Archive for September, 2012


Hey, designers.  Ever had a great 2D photo you wished you could make a movie clip with?  Didn’t want to be stuck with a flat, boring slideshow?

Well Techsnoop has the answer to your problem with this great tutorial from JSWoodhams.  Thanks for the great video showing how to achieve this effect with Photoshop and After Effects.

So, break out the Coke or coffee and pay attention!  Oh, and please let us know if you want more of these tutorials to be posted in the comments.  Have a great week.

bad-piggies

(Credit) Rovio

If you like Angry Birds but were secretly rooting for the pigs, this game is for you.  The new game Bad Piggies brings a new level of interactivity to a great game franchise.  Build your own transportation to fit the environment of each level and get those birds!

Rovio has done it again and none of us will get anything done for weeks.

 

Cintiq Touch HD - WacomIf you are a graphic designer you know tools are the killer difference.  Talent is great, but without the proper tools your productivity sucks.  Techsnoop can’t even get things done without her wireless mouse.

So, start saving your pennies because the folks at Wacom have done it again with this killer graphics tablet.  The only thing more you could ask for in a piece of equipment is for it to read your mind… come to think of it, they’re working on that.

So everyone sing with me “All I want For Christmas….” while watching this video.

TechsnoopToday’s post is from one of my favorites, iGameMom who keeps up with the latest in electronic learning for the height-challened, super tech generation.  If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, of a kid up to grade 12, check out these apps and her blog.

It is hard to believe the school is starting soon.  Are you ready for the kids going back to school?  Are the kids ready?   I hope these back-to-school apps will help the kids to achieve straight A’s and stay happy!

First, here are some apps that will help the kids transition into the learning mood from a relaxed summer:

Brain Quest (free): curriculum based trivia games for grade1 to 5.  Each grade has 80 questions.  With In-App purchase ($2.99 for each grade), you can buy the whole pack, which has over 600 questions for each grade.  Kids learn while playing games.

BrainPop Featured Movie (free): Kids get to see a new animated documentary every day. The range of topics is amazingly broad: science, history, Engineering & technology, Social Studies, English, Arts & Music, and Health subjects.

TeachMe ($1.99 for each grade level): An app series covers Toddler, Kindergarten, Grade1, and Grade2. Each grade has spelling and basic math.

Khan Academy (free): Free classes on various subjects.  The topics include: K-12 math, science (such as biology, chemistry, and physics), finance, history, test prep (GMAT, CAHSEE, SAT math, etc). The level of the courses ranges from elementary school to college.  Any student will be able to find something

After they get into the learning mood, here are some apps that can help them get A’s on the specific subjects

Stack the States ($0.99): Learn US states via interactive games

Stack the Countries ($1.99): Learn world geography while playing games

NOVA Elements (free): Learn periodic table with multi-media materials, such as short videos, pictures, 3D models, and games.

SplashMath ($9.99): comprehensive math app that is linked to US standard curriculum.

Mathemagics – Mental math tricks ($0.99): teaches little tricks on how to do math quickly

Mindsnacks Spanish (initial download is free with one level, $4.99 for the whole package with 50 levels): Learn Spanish with fun.

Now Some Good Reads:

Ice is Nice – Cat in the Hat Learning Library ($5.99): Learn animals and geography of North and South Poles. It is for kids aged 5-10.

ABCmouse.com: Grand Canyon (free): Kids 4 and up will learn everything about Grand Canyon, following ABCmouse.

Horton Hatches the Egg ($4.99): Another Dr.Seuss’s book app designed for pre-school and kindergarteners.

Biography Comics (free for the first 3 books, $29.99 for all 29 books): 29 biographies in comics, including Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Steven Spielberg, Warren Buffett, … It is for kids 8 and older.

Cool to be Clever (free): kids 6 and up who can read chapter-books will learn the story of Edson Hendricks and how he invented “connectionless” network design that is used in today’s Internet.

Brush of Truth ($1.99): A book app written for children age 8-12.  It is a book app that the readers get to decide how the story unfolds… NOTE: will be $0.99 on Aug.17!

While at school, there will be issues about bullies and interactions between peers, these apps will help:

FeelElectric (free): designed for kids 6 and older, this app teaches kids recognize different emotions and express emotions with words

Be Confident in Who You Are ($2.99): a graphic novel targeted at kids 8-14 years old. It addresses topics such as self-consciousness, stress, bullying, fitting in, body image, and sticky issues in friendships. All these issues are presented in an age appropriate manner.

Enjoy a new school year with these cool apps!

Friday Fun!

There has been a long standing tradition of comparing Star Trek to Star Wars and asking which is best.  Now Best Engineering Online brings us a great infographic comparing the two universes point by point.  Look it over and decide which you like best.

Personally, Techsnoop is firmly in the Star Trek universe due to the tendency of humans to try to be the best they can.  Not to mention all the great tech we have filched from them (smartphone, tablet, diagnostic bed) and the great gardens.  However, I like Star Wars also and no one can tell me Yoda isn’t the best Jedi ever.  But the drinking, drug problems and over manufacturing of many planets is not a healthy universe.

Let us know in the comments which universe you like best.
Star Wars vs. Star Trek
Source: Best Online Engineering Degree

So, your business is on a tight marketing budget and you want to leverage Social Media.  Know going in that it is comparable to entering the bear cave with a club and flashlight.  Neither will help, you need better tools.

Where to start?  Well, that actually depends on your goals and strategy.  Techsnoop is here to tell you where not to start.  Don’t buy Twitter followers or Facebook Likes.  These are bogus accounts set up by spammers with automated tools and they do not give you credibility.  The entire point of social media is to establish yourself as reliable and trustworthy in your field.  Having spammers on your accounts opens up your followers and fans to spammers as they now can access them.

Building a quality following is a task that takes time.  Humans have to monitor and track progress and interaction.  Quality content has to be shared both ways for it to be meaningful.  Otherwise, it’s not social media but tech media.

Once it is known that you host spammers, you will lose much of the traction provided by social media.  So what can you do?  If you are unable to hire a Social Media Strategist, do it yourself or get an intern.  If you get an intern, make sure you give them a specific list of guidelines on who to follow and who to block from your pages.  This prevents embarrassing mistakes caused by technology and generation gaps.

People with no profile picture need to be reviewed.  If they have no pic and no bio, they may be a spam account.  Look at the web addresses on the bios, if there are suspect terms like “getfollowers” it is probably a spam account.  Either report the account as spam, or if you are unsure, just block them.

To help you out, use tech tools like Fakers that will quickly let you know what percentage of your followers might be fake.  You can then go through your followers list and prune accordingly.

Who.Unfollowed.Me will help you keep up with those who follow then unfollow you in a short time span.  Another trick of spammers.  They have to keep dropping people to move on to the next target due to Twitter limits.

Let us know in the comments if these two tools have helped you to tame the social media beast.