adam tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377Mon, 07 Nov 2016 16:48:17 +0000holidaysActionscript 3Adobe FlashFlash PlayerHTML 5Adam CorkettA personal blog discussing everything from web development and graphic design through to walking the dog and travelling the globe; whatever takes my fancy you can be sure it will end up on here.http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/noreply@blogger.com (strachan1999)Blogger15125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-5398445967329011960Sun, 02 Feb 2014 13:18:00 +00002014-02-02T05:18:53.761-08:00A Look at G+'s Photo Editing Features<div style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.040000915527344px; margin-bottom: 1em;">From a business perspective it is very easy to explain why Google Plus is a great platform, an important element in on-line marketing strategies and search engine optimisation, particularly whilst Google's market share for search traffic stands around the 90% mark&nbsp;<a data-mce-href="http://gs.statcounter.com/#search_engine-GB-monthly-201312-201401" href="http://gs.statcounter.com/#search_engine-GB-monthly-201312-201401" style="text-decoration: none;" title="GS StatCounter: Search engine market share Jan 2014">(StatCounter, Jan 2014)</a>&nbsp;in the UK. Many are confused by the platform currently, and this is due to the precedents set by Facebook and Twitter for example, it isn't simply a page with lots of features and it doesn't really matter from a business perspective that only 300 Million Active Users visit a month&nbsp;<a data-mce-href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/10/29/google-plus/3296017/" href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/10/29/google-plus/3296017/" style="text-decoration: none;" target="_blank" title="USA Today: Google's social network sees 58% jump in users">(Barr, Oct 2013)</a></div><div style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.040000915527344px; margin-bottom: 1em;">In addition, from a professional perspective it is an easy argument too; the articles and conversations are essentially focussed around more professional issues, therefore the content is largely relevant to a professional audience irrespective of discipline or industry.</div><div style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.040000915527344px; margin-bottom: 1em;">From a personal perspective, it is less-apparent to most, why the platform is valid or of interest. To counter though, there are lots of different features that are particularly exciting from a consumer's perspective and the browser based apps such as Image Editing is one of those.</div><div style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.040000915527344px; margin-bottom: 1em;">Google have been for some time encouraging its Android users to upload their photos to private areas, these can then be made public either on an individual or album level; privacy whilst a contentious issue across most social platforms these days, particularly Google, is essentially at the forefront of every feature on the platform - it is prominent, which is more than can be said of some rival offers. Take for instance that with every post you make using G+, you have to specify the audience and whilst this might be true for Facebook also for example, the prominence given to this from a UI perspective is less than the former. With both platforms it is highly recommended to leave location services or GPS off when taking photographs, but that is a separate discussion really.</div><div style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.040000915527344px; margin-bottom: 1em;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-R6QS7jR3DCU/Uu5Fc5sBIjI/AAAAAAAAE9k/EJlzHe3m_LQ/s1600/plusVFB_SharePrivacy.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-R6QS7jR3DCU/Uu5Fc5sBIjI/AAAAAAAAE9k/EJlzHe3m_LQ/s1600/plusVFB_SharePrivacy.jpg" /></a></div><br /></div><div style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.040000915527344px; margin-bottom: 1em;">Since about late 2013 those user's who chose to allow their photos to be automatically uploaded will have started to notice a notification when photos are uploaded, but the new notifications are telling them to check out their Auto-Awesome'd images; these range from basic adjustments, through simple collages to more amusing animated GIF files, even adding snow to images during December for that extra Christmassy feel. Upon further inspection by accessing the photos either on a desktop through their G+ profiles or even in the App itself, a range of filters, frames and effects have been made available, allowing user's to create some very impressive modifications to their images. The effects are themselves all customisable using slider interfaces and can be layered over to create increasingly complicated effects, what's more is this is more than just the usual balance, contrast and funny borders you might find - complicated blur and lighting effects can be customised to virtually the nth degree. This is all very impressive, and it is like having a lightweight version of Lightroom available for your jpg's; the most impressive part though is that the modifications even when saved are part of a non-destructive process, the originals integrity is maintained so you can revisit and rework at any time, you can even compare the original to the edited version at any time by simply clicking a button.</div><div style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.040000915527344px; margin-bottom: 1em;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-W6h7Z9NBqv4/Uu5Fc4rLjUI/AAAAAAAAE9o/XduNNsKNbLA/s1600/gPlusTiltShift.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-W6h7Z9NBqv4/Uu5Fc4rLjUI/AAAAAAAAE9o/XduNNsKNbLA/s1600/gPlusTiltShift.jpg" /></a></div><br /></div>http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-look-at-gs-photo-editing-features.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (Adam Corkett)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-720742884997375089Mon, 23 Sep 2013 20:13:00 +00002013-09-23T13:34:43.243-07:00Auto Awesome Adds Another Dimension<div><a 1em="" center="" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1GlNy1Sew4A/UkCemeC-yTI/AAAAAAAACy0/DXUCfJCUygY/s1600/20130923_184219.jpg" imageanchor="1" important="" margin-bottom:="" margin-right:="" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" text-align:=""><img border="0" height="480" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1GlNy1Sew4A/UkCemeC-yTI/AAAAAAAACy0/DXUCfJCUygY/s640/20130923_184219.jpg" width="640" id="blogImage" /></a></div><p style="clear: both;">Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed something very strange happening with photographs being synced from my phone to my G+ account; I would login on a computer and then see strange animated versions of burst shots right through to panoramas, the feature apparently, is known as auto-awesome. I was instantly impressed, the standard of the photos produced automatically without any kind of deliberate action was good, but when I realised that Google had added an edit button to the gallery, then I saw the potential and another dimension to G+ that surely cannot be ignored.<br /><br />I would suspect that this is an attempt to pitch G+ right up against Instagram now, and with the additional bells and whistles it is definitely a contender in that court, as before against Facebook and Twitter alike. Google don't do things by halves, G+ is maturing into some kind of super hero social network; they have the resources, you can't fault them for using them to stay ahead.<br /><br />The thing is, having only used it for a couple of shots to play, I would consider this a real alternative to Adobe Lightroom for the novice opportunist photographer with no usual inclination to delve into their creative personas. I can see myself using this for playful stuff that I might not intend to use professionally, then I would get the big boy tools out, but certainly as something in the box for working out ideas and for things to simply share with friends and family - this is certainly an interesting development; even your Gran could use it!<br /><br />And perhaps that is the point, could it prove to be the key piece of the jigsaw in the eventual success of G+ as a social platform?</p>http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2013/09/auto-awesome-adds-another-dimension.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (Adam Corkett)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-3126079950559819889Sun, 22 Sep 2013 08:37:00 +00002013-09-22T01:37:29.264-07:00Whatever happened to APNG?Sometimes you find yourself questioning the direction technology takes, including such conundrums as; why has it taken so long for fibre-optic to take off when we have known of its benefits for decades? why has it taken so long to converge tv, radio and internet into one product? Why did it take so long for SVG to be popularised? And for me most recently, why didn't APNG take off; it seems almost illogical.<br /><br />APNG is a format for animated PNG sequences, a format itself which is widely used and arguably the best for internet usage, certainly the most versatile. APNG has all of the characteristics of PNG including complicated alpha transparencies and a 24bit colour palette; it just seems to defy all logic that the format didn't become supported and part of the W3C strategy for HTML 5. Animation with APNG is just better when compared to GIF, and if browsers supported the format there would have been little need for plug-ins for simple short animated sequences. It isn't interactive like swf, but then it wasn't designed to be anything beyond an animation format and let's face it, GIF leaves a lot to be desired.<br /><br />So I did a little searching to gratify myself and found very little in the way of reliable information, and very little information published since 2009; it is almost as though the world forgot about the format which was very exciting around that time. I suppose the real issue is down to support, only Firefox and Opera appear to support the extension and in terms of production the support of Photoshop or Flash as an export format would have gone a long way to popularising it. So the burning question on my lips is, why didn't they? You can still output to GIF from both and now CC allows Flash to produce native HTML 5 animations. It does seem like during the past 4 or 5 years a simple option for higher quality animation on the web was simply overlooked.<br /><br />Thankfully my investigations led me eventually to a promising kick-starter project APNGASM, who are aiming to develop a GUI based APNG tool, although their current project appears to be producing plug-ins and conversion tools; I am especially looking forwards to the Photoshop plug-in, however much that costs.<br /><br /><div class="MsoBibliography"><!--[if supportFields]><span style='mso-element:field-begin'></span><span style='mso-spacerun:yes'> </span>BIBLIOGRAPHY <span style='mso-element:field-separator'></span><![endif]--><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-no-proof: yes;">Kagetsuki, R., 2013. <i>apngasm - FOSS Animated PNG tools and APNG standardization. </i>[Online] <br /> Available at: <u>http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/374397522/apngasm-foss-animated-png-tools-and-apng-standardi</u><br /> [Accessed 21 09 2013].<o:p></o:p></span><w:sdtpr></w:sdtpr></div><w:sdt bibliography="t" id="111145805"> </w:sdt><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><o:p><br /></o:p></div><div class="MsoBibliography"><span lang="EN-US">Mozilla, 2007. <i>Animated PNG demos. </i>[Online] <br />Available at: <u>http://people.mozilla.org/~dolske/apng/demo.html</u><br /><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><!--[if supportFields]><b><span style='mso-no-proof:yes'><span style='mso-element:field-end'></span></span></b><![endif]--><o:p>[Accessed 21 September 2013].&nbsp;</o:p></div>http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2013/09/whatever-happened-to-apng.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (Adam Corkett)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-37867365379210392Sat, 21 Sep 2013 11:13:00 +00002013-09-21T04:25:31.979-07:00Google Says Bye Bye to Bevelled LookThe new logo on Google UK 'looks flatter' according to BBC News's Leo Kelion (2013); I have to admit I was unsure if this was an actual change or not, to start with and took a double take, but it appears to be on a slow roll-out, the changes to the interface are subtle but very focussed on removing distractions and streamlining both the page layout (if it could be any more streamlined) and the user experience. Clearly, there are larger changes afoot, but if they are as subtle as these most users perhaps will not notice so much.<br /><br />The logo itself does feel cleaner now that the bevel has been removed, but could this be argued too simplistic? Eddie Kessler of Google (2013) stated in their official blog that they have also updated the colour palette and the letter forms, but these are very subtle differences indeed; the relationship between the first 'G' and 'o' does seem still to be quite awkward, but as ever this logo is as much about the negative space as it is the form of the characters and their relationships - something always draws me to the space inside the 'G'.<br /><br />Google is the landing point for many people and the changes seem on the face of it, an improvement and in keeping with their developments of late, appear to be further integrating the G+ side of things and their portfolio of web applications. They have incorporated the conventional icon for app menu / launchers into the design and the page does feel much cleaner, the menu works on absolute positioning from the right until the browser window is resized below 1000px in width on a desktop and the changes don't appear to have reached the mobile site yet.<br /><br />So the new menu is much simpler, with only +You, Gmail and Images visible, with everything else hidden in the app menu; of course when you are logged in the Share dialogue and profile avatar are revealed and this is probably my favourite part of the change; having the share integrated directly into all Google pages is certainly designed to engage a wider audience with + through the now streamlined process. I am sure I will use this frequently in the future.<br /><br /><br /><div class="MsoBibliography"><!--[if supportFields]><span style='mso-element:field-begin'></span><span style='mso-spacerun:yes'> </span>BIBLIOGRAPHY <span style='mso-element:field-separator'></span><![endif]--><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-no-proof: yes;">Kelion, L., 2013. <i>Google revamps logo and search page. </i>[Online] <br /> Available at: <u>http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24170053</u><br /> [Accessed 20 September 2013].<o:p></o:p></span><w:sdtpr></w:sdtpr></div><div class="MsoBibliography" xmlns=""><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-no-proof: yes;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoBibliography" xmlns=""><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-no-proof: yes;">Kelly, S. M., 2013. <i>Google introduces new flatter logo. </i>[Online] <br /> Available at: <u>http://mashable.com/2013/09/19/google-logo-change/</u><br /> [Accessed 20 September 2013].<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoBibliography" xmlns=""><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-no-proof: yes;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoBibliography" xmlns=""><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-no-proof: yes;">Kessler, E., 2013. <i>Inside Search: The Official Google Search Blog. </i>[Online] <br /> Available at: <u>http://insidesearch.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/updating-google-bar-many-products.html</u><br /> [Accessed 20 September 2013].<o:p></o:p></span></div><w:sdt bibliography="t" id="111145805"> </w:sdt><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div>http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2013/09/google-says-bye-bye-to-bevelled-look.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (Adam Corkett)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-5018204101976397230Sat, 09 Feb 2013 07:37:00 +00002013-02-09T00:22:14.530-08:00ITV Identity<p>I have been mulling over this one for a couple of weeks now, not really being one who is ready to just jump in with criticism.<br>The new series of idents / logotype designs were definitely not my cup of tea to start with, but their predecessors were very bland and corporate. Personality has certainly been instilled; it says to me This Morning, Jeremy Kyle and I'm a Celebrity... therefore, in this regard it must be hailed a success. </p><p>On that basis, is the new identity a guilty pleasure? <br>The brand that never ceases to fail to provide cringe-worthy programming,&#160; has produced a logotype equal to it's&nbsp; "I can't look, but can't turn over moments".</p><p>There appears to be much negative subjective criticism out there (on the web), so it remains to be seen whether the new identity will be well-received given a warming period. I personally don't appreciate the logo in its static form, but feel much differently about the dynamic animated incarnations - where it comes into it's own. A logo for a broadcaster should really stand-up on screen before it does in print.</p><p>There is a distinctive, recognisable style across the ITV channels - linking them as a family, using colour to distinguish its members. Like it or loathe it, the new style is successful in those terms. </p><p>The biggest fall-down is perhaps the news logo, which does feel a bit of an oxymoron; friendly and serious at the same time doesn't seem to work. The News element just feels as though it is pinned on, maybe they could have gone for 100% informal but used colour to give off the respectful tone required. </p><p>Finally, I have seen many comments on the 'success' of the C-ITV variant as the indication of a poor logo, the speech bubble does add a shouty child persona and this is very successful and should be applauded not used as a stick to beat the other designs.</p><p>All in all, the handwritten style is not exactly my taste, but then neither is the majority of the programming, with the exception of the awful films on ITV4; Guilty Pleasures!</p>http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2013/02/itv-identity.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (strachan1999)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-5621754172221922552Sun, 20 Jan 2013 09:07:00 +00002013-01-20T12:23:29.031-08:00Actionscript 3Adobe FlashFlash PlayerHTML 5Flash Player, HTML 5, Apple and Web Standards<p>It has been running in my head for a while now, the issue has certainly been covered by thousands of blogs and news articles, but it still grates a bit for me from two perspectives - firstly as someone who develops using the Flash environment and secondly as a media lecturer.</p><p>Flash player is essentially dead on the mobile web, less so on the desktop based version - and I appreciate using the AIR environment to create 'native' applications, which is proving to be great - although there are always going to be things that can't be achieved with it in comparison to developing say for instance in Java or X-Code.</p><p>The problem is in killing it off (Flash Player not Flash itself) there are likely to be millions of resources which are&#160;inaccessible, it was never great for building websites unless there was a need for it - and for me there can be a need to create highly interactive and animated web content, Nikon's <a href="http://www.nikon.com/about/feelnikon/universcale/">Universcale</a> is one example for instance of many wonderful resources out there that should be part of the internet for ever - as an archive of 'that which once was' even if there has been a shift away from the platform that supports it.</p><p>I understand the perspective of <a href="http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/">Steve Jobs and Apple back in 2010</a>, when he defended the decision to not support Flash for not wanting third party software to detract from the experience of using their device; the reasoning of being able to control the OS and the development environment is an honourable one in some respects but was also a bit flawed - especially when it came to supporting standards (written or unwritten). They were keen on the use of HTML 5 as a standard, the standard of the web, forgetting the rule of 'backwards compatibility', HTML is essentially backwards compatible I suppose but the web wouldn't be if devices didn't continue to support something which had become a standard.</p><p>At that time Flash was a standard, a platform used throughout the web to display video whether that be&#160;FLV&#160;or MP4, the environment itself considering video standards of the web at the time; there were also masses of&#160;on-line&#160;games out there and everything between. Businesses had built themselves on that platform, on that standard and I am sure they felt like they had had the rug pulled from under them as the saturation of mobile devices took hold; no longer a consideration they are now the market - I personally feel that consumer devices such as tablets and smart phones will be the main target of development from now on out; who needs a computer these days unless you are aiming to work with high-end digital graphics, 3D modelling, programming or anything else truly reliant on hardware (which Apple built its business on).</p><p>I am a fan of HTML 5 and very excited about the developments in CSS, to continue to strive to achieve a web standard - which can't be considered as such until it is adopted; in this regard Apple were really similar to Microsoft with Internet Explorer only supporting what they considered to be standards back then. I like HTML 5, inherently due to the fact that I like clean code and the mark-up is getting cleaner and semantically well-formed; at this point it has left behind its origins, no longer Berners-Lee's baby it has evolved and for lack of a better expression Web 2.0 has truly come to pass - I say that with gritted teeth &#160;that expression has consistently grated with me - market-speak.</p><p>So back to the point, Apple did not consider the needs of the audience when developing the platform; which was to use the web as it existed at that point in time - not how Apple&#160;foretold&#160;it. The needs included Flash Player which was a standard because people were using it, in their millions consciously or otherwise - industries were using it, developers were using it and end-users were using it!</p><p>This might all be&#160;irrelevant&#160;now, the end has essentially passed and we are moving out into the unknown, but there will be a lot of content out there that will simply fade away as a consequence of the decision and let's face it Apple made that decision for its own purposes, not for the needs of its audience - and there is no shame in that, they are a business and it suited them and removed something that would have been difficult to control.</p><p>I am not one for reinventing the wheel, there are a lot of good things out there that do a job and do it well; Flash is one of them, it has come along way from its infancy as an animation package with some very basic interaction to a full development environment which has a standards based language, ActionScript 3.0 is a solid language for me (I suppose that potentially I will have to shelve at some point in the future, there are other languages and it is only one of &#160;a few I work in). In 2010 it was reaching this maturity, AIR was certainly around but not supported as much as the web based Flash Player.</p><p>I could go on - Google Maps, great platform - who in their right mind would take it on?</p><p>So, there we go really. Flash allowed developers to target multiple platforms, which for them streamlined the workflow; and now Flash Player is dead and what has changed?<br>There are still millions of games on-line, any of those wishing to continue will produce native versions of themselves for mobile platforms I expect and there are still developers working in Flash producing AIR base Applications for Android, iOS and also for Flash Player (for those who still have it).</p><p>Flash is dead! Long live Flash!?</p><p>So, who are the losers? Well, no-one ever really loses if they are not conscious of the fact that they are missing anything, as is the case with potentially 99% of iOS users. But those holding the iPhone, iPod or iPad in their hands as they read this are missing out on the rest of the web, but because of the decision so now are Android devices, missing out on a vast range of games and applications which are part of the history of the web - and should continue to be so, instead of erased from the collective human memory.</p><p>So that is it, I think I am now going to go and play on <a href="http://www.miniclip.com/">Miniclip</a>.</p>http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2013/01/flash-player-html-5-apple-and-web.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (strachan1999)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-191657893854527405Wed, 09 Jan 2013 20:22:00 +00002013-01-09T12:24:43.592-08:00New WebsiteSo here is where the blog changes track, after years in limbo and not really serving the purpose it was originally intended to, now my blog is going to become a little more professionally focused.<br />In the first week of 2013 I have decided to get in gear and sort out the portfolio website, which for most of the last year has only really had a placeholder marking my intention to update the look and the content;&nbsp;and before this&nbsp;it had of course been home to my college and university portfolio work.<br />This is all still here but hidden behind the scenes, hopefully I will be able to root through it and find some work still worthy of display.<br /><br />This now is all to change, I do produce quite a large amount of flash files as part of my teaching, on occasion websites too and as part of that a large number of graphics. I have started to realise that I have amassed a substantial amount of work, and really I should be using it to showcase myself and skills to eventually hopefully work for me.<br /><br />The next stage of development after recently wrangling with my blogspot rss feed to try and eek out the information I have within it, is to sort out the tutorials section - and currently I am in two minds whether to setup a CMS DB driven system for this or to merely upload pdf's and embed video tutorials. Given that I have taken a shortcut with the blog, I may consider building a dynamic system and let that be that.<br /><br />I have considered also whether or not to build my own blog from scratch, but the current ethos is to not reinvent the wheel - so if something good exists already, then why not use it? Blogger does have an app for Android which I can make use of to update this on a more frequent basis than previously assumed.<br /><br />I will publish test versions of any apps developed (there are a few in the pipeline) on my site, in the hope that someone out there can give me useful feedback - and to begin with there are two very simple games which could potentially be worked up into full versions eventually - the <a href="http://www.adamcorkett.co.uk/portfolio/bubblesGame.html">bubbles</a> game certainly does (Addictive!)<br /><br />So there it is, hopefully it won't be all work, work, work! A balance of interesting dialogue and commentary, supplemented perhaps by the occasional rant and mixed in with wholly useful stuff for wannabe developers :)<br /><br />Happy New Year.<br /><br />Ahttp://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-website.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (strachan1999)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-799070458387862107Tue, 10 Aug 2010 11:06:00 +00002010-08-10T04:38:59.697-07:00Zagreb & LjubljanaAfter the mishap that was Belgrade, we finally set off for Zagreb at 1pm and I was relieved when we finally returned to civilization. Although we didn't have long in the city, it was very beautiful and Iam sure I will visit again. The highlight was probably mistakingly ordering a pizza with fruits de mer on it, as we missed that one on the menu. So we tried such things as octupus and other smelly chewy substances, to be fair it could have been worse but am not in a hurry to repeat the experience. Ljubljana has to be the jewel in the crown of the ex yugo states, an affluent and beautiful village city. It has so many faces being quaint but cosmopolitan, old yet young, romantic and yet ecclectic. I think that sometime next year a week in Zagreb and Ljubljana is a must.<br />we have sampled many local beers along the way, and even some kind of spirit made-up from honey which was very strong in Zagreb.<br />Leaving Ljubljana Belgrade came back to haunt us once more as the train was 70 minutes late leaving Beograd, somehow though we miraculously arrived in Zurich on time, clockwork. <br />And we are now sat outside in the glorious sunshine sipping beers, waiting for our £30 lunch to settle and deciding where to visit.http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2010/08/zagreb-ljubljana.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (strachan1999)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-3413763682016516725Fri, 06 Aug 2010 17:51:00 +00002010-08-06T11:06:01.143-07:00Brasov, Bucharest and Belgrade....Ok so I haven't really had the opportunity to add to my blog this past few days, and have consequently taken some flack for that.<br /><br />Budapest I must say since we left was amazing, a real gem... maybe not quite as special as Prague but a really interesting and beautiful city all the same.<br /><br />Brasov turned out to be a great idea, staying somewhere a little quieter and off the track so much. Our host was excellent and there were some great photo opportunities. Essentially we did a bit of mountaineering and lots of walking, one of the nicest highlights being the hunters tower. A small boy beckoned us into an off the path tower built into the castle wall, and showed us around it was very well presented and had some lovely views of the town from above. Then on to the mountain and the panorama was spectacular, even if the Brasov sign was a little cheesy.<br /><br />Moving on to Bucharest we only spent one day, which was enough. We saw a few museums which were intersting but really the city was a little too much in terms of few quiet spaces and it was generally confusing. Despite paying 12lev for a map we still managed to get lost within minutes, to be fair we haven't really followed main thoroughfares anywhere; the whole trip has been about discovering new things and this was in keeping.<br /><br />Sofia was great, although it rained cats and dogs for a while in fact the roads were like rivers for an hour or so. Taking in the archilogical museum and the ethonographic museum on the second day we did tick our cultural boxes somewhat, although there were no real vantage points for photographs.<br />We did wind up a little pissed in the evening for the second time this trip, something regretted a little in the morning. We did however make friends with the host and this involved trying wine, and discussing things that had to be tried when visiting Bulgaria and England.<br /><br />So today a day trip in Belgrade. We arrived very early in the morning, to a deathly quiet train station. The first hour spent finding left luggage and booking tickets for the next leg.<br />Afterwards, we walked pretty much the perimeter of the city centre along the rivers and this was very beautiful once we passed the bend in the river.<br />The citadel was very interesting, housing lots of nooks and crannies. Plus a zoo and a military museum, we visited both and the highlight for me was a display cabinet containing something called u-238, now it is my understanding that that is the weapons grade isotope... but I could be wrong ha ha.<br />The zoo was very good, but there seemed to be unfair amounts of space for some creatures and not for others; I guess the city is still getting back on its feet but hopefully it will improve the quality for the animals a little including using more water in the pools etc as opposed to washing the grass (an hour after it had rained).<br />The ethonographic museum was very large and interesting, but perhaps a little tiring after a long night on the road.<br />Anyway we did plenty more besides in all the last few cities but for now it is relaxation time and we leave for Zagreb in a little over an hour and a half.http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2010/08/brasov-bucharest-and-belgrade.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (strachan1999)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-5379589203637281352Sun, 01 Aug 2010 12:07:00 +00002010-08-01T05:17:06.545-07:00BudapestAfter a few hiccups Budapest has turned into everything it has promised. Easily the hotest day so far, climbing to the citadel whilst very enduring, was the most rewarding experience. Visiting the old German army bunker turned out to be a jewel, the bunker was very interesting but having the courtyard above to ourselves was by far the best part, delivering unrivalled views of the city for 360° whilst other unknowing tourists bustled below us. Tomorrow we will be in Romania visiting brasov.http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2010/08/budapest.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (strachan1999)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-7776962307540079458Thu, 29 Jul 2010 17:11:00 +00002010-07-29T10:18:36.568-07:00pragueAfter a long winded evening trip we find ourselves rolling through endless picturesque scenes as our night train meandered from Frankfurt to Prague. The city has proved overwhelming although I wished to have understood more of the local tongue, that will have to wait until the next time. The highlight being scared half to death climbing multiple towers for the most breathtaking panoramic views of praha. One night in a very complicated hostel and then onto czesk budovice and Vienna, although I am looking forward to dawn in praha after a quiet evening perusing countless enchanting bars.http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2010/07/prague.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (strachan1999)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-7182098688465858409Wed, 28 Jul 2010 12:15:00 +00002010-07-28T05:41:07.839-07:00LondonTechnically the second port of call, following a brief stop at the most English of institutions Wimpy we are surrounded by the madness that is London. More than usual though as the streets are filled with police and ambulances; whilst I carelessly eat colcanon and irish sausages washed down with a pint of ale.<br />I do finally get the feeling of adventure...http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2010/07/london.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (strachan1999)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-1178483669205075676Sat, 10 Jul 2010 17:58:00 +00002010-07-10T12:03:55.435-07:00The plan so far<p>Only a matter of days now as opposed to weeks until our European pub crawl commences, so I guess its time to get officially excited.</p><p>After spending a small fortune on new clothes and other necessities, the planning is starting to take shape. Whilst we are not really going to stick to a stringent plan, the first objective is to get as far into Europe as possible on the first day to maximise the amount of distance we cover in the 15 days our pass allows.</p><p>So first stop Brussels, then Frankfurt and then onto Prague; from there the adventure will begin...</p><p>Hopefully, there will be some exciting events occurring when we arrive. Obviously its always nice to wash the beer down with some culture :) .</p>http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2010/07/plan-so-far.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (strachan1999)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-8833330222406979231Tue, 25 May 2010 18:22:00 +00002010-05-25T11:28:46.046-07:00holidaysResearching things to do...<p>Ok, so I should be finishing off my essays; but I have written off Tuesday nights as it is Quiz Night at Foro's. </p><p>So before I set off I have been searching the internet for resources to help with our travels this summer; and what a gem I found. I stumbled on a Guardian article about festivals across Europe this summer which led me to a site called <a href="http://www.whatsonwhen.com">whatsonwhen.com</a> . You can search by section of a continent, or even by a specific country or place; I am sure this will prove invaluable in planning the proceedings :)</p><p>So I quite like the sound of going to the Croatian ATP Tennis and the Hugarian Grand Prix sounds excellent also; but unfortunately we will be back in England by the time the Belgrade Beer Festival kicks off :(</p><p>Anyway, I am sure over the coming days we will find lots of fun things to do along the way; which hopefully will ultimately give our jaunt a little direction.</p>http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2010/05/researching-things-to-do.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (strachan1999)0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7311250912454179377.post-352878248306340411Mon, 24 May 2010 13:13:00 +00002010-05-24T08:50:05.537-07:00holidaysStart a blog - whatever that is....Ok so I am new to all this, but I have agreed to start a blog since in 65 days I will be setting off an adventure. Admittedly, this is definitely an adventure which should have commenced years ago when I didn't know better; but better late than never, eh?<br /><br />I must admit I have always fancied writing a blog, you have to be just a little bit egotistical to do so I think; but my main motivations are to keep a record of the journey and because I actually like to write. (Something I wish I had figured out when I was younger also).<br /><br />So in 63 days I turn 30, as is customary with every added year of life I find myself reviewing the state it is in. I often think of the things I would liked to have done, and getting older seems to be great for motivating you into achieving what you might have been putting off for sometime.<br /><br />In this case, seeing everything the world has to offer before I die being one of my greatest priorities. Also, making the most of bachelordom just incase I ever cease to be a bachelor.<br /><br />So in brief inter-railing around europe is something I should have done when I was younger, but that I now find myself about to encounter. Ok, it is not the most exciting of adventures when compared to some of the other goals I have. But it is a nice way to set the ball rolling.<br /><br />Travelling with me is one of my oldest friends Mark; who is very faithful as a friend so I don't envisage fireworks on the trip. But, we always seem to find mischief and excitement readily.<br /><br />So, I will be documenting the build up as we make decisions beforehand and all the dilemas we may or may not face along the way. Hopefully, after we set off I will manage to upload lots of photos of our travels.<br /><br />So far we have discovered that the foreign office seems to think there is a terrorist threat in every nation in europe; even switzerland which is highly laughable. That Serbia is a mostly stable society now unless you are travelling from Kosovo, oh and don't talk about political subjects. That slovenia is somekind of hub for afghanistani heroin, so therefore somekind of mafia must operate there.<br /><br />It all sounds like good fun, especially seeing as though we are aiming for the eastern european experience whilst it is still a little bit different; before it becomes the mainstay of british tourism.<br /><br />The only thing which has been decided so far is that we will be starting our travels of the continent from Brussels; after leaving the uk on eurostar.<br /><br />So thats it for now, over the next few entries I expect I will discuss the possible routes we may take; and generally document my excitement as the date gets closer.http://adamcorkett.blogspot.com/2010/05/start-blog-whatever-that-is.htmlnoreply@blogger.com (strachan1999)0 Adam Corkett Blog: A Look at G+'s Photo Editing Features

A Look at G+'s Photo Editing Features

From a business perspective it is very easy to explain why Google Plus is a great platform, an important element in on-line marketing strategies and search engine optimisation, particularly whilst Google's market share for search traffic stands around the 90% mark (StatCounter, Jan 2014) in the UK. Many are confused by the platform currently, and this is due to the precedents set by Facebook and Twitter for example, it isn't simply a page with lots of features and it doesn't really matter from a business perspective that only 300 Million Active Users visit a month (Barr, Oct 2013)
In addition, from a professional perspective it is an easy argument too; the articles and conversations are essentially focussed around more professional issues, therefore the content is largely relevant to a professional audience irrespective of discipline or industry.
From a personal perspective, it is less-apparent to most, why the platform is valid or of interest. To counter though, there are lots of different features that are particularly exciting from a consumer's perspective and the browser based apps such as Image Editing is one of those.
Google have been for some time encouraging its Android users to upload their photos to private areas, these can then be made public either on an individual or album level; privacy whilst a contentious issue across most social platforms these days, particularly Google, is essentially at the forefront of every feature on the platform - it is prominent, which is more than can be said of some rival offers. Take for instance that with every post you make using G+, you have to specify the audience and whilst this might be true for Facebook also for example, the prominence given to this from a UI perspective is less than the former. With both platforms it is highly recommended to leave location services or GPS off when taking photographs, but that is a separate discussion really.

Since about late 2013 those user's who chose to allow their photos to be automatically uploaded will have started to notice a notification when photos are uploaded, but the new notifications are telling them to check out their Auto-Awesome'd images; these range from basic adjustments, through simple collages to more amusing animated GIF files, even adding snow to images during December for that extra Christmassy feel. Upon further inspection by accessing the photos either on a desktop through their G+ profiles or even in the App itself, a range of filters, frames and effects have been made available, allowing user's to create some very impressive modifications to their images. The effects are themselves all customisable using slider interfaces and can be layered over to create increasingly complicated effects, what's more is this is more than just the usual balance, contrast and funny borders you might find - complicated blur and lighting effects can be customised to virtually the nth degree. This is all very impressive, and it is like having a lightweight version of Lightroom available for your jpg's; the most impressive part though is that the modifications even when saved are part of a non-destructive process, the originals integrity is maintained so you can revisit and rework at any time, you can even compare the original to the edited version at any time by simply clicking a button.


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