January 2013 - Posts

Facebook unveils a new social search engine

Search engines are basically about typing keyword and finding relevant search results. They are not good about giving perspectives. And social search on Bing and Google somehow connects your web results with your friends from social networks.

But Facebook takes this to whole new level with new Graph Search. The Graph Search is about what you are looking for via your friends and connections with a powerful new angle through photos. It is about finding people who share interests or something in common with you and discovering new places, music, restaurants – all through your friends instead of search algorithms.

 In short, Graph Search helps you find people, places and things—and explore Facebook in a whole new way.  "This is the coolest thing that we have ever done", Mark Zuckerberg. Sweet :)

And it might mean people will spend less time searching on Google or Bing. Anyways, if they want to search beyond Facebook in Graph search, results are from Bing.

This feature is currently in beta and not available to try for everyone. Anyway, you can visit:

and sign up to get a try.

Posted: 01-16-2013 9:55 AM by Suraj kc with 1 comment(s)

Help your friends find you on Bing

Bing is pretty good when it comes to social search and connecting with your friends. Social sidebar and friends photos are unique features to get search results from your friends from Facebook and Twitter.

And now you can help your friends find the real you from search results on Bing. When your friends search you on Bing by your name , it will certainly display 1000s of search results making it difficult for your friends to find your real profile.

Bing makes it easier to find your real profiles by letting you tag yourself in the search results that may be Facebook/Twitter profile or site or blog or any search result related to you. And when someone searches for you, they will get the right results first.

You also can help your friends to tag their profiles in search results.

To do so, connect your Bing homepage to Facebook

Visit http://www.bing.com/tags 

Search for your social profiles/pages/blogs and tag yourself.

Posted: 01-16-2013 6:59 AM by Suraj kc with no comments

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Photoshop CS 6 blinks in Windows 8

When using latest release of Adobe Photoshop CS6, the screen blinks especially when using editing tools like lasso tool and patch tool. And the Photoshop also freezes to black screen using crop tool.

And it is a known issue Photoshop CS 6 with Windows 8 GPU drivers. Adobe is working with Microsoft for the fix and might release an update to solve this issue soon.

For the time being, you can get it solved by setting the GPU Drawing Mode to “Basic” in Preferences

Edit –> Preferences –> General (or Ctrl + K)

-> Performance and Advanced Settings under Graphic Processor Settings –> Set Drawing Mode to Basic -> Ok

Then restart Photoshop

Posted: 01-14-2013 10:47 AM by Suraj kc with no comments

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Windows 8: Ctrl + Shift + Esc

Windows 8 is not just about shiny new interface with live tiles and immersive apps. There are number of cool improvements in the desktop side.

And with Windows 8, our longtime favorite task manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) got a major update. When you first open the task manager, it will just show list of running programs without menus and options, kind of chrome-less design. That is pretty user friendly for casual users who do not need to dive into processes. More details options give you back the task manager quite alike the earlier version.


There are number of cool improvements in the new task manager. First you can see the Start up tab that lets you disable auto startup programs. Previously, it was under msconfig. Now, it makes more sense.

As always, taskbar shows currently running programs (including Windows 8 apps) with CPU and memory consumptions. And you may want to note that new suspended Windows 8 apps use 0% CPU resources giving more battery life to the system. While desktop apps do use CPU resources even when they are minimized or suspended in the tray.

Task Manager was always kind of power user feature. It is now a lot user friendly. In earlier versions, the background processes had a pretty techy name like svchost.exe & Rundll32 and no one never what they meant. Now they got a friendly name in plain English. You can even search online for its meaning and see if it is safe to mess with that process. Just right on the process name and click search online to get its meaning from Bing search.

Posted: 01-13-2013 1:17 PM by Suraj kc with no comments

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The Best Part of Photoshop



1. Photo Manipulation

I guess photo manipulation is the most favorite and widely used technique in Photoshop. It means manipulating photos to create a new photo effect. Like you may cut your photo and place with Taylor Swift or just remove someone from the photo from the background.

It is kind of easy to learn but difficult to master skill in Photoshop. The perfect photo manipulation has to be like natural and not like edited. There are some techniques that can be helpful.

- If you are mixing two or more photos, it is good to work with the images of same resolution.

Edit –> Image Size –> Resolution

- Reducing the image saturation can be helpful.

Edit –> Vibrance –> Saturation

- The combined photos need to have common shadow and highlights and color tone.

Edit –> Shadow & Highlights

Edit –> Photo Filter

- To remove elements of background, content aware fill can be the best choice. And content aware move tool and content aware fill from patch tool (new in Photoshop CS 6) can be helpful.

- In my view cutting the hair, is where most people make mistakes. So, do not use Lasso tool to cut hair.

If the background is in plain color, do use Background Eraser tool.

Pen tool is quite useful for simple boys’ hair styles.

And for curly, funky and complex hair styles, create a rough mask of the hair and refine edge.  Do smoothen the edge of the hair after cutting.

Window–> Masking

Select –> Refine Edge

-> Creating a selection of faces is quite easy with CS6.

Select –> Color Range –> Skin Tone

-> Do smoothen the edges of your photo part you cut with Blur tool.

-> After the manipulation is complete, you can combine the layers and duplicate the layer and give some layer blending to make the photo natural. Work with Opacity and fill as well.



2. Digital Painting

Digital painting is my best Photoshop technique. Creating a painting is just like painting on a paper. But we will be using a mouse or digital brushes on touch devices.

And the best part is there is only one rule. JUST USE BRUSH TOOL.

Eraser, Dodge, Burn and Smudge count as brushes too. That is all we we need to get started to paint photographs in Photoshop.

It is kind of hard to learn & hard to master kind of skill. I think it the hardest and might take a very long time to complete the artwork. And the best part is we can never know how the final artwork will look like and mostly end up with the horrible result.

Digital painting in Photoshop takes a lot of patience and time. And you may have to spend number of days to create a perfect digital painting.

Some important things to remember in a digital painting are:

- shadow and highlights in the image. You can use burn tool to create shadows and Dodge tool to create highlights.

- Brush presets can be helpful for hair painting.

- Set the brush hardness level to minimum as far as possible.

- You have to very careful while selecting colors for the face, hair and other elements. Wrong choice of colors can end up in horrible result.

Korean actress

3. Vector Art

Vector arts are like cartoon or anime. It like converting real life picture to 2D. And Pen tool is what we need to create a vector art.  So, we can just start a photo of with our friends and make it a vector art by tracing the photo with Pen tool or start with our own imagination. Anime characters can be good inspiration to get started.

So, do keep in mind about creating strokes, making selections and filling paths using pen tool.

And if you want the output image in vector format, do use Illustrator to create the art.



4. Photo Retouching

Photo retouching means making your photo better may be by adding brightness and some other image adjustments. There are plenty of photo retouching tutorials on the web that can help you with retouching your photo to make it awesome.

And with Photoshop CS6, there are already default presets that you can apply to your photos. That’s cool. Now, there is to need to switch to some other image editing apps to apply basic photo effects.

Layer –> New Adjustment Layer –> Color Lookup –> Select desired effect

Taylor Swift

And if, you are working with face, like removing dirt, content aware fill and clone stamp tool are useful.


Posted: 01-13-2013 11:41 AM by Suraj kc with 2 comment(s)

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