The PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 33: The Language of Photo Editing

Photoactive 400When we edit photos, we have a good idea of what the Exposure slider does—it makes everything brighter or darker throughout the image. But you’ll also find controls for Whites, Brightness, Brilliance, and others, depending on the software. What’s the difference? In this episode, Kirk and Jeff look at just what various editing controls do, so you have a better idea of which ones to use and how they affect your images.

Listen to PhotoActive, Episode 33: The Language of Photo Editing.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The Next Track on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

Honkyoku: Learning to Play the Shakuhachi

For about a year, I’ve been learning to play the shakuhachi, a Japanese flute. Compared to other instruments I’ve played, it’s quite difficult, but immensely interesting. I love the sound of this instrument, and I very much appreciate the subtlety of its music.

I’ve set up a new website to chronicle my path as I learn more about how to play the shakuhachi. Honkyoku: Learning to play the shakuhachi will contain observations on the learning experience, and point to some interesting music in videos and on Apple Music. I’m sure few of my readers are interested in this, but do check out some of the music I post there; you might find that you, too, feel a connection with the wonderful sound of this instrument.

(Honkyoku is a type of music for shakuhachi originally played by komosu, itinerant Zen monks.)

It’s the Ecosystem, Stupid*

(*Note: the title of this article is a riff on a statement made by Bill Clinton’s campaign manager during the 1992 presidential race: “It’s the economy, stupid.”)

We saw recently how Apple’s profit warning caused the company’s stock to tank. This is because the iPhone, whose sales are down, represents about 60% of the company’s revenue, and any disruption to that leading product has a strong effect on the bottom line. But at the same time, Apple’s services revenue is increasing, as Apple is morphing from a hardware company to a services company.

Apple is a lot more than just the iPhone; its products represent an ecosystem. In a recent interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC, Tim Cook said that the “virtuous ecosystem is probably under-appreciated,” and that “the ecosystem has never been stronger.”

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 65: It’s the Ecosystem, Stupid

We discuss Apple’s trolling of other companies at the Consumer Electronics show this week, a delivery tracking app that sends and receives data in a strange way, and we then look at how Apple’s ecosystem may be “under-appreciated,” according to Tim Cook.

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Why It’s Productive to Let Employees Work from Home

With today’s technologies, it’s possible to build a company without all your employees needing to work in the same location. You can set up offices in different cities, and workers can communicate quickly and efficiently via Slack, Skype, and other technologies. Yet you can also have many of your employees work from home, and you may be surprised at how this can be more productive.

In a 2017 report by Fundera, they found that 3.7 million employees in the United States worked from home at least half the time; that’s 2.8% of the workforce. And these numbers are on the rise: this more than doubled since 2005.

Many people in business think that if employees work at home they’ll goldbrick: they’ll sit around and binge-watch Netflix, they’ll drink beer, and they won’t get any work done. However, businesses that have made the switch and allow working from home have found that remote employees are more productive.

Here’s why it’s productive to let employees work from home.

Read the rest of the article on The Startup Finance Blog.

The iPad Pro Needs a Pro Version of iOS

Apple’s new iPad Pro is an amazing tablet, but as our review points out, it comes at a price. Apple has priced this device at close to the cost of a laptop—aka a “real computer”—which means that for most people, buying an iPad Pro means making a commitment to using it as their main computing device.

But the iPad Pro runs iOS, the same operating system that runs on the iPhone. While Apple says, “And it works like your iPhone, so it’s familiar to use,” this isn’t really a good thing. Some people may be able to replace their laptop with an iPad Pro, but for the iPad Pro to really serve as a computer, it needs a pro version of iOS.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.