Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks


Twitter and Instagram Compete for Your Photos

Posted by JenThorpe at 3:37 AM on November 8, 2012

Twitter and Instagram are getting ready to offer you a few more places to post your photos. Right now, there aren’t a whole lot of details that have been released. Those of you who feel that you don’t have enough of places to post your photos will probably embrace at least one of these upcoming options.

Instagram has announced that it will be rolling out Instagram profiles. This is in response to the request Instagram had from users who wanted there to be an Instagram interface that was on the web. Your web profile will feature a selection of the photos that you recently shared through Instagram. You can put in a profile photo and create a bio.

People can follow your profile, and you can follow the profiles of other Instagram users. Anyone can comment on the photos or “like” them. I suppose it was only a matter of time until Facebook, which bought Instagram, would figure out a way to get its iconic “like” button in there somewhere. You will not be able to upload Instagram photos through your Instagram profile. My best guess is this is to prevent users from opting out of using the Instragram app in favor of the profile.

According to the New York Times, Twitter is going to be adding photo filters to what it can offer users. The purpose, of course, would be to compete with Instagram (and all the ways it lets you alter and play with a photo).

Although Twitter has made a deal with Photobucket in the past, it seems that Twitter is now storing images on its own servers. It appears that Twitter is quietly working on building its own photo filters that will let you alter your photos like you can with Instagram, (only without actually using Instagram to do it). Like Instagram, the filters from Twitter will be accessible through its mobile app. No word yet on when the filters will be ready.

Image: Stock Photo Using Mobile Phone by BigStock

GoPro Hero3 Black Edition

Posted by Andrew at 12:55 AM on October 18, 2012

GoPro have announced the latest addition to their lineup of action cameras, the Hero3 Black Edition and it’s some camera. Capable of 4k video recording, albeit at 12 fps, and 60 fps at 1080p, this captures adrenalin-fuelled action in all its glory. Other features include burst modes, time-lapse, wi-fi video preview and a wi-fi controller.

GoPro Hero3

 

If you want to show off your extreme adventures, this is the camera to have. It’s pricey enough at $399 (£379) and there are lesser models at $299 (£279) and $199 (£179) for the silver and white variants respectively. As expected, there’s a range of accessories for attaching cameras to machines, helmets, bodies and other sporting equipment. The Black Edition will be out in November.

To show off the features of the Hero3, GoPro commissioned this film which was shot entirely with a Hero3. It’s stunning.

“Mermaids!” says my daughter.

 

Adobe Releases Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11

Posted by Alan at 6:46 AM on October 1, 2012

The more creative folks among us will be excited to hear that today Adobe has introduced new versions of both Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements.  The photo and video editing programs, which are stand-alone apps, have both gone to version 11 and are available immediately.

Photoshop Elements 11 features a brand new user interface with Quick, Guided and Expert editing modes, one-click options, action bar and bigger icons.  Users can also organize photos based on people, places (via Google maps geo-tagging) or events, new Guided Edits, new filters and the ability to share photos via email, Facebook and more.

Premiere Elements 11 also features a newly-designed user interface with many of the same updates we mentioned for Photoshop Elements.   The new version also comes with a wider range of  effects, transitions, themes, titles, disc menus and professional-level effects and sound.  A FilmLooks features has been added which Adobe describes as a way to “easily apply slow and fast motion effects; dial-in colors with slider controls; effortlessly integrate blends for seamless transitions; and make adjustments with Quick Presets”.

Both apps can be purchased separately or as a bundle.  While many software updates introduce so few changes that they aren’t worth users shelling out the money for the upgrade, version 11 of the Adobe Elements software seems to make the upgrade a worthwhile move for those who want to make the jump.

Astrononomy Photographer of the Year

Posted by Andrew at 10:22 AM on September 20, 2012

The winning images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012 were announced today and as you might expect, they’re absolutely stunning. Organised by the Royal Observatory in conjunction with the Sky at Night magazine and Flickr, every single one of the pictures is fantastic.

Nearly 700 pictures were submitted to Flickr for 2012 and you can see them all in the Flickr Group Pool for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year. There’s an endless supply of background images when you include the previous year’s entrants.

Milky Way Reflected in Tioga Lake

Photograph by Rick Whiteacre. Licensed under Creative Commons.

The BBC is showing off some of the photographs from the competition in a narrated presentation that’s well worth a watch as well.

The photographs are on show at the Royal Observatory through to 17 February 2013.

Europe Has a New Tallest Building: The Shard Featured on Instagram

Posted by Alan at 4:37 PM on July 5, 2012

Today, July 5th, marked the official opening of the new tallest building in the European Union, although construction was actually completed back in April of this year.  Called “The Shard“, and formerly known by the name “London Bridge Tower”, the building is 309.6 meters tall with 72 habitable floors.  It also features a viewing gallery and observation deck on the 72nd story.

If you are wondering how this article fits into our normal tech news genre, well there are a couple of reasons.  First is the architecture, which likely couldn’t have been done in the pre-computer design era.  The long, thin pyramid design is beautiful to behold and a challenge to design and build.

Second, the pictures taken of the new building were picked up by web and mobile photo sharing service Instgram, who today dedicated a page to images of The Shard.  They announced this today through a post on their blog, and also added a few images, which you can see below.

Image Credit: Instagram Blog

Busy Week at Instagram

Posted by Alan at 3:10 PM on July 1, 2012

Social photo service Instagram just had a big week, although not as big as the week of the billion dollar buyout, but it’s all relative.  This week the mobile app company released a slew of updates, including ones to their Android and iOS apps, as well as to their web site.  There were bug fixes and new features for everyone, and with the power and financial backing of Facebook behind them, they will likely be moving even faster with their updates and upgrades.

Updates to the android app included:

  • Improved search functionality
  • Support for location data taken from Gallery images when geotag is selected
  • Fix for HTC Sensation 4G freezing using tilt shift
  • Improved support and bugfixes for devices using the Instagram advanced camera
  • Addresses tilt shift issues on lower resolution images

iOS users can expect similar improvements.

  • Revamped profile tab
  • Search for users and tags in the Explore tab
  • Improvements to commenting
  • User search autocompletes based on people you follow
  • Visual improvements
  • Speed optimizations
  • Optionally share likes to Facebook (enable in your Profile > Sharing Settings > Facebook)

If you want to access the service from a computer then you got the biggest update of all.  Instagram has finally allows you to follow, comment and like from your web browser.

Instagram, now a property of Facebook, is the number one photo sharing service right now and they continue update and innovate in an effort to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing tech world.   Like other social networks, it’s free to use.

Instagram for Android Updates to 1.1, Adds Tilt-Shift

Posted by Alan at 3:38 PM on May 9, 2012

Instagram launched their long-awaited Android app just a few weeks ago.  It was followed by several small updates to get it up and working properly, but today they have finally released the first feature update, dubbed version 1.1.  The latest version adds just one feature, but it’s an important one to anyone that has used Instagram – tilt-shift.

The name may be a bit cryptic, but tilt-shift is essentially an effect that adds depth-of-field to your images.  In other words, it’s that cool effect you get in high-end DSLR cameras that causes the background to be blurred, bringing the subject into better focus.  With Instagram this isn’t done at the time the image is snapped, but in post-production with a filter.

In you are interested in more in-depth information about using this feature then you can head over to the Instagram blog to read their tips for using tilt-shift.  Instagram is available for free from the Google Play Store.

RHP MirrorCase Goes For A KickStarter

Posted by Andrew at 1:37 PM on April 29, 2012

RHP Multimedia MirrorCaseAt this year’s CES, Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin interviewed John Palmeri of RHP on their new MirrorCase, a special case for the iPhone 4/4S that lets photos be taken while the phone is horizontal, i.e. flat, rather than the more usual vertical orientation.

Depending on your point of view, it’s either a clever idea that stops the camera intruding on the moment or else it’s sneaky way of taking pics without other people realising. Regardless of reasons, it may be of interest to know that the MirrorCase is currently on Kickstarter.

If I read the funding levels correctly, at the moment $35 will get you pre-order of the MirrorCase (RRP $80) but there are only limited numbers of backers at that level. If you do miss out, you should be able to back at $40. Backers are also offered a discount on the iPhone 5 version, whenever that comes out!

There are another 28 days and $21,000-odd to go before the project is funded. Assuming this, delivery is expected in July.

Veho Mobile Gear at The Gadget Show

Posted by Andrew at 11:43 PM on April 19, 2012

Pebble Power PackVeho probably isn’t the first name that springs to mind when thinking about gadgets but they have a sizeable range from miniature video cameras to digital photo frames and Bluetooth headsets. In the UK, their products are sold in the main big boxes – PC World and Currys.

On Veho’s stand at Gadget Show Live, I played with a USB microscope which showed magnified images on the PC screen. Perhaps a little limited with just two magnification levels (20x or 200x) but good fun nevertheless.

In this interview, James Farmer from Veho takes me through some of the Veho range, including their Muvi miniature DV cameras, Pebble portable battery packs and Mimi wireless speakers. I really liked their Pebble range of battery packs as they had a lovely smooth shape, like the original Palm Pre.

 

Delkin Device Connector Bracket For A DSLRs or Camcorder

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 4:18 PM on April 19, 2012

Connector If you have ever watched a video someone tried to film from a vehicle you know how painful it can be because of the vibration. At one time the only way to stop this type of vibration was to spend hundreds of dollars on a Hollywood style contraption , not anymore. Delkin Devices is announcing the new Connector Bracket which is compatible with Fat Gecko Mini and The Fat Gecko Original. This will allow photographers and videographers to connect one camera, iPad or camcorder mount with a second Fat Gecko Original or Mini model. It can handle DSLRs and camcorders up to 8 lb. It provides triple and quadruple contact points, which allows you to attach a camera to any non-porous surface. The Connector Bracket has a slide and lock design which allows the camera to be placed at various angles and positions. Meaning if you want to attach your camera to the top  or side of a vehicle and have an image that is crisp and smooth, this is the bracket to use.

The Connector will be available for $19.99 directly through the Delkin Device Website or at any authorized retailer. Delkin Devices has been making accessories that are built to make life easier for photographers since 1986.