Nik Software: once $500 now free

Google announced that a set of 7 plugins for wode range of photo editing tasks is now available for free (get it here).

PetaPixel recaps history of Nik Software:

You may remember that Google acquired Nik Software and its popular Snapseed photo editing app back in September 2012. Although Google killed off Snapseed for Desktop in March 2013, it was still big news when Google started selling the entire Nik suite (originally valued at around $500) for the “low price” of $150 later that month.

Now it’s free.

Nik Software was founded in 1995 and now a decade of depelopers' effort and creativity is avaialbe for free. That's something hard to compete against.

Changes at SourceForge

Somehow I missed that SourceForge and Slashdot were sold at the end of January.

New owners promised to stop monetization practices that undermined the developer's trust and caused prominent apps to leave the site. And they already started delivering on that:

Our first order of business was to terminate the “DevShare” program. As of last week, the DevShare program was completely eliminated. The DevShare program delivered installer bundles as part of the download for participating projects. We want to restore our reputation as a trusted home for open source software, and this was a clear first step towards that.

A move in the right direction, but it remains to be seen how much that would help to ensure SourceForge.com's future.

Quartz’s news app for iPhone

Interesting take on news delivery. The app will

... send you messages, photos, GIFs, and links, and you can tap to respond when you’re interested in learning more about a topic. Each session lasts just a few minutes, so it’s perfect for the train, elevator, grocery store line, or wherever you have a spare moment to catch up on the news.

There are many indications that chat can be the next big thing for interfaces (at least for some types of services). I'm not sure if it is going to work for news without some sort of smarts on the other side. Seems that it is not there yet and the app currently relies on "curated" (i.e. predefined stories). In my try getting to news pieces I'd want to explore deeper took longer than scrolling through headlines in a more traditional app. But I'll sure try again.

Gravitational Waves Detected, Confirming Einstein’s Theory

Predicted 100 years ago:

Einstein was not quite sure about these waves. In 1916, he told Karl Schwarzschild, the discoverer of black holes, that gravitational waves did not exist, then said they did. In 1936, he and his assistant Nathan Rosen set out to publish a paper debunking the idea before doing the same flip-flop again.

Huge step in our understanding of the Universe.

Clearview is not the new highway sign font

Older font Highway Gothic will not be replaced by newish Clearview as it does not live up to expectations to deliver better legibility in various conditions:

But, it turns out, later research has not backed up this initial belief. It turns out that all that research suggesting the new font might be more legible was more due to the fact that older, worn signs were being replaced with nice, fresh, clean signs which were, naturally, more legible.

An exemplar case when coincidendal relation was confused with consequential.

Crowdfunding not working out for Jolla

As Jolla team announced in the their New Year greeings, there will not be enough tablets for all the backer of the project:

The bad news here is that we are not able to complete the production to fulfill all contributions. In other words, all of our backers will not get a Jolla Tablet.

As industry we are still looking for ways to fund reasonably large projects with significant research component. And crowdfunding isn't a way to go.

Adobe acknowledges Flash fade out

Today, open standards like HTML5 have matured and provide many of the capabilities that Flash ushered in.
...
Looking ahead, we encourage content creators to build with new web standards...

When we started rollApp, Flash was the only thing which could allow us what we planned to do – run applications in the cloud and make then feel like they are running locally.

Not on the Mac App Store

A list of great Mac applications, which are not on the Mac App Store. It's a pity that Mac App Store failed to deliver on promise to connect users and developers in a new delightful way:

The Mac App Store has been around for 6 years, but is still lacking some of the best software the Mac has to offer. You might be wondering why this is. Sandboxing certainly has a lot to answer for, but it's not the only reason. There's also paid upgrades, sustainability, quality of life, and the Mac App Store just generally being half-assed.

Unlimited OneDrive – no more

Microsoft discontinues "unlimited" OneDrive cloud storage for Office 365 subscribers quoting unfair use by some users:

Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average.

Would be interesting to know why they did not enforce fair usage on a user-by-user basis, if this is indeed a reason for the change.