Jonah Lee Walker

Lost in the Tardis

Cinescopophilia on DEFY G2X 3 Axis Gimbal for under $2000

Cinescopophilia has an article on the impressively small DEFY G2X 2 Axis Gimbal, which is under $2000.

It is amazing how fast this technology is evolving and how quickly the price is going down!  Let's hope that shaky cam makes it's way out in the near future.
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Rumors of a MacBook Air with only 2 Ports, and ditching Thunderbolt, let's hope not

9 to 5 Mac has rumors and it's own artist renders of what it claims to be the soon to be announced revamp of the MacBook Air.

The terrifying part, is that it has only 2 ports on it. A headphone jack and a USB Type C port. The USB 3 Port is more advanced than USB 3 with a reversible connector, that can drive a monitor and also power a computer.

I can't even articulate what an awful idea this is. One connector means you need a hub to attach anything else to the laptop. My mom for example has her fitbit sync in the usb port, which would have to be left in the hub. And even worse is the removal of Thunderbolt.

Apple is really pushing Thunderbolt as it's next generation connectivity, even giving up the much faster (and far superior) PCI Slots in it's MacPro in favor of of Thunderbolt. And having Thunderbolt in the Air made it expandable to an amazing degree that would never have been possible with a machine like this, and you could use the same devices across the mac lineup. Even with it being USB 3.1, which can do 10 Gbps, or the same as Thunderbolt 1 (not 2 though, which can 20 Gbps), they should have the same ports across the whole range, so accessories are interchangeable. Unless Apple is getting rid of Thunderbolt all together in favor of USB 3.1, which to me should mean they need to go back to PCI Card expansion in later MacPro's (and who the hell wanted the trashcan MacPro anyway), which I highly doubt, they should not do this.

I know Apple does not read this blog, nor care what I have to say, but PLEASE APPLE DON'T DO THIS!!!!
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Streaming Media Producer on gearing up for 4K Production parts 1 and 2 of 3

Shawn Lam at Streaming Media Producer has released 2 out of parts of an awesome article on gearing up for 4K Production. This is a must read for anyone thinking about shooting 4K now or in the near future. Well worth reading. I am looking forward to part 3.

You can read Part 1 Here and Part 2 Here.
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The Digital Bits has the first news on 4K Blu-Ray and it is called Ultra HD Blu-ray


Bill Hunt at Digital Bits has the first official word on 4K Blu-Ray, which will be known as Ultra HD Blu-Ray.

This is really exciting news. Everything has been moving to digital delivery of late, with higher compression, less quality and less features, but it is good to know that there will be a 4K disc based format which will deliver the best quality.

The only bad news is that it does not seem to include a 3D spec, which is likely a bandwidth issue, though it will be able to do 60P (hello Avatar in 60P). The spec has not been finalized but will use H.265, and will have a 66GB dual layer and 100GB 3 layer formats, and can even do 10 bit color and a wider color gamut as well as high dynamic range! It also will have a digital copy process to make local copies to a hard drive, likely in a specifically designed player.

Now I won't be moving to this anytime soon, as I just got a 65" 1080 display, and didn't even consider 4K for lack of content and not knowing how 1080 will look blown up to 4K (I am assuming not good).
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Diskwarrior 5 Issues in non standard configurations: UPDATED

Well I for one was very excited about Alsoft Diskwarrior 5, and it's new USB Stick to run off and repair Macs, but unfortunately it has not worked out so well for me.

Now admittedly I am likely a strange case on this one. I have been trying to use it on 2 slightly out of the norm cases, and haven't been able to to boot to the USB stick in either case. And though I have gotten it to run, it was via other means, and was not too impressed by the new 64 Bit Speeds.

The first case is my own computer, which is a MacPro 4,1, but the exception here is that I run a PC NVIDIA GTX 670 with 4 GB of RAM, so I am unable to hold down option and select a startup disc on boot, nor able to get into the recovery partition because I don't get a screen booted until the desktop starts up. And these are the two methods to run diskwarrior from the USB Stick. The USB Stick does show up as a startup disc and I have tried starting up off of it, but the computer never boots this way for some reason.

To get it to work on my MacPro I used a competitor product in fact. Micromat's Tech Tool Pro 7 has a way to create a recovery partition. And I was able to create it on one of my additional hard drives so as not to mess with the OS X recovery partition, and it allows you to install software there, so I installed Diskwarrior 5 and ran it.

Once running the new Diskwarrior worked fine, just like the old one, and in fact did not seem any faster. I do have a very full 3 TB main hard drive though, so it has a lot of files to check, but still it did not seem exceptionally faster than version 4.

A second place I run diskwarrior is at one of the offices that I work at (being freelance it isn't always the same place, but I work here allot). And I got them to purchase a DVD of Diskwarrior 4.

Now I wanted to test Diskwarrior 5 here, to see if we could use it. Now while they do have one MacPro with a NVIDIA GTX 680 Mac Edition which I will be testing on later, they also have a QUO computing Hackintosh that I have been using mostly. Already to run Diskwarrior on it, I can't boot from the DVD, but have to run from a Carbon Copy Cloner backup of the system SSD that has Diskwarrior 4 installed. Still I thought I would try the USB Stick.

And once again no, with the QUO it seems that I can't hold down option to see the bootable hard drives, so I can't boot from the USB stick to repair this system. I could install Diskwarrior on my backup, but would not do that with my serial number. I will test it later on the regular MacPro, just because I want to see if I can get Diskwarrior 5 to boot from the USB stick in any situation!

Now the one thing I have not tried is is the new Diskwarrior 5 Diskwarrior Recovery Maker, which updates the USB Flash to the latest OS that your system is, since new Macs have new boot requirements, but I know my MacPro can boot from 10.6.4, and I believe that is the starting system for any Hackintosh, so I though that would work for for the QUO.

I will updater his after I see if it works on the other more standard MacPro, but so far I have not been too impressed with Diskwarrior 5


UPDATE

Well I tested the Diskwarrior USB in the MacPro 4,1 with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition, and it froze on the startup screen. I started it by holding down option and selecting the Diskwarrior Recovery partition, and starting up. I left it there for an hour, and the Machine was just stopped.

Here is the Startup screen. It spun for a while then froze.

And the red light was solid on the USB Key so not accessing the disc

And when I tried it on my Quo holding down option, this is exactly what happened, it showed the startup screen and spun and then froze. And the same happened when I selected the USB on my home Mac as a startup disc.

Looks like it is time to contact Alsoft and see what is going on.

SECOND UPDATE

I was writing an e-mail to Alsoft Technical support, and think I figured out the issue, and will test it soon. The GTX 680 Mac Edition requires 10.8.x Operating system to run, and all 3 machines I have tried it on have either that card or a PC GTX 670, so it is likely that the system needs to have at least that system to run. So it looks like it is time to try out Diskwarrior Recover Maker and update my USB.

My only problem is that my home system is Yosemite already. Maybe I can find a system with 10.8.5 and run it, so it doesn't get too new of a system on it.

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Consumer Video Cameras hit 4K for under $1000


Both Sony and Panasonic have announced consumer 4K cameras for under $1000. Sony has announced the FDR-AX33 for $999 (you can read about it at Cinescopophilia) and Panasonic has announced the $899 HC-VX870 and it's strange double shooting HC-WX970 for $999 (You can also read about it at Cinescopophilia).

This blows my mind. This is reaching back to the DV revolution. Not that most people need 4K, but as an editor 4K seems like such an opportunity. Just shoot a little wider and to be able to push in and still have full 1080 resolution is mind-blowing to me. And the ability to have 4K footage to do image stabilization (now that Premiere Pro has such good built in Image Stabilization) will really change things.

Now of course these are consumer cameras, with consumer compression (though Sony does mention 100MB compression) and consumer lenses, but still for grabbing quick b-roll shots these would be amazing.

I don't think 4K will take off at home any time soon. The TV's are still too expensive, and since most content is 1080, it will actually look worse on a 4k screen than a 1080 screen. And until they figure out how to broadcast in 4K easily (and my TV already shows how bad the compression looks on many shows in 1080!) or a disc based format for 4K it will not take off! I mean Netflix's 4K compression is around 15 mb per second, which is about half of what a blu-ray is (sure it is probably newer and better compression, but still you are losing a huge amount of data there). And a disc format would always be superior just for bandwidth considerations.

4K excited me for what it could mean for 1080.

Of course this all depends on DP's as I have had 5K footage for a 1080 broadcast that was shot so extreme close up that it was useless to me to push in or for it to be  5K at all, but the possibilities do exist.
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Wacom announces Cintiq Companion 2: UPDATED


I am a devoted iPad user, but the Cintiq companion is the one thing that could make me carry a different touch based computer. And Wacom has finally announced that it's version 2 is coming out.

There are two versions, the Windows 8 Companion and the Android Hybrid, both of which work as a Cintiq Wacom table when attached to a Mac or PC.

There are 4 Windows 8 Models from $1299 to $2499, and 2 Android models from $1049 to $1199.

Of course the Windows Versions let you run full Photoshop or run as a Cintiq, while the Hybrid is an Android tablet that is also a Cintiq. So you can do much more on the go full work on the Windows model, but the Hybrid would certainly give an iPad a run for it's money.

I love the touch computing on an iPad, but for artwork a Pen is always superior, and a Wacom pen has always been the best for tablet computing.

I have always wanted a Cintiq, but this would really be even better as you could take it with you as a tablet (though you would need some spare cables to carry with you and one set to leave at home for your home computer!).

AWESOME, I SO WANT ONE!!
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Wacom adds 2 Cloud Services


Wacom has added 2 new Cloud Services. Dropzone which allows copy & paste between devices on Mac, Windows and iOS after installing the Dropxone app (which works with Bamboo Paper on iOS). And Control Room which allows you to sync your Wacom settings with the Cloud, and have your settings wherever you are (given you have the same Wacom devices in each place).

Pretty cool, and smart, but you still need to install the software one each computer to get your settings. Hopefully this will be built in with the Wacom drivers in the future (with the ability to turn it off or on).
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Tivo Talks Cable Cards

Tivo has released a new blog post talking about Cable Cards.

This is because congress has repealed it's legislation that required cable companies to use cable cards in their own devices, and allowed 3rd party devices like TIVO to use them.

TIVO is saying they will still exist for a while, and they are working with Comcast to create a new non-cable card solution, but it still is worrisome as a longtime TIVO user. I mean of course I would like something that also works with all the VOD from Verizon, but I hate their DVRs and have loved the simplicity of TIVO for a long time, so I hope they manage to stick around!
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AE with Mikey, a very cool YouTube channel with Tutorials for After Effects



Check out this very cool YouTube Channel with Tutorials for After Effects. Worth checking out.
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Indiana Bones Shaking in Slow Motion

A coupe of videos of my puppy shaking in slow motion:


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Adobe releases SpeedGrade CC 2014.2

Adobe has upgrade Speedgrade to CC 2014.2 with mostly bug fixes and improved color wheel usability.

Still no mention of my Multi-Clip Sequence issues. Hopefully that will be soon as this can be a major problem, even though there are workarounds (to flatten your sequences).
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Adobe releases Prelude CC 2014.2 Update

Adobe has updated Prelude to CC 2014.2, and Michael Lewis's Adobe Blog has the news.

This looks to be bug fixes, and removal of the Speech to text functionality.
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Adobe releases After Effects CC 2014.2 (13.2)

Adobe has updated Adobe After Effects to CC 2014.2 (13.2). Tim Kikoski's adobe blog has the list of features and bug fixes.

New Features include scripting improvements for text layers and expression access to dynamic layer bounds, as well as new keyframe icons which should stand out more against the dark background. And the bug fixes are all welcome, especially any speed improvements for Dynamic Link.
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Adobe Releases Story CC December 2014

Adobe has updated Story CC to December 2014 version.

You now have more control over templates, with changeable font, font size, color and attributes of the camera shot and video tape text elements as well as bug fixes.
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Adobe releases Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014.2

Adobe has updated Adobe Media Encoder CC to 2014.2. Al Mooney's blog at Adobe has the new features and bug fixes.

Looks like some new presets, the ability to publish on encode to YouTube or Vimeo, and add Preset Name to output name. They have also turned off the success chime and goat noise by default, and the have some bug fixes of course.
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Adobe releases Premiere Pro CC 2014.2

Adobe has updated Premiere Pro CC 2014, and you can check out the bug fixes and new features at Al Mooney's blog here.

Nothing on my Multi-Clip sequence bugs, but bug fixes are always a good thing.
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Bugs in Adobe Premiere Pro Multi-Clip Seqeunces

If you read my blog you probably know that Adobe Premiere Pro has become my editing software of choice, especially for anything graphics heavy. It really is the spiritual successor to Final Cut Pro 7, though obviously more modern and high powered, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have bugs.

One major one that they really need to fix has to do with Multi-Clip Sequences. 

Multi-Clip Sequences are how Premiere deals with multi cam, and it has an awesome ability to sync clips on it's own using embedded audio and to chose which audio is used for all clips (so say your good external audio can be used for all angles. This all works great, the problem comes when trying to resize any of these clips in a timeline.

If you try to resize a Multi-Clip sequence in a timeline the resize will not render, leaving the clip looking awful and very interlaced and low quality. And it shows in the timeline as not needing a render. To solve this you need to flatten the clips and then you can render and make the zoom look how they finally look. The problem is that it would be better to not ever have to flatten an image, so you can make changes at any point, and it is always better to have it look correct, especially when working with a client in the room.

One way to really notice is if you put an image with alpha over part of the Multi-Clip that has been resized. Having the alpha image over the Multi-Clip forces it to render correctly, but only for the portion with the alpha image over it, which can make the unrendered part look even more jarring!

The client or Producer often ask to push in on shots, so I run into this bug all the time. Adobe needs to fix this so these clips render properly while still in Multi-Clip sequences!

And I have discovered a second major bug with Multi-Clip Sequences, and that has to do with a roundtrip to Adobe SpeedGrade.

A major touted new feature of the Adobe Suite is being able to quickly and easily roundtrip your Adobe Premiere Pro sequences into SpeedGrade and back to Premiere. And your grade shows up in Premiere Pro as an effect that can be turned off or removed in Premiere Pro.

The problem comes when using Multi-Clip sequences and trying this round trip. Yes the grade works and shows up in Premiere Pro, but the effect does not. So you cannot turn it off or copy and paste it onto other clips. The Multi-Clip sequences in your sequence show up with the grade baked in, and the only way to change that is to go back to SpeedGrade.

So that is it for Multi-Clip Sequences for now. I have more bugs that I will be blogging about and reporting to Adobe in the near future so keep your eyes out for more of my posts.
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Boris FX has acquired Imagineer Systems the makers of Mocha


Boris FX has purchased Imagineer Systems Mocha as of December 15th. Check out the FAQ at Boris's web site for questions.

It sounds like the company will remain intact, and they will continue to bundle Mocha with After Effects. Lets hope this makes full versions of Mocha cheaper, as it is such a powerful tool for planar tracking. I have used Boris in the past, but it is the one suite I mostly stay away from, so I hope they don't ruin Mocha, or force it into a Boris only route in the future.

I use Mohca all the time when you just can't get a corner track, and though it is complicated, it does work so very well, so lets hope it stays as it is and just gets better from this integration and not get worse or go away.
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iOS and other Space, Apple really needs to fix this!

Apple iOS has had a serious problem for a very long time, and it seems to be getting worse, or is at least for me. There is a space on iOS devices that is listed as other, and is supposed to be data, be that document data, caches, saves or other things from applications, but it quickly becomes bloated with random crap and can actually completely fill up your device very quickly. In fact I have hit the point where iTunes is in fact reporting that I have more other space than anything else, and enough other to actually not allow my iPhone to sync! Now that is a lot of other data, especially when I last restored my iPhone only a week ago (and a complete restore in iTunes, when you wipe it, re-install the OS and then restore your data and apps from a backup seems to be the only solution to this issue.

Now here is the space on my iPhone.




And here is what iTunes is reporting when I connect my iPhone.



Over 20 GB’s over capacity!

Here is the other space specifically.





And by contrast the Apps and Music space.









Now this is nuts. This is a fresh install of IOS with a restore of my Apps, and I heavily pruned them to make space for more music (as my iPod Classic bit it recently, the horror!).

Now my iPhone won’t even sync because iTunes reports it as over capacity, and yet I have 2 GB free on my iPhone. Now as I said the only real solution is to once again do a backup and restore in iTunes, but this is an imperfect process at best. First off it doesn’t even work from iCloud (I lost 4 months of data when I tried that and had to go back to my last non-cloud backup) and my first restore of my iPhone managed to forget all of my folders and randomly install my Apps until it filled all the pages and stopped installing (though I had more apps on my iPhone before). Another restore fixed this, but it still leaves issues.

You have to re-enter all passwords. And even worse much app data is lost. Google Authenticator will be empty (even with a safe local backup to my computer) so restoring both iOS devices at once is not a good idea, as getting into the things with 2 step authentication without your second password is a huge pain! And apps like SIZER to keep your friends and family clothing sizes just loses all of it data and you have to get it again! And don’t forget to re-log into to your settings for Messages or you will be getting different parts of conversations on different devices!

So just to do a restore, not only does it take at least overnight on your computer, but then you have to spend a good deal of time getting everything working again! Honestly when I backup my iPhone I expect a full backup onto my computer (I can understand a cloud backup being only partial), not a partial backup! Why not make a disc image of the whole install, so a restore literally restores it?


Apple, you need to fix the restore, and especially fix why this Other space bloats to begin with! It has done this since iOS 1, and the problem is only worse now as Apps get bigger and people take more photos and expect to carry more music!
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Alsoft has released Diskwarrior 5

After a very long wait, Alsoft has released DiskWarrior 5. It has been a long time since anything but a point update, but that hasn't kept DiskWarrior from remaining the single best utility for Mac OS X repairs around. And I am excited to see how good this next version is, especially now that it ships on a bootable USB Flash Drive, so it can start up faster and be updated more easily (the CD/DVD upgrade process always took a while).

Check out the new features, including 64 Bit for speed, the ability to update your Diskwarrior Recovery Flash to to the latest OS X, it can even run from OS X Recovery.

This is great news, as this has always been the best repair program! I do like TechTool's emergency repair partition feature (on my machine I created it on a second hard drive and have Diskwarrior installed), but the USB will make this really use, especially to do repairs on my wife's MacBook Air!

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Video Copilot releases Element 3D V2

After a slight delay (they seemed to have some issues releasing yesterday) Video Copilot has released Element 3D V2 with shadows, 3D Noise and Deform, Bend and Twist, and a whole slew of new features for $199.95 with a $99.95 upgrade price.

Here is a video with more of the new features:



They also upgraded Pro Shaders to 2K graphics for $99.95, and upgraded Backlight with 8K HDRi Environment and Light Maps for $99.95. And Motion Design 2 High Tech and Industrial 3D Models also for $99.95 or you can buy the full Motion Design for $349.95 or $249.95 upgrade.

Element 3D is a fast and powerful 3D program for use within after effects and is really a must have plug in, so I am excited to see what the new features can do.
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Red Giant Updates Universe to 1.3 with 6 new Free and 7 New Premium Effects!

Red Giant has updated Universe to 1.3!



The Premium effects seem awesome, especially fixing gopro and the the very cool lookin VHS effect.
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Element 3D V2 from Video Copilot will release December 2nd!

Video Copilot has announced that their Element 3D V2 will release on December 2nd! They will also be releasing Pro Shaders 2 with 2K Maps and Motion Design 2 Model Pack!

So looking forward to checking this one out. I love Element 3D, it is so fast and easy to use.

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Apple OS X Yosemite Kills 3rd Party SSD Support!

This is huge news that is all over the internet, it seems that Apple with OS X Yosemite has removed support for third party SSD in OS X 10.10 Yosemite. If you are using it as a boot drive with TRIM enabled (which cleans up garbage on an SSD) it will not boot of of it. This is due to a security update called KEXT SIGNING. It is possible to disable KEXT SIGNING, but if you do it does it across the board and not just for TRIM and will leave your system insecure.

Now this doesn't affect may except power users, and neither does it affect SSD's from Other World Computing, which do not need TRIM to work correctly.

I wonder what this means for Hackintosh's? Probably means turning off KEXT SIGNING.

I have always waned to upgrade my old MacPro to SSD to speed it up, but just couldn't afford it. I was thinking a Sonnet Tech Temp SSD Pro Plus 6 Gb/s Host, and one 6 GB 480gb Mercury Extreme Pro 480 GB, but that would be around $700, but would leave room for a second SSD. It would be a pain to move everything from my personal drive to a second drive, but I think not only would the SSD speed things up, but it would be great to start with a fresh system again, as my system has some serious issues that a fresh install would likely fix.

Still not something that is going to happen any time soon.
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BlackMagic Design releases Fusion for Windows for Free or $995 for Studio Version!

BlackMagic Design has done it again, and they have released their recently Purchased Fusion compositing program for free or $995 for the Studio Version with advanced 3D tools, OpenFX plug In support and unlimited distributed rendering.

Awesome news, and I would love to learn this. Going to give me a reason other than gaming to fire up BootCamp and boot into Windows 8 on my Mac, because since learning Shake back in the day I have loved Nodal compositing software. And the true 3D compositing and even 3D model rendering all in one will be pretty amazing.
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PVC on wringing new life out of an old Mac Pro Tower

Scott Simmons at the Pro Video Coalition takes a look at extending the life of the old Mac Pro Tower.

I have been trying to do the same with mine. Have not yet been able to afford an SSD boot drive, or an NVIDIA K5000 (though I do have a PC GTX 670), and have added USB 3.

Would love to have an expansion chassis, but it almost begs the question of is it worth it to stay Mac. I would love to be able to get a MacBook Pro to keep me Mac and then build a huge PC tower with all the expansion and ports I will ever need. Thunderbolt is great, but it is expensive, and not as fast as PCI, and I would rather have all the internal storage I could have than have to get external storage.
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PVC on Free Models for Element 3D from Topher Welsh

Rich Young at the ProVideoCoalition has linked to some articles on getting free Models for Video Copilots Element 3D.

Awesome. I love Element 3D and free Models are always a good thing!
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FitBit will not be integrating with Apple HealthKit and it's Health App

Well it seems that FitBit will not be integrating it's Fitness data with the newly released Apple Health App via HealthKit.

You can see this very commented post at Fitbit's Forums, where FitBit gives the following statment:

 Status: Reviewed By Moderator
We do not currently have plans to integrate with HealthKit.

It is an interesting new platform and we will watch as it matures, looking for opportunities to improve the Fitbit experience. At the moment, we’re working on other exciting projects that we think will be valuable to users. The question we want you to keep in mind when providing feedback is: What do you imagine a HealthKit integration would entail and what do you expect to get out of it?

Your voices are being heard. We're actively reviewing your responses and providing feedback to our product development team.

Now they say they are listening and want to your feedback, but there are already 32 pages of feedback of people wanting this integration, and they do say they have no plans to integrate with HealthKit.

FitBit does have a $49.99 a year premium service called Benchmark to get better info on your fitness data, so they want to make money off of your data, but they already offer free integration with Microsoft's Health Vault, which negates any argument about having to pay to access your data how you want to.

Health and HealthKit are one of the most exciting new features of the recently released iOS 8. It is a new central repository for your health data, that eventually will even be able to pass information to your doctor if something changes with your health. It is meant to not only work with the new Apple Watch, but with other fitness trackers and devices. And Apple even showed the FitBit app in their presentation, hoping that Fitbit would integrate.

Now I have been a FitBit user from the beginning, with an original, a One and a Force (which I returned because it was giving me a rash) and an Aria for weight, and got a FitBit for my mom as well. So I have been a very good customer. And I have even been saving my refund check for my Force to see what FitBit would be replacing it with, but this makes me think I would be better off putting that money into an Apple Watch.

I have been quite excited by the Apple Watch as it is a Fitness tracker and also a replacement for my Pebble Watch, but the one day battery life and lack of waterproofing has me quite nervous, but the Fitibt Force was not WaterProof and neither is the One.

So maybe it is time to start thinking about moving away from Fitbit. I could sell my One and my Aria and get an Apple Watch and either an iHealth Lite or iHealth Body Analysis Scale (iHealth already has HealthKit intergation from their 4 apps and 9 devices!).

FitBit really needs to get on the ball here or they are going to lose a lot of customers who don't want to be stuck only within their ecosystem.
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Adobe releases Adobe Prelude CC 2014.1

Adobe has released Adobe Prelude CC 2014.1, you can check out the new features here.
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