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’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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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 project invites artists of all ages using a modern HTML5-capable browser to use the digital palette and canvas. The Art of Touch site, ArtOfTouch.com, 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.
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
Here’s a final preview of what you will be creating –
Draw the outline (circumference) of a circle, like the one shown below.
Using the Polygon Lasso tool, slice a part of the circle. In other words, create an arc. You should obtain the following shape:
Once done, delete the rest of the circle. We don’t need it anymore.
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
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 has been known for it’s simplistic design on their pages except for when they decide to use some fancy Google Doodle on it. However, apart from that their clean white interface with minimal links has been liked my numerous amounts of people.
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 Twitter 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 HTML5 and WebGL. Don’t expect it to work on older browsers.
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.
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.
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:
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.
A 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, Wordmark.it, a free web service can help you achieve just that, easily.
The page over at Wordmark.it 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.
This is gonna be a quickie. If you’ve installed the latest Ubuntu 10.10, loved the new default Ubuntu font and want to have the same font available on your other systems running Windows or Mac, you may look no further. The Ubuntu font, which is actually a family of fonts, is not only royalty free and open source, but also gratis. It is an open-type ttf based font family, designed by renowned font foundry Dalton Maag, which is based in London.
If you’ve come to believe that Ubuntu is bad at typography, this is the moment where you should give it another chance.
Canonical Design has introduced new Ubuntu fonts which will be used in the next release, Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. The new fonts will not be available to everyone, though, as it has been released as a private beta. Only Ubuntu Members are allowed access to the new font through a private PPA. The fonts will be released as a public beta on 8th August. So if you are not an Ubuntu Member, you have to wait till then.
The Ubuntu font (family) is open-type ttf based font format and fully unicode compliant. It contains Latin A and B extended character sets, Greek Polytonic and Cyrillic extended. The font has been hinted for superior screen display. Its spacing and kerning is optimised for body copy sizes.
Another point of interest with the new fonts is that Canonical Design have said that “exact details of the license are not confirmed”. This has led to some speculation that Canonical may release it under a proprietary license. If they do release it under a proprietary license, it will go completely against the Ubuntu Philosophy. As of now, the Ubuntu Philosophy dictates that Ubuntu will not come with proprietary software by default. This is the reason why you have to install Flash, video and audio codecs etc. separately after installing Ubuntu.
This decision to release it as a closed beta and the licensing uncertainty has not gone down well with some Ubuntu Members. Some have even spoken up against Canonical.
However, they have made their decision and you have to wait till 8th August to get the new fonts if you are not an Ubuntu Member.
Just last month around this time, we had posted a screenshot tour of the new search interface Google was experimenting. Now, Google has gone ahead and with that interface and has planned to get it hardwired into the design.
That would mean, we will see this design by default on the Google search from now onwards. You can see the post made on Tuesday, 13th Apr 2010 here. It has a comprehensive list of changes to check out.
The new search interface has a better interaction with results from live social activities. This is being managed by redesigning the left sidebar which scales in behavior depending on the type of content searched for. Google has laid a lot of stress on segregating search results categorically and relevantly with this sidebar.
The search results page looks a lot cleaner and this new design which has already been implemented will be continuously improved. The change will be applied over a period of 48 hours, so do not panic if you cannot see the change right instantly.
Yesterday when we reported about the new plymouth theme for Kubuntu, we mentioned that the Kubuntu logo is still being developed and that the logo used in the plymouth theme will be replaced by the new theme once it is finished.
In the Kubuntu meeting yesterday night, the Kubuntu Council has approved the design for the new Kubuntu logo. The logo clearly follows the design of the new Ubuntu logo and has the same font. Here is the new Kubuntu logo:
As you can see very clearly, the logo is unfinished. This is because the new font that came with the new Ubuntu branding is still not complete and is still missing many letters including “K” yet.
Meanwhile another Kubuntu member, David Wonderly, has touched-up the official design and added the Kubuntu-Blue color and some glow-effect to come up with a wonderful design.
The new Kubuntu logo is expected to be shipped with the second beta which is scheduled to be released on 8th April.
What do you think about the new design? Do you like it? Let us know through the comment.