April 12, 2010

Adobe to unveil updated software line

Posted: 10:22 AM ET

Adobe will unveil a new line of software today aimed at making high-end Web production and photo editing easier for average computer users as well as professionals.

The company's Creative Suite 5 programs include new versions of Photoshop, the photo editing software, and Flash, Adope's animation and video format that is somewhat in jeopardy because Apple products don't support it.

The company will host a live webcast about the new products at 11 a.m. ET. Check this link for the details on that.

A new Photoshop feature will let even casual photo editors add and remove elements from photos.

Say you want to delete a power line from a nature pic, for instance. You'll be able to highlight the power line, delete it, and then Photoshop will automatically fill in the vacant space with a matching background.

Here's a video where you can see it in action.

Check out the webcast and let us know what you think. You'll find more details on all the features at Adobe's Web site. PC World and MacWorld both have preliminary reviews.

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Filed under: Internet • photography

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March 25, 2010

Polaroid instant film is back ... sort of

Posted: 02:44 PM ET

Fans of tech nostalgia, it's time to rejoice.

Film for Polaroid's old-school instant cameras went out of production in 2008, but a European company has started reproducing certain types of the film again.

A company called "the IMPOSSIBLE project" started selling the instant film on its Web site today. The price is steep, though: $21 for a 8-photo pack that develops in black-and-white.

The black-and-white film works with SX 70 Polaroid cameras from the 1970s.

Color film will be released this summer, according to news reports.

The Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog has details on the difficulties of producing the film:

The Impossible Project acquired its namesake because of the complexity of the film, which has six distinct layers, (mask, receiving sheet, developer, negative, rail and mash), with each of those layers comprising of six to 10 components. Additionally, many of the key ingredients and chemicals were no longer available once Kaps and Bosman got working in the factory.

The Associated Press notes that Fujifilm produces other varieties of Polaroid-compatible film, but not this type.

By some accounts, Polaroid is making a bit of a comeback these days. Lada Gaga, the singer and fashion maven, is part of the company's publicity campaign. And Polaroid has come out with digital cameras that print photos on-the-spot, but they haven't taken off the way its vintage instant cameras did.

Even if you don't have an instant camera, there's still plenty of Polaroid entertainment to be had on the Internet these days. Flickr has a robust Polaroid-sharing community, with more than 14,000 members. There's a popular iPhone app that gives mobile-phone photos a Polaroid look (you even get to shake your camera to "develop" the prints).

And, of course, there's always that OutKast video.

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Filed under: photography • Polaroid

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Are you a gadgethead? Do you spend hours a day online? Or are you just curious about how technology impacts your life? In this digital age, it's increasingly important to be fluent, or at least familiar, with the big tech trends. From gadgets to Google, smartphones to social media, this blog will help keep you informed.

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