I’m not usually one to suggest people learn from others, considering Adobe Training is what I do – but I firmly believe that giving students ideas for supplemental learning can always help them to practice what I teach and help to embed the information they learn in my classes.

So, I thought sharing a deal on a lifetime subscription to TrainSimple’s Adobe Training might be helpful to those who want reference information, and ways to practice what I teach. Take a look at this deal – good ONLY today!

https://deals.cultofmac.com/sales/lifetime-of-train-simple-adobe-training

27 Useful Design Tips   July 18th, 2015

For my design and typography students, here’s a really nice blog with some tips and ideas to improve your feel for good design, good use of typography, and maybe provide some inspiration.

http://digitalsynopsis.com/design/beautiful-illustrated-graphic-designer-tips/

It happened. My backup hard drive used for my daily backup died. It was one of those 4TB MyBooks, that is made up of a RAID of 2, 2TB disks. On that SAME day, I had to teach an online class, which often somehow screws up my Time Machine (which takes ages to fix, but is doable, and got done). BUT, I still felt my data was safe in the event of a serious problem because I’d just renewed my subscription (I’d gotten an initial free 3 month trial) for BackBlaze. I figured that having ALL my other work data on the cloud for only $50/year wasn’t a bad idea – and indeed it wasn’t!

BackBlaze doesn’t back up my operating system, applications or parts of my user folder, but I have several other terabytes of data that sits on my startup and other connected drives. I live in earthquake country and my office electrical is… let’s say… overloaded. I was given a gift of a new 4TB multi-interface replacement backup drive so I can have my local backup again (nice gift, right?)- AND I ALWAYS HAVE A SEPARATE LOCAL CLONED BACKUP OF MY STARTUP DRIVE – but for $50 I had peace of mind – and that’s a great thing!

Check them out at www.BackBlaze.com.

BACKUP!!!

So, you guys know I’m very neurotic about backing up my files, and I found this service that gives you unlimited space for automatic backups – IN THE CLOUD!

I have dual hard drive backups in my home office, PLUS a separate backup for my startup drive. But living in SoCal, with earthquakes, I’ve always been concerned about earthquake damage hurting my backups, leaving me with nothing.

Recently, I discovered BackBlaze.com. for $50/year, they offer unlimited space for backups, allow the backup of external drives, retain backups for 30 days, and will back up almost everything (system files and Applications won’t get backed up). I have 4 internal drives and several externals. All of my media (photos, videos, and even the files created as temporary files for my video editing), all of my office work files, personal files – and it’s safe and encrypted. All offsite, and all for $50! There isn’t a limit on file size, either – so my largest multi-gig files can be uploaded. It’s not exceptionally speedy, but I can even control the speed of the backups.

I highly recommend checking them out at BackBlaze.com.

Net Safety on Public WiFi   June 17th, 2015

CNET has published an excellent article on Web Safety when you’re out and about with your laptop or devices and using a public WiFi station. There are some pretty big risks that people might access and steal your data, your private logins and your identity information (including credit card numbers and passwords).

Check out their article at:
http://www.cnet.com/how-to/tips-to-stay-safe-on-public-wi-fi/

Everything Got Hacked   June 15th, 2015

Hi guys. My entire website got hacked, so I’m recreating everything from the basics (at least, all the stuff that uses WordPress). This is a test of the app that lets my posts go to my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Lesson is – if you use WordPress for anything (I use it for blogs only, right now), UPDATE often! Especially plugins!

Adobe Premiere Pro CC to include MorphCut – There’s something with the potential for greatness coming to the new Adobe Premiere Pro. In the right hands, this can be used for smoothing edits between different portions of a continuous clip, without having to cut over to a B roll, making (interviews in particular) edits cleaner and fixing a potential slew of problems.
My worry is what it’s going to do in the wrong hands. For example, the hands of politicians, news media, unscrupulous attorneys…
Take a look:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6wPUtKg-Ac

Turn off Facebook Ad Tracking   January 4th, 2015

I was getting annoyed that EVERYTHING I looked up was getting tracked by FB. I followed this link: http://www.wired.com/2014/06/facebook-ad-tracking/,
which took me to this site: http://www.aboutads.info/choices/

I’d already had an ad blocker running on my computer, but the cookies this site found were… PROLIFIC! I can’t block all cookies, ’cause some of my sites NEED them (people I teach for and such), but now, about 1/2 hour later – my feed and my ad list is very, VERY different. So much cleaner! Nice!

Jeffrey Tranberry’s Adobe Blog has posted a VERY nice 214 page ebook about Photoshop Techniques. It specified “screen designers”, but the techniques and ideas can be applied to any media. You can find the download here: http://blogs.adobe.com/crawlspace/2014/03/pixel-perfect-precision-useful-design-tips-photoshop-techniques-for-screen-designers.html?PID=2159997 There are also “Extras” that can be downloaded for the book, which can be downloaded here: PPP Extras (scripts, etc., 0.5MB) Don’t you just LOVE FREE!!!

Is Your Email Account Hacked?   January 26th, 2014

Today, I received an email from a well-meaning friend asking if my email account had been hacked. He forwarded the original email to me, and it was immediately obvious that “Hacking” was not what was happening here. The appropriate word for what was done is “Spoofing”. My name was Spoofed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_spoofing). To see the email I received, please see the bottom of this post.

What this means is that someone, somewhere got my name and used a bogus email address to send email to my friend – showing my name, but not from my address. This is a very important distinction. Had they used my email address, even with a DIFFERENT name, I would have been “Hacked”. I’d have to change my passwords and worry about my email account’s security. In this case, there’s nothing I can really do, but at least my information is safe.

I’m sure you’ve all seen emails like this. Emails that appear to be from friends, but are promoting something you KNOW your friend wouldn’t promote, or that has some wonky link in it.

If you’re wondering why this happens, there are several possible contributors to the cause:

1) Sending batch emails to dozens of people or strangers and CC’ing all the emails, exposing everyone’s names and addresses to everyone else. This is easily resolved by using BCC (for a tutorial on BCC, please visit my YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DunBSu6mL0)

2) Using BCC in your emails, but forgetting to remove the dozens of email addresses that had been forwarded to you by others who didn’t know BCC

3) (This seems to me to be the MOST prevalent) Keeping your Contacts (or Address Book) on a free email server – like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and others. It’s not too hard for a hacker to access your information from there :

http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/gmail/r8AOu5cPpaU
http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/34518/spam-that-comes-from-names-in-my-address-book-but-not-their-email-addresses

To support this idea, I can see that my friend received his email on his gmail account. My name is listed on his gmail account as a contact. The link and actual USED email address have something to do with cars. My friend is very connected with the car business and has likely been tracked as we all are, while doing some of his research.

Some articles blame social media, however I’m not among the people who believe that to be the culprit. My personal name is not listed in full, as used in this email on almost any social sites. In fact, the ONLY place this name is listed in this way is in Google+ (in which Google has endeavored to link everything Google to everything ELSE Google).

So, my suggestion is to stop using Free Email addresses on public sites. Now, I know that’s not going to happen, so here’s the next best thing. Check the email information – and look for the email ADDRESS from which the email was sent. If the listing is as it appears in the screenshot below – IMMEDIATELY delete the email. DO NOT CLICK ANY LINKS! Then, consider removing your friend’s name from a public listing on your free email account, and consider using BCC correctly in emails to protect the names and emails of your friends.

Spoofed Email

Look at the email address this was sent FROM