customer base.
While Adobe has traditionally considered its base to comprise about 3 million professionals who return for each new software edition and continue to buy other Adobe products, that base is skewing toward nonprofessionals.
Chizen said his company estimates that there are about 38 million "aspiring professionals or amateur users" who want to be able to say they … Read more
The Flickr API has opened up a lot of fun tools over the years. This morning we got a tip about Image Mosaic Generator, a free service that creates neat-looking picture mosaics of uploaded images. The service uses Flickr images to make up each mosaic and lets users save the end result to their hard drive. Images have a fair bit of variation, although you're likely to see a few repeats close up. The service doesn't link back to the original Flickr images, which is a bit disappointing, but as a result, handles the conversion from image to … Read more
Tapping into its deep development tool experience, Microsoft has shown how it intends to duel Adobe and others in an ongoing rich Internet applications race.
At the Mix '07 conference, Microsoft announced that .Net languages can now be used to write applications for Silverlight, a cross-platform browser plug-in that it's offering as an alternative to Adobe's Flash.
Microsoft also announced the Dynamic Languages Runtime, an extension to the .Net Framework that enables people to use dynamic, or scripting, languages to write Silverlight or Windows applications.
Microsoft is making the source code for the Dynamic Languages Runtime available under … Read more
Google is renaming its personal home page iGoogle tonight. Google is also adding a new tool called Gadget Maker that helps people create their own widgets for use on their iGoogle page. The Gadget Maker comes with seven templates, including two media gadgets to pull in content from YouTube and online and offline photo collections. Users will also be able to organize their personal space with a countdown timer and a simple 10 item to-do list. There's also a free-form widget that lets a user mix together various media such as text and pictures.
This is a step in … Read more
Today, Microsoft announced the first public versions of its Silverlight application for creating and experiencing rich, interactive applications online. There are two different versions of the cross-browser plug-in: Silverlight 1.0 beta (download for Windows or Mac) and Silverlight 1.1 alpha (download for Windows or Mac).
The big difference between 1.0 beta and 1.1 alpha versions is that the 1.1 alpha allows developers to create Silverlight applications using .NET technologies such as C#. If you don't care much about that new advancement, you probably won't be too excited about some of the sample Silverlight … Read more
Microsoft is rolling out Silverlight, its competitor to Adobe's Flash technology, today at the Mix '07 event in Las Vegas. I'm sitting in the audience waiting for the keynote to start and will report on interesting developments as they happen.
For a news preview, see Martin LaMonica's story on News.com, Microsoft opens up on Web strategy at Mix '07.
Flektor is a new Flash-based content mashup tool. Users can pull in photos from several hosting services like flickr, MySpace, and Photobucket to make slick-looking, embeddable media slide shows for blogs, Web sites or social networks. It's a lot like Mixercast, and other media mashup services like RockYou and SplashCast.
Flektor's interface is drag-and-drop, and has a very short learning curve. To add media to your show, just drag imported media files down to a timeline at the bottom of the screen, where they can be rearranged or removed at any time. There are also "Flidgets" which can be inserted into your show to add live chat, a live broadcast from your Webcam, or cliched film effects like color bars or static. What's really neat is the ability to edit any picture with some easy-to-use sliders that let you do simple, on-the-fly alterations to your photographs--something you'd find on a Web-based photo editing tool like Picnik.
To add a little flair to your show, there are nearly 100 transitions, effects, and filters that can be put on top of or in between your media. You can also edit each effect and change its appearance. Out of the many transitions I've seen on some of these Flash editors (Photobucket's Remix in particular), Flektor has some really snappy and good-looking effects.
The main hindrance in using Flektor is how long it takes to communicate with the third-party services. Flickr in particular takes quite a while to sync up photos from various albums. On the upside, the MySpace integration is very simple; just give it a username and it will pull up photos members have uploaded in addition to any images that have been embedded in user comments. It's also easy to embed your Flektor player on a number of services, with a handy export page that provides special embedding codes for a dozen services (including Google's Orkut).
I've embedded a sample "Flek" I put together using some photo and video clips. For screenshots of the editing interface, keep reading.
It's no secret the Nintendo Wii has been doing extremely well as a gaming platform. One of the best things to do out of the box is play around with the Mii channel, a personal avatar creation tool for tailoring every aspect of your virtual persona. It didn't take long for an enterprising developer from Adobe to re-create the same experience online, which has resulted in the Mii Editor.
Mii Editor is a near-perfect recreation of the Nintendo Mii creation tool, right down to the interface. Users can change face shape, hair, eyebrows, eyes, and small details like glasses and facial hair. The entire setup runs in Adobe Flash, so there's no load time or need to refresh when making changes.
When you're done, there are several export options, including social-network friendly JPEG files and a URL permalink to send to friends. While some of the Wii magic is lost doing this with a mouse and a computer screen, making these things is a blast.
Related: Crave: Let it Bii
[Note: This post has been updated with a video taken from today's keynote from the Web 2.0 Expo, to see it click the 'read more' link at the bottom of the post]
Today Adobe announced their new Media Player, a multi-platform, online-enabled application that runs on Adobe's Apollo framework. Along with a full featured desktop media player for Flash files, Adobe plans on including a themed online music store like Microsoft's XBOX Live Marketplace where people can purchase music and movies.
Adobe Media Player will join the bevy of online music and media stores like iTunes, Napster, Urge, Rhapsody and others. Like the competition, Adobe is using DRM, both for downloads and streaming media to secure purchased content.
There's no word when the service will be available, but expect details and partnerships to emerge as Apollo develops.
From their keynote presentation today, we also got a sneak peak of Buzznote, a collaborative word processor that runs off the Apollo framework.