Ubuntu Raring 13.04 Beta Review: It Is Surprisingly Good

ubuntu-raring-iconIf you are not aware, the next version of Ubuntu, aka Ubuntu Raring Ringtail 13.04, will be released on the 25th April 2013. For those who are interested, the first beta is already available for testing and the final beta will be made available on 4th Apr.

Before this, there have been discussions of turning Ubuntu into a rolling release (where updates and upgrades are added incrementally) and abandon the needs for the half yearly release. This also include the culling of the Ubuntu Raring. Apparently, this has not been passed (yet) as we are seeing the beta (and possibly the final version) released on schedule. However, if the rolling release is implemented, this will be the last Ubuntu release that you will be able to download and test (and get excited/disappointed). Meanwhile, let’s see what features this new ringtail bring to you.

Installation

Nothing much has changed for the installation process. You can opt to install update and third party software during the installation. If everything goes well, the installation can be completed in less than 15 minutes.

ubuntu-raring-installation

Login screen

After the installation and the restart, you will be greeted by the LightDM login screen. Other than the background, everything is pretty much the same.

ubuntu-raring-login-screen

Unity Desktop

The first thing that you will notice is the new icon theme. Some of the icons were updated. See if you can notice the differences between the Quantal and Raring icon set.

ubuntu-raring-new-icon-theme

The wallpaper has also changed, even though it looks just like a rotation of the default wallpaper in Ubuntu Quantal.

ubuntu-raring-unity-desktop

Other visual changes include:

1. A new Ubuntu One appindicator.

ubuntu-raring-ubuntuone-indicator

2. A new shutdown/restart window

ubuntu-raring-shutdown-restart

3. A more visual way to test the mouse settings.

ubuntu-raring-test-mouse

4. The software updater now lists the software/application that are going to be upgraded rather than a bunch of files that you have no idea of.

ubuntu-raring-software-updater

5. Workspace is no longer showing up in the Unity launcher. You can activate it in the “System Settings -> Appearance -> Behavior”. Yes, there is a new option to enable the “Show Desktop” icon in the launcher. I love it.

ubuntu-raring-appearance

Nautilus File Manager is now Files

The Nautilus File Manager went through a major makeover in Ubuntu Raring. It is now known as “Files” and comes with a modified UI. Shade of grey was added to the interface, with matching emblem for each location. The Forward/Backward icons were moved from the right to the left and the “View Layout” icons and the “Search” icon now occupied the right side of the toolbar.

ubuntu-raring-files

The status bar was removed for good and most of the settings in the menu bar were moved to under the Gear icon in the toolbar.

ubuntu-raring-files-settings

Overall, it looks cleaner and slicker, but it took me some time to get used to it though (I still prefer the status bar).

Performance

Ubuntu Quantal is the first version where it is shipped without Unity 2D. The default 3D engine was memory intensive and there were always a momentary lag when opening or switching applications. For Raring, I am surprise to see an improvement in the memory usage (less resource intensive). Everything, including the animation, just become faster and more responsive.

I am now using the beta on my working computer. While there are several crashes here and there (which is expected for a beta software), the overall performance has been very stable. In the past, the first thing I will do is to install Gnome Shell and get rid of the Unity desktop altogether. I have also installed Cinnamon and Mate desktop and find them much better to use than Unity. However, for this release, I have been using Unity for the past weeks and I am actually liking it. In actual fact, I am starting to love the Unity Launcher which is friendlier to use than its previous version.

Conclusion

It is obvious that the focus for Ubuntu Raring is to improve its stability and performance rather than adding new features, and I think the Canonical team has done a great job. If you were frustrated with previous version of Ubuntu, I think you will like this one. Let’s hope that it will get even better for the final release.

Bored on Hold? Apple Patent Could Fix That

ApplePatent-thumbIt seems like in the last few months that Apple has been applying for a lot of patents. Technology news seems to feature a new one every week. They’re all interesting and very innovative, but the latest seems to be the most useful. The latest Apple patent shows the technology for an iPhone displaying useful and adaptive information while the user is on hold.

We’ve all been in that position before. You’re in the middle of a call, and you’re put on hold. You only expect it to take a few seconds, but before you know it, you’ve been on hold forever, or at least it seems like it. You want to hang up, but are sure the person you are calling will be back any minute. With a smartphone in your hand, though, especially an iPhone, you shouldn’t ever be bored.

Apple has been granted a patent that they refer to as a “Communications system that provides user-selectable data when user is on hold.” Because it’s selected by the user and adaptable, it can be either information to kill time or information that directly relates to the call you’re on.

ApplePatent-Fig3

The suggestions for this information include weather reports, local news, upcoming calendar events, and unchecked messages. Music is even a suggested option. How many times have you wished you could listen to your own music instead of the canned music playing while you’re on hold? It can even make it adaptive to give you information directly related to the caller you are connected with, such as your last correspondence with that person, your upcoming meetings with that person, etc. It goes even further than that, though, as the system will pick up contextual clues from your conversation to know what type of data to offer to you.

This would work along with the call waiting system. You would create a profile that includes the information you would like displayed when you’re on hold. When the system determines you’re on hold, or when you alert your phone that you’re on hold, the Apple patent shows that the data you have chosen would pop up on the screen.

ApplePatent-Fig6

It all sounds really great, but where this Apple patent might come into problems is in offering you information about the caller. Some private individuals are already upset about information that is shared about them on the Info Highway, and this would certainly have some upset. People are often worried that details such as their financial information could be culled and used, and any time a device has smart knowledge about them it causes them to balk.

However, it’s hard to hold back technology once it’s out there. If this ends up being a patent that Apple acts on and uses, it could be something that spreads beyond just iPhones and could be used on other smartphones, as it’s that innovative. It could even be used by businesses such as doctors’ offices. They seem to put you on hold automatically anyway, and now when they do, they would know who you are, when you’re next appointment is, when you were in last, any recent tests you had done, etc.

There doesn’t seem to be an end to the possibilities of this adaptive on-hold system. What do you think of this latest Apple patent? Would you be upset with your information displaying on someone’s phone when you put them on hold or would you welcome this intrusion? Let us know below in the comment section.

a business man using a mobile phone by BigStockPhoto

65+ Awesome Photoshop Frame Brushes

Photo-Borders

Framing an image is often the icing on the cake as it completes the overall impression and in some cases even adds an artistic touch to the image. However, sometimes you want to alter miner details on the photo before you frame it. Luckily this is durable with the right photo manipulation tutorials at hand.

Though there are a great number of different techniques and Photoshop brushes you can use to spice up your design the most classic use is still to just add a frame to your original photo and enjoy it as it was meant to look.

In this post I have found a large portion of awesome Photoshop frame brushes. There are many different styles to choose from and there should be one for you as well. I hope you will share this post with you friends on Facebook or Twitter, and if you want to add a comment please feel free to do so. Enjoy!

Retro Frames – MORE INFO

retro-frames

this is a set containing hand drawn retro frames.

Frame Brushes – MORE INFO

frame-brushes

This is a set of  8 brushes in one it is in an .abr file, good for at least Photoshop 7 & higher.

Lacy Frames – MORE INFO

lacy-frames

This set contains 7 lacy frames brushes for Photoshop CS and higher.

Frame Brushes – MORE INFO

frame-brushes

 Frames Photoshop Brushes – MORE INFO

frames-photoshop-brushes

 Cute Valentine Frames Brushes for Photoshop – MORE INFO

cute-valentines-frames-brushes-for-photoshop

Cute Valentine frames brushes saved in abr file format that you can load into your Photoshop. Set of lovely valentine frames brushes to create beautiful design in your love themed design projects. These Valentine frame brushes consist of four different frames design with arrangements of heart that you can use in creating Valentine’s day greeting cards.

Photoshop Brushes old frame picture  – MORE INFO

photoshop-brushes-old-frame-pictures

Set of 15 Photoshop CS3 brushes for make the older border picture.

Frame – MORE INFO

frame

This set contains 1 brush perfect for Photoshop 7.

Floral Frame Brushes 6 – MORE INFO

floral-frame-brushes

 Grunge Frame Brushes and Vectors – MORE INFO

grunge-frame-brushes-and-vector-free

GRUNGE FRAMES vector and Photoshop brush pack

Ornate Frame Photoshop Brushes – MORE INFO

ornate-frame-photoshop-brushes

The set contains around 14 ORNATE FRAMES , This is a Lite edition which means that it is created on a art board 600 x 600 px . Pretty useful while making your next web project. Very detailed these were created with The brush set with few strokes! . Shows the power of using a good brush set.

Photoshop Frame Set 03 – MORE INFO

photoshop-frame-set-free-03

This is a set that contains 6 frames made for Photoshop.

Floral Frame PS Brushes – MORE INFO

18-floral-frame-ps-brushes

This set of Photoshop brushes is composed of high-resolution clip art images of floral frames. The designs of these brushes are highly detailed that even a single brush would suffice as a greeting card design. All you need to do is add your special text to personalize your card and then send it to your friends and loved ones. These brushes are also useful for designing gift tags, post cards, e-cards or even website headers and banners.

Frame Photoshop Brushes – MORE INFO

frame-photoshop-brushes

This is a set of brushes  made in Photoshop 6.0 and they are compatible with the higher versions of Photoshop (7.0, CS, CS2).

Gothic Frame Brushes – MORE INFO

gothic-frame-brushes

the Gothic frame brushes were made in Photoshop 7.0. They will work in the higher versions of Photoshop.

Photo Borders – MORE INFO

photo-borders

In this set you can get one 8?x10? .png 300dpi photo border and one 5?x7? .png 300dpi photo border for Photoshop.

Watercolor Corner – MORE INFO

watercolor-corner

These brushes feature 8 very large corner brushes ranging from 1700-2500 pixels large.

Old Photo Frame Brushes – MORE INFO

old-photo-frame-brushes

A set of brush for Photoshop CS.

Celtic Frame PS Brush – MORE INFO

celtic-frame-ps-brush

 8 PS7 Photo and Film Brushes – MORE INFO

8-ps7-photo-and-film-brushes

this is a set of 8 ps7 of photo and film brushes.

Frames for Photoshop – MORE INFO

frames-for-photoshop

This set contains frames brushes for Photoshop.

Bigger Photo Frame Brushes – MORE INFO

bigger-photo-frame-brushes

This is a set of brush made from Photoshop 7. The sizes varies from 200 to 500 px. They can be used in wallpapers and in other bigger art works.

Flower Frames – MORE INFO

flower-frames

This Brush Pack was made in Photoshop CS. It will work in the higher Photoshop versions.

Celtic Frame PS7 Brushes – MORE INFO

celtic-fram-ps7-brushes

Celtic Frame Photoshop 7 Brushes. these are a set of large brushes created in Photoshop 7.

Twirl Frames – MORE INFO

twirl-frames

this is a new set containing  of 4 frames and one random brush.

High Res Frames – MORE INFO

high-res-frames

This is a pack of 18 high resolution frame brushes, it’s a zip file, and it also contains an image pack, for those of you who don’t use Photoshop. This is a BIG file, just so you know, the brushes are 1500×2000 pixels

Photoshop Frame Set 08 – MORE INFO

photoshop-frame-set-08

This set contains five frames for Photoshop.

Photo Negative Brush Set – MORE INFO

photo-negative-set

This is a set containing large brushes made in Photoshop CS2.

Frame – MORE INFO

frame

 New Polaroid Frame – MORE INFO

new-polaroid-frame

This set has a much higher resolution (over 4x, actually) – Allowing for you to print or whatnot.
Drop-shadow – includes a dA green border and shadow on a separate layer, allowing for a seamless background.

Grungy And Scratched Photo Frame in Photoshop – MORE INFO

grungy-photo-frame-photoshop

This is a set of grungy and highly attractive old frame with scratches and all to any photo.  The image is copyright Gavin Hoey 2012. You may use this photo frame for personal, non-commercial purposes.

Frame Brushes – MORE INFO

frame-brushes

This is a set of eleven frame brushes for Photoshop.

Letter Frames – MORE INFO

letter-frames

This is a set of brush Pack was made in Photoshop CS. It will work in the higher PS versions.

35 Art Nouveau Frame Brushes – MORE INFO

35-art-nouveau-frame-brushes

This is a collection of 35 assorted frames and borders (the preview only has a small sampling). There’s a good mix of simple ones and fancier looking ones. They’re all pretty large ranging from around 1300 pixels to around 2300.

Vintage Frame Brushes – MORE INFO

vintage-frame-brushes

This set is made from Free Royalty Free Vector Graphics for Photoshop.

Object Pack Gold Frames – MORE INFO

object-pack-gold-frames

Textures: 19 Photo Frames – MORE INFO

textures-19-photos

This set includes 19 picture frames and Polaroid textures in png format. There sized for icon making (100×100), but I can upload bigger versions

Round Frames – MORE INFO

round-frames

This set contains 9 brushes for Photoshop CS and higher.

Fancy Frames – MORE INFO

fancy-frames

This is a set containing six brushes plus the image pack.

Comic Strip Starter Frames – MORE INFO

comic-strip-starter-frames

This set contains 15 comic strip starter frames.

PSD Frames – MORE INFO

psd-frames

 Old Photo Frame Brushes – MORE INFO

old-photo-frames

Old Photo frame Brushes for Photoshop and CS2.

Pencil Frames I- MORE INFO

pencil-frames

These brushes were tested in Photoshop CS3. It also has a PSD file included for those with other versions/apps. This set consists of 12 pencil brushes, some frames and borders.

Photoshop Frame Set 07 – MORE INFO

photoshop-frame-set-07

This is a set of five frames made for Photoshop.

Art Frames – MORE INFO

art-frames

This is a set of Photoshop CS and brushes.

Author : Anne-Sofie

Anne-Sofie is a social media manager at Invendio. She is passionate about social media and is always seeking new information and keeping up with the online trends.

How to Quickly and Easily Create Your Own Chrome Theme Without Being A Developer

Create and share Google Chrome themes of your own design.Do you often spend too much time browsing the Chrome Web Store for the perfect theme? Is it hard for you to find a theme that you really like, or one that still looks decent once applied to your browser?

If you’re really picky like me, it makes more sense to just create your own Chrome theme. Doing this doesn’t have to be a long or difficult process (like you may think it is); you can quickly and easily create your own Chrome theme using the My Chrome Theme app. Additionally, you can also share your design with the world for them to use as well.

Here’s how to create your very own Google Chrome theme in a matter of minutes.

Creating Your Theme

1. Install the My Chrome Theme app from the Chrome Web Store.

2. Go to your New Tab page to launch the application. On the new page that opens, click on the blue “start making theme” button.

Get started making your own Chrome theme.

3. On the next page, you’ll need to import an image to be used as the background on the New Tab page. You can either upload an image from your computer, or use your webcam (if you have one) to take a picture.

Upload an image or use your webcam to take a picture.

4. Your image will immediately show in the mock browser on the page. From there, you can adjust the position of the image (fit to screen, fill screen, tile image, or custom), add effects (black and white, sepia, polarized, inverted, etc), or upload a new image.

You can adjust the position of your background image and add effects.

5. The next step is all about colors; you’ll see three different pins on the page, which represent the three different areas that you can customize. You’ll be able to choose a single color for the browser toolbar, background tabs, and the browser’s frame.

Customize color of your theme's toolbar, background tabs, and frame.

As you select a color, it will instantly change on the mock browser, so that you can exactly how it will look with your background. Note: You can’t use the same color twice; each section must have a unique color.

My Chrome Theme has an easy to use color picker.

6. If you’re not sure what colors to use or you’re in a hurry, you can click on “I’m Feeling Lucky” to automatically add colors to your theme.

7. Finally, the last step is to give your theme a name and an optional description, and then click on the “make my theme” button.

You can give your theme a name and optional description.

Using and Sharing Your Theme

This is my custom theme being used on my Chromium browser.

On the last page, you’ll be able to install your theme. This works just as you’d expect – like any other Chrome theme that you install. Click on “install my theme,” then click on the “add” button once the Chrome alert message pops up asking if you want to add it to your browser.

You can install and/or share your theme with the world.

You can also share your theme for others to view and/or use if they’d like. You’ll get a unique link that you can share on your social networks, via email, on IM, etc. There is also a Google+ button right next to the URL, making it easy to share with your Google+ circles.

This is what others will see, when they go to your unique URL:

Share your custom Chrome theme with the world; anyone with the link can install it on their own browser.

Once you start over, or whenever you reopen the app, you’ll see your custom themes displayed at the bottom of the page for easy access. This way, you’ll never lose track of the themes that you’ve created.

You'll get easy access to all of your custom themes.

Conclusion

As you can see, My Chrome Theme is a fun and easy way to create your very own theme for Google Chrome. Whether you want to personalize your browser or create themes for others to use, this app is the perfect tool for the job.

If you’d like to install the theme that I create (pictured above), just click on “unique link” above. If you decide to create your own, be sure to share it with us in the comments.

How to Add the Aurora Screensaver in Windows 8

adding-the-aurora-screen-saver-to-windows-8Saying goodbye to the familiar Windows Start Menu was hard enough for Windows 8 users. However, those upgrading to Windows 8 also had to say goodbye to the popular Aurora screensaver that had been a staple of the Windows operating system since the beginning. While it’s not included in the latest Windows operating system, you can download, install and tweak the Aurora screensaver in Windows 8 with these steps.

How to restore the Aurora screen saver in Windows 8

The first step to adding the Aurora screensaver in Windows 8 is to install it on your computer.

1. Download and unzip the Aurora screensaver.

open-the-aurora-archive

2. Right-click the “Aurora.scr” file and select “Properties”.

3. Click “Unblock” to allow Windows to utilize the file. By unblocking the screensaver file this way, you will not have to worry about having security permissions to move it into the proper area of the Windows system folders to install it. You must be logged into the Administrator account to unblock the file this way.

unblock-the-aurora-screen-saver

4. Navigate to “C:\Windows\System32?. Drag and drop the “Aurora.scr” into the folder. Once copied into the right area of your computer, you will be able to start using the Aurora screensaver in Windows 8.

5. Back to the desktop, right click the mouse and select “Personalize”. Go to the Screensaver section.

6. You can now select the Aurora screensaver from the dropdown menu.

set-the-aurora-screen-saver-in-windows-8

The only settings you can change at the moment will be the generic ones. This includes choosing how long until the screensaver turns on when you are idle and whether or not to display the logon screen when you come back to your computer.

How to change the Aurora screen saver settings

These steps will allow you to change the Aurora screen saver settings in Windows 8.

1. Head back to the files you uncompressed when you downloaded the Aurora screen saver to restore it in Windows 8. Click the “Restore_Default_Aurora registry file.”

opening-aurora-archive

Before the file inserts itself into your registry, you may be prompted to give it permission to do so. This is to prevent malicious registry files and edits from being integrated into your registry and causing trouble on your operating system.

security-warning

2. Then, Windows will warn you about the registry insertion. Click “Yes” to add the file.

registry-warning

3. Click “OK” to confirm the file has been added into your registry.

confirming-aurora-registry-entry

The following steps will allow you to change the settings of the Aurora screensaver to your liking.

4. Open the Registry Editor by searching for “regedit” on the Start Screen.

5. Navigate to

C:\Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Screensavers\Aurora

open-the-aurora-section-of-the-registry-editor

6. Right-click in the right pane window of the Aurora registry section and click “New.”

7. Click “DWORD (32-bit) Value.”

create-new-d-word-value

8. Name the new DWORD value “Amplitude.”

naming-new-d-word

9. Right-click on the “Amplitude” value and click “Modify….”

modify-binary-data

Based on the chart below, you will change the settings for the Amplitude in the Aurora screensaver.

aurora-screen-saver-values

modifying-the-binary-data

10. Repeat steps 8 through 11 to create DWORD value entries for Brightness, NumLayers and Speed.

You can modify each entry, test out the Aurora screensaver and see how it looks before tinkering with the settings again. While this may seem a bit tedious to get the right look for the screensaver, the beauty of it makes up for the tedium when you can add it to your Windows 8 experience.

Conclusion

Windows 8 changed the way users interact with the operating system they had come to love. With so many changes to the Windows that people knew, it is no wonder users want to bring back some of the old things they cherished. By bringing back the Aurora screensaver in Windows 8, users can find a little bit of home they lost in the upgrade to the new version of their preferred operating system.

Pandora vs iRadio: Who Will Win The Internet Radio Business?

InternetRadio-PandoraWe don’t really think about it normally, but there’s a huge business behind Internet Radio. It looks like Pandora and iRadio may end up fighting over our business, and with the existing success of Pandora and the behemoth that Apple is, it could end up being a monumental fight. You may want to set your chair out now to reserve your spot in line for this fight.

It looks like soon both Pandora and iRadio will be offering an Internet radio music streaming service. Pandora has been on the scene since 2000, offering music for free. It offers recommendations based on the music it knows you enjoy. Sometimes it works really well, where you happen upon great suggestions, and other times it happens upon suggestions that have you hitting the forward button too often. Nevertheless, it’s become extremely popular and has spawned similar services such as Spotify.

Apple wants in on this. It’s not enough for them to have the most popular download service with iTunes. They want more. They want to also be our source for Internet radio. They are reportedly gearing up to launch their own service later this year. iRadio will be similar to what we already have, but will probably keep us on iTunes and not have us leaving it to listen to streaming music. Because it’s being launched by Apple, it’s bound to be successful, that is if we ignore their efforts with Ping.

InternetRadio-iTunes

Who’s the winner here, other than us? That answer would be the music labels. It’s been a concern for quite some time that the music industry could be in danger because of the growing lack of physical media. However, Pandora accounted for twenty-five percent of the labels’ revenue last year, and Pandora is trying to lower that royalty fee it pays from the 12 cents it currently pays per one hundred songs. This is despite them already paying less than others, with Spotify being treated like the redheaded stepchild, paying 35 cents per one hundred songs.

Apple must be figuring that the record labels will welcome them into the fold eagerly, as they are offering to pay the labels 6 cents per one hundred songs. They’re going to hurt Pandora one way or another. They’re going to be stealing away at least some of Pandora’s business. Additionally, they could end up in a dispute over fairness of different companies paying different royalties, and it could end up before Congress with the Internet Radio Fairness Act.

InternetRadio-Spotify

As consumers, it won’t hurt us one bit. It will only add to our choices. Pandora, Spotify, and all other slightly different services. I turn on whichever one is going to give me what I want at that current moment. iRadio is going to be no different and will just offer us another choice, no matter what royalties they’re paying. There’s really no way for iRadio to not be a success.

Are you an Internet radio listener? What’s your favorite service? Will Pandora and iRadio will end up competing for your business? Who will win?

ON AIR

55+ Photoshop Brush Stroke Sets for Creating Beautiful Brush Strokes

Strokes-and-Splatter-brush-set

If you use Photoshop, you will know that there are lots of great brush sets you can add to your toolbox. Each of them will ease the design process significant and help you obtain the result you are looking for. Brushes will allow you to add elements to your designs without having to draw them yourself. It can be real time saver, and the variety of brush sets is indeed astonishing. No matter what you need you should be able to find a brush that will do the job for you. If you want to add a smoking bullet hole or even fill the sky with beautiful fireworks all you need is a brush set and a bit of artistic flair and the job can begin.

In this post, I have found some perfectly brilliant Photoshop brush sets that will not only add an artistic look to your design it will also give it a personalized twist.

If I have left out a great Photoshop brush stroke, please share with me in a comment and as always feel free to share this post with your followers on Twitter.

Advertisement

High Quality Rough and Grungy Photoshop Brushes – MORE INFO

high-quality-rough-and-grungy-photoshop-brushes

This set of rough and grungy Photoshop brushes take on a drybrush effect, with plenty of detailed whispy lines and long strokes.

Wet Paint Acrylic Photoshop Brushes – MORE INFO

wet-paint-acrylic-brush-strokes

This Photoshop Brush Pack includes 16 High Quality, Wet Acrylic Paint strokes, all at super high resolution.

Essential Brush Strokes – MORE INFO

essential-brush-strokes

A hundred brush strokes created using a variety of paint brushes and acrylic paint. This set of Photoshop brushes contains everything from simple brush strokes to smiley faces. Add this essential set of Photoshop brushes to your collection.

The Strokes – MORE INFO

the-strokes

Brushstroke Photoshop Brushes

Splatter and Strokes Brush Set – MORE INFO

splatter-and-strokes-brush-set

Brush set made up of splatters and strokes. 29 brushes in total.

Marker strokes brushes – MORE INFO

marker-strokes-brushes

22 high-resolution brushes.

Brush Strokes 2 PS 7.0 – MORE INFO

brush-strokes-2-ps-7

44 Brushes

Brush Stroke – MORE INFO

brush-stroke

Made with thick black poster colours. Just great for those pieces needing brush strokes with hard bristles. 20 brushes in this set with an avreage site of 500 to 900px.

Brush Strokes – MORE INFO

brush-strokes

4 High quality brush strokes brushes

Ink Stroke Brushes 1 – MORE INFO

ink-stroke-brushes-1

Another fun little free set of brushes! Vertical ink stroke brushes, have fun! This set works in Adobe Photoshop 7 and newer or Gimp.

Painted Strokes Brushes – CS3 – MORE INFO

painted-strokes-brushes

Here are 13 Photoshop brushes, ranging from 1700-2500px in size.

Brush Strokes – MORE INFO

brush-strokes

30 Brush Strokes!

High-Res Paint Strokes: Set I – MORE INFO

high-res-paint-strokes

Free pack of Brush strokes for Adobe Photoshop

Horizontal Smudges brushes – MORE INFO

horizontal-smudges-brushes

18 smudges in High resolutions ready for action

Watercolor Brushes – MORE INFO

watercolor-brushes

38 Watercolor Brushes!

Brush Stroke Brushes – MORE INFO

brush-strokes-brushes

Brush strokes

SimpleSmudges .1. Brushes Pack – MORE INFO

simple-smudges

Done it using watercolors.

PS Brushes: Splats and Strokes – MORE INFO

splats-and-strokes

Set has 30+ nice, high-rez brushes (made in PS CS2) plus PNGs of each brush so that you can import them into the program of your choice. Also included are 2 8?x10? textures of splatter-covered paper.

brush strokes brush – MORE INFO

brush-strokes-brush

Photoshop Brushes

Watercolor brushes Set 3 – MORE INFO

watercolor-brushes[3]

Watercolor Brushes

Acrylic Brush Strokes: 57 High Resolution Photoshop Brushes – MORE INFO

acrylic-brush-strokes

57 High Resolution Acrylic Brush Strokes together for Photoshop

Brush Pack 3.0 – MORE INFO

brush-pack-3

The rest are paint-like brushes with different effects. You can create a totally new brush by editing each of these.

Paint Brush Strokes for PS – MORE INFO

paint-brush-stokes-for-ps

Paint Brush Stroke brushes for Photoshop. Made in CS4.

Photoshop Brushes, Vector Graphics, Icons – MORE INFO

photoshop-brushes

A set of Photoshop brushes for space effects, a set of brushes to simulate the effect of a painted canvas, a hand-drawn vector illustration set and a Moleskine icon set.

High-Res Paint Strokes: Set II – MORE INFO

high-res-paint-strokes

25 High Quality Brushes

free acrylic photoshop brushes – MORE INFO

free-acrylic-ps-brushes

These are absolutely free for personal or commercial use

Another_natural_media_brushes – MORE INFO

media-brushes

First brush pack, more than 70 brush tips… above is small example of what is inside…

FlightOfGrey Stroke Brush Set – MORE INFO

flight-of-grey-stroke-brush-set

4 Brushes in this pack

21 Random Paint Strokes and Ink Splatters – MORE INFO

21-random-paint-strokes

These are some custom brushes made to use in various artworks

Paint Strokes Brushes PS 7.0 – MORE INFO

paint-strokes-brushes

A bunch of medium and big sized brush strokes and shapes

Real Brush Strokes Set – MORE INFO

real-brush-strokes-set

“Real Brush Strokes Set” and some other brush sets published in a book

paint stroke brushes 1 – MORE INFO

paint-stroke-brushes

Set includes 30 paint stroke brushes

Stroke of the brush textures – MORE INFO

stroke-brush-textures

Set of Photoshop Brushes

Brush and Charcoal strokes – MORE INFO

brush-and-charcoal-strokes

Resolution is 300 dpi

Paint Stroke Brushes – MORE INFO

paint-stroke-brushes

Various Paint Strokes Brushes

Paint Stroke Brushes – MORE INFO

paint-stroke-brushes

18 paint stroke brushes

Paint Stroke Brushes – MORE INFO

paint-stroke-brushes[7]

36 Paint Stroke Brushes!!!

Brush Strokes – MORE INFO

brush-strokes[5]

4 High quality brush strokes brushes created by me and as part of a 3 freebie set released at smashingmagazine.com

Real brush strokes part II – MORE INFO

real-brush-strokes-p2

High resolution brush strokes made for photoshop.

Hi-Res PS Brushes + Source Files – MORE INFO

hi-res-ps-brushes

Watercolour Photoshop Brush Set to be released on fudgegraphics.

PS Brushes: Brush Strokes – MORE INFO

ps-brushes-strokes

A set of brush strokes and corners for use in photoshop.

WG Dry Paint Strokes vol1 – MORE INFO

wg-dry-paint-strokes

This is a new Photoshop brush set for WeGraphics friends

Paint Strokes Brushes – MORE INFO

paint-strokes-brushes

27 brushes

Paint Strokes PS Brushes – MORE INFO

paint-strokes-ps-brushes

33 brush strokes

Brush Strokes – MORE INFO

brush-strokes[7]

Made in Photoshop CS2, imagepack included. 60 brushes some are large (1000px+) and some are under 300px.

Splatter and Smear – MORE INFO

splatter-and-smear

13 high-res brushes

Fractal Paint Brushes – MORE INFO

fractal-paint-brushes

Made with a fractal style but they almost look like paint brush strokes

Grunge Strokes Brush Set – MORE INFO

grunge-strokes-brush-set

Photoshop Brush Set

Paint Stroke Brushes – MORE INFO

paint-stroke-brushes[9]

Photoshop Brush Set

BrushSet52-Gaby’sPaintStrokes – MORE INFO

brush-set-52

For Photoshop 7 and above.

Code Name Murder – MORE INFO

code-name-murder

There are 51 total brushes in the package. All are usable at 300 dpi resolution, a lot of them are big.

Ravynne’s Custom Manga Tools – MORE INFO

ravynnes-custom-manga-tools

Set of standard brush tools

010 watercolors and strokes – MORE INFO

watercolors-strokes

This brush set is great for vector masks and background decoration – among many other things

Realistic Paint Brushes – MORE INFO

realistic-paint-brushes

It uses 3 of the brushes from the other set, and new brushes for you

ARCINK Brushes – MORE INFO

arcink-brushes

Some inkly brushes. Fun stuff.

001 brush strokes – MORE INFO

001-brush-strokes

This brush set can actually be used for anything. It looks great as a brush on the corners of a design, or behind text, or as a mask – you name it.

Paint stroke brushes – set 01 – MORE INFO

paint-strokes-brushes[5]

Thirteen brushes in different size, made in Photoshop CS version 8.0.

Digital Pencil Collection – MORE INFO

digital-pencil-collection

3 digital pencil packs in 1

Manga Brushes Teaser Final – MORE INFO

manga-brushes-teaser-final

Brush set WILL ONLY WORK IN CS or above! If you use elements or still have Photoshop 7 or one of the older versions this won’t work in your program.

Artists Tools Photoshop Brush – MORE INFO

artists-tools-ps-brush

A wonderful set of easy to use artistian toolset brushes. Crosshatch and stipple, along with a great set of “painterly brush stroke” bruses.

Brush Strokes Brushes – MORE INFO

brush-strokes

Photoshop Brushes

Strokes and Splatter brush set – MORE INFO

strokes-and-splatter-brush-set

With over 25 Hi res brushes.

Brush Strokes 1 Brushes – MORE INFO

brush-strokes-1

This one contains 15 brush strokes

Free Hi-Res Photoshop Brushes: Acrylic Textures – MORE INFO

acrylic-textures

This set has a total of 9 Acrylic Texture Brushes all hovering at exactly 2500px. As always these are free for personal and commercial use.

Author : Lars Vraa

Lars started tripwire magazine back in January 2009. He is really passionate about web design, web development, SEO, social media and loves to look into new technologies, techniques, tools etc. and to write articles for tripwire magazine readers.

How to Add Links to Your WordPress Widget Titles

How to Add Links to Your WordPress Widget TitlesDo you use numerous widgets on your WordPress blog? Have you ever wished that you could add WordPress Widget Titles? If so, you’re in luck thanks to a WordPress plugin called Widget Title Links.

With this simple WordPress plugin, you can create clickable WordPress widget titles in just a few easy steps. These title links can really come in handy, such as linking to your social networking profiles, linking to blog posts or pages, linking to other websites, and more.

Here’s how to get links in your widget titles.

1. Install and activate the Widget Title Links plugin from the WordPress dashboard (plugins -> add new -> search plugins).

Install the Widget Title Links WordPress plugin.

2. Now go to your widgets (appearance menu -> widgets). You can either add a new widget to your sidebar or edit a widget that you already have enabled.

3. You’ll notice that all of your widgets now have two new text boxes: title and title link. In case you’re wondering, some widgets already have a title box included, but the ones that don’t will now have a place to enter a title.

You should a title box and title link box for each of your widgets.

4. As you can see, you must enter a title to go along with your links; you can have a title without a link, but you can’t have a link without a title. When you’re done, click on “save” and you should see your new clickable links on your blog.

This is how your clickable widget title will look.

Depending on your blog’s theme, your clickable WordPress Widget titles may or may not be recognizable. If your visitors can’t tell that it’s a link, then you’ll probably want to do a little CSS tweaking.

The New Google Chat Service: Do We Need Another One?

GoogleChat-Logo
Later this year, a new Google chat service will be introduced. More and more details are beginning to emerge about the service, ahead of the expected unveiling at the annual Google I/O Developers Conference. Do we really need yet another chat service?

This new Google Chat service will have the name of Babel, although it was previously being identified as Babble. Babble might have been an easier one to pass through, however, as there is already a site with the name of Babel that allows chatting internationally. That’s going to get very confusing, although there is no current trademark on the name.

The new Babel chat will unify all chat services under Google. Instead of having different features and abilities from Google product to Google product, such as Google+, Gmail, Google Drive, etc., it will all be one unified service. Additionally, it will work seamlessly across platforms, whether it’s Chrome, Android, or iOS.

GoogleChat-Gmail

The features of Babel will allow you to access the same conversation from anywhere and will have a new conversation-based UI. There will be advanced group conversations with notifications across all devices. It will also allow you to send pictures within the chat.

This all sounds great, but do we really need yet another chatting service? We have Skype, Oovoo, Facebook, and a whole host of other apps and services, each with a slightly different feature set, allowing you peruse documents, draw on a whiteboard, talk via live video, etc. So with all of that, why do we need yet another service?

GoogleChat-Talk

The answer seems to be in what Google has planned. Google, no different than any of the other big tech companies, seems to be trying to keep their users from straying to different companies, apps, or services. If a user is checking out their mail in Gmail, then decides to enter into a chat, they want to keep the user there on Google. They don’t want them going to Skype, Facebook, etc.

Of course we don’t need yet another chat service. But Google needs us to stay with their products and not go elsewhere. Because they’re Google, they know we’ll at least try out their chat service. And for anyone who is already using their existing chat services, they’ll of course stick with this one as well. It’s not a service that’s needed. It’s just one that is going to get used whether we need it or not.

Will you have a use for the new Google Chat service or will you just stick with your existing chat services regardless? Chime in below in the comments area and let us know what you think.

Compressing and Extracting Files on Android

ZArchiver-introAndroid devices don’t always allow you to open every file type you might be emailed or download. The same goes for compressing a file or group of files. Depending on what the file is, this might be a big inconvenience. Some file managers let you compress or decompress zip files, but what happens if there is a rar or 7z file you need to open? ZArchiver is a great option for compressing and extracting files on an Android.

Compressing a file on an Android

The process of making a compressed folder is pretty easy actually. After ZArchiver is installed and opened, there are some icons in the top right corner of the window. The one farthest to the right will give you a drop-down menu. In these options is where you will be able to make a compressed folder.

ZArchiver-create

When you click create, you can create a folder or an archive. The archive formats can be 7z, Zip or TAR.

ZArchiver-archive

Like many desktop apps, you can choose the settings of the archive. You can add a password, choose the level of compression and even split the archive into multiple volumes.

ZArchiver-create-archive

Once you have all of the settings ready and the archive named, you are ready to add the files. It is a good idea to make sure you are in the correct folder or subfolder so you can easily add the files at this step. You can create a new folder and move all the files there if needed. Tap the files to highlight them and press down arrow icon to create the compressed archive.

Decompressing a file on an Android

Decompressing a file is just as straightforward. When there is a file emailed to you or otherwise downloaded to your Android device, you have a few options. The first option is to view the contents of the compressed archive.

Open ZArchiver and use the file manager to find the archive. click the archive when you find it. You should be presented with a few options, one of which will be View. You will be able to see the folders and files in the compressed archive. If needed, you can extract a single file.

ZArchiver-extract

If you want to extract all of them, there are other options. You can Extract here, this will empty the contents into the main folder. You can Extract to ./<Archive name>/, this will create a new folder and extract all of the files into it. This is usually a great option.

File types

This is a list showing all of the compatible file types you can compress, view and decompress. If you notice, there are a lot of not so commonly accessible files on an Android.

Create archive: 7z (7zip), zip, bzip2 (bz2), gzip (gz), XZ, tar

Decompress archive types: 7z (7zip), zip, rar, bzip2, gzip, XZ, iso, tar, arj, cab, lzh, lha, lzma, xar, tgz, tbz, Z, deb, rpm, zipx, mtz

View contents: 7z (7zip), zip, rar, bzip2, gzip, XZ, iso, tar, arj, cab, lzh, lha, lzma, xar, tgz, tbz, Z, deb, rpm, zipx, mtz

Final words

When you use your Android phone for more than calling and texting, you will need apps like ZArchiver. Compressing and extracting files on an Android is very useful. The more apps you have to make your Android more like your desktop will help you be more efficient while you are mobile.

What do you use to open a 7z file on your Android device?

Image credit: Zipper Three Quarter Perspective by BigStockPhoto