Adobe Acrobat XI

Adobe Acrobat XI

Adobe Acrobat XI, besides being the leading PDF converter, is packed with smart tools that give you even more power to communicate – easily, seamlessly, brilliantly.

Until recently, I had the notion that Adobe Acrobat is just a glorified PDF Converter, of course, with a very powerful document management system. However, after attending a special screening of the new Adobe Acrobat XI, here in Bangalore, India, I am impressed with what it can do.

With Acrobat, it becomes so easy to edit text, graphics and the ability to combine multiple PDFs into a single PDF is outstanding. The export capability and online web-creation are pretty nice additions. Of course, the ability to sign documents is brilliant.

The only rant I’ve against it is that it’s rather overwhelming and can scare most first timers. This is a big, well-grown and developed tool.

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Krassimir Fotev scoffs at SEO with his brainchild, Peer Belt

If you’re like me then you are sick of SEO. These cookie-cutter predictive patterns that create a myopic filter for the content we see online make as much sense as casting a rapper in a film noir, or taking a three-year old to a fine china shop.

This must be what Krassimir Fotev thought when he looked at how we gather, process and retrieve information and thought — pssst… I can do better. So he did. (Don’t you just love people like that?). He created Peer Belt — a personalized search engine that organizes the content you encounter online.

After first getting a masters degree in Physics, then giving up a cushy job at Credit Suisse Krassimir created Peer Belt, and hasn’t looked back since.

We had tons of questions for Krassimir — like what the heck Peer Belt actually does, so we fired off a series of rapid-fire questions to him about his entrepreneurial experience and the technology behind the brand. He then banged his head against his desk until something brilliant came out. And brilliant it was…

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Adobe Creative Suite 6 – the new face of creativity

Adobe recently released their latest version of Creative Suite – Adobe Creative Suite 6, introducing a slew of features and enhancement to their software line-ups.

I was fortunate to be present at the Media Launch of Adobe CS6 in New Delhi, India. Presided over by Umang Bedi, Managing Director, South Asia at Adobe Systems, there were demos galore and quite a bit of stunning new stuffs with the likes of Photoshop, Premiere, SpeedGrade, Dreamweaver, Illustrator etc.

It was not surprising to know that many creative geniuses from India relied totally on Adobe Products to get their work done. Film-maker Aseem Bajaj talks about his experience from analog to digital film-making and how he uses Adobe Products day-in and day-out. Kushal Ruia, Creative Head at Amar Chitra Katha Media demoed some interesting and creative motion video works done in Flash. CB ArunKumar, Academic Director at FX School talked about the creative outcomes as a result of Adobe Products used by his students. It was a day well spent and I came back home thinking, ‘Adobe still have their mojo intact when it comes to creativity tools.’

Adobe CS6 software delivers a whole new experience for digital media creation, enabling you to work lightning fast and reach audiences wherever they may be. Now, for the first time, CS applications are also available through Adobe Creative Cloud, giving you the flexibility to download and install them at any time.

I’ve been trying out the products from the Creative Suite 6 collection and they’re awesome. They are pretty fast and a huge improvement over their predecessors.

Download and Installation

Here is my unfortunate experience. I got a ‘demo’ DVD of CS6 at the event and decided to try it out. However, Adobe Bangalore called me and told me they’re sending me a ‘final’ copy instead. Well, that turned out to be the “Pre-release” version, which means I was able to use my Master Collection Serial Number but cannot login to Adobe from the software, leaving me with just 5 days before it shuts me out.

After that ordeal, I decided to download the trial from Adobe’s website. For reasons known best to Adobe, I had to download a downloader to download the new download. I downloaded the downloader and installed it and finally downloaded the trial. I just wish Adobe can improve the user experience when it comes to downloading their softwares – simplify and make it easier for users.

They perhaps want to know who downloaded what! But then why not figure out that I’ve got the serial and I don’t need to be spammed every week that my trial is ending and I should buy the software. That was a sad experience. And yes, the unsubscribed link on that ‘reminder’ email led me to an error page on Adobe.

Adobe Creative Suite 6

Adobe Creative Suite 6, we can see a product-wide overhaul of the interface, albeit a dark-gray-theme, which seem to be more suited for creative people. CS6 sports better speed, improved performance, and native 64-bit support for both Mac and Windows across the suite of products.

Adobe Photoshop saw huge improvement and quite a lot of them are now the darling features of many artists, photographers and creative users alike. 3D got a huge changes in Photoshop CS6 Extended, with it’s primary focus on usability and performance. Adobe have completely overhauled the User Interface and 3D workflows, which are now, much more intuitive and easier to use. The new interface sports a single tool instead of the earlier 14. In CS6, you can use the standard Photoshop Move Tool and click on the element (light, camera, mesh) in your 3D layer (scene) and that will reposition it!

Illustrator features a new “gradients on stroke” feature, which can adds gradients to lines, pattern-creation tool has a new tracing engine, as well as the ability to create and edit tiled vector patterns, without any visible seams, from the images you trace. InDesign have added new features like Alternate Layouts, Liquid Layout, and Content Collector. This will be a blessing to those page designers who create for a variety of platforms. InDesign CS6 also offers vast upgrades with a new Linked content tool, as well as support for building interactive PDFs.

Dreamweaver, the entry point for most web designers, saw some decent improvement and is geared towards the new ‘responsive design’ paradigm of the web. I was under the impression that Dreamweaver will move to oblivion and die a silent death but CS6 seem to have taken a huge turn. Dreamweaver helps you design once and adapt your websites when viewed in a phone or tablet or on a browser. Dreamweaver CS6 is built for the multi-platform era, with full support for HTML5 and CSS3.

I’m not much of a video guy but from the demo I saw on that day, Adobe Premiere Pro seems to be kicking some real ass. It’s integration with After Effects and Photoshop is something very interesting and should serve as a convenient tool for video professionals. SpeedGrade was something the film-makers swear by, smiling to the fact that now they can see their movies being graded quickly in real-time right in front of them. Real-time subtitle support was another awe-thing from the video line-up by Adobe.

Well, for Adobe Flash, it’s not what we used to know from the yonder years. Flash graduated to doing more and more of HTML5 and Javascript. It’s now being marketed as ‘the tool’ for your web and mobile needs when it comes to HTML5 and Javascript and an easy development tool for iOS, Android and other platforms.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is a digital hub where you can explore, create, share, and deliver your work using any of the Adobe Creative Suite desktop tools, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, and new applications like Adobe Muse and Adobe Edge preview. Creative Cloud also includes new Internet-based services and enables the delivery of high-impact content experiences such as interactive websites and stunning digital magazines. By offering connectivity with Adobe Touch Apps, headlined by Adobe Photoshop Touch, Creative Cloud enables a mobile workflow, from ideation to publishing, to bring the power of Adobe innovation to iPads and Android tablets. Creative Cloud gives you freedom to create, offering immediate and ongoing access to industry-­defining tools and technologies, to serve a vibrant worldwide community of creative talent.

Well, if you do not want or cannot afford the costly software from Adobe, you can now use them by paying a monthly subscription. Membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud is available at a price of $49.99 per month for individuals and $69.99 per month per seat for workgroups, both for an annual plan.

Dayson Pais: Entrepreneur²

Mumbai-based Dayson Pais is the founder of Webly, of Epicwhale, of The Womo — and now he is the founder (and janitor) of Textme. And all this has been in the past 5 years.

Dayson’s passion is incubating services and products for the web, brand identity, print, mobile & digital field — hence the creation of his digital agency and cybernated incubator, Webly. His understanding of the “Wild, Wild Web” as he calls it, has built a solid entrepreneurial base for his many endeavors. Finally, his many hats are beginning to pay off — with the success of many of his ventures, including his most recent, Textme.

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Google’s Updated Privacy Policy Angers Europe

People are not unaware of Google’s Privacy Policy being updated every now and then. The latest version of its privacy policy that was unleashed on March 1st, 2012, has made it the centre of a huge controversy amongst the European nations. Some of the rules that have been included in this policy have fallen under severe scrutiny and are being investigated by the EU data verification authorities. France has accused these rules of Google’s Privacy Policy to be a violation of the European Laws.

The primary condition of the Privacy Policy of Google that was tagged as unacceptable by CNIL, the Data Protection bureau of France was the latest attempt of Google to pool the data accumulated from each and every individual user from all the major sites such as YouTube, Google+, Gmail etc, that are governed by Google. This undoubtedly would make Google liable to use the gathered information to monitor the search results, manipulate advertising in accordance to the interests of the individual users and make similar other uses. France had written a letter to Google stating that the CNIL and EU data authorities have not taken lightly to the invasion of user’s privacy and combining the collected information from users to satisfy the benefits of Google.

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StockTouch app is Bringing Sexy Back to stock markets

The successful build-an-app plan seems to be: take a useful service, make it intuitive and put a shiny veneer on it. Steve deBrun’s StockTouch has done that, in spades. Although if you ask Steve what the entrepreneurial key to app-building success is a top-notch team, the ‘classic trio’ as he calls it: the “designer, hacker, hustler trio”.

Steve is the self-proclaimed tech/art geek who designed the sharp quadrant interface for the StockTouch app. For anyone not familiar with the app, it puts gargled stock market data into an easily readable format, while breaking it down into scannable sectors. That’s the quick pitch anyways; it does some other cool shiznit too, but I don’t want to spoil your fun so just download it. If you haven’t got the $4.99 for download then just keep reading.

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Social Folders – share your social content online

Social Folders

Ever get irritated that you can’t push/pull content between your computer and your social networks and sort it in handy desktop folders? Instead you have to manually update each as new content is added? Martin Pannier did. In response he created SocialFolders.

The SocialFolders app allows you to more easily manage content across your desktop and various social networks. It allows you to centrally manage your content, including backing up your photos, videos and docs. To put it more succinctly, MASHABLE summed it when they said — SocialFolders Is Like Dropbox for Social Media. If you’re not a MASHABLE fan, CNET also puts it simply when they say — It’s Photo Stream for everything“.

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Vendor Benchmarker Ashwin Ramasamy Talks about his Entrepreneurial Experiences with ContractIQ

ContactIQ

Ever had a new vendor let you down? Had trouble finding a company that does/sells X? Then ContractIQ has got your back. ContractIQ is a fresh new start-up matching the Small and Medium Enterprise space with top-of-their-class service providers.

With a continually updated list of benchmarked vendors ContractIQ advises SME business on their vendor selection — empowering them to make valuable growth-oriented decisions.

I got the chance to interview the brain behind the brainchild, Ashwin Ramasamy — founder of ContractIQ and graduate of the Founder Institute. After lead roles in several startups, and now ContractIQ, Ashwin is in a great spot to offer advice to entrepreneurs-to-be, so I asked him about ContractIQ and his entrepreneurial experiences.

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Elisha Tan, digital skill Pimp and online Entrepreneur discusses her new learning platform Learnemy

LearnEmy

The greatest inventions develop out of need. Elisha Tan found one. Her new web application, Learnemy plugs a hole in the marketplace — for peer-to-peer, formally informal learning.

Learnemy is a platform for knowledge-thirsty individuals looking to connect with others to learn skills and/or sell/utilize their skills. By providing the platform Elisha is connecting people to learning opportunities that you otherwise couldn’t find. For example if you want to learn the violin but the no local music schools offer violin lessons, or they do but its $100 a lesson — instead you can connect with someone in your community on Learnemy who could teach you the violin, at the agreed upon amount of $25 per lesson. Think of it as a Craigslist for skill learning — on steroids — with a built-in payment platform.

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Entrepreneur Interview Series: A Sit-Down with Screenius genius co-founder Seth Cohen

Screenius may sound like the ominous description of an evil-genius iPad app hell-bent on world domination — but it’s far less maleficent than that. Screenius is a newly-launched iPad app that is joining the ranks of Angry Birds, Doodle Jump and Pocket God.

Screenius is another infotainment tool — one that helps you funnel your video choices through its ‘video valet’ services. This video-funnelling tool reduces the ridiculously-large amount of online video choice and whittles it down to a bearable size to offer you just two choices.

Quite genius if you think about it. If you were to go to a Ben and Jerry’s and stare at their 75+ flavors your eyes would glaze over as you tried to choose. Go to McDonalds however and your choice between their simplistic Chocolate or Vanilla is practically child’s play. “People can be paralyzed by too many choices,” points out Seth Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Screenius.

Screenius is more than just a video-viewing app though. It’s an intelligent app that learns your tastes as you go. If you watch TED Talks and The Colbert Report clips regularly, it won’t pop-up with Justin Bieber’s new Christmas hit or Jersey Shore reruns (both of which YouTube erroneously suggested to me last week, shudder). In addition to learning your likes the app includes review posting, sharing, and short menus for video browsing.

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