Thursday, March 31, 2016

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - Best Mobile Camera

DXO reports: [edited]

The 26mm f/1.7 lens delivers very accurate and repeatable exposures, which helped the S7 edges achieve an outstanding Exposure & Contrast score of 90 during our tests. Even in tricky high contrast scenes, it captures great exposures thanks to its built-in auto HDR feature, making it a great choice for landscape or backlit photography.

The new Samsung S7 edge ranks in joint first place for still photos alongside the S6 Edge and Sony Z5. The main strengths of Samsung’s S7 edge photos are its excellent and repeatable exposures in all conditions, fast and accurate autofocus, and a very good compromise between noise and detail.

Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone also offers notable improvements to its video performance, capturing nice exposures, with pleasant colour and excellent video autofocus and stabilisation.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Moby Dick – Available As An Audiobook

‘The Moby-Dick Big Read’ is an audiobook version of Herman Melville’s ‘Great [unread] American Novel’, with its (count them) 135 chapters read by a mixture of the well-known (including Tilda Swinton, Stephen Fry, David Attenborough and Benedict Cumberbatch) and the not-so-well-known, all freely accessible via iTunes and SoundCloud.

Thanks to Kottke for the link.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Nik Photo Editing Collection Available Free

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

Google's Nik Collection of desktop image editing plug-ins is being offered free of charge.

Compatible with Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture, Nik's Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine apps are all available as a free download from Google, a substantial savings over the previous $150 price.

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[Ed. Grey Learning has kindly made a number of previously 'paid for' training videos available free.]

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Our Easter Story

The story of Easter as told by the children of Christ Church Tunbridge Wells UK.

Thanks to Tim Roberts for the link.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bandai Body-kun & Body-chan

Rocket News 24 reports: [edited]

Bandai has announced they will be selling these 150mm male and female posable figures from April 2016.

Named ‘Body-kun’ and ‘Body-chan’, they will be accompanied by dozens of accessories, making it easier to draw someone using a laptop, wielding a sword, or a cellphone.

What sets these figures apart from other posable art models is that they are built to bend in a 'natural' fashion, in over 30 different places.

Price: from £30, depending on accessories.

Images courtesy of ITmedia News and @INSIDEjp.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

9.7-inch iPad Pro

Essentially a smaller/slightly slower/lighter (437g vs 713g) version of its 12.9" predecessor, it features an upgraded display with less reflective glass, a wider gamut and sensors that adapt the display’s colour balance to complement the ambient light.

It supports the Apple Pencil, there's an optional Smart Keyboard, and it comes with an improved 12 megapixel, f/2.2 camera (12.9" = 8 megapixel, f/2.4).

Price: from £499 - 32GB WiFi, up to £839 - 256GB WiFi + Cellular.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

iPhone SE

If you've been thinking of upgrading from your iPhone 5/5S/5C, but don't want the extra bulk of the 6S/6S Plus, your wish has been granted.

The iPhone SE is almost identical in form-factor to the 5S, as fast as the 6S, with a decent main camera.

As long as you're not worried about its low-quality 'selfie' camera, slower Touch ID sensor and lack of 3D touch, and want an iOS smartphone, you'll be saving nearly £200 over purchasing an equivalently specified 6S.

Price: £359 - 16GB, £439 - 64GB

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Colour Thesaurus

Ingrid Sundberg writes: [edited]

‘I love to collect words. One of my ongoing collections is of colours. I love to stop in the paint section of a hardware store and find new names for red or white or yellow. Having a variety of colour names at my fingertips helps me to create specificity in my writing.’

‘So for fun, I created this Colour Thesaurus.’

Friday, March 18, 2016

Look Into My Eyes

Bored Panda reports: [edited]

My name is Andrei Mogan, I’m a photographer from Romania, and I started this project in the summer of 2014.

The idea behind it was to capture not only the unique pattern every eye has but also the person behind it. Every person is different in its own beautiful way and you can see that in their eyes, which are also unique from person to person.

If you want to see more detailed eye images and aren't 'Mail Online allergic', click here.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Atlas, 2016 model

Boston Dynamics reports: [edited]

The latest version of Atlas is specialised for mobile manipulation. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and Lidar (Light Radar) and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects. It is about 5' 9" tall and weighs 180lbs.

[Editor's Note: Is it only me who cringes when the humans push Atlas around?]


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Microsoft proposing Xbox Live/Playstation Network compatibility?

Forbes reports: [edited]

Microsoft just extended what felt like an open invitation to Sony and the PS4. ID@Xbox director Chris Charla wrote a release on the Xbox News wire...

“ addition to natively supporting cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows 10 games that use Xbox Live, we’re enabling developers to support cross-network play as well. This means players on Xbox One and Windows 10 using Xbox Live will be able to play with players on different online multiplayer networks – including other console and PC networks.”

It’s a perfect dare from Microsoft’s point of view. The company has nothing to lose by offering their network of players: the Xbox One is second place in the current console war, and access to the PSN player base be massive for any games that allowed cross-play.

Sony, however, has everything to lose my breaking down that particular wall. The PS4 has a massive lead in the console war, and that means anyone looking to buy a new machine has to consider that games on PS4 are likely to have more players, and statistically speaking, their friends are more likely to be on PSN.

I’d be surprised if we saw any sort of cross play between Xbox One and PS4 players, for all the reasons above. But by putting the idea out there, Microsoft continues to make its company look ahead of the curve, and that’s good business for a gaming division that was in a pretty bad place just a few years ago.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lee Sedol Fights Back

Google's AlphaGo Project has seen Lee Sedol, one of the world’s top Go players, beaten by a computer. This has come as a shock to many ‘experts’ in the Artificial Intelligence field. Earlier in the year Elon Musk, a big investor in AI, predicted that a feat like this was at least ten years away.

Lee has since played, and won, the fourth game in the five game tournament. An online search will give you plenty of commentary on this, but for the lazy/time challenged, click here for a fascinating and accessible look at how Mr Sedol went about it.

[Update: final score, 4-1 to AlphaGo.]