Thursday, 24 November 2016

Neural Network-based Image Colorization

Satoshi Iizuka, Edgar Simo-Serra & Hiroshi Ishikawa report: [edited]

We provide a service that uses AI to automatically colorize black and white images based on "Let there be Color!: Joint End-to-end Learning of Global and Local Image Priors for Automatic Image Colorization with Simultaneous Classification" Iizuka and Simo-Serra et al. SIGGRAPH 2016.

[Here's some I made up earlier, Ed.]

Thanks to Brook Jordan for the link.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Microsoft Surface Studio

Released date, early 2017.

Full specifications here

Review by illustrator Gabe at Penny Arcade here

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Playstation VR

Trusted Reviews has published a 10/10 review of Sony's recently released virtual reality goggles.

Snippets follow:

"Priced at £349.99, it’s significantly cheaper than the Oculus Rift (£549) and HTC Vive (£759)."

"PlayStation VR is simply the best virtual reality headset you can buy right now. It’s cheap while not compromising on performance and quality. The headset is simply stunning and incredibly comfortable to wear, and the games already available are some of the best VR experiences I’ve ever played."

"Compared to the Oculus Rift it offers a far more comfortable gaming experience at a much lower price point. Against the Vive it may not offer the level of detail and immersion, but is close and doesn’t require the installation of additional sensors in your home and will not demand as much space for many games, either."

"I was so excited about virtual reality, but this was replaced with frustration the longer I tried to use the Oculus Rift. Now? I couldn’t be more enthused, and it’s all thanks to PSVR."

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Variable Fonts

Adobe Typekit Blog reports: [edited]

Jointly developed by Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Adobe, a variable font is “a single font file that behaves like multiple fonts”. A single font file gaining an infinite flexibility of weight, width, and other attributes without also gaining file size.

The OpenType font file specification now includes a new technology: OpenType Font Variations, which allows type designers to interpolate a font’s entire glyph set or individual glyphs along up to 64,000 axes of variation (weight, width, etc.), and define specific positions in the design space as named instances (“Bold”, “Condensed”, etc.).

For fonts to actually show up anywhere, a rendering engine has to make typesetting and rasterisation calculations. Rendering engines are complex, and will need to be developed before Variable Fonts become viable, along with browsers and design software to support the rendering engine.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

iPhone 7 Plus Camera Review

Austin Mann reports: [edited]

I’m writing from deep in the Nyungwe rain forest in southwest Rwanda. We’ve been tracking gorillas in the north, boating Lake Kivu in the west, and running through tea plantations in the south — all with the iPhone 7 Plus in hand.

Alternating between wide (28mm) and telephoto (56mm) lenses has fundamentally changed the way I see and shoot with my iPhone, including landscapes, wildlife, and people. The 2x zoom is an especially great upgrade for portraiture.

It works exactly as I hoped. It is super quick to switch between lenses, even while you are rolling video.

In terms of quality, I found the the 2x zoom lens to be equally as sharp as the iPhone wide-angle. However, I do not recommend the digital zoom beyond 2x. The quality of digital zoom degrades quickly and I find it unusable for photography (although it’s actually kind of nice as an animal spotting tool).

The 2x works in ALL modes (photo, video, time-lapse, slo-mo, and even pano).

The iPhone 7 features a completely redesigned camera system with a faster f/1.8 lens which leads to better auto focus, a better ability to freeze motion, and shallower depth-of-field. I also noticed an improvement in the the dynamic range of the sensor.

Friday, 15 July 2016

OnePlus 3

Quartz reports: [edited]

It has 6 GB of RAM — triple what the iPhone 6S Plus ships with — and has a top-of-the-line 2.2 Ghz Snapdragon processor on board that means even the most processor-heavy apps and games should run smoothly on the OnePlus 3.

The camera is a 16-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The rear camera also has a mechanical and digital image stabiliser. The 1080p AMOLED display looks great, it comes with 64 GB of storage space. And it has two SIM card slots.

OnePlus runs a customised version of Android that it calls OxygenOS that’s pretty much the clean, stock Android software that Google intended it to be, with a few minor upgrades.

The OnePlus 3’s “dash” charging system allows the phone to charge to 60% capacity in 30 minutes.

Price: £329 (A 64GB iPhone 6S costs £619).

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Google My Activity

The Washington Post reports: [edited]

A new tool called My Activity allows you to view the information Google is stockpiling about you — and delete things you'd rather it forget.

My Activity shows you what Google has saved about your online activities going back as far as Google has been tracking them. You'll probably be prompted to enter your Google password, after this you will see a chronological list of things you've done using Google's services — the searches you've made, videos you've watched on YouTube, and so on (assuming you haven't already used Google's privacy controls to block the collection of certain information).

You can even search through the data trove to look up a specific record or activity Google has saved.

If you don't want Google remembering a particular search, find the record you want to delete, click on the three vertical dots on the right end of the record and select the delete option.

You can also delete things in bulk by clicking on the three dot menu at the top of the timeline, choose "Delete activity by" and selecting a date range to erase on the next page. If you want an entirely blank slate, opt for the "All Time" option.