Here's an amazing demo of the "content-aware fill" tool that's apparently forthcoming in Photoshop CS5. The tool makes it easy to delete objects from a complex photo, without any trace they ever existed. The ramifications for internet publishing are frightening.
It's not yet clear how well the app will perform on Android devices or as an iPad app, as our colleagues at Gizmodo point out — or whether Apple will even allow the Wired app on its tablet device. Then there's the question of pricing. Wired editor Chris Anderson mentions getting people to pay for content in the video, but figuring out how much to charge for a brand-new digital category is, as the New York Times has learned, quite tricky. In any case, this slick-looking app sure beats out Sports Illustrated's imaginary tablet edition. Sorry, jocks. This is an away game for you.
• As expected, ratings for Jay Leno's new show are falling fast. [THR]
• Bloomberg LP appears to now be in the lead to buy BusinessWeek. [NYP]
• Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol sold 1 million copies its first day. [NYT]
• Don't try to talk to Vogue publisher Tom Florio about what changes are in store for the mag now that those McKinsey consultants have finished their review. (He's not talking about it.) Meantime, McKinsey's final report will be handed over to Condé Nast's management next week. [NYO, WWD]
• Fox News boss Roger Ailes collected $24 million in compensation last year, which is $2 million more than his boss, Rupert Murdoch, took home. [BW]
• Jay-Z has his 11th No. 1 album. That puts him ahead of Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most chart-toppers. But he's still behind the Beatles. [LAT]
Google began indexing the text context of Flash animations, movies and interfaces in Web pages a few months ago. But no Google improvement is complete until the professional SEO's document how to game the system. Here's the first well-done guide to getting your world class Flash content the placement it deserves on the Internet. Author Brian Ussery steals one of Google's best tricks: If you're going to tell a bunch of techies how to lie, blanket it in soothing geek imagery by using examples tied to science. NASA is good. Executive summary for globalists: "Google doesn’t seem to translate text content in Flash files, especially when text is supplied by a server or some other third party source." So it's kind of Speak English or Die for now.
Yes, all anyone can talk about are Apple's new laptops. Always prone to squandering a PR opportunity, Microsoft is set to debut the next version of its answer to Adobe's Flash — Silverlight, the video player everyone talks about but no one has installed. Silverlight 2.0 has
digital rights management software to power multimedia sites, skinning capabilities for the player, deep zoom, as well as finally Mac and Linux support for Firefox and even Chrome a long list of features that don't matter. [PC Magazine]
A senior Adobe engineer confirmed the obvious at a Flash developer's conference in England that yes, they're building a Flash player especially for the iPhone. Paul Betlem from Adobe balked at saying the app was sure to be built into Apple's Safari browser that ships with the phone, but it seems a certainty. Flash websites and video clips are no longer the "Skip Intro" bane of the Web. Apple went out of its way to enable YouTube on the first iPhone. Enabling the iPhone to work on any Flash-based website seems the obvious next step in removing the functional differences between phone and laptop. (Photoillustration by Jackson West)
Amazon.com's Video On Demand service, which allows you to preview and purchase streaming videos online, uses Adobe's Flash Media Server to deliver the video. Late last week, Reuters reported that hackers had discovered an exploit that would allow users to turn the free preview into the full stream, allowing folks to watch movies for free using software like Replay Media Catcher from Applian. Adobe took issue with Reuters' contention that Flash isn't secure — instead suggesting it was Amazon's fault for not enabling various security options such as streaming encryption and player verification. Why did Adobe choose to blame a customer instead of quietly fixing the problem behind the scenes? Probably seemed easier.
DearAdobe.com catalogs and organizes by popularity and product bite-sized rants against Adobe, the software company that creates products like Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash which have become industry standards for creative professionals. Messages seem to convey one idea over and over: Dear Adobe, Your bloatware is slow and costs too much.
NBC streamed all its NBCOlympics.com videos using Microsoft's Silverlight backend tech, but the network dumped Microsoft before last night's NFL kickoff — streamed live over NBCSports.com and NFL.com — opting to use Adobe Flash instead. Why? Because, as SAI notes, while 40 million US visitors to NBCOlympics.com didn't have Silverlight installed, Adobe Flash is already installed on some 98 percent of Internet-connected computers. NBC's move didn't pay off last night. The feed was unwatchable over a broadband connection, serving up freeze fames, blurry action and skipping back and forth as the it tried to buffer.
While Amazon.com makes no claims as to the quality of video from its new "video on demand" online streaming service being comparable to DVD quality, a measly 1.2 megabit-per-second data rate is still laughable. To put it in perspective, standard-definition DVDs typically run well over 6Mbps (Apple, also risibly, calls the 5Mbps offerings from iTunes "HD," purely based on pixel dimensions and not data depth). And based on your connection speed, Amazon might deliver even less digital resolution. All of this for up to $14.99 to "own" a movie stored wrapped in Adobe's Flash copy protection. Granted, Amazon is hindered by the slow broadband connections typical in American households, but keeping the bitrate low also keeps bandwidth costs down — and margins high.