New GIMP Easier for Mac Users

A new version of The GIMP is out, and it is now easier for Mac users to install.

GIMP is Now a Self-Contained Native App for Mac OS X

“GIMP, the image editing program that’s a popular open-source alternative to Photoshop, is now easier than ever for Mac users to start using. Though it was completely free, installing it has long required that X11 also be installed — a major pain in the butt. That changes with the latest version of GIMP: the app is now a self-contained native app that’s a breeze to install. It’s as simple as dragging and dropping.

After downloading the app from the GIMP website (a file that weighs in at around 73 megabytes), you’ll have a DMG installer on your hands. Open it up, drag the GIMP.app file to your Applications folder, and voila! GIMP installed, and ready to use!

The total size of the app once you unpack it is about 230 megabytes. We’d say, ‘make sure you have enough hard drive space’… but this is 2012, and 230MB is what you have on your hands after warming up your shutter finger.

When we tried out this latest version, the app crashed the first time we tried opening it. Other users are reporting this same bug. Try it a second time, however, and it should load just fine.

Aside from this quirk, the 2.8.2 update fixes some bugs that were present in the previous version. Enjoy.”

Mozilla 15 is Released, And Finally Fixes Memory Leak!

Now, this IS great news! Mozilla has fixed their memory issue, finally!

Firefox 15 available to download, finally fixes add-on memory leak

“Mozilla has released Firefox 15 for PCs, smartphones, and tablets. The most standout features are a completely silent background updater (like Chrome), significant memory footprint improvements, a built-in PDF reader, better SPDY protocol support, and a new native UI for Firefox Mobile on Android tablets.

Mozilla debuted an early version of the background updater in Firefox 12, but it still harried the user with various pop-ups. With Firefox 15, the browser now downloads and applies updates in the background, and then switches to the new version the next time you open the browser — just like Google Chrome.

The Firefox add-on memory leak has finally been fixed. For almost as long as I can remember, the only surefire way to reduce Firefox’s bloated memory footprint was to close it down. In theory, closing tabs should have the same effect — forcing add-ons to relinquish their memory allocations — but until now it hasn’t. Your mileage will vary, depending on which add-ons you use, but in general you should notice quite a big reduction.

The built-in PDF reader, provided by PDF.js, is turned off by default but can be turned on by visiting about:config and setting pdfjs.disabled to false. After some preliminary testing, it seems about as capable as Chrome’s built-in PDF reader, but a bit slower.”

A New Logo for Microsoft

Microsoft has changed its logo. I am underwhelmed.New Microsoft Logo

Microsoft gets a new logo for the first time since 1987

“For the first time in 25 years, Microsoft is changing its corporate logo.

Microsoft, which has used its solid, boldfaced, italicized logo since 1987, is expected to unveil its new, more colorful logo Thursday at the Boston opening of the 23rd Microsoft store. It will also appear Thursday at the Seattle and Bellevue Microsoft stores, as well as on the microsoft.com home page.

The new logo, which incorporates a multicolored Windows symbol in addition to the ‘Microsoft’ name in straightforward, lighter type, is intended to ‘signal the heritage but also signal the future — a newness and freshness,” said Jeff Hansen, Microsoft’s general manager of brand strategy.

It’s coming at a time when the company is preparing to launch new or significantly updated versions of nearly every one of its products, from Windows to Windows Phone to Office.

Many of those products will feature a new look and feel — cleaner, with fewer borders and less clutter, and more colorful tile-based designs.

Given all that, ‘we felt it was a good time to express the newness in the Microsoft logo as well,” Hansen said.

The new logo features the name ‘Microsoft’ in the Segoe font — a font Microsoft owns and has used in its products and marketing for several years. The font also figures prominently in the new Windows 8 user interface.

The “f” and “t” in the name ‘Microsoft’ are connected in the new logo, just as they were in the old. “It was one of the subtleties we thought we could bring forward,” Hansen said.

For the first time, the company’s logo will also include a symbol: In this case, a square formed by four multicolored square tiles — reminiscent of the company’s multihued Windows logo in years past. (Ironically, Windows 8’s new logo is now single-colored.)

The colors in the squares — blue, orange, green and yellow — are those long associated with Microsoft and from which the company’s product brands draw.

The colors are also meant to convey ‘the diversity of our products and the diversity of people that we serve,” Hansen said.

The new logo also bears great resemblance to, and is an evolution of, the Microsoft Store logo, which was inspired by the Windows flag.

A lot is at stake when a company changes its logo.

A logo is the instant communication of a brand, said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “It’s what is seen time and time again,” she said.

A strong logo, she said, needs to be ‘distinctive, clearly identified with the brand and consistently used over time.’

The new logo marks the fourth time Redmond-based Microsoft has changed it since the company was founded in 1975 and only the second time since Microsoft went public in 1986.”

Geek Software of the Week: SayPad!

This week’s GSotW is a neat, little utility. You don’t have to install it, just click on it, and it runs! You can paste any text into the “notepad” style screen, and then click “play” and it will be read to you out loud!

SayPad – Text to Speech Utility

“SayPad is a free Text-to-Speech notepad application. SayPad uses the .net Speech API. SayPad allows you to listen the text entered, and save text as a .wav file.”

Twitter is Joining the Linux Foundation!

So much of the Web runs on Linux, it only makes sense that Twitter would support Linux!

Twitter Joining the Linux Foundation

“The overwhelming majority of web-based services today rely on Linux. More and more of these companies are joining the Linux Foundation, the ‘nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux.’ The Linux Foundation provides a neutral ground for companies and users to discuss and collaborate on Linux’s development, so it makes sense for companies with large Linux footprints to get involved. Linux Foundation members include IBM, Intel, Google, HP, Oracle, and a raft of other names you’ll recognize. Twitter will be joining up next week.

With tens of thousands of Linux servers, Twitter will be joining The Linux Foundation to support its mission of promoting, protecting and advancing Linux. “Linux and its ability to be heavily tweaked is fundamental to our technology infrastructure,” said Chris Aniszczyk, Manager of Open Source, Twitter. ‘By joining The Linux Foundation we can support an organization that is important to us and collaborate with a community that is advancing Linux as fast as we are improving Twitter.’

Aniszczyk will be keynoting at the Linux Foundation’s LinuxCon event next week with a presentation titled ‘The Open Source Technology Behind a Tweet.’ I’ll be there. You should be, too.

Also joining the Linux Foundation are Inktank, a company that provides development and support of the Ceph distributed filesystem, and Servergy, manufacturers of efficient Power Architecture ™-based, enterprise-class Linux machines.”

A New Version of Audacity is Out!

Start downloading NOW! I got this notice just a few minutes ago!

“The Audacity Team is pleased to announce the release of Audacity 2.0.2 (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download) for Windows, Mac, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. It replaces all previous versions. A significant bug that caused clicks on split lines has been fixed, and there are improvements to several toolbars and to some Nyquist effects. See the 2.0.2 Release Notes (http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Release_Notes_2.0.2) for details of the changes.

How Would You Like Your Own Star Wars Speeder Bike?

Speeder bikeHow many layers of AWESOME is this? Dewd! Can haz?

Coming soon: A Star Wars-like speeder bike?

“If you’ve ever dreamed of whizzing through the desert on a Star Wars-style speeder bike, you may soon get your wish. A team of aerospace engineers from a California company called Aerofex have built and tested a fully functional hoverbike that looks like a prop straight out of Return of the Jedi. In lieu of anti-gravity engines, the vehicle flies using enclosed helicopter rotors and a specially designed control system that allows first-timers to ride without any training, kind of like an ATV. Now the team is hoping to sell the flying bike, which has a max speed of 30 mph and elevates up to 15 feet, to the military, noting that the vehicle could prove useful for squeezing supplies through tight, helicopter-defying spaces or for traversing muddy terrain without leaving any tracks.

While it looks like high tech, the bike’s design actually dates back to the 1960s but was abandoned due to stability problems, says Jeremy Hsu at LiveScience. This version, however, utilizes an intuitive, completely mechanical steering system — controlled by two handlebars at knee-level — that ‘allows the vehicle to respond to a human pilot’s leaning movements and natural sense of balance.” ‘This is insane,’ says Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo. And just think: As slow as the bike looks now, remember this is just the first version, and the flying speeder bike will inevitably get much faster. Now, the only things we need are ‘light sabers, golden robots with English accents, and hyperspace engines.'”

Check out the YouTube video below:

How to Create an RSS Feed of Your YouTube Videos!

YouTubeHave you ever had a need to post an RSS feed from a YouTube Channel? It can be done, but YouTube doesn’t seem to share this freely! I am not sure why they would hold this close to their chest, it is pretty neat information, and helps publicize YouTubery! Anyway, here’s how:

http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/users/{Your YouTube Username}/YouTube/uploads

Substitute your YouTube username in the “{Your YouTube Username}” space, being sure to remove the brackets. You can test this by pasting the resulting URL into Mozilla Firefox and see how it looks. For instance, here’s my Dr. Bill.TV shows:

http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/users/DrBillBailey/uploads

Pretty neat trick!

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