Beauty and the Beak, How an American Bald Eagle’s Life was Saved

It is one of those stomach turning stories showing the ignorance of mankind that turns into a heartwarming story showing the best of mankind. Meet Beauty, pictured below, an American Bald Eagle who was the unfortunate victim of the cruelty of man. She was rescued in Alaska by Janie Fink of the Raptor Chapter located in St. Maries, Idaho. Someone had shot the top part of her beak off and left her to die. The damage was so extensive that officials gave her no chance of survival. However, Ms. Fink refused to give up on her and the story that follows is amazing.

Beauty,an American Bald Eagle, pictured with her damaged beak (Courtesy of Kinetic Engineering Group Portfolio)

Beauty’s damage basically crippled her. Her beak was broken all the way back to her sinus cavity. She was emaciated and couldn’t drink or eat on her own. In fact, the Raptor Chapter folks had to feed her with liquefied food through tubes in order to get her strong enough to eat more solid food. Her injury was so debilitating, they described it as trying to eat food with a single chopstick. Beauty’s luck however, was about to change. On a fateful day when Janie Fink was making a raptor presentation, she ended with the riveting story of Beauty. This story fell on the ear of Nate Calvin, a Mechanical Engineer and founder of Kinetic Engineering Group. It just so happened he had brought his daughters to see the raptors that day and he was compelled to help Beauty get a new chance at life. Against all odds, and many naysayers, Nate and his team used highly advanced CAD software, typically used for aerospace engineering, to develop a prosthetic beak. This was a very complicated design that was a first of its kind. With the help of Nate’s personal dentist, he was able to fit Beauty with a prosthetic beak that actually permitted her to drink water on her own again. See the embedded video below for more details.

[Video Link]

[Beauty and the Beak from Keith Bubach on Vimeo.

Beauty will probably never be able to live in the wild, but hopefully this prosthesis will allow her a second chance at life. If you would like to contribute to Beauty’s cause, you can make donations to the following:

The Raptor Chapter
PO Box 585 St. Maries, Idaho 83861

Email: [email protected]


Make checks out to “Birds of Prey NW” and mail to:

Birds of Prey NW
PO Box 3507
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83816

You may also make donations online using PayPal or VISA/MC, click here.

For more information, visit Kinetic Engineering Group’s website or Birds of Prey Northwest’s website.

A New Design is Here: Feedback Required

We are always trying to make things better and simpler for our users and found our older theme to be wanting in several areas. For the past four months our team has been fighting with me for a new design and for the past two months we have been conceptualizing and working on a new design that would “not suck” for our users.

Techie Buzz 2012 Design

Well, after all the hard work and some awesome design skills by our in-house designer Paul Paliath (@paulpaliath) and lot of input from our team who are UX freaks, we came up with a new design that is far more better than our earlier one (at-least according to us). Thanks in advance.

We are proud to present a far simpler, cleaner and user-friendly design for all our readers out there. We hope you like it. Please do take a moment or two or maybe more and give us your feedback on the new design. We have always loved your inputs and your thoughts how we operate and your thoughts about the design will be hugely appreciated (more work for Paul and me though).

Windows Phone 7 Designer Shares His Thoughts On Design & Microsoft’s Future

Albert Shum is the guy at Microsoft who has been playing an integral role in expanding Metro to the phone. Metro is in Windows 8, headed to the tablets and Windows 8 Servers. Those that have been following Microsoft for a while are aware about the Metro design book and Shum’s popular session on how they approached design in Windows Phone 7 Series.

At the Interaction Design Association’s Austin conference, Albert Shum gave a talk on design. He touched on Windows Phone & some other design principles. Having followed the conference updates on Twitter here are some quotes from those present.

The future of design and systems:

On post-PC:

On interface and experiences:

Icons and interactions:

It seems like Shum talked about Apple’s approach to design and an attendee did not like it:

It appears that within Microsoft there is talk about interaction design that offers seamless hardware and software interaction. Albert Shum talked about this

This is probably the most intriguing takeaway from Shum’s talk, in my opinion. “Oneness” as a principle for devices and a more seamless experience suggests more focus on how devices are used and for what purpose devices/software is used. This is a different approach to development, one that does not place feature first but how the feature will be used. Exciting.

PS: The New York Times has an excellent profile on the brains behind the Windows Phone 7 design. It’s a good read.

Microsoft Publishes iPad To Windows 8 Tablet App Design Comparison For Developers

Microsoft’s Metro design language comes into its own on Windows 8 tablets more than on the Windows Phone. The new desktop OS has been designed with tablets in mind and since the iPad is the best out there, developers will be replicating/porting their apps from the iPad to Windows 8 (or at least that’s what we all hope). Application design is a significant reason behind an app and platform’s success. And when I say design, I don’t mean the color combination or images but the user experience and user interface.

Earlier today, Michael Gillett retweeted a link to a case study published by Microsoft comparing the interface components in the iPad and Windows 8. The side-by-side comparison is quite helpful in providing developers a quick look at how some of the app functionality provided in iPad can be offered in Windows 8 while sticking to the Metro principles.

The case study takes specific use cases to explain how things are done on the iPad and how Microsoft has in some cases improved them in Windows 8. The case study is quite nicely presented filled with images to assist you understand the text. If you’re into app development or into design, it’s quite a fun look at the two platforms.

Microsoft Intends to Inspire Artists with ‘The Art of Touch’

Microsoft is inspiring artistic creativity through the launch of an international project called The Art of Touch. The campaign provides a free digital toolset and canvas to easily create, save, and share digital artwork.

The Art of Touch

The Art of Touch app is inspired by the natural movements of the Microsoft Touch Mouse family of products. The Arc Touch Mouse is the first mouse designed to flatten for portability and pop up for comfort. The app pushes modern browsers to their limit and the canvas feature of HTML5 is combined with JavaScript libraries to draw the strokes and computer-generated animations in real-time to the Web browser. The app is quite different than a traditional drawing program and requires you to anchor your creativity around the intelligence and style of the tool.

The project invites artists of all ages using a modern HTML5-capable browser to use the digital palette and canvas. The Art of Touch site,, transforms a visitor’s mouse into a paintbrush to allow them to paint using six different effects to create their artwork, and show off to their friends online and through Facebook where they can earn votes to win prizes in The Art of Touch Sweepstakes. The top vote-getter will be showcased on The Art of Touch site as a featured artist.

Creating a “Loading…” Animated GIF Using Photoshop [Video Tutorial]

In web designing, it is very much necessary for designers to be creative and use different techniques to attract a viewer, and we have seen most websites using animated GIF images to drive attention. In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at the Photoshop animation feature which can be used to create animated GIF image.

Note: In this tutorial, I am using Photoshop CS 5

Final Preview

Here’s a final preview of what you will be creating –

"Loading..." Photoshop Tutorial

Step One:

Draw the outline (circumference) of a circle, like the one shown below.

"Loading..." Photoshop Tutorial

Step Two:

Using the Polygon Lasso tool, slice a part of the circle. In other words, create an arc. You should obtain the following shape:

"Loading..." Photoshop Tutorial

Once done, delete the rest of the circle. We don’t need it anymore.

Step 3:

Create three additional copies of the arc (i.e., by duplicating it) by pressing Ctrl + J. Arrange the four arcs in such a way, that it appears like a (broken) circle. Go to Edit > Transform > Rotate 180/90 CW/90 CCW

"Loading..." Photoshop Tutorial

Step 4:

The steps from here are quite tricky and confusing. Hence, the rest of this tutorial is shown in the video below:

Gradient Color used:  b2e10f

I hope you have followed the tutorial carefully and  accomplished  the end result. After you saved the file, make sure you open it in the browser to view it.

Google Launches New Design; Adds Black Menu Bar And Reduces Logo Size

Update: If you hate the new Black Menu Bar in Google, here is How To Disable Black Menu Bar in Google Search.

Google has been known for it’s simplistic design on their pages except for when they decide to use some fancy on it. However, apart from that their clean white interface with minimal links has been liked my numerous amounts of people.

However, off late, Google has been playing around with a lot of new design changes for their home page and search results pages. It all started when they decided to add a Bing link background to their homepage and continued with a slew of other changes including removing the “I am feeling Lucky” button, using a new design for search results and yet more, simplifying the image search results, adding top references to results and more.

New Google Homepage

The new updates were targeted towards changing the look and feel of Google and their search results. Today, they also rolled out a major update to their home page where they have made the Google logo smaller and have moved the links to the bottom of the page. They have also added a new navigation bar at the top of the page to allow users to navigate through their services.

I found the black color used in the bar a huge contrast to their homepage. I would have preferred to see the old white background with blue colored links. Right now it looks very similar to what has as a menu bar.

Google claims that its new design provides more focus to the user and is created using the latest technologies like and WebGL. Don’t expect it to work on older browsers.

Additionally, Google has also rolled out the Google+ social media service and What Do You Love which is a new search engine to find information about what you love.


Facebook Acquires Sofa – A Software and Interaction Design Company

The social networking giant Facebook has acquired Sofa, a Amsterdam-based company.

Sofa is a small software and interaction design company,  founded in 2006 and is an Apple Design Award Winner for their Mac applications, Kaleidoscope and Versions.

Facebook Acquires Sofa
Sofa said that their products, Keidoscope and Versions are not a part of the acquisition and will remain available.

Sofa announced about the acquisition in a blog post

“Sofa’s products, Kaleidoscope and Versions, are not a part of this acquisition. Both apps will remain available and we’re committed to securing a great future for them outside Sofa. We’re also working with our joint venture partner to provide the smoothest transition and best possible future for Checkout, Enstore and their collective customers.”

Sofa now will be moving from Amsterdam to Palo Alto in the coming weeks.

The terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Twitter Gets New Home Page, Focus On Interests

With Jack Dorsey back in charge at Twitter, the company seems to be preparing for new features and improvements. Earlier today we wrote about the possibility of Facebook like brand pages for companies on Twitter. Yesterday Twitter announced improvements to their "Who to follow" feature. A few hours ago I noticed a new look to twitter’s home page. Previously the focus was tweets from some randomly selected pointless accounts dishing out completely irrelevant opinions on love and life. The new home page focuses on topics and interests. The new home page:

New Twitter Home Page

The focus on interests suggests to me a new direction twitter is taking, more of a real time, relevant, expert opinion aggregator. The evolution of Digg in some ways. For what it’s worth, the new page looks way more amazing than the previous one.

Quickly Preview All System Installed Fonts On Your Computer [Crossplatform]

greenshot_2011-01-30_15-41-23A font is that exclusive property of design, that not only relays emotion but also defines style. For designers, getting the font right is very important because the right fonts can help convey the mood of the information without having the reader to read the text. If you’re a designer and find it difficult to select the right font from the tens or hundreds of fonts installed on your system,, a free web service can help you achieve just that, easily.

The page over at loads all the fonts installed on your system, and displays a sample using a word or phrase that you provide. Once all the fonts are loaded which takes no more than a few seconds you can increase or decrease the size of the sample text, or flip the background-foreground colors, in case you need white text on black background. You can also single out fonts you like by clicking over them and viewing them all later using the filter provided.