Wipster and Adobe Voice

I have been experimenting with the Wipster application for a few weeks. Essentially, this is a site where you post a video for others to review and approve. They can add comments in the video (as it plays). Although the service is not free, I am finding this to be very helpful for work I am doing with our student chapter of Web Professionals as well as within various courses I teach. What I find most beneficial is the use of Adobe Voice to generate short videos on a topic and then seek feedback via Wipster. Read more »

Office Mix

Assuming you are running MS-PowerPoint 2013 or higher, you might want to try Office Mix. It is a free add-on for PowerPoint which allows you to “create and share interactive online videos.” You can include screen captures, screen recordings, polls, and quizzes. You can upload your completed presentation to the Office Mix site (and make your presentation either public or private). On the site, you can review analytics regarding various aspects of your work. You can also create SCORM compliant modules for inclusion into your Learning Management System (for example, Moodle or Blackboard). If you would like to see examples of work created with Office Mix, there is an online gallery. Read more »

Passwords

Passwords – “can’t stand them, can’t live without them.” We must access many computer resources every day and have to rely on passwords to verify we are who we say we are. I can’t count the number of times people ask me about what constitutes a good password. Therefore, I thought it might be appropriate to discuss passwords. Before proceeding, if you have the ability to utilize two factor authentication, do so. From a security perspective, we have three methods of confirming our identity:

  • who we are (fingerprints, iris, ears, voice prints, DNA, and so forth). If these are ever hacked or able to be reproduced, you have a significant problem. For example, it is very difficult to change your fingerprints.
  • what we know (this is where passwords come into play). We know a given value (a word or phrase) and use this to confirm our identity.
  • what we have (this is where two factor authentication comes in to play). For example, if we enable two factor authentication for a social media site, we enter a password and then receive a text value on our phone. We must then enter that unique value within a short time frame. Failure to do so means our access fails (even if the password was valid). If you are reading this and want to employ 2 factor authentication, there are several solutions. One is WikID.

So, what constitutes a good password? Read more »

Screen Capture Utilities

I have been helping a peer with one of their online classes this semester. They expressed an interest in learning about different tools to record the screen. I decided to take a different approach this week and provide this document I created for their use. This is an alternative approach to my typical weblog posts. I formatted the linked document using Adobe InDesign. The more I use that tool, the more I like it. One feature is the ease at which I can create a linked table of contents in the document. I hope readers like the linked document (it is a PDF file). I am curious what other tools should have been included in my list. What other suggestions would you have with respect to improving the linked document?

Web Vulnerability Scanners

One of the many classes I teach is CMWEB 270 – Web Application Security. I thought it might be helpful to readers to review a couple of the tools one can use to automatically scan for website vulnerabilities. I consider it good practice to use a number of tools. Obviously, I recommend only using these tools on your own websites. Patch any vulnerabilities you discover. Two introductory tools are Tenable Nessus and Subgraph Vega. Yes, there are many other tools available, I focus on these because they have a significant amount of documentation and are relatively easy to use. Let’s look at each tool in a little more detail. Read more »

Fixel

Fixel is an iOS app from Adobe Labs which runs on either iPad or iPhone. Sorry, no Android capabilities. Many thanks to my colleague, Matt Clasener, for making me aware of this app. Essentially, it allows you to clean up your images (remove unwanted litter from a photo, for example). The logo is shown below.

Fixel Logo

When you open the app for the first time, you are presented with a short tutorial. A screen capture of the gestures is shown below.

Fixel Gestures

Essentially, you highlight the part of the image that you want to “clean up” and Fixel does the rest. I thought the easiest approach would be to show you a short video covering the fundamentals of this tool.

Fixel from Mark DuBois on Vimeo.

What experience do you have with this app? How might you use it? As always, I look forward to your comments.

PaintCan

I recently became aware of an interesting app from Adobe Labs – PaintCan.

iOS PaintCan app

Many thanks to Tom Green for making me aware of this iOS app (sorry, no Android version). For those of us with limited graphical talent, we can now paint using just our fingertip. We can work with part (or all) of an image and apply brush strokes. There are a number of examples provided and a variety of presets. Read more »

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