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Google's $149 Nik Photo Editing Suite Goes Free 52

Google has announced that it is making its $149 Nik Collection photo editing suite available for free of charge. The move, which should make plenty of amateur and professional photographers happy, comes roughly three and a half years after Google acquired Nik Software. The suite includes seven desktop plugins and allows you to add effects and apply filters to your photos. Those of you who had purchased Nik Software, the company assures that it will issue a full refund. In a blog post, the company writes: As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we've decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.

Comment Hard to watch videos at work (Score 1) 403

As a Sys Admin, keeping up with technology new is vital to my job. I never get grief for browsing Slashdot. However, videos are hard to watch in the office without disturbing others or keeping a headset on. When I browse to news sites in general if there isn't a synopsis article to go with a video, I move on. This is often the case with sites like Fox News or CNN where they will just drop a video with a headline, but don't bother to write anything about it.

I have been a fan of Slashdot for soooo many years, and still love the short articles that link back to the bigger article. I don't want to lose that format and feel obligated to watch videos to get all the content provided. Drop the videos and spend the time you would spend in video editing to bring more stories!

Comment Time Is Your Best Friend (Score 1) 720

I was in a similar boat. But after 7 years, many background checks will not show felonies. Some use 10 year background checks. My suggestion is to find a contract company that uses a 7 year check and do contract work. In my case, one of the companies I contracted with recognized my talent and hired me. Despite having fallen off the background check time, I still disclosed my situation. However, the company recognized my talent and already knew me so the decision was easier. Although I didn't have to disclose and they might not have found out, I chose to disclose in case someone with a personal vendetta chose to bring up the matter with HR in the future and have it disclosed in a manner I didn't choose. For me, it worked out and I feel like I work for a company I can retire from.

Comment Re:Answer doesn't really matter. (Score 1) 224

Comcast is 250Mb in Olathe, Kansas (Kansas City suburb) right now. They are getting ready to try for 1Gb, I understand. A friend of mine is getting the full 250Mb from them now down, but only 28Mb up (if "only" is the proper term). Here in KC, the other companies are really looking at Google as a threat and starting to test their next-gen stuff here.

Comment Gigabit UP and DOWN creates new needs (Score 2) 224

While many say that they don't do things that would require Gigabit, would they find a use for things they currently CAN'T do with a limited connection?

Consider: With Gigabit available (like Google Fiber here in Kansas City), your connection to the Internet is the same speed as your LAN connection. If my best friend has Gigabit as well, then we are able to send and receive to each other at a Gigabit (confirmed by friends with Google Fiber and by Google themselves at an event I attended).

When you take the concept of a LAN, and extend it out to the Internet, you need to challenge your paradigm of "Internet". Cloud storage is then the same performance as NAS. Your buddy, via a private VPN, is on the same network as you despite being miles apart (handy for LAN gaming!) Private FTP servers will be a viable option for moving files around.

Then take the concepts that businesses use LANs for, and you will see new applications available for home users. Collaboration tools become effective over the Internet. Face to face meetings with full video are ready to rock (Think a computer with multiple monitors doing a virtual family reunion with a monitor (or Window) dedicated to each person.

Finally, what does a high bandwidth, low latency connection allow? Perhaps we could finally get our robo-presence devices going (think the Episode of the Big Bang Theory where Sheldon went to work virtually via a robot with a monitor for a face at the office.)

My point is that the things people think they use the Internet for are limited by the tools and such developed in the last 15 years since the broadband introduction. But how many people would say they needed that speed when they were on modems saying "All I do is log into AOL to check my email and sometimes go to a chatroom to talk about cats? What would I need to do that faster?" Oh, that's right... until the speed was available widely, the applications weren't available to do other things. This isn't something that can be easily judged by the "Gigabit Have-Nots", because they do not yet comprehend the possibilities. The times are changing, and the demand will increase as developers find the market opened up for its use.

Comment Google Offers free Internet, so less divide? (Score 1) 259

So, Google Fiber is offering 7 years of free internet service at current cable speeds for the $300 cost of installation (they allow $25 for 12 months, then 6 free years after that). Since they are providing the current provider speeds at significantly reduced rates, wouldn't that narrow the divide more than extend it? If you have a house with no Internet access, and you provide access, isn't that infinitely more enabling than providing gigabit to those with 10 megabit speeds?

I live in KC and Fiber is being installed down the street. We discuss what the speed increase provides, and almost universally agree that the benefits are minor, although power users will find a way to use some of the bandwidth.

Comment Re:Powershell? (Score 1) 477

Same. Almost completely PowerShell in my Sys Admin duties. I was able to do things like automate VM builds using VMware's PowerCLI plugin, and perform SQL queries and act on the results in Active Directory or Exchange. It is super powerful having .NET and most other objects available if needed.

Comment 100% employee virtual workstation deployment (Score 1) 417

As a system administrator that manages a VMware Environment for ALL employees workstations (Over 1600) as well as ALL Windows servers (Over 300), I am very happy with the vSphere product that VMware has created. They have embraced the community and provided great tools so that I can use common languages to script VDI deployments (Using Powershell with the PowerCLI addon from VMware) as well as simplify disaster recovery efforts. VMware's View product has allowed around 30% of our employees to move to work at home status without a noticeable difference in performance over being in the office. I firmly believe that VMware remains the top vendor for virtualization.

Note: I do not work for VMware, but rather a large healthcare organization that has recently achieved a 100% VDI environment for all employees.

Comment Re:How does this affect the current Sprint commerc (Score 1) 222

You know, the one that claims that Sprint gives unlimited data on their network vs every other company, which is currently playing right now on my TV?

I guess this directly conflicts with the commercial, that stresses that when they say Unlimited, they mean it! They do highlight that the other companys cap bandwidth, but Sprint goes on and on without slowing down or anything. At least the other companies aren't saying one thing and doing the opposite.

Comment 2nd grader's experience with software development (Score 1) 430

As a 2nd grader in 1987, I had a class to learn the Logo programming language. This turtle graphics based language was simple enough to present quickly, and was designed to be engaging for youth. My first class involved a game with a circle randomly placed on the screen. There was a turtle also randomly placed on the screen. I had to guess at the angle I needed to turn my turtle (right 45 degrees) and then guess the distance in pixels. The turtle would then move to the location, and I would score if it landed in the circle. Simple game, but then we could look at the code and understand how it worked. That one class engaged me enough to turn me towards IT as a career later in life. It also inspired me to try an understand how things (like games) work.


Mobile Gaming Market Heats Up 18

A few days ago, we discussed Sony's announcement of a slew of new titles for the PSP, part of their plan to reinvigorate the platform. Unfortunately, according to analyst Nicholas Lovell, it may be too late for the PSP to achieve what Sony had hoped. He says gaming on the iPhone and iPod Touch are rapidly expanding to fill that section of the market. Despite this, rumors have been swirling once more that the PSP2 is under development, and while Sony wouldn't confirm or deny, they were at least willing to talk about the rumors. Meanwhile, the App Store is dealing with a flood of titles that shows no sign of slowing, making it somewhat difficult to keep tabs on the higher-quality games. An Apple spokesperson discussed this in an interview with Pocket Gamer, and also mentioned that they'd be OK with a community gaming service similar to Xbox Live, should somebody decide to make one. It's likely that Apple will soon see more serious competition from Android Market; now that a pricing system is going online, the major publishers have more of an incentive to bring games to the platform. The Guardian's games blog recently went over some of the top games available on Android.
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Rights To Virtual Property In Games? 167

With the rise of MMOs and other persistent environments over the last decade, the trafficking of virtual game property has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Regardless of whether the buying and trading goes on with the blessing of the content provider (or, in many cases, the owner of the account in question), the question of players' rights to virtual goods is coming to the forefront. The Escapist Magazine takes a look at how some companies are structuring their EULA in this regard, and what some countries, such as China, are doing to handle the issue. "... the differences between China and the West in this case have more to do with scale than cultural norms. So many people play online games in Asia — and play them so intensely — that social problems in meatspace society inevitably emerge in virtual worlds as well. ... The general consensus, therefore, is that paradigm shifts like the ones that have already occurred in Asia will inevitably come to the West, and with them, the need for legislative scaffolding that keeps us all from killing each other."

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