John Herrman over at Buzzfeed FWD astutely points out that all of the flaws of cameraphones (noisy sensors, poor focus abilities, artifacting, etc.) are being exposed now that we have large screens (both in size and resolution to display our images on). Going forward, is this enough of a reason to make you go back to carrying a proper, standalone camera? [FWD]
It’s been quite a while since a personal media player finagled its way onto the site, and while eMatic’s new eSport Clip is probably a marginal-at-best media player and digital camera, it’s worth noting that it’s also just 22 bucks.
For reference, it will cost you $40 just to get the extended warranty on the display-less iPod Shuffle, which doesn’t come with a camera. And while the image quality on the eSport Clip is probably even more abysmal than the iPad 2’s camera, and you’ll be no doubt squinting at its tiny 1.8-inch display, you’ve probably already forgotten that it’s just $22, available excusively from Walmart. [eMatic]
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest natural coral formation on Earth and you’ll soon be able to see it in all its glory—from your desk.
The Catlin Seaview Survey, a collaboration between Google, the University of Queensland, and the Caitlin Group, will perform a diagnostic on the reef system’s health via a panoramic underwater photographic and video survey. The program has already taken some preliminary surveys, though the group plans to undertake the projects main component—three surveys begin at 20 points around the reef—in September.
Images will be captured by a 360-degree camera (actually four conveniently positioned fish-eye lens SLR’s) affixed to the front end of an Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) for shallow surveys, and robotic subs for surveys between 30 and 100 meters. The group hopes to also study how and if the migratory behavior of tiger sharks, green turtles and manta rays has been affected by global warming.
Starting today Internet users should be able to access these images via Google Street View and will also be able to watch video of each study section on YouTube. [University of Queensland via New Scientist]
Image: Caitlin Seaview Survey
Bokeh refers to blurry effects in photographs—purposely out of focus shapes that are creamy and wonderfully fuzzy. You can make your own bokeh with just some inexpensive black cardstock.
This DIY lens hood and cap, dubbed the Circle of Confusion Shape Modifier, is similar to a previous one we’ve featured before, except this one lets you change out the “slides” or bokeh shapes easily—so you’re not stuck with just one shape. The tutorial at DIYphotography is very detailed: It tells you how to set up the grid in Photoshop or Gimp, create the squares and cutouts, and assemble it all together.
Check out the original article and the reader comments for a discussion of the techniques used to create the effects in the photos, such as setting your camera to the lowest aperture value. Enjoy making dazzling, beautiful photos!
DIY: Circle of Confusion Shape Modifier | DIY Photography
Intel’s about to get its peanut butter all over Motorola’s chocolate. And, in addition to the Reese’s Pieces, we’ll see the first Intel-powered, Android smartphone in the second half of this year.
The two companies announced today that they’ve signed on for a multi-year strategic relationship which will span multiple platforms—including tablets and phones. Specifically, Motorola hopes to employ Intel’s low power system-on-chip architecture. “With Android as the leading smartphone OS globally and advancements in computing technology we see tremendous opportunity.” Sanjay Jha, Chairman and CEO of Motorola Mobility told Business wire. Intel’s new Medfield chip could to be on-board.
And, while the phones may not end up as sleek as the Intel design reference above, with the Medfield’s ability to support up to a 24MP camera and 1080p playback, Apple may have some real competition on its hands. What’s more, given that Google owns Motorola, these phones could very well have an inside track to the latest and greatest Android OS builds. [Marketwatch]
What looks like the card slot from a Chase Bank ATM is actually a sophisticated card skimmer removed from a branch in West Hills, California. And police believe a 3D printer may have been used to create it.
Those green bulbous card slots that were supposed to make it very difficult for a card skimmer to be attached to an ATM have turned out to be just a minor inconvenience for sophisticated thieves. Investigators believe this skimmer—which perfectly fits over the ATM’s regular slot— was created from a mould that came from a 3D printer. Which means those behind this particular ATM scheme had some very expensive tools at their disposal.
In addition to being a perfect replica of the ATM’s standard card slot, this skimmer incorporates a small pinhole camera that starts recording the PIN pad whenever a card is inserted. On the underside is a series of holes that investigators believe allowed the thieves to download data and footage, but the complex electronics on the inside may have been salvaged from a cellphone, giving this skimmer wireless connectivity. So in the future, like in many situations, make sure you take a good look at the hardware before you stick your thing in the slot. [KrebsonSecurity via BoingBoing]
I love my iPad. It’s the original model, bought on April 3, 2010. It’s been working perfectly since then but the battery life was really bad, lasting only a couple of hours lately. It was exhausted. I had to replace it.
In the process, I got a fresh iPad 64GB at the Apple Store for just $100. The good news, you can get one too.
After so many charging cycles, my original iPad’s battery was exhausted. It took forever to recharge and only a few hours to completely run out. I remember the days when I first got it. I could use it normally for a couple of days, watching at least two Netflix movies on it or browsing the web, running some apps and reading comic books.
I went to the Apple Store to ask for a battery replacement. But, as it turns out, you can’t replace an iPad’s battery. As the guy at the Apple Store’s Genius Bar told me: “See? They don’t have screws. We can’t replace the battery.”
Then he added: “If you want a new battery, we have to give you an entire new iPad.”
How? My iPad was out of warranty. I didn’t buy Apple Care. Furthermore, the iPad itself was broken on one side. One day I dropped it on the floor and the aluminum got quite chipped on one side.
He answered that this was no problem. I only have to pay $100 for the “battery.” In return, they would give you a reconditioned iPad with the same storage size as yours, with a fresh battery inside.
So I did exactly that. I paid the hundred bucks and got back home with a perfect battery life and an iPad with no blemishes whatsoever. If your battery life is sketchy—which is probably the case if you bought it back in April 2010—you should go to an Apple store, pay your hundred and get a fresh new iPad on your hands.
And your old iPad doesn’t go to waste. These get refurbished too. Any bad parts get replaced and go back into the cycle of Apple life.
Update: A former Genius shares his tips in the comments:
• You can do the same thing with any iPhone for $79, and most iPods for $69.
• Apple will replace an iPhone in almost any condition (the only exception being for devices that are literally broken into little pieces, or ones that are missing parts) for $199, even if it’s liquid damaged or cracked.
• Apple will replace any OOW damaged iPad for around half the price.
• On an iPhone 4, if the back glass is cracked, an Apple employee can replace it for $29 in only about 5 minutes, also not a bad idea if your camera lens is scratched beyond repair
• If you restore your device before bringing it in, there are no usage records saved and they have to take your word for it that the battery is defective.
That’s pretty good customer service indeed.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
Collaborators – Digital Profs
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