Tag Archives: photos

Bing Releases Joplin Tornado App

Bing has release an app that documents the massive damage from the May 22nd Joplin, Missouri tornado.  The new app is a part of Bing Maps, which has become a really nice competitor for Google Maps.  According the Bing team the photos come from “Surdex, one of our Global Ortho flying partners, captured these images 36 hours after the event at an amazing 7.5 cm resolution (which means each pixel represents an area about the size of a standard post-it note). Surdex is making these images freely available to government agencies as a public service (see their website for details).”

The app shows both before and after photos that document the sad damage of the massive EF-5 storm.  Users can flip back and forth between both the before and after shots to see the changes.

To access it, you can visit the Joplin Tornado app page.

Power Up Android Photos With Camera Zoom FX

Many of the new Android phones come with powerful cameras – up to 8 MP in some cases.  The built-in camera software works pretty well also.  The Droid X, mt current smartphone of choice, even came with Panorama Mode build-in.  However, there are many photography apps available in the Android Market.  The first one I tried was Camera 360, which I read about in an article right here.

Recently I have been trying out an app called Camera Zoom FX, which is available for $4.79 from the Android Market.  For more information you can also visit the maker’s website, AndroidSlide.

The app boasts a long and impressive list of features. Many of them I have not found in any other camera app.  Some, while perhaps available elsewhere, are incredibly useful.  I don’t think there’s another app that brings all of these together in one place.

40 photo fx! (pencil, fisheye, filmreel, etc.)
1-click simultaneously upload to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.
customization of all hardware buttons, e.g. volume buttons to control zoom
sound activation to take shots (clap to snap!)
online photo contest (voting using Twitter / Facebook) – best picture wins $100
circular zoom wheel (6x zoom)
upscale zoomed images
tap screen to snap shot
timer + sound effect
auto focus on / off
burst mode up to 16 shots
photo booth, e.g. 2 x 2 passport style combination shots
stable shot mode, including on-screen meter to show current level of movement
props, borders and famous ‘buddies’ in your pictures
customizable grid overlays
send, share
support from Android 1.5 through to Android 2.2
silent mode
antibanding (for TV / computer monitors)
auto save option
digi composites
flash (supported handsets)
scene modes, e.g. nightshot, beach (Droid only)

Once you open the app you will get a simple right-side menu that includes FX, Buddy (insert), hardware, shooting, and flash.  Clicking on each one brings up a more detailed list of options.

For instance, FX gives you such options as Normal, Color FX, Mirror FX, Art FX, Distort FX, and Frame FX.  Hardware allows you to hoose Auto Focus options, Filters, White Balance, and Night Shots.

If you click the menu button on your Android device you will get a whole list of settings you can change.  You can choose from such options as setting Camera Zoom FX as your default camera, enable shutter sound, zoom sensitivity, upscale zoomed images, picture size, JPEG quality, stable shot sensitivity, voice activation,burst mode options, sharing, and store GPS location in picture date, plus a lot more.

For a look at some of what Camera Zoom FX can do you can browse the gallery below.

Camera Zoom FX Settings
Camera Zoom FX Modes


Camera Zoom FX Art FX
Picture taken with Camera Zoom FX


HSTI Wireless Media Stick™

Harry Diamantopoulos of HSTI presents the Wireless Media Stick™. The Wireless Media Stick™ is able to deliver to playback devices the files stored in PC, Mac and NAS (network attached storage) devices. For example, plug the Wireless Media Stick™ into your HDTV’s USB port and watch a movie or view digital photos stored elsewhere on your WiFi home network. The memory is on your network, not on the Wireless Media Stick™. The Wireless Media Stick™ sells for $119 dollars. HSTI has also announced an app that installs on Android smartphones that is able to connect with the Wireless Media Stick™ to enable instant, easy sharing of photos and videos from the phone.

Interview by Esbjorn Larsen of MrNetCast.com and Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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Sony Bloggie Touch

Sony make.believeSony launched the new Bloggie Touch today here in the UK and it looks like quite a slick little gadget that will find its way under the Christmas tree this year.  Combining a full HD video camera and a 12 MP still camera, it actually looks more like mobile phone than a video camera, with a 3″ touchscreen on one side and a camera lens on the other.  It’s quite different from the previous generation of Bloggies, now with a brushed aluminium finish in three colours; black, silver and pink.

Bloggie Touch, front and backIn addition to filming in full HD, 1920 x1080, the Bloggie can also record 360 degree video with a special clip on lens.  I’ve no idea how this works but it’s quite intriguing.  GNC is on the list for a review unit, so when I actually get my hands on one, I’ll let you know.  The press release also mentions “freestyle shooting” which apparently allows you to capture video in both landscape and portrait mode.  Again, no idea but will let you know.

Details that I do know are that the Bloggie has 8GB storage built-in and should record about 4hrs of video in 1280 x 720, though the battery will run out after about 2.5 hours.  There’s a flip-out USB connector plus an HDMI connector for instant playback on a TV.  Obviously the LCD screen can be used to review the video and stills but it also sounds like you can use the touch screen to select the photos and movies you want to upload to, say, Flickr, on the Bloggie and then when you actually connect the Bloggie to you PC or laptop, the material is automatically uploaded. That sounds pretty cool and a good compromise on a device that doesn’t have wireless.

You can peruse the full specs on Sony’s website.

It’s for pre-order on Sony’s website for £219 but should be available any day now.

Wink PhotoStrips by Shutterfly – CES 2010

Wink by Shutterfly lets you create photostrips from pictures on your iPhone, Camera and Social Networks. They have a new portal at wink.shutterfly.com. You can use Wink with your iPhone or just go to the website and what is cool is that it is a quick way to get pictures you care about most printied.

Have you ever jumped into a photo booth? Well the PhotoStrip pictures that wink prints and delivers for $2.50 is the same exact experience. You just pick the pictures and have shutterfly print them. It’s a fun way to send a picture.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers @ Geekazine.com

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Shut that Forum down (or clean it up)

Before I got into blogging and podcasting, I ran a few internet forums. It was easy – setup a YABB (Yet Another Bulletin Board System) forum and let the minions have at. I had some pretty interesting forums in my day, and with it, a lot of controversy. Still, I kept things cleaned and tidy. Spammers were dealt with quickly and swiftly.

I still have one forum running. It’s more of a homage to those days, if anything. There are some that still come on to talk, so I keep it going.

Recently I have seen a lot of forums that have not been touched by a human. The story is the same – the forum owner pretty much abandons it, but keeps the registration simple. Within a couple months, the first spammer shows up. Maybe it’s a post about male growth pills. Maybe it’s about meeting up with girls. Nonetheless, it’s a spammer doing what they do best.

Now normally I wouldn’t care two hoots if you left your forum to deteriorate like an old shack in the middle of the woods. However, the spam starts to grow, and with it malware. Links to websites of naked girls are really sites that try to infect your computer. Links to cool videos turn out to be phishing schemes linking to misleading login pages.

Bottom line – you are infecting computers and allowing people to be swindled out of money.

We as a web community should be aware of what we do. After all, if you do own a house, you want to make sure that it is continually stable in it’s structure. When the power goes down, if the roof leaks, if the basement grows mold – you fix it. That should be the same mentality of a website.

Simple checks of your web domain(s) can keep things running smoothly. Forums that have been over run should be shut down or cleaned up. Deleting forum spam is an important part of being a webmaster.

Even newer websites should have some precautions taken. If you have a blog, make it so comments are moderated first. Install Akismet to block some of the malfeasance. Tie down some areas, including the registrations, so people don’t have to read or accidentally get malware or phished.

Part of keeping the bad stuff off the internet is to make sure the hackers and phishers don’t have a place to put their information – on your dime. And if you don’t have the time or energy to maintain a website, then either lock it down and clean it up or shut it off.

It’s ok to loose interest in something. Heck, I do that all the time. However, you should also clean up your mess you left behind. Otherwise, good people could be swindled out of $250,000 because they think they won a lottery. Good people could loose out just trying to find out about the new miracle male enhancement pill. Most important, you might just get blocked by Google, anti-viral programs, reporting services that keep an eye on the web and a lot more.

You never know when someone gets hit with hacking. Heck, it might even be your family or friends that get affected and infected. You don’t want that, do you?

Super Cool Browser add on

I don’t get too caught up in the “hot new thing” on the web. There is just so much stuff out there that is, well, a waste of time. Mostly I see new services and widgets that are neat but don’t help you do anything better than before. I found Piclens about 3 weeks ago and have been bragging on it ever since. Basically it is a “3D wall” of images or videos that runs on your browser. I use it on Firefox 3 but it is available on all the other major browsers as well. It makes viewing photos & videos smooth as opposed to the clunky way of I used to search for them one at a time. It works with google images, yahoo images, youtube, myspace, facebook, flickr, photobucket and more.

It’s nice to have all the photos in one place to just click through as you please. I can’t swear to it but the images look enhanced as well. Using it for youtube videos is even better as you don’t have to wait for another page to load before starting your next video. More sites are becoming compatible with Piclens everyday so it should only get better. If you have a giant screen for your PC or connect your computer to your bigscreen TV that just amplifies the experience. Oh yeah, it costs exactly nothing.

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