A word to the wise, that innocuous looking copier in the corner of the office might be out to share your personal data with an unscrupulous lot. The good news is that the FTC has your back. Data security when it comes to digital copiers is a blind spot, even in many IT departments. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz made it clear in a recent letter that the agency was looking into the problem, and was starting an educational campaign to inform users of the danger.
These machines have hard drives that store the images scanned into them. If not properly secured, anyone can log in and retrieve the documents. The letter was sent to US Representative Markey in the wake of a CBS investigation that found used copiers often have personal data on the hard drives.
Have you made any copies at work you now wish you hadn't? Let us (and the IT department) know if you can access the data on your office copiers.
Get ready to kiss your privacy goodbye. Those horrifying billboards from Minority Report that know everything about you are one step closer to reality. Japan’s NEC has created the Next Generation Digital Signage Solution, a system that tailors ads based on who is looking at it.
This new system isn’t going so far as scanning your iris to look you up in a huge advertising database like in the movie, but it is guessing what you might like based on age and gender. The billboards will be able to determine gender and age to within 10 years by snapping a photo. Some are already crying foul, claiming the signs would be an invasion of privacy. NEC claims the ads would be anonymous and the digital imaging system would delete the images of people used to build the ads.
Do you think this is an acceptable system? It could mean you’d see ads that are more relevant to you, but does anyone really care about that? If this scares you, then start putting together a disguise now. NEC says several companies are interested in the signs, and they might make it stateside in late 2010.
Let’s just assume that you prefer not to trust the big G with your data. Where are you supposed to go for your online mapping needs? As it turns out, Bing Maps is a perfectly acceptable alternative. With the most recent update, it’s gotten potentially even more useful thanks to the addition of about 6.7 million square kilometers of aerial imagery.
We’ve always had a fondness for Bing’s visual style, which is frankly more polished than Google Maps. It is a bit slower than Google, but that’s just a small tradeoff. The aerial and bird’s eye views are some of the coolest features, and we expect they’ve been helped by the addition of all that image data. The vast majority of the new data is for the aerial view (a top down angle). There’s much less for the bird’s eye view (an oblique angle). It’s good to see Microsoft continuing to invest in their Bing Maps, but is anyone really using it over Google? If you prefer Bing Maps, let us know why in the comments.
Canon fired the latest salvo in the hotter-than-ever digital SLR wars this week, introducing its new EOS 7D. The $1699 (body-only) EOS 7D includes some now-familiar features, such as APS-C image sensor size (1.6x crop factor), 3-inch LCD with Live View, and Full HD Video.
The 7D boasts an 18MP image sensor and ISO expandable to 12,800, but that's just the beginning of what makes it bigger, faster, smarter, and stronger than previous mid-range Canon DSLRs. For the rest of the story, join us after the jump.
Windows 7 has the potential to be the most imaging-friendly version of Windows yet developed. Windows 7 makes viewing JPEG and other common file formats easy, displays exposure metadata, and supports more viewing options than Windows XP, while offering better performance than Windows Vista. However, to get the maximum benefit from Windows 7, digital photographers will want to make two additions:
Installing RAW image support for their DSLR
Installing a photo organizer and editor
Wondering how to get RAW support for 64-bit versions of Windows 7? Not sure which free program (Windows Live Photo Gallery or Picasa) is better at fixing common digital photo problems? Looking for the best solution for organizing your rapidly growing digital photo collection? Join us after the jump for the answers.
LIFE Magazine, which published classic photojournalism from Maragaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt, David Douglas Duncan and many others during its various incarnations as a weekly (1936-72), special issue (1972-78), monthly (1978-2000), and Sunday supplement (2004-2007), lives again, thanks to the new LIFE photo archive hosted by Google.
Ultimately, about 10 million photos (only about 3 percent of them ever published) will be available at Google. There's no need to wait to explore this rich photo heritage, though: about three million are already online.
So, what can you do with photos ranging from Marilyn Monroe to Winston Churchill, World War II to Vietnam, Muhammed Ali to the King of Siam? You can view photos in three different sizes, including high-resolution (5MP-6MP) sizes and use them for personal or research purposes.
To learn more about the collection, and for your chance to tell us about your favorite LIFE Magazine images, join us after the jump.
Microsoft has released an updated technology preview of its cool Deep Zoom Composer tool for Silverlight 2. As we reported back in July, Deep Zoom Composer gives you the ability to display multiple high-resolution thumbnails, zoom in for a closeup, and pan back again. You can use Deep Zoom Composer to create mosaics (as in our original story), or to bring a new level of interactivity to online collections (as the Hard Rock Cafe has done).
If you want to give it a try, install the latest version of Silverlight 2 beta first, then install the Deep Zoom Composer technology preview 0.9.0005. Deep Zoom Composer runs on Windows XP SP2 or SP3 and Windows Vista, and requires a 2GHz Intel or AMD processor, at least 1GB of RAM, and a Microsoft DirectX 9-capable video card with at least 256MB of video memory.
See the Teaching Ideas and Resources blog at MSDN for more information about this and other imaging tools from Microsoft.
Join us after the jump for your comments, and don't forget to share links to your creations!
Flickr's rolled out a new home page design that's intended to make it easier to see what's happening with your Flickr account and on Flickr in general.
Here's what's new:
The Your Photostream section now shows your five most recent uploads
Your Photostream also has a toggle to show recent activity (such as comments from friends, your replies, and pictures selected as favorites). Don't want any more comments on a particular item? Click its Mute button.
Click More Recent Activity to see other activity and change activity settings.
The Your Contacts section now shows more photos.
The Your Groups section now shows the most recent photos from your groups.
Want to reduce page clutter? Click the double arrow icon next to a section title to close it, or click it again to open it.
There's now a new Explore module on the home page that displays the latest activities.
The latest entry at the Flickr Blog and the latest Flickr Tip occupy the right margin of the page, along with more ways to use your photos.
Haven't logged in for awhile? I think you'll like the changes. Join us after the jump and let us know if you agree - or not.
If you're a Compact Flash user, life's not been fair to you lately. You've seen CF stalwarts like Nikon and Canon turn their backs on this longtime favorite in favor of the new kid on the block, SDHC, in their newest DSLRs. Buy a new camera, and you make your collection of CF cards obsolete. Meanwhile, you've watched SDHC and its kid brother, SD, dominate the deals in your favorite big-box electronics superstores' weekly tabloids. And, just to add a cherry on the top of your cake of frustration, you've been thinking about how cool it would be to use wireless file transfer with Eye-Fi cards, but Eye-Fi is also in the tank for SD. Oh, and did I mention that "Compact" Flash is now the bulkiest flash memory format?
For all these reasons, Synchrotech's introduction of the CFMulti CompactFlash Type II to Eye-Fi + Multi-Card Adapter has come at a very good time. While CF adapters for SD cards have been around for awhile, the CFMulti also supports newer flavors such as SDHC and MMC+ as well as SD and any old MultiMediaCards (MMC) you have floating around. Plus, it's the first adapter to support Eye-Fi cards, albeit with a reduction in range. See the CFMulti and Eye-Fi FAQ for details and a list of tested cameras.
For more thoughts on the advantages of adding CFMulti to your gadget bag, and your chance to comment, join us after the jump.
The Eye-Fi line of Wi-Fi enabled SD cards just keeps getting more social. The October update of the Eye-Fi Manager, in addition to adding à la carte support for geotagging, webshare, and hotspot access service updates, also adds support Twitter and RSS integration. You can use Twitter to tell your contacts when you have new photos posted on line, and RSS support enables you to publish pictures in real-time to your preferred RSS aggregator.
Eye-Fi now offers cards through its online store as well as at an ever-growing list of retailers.