Author: James

Google JPG is 35% smaller/higher-quality – but you’ll never use it

Google has come up with an algorithm that reduces JPGs by 35%, or maintains existing file sizes but dramatically improves quality. The new JPG is 100% compatible with existing programs and web browsers on all platforms. It’s 100% open-source and compatible with the current JPG standard.

And not a single person will ever use it.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. I’m sure some people at Google will use it. And probably a few geeks who like to tinker, but don’t rely on producing visual graphics for income.

Just because it’s free, or offers the end-user a better user experience, doesn’t mean it’ll actually be popular. Unless Google can convince EVERY LAST IMAGE EDITOR ON THE PLANET to use it by DEFAULT, it’s not going to matter. Google Maps is better than Apple’s iOS Maps. Wanna guess which map app is more popular on the iPhone despite that? Convenience trumps everything.

One has to wonder what the point is. Coming from Google, the angle they take is faster website loading.

I’m sorry, but having a 100kb JPG be reduced by 35% means absolutely nothing. The site is not going to load faster, because a 100kb JPG loads instantly to begin with. Ridding a site of Javascript for tracking and ad-serving is the only thing that’s going to speed up a website (something we know Google is never going to do). Heck, I get emails with 1MB animated GIF images in them that load virtually instantly.

But if Google can convince Adobe to use the algorithm as the default in Photoshop when saving JPGs, I’ll be happy to re-save a ton of old JPGs that are still 30MB in size due to their massive size and PPI settings.

Quickly show hidden files in macOS

macOS hidden files

There was a time in the history of macOS (formerly known as Mac OS X) when you had to use a Terminal command or a third-party utility to show the hidden files and folders littered all over your storage drive. I won’t go down the rabbit hole of why you would want to see these hidden files and folders, but know that Apple has finally built-in a simple keyboard shortcut to do just that—and it works in the Finder as well as Open/Save dialog boxes.

Simply hit Command + Shift + . (period key) and macOS will instantly make them visible (as seen on the right in the image above). Hit the shortcut again and they return to their hidden state.

What’s Apple’s next chapter in podcasting?

If I had to place a bet on a major change in Apple’s approach to podcasting, I’d place it on adding money to the equation.

Jason Snell over at SixColors covers a lot of Podcasting history in this article, and I think it’s all pretty much spot-on.

Apple has a virtual monopoly when it comes to Podcasting—pretty much owning the distribution of them with iTunes, and with a huge portion of the overall audience using an iPhone and Podcast app to listen to them. The only thing left for Apple to do in this arena is figure out a way to make more money.

Swatch: The next company to be destroyed by Apple

Swatch watches

Swatch Group AG said it’s developing an alternative to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems for smartwatches as Switzerland’s largest maker of timepieces vies with Silicon Valley for control of consumers’ wrists.

Mark your calendars folks. By “sometime around the end of 2018,” a company that doesn’t know dick about making an OS platform that is secure, feature-packed, or useful—and is famous for the watches seen above—is going to put-out a great smartwatch to compete with Apple Watch. Pffftt!

The road is littered with the steaming, smelly carcasses of companies that thought they could even produce a smartwatch, let alone one that competes with Apple. Even the mighty Samsung couldn’t do it, and stuck with Android… which despite popular belief is a virtual non-starter as far as competition with Apple is concerned.

Swatch says their building an alternative to iOS & Android. I simply say: Muahahahahaaaa! If I had to guess, I would say that Swatch will eventually release a really nice looking Pebble watch in 2019, with the promise of making it better… only to kill it off 6 months later after a complete lack of sales.

The case for vertical video

Vertical video viewing

Does your business record vertical videos for social media?

In years gone by, recording and uploading video with the camera held vertically was looked upon with ridicule, producing big black bars either side of the picture and a narrow viewing angle, guaranteed to turn viewers off.

But times are changing.

While horizontal is the way to go on web pages and other presentation methods, social media is (and probably always will be) a vertical format. It makes no sense to fight it. SocialMediaToday makes the case for shooting vertical video.

How to make your Adobe Illustrator documents much smaller

If you’ve used Adobe Illustrator for any amount of time, you’ve probably created a complicated piece of artwork. Those files can be fairly large, making file transfer and storage cumbersome. Thankfully there’s a simple way to drastically reduce your file sizes.

When saving your files, choose the native AI format. This offers you the most flexibility, and the ability to reduce the files. You’ll also want to tick the Create PDF Compatible File box. This allows Illustrator to recover the file should the program crash.

Illustrator Options
In the Illustrator Options dialog box that pops up, tick the Use Compression box. That’s it! Instant smaller files.

Now you may have guessed that ticking that PDF Compatible File box also adds some overhead to the file, so if you’re looking for the smallest file size possible, go ahead and uncheck the box.

Illustrator file sizes
As you can see in the image above, the original Illustrator file weighs-in at 101.2 MB. Saving the file with PDF Compatibility and Compression reduces the file to 63.7 MB. Unchecking the PDF Compatibility box reduces the file even further to 25.4 MB in size.

That’s a big savings!

Carpool Karaoke: The Series — official trailer

Based on the segment that has become a global, viral video sensation on The Late Late Show with James Corden, the new CARPOOL KARAOKE series features 16 celebrity pairings riding along in a car together as they sing tunes from their personal playlists and surprise fans who don’t expect to see big stars belting out tunes one lane over.

Season 1 guests include:
James Corden, Will Smith, Billy Eichner, Metallica, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Ariana Grande, Seth MacFarlane, Chelsea Handler, Blake Shelton, Michael Strahan, John Cena, Shaquille O’Neal, and many more.