As with its sibling, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements Adobe pushes the Web subscription message a bit too hard. Take, for instance, the Welcome screen, which is your first encounter with either one of the applications. The InstantMovie, Open Project, and New Project options get relegated to a task bar that's relatively inconspicuous compared with the large, rotating slide show heralding the many benefits of the free and $49.99 Plus membership for Photoshop.com (more project templates, remote access, and 20GB-plus of storage space). Adobe might as well have sold the space as an ad; it's that … Read more
With the latest versions of Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements, Adobe's laying on the Web subscription message really thick. Take, for instance, the Welcome screen, which is your first encounter with either one of the applications. The standard Organize, Edit, Create, and Share options get relegated to a task bar that's relatively inconspicuous compared with the large, rotating slide show heralding the many benefits of the free and $49.99 Plus memberships for Photoshop.com (more project templates, remote backup, and 20GB-plus of storage space). Adobe might as well have sold the space as an ad; it's that annoying. (For more on the online and mobile aspects of the Elements release, read our coverage on Download.com.) And that's too bad, because Photoshop Elements remains a very nice midrange photo editor, but all of these bells and whistles--some pretty off-key--increasingly detract from its core strengths.
The program's main advantage is that it's cheaper than Photoshop and Lightroom, but remains powerful enough for most photo retouching tasks. Thus, the improved raw workflow is quite welcome--improved, in that you can bypass it entirely if you want. For example, to create a slide show of NEF (Nikon raw) files, it simply applies the default raw-processing settings and treats them like JPEGs.
Also quite useful is the new text search box in the organizer, which is a fast, easy way to filter by keywords or basic metadata. Very basic metadata; you can only search on time, data, camera, and caption text. But that should be sufficient for this class of user.… Read more
Earlier Monday one of my colleagues from Gamespot spent most of lunch gushing to me about his new favorite GTD tool. Called Toodledo, it's diminutive name does not do its to-do list prowess justice--this is one of the most deep and full-featured offerings on the market. It's also one of the easiest to get into, especially if you're using other Web services like Google Calendar, Twitter, and Jott.
At its heart Toodledo is a task organizer, so two of the most important aspects should be entering in the data as well as being able to access it … Read more
Today I downloaded my very first Firefox extension, YouTube Comment Snob 1.2. While I love Firefox for the most part (I still have problems with Flash movies, though) I've never found the need to use extensions with it, until now.Read more
On Sunday, I had an e-mail alert about someone writing on my Facebook wall--a college acquaintance with whom I hadn't spoken in quite some time. As it turns out, I was a victim of "wall spam," a recent phenomenon on Facebook in which automated spam posts show up on members' message walls. It's similar to a wave of profile spam that swept News Corp.'s MySpace a few years ago.
The message in question read, "Some thinks you are special and has a hot^crush on you. Find out who it could be!! ;)" with … Read more
The idea behind WikiTaxi is so simple that the utility of it should be obvious: take Wikipedia offline. How cool is that? The real question is, though, does it work? Is it even possible to take the massive online encyclopedia offline in a usable format?
Surprisingly, the answer is yes. WikiTaxi compresses all of Wikipedia into a database that's searchable, fully usable, and small enough to fit on an 8GB USB drive. It grabs the Wikipedia database dump every few weeks, keeping your offline entries up-to-date with the latest changes. There's also an option in the program to … Read more
SEATTLE--Imagine your laptop is stolen.
Set aside for a second the likelihood that if it was you wouldn't be able to read this story and think instead about how you might go about tracking it down.
There are existing services, such as LoJack, that are designed to help find purloined laptops by identifying the IP addresses where they are subsequently used and through other assorted methods.
But according to a team of computer scientists at the University of Washington, the price you pay for utilizing such services is a loss of privacy--as well as a reliance on a corporate third party to take care of you.
That's why the team has come up with its own alternative, which it is calling Adeona, the name for the Roman goddess of safe returns.
The idea behind Adeona, according to Tadayoshi Kohno and Gabriel Maganis, who gave a talk about the project at the Gnomedex conference here Saturday, is to give people a method for safeguarding their laptops that relies neither on proprietary commercial software nor the centralized servers of the companies that provide such software.
Adeona, they said, is the world's first free, open-source laptop-tracking system, and one that can be installed by users themselves, and which doesn't require a corporate intermediary.
The team is also developing a version of its software for iPhones, though it isn't ready for public use yet.
To Kohno, the danger associated with commercial laptop-tracking services is that it's never possible to know for sure that someone at a company that makes such software wouldn't exploit the company's possession of your personal information--and access to what's on your laptop--for personal gain. Or, he said, that information could be subpoenaed in court cases. … Read more
I was a bit surprised when I stumbled upon this batch MP3 tag editor. People seemed to love it. Not The Dark Knight love it, but perhaps X-Men 2 love it. In the words of a user, it's "simply indispensable." Turns out, you could do much, much worse than Mp3tag if you're looking for a freeware ID3 tag editor.
It comes with an effective single and batch auto-tagging feature, sourced from FreeDB, Amazon, or Discogs. The lightweight application also sports batch and single edits to effect such changes as case changing, auto-numbering, tag and track name … Read more
This isn't the most feature-packed Windows optimization utility but we found it one of the easiest to control. Advanced WindowsCare Personal's simple interface offers two main options: Repair and Repair And Optimize. The former fixes Registry entries and cleans out your operating system. The latter does the same thing and tweaks Windows for maximum performance.
If you run into trouble, the Restoration option can return your system to its original configuration. The Advanced menu provides fine control over repairs and optimizations. Afterward, I noticed only one improvement, a reduced amount of used RAM, but that's not insignificant. … Read more
Power Downloader often uses his friends' Wi-Fi hot spots all over the world, but he doesn't visit each friend as regularly as he'd like. Months or even years go by before he sees them again. Whether they use a WEP key or a WPA, he never has to worry about keeping a password database with WirelessKeyView.
WirelessKeyView is a simple utility. The main feature lets Power D view the passwords his Wi-Fi manager has stored, but it offers more than just that. The spreadsheet-style main window shows the properties on any stored network name. Users can view not … Read more