All posts by John Purvis

Science Fiction Short Film “EI: Emotional Intelligence”

Short films – This short (8:28) science fiction film “EI: Emotional Intelligence” film was published to YouTube in August of 2017. This film by DUST is an animated film dealing with an Artificial Intelligence unit who has developed emotions.

While, like most productions from DUST, it is well done, I thought it a little odd.

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macOS New App Release – iWatermark Pro 2.0

iWatermark Pro - watermark manager

Product Announcements – Plum Amazing Software of San Francisco, California has released iWatermark Pro 2.0 for Mac. iWatermark, is the No. 1 and only watermarking tool available for all 4 platforms, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Android and Windows. iWatermark is the most popular multi-platform professional watermarking tool for photos. Easily, secure and protect your photos with Text, Graphic, Vector, Lines, Border, Text On Arc, Text Banner, QR Code, Signature Metadata and Steganographic watermarks. Once added to a photo this watermark shows it was created and is owned by you.

Plum Amazing CEO said “If you share an amazing photo you’ve taken via Email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. it’s very likely to go viral then fly off globally out of your control and without any connection to you as the creator.” He paused, then added, “The simple solution is to digitally sign your photos/artwork using iWatermark with your name, email or url then your photos have a visible and legal connection to you wherever they may roam.”

The watermark types in iWatermark are not found in any other software. Some watermarks are visible and others invisible. Both serve different purposes. A visible watermark is where you superimpose your logo or signature onto your image.

Visible Watermarks:

  • Text – Any text including metadata with settings to change font, size, color, rotation,
  • Text Arc – Text on a curved path
  • Bitmap Graphic – A graphic is usually a transparent .png file like your logo, brand, copyright symbol, etc.
  • Vector Graphic – Use over 5000 built-in vector (SVG’s) to display perfect graphics at any size
  • Border Graphic- A vector border that can be stretched around an image and customized using a variety of settings
  • Lines – Very popular with stock photo houses this is a subtle but hard to remove watermark
  • Banner – Adds a banner area to any photo where text can be added
  • QR Code – A kind of barcode with information like email or url in it’s coding
  • Signature- Sign, import or scan your signature into a watermark to sign your creations

An invisible watermark is hidden throughout the picture, within the numbers that create the photos, is a recognizable pattern that identifies it as being your artwork. It is harder to remove.

Invisible Watermarks:

  • Metadata – Adding information (like your email or url) to the IPTC or XMP part of the photo file.
  • StegoMark – StegoMark is our proprietary steganographic method of embedding information like your email or url into the picture data itself. It can be available or hidden with a password.

iWatermark is a specialized tool to watermark photographs. Less expensive, more efficient, faster and simpler to use then PhotoShop. iWatermark is designed exclusively for watermarking by a photographer for photographers.

Major Features:

  • Works standalone or in conjunction with Lightroom, Photoshop, Apple Photos, Google Photos and other photo organizers
  • Batch or sequential processing
  • Important: Relative or absolute scaling of watermarks; Essential when batch processing different resolution and orientation photos
  • Design, edit and manage a library of watermarks
  • Tags are metadata (GPS, Exif, XMP, numbering, date/time) that can be added to text watermarks
  • Resize from input to output
  • Rename files from input to output
  • Add thumbnails for files
  • Input/Output from/to all major file types JPEG, TIFF, PNG, RAW, etc.
  • Create text, graphic, or QR watermarks
  • Adjust opacity, font, color, border, scale, rotation, shadow, special effects, etc.
  • Export watermarks and use in the Mac version
  • Fast 32/64 bit multi-threaded app that can use multiple CPU/GPU’s
  • User selectable color profiles
  • Add, remove and edit metadata (EXIF, GPS and XMP)
  • Unlimited fonts
  • Great manual and support
  • Share to Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Twitter and many more
  • Watermark manager which can track hundreds of watermarks. The manager also allows locking/unlocking, embedding IPTC/XMP, searching, renaming, deleting, previewing, merging, exporting, batch processing and sharing of watermarks
  • Embed IPTC/XMP data each time it’s used with or without a visible watermark; Great for news organizations
  • Continually updated and improved
  • Much more

Why Watermark?

  • Digitally sign your photos/artwork with iWatermark to claim, secure and maintain your intellectual property and reputation
  • Photos can go viral then they fly off globally. Watermark with your name, email or url so your photo has a visible and legal connection to you
  • Build your company brand, by having your company logo on all your images
  • Promote your company, name and website by using QR codes as watermarks
  • With iOS 11 QR code reading is now built into the iPhone camera
  • Avoid the surprise of seeing your photos and/or artwork elsewhere on the web or in an ad
  • Avoid conflicts, costly litigation and headaches from plagiarists who claim they didn’t know that you created it
  • Avoid intellectual property (IP) squabbles

Digitally sign your work/photos/graphic/artwork with iWatermark, reclaim your intellectual property and maintain the recognition you deserve. Easily, secure and protect your photos with visible & invisible watermarks which display it was created and is owned by you.

Changes in version 2.0:

  • Updated Tags in iWatermark Text editor for GPS (Alt. Speet and Lat.) and Current (date, time, year, total) and File Attributes
  • Enabled rotation and scaling gestures in Text, Graphic and Vector watermarks. And Smart Zoom for turning scaling on/off
  • Enabled Quick Look at preview click smart Zoom on input preview; ie. Force Click and haptic feedback
  • Fixed sorting order of Watermark manager ICON column
  • Enabled Counter in Rename Tab all the time, since it also used in Mata Data Tags.
  • Fixed Text Editor Menu inserting tag was missing
  • Added Tags for Creation Month, Creation Day and Month## and Day##
  • For creation date of photo: <month> <day> <month##> <day%%> to allow <year>.<month##>.<day##> to produce 2017.03.10 in text tags
  • Added Emboss / Engraved Text
  • Many ui changes
  • New watermarks added since version 1.0, Lines, Border, Text On Arc and Text Banner
  • Fixed text Editor background color also switching off Dropshadow
  • Added watermark key backgroundOnOff * boolean to track if alpha is Zero (off)
  • Fixed sorting order of Watermark manager ICON column
  • Enabled Counter in Rename Tab all the time, since it is also used in Meta Data Tags
  • Added tag for 7 digit GPS ‘<Latitude7> <Longitude7>’, ‘<Latitude> <Longitude>’ give 3 digit accuracy
  • Updated Tags in iWatermark Text editor for GPS (Alt. Speet and Lat.) and Current (date, time, year, total) and File Attributes
  • Enabled rotation and scaling gestures in Text, Graphic and Vector watermarks. And Smart Zoom for turing scaling on/off
  • Editor: Performance: Enabled caching of source image in editor for faster redrawing. Most noticeable when source is large RAW image
  • Optimized and bugs fixed
  • Updated manual

Perfect for use with Canon Inc., Nikon Inc., Olympus Inc., Sony Inc., Samsung, SLR, regular cameras and all iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. iWatermark can be purchased at the Plum Amazing Store.

Trailer for “Tomb Raider”

Trailers – This reboot of the Tomb Raider movies looks interesting, though I think that I like Angelina Jolie instead of Alecia Vikander as Laura Croft. That may change after the movie is out. It is hard to really tell from a 2:13 trailer.

This new Tomb Raider movie is supposed to be more in line with the rebooted game released in 2013. We have a while to wait as it isn’t currently scheduled for release until March 16, 2018. From this brief look the movie has real possibilities.

macOS New App Release – iLocker for Mac 1.0

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Product Announcements – ProtectStar of Miami, Florida has released iLocker for Mac 1.0, their new app and file security utility for macOS. Users of shared Macs can password protect their personal apps, files, and folders by simply dragging and dropping them into the iLocker app window. With a quick entry of a password, the objects are protected from unauthorized access by other users.

iLocker for Mac is the perfect solution for parents who share their Mac with younger family members and worry their kids might access things they shouldn’t. With a simple drag-and-drop and password entry, apps like Apple Mail, Photos, Contacts, Safari, and even games can be prevented from opening without a password. This helps keep kids safe and their mind on homework while using the family Mac. The app also easily prevents the opening of selected files and folder, via the same simple drag-and-drop procedure.

“In many families, everyone shares the same computer, making it harder to keep your kids away from files, folders, and apps they shouldn’t be accessing. iLocker for Mac takes care of all that with just a few clicks of a mouse and taps of a keyboard,” says Chris Bohn, President and CEO of ProtectStar. “Parents can even set time limits and schedule access to apps and files to make sure their offspring are doing their homework, instead of trying to beat the next level of their favorite game!”

iLocker also tracks failed access attempts of protected items, so you’ll know exactly when the unauthorized access occurred. In addition, it makes use of the latest MacBook Pro feature, Touch ID. By using their authorized fingerprint, users can unlock their apps and files in an instant.

The app is also perfect for office situations where more than one user accesses the same Mac, or when users are called away from their Mac in an office setting. An automatic-exit feature locks protected apps after a specific period of time away from the keyboard, increasing security.

Features:

  • Securely protects apps, folders, and files with a password
  • Securely monitors access of personal data such as files and folders
  • Allow kids access to only specific games, applications, and files
  • Schedule for each app or all apps to allow usage for specific days and times
  • Immediate pop-ups alert users to security breaches
  • Logfile protocol tracks unauthorized attempts to start access apps and files
  • Deep Detective (TM) protects against known and unknown attack attempts
  • Smart protection against ransomware threats
  • Blocks execution of potentially malicious Java code
  • Can be set to run at login for automatic protection
  • App can’t be quit without entering the password
  • Supports Touch ID sensor on latest MacBook Pro models
  • Purchase includes 1-year of technical support and free upgrades
  • 24/7 Support by email

iLocker for Mac also offers smart ransomware protection via ProtectStar’s intelligent Deep Detective (TM) feature. The exclusive feature constantly monitors and protects critical system areas and personal data with an additional layer of prevention against Mac-encrypting ransomware attacks like KeRanger and other malicious methods. Deep Detective observes all accesses to your macOS apps, folders, and files, reporting known, and thanks to modern heuristic methods, unknown hacker attack attempts.

“iLocker is a great way for parents to make sure their kids are working on their English paper, and not talking to their buddies via the Messages app,” continues Chris. “By creating an easy to maintain usage schedule, they’ll know Junior is working schoolwork, even if the parents aren’t home from work yet. Plus, the app gives peace of mind by protecting against hacker threats to your Mac’s files, which contain precious family memories, valuable information, and more!”

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS 10.11 or higher
  • Supports macOS 10.13 macOS High Sierra
  • 64-bit processor
  • 70 MB
  • Internet connection for activation and updates

iLocker for Mac 1.0 is only $19.90 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide exclusively through the ProtectStar website.

macOS New App Release – PDF2Office

PDF2Office-for-Work-2017

Product Announcements – Recosoft ofOsaka, Japan  has released PDF2Office for iWork 2017, a major new release of the popular PDF to Pages, Keynote and Numbers converter for the macOS. PDF2Office for iWork 2017 has a completely re-designed interface taking advantage of the latest macOS technologies. Additionally, PDF2Office for iWork 2017 contains a native PDF previewing and navigation interface.

PDF2Office for iWork converts PDFs to Numbers, Keynote and Pages files by recreating the layout of the document; forming paragraphs; applying styles; regrouping independent graphic elements; extracting images; creating tables automatically. PDF2Office for iWork allows you to recover, reuse and re-source the contents stored in PDF files making it available for use within the Apple Pages, Keynote and Numbers.

Key New Features:

  • Modernized user interface – The entire user interface has been rebuilt from ground-up using modern macOS technologies providing an integrated PDF viewing, navigation and conversion interface.
  • Batch convert multiple PDF files to different formats at once – A conversions pane has been included allowing multiple files to be converted to the Apple Pages, Keynote and Numbers format at once.
  • Area select tool – An Area select tool has been included which allows specifying a particular area in a page to be converted to the target file type.
  • PDF to Image conversion – PDF-to-JPEG and PDF-to-PNG conversions are supported when using the Area select tool.
  • PDF Reconstruction v7.0 engine – PDF2Office for iWork 2017 contains the latest PDF Reconstruction v7.0 engine offering enhanced conversion fidelity and stability.
  • Support for latest macOS – PDF2Office for iWork has been enhanced to operate with the latest versions of macOS (including macOS Sierra).

“Recosoft pioneered PDF conversion technology for the Mac in 2003 with PDF2Office; by releasing PDF2Office for iWork 2017 we have delivered the best PDF to Apple Pages, Keynote and Numbers conversion technology to date” – Paramjit Chadha, MD, Recosoft Corporation”

System Requirements:

  • OS:Mac OS X 10.9.x and higher
  • Hardware:Intel based Mac
  • Applications:iWork ’09 or higher to view and edit converted files

PDF2Office for iWork 2017 is available immediately from the Mac App store as an In App purchase for $29.99 (USD) with a limited free-to-use option for 14-days.

Review of “Operation Armageddon”

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Book Reviews – “Operation Armageddon” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Richard Freeman. Mr. Freeman has published 17 books.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story takes place in 1943 Europe. The primary characters are Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander James Bosanquet and French resistance leader Marie Le Faucheur.

The war is beginning to turn for the Nazis. Their army at Stalingrad is in danger of being surrounded and the Allies will soon invade North Africa. Hitler himself comes up with a daring plan to strike a blow against the Allies with a submarine loaded with 250 tons of explosives.

Faucheur in Cap d’Enfer, France comes across information about the U-boat in her job at the German naval base. Bosanquet, working for British Naval Intelligence, is dropped behind German lines to take action against the threat. Working together with Faucheur, Bosanquet comes up with a plan to at least delay the sailing of the U-boat.

As with most plans, things fall apart quickly and their attack is thwarted with many injured or killed. The U-boat sails and it becomes a race to see if it can be found and stopped before the Germans can strike their ‘Armageddon’ blow against the Allies.

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent on this 258 page World War II thriller. The main characters were a bit bungling in their jobs, but that is more realistic than the ‘James Bond’ like heroes we normally read about. The cover art is reasonable given that a German U-boat is central to the story. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

 

Short Science Fiction Film “The Secret Number”

Short Films – The short (13:45) science fiction film “The Secret Number” was published to YouTube in July of 2017 (though it shows a 2012 date in IMDB) by DUST. The synopsis:

A psychiatrist is compelled by his patient, an institutionalized mathematician, to consider the existence of a secret integer between three and four.

Doctor Simon Tomlin, a psychiatrist in a mental hospital, has a disturbing conversation with one of his patients– a brilliant mathematician named Ersheim, who intends to prove the existence of a secret integer between three and four. Tomlin is compelled to dig deeper, but he only uncovers more questions. When Ersheim mysteriously disappears from the hospital, Tomlin realizes that their fates are deeply entwined.

I thought it was a good and thought provoking film. It was ranked as 6.7 on IMDB.

Will Your iPad Take iOS 11?

Tech Tips – iOS will be generally available on September 19, but not all iPads are compatible. Officially Apple declares these models compatible: all models of iPad Pro, the iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 5th generation and iPad mini models 2-4 [1].

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if you don’t know what model of iPad you have, you can look at the back of the iPad. At the bottom beneath iPad, in very tiny print, is your model number. I found it difficult to read, so I used the camera on my iPhone to zoom in on the text, take a photo and then read the model number through the resulting photo. Apple lists the model numbers for each iPad [2] and I identified mine as an “iPad Air 2” which is eligible for the upgrade.

What’s important in iOS 11 [2,3]?

  1. New Dock
  2. New App Switcher and Control Center
  3. Being able to open a second task (for multi-tasking) directly from the Dock
  4. The New Files App – almost a filesystem
  5. Drag and drop text, photos and files between applications
  6. A native screen recorder
  7. Improved password management
  8. iPad Pros will get document markup using the Apple Pencil
  9. Inline drawings for Notes and Mail
  10. Document scanning
  11. Indoor maps

 

References:

  1. iOS 11 – A giant step for iPhone. A monumental leap for iPad.
  2. Identify you iPad Model
  3. 11 Ways iOS 11 Makes Your iPad Even Better

See my other iOS articles


 

macOS New App Release – BatchOutput PDF

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Product Announcements – Zevrix Solutions of Toronto (ON) Canada has announced that BatchOutput PDF, the company’s PDF printing automation solution, is available on software discount site BundleHunt as part of their Smart Mac Bundle. The deal lets users select 7 premium Mac apps from a pre-selected assortment of 47 software titles for $22 only until October 28. BundleHunt is an online store that retails heavily discounted bundles of high quality software, aimed at empowering the creative community, online business owners, web designers, and developers.

BatchOutput PDF completely automates PDF printing workflow by processing files from watched hot folders. Users can define print presets for various output settings and assign a hot folder to each preset. For example, users can create hot folders for color and black-and-white printers, specific paper sizes, duplex modes, various color profiles and so on.

“BatchOutput PDF has been really helpful to me,” says Glen Saville of the self-titled design firm in Hornchurch, UK. “When I have a ton of work to do I can simply drag my PDFs into hot folders and let the app handle the printing. It saves me from being at work all night!”

BatchOutput PDF helps users eliminate countless repetitive tasks of opening PDF files and adjusting print settings manually by bypassing the print dialog. The app offers the following key features:

  • Batch print PDF files automatically from watched hot folders
  • Create presets for various print settings
  • Work with other programs while BatchOutput PDF prints in the background
  • Specify password for encrypted PDFs
  • Save time and hassle of printing each PDF manually

BatchOutput PDF can be purchased on BundleHunt as part of its Smart Bundle of 7 apps for $21.99 (USD). Trial version is also available for download. BatchOutput PDF requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later.

Short Science fiction Film “Rocketman”

Short Film – The short (10:43) science fiction film “Rocketman” was published to YourTube in July of 2017 by DUST. The synopsis:

Harry, a troubled young boy with a vivid imagination wants to fight the forces of evil like his television hero, the Star Ship Captain. When he meets the athletic but slightly awkward Jordan, the two boys set a plan in motion to defeat the forces of evil and save the day. Set in Melbourne in the late 1970‘s, this is the story of a suburban Space Captain, his Lieutenant, the Rocket they built and the heroes they become.

This is different from most of the films I have seen. It is more about a young boy’s dream of what he can accomplish.