Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Better Portable Graphics (BPG)

Fstoppers reports: [edited]

There is a new image format called BPG (Better Portable Graphics) designed by the French programmer Fabrice Bellard and it promises to deliver better visual quality at half the file size of JPEG.

JPEG has been around for over 20 years and has become the accepted means of displaying images on the web. As our web experience grows ever more visual, and as mobile browsing becomes the preferred method for many folks, JPEG begins to show its limitations.

BPG is a format based off the H.265 video codec by utilising the open source x265. This means BPG offers the ability to render 14 bits per colour channel as opposed to 8 with JPEG. It also offers an alpha channel, and a lossless compression option.

To give BPG a test run and see how it compares to JPEG you can go here and go through a variety of comparison images.
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Quadrofoil

quadrofoil.com reports: [edited]

The watercraft comes with an all-electric outboard motor and special steering system, so not a drop of oil goes in the environment.

It flies over water at up to 20 knots, costing 1€/h and hardly any annual maintenance costs. That makes it the most efficient PWC (Personal Water Craft).

Quadrofoil is a thrilling, yet quiet and eco-friendly watercraft. It’s silent motor and zero emissions enable it to ride on lakes, rivers, seas & eco-zones where most motor boats and PWC’s are not allowed. No noise, no waves, no emissions.
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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Solid State Hard Drives reliability test

Engadget reports: [edited]

Most heavy data users can't wait for the day when conventional hard disks are put out to pasture for good. But just how much better are SSDs? Despite any horror stories you may have heard, the answer is a lot, according to tests on recent models by The Tech Report. It forced six drives - including Kingston's HyperX 3K, Samsung's 840 Pro and Intel's 335 series - to continuously write and rewrite 10GB of small and large files.

Two drives - the Samsung and Kingston models - have both written two petabytes worth of data and are still going. Given that a typical user might write a couple of terabytes of data a year on an SSD, that adds up to a thousand or so years based just on usage. It's worth noting that it was just a small, informal test - but it bolsters the case that SSDs are far less likely to give you failure stress than hard drives.
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Monday, December 08, 2014

Desolanator

desolenator.com reports: [edited]

Billions of people lack a plentiful supply of clean drinking water.

But we have worked out a way to help them. We want to create water from sunshine!

We have created the Desolenator - the first easy to use, low cost, solar powered water desalination system that can make any type of water - including sea water - drinkable.

We have the solution available right now. We just need funding and support to get it developed and shipped to the people who need it.

We have started an Indiegogo campaign asking for investment to help us begin to manufacture the Desolenator. But we also to help create a movement. A group of passionate individuals and communities that understand that water is one of the key issues for the world and want to do as much as they can to help ensure that no one on the planet goes thirsty.
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Friday, December 05, 2014

High-end pocketable compact cameras

Digital Photography Review has published a review of the following cameras.

- Canon PowerShot G7 X
- Canon PowerShot S120
- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III
- Fujifilm XQ1
- Nikon Coolpix P340
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1

Snippets from the conclusion follows:

Best high-end pocketable compact - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III

With the RX100, RX100 II and now the RX100 III, Sony has had three opportunities to perfect the concept. The RX100 Mark III offers advantages in its superior battery life, added options/features for video shooters, better image quality, and its built-in EVF.

Best affordable high-end pocketable compact - Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 is not the newest high-end compact around, nor does it offer the biggest sensor, or the cheapest price tag. That being said, it is still an incredibly capable compact with a built-in electronic viewfinder for under $300 [£250, Ed.]. The Panasonic also leaps ahead of the pack in its massive zoom range, a 28-200mm equivalent. The other compacts all max out at 120mm or less.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Google Devices and Activity dashboard

Google reports: [edited]

A new Devices and Activity dashboard gives additional insight over the devices accessing your Google account. The page shows a comprehensive view of all devices that have been active on an account in the last 28 days, or are currently signed in. And in case any suspicious activity is noticed, there’s a setting to immediately take steps to secure an account and change a password.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Free Fonts - Exo Condensed & Expanded

NDISCOVERED reports: [edited]

Exo is now a system of 54 fonts. Exo Condensed & Expanded gives you new options to play with.
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

Digital Photography Review has published a full review of Panasonic's premium compact zoom camera.

Snippets from the conclusion follow:

"The LX100's image quality is amongst the best we've ever seen from a compact. The lens performs well across most focal lengths and apertures, and the sensor performance means the camera is able to lives up to the expectations its spec sheet sets. Taken together, this means the LX100 will continue to offer excellent image quality in a broad range of shooting conditions."

"In Raw the LX100 will comfortably match its high-end rivals (the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III and Canon PowerShot G7 X), gleefully trump what should be its closest competitor (the G1 X II) and delight in rendering the rest of the enthusiast compact crowd irrelevant. That's not enough to gain it honorary membership of the prime-lens, APS-C club but it narrows the gap like never before."

"It's not a small camera, but it's not that much bigger than the likes of the Canon PowerShot G12. And, importantly, it offers significantly better image quality than pretty much any zoom compact ever made. It's not a camera entirely without flaws but most of them are so minor that it's unlikely they'll ever be more than slight irritations about a camera you'll love."

"Other than size, it's the camera's zoom range that stops it being the ideal camera for a majority of dedicated photographers. I did find the 24-75mm equivalent range a touch restrictive, but it's the only major concern I had: my overall experience has been much more about what the camera can do than what it can't. The LX100 is a pleasure to use and offers superb image quality. I'd consider it one of the best photographers' cameras on the market and probably the best zoom compact ever made."
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to fold the world's best paper airplane


Kottke reports: [edited]

In 2012, Joe Ayoob broke the world record for the longest distance paper airplane flight with a plane designed by John Collins. In this video, Collins demonstrates how to fold that plane, the Suzanne.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Zotac ZBOX Pico PI320

Zotac reports: [edited]

Bring the power of a PC in your pocket with the tiny (115.5 x 66 x 19.2mm) ZOTAC ZBOX PI320 pico series mini-PC. Powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor, the ZOTAC ZBOX PI320 pico series mini-PC delivers a responsive computing experience with smooth HD video playback.

The pocketable ZOTAC ZBOX PI320 pico series mini-PC packs external expansion with USB 2.0 ports, HDMI output and micro SDXC slot for easy add-ons and upgrades. Connect to high-speed 802.11n wireless or Ethernet home networks with the ZOTAC ZBOX PI320 pico series mini-PC for maximum performance with or without wires.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

35 Useful Google Search Tips

Digital Trends has published a useful list of ways to use Google's search engine, for instance:

To check the weather for a specific area: Enter “weather” followed by a zipcode or city

To look up film showings: Enter “movies” followed by your zipcode or city
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Monday, November 10, 2014

iBridge

Cult of Mac reports: [edited]

The best smartphone camera in the world doesn’t mean jack if your 16GB iPhone can’t hold another 30 second video, so the guys at Leef have come up with a brilliant solution to ensure you never run out of room for all your video. It’s called the iBridge, and while it might look an ordinary USB-stick, it has the extraordinary ability to add storage to both your iPhone and Mac.

The iBridge comes with a Lightning connector on one side that you can plug into your iPhone, and a USB on the other so it can double as a regular USB drive. Unlike other iPhone storage expansion options, like Mophie’s Space case, iBridge works both with and without a case, thanks to its J-shape that wraps around the back of your iPhone or iPad to beef up your storage.

iBridge will require users to download its app to add files to the storage drive, but now that iOS 8 lets apps into the share sheet, tossing pictures, music, videos, and other files onto this thing should be a breezy. Leef tells us all the details will be revealed later this month, with the first units hitting stores before Christmas.

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Friday, November 07, 2014

Microsoft offer Office free on iOS & Android

The Verge reports: [edited]

Microsoft's Office suite for iPad, iPhone, and Android is now free. You no longer need an Office 365 subscription to edit documents or store them in the cloud.

The move comes just days after Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Dropbox to integrate the cloud storage service into Office across desktop, mobile, and the web.

You can now download Office for iPad and store all your documents on Dropbox without paying Microsoft anything at all. Microsoft is also releasing a brand new iPhone app today, alongside a preview of Office for Android tablets, all with Dropbox integration.
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