Google impressed a lot of people when it debuted its Grand Canyon Street View imagery in October. The Trekker backpack used to capture that imagery, which is essentially a backpack-mounted version of the same all-seeing eye that sits atop the Google Street View car.
The roughly 40-pound backpack is not all that uncomfortable to wear, I found out when I slipped the Trekker on. It’s a little top-heavy, and I’m not sure I’d want to risk running at a brisk clip if I was using one out in the wild, but it’s really no heavier than a standard backpacker’s kit for a few days’ journey.
Silverman explained how the Trekker works, including how its camera sensor head gathers images and how those are then stored on a hefty solid state hard drive built into the backpack, where they can later be transferred back to Google’s servers to get started with the process of recreating a hike.
I asked Silverman whether we might see the Trekker make its way to the backs of other beings beyond humans, and he said that they are indeed mulling the idea of strapping versions of it to beasts of burden to help them continue to map the world in images. There are also plans in the works to mount it to remotely operated robots and small vehicles to help get imagery that otherwise wouldn’t be easily reachable by a human Trekker.
He said to expect plenty more to come from the Trekker team in terms of Street View imagery of some of the world’s most interesting – and most remote – locales. Combined with Google’s new underwater street view project, that means everyone can probably get a lot more familiar with a lot more of the world in the near future.
After a tweet this morning by New York Times writer Jenna Wortham caused some buzz, we did some digging and it looks like Instagram is not notifying users when screenshots are taken of their photos. Wortham mentioned that her sister was noticing it on some of her photos and that it didn’t appear to be active across all accounts. Update below.
We did some investigation of our own, trying to duplicate it on TNW accounts and couldn’t get any notifications to pop. The only other mention that we could find was three days ago, when a Twitter user commented on similar behavior on his account. We felt that the notifications could actually be the related to the new tagging feature that Instagram introduced, called Photos of You. The notification for that feature reads: “x has taken a photo of you.”
We reached out to Instagram and a representative confirmed that this isn’t a current feature of Instagram, stating that “we aren’t working on this feature,” and drew attention to the new Photos of You feature as a possible cause.
This type of ‘screenshot warning’ behavior is similar to the way that hot social sharing app Snapchat works. If a user takes a screenshot, the original poster receives a notification. Sharing screenshots of posts is a well-worn Instagram tradition. The hashtag ‘screenshots’, while not completely populated with images of Instagram images, holds some 500,000 entries alone.
Instagram now tells the person when you screenshot their picture? ahhhh HELL NAH
— #1League (@CheefDaReefa) May 9, 2013
Responses to Wortham’s initial tweet have been pouring in at a rate of several a minute in the couple hours since the initial post. Most of them have been highly negative.
Update: It looks like it was indeed the Photos of You feature at work:
Ah. To clarify re: Instagram, some1 screenshotted my sister’s pic, then reposted it & tagged her. She misunderstood the notification (pt 1)
— Jenna Wortham ♥ (@jennydeluxe) May 9, 2013
View original post here: No, Instagram still does not notify users when you screenshot their photos
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Photo editing service Aviary on Wednesday released an update for its Photo Editor iOS application. With version 2.0 now available, the company bills it as a completely redesigned app with new and updated tools, enhanced effects, faster saving, and more.
In the company’s blog post, it’s known that this new version didn’t happen overnight. On the contrary, Mike Mignano, Aviary’s Head of Product, says that it took months of brainstorming, white-boarding, designing and coding to get where the app is now. It’s also being called “the most significant update” made
One of the main updates to Aviary’s iOS app include new Focus and Warmth tools. What this means is that now, users can take advantage of “tilt shift” technology and go into any photograph and create the illusion that some objects are a lot smaller than how they really appear. Additionally, the app includes ability to manage the color balance within a photograph. Interestingly enough, the Warmth tool is a luxury that has been afforded to Android users for quite some time — today is the first time it’s available on iOS devices.
Users will also notice that one of its popular tools has also been updated. The Enhance tool not includes a Hi-Def feature that Aviary says will sharpen photos, adjust its contrast, and highlight the best parts of it. The tool also includes an Illuminate option that takes poorly-lit photos (we’ve all had those) and recomposes it so that it looks like it was taken in great lighting. The former Balance option has also been renamed to Color Fix.
Another update focuses on making sure the blur feature is 10 times faster to implement. Okay, not everyone is fan of this technique and won’t necessarily reach out to that filter for their photos. However, it’s not for the end user, but rather for all the other features within Aviary that utilize a blurring effect. Now all dedicated filters will be “lightning quick”.
Recognizing that more people snap photos using their mobile devices, Aviary has found a way to ensure that less memory is consumed when high-resolution images are edited and processed. Because of this, the company says quicker renderings and save times will be the result.
Speaking of saving time, Photo Editor version 2.0 now helps save photos to the device up to 50 percent faster. Because of this, Aviary hopes users will spend more time perfecting the art of photography rather than just the post-processing part of things.
Of course any redesign to an app must have some mention of how the interface looks. When you look at version 2.0 of the app, it looks rather sleek and feels like it flows better than before. Aviary chose to use a dark-colored layout (almost reflective of Adobe Lightroom’s UI) and contains reduced padding to further highlight the photo.
All of these changes come just a day after Aviary launched a service to create advertising stickers for brands and others.
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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Yesterday, Saga writer Brian K. Vaughan described the situation thusly: “Unfortunately, because of two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex, Apple is banning tomorrow’s SAGA #12 from being sold through any iOS apps.”
Judging from what I’ve seen, the online reaction was pretty negative, and deservedly so — not just because the images in question were indeed pretty small, but also because Saga has included graphic sex and violence in the past without trouble. It didn’t help that the title is the big success story in creator-owned comics from the past year.
Over at the science-fiction site io9, Charlie Jane Anders wrote: “Apple’s stone-cold vision of the future has no room for gay people, at least not if they’re going to express their sexuality.” And the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund published a post (which includes the images in question) noting that distribution of the comic is protected by the First Amendment. To be clear, the CBLDF didn’t question “Apple’s rights as a private company to refuse to carry the comic,” but it wanted to make sure comic book stores weren’t scared into following that example.
Turns out, however, Apple wasn’t to blame, at least according to ComiXology CEO David Steinberger. He wrote that it was ComiXology, not Apple, that made the decision — although it was based on the startup’s understanding of Apple’s policies. Steinberg also insisted that the decision wasn’t based on sexual orientation: “We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance.”
He went on to say that ComiXology is reversing its decision and will begin selling Saga #12 soon — and it sounds like Apple may not have been too happy about the controversy: “After hearing from Apple this morning, we can say that our interpretation of its policies was mistaken. You’ll be glad to know that Saga #12 will be available on our App Store app soon.”