Adobe Partnership Could Be a Game Changer for Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3

David Wadhwani, Adobe’s senior vice president and general manager of Digital Media, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Adobe president and CEO Shantanu Narayen onstage during the keynote presentation at Adobe’s Max conference in Los Angeles, Oct. 6, 2014.
Microsoft’s problem with mobile has largely been a software one. As the company has learned, it’s not enough to make powerful tablets or phones if the software isn’t there to support it.But Adobe might be able to help.

Though the two have worked closely together in the past, it wasn’t until Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took the stage with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen during Monday’s keynote presentation at Adobe’s Max conference, that it was clear the two companies have a closer partnership than ever, which may signal big changes for Microsoft’s Surface platform.

That the two would want to work together closely is not a surprise. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 has much more advanced software capabilities than iPads an other tablets — ideal for resource hungry applications like Photoshop and Illustrator.

On the software side, Adobe rolled out a new version of Illustrator optimized for the Surface Pro 3. “This touch workspace lets designers create on the go what they could once only accomplish sitting at their studio workbench before,” wrote Panos Panay, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Surface in a blog post. “This new workspace exposes the core tools and controls for drawing and editing, making it super simple to start creating with pen and touch.”

The two companies also showed off Project Animal, a new animation app that has Kinect-like face and speech recognition and gesture tracking capabilities. Adobe executives hinted that users can expect more software like Animal in the future.

“Given the incredible technology they have across some of things they’re doing with Kinect and depth cameras and all the technology they’ve been working with from Xbox… that’s right there for us to work together on a collaborative basis ahead of where the creative community is right now,” said David Wadhwani, Adobe’s senior vice president and general manger of digital media.

Adobe also previewed a new touch workspace in Photoshop on the Surface Pro 3, nicknamed “Playground.” Playground has all the power of Photoshop on the desktop, says Adobe, but a completely redesigned, touch-enabled, user interface.

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 5.22.18 PM

Layer Inspector, a feature within Photoshop’s Playground workspace, allows users to navigate between layers by swiping over them.


One Playground feature, Layer Inspector, allows users to navigate between layers by swiping across them on their screen. The layers can also be picked up and rearranged solely with touch gestures.

“The thing when we created Surface Pro 3 was to get touch and keyboard and mouse to be seamless and natural as a way to enhance productivity,” Nadella said during the demo.

If that sounds familiar it’s because it sounds a lot like Microsoft’s Continuum feature in the newly unveiled Windows 10.

If that sounds familiar it’s because it sounds a lot like Microsoft’s Continuum feature in the newly unveiled Windows 10. Continuum allows users to easily switch between tablet (touch) mode and “mouse and keyboard” mode when using hybrid two in one devices, like the Surface Pro.It’s not completely clear what the partnership between the two companies means for now— Nadella described it as having “new energy,” but didn’t elaborate on specifics. And Adobe is by no means shifting away from Apple (many of Adobe’s mobile apps are still iOS only.) But both CEOs made it clear they were committed to working together on innovative creativity applications.

To further drive that point, Nadella announced Microsoft was giving every Max attendee a Surface Pro 3. This may not seem particularly significant in itself— Microsoft gave an Xbox One to everyone at its Build Developer Conferenceearlier this year, after all— but it shouldn’t be underestimated

Each year, Adobe’s Max conference attracts some of the top creative professionals from around the world. By putting an $800 Surface Pro 3 (which Microsoft is still losing money on, by the way) in the hands of this group, Microsoft and Adobe are sending a very clear message: Microsoft already offered hardware Apple and other tablet makers didn’t and now, with Adobe support, it also has the software to match.


Elemental Studios work with COR Wheels of Miami to launch is 2014 Online presence

cor wheels home slider

Elemental Studios, Inc is Proud to present the all new COR Wheels 2014 website.

“This is one of those project where the client allowed us to be as creative as we wanted and provided us access to an incredible library of source materials to work from. The entire team had a great time building this for our friends over at COR, it was truly and exciting project with all of the technological features available today.” Said Bruce Quiroz Owner and Operator of Elemental Studios

The new website is fully responsive and functions across mobile, tables and desktops. It features a Custom Supermenu that allows users to access any wheel quickly and easily. We’ve incorporated a Masonry Gallery and blog layout to best utilize space on all screen resolutions. The website also showcases full screen trailer areas to help visually reflect the Companies Incredible Wheel Design and Craftsmanship.

COR International was founded by a team of veteran wheel enthusiasts with a commitment to produce the very finest street and competition wheels. We enthusiastically accepted the risk of reaching for unparalleled heights in engineering, and our clients are the winners. Every aspect of our products from conception to design, engineering to manufacturing, finishing to assembly is performed in-house by our seasoned team of wheel experts, boasting over 60 years of combined experience. Members of this elite family have been involved in all aspects of automotive wheels, including the Street aftermarket, OEM, Indy Car Racing, Grand American, and the pinnacle of competitive motor sports, Formula One.

Microsoft discloses zero day in all versions of Internet Explorer

By  for Zero Day |

Late Saturday Microsoft revealed a vulnerability in all versions of Internet Explorer that is being used in “limited, targeted attacks.” They are investigating the vulnerability and exploit and have not yet determined what action they will take in response or when.

All versions of Internet Explorer from 6 through 11 are listed as vulnerable as well as all supported versions of Windows other than Server Core. Windows Server versions on which IE is run in the default Enhanced Security Configuration are not vulnerable unless an affected site is placed in the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone.

The vulnerability was reported to Microsoft by research firm FireEye. FireEye says that, while the vulnerability affects all versions of IE, the attack is specific to versions 9, 10 and 11. It is a “use after free” attack in which memory objects in the browser are manipulated after being released. The attack bypasses both DEP (Data Execution Prevention) and ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization).

The specific exploit, according to FireEye, uses an Adobe Flash SWF file to manipulate the heap with a technique called heap feng shui. Neither Microsoft nor FireEye says it, but this implies that systems without Flash installed are not vulnerable to the specific exploit, although they are to the underlyng vulnerability in Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 10 and 11 come with Flash embedded, so they are vulnerable by default.

EMET, the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, will also make it more difficult to exploit this vulnerability.

Coming soon: a whole new you, in your Twitter profile

Moment by moment, your Twitter profile shows the world who you are. Starting today, it will be even easier (and, we think, more fun) to express yourself through a new and improved web profile.

What’s new about the new you? The new web profile lets you use a larger profile photo, customize your header, show off your best Tweets and more. Here are main features:

  • Best Tweets: Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger, so your best content is easy to find.
  • Pinned Tweet: Pin one of your Tweets to the top of your page, so it’s easy for your followers to see what you’re all about.
  • Filtered Tweets: Now you can choose which timeline to view when checking out other profiles. Select from these options: Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies.

Coming soon to everyone
This new profile setup is available today to a small group of users. If you’re new to Twitter, you’ll start in with the new profile. In the coming weeks, we will roll out the new features to everyone.

In the meantime, for a peek at what’s coming, check out these web profiles:

10 important URLs that every single Google user needs to know

Original Source:

Personally, I love that Google is so creative with my private data. I am fully aware that in order to use Google’s many great “free” services, I pay the company in information about myself that helps it serve better ads. That same information lets it create fantastic services such as Google Now, and it saves me a tremendous amount of pain and suffering. It also, of course, helps make Google Search better. But even if you’re like me and you’re happy with this model, it’s still very important to be fully aware of what Google collects and how you can control it.

With that in mind, here are 10 important URLs compiled recently by Digital Inspiration that every single Google user should be aware of. — Create a Google account with your current email address instead of making a new address. — View and edit your profile within Google’s system as it relates to advertising (you can also opt out of interest-based ads here). — Use this link to export all of your data contained within the Google ecosystem, including emails, photos and YouTube videos. — This URL will let you file a complaint in the event you find your content being used without permission on a Google website. — This is exactly what you think it is, your location history if you use an Android phone or the Google Now iOS app. — Your entire search history; make a pot of coffee before you start digging. — If you have unused Gmail accounts, use this to ensure that Google doesn’t delete them after extended periods of inactivity. — Think someone might have gained unauthorized access to your account? This is your first stop. — Here is a complete list of all Web, mobile and desktop apps that can access your data. — A link to reset your Google Apps password if your account is ever hacked (replace “YOURDOMAIN” with your URL, including the top-level domain).

Advanced Business Card Designs

The design industry is an ever changing ecosystem of innovative and creative ideas. In an environment that is so constantly in flux its essential to stand out. At Elemental Studios we understand that first impressions are critical and the need to make an impact as soon as you meet a new potential client is extremely important. The first thing we tend to provide a new interested clients is our business cards, so why hand then something everyone else has? Just as the graphic design industry evolves so does the printing industry. Today you can find printing techniques that were unavailable prior or just extremely expensive.

Our design team is seasoned in creating options that incorporate the latest in printing techniques, such as Clear (Acrylic) Business Cards:  (Some images provided by





Or how about these metal cards: (Some images provided by




Other incredible new printing options include wooden cards, leather cards, turf cards (Actual TURF!) and various other unique materials. Call our studio today and speak with a design coordinator to find out what options would be best for your business and start creating and impact today.



A Map of Who’s Got the Best (And Worst) Internet Connections in America

A Map of Who’s Got the Best (And Worst) Internet Connections in America

In the digital age, access to high speed internet is fundamentally important. But some regions of the country are still left out in the cold. We took a look at where you can get the best—and not best—internet in the U.S.

In an interview this February, Susan Crawford–former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology and innovation–summed up the state of America’s slow, expensive internet thusly:

The rich are getting gouged, the poor are very often left out, and this means that we’re creating, yet again, two Americas, and deepening inequality through this communications inequality.

Where can we find these two Americas? The map above shows relative download speeds (by congressional district*) across the contiguous U.S., based on January through July data from over 5,600 cities and towns represented in Ookla’s Net Index. Blue means a faster download speed than the national average of 18.2 Mbps, while red means a slower download speed.

18.2 Mbps isn’t shabby, and it’s a lot faster than where some other sources put U.S. internet speeds. This is because Ookla’s data are primarily coming from the site, which is self-selectively used by people who’d actually bother to check their download speeds. On one hand, this means that the raw Mbps figures are heavily skewed towards high-speed users. On the other hand, it means that the relative comparison between regions is a lot more interesting – instead of simply mapping out what parts of the country haven’t fully switched away from dial-up, this is showing, for users who are at least somewhat internet-savvy, where good speeds are generally available.

Basically, these data show where getting a fast internet connection is even possible.

The Fastest and Slowest

The fastest single location, with an average download speed of 85.5 Mbps belongs to Ephrata, Wash., a small town of 7,000 that happens to be home to its own fiber optics provider. Google’s grand experiment in Kansas City, Kan. comes in second, clocking in at 49.9 Mbps. The worst speeds can be found in Northeastern Arizona, where Chinle and Fort Defiance both clock in at less than 1.5 Mbps. For a complete list of cities and towns by speed click here, or check them out on the map below.

Extended Borders

The kernel density map below smooths this data out a bit, with each pixel colored by the average internet speed, relative to 18.2 Mbps, within a surrounding 200-mile radius (weighted by distance). The metropolitan Northeast, Florida, and most of Arizona come in pretty strong, while the enormous internet hole called Montana is pinned between the techy Northwest and the suddenly oil-rich North Dakota.

A Map of Who's Got the Best (And Worst) Internet Connections in America

Income vs. Speed

As to Browning’s point, this “communications inequality” probably has a lot more to do with income than it does with pure geography. The map below, on the same relative-to-the-national-average scale, shows median income by congressional district based on 2011 American Community Survey Census data, which we then correlated with download speed. No surprises here, the more money you live around, the faster speeds you have access to.

A Map of Who's Got the Best (And Worst) Internet Connections in America

Population Density vs. Speed

Population density may have a less linear effect – while rural areas are less likely to get high-speed coverage, dense cities may see that coverage slowed by heavy use. Density by congressional district is plotted below, but the correlation (polynomial, based on our hypothesis) wasn’t as strong as income.

A Map of Who's Got the Best (And Worst) Internet Connections in America

In an economy that is increasingly internet-driven, speed matters. It’s nice to think that Google will eventually fiber-up the U.S. out of the goodness of its heart, but until useful internet is recognized as an essential public good– like highways, or electricity –the rich will just keep getting richer.

*Congressional districts may seem like an odd choice, but it’s the only census-linked, nationally comprehensive geography that fills the awkward gap in grain between states (50) and counties (3,144).

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Your Business Gets Bashed Online

When your company’s products or services get attacked on a social network or a customer review site, don’t go with your first instinct. Instead of lashing out or ignoring it completely, take a measured response and avoid these common mistakes.

By Tom Kaneshige   ||  Mon, February 03, 2014
When a company gets a bad customer review on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter or any other social network, emotions can run high, because real damage to its reputation and sales can result. The business owner usually has a knee-jerk reaction and responds in kind by attacking the offending customer with an emotionally charged online response.Some businesses might take the opposite approach and choose the other extreme — no response at all. By simply ignoring the bad review, a company hopes it will dissipate into the Internet ether, whereas a response might ignite a social media storm and cripple the company publicly.But both the emotionally charged response and the ignore-it-at-all-costs response are big mistakes, says CEO Jay Shek at Locality, a search engine for local businesses that taps into ratings and review information from Yelp.The better response is a measured one where you reach out to the upset customer offline and try to fix the situation. The result of this effort, good or bad, can be relayed online. The goal is to show readers of the bad review that your company is proactive when it comes to improving products and services.Shek has seen his share of responses to bad reviews and has come up with four common mistakes companies make. There are exceptions, of course, that call for special responses. For instance, if competitors or critics pretending to be customers are writing bad reviews, as in a recent case concerning Yelp reviewers, then legal action may be required. Generally speaking, though, Shek’s list of common mistakes apply to most situations.

Mistake 1: Countering With Fake Positive Reviews

Some companies will try to flood the social site with positive reviews, in hopes of blunting the sting of a critical one. A quick Google search on fake reviews will uncover a cottage industry of marketing firms specializing in producing them. But by doing so, a company runs the risk of getting caught and being publicly shamed.

Odds of getting caught are increasing, too. Review sites such as Yelp are getting better at sniffing out fake reviews. Web filters help identify fake reviews coming from the same accounts. Consumers, too, can often spot fake reviews by the way they’re written: They are typically overly positive, not a lot of detail about the business, a generic feel.

Last October, Samsung was fined $340,000 for hiring writers and two marketing firms to post fake reviews in Taiwanese forums, both positive ones for Samsung products and critical ones for competitors’ products.

Mistake 2: Overreacting Publicly

Smaller retailers tend to overreact emotionally to a critical review, whereas a larger company’s marketing pros are usually more seasoned and level-headed. Yelp is awash with small business owners ranting against customer criticism, but it only makes them look small, petty and, of course, unprofessional.

“It’s natural to react emotionally, but you can’t let that come through,” Shek says. “Reacting negatively reflects even worse on your business than the initial negative review.”

With a single, opinionated critical review — as in, “the lasagna was terrible” — you might not want to react at all, because there’s not much to do anyway. With other critical reviews, a response should at the very least acknowledge the customer’s frustration, as well as ways to fix the situation.

Mistake 3: Being Too Passive

As noted earlier, some companies will ignore negative customer reviews. But online reviews are the new customer surveys and comment cards. They’re a form of feedback from your customers. Companies pay thousands of dollars for this kind of research. “Now customers are giving you this for free,” Shek says. “You shouldn’t ignore it just because you think it’s unjust or exaggerated.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to respond to every critical review. However, you should constantly check for patterns. For instance, if many customers are agreeing that the lasagna is terrible, then the you might want to make changes to the recipe.

Mistake 4: Making a Quick Fix

When reacting to a critical review, the initial outreach should be done offline, because online comments can get snippy. An offline conversation with the critical reviewer affords a chance to really understand the issue and work to resolve it.

This is much better than a blanket fix, such as immediately giving any critical reviewer a 30 percent discount on their next purchase. “You don’t want to train consumers to complain in order to get discounts and free stuff,” Shek says.

Once a resolution has been worked out, you can post the results online. “Whether or not you’ve made the customer happy, the fact that you were open and honest about the problem and tried to address it increases your reputation online.”

A lot of times the critical reviewer will be appreciative of your efforts and, in turn, post a positive comment. That’s how a bad review can be made into a great marketing message.


10 ways modern enterprise performance management is changing businesses

By , Saturday, 28 Dec ’13 , 04:00pm  ||



“This data is 90 days old, but that’s okay.”

When was the last time you heard a C-level executive say that? My guess is it’s been a while, because these days, if you don’t have real-time access to the data that drives your business, it’s all but impossible to arrive at meaningful results that help you grow and compete.

Unfortunately, this problem is all too common in enterprises today, where enterprise performance management (EPM) platforms fail to produce actionable insights from current and relevant data. On top of that, most EPM implementations remain complex and difficult to manage requiring power users that serve as data gatekeepers. Not exactly a recipe for success.

But EPM is changing, and as a result, it’s changing the way enterprises operate around the world. So here are 10 ways that a new approach to enterprise performance management is changing the game for businesses globally.

1. Cloud-first is the new normal

IDC Research  predicts cloud technology spending will grow by 25 percent in 2014, reaching over $100B. Along with further adoption comes further specialization – and cloud services are increasingly becoming differentiated as vendors seek to provide more infrastructure capabilities.

Better infrastructure for the public cloud begets more capable and scalable enterprise apps, with Amazon, Google and others offering more tools for companies to run on the cloud. EPM solutions that offer improved cloud capabilities will be the ones leading growth for businesses in the New Year.

2. Mobility cannot be ignored

Workforces are now global and remotely connected all the time, so it’s not surprising that tablet and smartphone growth is predicted to continue into next year. Mobile is now the de facto platform on which business people and consumers are devouring data, and unlike in previous years, they are now acting on the data as well.

EPM tools now need to be able to provide reports on the fly – on any device. Technologies that aren’t designed to be device-agnostic will lose market share in the coming year.

3. Big data turns to focus on actionability

Big data is a key consideration for any EPM system – and today data crunching capabilities alone aren’t enough to move the needle. Decision-makers are now looking for easier-to-manage apps that provide more granular, actionable insights in real time.

Expect cloud apps with the ability to sift through disparate data streams to become widespread in the finance department.

4. Collaboration has emerged from its awkward adolescence

Several years ago, collaborative technologies in the enterprise were new and a little clumsy. But that’s history. Platforms that don’t include collaborative features are becoming extinct.

Innovative technologies such as Yammer and Box that enable employees to collaborate and share information have become critical business functions, not just the latest shiny object. IDC also expects that by 2016, 60 percent of the Fortune 500 will have social-enabled innovation management solutions in place.

This also has implications for EPM: Solutions that enable collaboration across the organization fit into today’s enterprises, while those that don’t literally have no place to go.

5. CFOs have become more influential

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on how CFOs have a bigger say than ever in determining where and how companies place their bets. Citing new research from Gartner, the Journal notes how CFOs now have 40 percent more influence over IT investments than they did two years ago.

So while CFOs have a leading role to play in transforming organizations, many are still struggling to identify best practices for implementing EPM solutions that can help them make the most of their growing influence.

6. In-context analytics drive decision-making

We are moving from an age in which log analysis was enough, to a business analysis perspective that is predicated on what’s happening right now. The importance of context and real-time data is now mission-critical for EPM.

In the coming year, the role context plays in making smart use of data will start getting the recognition it deserves.

7. Machine-generated data is now part of the package

With more data attached to every system, machine-generated and unstructured data represents a wealth of information that EPM solutions need to take into consideration. RFIDs, sensor data and more will become more important.

8. Enterprise technology innovation will start to drive consumer technology innovation

The enterprise is becoming a new source of innovation. While in past the consumerization of IT drove enterprise trends, next year the enterprise will start to take the lead.

The intersection of cloud, mobile and social at enterprise scale is helping to create highly available and user-friendly experiences in the workplace.  Enterprise applications that aren’t designed with these considerations in mind will not be adopted.

9. Competition will drive rapid technology adoption

It’s dawning on CFOs that their systems are outdated, and budgeting platforms that still require up to four months to complete a budget are no longer sufficient. On average, companies that employ rolling forecasts save between five and 25 days each year in their budgeting process, according to research by the American Productivity & Quality Center.

CFOs are beginning to understand that the current environment is “eat or be eaten,” and if they don’t adopt new technologies to reduce the time they spend planning, they will become irrelevant.

10. Agility always wins

In today’s evolving market, there is no silver bullet to success – in any industry. But what does work is to continually be looking to the future, and considering the next move.

Forward-thinking CFOs will be looking for EPM solutions that think like they do – well ahead of the now – and if the variables change, they want a solution that can pivot quickly and adjust to the new conditions. For the only constant is change itself – and even that needs to be planned for.