My thanks to Literature & Latte for filling our premier sponsor spot & supporting DigitalDojos. Allowing creators like myself to produce content as independent network.
This sponsored post ran September 28th-October 9th.
Literature & Latte are the makers of two amazing writing tools for both OS X & Windows. Scrivener & Scapple are independently powerful tools to allow you to write & gather ideas quickly. Together however there’s no better combination of writing tools available. Whether it’s a novel, script, or mapping out an idea their tools have you covered.
We previously highlighted Scrivener in a past campaign:
This time however I wanted to highlight another tool from Literature & Latte that I’ve been using in my own personal workflow, Scapple. Scapple is a tool for quickly recording ideas in a freeform way. The aim of the app is to serve as a canvas for you to take ideas & quickly record them whatever they may be & draw connections to them as you go or later on. The best analogy comes from their site itself
If you’ve ever scribbled down ideas all over a piece of paper and drawn lines between related thoughts, then you already know what Scapple does.
What I enjoy about Scapple is it’s ability to start simple but allow you to freely connect things in whatever way the thoughts form. You can write notes anywhere on the canvas, connect them via lines, organize them in columns & so on.
Whether your trying to map out a project or storyboard an idea Scapple for Windows & Mac is for you. Check out my own overview of the application down below.
All in all Scapple provides a blank canvas for you to really layout anything. Be it your family history, charts, or big business project. There’s no wrong way to use Scapple, it’s for the visual & creative mind. Take that idea out of your head & organize it as you go. Unlike a scrabble on a piece of paper this app gives you the power to rearrange your thoughts on the fly or after the fact.
Buy Scapple today for Windows or OS X
Try out the Free Trial (30-day usage time how all trials should be done)
A thanks to Pixelmator for making this video series possible. Pixelmator is a great image editing tool that is available for OS X & iOS. Built with the platforms in mind taking advantage of both hardware in mac such as the force touch trackpad to iOS technologies like cloud support, OpenGL, & handoff. Find out more information here.
Continuing on with the Pixelmator series we’re focusing today on the clone stamp tool. A tool that is commonly known on image editors to clone objects in photos. This tool can be used to clone certain elements in a photo such as a water droplet & multiply it over the image. Optionally cloning can be used to hide portions of images as well.
Pixelmator’s clone stamp tool is super easy to use. Simply define first your clone source point, the object or pattern you want to clone and from there begin to drag along your cursor to paint in your cloned source. This will begin to follow the original point you set as you drag along. This can be used to fill in certain parts of the image you want covered or take something as shown in above like a water droplet & duplicate across the image.
By holding “Control” when clicking you can define your tools hardness & diameter to make it easier to precisely clone over the part you want. This in conjunction with other effects can make for great ways to enhance an image. Cloning objects has never been easier.
It’s worth noting this tool is easier to use cloning rounded objects or flat patterns than lets say a person for example. As the cloning takes into account whats in the background as well it can make a photo look uneven if you copy a source across another portion of the image. However for something with a solid background duplicating various objects is a breeze.
This video was made possible by the great folks at Pixelmator. Pixelmator is a full featured image editor for OS X, iPhone, and iPad. Allowing you to edit, enhance, and create great works of art. Download Pixelmator today! Get a 30 day free trial for mac OS X users.
So you took that great selfie, landscape photo, or what have you. Then you realize theres that person or object that just throws off the photo. If only you could easily remove it. Using Pixelmator on the iPhone you can! Making it as simple as coloring over the object & few seconds later away it goes. This is a look at how to easily remove objects from photos on iOS.
Pixelmator for iPhone runs at $5 USD & while its a full feature image editor it also offers great tools like the repair/retouch tool.
This tool makes easier than ever to strike out the object from your photo as soon as you take it on your iPhone.
Pixelmator offers this tool across all platforms mobile & desktop. The great part about the repair tool is its simple & easy to use. Anyone can remove objects be it skin blemishes or people in the background. Repair tool removes the object while also blending in whatever is in the background. Making it look seamless. You can adjust the tool size in order to precisely color over the object no matter the size.
Before & After Example:
Cover, wait, erase it really is that simple.
UPDATE: As of July 15th, Pixelmator has been updated to version 2.0.2 which has improved the repair tool to be 5x faster & even more precise!
Apple Music makes its big debut today on 3 main platforms iOS, OS X, and Windows. This signifies Apple’s official move into the music streaming business since its acquired Beats. The streaming service will offer a 3-month free trial & proceed to cost $10 a month following the trial. The highly talked about service will feature millions of songs in its library & focus on some other aspects such as radio through Beats One, Connecting fans & artists, and music curation.
All that said how do you go about getting Apple Music on your specific platform?
Currently Apple’s rollout of the music service will be delayed till an unannounced date for said platforms. So you’ll have to hang tight if you want to try it out.
For all iOS users be it iPhone, iPod, or iPad its as simple as an iOS update. Going into your Settings, General, and Software Update will prompt for an iOS 8.4 update that will be required to get the all new Apple Music app. After updating you’ll be presented with the new stock app that will allow you to sign up via your Apple ID or if your a previous Beats Music subscriber you can simply login through there importing all music, playlists, and so on.
Mac users will have to run the update via iTunes to get access to the service. Specifically iTunes 12.2. At the time of launch iTunes servers are all over the place preventing many from updating. Be patient as Apple sorts out the update & pushes it across to all OS X users. The same can be said for Windows users, you’ll need to have iTunes on your PC & update it to the latest version once the server situation is sorted in order to get access to Apple Music.
Read more about my thoughts on the Apple Music service here & enjoy then newest player in the streaming game. With a 3-month free trial you’ll surely be able to test it out to see if it’ll take place as your new go to streaming platform & or replace services such as Spotify or Tidal.
Thanks to the Curbi team makers of a parental control app for iOS that allows parents to track, block, and set limits to their children’s iPhone,iPad, or iPod for sponsoring the series of content on web safety. We approached them with the idea of publishing a playlist of content on web safety tips for the web 2.0 age & they happily supported our campaign. Check out the video playlist here of the content & download Curbi today!
When it comes to the internet it really is a sense of “anything goes” it can be a well of knowledge or pure distraction depending on where you land. That said we all have devices that are somehow connected to the internet these days. Safety now is more important than ever with much of our lives encapsulated digitally in our social media profiles, computer hard drives, and more. There’s a ton of “bad” out there on internet that can range from explicit content, scams, and of course viruses/malware.
Here’s a roundup of some general web safety tips that you can utilize & of course pass on to those you care about.
Let’s face it if your a parent your kid may experience or come into contact with explicit content whatever you may consider that. Adult material, profane language, etc. While this exposure can’t be 100% eliminated it can be filtered significantly to reduce or block all together.
Using a browser like Google Chrome you can easily install a plugin like WebFilter Pro to block out specific content from pornography, gambling, and more.
This can also be done at a browser level by enabling “Safe Search” on Google so that anyone who is searching via Google on your computer or family computer is provided safer results. By simply googling “Google Safe Search” you’ll be provided a simple set of instructions to turn it on/off
Achieving this on the mobile end can be done with in-app solutions depending on the device operating system. Curbi for iOS provides a great solution, SecureTeen is one of the many solutions available on Android, and so on.
Always DOUBLE check:
This is more of a common sense tip however one that needs to be reiterated. Remember if it looks to good to be true on the internet it probably is!
You most likely haven’t
- Won $1,000,000 from someone in Africa or a past family member
- Companies will NEVER ask you for your password or security details
- Get rich quick schemes for a limited offer of insert amount here
- Random girl/guy has confessed their love for you via e-mail, app, etc
Scammers and so on are all over nowadays and will prey upon your e-mail, social network accounts, etc.
This also goes in line with anything sign up for nowadays. You’ll be surprised to see what it is we’re actually agreeing to when we scroll all the way to the bottom to check that “I agree” button.
A site like TOSDR (Terms of Service Didn’t Read) aims to make it all simple and provide in laymen terms what we’re agreeing to when signing up and using a site. What the site has access and rights to do with our content/information.
Anonymity is simply apart of the web nowadays. Users can post without having any profile/name attached or for that matter hide behind usernames. This is one of the unavoidable parts of the internet. Comment boards/sections are filled with people who while have great and contributing things to say also have those who are just for the lack of a better term “internet trolls”. The best way to tackle said situations when on the web and your own social media accounts is to report the user on the platform the abuse is being dealt on. As a parents its also important to explain and be aware this is apart of the internet as its so vast you can’t quite filter or protect your kids from everything.
Protecting against Malware, Viruses, etc:
A big part of the safety term relates to that of the viruses and so on that can be picked up on the web. There are many ways users get their devices infected nowadays. But most commonly this is a result of a direct download. So while your browser & OS has a layer of built in protection/scanning it can’t protect itself from direct human interaction.
Downloading any of the following exposes you highly to viruses/malware
- Pirating Software/Serial Keys/Illegal Copies or Movies are all a big target for viruses
- Clicking on Suspicious Links via social network
Keep in mind protection doesn’t just mean to be weary of what your downloading but all forms of scams. This can range from identity crisis or credit card theft. Be cautious of what your placing your important data into & always try to verify the source.
Using the following resources/tips can help keep you safe on the web-
- Scan sites for safety & verification with Norton’s safety tool or Web of Trust plugin
- Download a free or paid virus protection service such as AVG, ClamWin, or any that you prefer for your OS to scan any files or act as another level of defense. Run regular scans with said software to ensure your computer hasn’t been compromised.
- If you are using P2P services such as uTorrent or Bitorrent be aware of what your downloading and the source. Read a wiki post such as this one on torrent safety (NOTE: We do not promote piracy) however P2P can be used in multiple ways.
Being on the internet try to remember that it’s written in pen not pencil. So be cautious of what you choose to reveal as well as what you post on your social media profiles be it Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. This can be achieved by using identities or screen names for young children who may be signing up for a service such as a game or website.
Other tips include:
- Setting your social media profiles to “Private” to only allow those who you admit to see your information
- Legal transactions when it comes to buying any music, apps, games, etc are the safest way to ensure you aren’t exposed to any malware/scams.This means networks such as iTunes, Steam, etc.
- A Simple Google Search of your name can reveal whats available out there on the web about you. Doing this reminds you to keep in mind that the internet is public. This can be useful to do in the case of when applying for a job that may involve background checks.
- Do your best to simply ignore unwanted contact or altercations with people online. Remember it’s easy for people to talk from behind their computer screens so do your best to either ignore or block people who are explicit/rude all together.
When a good thing becomes too much:
You can of course choose to limit the internet usage all together which in some cases is smart not just for productivity sake but your health. If you or someone you know is using the internet obsessively over things like games or what have you to a point where it interferes with everyday life. Then considering a program that limits usage to the network of tubes that is the internet. This can be achieved in a multitude of ways across many platforms.
Here’s a list of methods you can use to block/manage internet usage-
For Windows users
For OS X users
Curbi for iOS
Overall the internet is a vast place. I can’t truly cover everything you’ll encounter along your browsing experience. However using the tips outlined above it’ll provide a safer and better experience for you and your family. Protecting you against general scams/viruses and as always you are the gatekeeper when it comes to all of this. Your knowledge & choices are the first line of defense when it comes to anything on the net. As parents its worth taking time to explain the vastness of the internet and things your kids may run into along the way. Explaining the importance of privacy, security, and what they post out there on the net as they grow older and are introduced to thing such as social media. Nowadays the internet is accessible across almost all of our device be it phones, computer or tablet. So understanding the different platforms and practices we can use on each to be safe is investing in a more secure & stable future.
Again my personal thanks goes out to Curbi for sponsoring the series of content we’ve created on internet safety & the importance of it. Be sure to check out the posts down below & of course feel free to submit your own tips/resources in the comments down below!
Curbi Overview- Parental Control for iOS
Parental Control Tips for iOS (iPhone, iPod, iPad)