All posts by Pariah S. Burke

Macworld Cancelled Due to Steve Jobs’ Declining Health?

That’s what Gizmodo reports. The venerable gadget blog reports that a previously reliable source claimed:

Steves health is rapidly declining. Apple is choosing to remove the hype factor strategically vs letting the hype destroy Apple when the inevitable news comes later this spring.

This strategic loss will be less of a bang with investors. This is why Macworld is a no-go anymore. No more Steve means no more hype. Saying they are no longer needing [Macworld] is the cover designed by the worldwide “loyalty” department.

Read the full story on Gizmodo.

Ford Threatens Suit Against Ford-Enthusiast Websites

In one of the most astonishingly blatant shoot-yourself-in-the-foot moves, Ford Motor Company is reportedly threatening suit against Ford-enthusiast Websites unless they cease all use of Ford trademarks in domain names, banners, signs, and merchandise, as well as pay $5,000 US resitution to the near bankrupt Ford by 19 December 2008.

On the very day that a $14 billion auto manufacturer bailout deal is reached (source: CNN), automotive newsite Jalopnik reports that Ford, one of the three US automanufacters begging the government for bailout funds, is going after their own greatest fans.

The days of the Carpocalypse are upon us and Ford is now taking it to the internet, web 2.0-style… Enthusiast sites [like TheRangerStation.com] that have received a letter from the Howard, Phillips and Andersen legal firm will be required to promptly remove all FoMoCo-trademarked material and are [threatened with] a $100,000 lawsuit on top of the [$5,000] restitution payment.

In addition to adding Mustang fan forum Mustang Evolution and other Ford-enthusiast sites to the list of those in Ford’s legal crosshairs, Voltage Blog blasts the move by Ford Motor Company and even goes on to suggest more appropriate actions the ailing automaker should be taking with members of Ford product fan sites:

Sponsor a barbecue and talk to these people about why they’re passionate about past Ford vehicles and apply that to future products. (The Ranger Station? Who loves Ford Rangers? Why?)

Host a track day at their proving grounds to strengthen the bond between the company and their most evangelistic customer base.

Reaching out to them with special promotional products you can only get through membership so they can increase their numbers

Following the Voltage Blog post, Scott Monty, Global Digital Communications for Ford Motor Company, allegedly replied stating that he is “looking into this personally with our Chief Trademark Counsel.” Monty also said: “I’m not pleased that such action would be taken, but I’m trying to understand the full ramifications of the story.”

Read the Jalopnik story.

Read the Voltage Blog story.

Adobe Creative Suite 4 Now Shipping

PRESS RELEASE

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Oct. 15, 2008 – Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the immediate availability of the Adobe® Creative Suite® 4 product family, the highly-anticipated release of industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow. Delivering radical breakthroughs in workflow efficiency – and packed with hundreds of innovative, time saving features – the new Creative Suite 4 product line advances the creative process across print, Web, interactive, film, video and mobile.

Customers can choose from six new versions: Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium, Design Standard, Web Premium, Web Standard, Production Premium and Master Collection. The combination of Creative Suite and the new capabilities of Adobe Flash® Player 10, also available today (see separate press release) deliver new levels of creativity and expressiveness across media channels. Designers using the Adobe Creative Suite 4 product family will gain unprecedented creative control using the new expressive features and visual performance improvements in Adobe Flash Player 10 to deliver breakthrough Web experiences across multiple browsers and operating systems.

“Creative Suite 4 and Flash Player 10 introduce vital time-saving features, new levels of integration and the jaw-dropping innovations our design and developer customers expect from us,” said John Loiacono, senior vice president, Creative Solutions Business Unit at Adobe.

“CS4 continues to fulfill our promise to customers to break down more barriers in cross-media workflows, while also providing new services and collaboration tools that help them manage complex client demands.”

As part of the CS4 product launch, the largest in Adobe’s history, also available today are brand new versions of Photoshop® CS4, Photoshop CS4 Extended, InDesign® CS4, Illustrator® CS4, Flash CS4 Professional, Dreamweaver® CS4, Fireworks® CS4, Contribute® CS4, After Effects® CS4, Adobe Premiere® Pro CS4, Encore® CS4, Soundbooth® CS4 and Adobe OnLocation(tm) CS4.

Intuitive Workflows Improve Creative Efficiency

A simplified workflow in Adobe Creative Suite 4 enables users to design across media more efficiently by making it easier to complete common tasks and move content seamlessly among applications. InDesign CS4 includes a new Live Preflight tool that allows designers to catch production errors and a newly customizable Links panel to manage placed files more efficiently. The revolutionary new Content-Aware Scaling tool in Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop CS4 Extended automatically recomposes an image as it is resized, preserving vital areas as it adapts to new dimensions. An expanded version of Dynamic Link in CS4 Production Premium enables users to move and update content between After Effects CS4, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, Soundbooth CS4, and Encore CS4 without rendering, saving countless hours in production. With deep XMP metadata support, the production workflow is simplified, resulting in online content that gives viewers new ways to interact with and search for video, while giving content owners new opportunities to track and monetize content.

Adobe Creative Suite 4 brings 3D center-stage providing the ability to paint, composite, and animate 3D models using familiar tools in Photoshop CS4 Extended. Flash CS4 Professional now offers the ability to apply tweens to objects instead of keyframes, providing greater control over animation attributes. Also in Flash CS4 Professional, the new Bones tool helps create more realistic animations between linked objects. With a searchable library of more than 450 dynamically updated device profiles from leading manufacturers, Adobe Device Central CS4 enables users to easily test mobile content designed using many of the Creative Suite 4 products.

New and Expanded Services Extend Capabilities for Online Collaboration

Adobe Creative Suite 4 now also offers a host of services* for online collaboration. Adobe ConnectNow, a service of Acrobat.com, allows real-time collaboration with two colleagues or clients. Designers can also share color harmonies with Adobe Kuler(tm). Other online resources include: Adobe Community Help for technical questions; Resource Central for accessing video and audio product-related news and tutorials, as well as Soundbooth scores and sound effects; and Adobe Bridge Home, a customizable resource for tips, tutorials, news and inspirational content.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe Creative Suite 4 and its associated point products are immediately available through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/store. Estimated street price for the Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium is US$1799, US$1699 for Adobe Creative Suite 4 Web Premium, US$1699 for Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium, and US$2499 for Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection. To reward customers for staying current, Adobe is offering Creative Suite 3 customers moving to Creative Suite 4 a lower upgrade price than it offers to those moving from older, qualifying versions. For a limited time, a special introductory offer enables customers with older qualifying products to enjoy the same lower price with savings of up to US$200 off their actual upgrade price. For more detailed information please visit www.adobe.com/creativesuite.

Adobe Flash Player 10 is available immediately as a free download for Windows, Macintosh and Linux platforms (including new support for Ubuntu 7 and 8) from www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information – anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.

What I’ve Learned from Emptying My Dishwasher

Bruce Colthart is a creative with a morning ritual. one that plays a vital role in Bruce’s work and day. And he’s not alone. What’s your dishwasher? What have you discovered about yourself doing low-concentration chores?

Some people [like] silently to start off their day. Some do so demonstratively, prostrate, facing Mecca. Some stare intently, while sipping a flavored (gag!) coffee, at birds flitting in a grove of trees outside their kitchen window. Me, I empty the dishwasher, dutifully, as early as I can muster as each new day breaks. That invisible domed area around my sink, including several cabinets and part of the kitchen table, are my cathedral. Just me and my various selves, some eager to chatter, some still sleeping. I especially prize the one that has the presence of mind to start brewing coffee (no fancy timer on my pot) and while later thanking him for not serving up decaf or a carafe of hot water.

Don’t get me wrong – I hate seeing the dishwasher full each morning. I have better things to do – including doing nothing – than to sort, relocate and pack away a bunch of warm and fragile items, most of which I didn’t sully in the first place. It’s just that I’ve trained myself to deal with it and make it disappear earlier rather than later. And in the process, have taken a zen-like approach to the task at hand. It’s now a contemplative and free-thought sort of time wher I listen to my personas speculate, discuss and vie for my attention. The result is profound insights about me and my life, on a daily basis which i’ll try to summarize below.

Continue reading “What I’ve learned from emptying my dishwasher” at Bruce’s blog.

SoftCare has Turned Into vjoon

PRESS RELEASE

The more than 150 visitors at the 4th International K4 User Conference, held on Friday in Hamburg, were surprised to learn that Hamburg-based software house SoftCare has rebranded as vjoon. The company also revealed what its Xanthos project stands for: the revolutionary publishing platform and latest system version K4 6.0. The public will have a chance to see vjoon K4 6.0, supporting Adobe CS4, from October 27 to 30 at the IFRA Expo in Amsterdam (Hall 10/Booth 10330). At the tradeshow, vjoon will present innovative cross-media strategies together with its partners AD HOC, axaio, CoreMedia, GrafiData, MEI, NeoGeo, PCI, SNAP, SYSPRO, and Topix.

“vjoon stands for our mission — vision, value and cooperation,” said Andreas Schrader, Managing Director and CEO of vjoon GmbH, explaining the name change from SoftCare. “We have become so much more than just a company producing a publishing system. We have turned K4 into a publishing platform that can flexibly handle continuously evolving editorial structures and individually control and fill any number of media channels.” When the company was first established in 1990, then as SoftCare, it followed a vision. The company was one of the first to develop plug-ins for Adobe and to integrate editorial solutions. Today, more than 300 K4 systems are installed worldwide at publishing houses and corporate publishers. K4 users, distribution and technology partners, as well as potential K4 customers had traveled from all over the world, coming from many places in Germany, but also from the United States, Russia, Malaysia, Great Britain, France, Benelux and many other countries, to attend the annual event in Hamburg, which presented the latest K4 version along with interesting user case studies.

Xanthos is the completely new set-up of K4
With version 6.0, vjoon is coming out with the most important release in its company history. K4 6.0, which was specifically developed for Adobe Creative Suite 4.0, represents a workflow revolution. In contrast to all known editorial and publishing systems in the market, K4 6.0 is not status-based, but assigns specific tasks to employees for editing text, image and layout documents. This marks a change of paradigm for vjoon that discontinues the practice of checking documents in and out, and instead focuses on the user‘s perspective. In modern editorial environments with freelancers and external agencies, users often barely have time to become familiar with a new publishing system. The assignment of tasks makes the publishing process more realistic, intuitive, and consequently, much easier. To avoid long waiting times, vjoon K4 also allows for dividing tasks, with parcels completed independently. As an example, the preparation of an image for the Internet can be divided into rendering the image data for optimal Web resolution and citing an image source. Once the image is rendered, it is ready for further processing; for example, to add a caption. However, the image will not be exported to the Web until it is authorized with an image credit.

Serve all Media with Split Workflow
The split workflow of K4 6.0 is fundamental to the product’s function as a cross-media publishing platform. In contrast to version K4 5.9, which allowed for exporting print content to the Web or to be archived, K4 6.0 is able to split workflows for all K4 objects, such as articles, images, or layouts, for corresponding media channels and even recognizes dependencies between individual workflows. For example, if an Internet article is sufficiently prepared for the print edition of a newspaper or magazine and is to be read into the layout by the final editor, but the corresponding image has not yet been authorized, the system will report the “problem” and notify the user. Any number of workflows can be created in K4 6.0 for any of the object types.

In addition to the pioneering concept of a task-based workflow and the option to split the workflow for individual objects or media channels, vjoon K4 is documenting its trend-setting capacities with its standard interfaces via Web services, which guarantees flexible connectivity to third-party systems. The new intuitive user interface also is an important step toward simplifying the administration of K4. The many templates and wizards ensure that daily chores such as creating new user profiles can be done quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, vjoon K4 6.0 includes another nearly 40 new features that make work easier. A modern multi-tier-architecture and the use of Java and AJAX form the basis of this new benchmark in publishing.

About vjoon
vjoon (formerly SoftCare), founded in 1990, is the worldwide leading developer of workflow solutions based on Adobe Creative Suite. The German company, located in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, has evolved its most popular product, K4, from an editorial system to a publishing platform that can handle as many media channels as requested. It combines efficient methods of working with proven time and cost advantages for magazine, newspaper, book and corporate publishers. vjoon’s smaller solution K2 provides an excellent base product for people entering the world of professional publishing. K4 is already successfully in use with installations ranging from ten to more than 1,000 users. Publications using K4 include Playboy, BusinessWeek, New York Magazine, Focus, Capital, ADACmotorwelt, DIE ZEIT, Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Le Point, while corporate publishers include Akzo Nobel, Addison, Publicis, BASF, KircherBurkhardt and Beiersdorf. K2 and K4 both support MAC OS X and Windows clients in mixed environments as well as all established server platforms. In order to guarantee high-quality system support at a local level, vjoon is working with a worldwide network of qualified K4 integrators. Find out more at www.vjoon.com.

New Spring 2009 Colors Debut; Download Exclusive Swatches Palette

Any good graphic designer knows the new, hip graphic and industrial design colors are dictated by the fashion world. Today the fashion world proclaimed the top 10 colors for Spring 2009. And Quark VS InDesign.com and Designorati.com have the exclusive on Spring 2009 color palettes for download and instant use in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, QuarkXPress, and just about any other design application.

Pantone Fashion Colors Spring 2009

New Spring 2009 colors as shown in the downloadable palette.

Twice yearly, at the start of the Spring and Fall fashion shows, Pantone surveys fashion designers to collect feedback on prominent collection colors, color inspiration, color philosophy and each designer’s signature shade. This information is used to create the PANTONE® Fashion Color Report and serves as a reference tool throughout the year to fashion, industrial, and graphic designers alike.

According to the report, blue and purple lead the top 10 hues for spring ’09. The palette also includes pops of vibrant color representing the optimism of the season, combined with sophisticated neutrals to ground the palette and provide stability in an unpredictable economic climate. A spectrum of greens rounds out the report, evoking a sense of freshness and new beginnings.

“New York’s fashion designers encourage hopeful attitudes with lively colors, while sophisticated, grounded hues address the need for stability in times of economic uncertainty,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

The top 10 spring ’09 colors for women are:

  • PANTONE 18-4043 Palace Blue
  • PANTONE 15-3817 Lavender
  • PANTONE 14-0754 Super Lemon
  • PANTONE 15-1626 Salmon Rose
  • PANTONE 18-2328 Fuchsia Red
  • PANTONE 14-1307 Rose Dust
  • PANTONE 16-5804 Slate Gray
  • PANTONE 16-6339 Vibrant Green
  • PANTONE 16-0435 Dark Citron
  • PANTONE 14-5714 Lucite Green

Fall ’08 [download palettes of the Fall 2008 Colors from Quark VS InDesign.com] saw blue and purple rise to the forefront of fashion. As is often true, colors evolve from season to season, and spring ’09 is no exception. Palace Blue, a favorite among designers this season, takes a steadfast, classic, spring navy-like tone and makes it sparkle. Paired with just about any color in the report, it offers many intriguing spring combinations. Taking purple in a lighter direction, Lavender presents a softer, more summery hue, extending the mystical aspects of purple available last fall.

As yellow continues to make its mark on the world of fashion, tangy Super Lemon brings a fun, optimistic outlook to the palette. Its luminosity is determined to evoke a smile and attract the roving consumer’s eyes. Taking a cue from its lemony neighbor, friendly and approachable Salmon Rose also conveys an optimistic outlook. The subtlest of oranges, Salmon Rose is flattering to most complexions and is beautiful with a summer glow. Think sensual and seductive Fuchsia Red for clothing, as well as lipstick and nail polish selections, this spring. With its blue undertones, this cool red is a real show-stopper, adding a sense of elegance to the palette.

Stabilizing neutrals provide practicality in a changing economic landscape. Not your average beige, Rose Dust breaks away from the typical neutrals associated with spring by adding dimension with subtle rose undertones. And with its bluish-green undertones, cool Slate Gray is a nuanced neutral that can be paired with any of the other nine colors in the report.

Three greens, each with their own distinct personality, round out the color palette for spring ’09, perpetuating the idea of freshness and renewal. Vibrant Green, the quintessential spring hue, brings a true verdancy to the palette in a time of revitalization. Dark Citron, a citrus-inspired green, is calmer and more serious than most, offering an element of sophistication to the mix. Reflective Lucite Green, a clean, clear subtle hue, adds a slight shimmer.

Hot off the runway, download your new Spring 2009 colors in a pre-built swatches file—exclusively from Designorati and Quark VS InDesign.com

ColorsSpring2009.zip (169kb). Includes Adobe Swatch Exchange (ASE) palette for all Creative Suite CS2, CS3, and CS4 applications, as well as .AI and .EPS versions of the swatches palette for use in QuarkXPress, pre-CS2 versions of Adobe applications, and other products; in .zip format for Windows & OS X.