Since it first popped up in the iTunes App Store, Instagram has taken the smartphone photographic world by storm. Currently being rocked by more than 10 million users, the free photo editing app allows users to give their iPhone photos a warm vintage look via the use of a number of filters, making mundane image captures a little bit more extraordinary. Wait there’s more! Once you’ve processed your photos, you can share them on a wide variety of services, such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr! Sounds good right? If you’re an Android phone user, take heart: Instagram will be coming to your handset... eventually. Until then, we can be content to use pixlr-o-matic, our Chrome Web App of the Week.
The changes kicked off by the Google+ launch continue to reverberate through other Google products. Google’s photo sharing and storage service, Picasa is getting a change for the better. For users of Google+, any photos uploaded to the social service are stored on Picasa and there is no storage limit. That’s right, nearly unlimited storage.
The world of tech journalism has a wicked case of tunnel vision. We’re often so busy hunting for the next piece of hardware hotness or slick new start-up that it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that while technology is often thought of as a gateway to the future, it can also serve as a vibrant doorway to the past. For this edition of Cool Site of the Week, we take a visit to the seedy end of memory lane with Small Town Noir.
All is again well for Mirco Wilhelm, who earlier this week lost 4,000 images uploaded to Flickr over the course of five years when a Flickr employee inadvertently deleted his account, the LA Times reports. During an email exchange, Wilhelm was told that the staff member "mixed up the accounts and accidentally deleted" his. The staffer offered to restore his account, but said his photos were unrecoverable.
Three hours later, a followup email let Wilhelm know Flickr's IT team was working to bring his photos back from the digital grave, but Wilhelm's bigger concern was losing "5 years of community membership, contact, comments, internal and external links to my photos," all of which are hard to backup locally.
In the end, the Yahoo-owned photo sharing site managed to fully restore Wilhelm's account as it was before the accidental deletion and promised to "soon roll out functionality that will allow [Flickr] to restore deleted accounts more easily in the future."
Black Friday is just around the corner, and so is Cyber Monday for that matter. Yes folks, the holiday shopping season has officially arrived, and no matter how tempted you might be, think twice before picking up that digital photo frame for your Secret Santa submission.
The British Video Association surveyed 2,000 Brits and asked them to reveal their most unused and unwanted gifts, with digital photo frames coming out on top. Also on the list are foot spas, blenders, digital organizers, electronic Sudoku games, coffee machines, digital radios, electric shavers, electric toothbrushes, and bread makers.
There's more. Other unwanted gifts include lady shavers, desk top vacuum cleaners, candy floss machines, yogurt makers, electric shoe polishers, shrink wrap machines, and electronic facial brushes.
"While the perfect gift is a personal thing, there are some general rules to getting it right," Gadget Show host Jon Bentley says. "A product that's worthwhile and likely be satisfying rather than a gimmick that seems clever at the time is a good bet, such as game consoles that let you play Blu-rays and DVDs, as well as games, or Internet-enabled mobile phones. Also, gadgets that improve recipients' experience of something they already enjoy, such as an electronic book reader."
So to recap: Digital photo frames, lady shavers, and electric shoes polishers are crappy gifts. Game consoles, smartphones, and eBook readers are A-OK. Got it?
Other than fruit cake (which wasn't on the list, btw), what are your least favorite gift ideas? Hit the jump and post your crappy gift suggestions!
RAW mode, a feature of virtually all digital SLR cameras and an increasing number of high-end point-and-shoot cameras, enables your camera to capture all of the image data in your photographs in full quality without distortion caused by JPEG data compression. RAW files enable you to repair white balance and color temperature problems, solve exposure problems, and adjust color intensity and other settings far better than you can with JPEG files. Unfortunately, you must use software that supports RAW files to optimize your picture and export it to a format you can use for other purposes, such as JPEG or TIFF.
Thankfully, you don't need to spend a fortune on software to edit RAW images. Or be a hardcore digital photography buff, either.
The Flickr API is nothing new, but the photo sharing site is now bringing it more front and center. Flickr has unveiled their new “App Garden” that provides a better interface for finding useful photo apps. The new page is more compact than the old API interface. Each app gets a thumbnail preview that links to an individual page. Here, users can tag, discuss, and favorite an app.
There are still a few missing features, though. Flickr is about sharing, but there’s no way to share a list of your apps with friends. It also doesn’t take advantage of Flickr’s friend activity feed to show off what apps you’re using. However, the recommendation system does allow users to recommend individual apps. If you’re a Flickr user, do you like the new interface?
Adobe has announced it is discontinuing its Photoshop Album Starter Edition software, which resides at the bottom of Adobe's image-editing products. No new product is taking its place, and instead Adobe is encouraging users to move their photos to the company's online Photoshop.com web portal.
"As part of our commitment to providing customers with a free photo-editing solution, we have created Photoshop.com, an exciting new online service that lets you upload, organize, edit, store (up to 2GB free), and share your photos," Adobe wrote in a note to its customers.
Then note went on to list steps for exporting photos from Photoshop Album Starter Edition to Photoshop.com, as well as asked customers to "consider an upgrade to Adobe Photoshop Elements 7," essentially a stripped-down version of Photoshop CSx with a much lower price tag.
Maximum PC readers have long had the importance of maintaining backups beat into their heads, but apparently photo-hosting service isn't a subscriber to the magazine. How else do you explain losing thousands of user photos with no way to restore them?
Or at least that's the case if you believe a purportedly scorned user who claims to have had his Flickr account hacked and then terminated. According to Morgan Tepsic, a photographer and soon-to-be art student in Taipei, Taiwan, he woke up to discover three concerning emails in his inbox:
[redacted]@hotmail.com has been added to your account!
Your password has been changed!
Your account has been terminated!
After contacting the Yahoo-owned service about the security breach, Tepsic said he was told "it isn't possible to restore the content of the account." Flickr did offer to restore his screen name and URL, "but unfortunately the images, comments, and other content isn't recoverable."
There's a lot more to Tepsic's customer support nightmare, which you can read here, assuming you're not offended by big, bolded F-bombs.
“The e-mail, which claims to come from firstname.lastname@example.org, says that the attached ZIP file contains secret songs and photos of Michael Jackson,” Sophos senior tech consultant Graham Cluley wrote about one such email in recent blog entry.
“However, the reality is that opening the attachment exposes you to infection - and if your computer is hit you will be spreading the worm onto other internet users. Besides spreading via e-mail, the malware is also capable of spreading as an Autorun component on USB memory sticks (an increasingly common trend for malware as use of these devices has become more and more popular).” If you find such an email in your mailbox, just beat it!