Friday, October 29, 2010

October 2010

October 2010, unusual month; five Fridays, five Saturdays, and five happens once on 823 years, think about it :)

Is Apple About to Cut Out the Carriers?

Sources inside European carriers have reported that Apple has been working with SIM-card manufacturer Gemalto to create a special SIM card that would allow consumers in Europe to buy a phone via the web or at the Apple Store and get the phones working using Apple’s App Store.

It’s rumored that Apple and Gemalto have created a SIM card, which is typically a chip that carries subscriber identification information for the carriers, that will be integrated into the iPhone itself. Then customers will then be able to choose their carrier at time of purchase at the Apple web site or retail store, or buy the phone and get their handset up and running through a download at the App Store as opposed to visiting a carrier store or calling the carrier. Either way, it reduces the role of the carrier in the iPhone purchase. Gemalto and Apple have not responded to requests for comment. I’m also waiting to hear back from other sources to get more details.

However, if Apple is doing an end run around the carrier by putting its own SIM inside the iPhone, it could do what Google with its NexusOne could not, which is create an easy way to sell a handset via the web without carrier involvement. Much like it helped cut operators out of the app store game, Apple could be taking them out of the device retail game. Yes, carriers will still have to allow the phone to operate on their networks, which appears to be why executives from various French carriers have been to Cupertino in recent weeks.

The Gemalto SIM, according to my sources, is embedded in a chip that has an upgradeable flash component and a ROM area. The ROM area contains data provided by Gemalto with everything related to IT and network security, except for the carrier-related information. The flash component will receive the carrier related data via a local connection which could be the PC or a dedicated device, so it can be activated on the network. Gemalto will provide the back-end infrastructure that allows service and number provisioning on the carrier network.

The model should work well in Europe, where the carriers tend to use the same networking technology and are far more competitive. It also means that customers can roam more easily with the iPhones, swapping out the carriers as needed. The iPhone has lost its exclusivity in much of Europe and other markets of the world, which makes this model a compelling one for consumers, but a nightmare for carriers.

Adobe Fireworks CS5 Tip - Flash Catalyst integration

Flash Catalyst is a new interaction design tool for the Adobe Flash Platform. In Fireworks CS5, you can export a selection, an entire page, or all of your pages to an FXG 2 file and take that into Flash Catalyst where you can then add structure and interaction. FXG files can be imported into Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, Illustrator, and Photoshop, or even added to a Flash Builder project.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Adobe InDesign CS5 Tip - Presentation mode

Press Shift-W to switch into the new Presentation mode. This will hide the user interface and center and fit your document into the screen. Any extra screen area will be colored black. Press G to change the background to grey, press W to change it to white, and press B to change it back to black.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Adobe Illustrator CS5 Tip - Paint inside

Use Draw Inside with the new Bristle Brush to fill any shape with beautiful brushstrokes. This brush creates painterly strokes by mimicking the appearance of actual bristles from an artist's brush, but the strokes are still vectors so they're fully editable and scalable. To find the Bristle Brushes, open the Brushes panel (Window>Brushes), click on the flyout menu, and choose Open Brush Library>Bristle Brush>Bristle Brush Library. Click on a brush in the Bristle Brush Library to add it to the Brushes panel, and then double-click on it in the Brushes panel to open the Bristle Brush Options dialog.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Adobe Flash Professional CS5 Tip - Working with keyframes in a tween span

To easily move a property keyframe to a different frame in the same tween span or a different tween span, Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) the property keyframe to select it, release the Command (PC: Ctrl) key, then click-and-drag the keyframe to the new location. (If you want to copy the keyframe, Option-drag [PC: Alt-drag]). The trick here is to release the Command (PC: Ctrl) key before you drag the keyframe to avoid selecting additional frames.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Tip - Selecting hair

Significant changes to the Refine Edge dialog take masking hair to a new level. The choices are daunting, but the steps are simple: make a selection with the Quick Selection tool (W); Option-click (PC: Alt-click) to remove unwanted areas; then continue to Select>Refine Edge. Using Black & White (K) from the View menu, choose a 10-15 pixel Radius, enable the Smart Radius checkbox, and voilĂ ! Use the Option-click (PC: Alt-click) method with the new Refine Radius tool (E) located in the Refine Edge dialog to refine the final mask.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 Tip - Field display settings in the Source and Program Monitors

The Source and Program Monitors can now be set to display the first, second, or both fields for interlaced footage. This can be useful when you need to grab a frame to use as a still. This was a top feature request from law enforcement investigation and forensic users.