Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Google Gigapixel Art Camera



Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

The Google Cultural Institute, an online virtual museum with high-quality digitisations of artifacts from across the globe, recently added more than 1,000 ultra-high-resolution images of classic paintings and other artwork by Monet, Van Gogh and many others. A new robotic camera system Google has developed called 'Art Camera' has made it possible for the organisation to add digitisations faster than before.

Art Camera, after being calibrated to the edges of a painting or document by its operator, automatically takes close-up photos of paintings one section at a time, using a laser and sonar to precisely adjust the focus. This process results in hundreds of images that are then sent to Google, where they're stitched together to produce a single gigapixel-resolution photo.

Art Camera can complete the process in less than an hour. Google has built 20 Art Cameras and is shipping them to museums around the world for free, enabling the organisations to digitise their artwork and documents.

The resulting gigapixel images can be viewed here.
------------

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Google Home

The Verge reports: [edited]

Physically, the Home is a small cylinder with a modular case that you can customise with different base shells to match your decor. It will also have LED lights to let you know it's working. It boasts a powerful speaker, one of the main uses Google is foreseeing is listening to music.

Google Home is designed with multiple rooms and speakers in mind. And you can talk to any speaker and tell it to play music on other speakers. It will work with Google Play Music, but it should also be able to handle any other service that supports Google Cast.

Compatibility with Cast means it can talk to the Chromecast plugged into your TV.

Unfortunately, the Home won't support multiple Google accounts at launch, but the company says that will come in time.

It will let you ask Google questions, with responses optimised for audio and it will to work with a set of home automation devices — including thermostats and lights.

It's coming out later this year for an unspecified price.
------------

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Nuheara IQbuds

engadget reports: [edited]

IQbuds are Bluetooth headsets for your phone. They have active noise cancelling, and the same technology can be used to give your hearing a boost, or focus on voices in noisy environments.

Nuheara claims they allow you to blend music and the sounds around you. The touch-controlled IQbuds have a four-hour battery life and charging case.

IQbuds will also let you tweak the sound around you by adding more bass and/or cutting high frequencies. IQbuds also let you change ambient sound for each ear. For someone with high frequency loss of hearing on one side, or similar, it's potentially very helpful.

For more information, click here.
------------

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Combining Typefaces by Tim Brown

Adobe Typekit Blog reports: [edited]

Originally published by Five Simple Steps in 2013, my Pocket Guide to Combining Typefaces has sold thousands of copies, been used in college curricula, and been cited in conference talks by industry-leading designers.

Unfortunately, Five Simple Steps closed its doors this month. Because this pocket guide is no longer available for purchase, I’ve decided to make it available for free here on the Typekit blog. Download the PDF and enjoy.
------------

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Olympus Pen-F

Digital Photography Review has published a full review of Olympus' digital reincarnation of their 1963 premium compact.

Snippets from the conclusion follow:

“In terms of design, the F is a gorgeous camera, both to gaze at longingly on a table or to physically hold and use. In many ways, the PEN-F is the most physically remarkable Four Thirds camera to date.”

“In the paws the camera sits comfortably; it can easily be used with just a single hand. The touchscreen is especially useful, especially if you are a street shooter: touch-to-focus and touch-to-shoot can help keep things discreet when trying to get candids, and can be near instantaneous.”

“By far, one of the most helpful inclusions is the camera's 5-axis sensor-based image stabilisation system. It is extremely robust for both stills and video. In real-world shooting that it gave us an average of four additional stops of handhold-ability.”

“Autofocus performance from the Olympus PEN-F is on par with what we'd expect from a modern contrast detect AF (CDAF) system, which is to say, good. When using Autofocus Single (Olympus calls it S-AF), focus speeds are fast.”

“Image quality from the PEN-F is very good. The PEN-F's JPEGs are (as we expected) very pleasing, with accurate colours. We also found the PEN-F offered better high ISO JPEGs than its closet competitor, the GX8. Raw performance is also very good.”

“The PEN-F is a very capable camera jam-packed with features and tools to help shooters realise their vision. It offers impressive image quality, some of the best image stabilisation available, acceptable video quality, direct controls and ample customisation, all in one incredibly-handsome digital camera.”

Price: £999 (body only)
------------

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

trueCall38

trueCall38 reports: [edited]

Do you get annoyed when you fill in an online form and have to enter your phone number when you know that the company doesn’t need it?

The solution: enter our phone number 0333 88 88 88 88 as your phone number, and if they call, they will hear our short but sweet recorded message:-

"trueCall38 is handling my calls. I prefer not to be contacted by phone, so please contact me via my email address. Goodbye!"

Note: Some online forms won't accept the full trueCall38 number. If the number is rejected enter 0333 8888 888.

Thanks to Paul Mayers for the link.
------------

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

HP Spectre 13.3

engadget reports: [edited]

At 10.4mm thin, the Spectre is about as thick as a AAA battery, making it not just the skinniest PC in HP's portfolio but the slimmest notebook on the market. Think of it as HP's answer to Apple's 12-inch MacBook, except with a bigger screen, extra horsepower and a little more bling.

It looks striking in photos and even more so in person. It is is very, very thin, and though it's not technically the lightest, at 2.45 pounds, it is still extremely easy to hold. The combination of metal and carbon fibre helps the machine feel at once compact and well-made.

A piston-style hinge, inspired by upscale cabinetry allows the 13.3-inch Gorilla Glass screen to almost float above the keyboard. (The skinny bezels also add to the effect.) HP had to go with a non-touch screen to keep the machine's thickness down.

Spectre is powered by your choice of sixth-gen Core i5 or i7 processors, helped by up to 8GB of RAM and PCIe solid-state drives with up to 512 gigs of storage. It also brings more ports than you might expect: three USB Type-C connections, two of which support Thunderbolt.

The notebook is rated for a healthy nine and a half hours of runtime.

The Spectre 13.3 goes up for pre-order on 25 April. Price starts at $1,170.
------------