tech e blog

Adobe Photoshop First


February 19th marked the 25th anniversary of Adobe Photoshop's first release. To celebrate its birthday, we bring you the very first demo, along with a minute-long compilation animation made up of a host of Photoshop creations. In the second video, you'll see everyone from Bilbo Baggins to the lovable green Shrek, made from the original working files provided by the artists themselves. In 1987, Thomas Knoll, a PhD student at the University of Michigan, began writing a program on his Macintosh Plus to display grayscale images on a monochrome display. This program, called Display, caught the attention of his brother John Knoll, an Industrial Light & Magic employee, who recommended that Thomas turn it into a full-fledged image editing program. Thomas took a six-month break from his studies in 1988 to collaborate with his brother on the program. Thomas renamed the program ImagePro, but the name was already taken. Later that year, Thomas renamed his program Photoshop and worked out a short-term deal with scanner manufacturer Barneyscan to distribute copies of the program with a slide scanner; a "total of about 200 copies of Photoshop were shipped" this way. Click here to view the first image in this week's demotivational poster gallery. Continue reading for a viral video showing why moms get nothing done.

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Google Earth Pro Free

Previously, you had to pay $399 to enjoy the feature sof Google Earth Pro, but now the service is free for everyone to use. You can use it to plan hikes, where to put solar panels on rooftops, measuring 3D buildings, and even printing high-resolution images for presentations or reports. The fun doesn't stop there, Pro can also record HD movies of your virtual flights around the world. For those interested, just grab a key and download Google Earth Pro here. If you want to see the Google Earth Flight Simulator in-action, continue reading for a video

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Be My Eyes App

Be My Eyes is a new app with a simple, yet fun, concept: visually-impaired people use the camera on their mobile device to shoot live video of whatever they need help seeing, and a sighted volunteer on the other end tells them what they need to know. CEO Thelle Kristensen says if users get reported enough times for misuse, they won't be able to connect to anyone through the app anymore. On the other hand, if you're a sighted user and a notification is left unanswered, the request will automatically go to someone else. There's currently more than 17,800 sighted people and 1,500 blind people using the app. iTunes page. Continue reading for a video demonstration and more information.

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Excel Art

These may look like digital paintings, but they were all created in Microsoft Excel by Tatsuo Horiuchi, a 73-year-old Japanese who started playing with the spreadsheet software 13-years-ago. He says, "Graphics software is expensive but Excel comes pre-installed on most computers. And it has more functions and is easier to use than [Microsoft] Paint." He actually won an Excel Autoshape Art Contest in 2006. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of astronauts aboard the ISS growing a water bubble.

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PhotoMath

PhotoMath is not your normal calculator app, and it's one that might soon be banned at schools worldwide. Just point your smartphone's camera towards a mathematical equation and PhotoMath instantly solves it for you. Plus, it shows each step used to arrive at the answer. Best of all, it's an entirely free app. The current version supports basic arithmetics, fractions, decimal numbers, linear equations and several functions like logarithms. Download page. Continue reading to see it in-action and read about the one caveat:

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Bizarre Google Earth

Google Street View is great for virtual tourists, but to see truly bizarre anomalies, you'd have to open up Google Earth. The glitch you see above occurs because of how Google Earth uses texture mapping to create images, which means it overlays a flat satellite image with a 3D terrain map. Sometimes, Google's algorithms has trouble stretching a 2D image over a 3D landscape, resulting in some crazy distortions. Continue reading to see more.

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4K iPhone Camera

Vizzywig 4K app is made for those with more money than sense, as just tacking on a few hundred more dollars will get you a Panasonic Lumix GH4. This software claims that it's the "world's first mobile app that lets you capture, edit, and distribute 4K video." This is possible because instead of capturing video normally, it does so by shooting 4K-resolution photographs at a rate of 24 photos a second while recording synced audio on the side. iTunes Page. Continue reading for a actual 4K test footage shot with an iPhone and the app.

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Funny Tinder Picture

Tinder is the infamous dating app people all over the world have been using to find love, but Jarrod Allen, from Sydney, Australia became an internet sensation by finding potential matches on the dating app and then painstakingly recreates their weird and wonderful profile pictures. Jarrod says, "Everyone thinks they take ages to recreate, but it's actually really quick. I see a photo and if I think I can recreate it myself, I go ahead." Continue reading to see a few of his most popular photos.

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The Microsoft Research team, lead by Johannes Kopf, Richard Szeliski, Michael Cohen, and Richard Szeliski, has unveiled a new Windows app that will make shaky first-person videos a thing of the past. Technically speaking, here's how it works: "Our algorithm first reconstructs the 3D input camera path as well as dense, per-frame proxy geometries. We then optimize a novel camera path for the output video that is smooth and passes near the input cameras while ensuring that the virtual camera looks in directions that can be rendered well from the input. Next, we compute geometric proxies for each input frame. These allow us to render the frames from the novel viewpoints on the optimized path." Continue reading for the technical video explaining just how the stabilization is accomplished.

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Sam Smith isn't your typical 12-year-old, as he spends most of his day making mobile games. Spacepants is the first release from his Boxface Games home studio, and boasts tough endless runner-style gameplay set in a single room, "which sees you avoiding lasers, space caterpillars, and other nasties for as long as you can while constantly moving." He's been making games for about a year now, mainly using GameMaker: Studio software, which doesn't require any prior programming or design experience. Even though Spacepants has only been out since May, he's already earned enough money to buy his younger brother a PlayStation 4. Continue reading to read what he has planned for the future.

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