Adobe Users Working With PANTONE Colors Now Have To Pay To Unlock Them

If you are an avid user of Adobe Photoshop, we may have important news for you. The creative studio is taking away PANTONE’s extensive library of colors, and they now reside behind a paywall on top of your monthly Photoshop subscription come November.

The move was first noticed by artist Iain Anders, who brought it to the attention of other creatives on Twitter. From his observations, users must pay an extra US$21 to access the catalog.

Moreover, you will be met with blacked-out spaces if you browse your current and old projects on the platform, which has used PANTONE’s shades.

Those who have been keeping up with either company would have known that both brands announced last year that they would remove the collection of hues from Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe Color, and the Adobe Capture mobile app.

When the news came out, PANTONE insisted it was not due to a conflict of interest but that Adobe had not updated its software, the colors may have been outdated, and hundreds of new hues were missing from the library.

The move was supposed to take effect in March of this year, but it has been postponed until now.

In a statement, Ashley Still, senior vice president, digital media marketing, strategy & global partnerships at Adobe responds: “As we had shared in June, PANTONE decided to change its business model. Some of the PANTONE Color Books that are pre-loaded in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign were phased-out from future software updates in August 2022. To access the complete set of PANTONE Color Books, PANTONE now requires customers to purchase a premium license through PANTONE Connect and install a plug-in using Adobe Exchange.”

Source: DesignTAXI

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NBA Bans Off-White Cream-Colored Uniforms Due To Effect On TV Screens

The light-colored jersey blends right in with the floorboards—causing problems for digital advertisers.

Just when you thought companies couldn’t possibly shove more advertisements into your eye sockets, technology proved it was possible. Digital (or virtual) ads are promos inserted into media post-production or in real time. They first emerged in video games, then started creeping into TV shows on streaming platforms. And during the pandemic, digital ads began making their way onto the basketball court in NBA broadcasts.

On top of ensuring that nowhere in sports is safe from commercialization, the virtual ads have had at least one other, unintended side effect: They killed a well-loved team uniform. In a green screen-style snafu, certain jerseys were too close in color to the polished wooden floors of NBA arenas. Thus, digital ads ended up distorted by players wearing the offending outfits, as first reported by Paul Lukas, the uniform-obsessed aesthetics aficionado who writes the popular UniWatch newsletter.

Specifically, the proliferation of digital ads forced the Milwaukee Bucks’ to give up their cream-colored jerseys. The uniforms were an alternate used during some games from 2017-2020. The colorway was inspired by the team’s home city nickname (in turn, inspired by a local building material). Fans of the Wisconsin franchise loved the look, according to Lukas who spoke with the Bucks’ chief marketing officer, Dustin Godsey. “It was incredibly well received,” Godsey told Lukas. “It helped us kind of build that Cream City brand.”

But there was a problem. The teams’ sponsors started noticing that players wearing the jerseys were getting in the way of their ads—and reported a “pixelation effect,” said Godsey. As a result, the Milwaukee uniforms (and all cream uniforms) were banned NBA-wide. The move also impacts the Philadelphia 76ers, who’ve had a “parchment” colored uniform variant in rotation for the past three seasons, according to Lukas.

It may seem a small thing, but the off-white prohibition is a clear signal of the growing influence that advertisers are having in the sports league and beyond—and the technology enabling that influence. Ad tech is big business, arguably the biggest business—maybe even the only business.

Source: Gizmodo

After Chaotic Short-Notice Layoffs, Twitter Now Asks Some Fired Workers To Please Come Back

Twitter Inc., after laying off roughly half the company on Friday following Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition, is now reaching out to dozens of employees who lost their jobs and asking them to return.

Some of those who are being asked to return were laid off by mistake, according to two people familiar with the moves. Others were let go before management realized that their work and experience may be necessary to build the new features Musk envisions, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.

Twitter cut close to 3,700 people this week via email as a way to trim costs following Musk’s acquisition, which closed in late October. Many employees learned they lost their job after their access to company-wide systems, like email and Slack, were suddenly suspended. The requests for employees to return demonstrate how rushed and chaotic the process was.

A Twitter spokesperson did not reply to a request for comment. Twitter’s plan to hire back workers was previously reported by Platformer.

“Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day,” Musk tweeted on Friday.

Twitter has close to 3,700 employees remaining, according to people familiar with the matter. Musk is pushing those who remain at the company to move quickly in shipping new features, and in some cases, employees have even slept at the office to meet new deadlines.

Over the weekend, Twitter rolled out a new Twitter Blue subscription plan, offering a verification check mark for any user who pays $8 a month. The company also said it will soon be launching other features, including half the ads, the ability to post longer videos and get priority ranking in replies, mentions and searches.

The New York Times on Sunday reported Twitter will delay changes to the check marks until after Tuesday’s midterm elections, after users and employees raised concerns that the plan could be misused to sow discord.

Source: Bloomberg

Zoom Reportedly Working On Email App Called Zmail To Compete With Gmail

Zoom may be getting ready for its biggest expansion yet: the company is preparing to launch email and calendar apps, The Information reported, and could do so before the end of this year. That would turn Zoom, which has already evolved from a video chat platform to a competitor to Slack and whiteboard apps and even your office phone, into a full-fledged competitor to Google Workspace and Microsoft Office.

Getting into other work apps would seem like a departure for Zoom, but it makes sense the company would go after them. Zoom CEO Eric Yuan has long said he prefers to be a partner to other work tools rather than replace them, but as Zoom’s own platform ambitions have grown, so has the company’s desire to own more of the work ecosystem.

Calendar and email are both heavily used as scheduling tools, too, which means Zoom could integrate more deeply with companies that already use it. And on the flip side, both Google and Microsoft are trying to edge Zoom out: the Meet button in Google Calendar seems to get a little bigger every day, and those companies are betting their default status will ultimately win.

Source: The Verge

Adobe Acquires Figma For $20 Billion, Taking Out One Of Its Biggest Rivals In Digital Design

Over the past several years, Figma has built its name as a forward-thinking and collaborative design platform and a formidable competitor to Adobe, the giant in the creative apps market. That rivalry ended on Thursday when Adobe announced that it has struck a $20 billion deal to acquire Figma.

The acquisition will allow Adobe to incorporate Figma’s popular design tools into its widely-used portfolio of creative apps. But the acquisition also means that Adobe will once again be taking a major competitor off the market and bringing it under its own umbrella, to the dismay of many designers who rely on the tool and are wary of another critical platform joining the company’s Creative Cloud service. And they have a point: with Figma off the market, the list of companies capable of challenging Adobe’s empire just got meaningfully smaller.

Adobe has a history of buying up some of the biggest tools in the creative space, acquiring companies like Frame.io, a video production collaboration tool, and Behance, which lets people showcase their creative work. (Belsky first joined Adobe through this acquisition.) The company has bought a lot of companies — even Photoshop was an acquisition. That makes the Figma purchase all the more concerning for designers; one of the few notable challengers to Adobe has been swept up, meaning Adobe will continue to consolidate creative app power in one location.

Source: The Verge

Instagram Fined $400 Million For Failing To Protect Children’s Data

Ireland’s data privacy regulator has agreed to levy a record fine of 405 million euros ($402 million) against social network Instagram following an investigation into its handling of children’s data, a spokesperson for the watchdog said.

Instagram plans to appeal against the fine, a spokesperson for its parent company, Meta, said in an emailed statement.

The investigation, which started in 2020, focused on child users between the ages of 13 and 17 who were allowed to operate business accounts, which facilitated the publication of the user’s phone number and/or email address.

“We adopted our final decision last Friday and it does contain a fine of 405 million euro,” said the spokesperson for Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, the lead regulator of Instagram and Facebook’s (FB) parent company.

Instagram updated its settings over a year ago and has since released new features to keep teens safe and their information private, the Meta spokesperson said.

The DPC regulates Facebook, Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL) and other technology giants due to the location of their EU headquarters in Ireland. It has opened over a dozen investigations into Meta companies, including Facebook and WhatsApp.

WhatsApp was last year fined a record 225 million euros for failing to conform with EU data rules in 2018.

Source: CNN

Verizon Wireless Price Increase Shocker: A $12 Monthly Bump On Shared Data Plans—The Telecom That Reported $22 Billion In 2021 Profits Says Its An ‘Economic Adjustment’ To Keep Up With ‘Rising Operational Costs’

Many Verizon Wireless customers have been infuriated after receiving notification from the telecom that their monthly bill for data will go up as much as $12 due to “rising operational costs.” 

Of course, price increases are part of the telecom business shell game, but they typically heat the proverbial waters around the ol‘ lobster by marginal increments — such as the $1.35 “economic adjustment” fee increase applied by Verizon this month to its postpaid customers for “administrative cost” increases. 

But consumers will definitely feel 12 bucks.

Verizon’s move follows a very similar price bump announced earlier this month by AT&T — single-line-of-service customers got a $6-a-month increase, while AT&T shared data customers saw a monthly surge of $12.

Verizon said its increase will take effect “no sooner” than August 2.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg raised the possibility of such a price bump during his company’s first-quarter earnings report, suggesting something simply had to be done to keep up with inflationary pressure. (He didn’t mention any adjustments to his own executive compensation, which exceeded $20 million last year.)

Thanks, Obama?

Blaming the current administration for inflation has been a go-to messaging point for far-right media outlets as they propagandize for the November midterm elections. And that agenda seems to be catching on, based on President Joe Biden’s currently low approval ratings. But increasingly, it appears that corporate greed might be a principal driver for the current upward price pressure we’re all experiencing.

study by the Economic Policy Institute published in April found that more than half of the overall increase in consumer pricing can be attributed to initiatives intended to drive “fatter corporate profits.”

Source: NextTV

Stunning New Images From NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Offer Fuller Picture Of Our Universe

Earlier this week, the internet was sent abuzz when President Joe Biden unveiled the very first images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), including the deepest, sharpest infrared picture of the universe ever captured. 

Now, more images have emerged, revealing details of our stars, galaxies, and the universe we’ve never seen before. In fact, the scientists themselves were so moved by the snapshots, they said they “nearly broke” from emotion. 

When compared side-by-side with earlier pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope—launched into orbit in 1990—it becomes clear why the space agency spent a whopping US$10 billion on the new observatory. 

The images taken by the JWST are higher-definition, crisper, and more vibrant; and it reveals more. For example, Hubble’s shot of the Southern Ring Nebula shows just one light at its center, while the newer picture clearly shows two stars. 

According to Insider, the difference boils down to JWST’s use of different wavelengths of infrared light to capture its images, allowing it to better display the structure of the nebula and the “missing” star scientists were certain existed. 

One of the most striking pictures unveiled was that of the Carina Nebula: NGC 3324, which as per Big Think, is a young star-forming region known among researchers as the “Cosmic Cliffs.” 

In Hubble’s image, the vague outline of the range can be seen, dotted with bright stars, and a blue vapor appearing to be “rising” above. Whereas, in the latest picture of the region by JWST, one can see hundreds more stars, with the crevices of the “cliffs” in clear view.

“When I see an image like this, I can’t help but think about scale,” mused Amber Straughn, a NASA astrophysicist on the JWST team, while presenting the images on a livestream. 

“Every dot of light we see here is an individual star, not unlike our sun, and many of these likely also have planets. And it just reminds me that our sun and our planet, and ultimately us, were formed out of the same kind of stuff that we see here.” 

Source: DesignTAXI