Welcome to the 473rd issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news highlights and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is
your first issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me
two or three issues, I know that you will come back for more!
After weeks of beautiful fall weather, things have gotten quite cold. It's
only been a few degrees above freezing the last couple of days, and today there
was some light snow\sleet\hail. Oh well. I guess it makes us think of Christmas.
In fact, Christmas is coming early this year... we asked Andrew when he wanted
to put the Christmas decorations up, and he answers, "Umm... November
15th." We asked him again and he repeated November 15. I don't know why
he chose that date, but since we asked him, we figured we'd go along with it,
so next Thursday we're bringing out the tree.
Everything is going well with baby Christine. She is making a lot more baby
noises now (cooing, gurgling, etc) which of course is very cute. She only gets
up once in the night now, and hopefully she'll be making it through the whole
Finally, coming to New York, a fashion show devoid of skinny models and
serious faces -- in fact the models don't even exist.
Discount retailer Target Corp , known for its innovative marketing, is staging
a "model-less" fashion show in Manhattan next week that will feature
holograms strutting down a runway in its merchandise instead of size-zero
Some academics cringe when students turn to Wikipedia as a reference for
University of Washington-Bothell professor Martha Groom has more of an "If
you can't beat 'em, join 'em" response to the online encyclopedia that
anyone can write or edit.
Instead of asking students in her environmental history course to turn in
one big paper at the end of the semester, she requires them either to write
an original Wikipedia article or to do a major edit on an existing one.
Britons are now sending more than one billion text messages per week according
to the latest figures from the Mobile Data Association (MDA).
The figure is 25% higher than a year ago and is set to shatter forecasts
for how many text messages have been sent to and from handsets this year.
That weekly total is the same as the number sent during the whole of 1999.
Some 4.825bn texts were sent in September 2007, equivalent to 4,000 every
A coalition of privacy and consumer advocacy groups are asking government
regulators to create a "Do Not Track" list that Americans can use
to block online advertisers from silently recording people's browsing habits.
Advertisers use the data to display targeted ads.
The groups petitioned the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday to establish
the anti-tracking measure, loosely modeled on the popular and successful
anti-telemarketing National Do Not Call Registry. The proposal is timed to
an FTC-hosted conference devoted to the topic of behavioral online advertising.
I have talked in the past about non-destructive editing in Photoshop
Elements 5 any of the full Photoshop versions including CS2 and CS3.
This week I will introduce a way to make non-destructive edits to pixel layer
Several of the tools in Photoshop Elements 5 including the magic wand, spot
healing, clone stamp, paint bucket and blur tool have an option to sample all
layers. This is a great tool for fixing blemishes or small areas of pixel level
detail. Remember, we use adjustment layers for as many full images modifications
as we can and those are not pixel level adjustment.
To use this feature, create a blank layer on top of your other layers and
select the tool you would like to use. Look in the options bar for a check
box labeled Use All Layers. If it is
there, make sure it is checked then go ahead and use the tool as normal. Your
previously blank layer will now start to have modified data in it. One of the
nicest features about this is because your edits are on a new layer, you can
adjust the opacity of those changes, or turn them off completely.
Taking advantage of all the features of the tools that you use is the best
way to achieve your highest quality work. Non-destructive editing provides
the most flexibility in post processing your images without risking a permanent
modification to your actual photographic detail.
The digital photography tip of the week is written by
the PCIN Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Chris is a long time photographer
and is currently the President of the Niagara
Falls Camera Club. You can see more of his photography at his Photo
of the Day website.
If you have a tip to send Chris, or a question about digital photography
he can address in the newsletter, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PCIN.net Site Update
Check out these new or updated pages on the PCIN.net site:
Hasbro is the maker (either under the name Hasbro, Parker Brothers, or Milton
Bradley) of some classic board games such as Sorry, Monopoly, Life, Boggle,
etc. They have a website called StarttheGame.com where
you can learn about their games. You can also play demos of some of their
games. I played Boggle for a bit tonight before posting this.
If all browsers applied web standards correctly, then every web page would
look the same in each browser. Unfortunately, this is not the way it is.
Each browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc) supports various standards
and displays web pages slightly differently. To test your web pages, you
could install a copy of every browser and load it. Or you could visit BrowserShots.org and
let them do the work:
Browsershots makes screenshots of your web design in different browsers.
It is a free open-source online service created by Johann C. Rocholl. When
you submit your web address, it will be added to the job queue. A number
of distributed computers will open your website in their browser. Then
they will make screenshots and upload them to the central server here.
The screenshots do not appear instantly, but you can bookmark the page and
go back to it. The default time period is 30 minutes, but I had to extend
the time (there is a button) as it took more than 30 minutes for the screenshots
to appear. If you want to see the screenshots for PCIN.net, click
here (I'm not sure how long the screenshots will be available for).
PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of
the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing
and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying
the tips in this newsletter.
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