Today Google began rolling out the first major update to Android 4.4 (AKA KitKat). The new update is said to bring dramatic improvements to the Nexus 5's Camera by improving focusing, fixing issues with pinch zooming, and more.
Google says that the update "improves the camera with faster focusing, especially in low light, faster white balancing, for truer colors, the ability to pinch-zoom the viewfinder in HDR+ mode and less shutter lag." The roll-out will take place over the next few days, but those who do not wish to wait can head over to Motorola's official download in ZIP form that can be found below.
If there is one thing that bothers me with almost every amateur photo taken of a landscape, product, or person, its the lack of a level horizon in the background. It is not that hard to level a shot when shooting off a tripod, but when you attached the camera to the three legged device, a lot of adjustments must be made to ensure a perfectly level photograph.
While it is quite easy to fix these crooked images in image editing programs, you lose some of the image due to cropping. Additionally, when shooting large panoramic sets, having a level imaging plane makes a lot of difference in the end result. A new Kickstarter campaign is looking to change the way we level our cameras for imaging everything. Called the OhSoh ELi -Electronic Leveling Intelligence Camera Support, this new device attaches to your camera and tripod and automatically levels every shot.
The OhSoh ELi uses sensors to automatically level your camera on both the X and Y axis and ensures that the horizon is always straight, even if your tripod is perched on an extreme angle. "ELi was designed to speed up workflow allowing you to concentrate on your photography. When you set your tripod down you only need to roughly place it and let ELi take over - with the press of a button you will be setup," reads the Kickstarter page.
With decent tripods costing hundreds of dollars and high-grade ball-head mounts costing even more, the OhSoh Eli saves users both time and money, and it appears that just $230 NZD or about $190 USD will land you one of the auto leveling devices. Note that shipping outside of New Zealand will cost extra. This is one of the first big-ticket Kickstarter campaigns that we have seen launched in New Zealand since Kickstarter made its way down under a few months back. Head over to the source link below to read more on how the device works and how you can back the project.
As I first reported yesterday, the US House of Representatives has been hearing arguments on a new bill that could put an end to many of the frivolous patent lawsuits filled each year by so-called patent trolls. As expected, the bill has passed in the House with support from both sides of the isle.
Known as the Innovation Act 325-91, the bill will now make its way to the senate where it is expected to pass with a bipartisan majority as well. Once it is finished in congress, the bill will make its way to President Obama's desk and he also is expected to sign it into law. If this does happen, we could see an end to the era of east Texas shell corporations that exist only to file and buy low-quality, low-detail patents that are so vague that they can be claimed as part of many technologies.
This is the first step into patent reform, and hopefully the next step will be a complete overhaul of the United States Patent and Trade office. With companies now patenting seeds, human, animal and plant genes, and even specific code, we need to work hard to prevent these sort of things from happening. If not, then I am afraid that we may see an immense slowdown in technological and scientific innovation and breakthroughs for decades to come.
The saga over who will become Microsoft's next CEO has taken yet another step forward today after a board member at Ford told press that Alan Mulally will not be leaving the car maker for Redmond, Washington. Since this news began to spread earlier this week, Microsoft's stock has fallen about 3.5-percent, equating in a $12 billion fall in market cap for the company.
The news came from Ford board member, Edsel Ford II who stated that "Alan is staying through the end of 2014," a time frame far past Steve Ballmer's departing date. This is good news for Nokia's Stephen Elop, who is also in the running to take the CEO seat. Today's news does not surprise me at all though, as I have expected Elop to be the "Chosen One" since Microsoft announced its acquisition plans for Nokia. Other reports suggest that Microsoft's head of Cloud Services Satya Nadella could head up the company, but I see that as a far stretch at this point.
This morning MSI announced the launch of a new mobile lineup that includes the industry's first 3K gaming notebook and an Adobe certified 3K workstation. Just in time for Christmas, the all new GT60 20D-261US features a ultra-HD display resolution of 2880x1620 which provides bright, sharp and crisp graphics for an unmatched experience.
The GT60 gaming notebook features an Intel Core i7-4700MQ processor, 16GB of DDR3L RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M GPU, and a Killer NIC. A 720p webcam is on hand while Dynaudio speakers and a subwoofer handle the audio. The 2880x1620 3K display is of the 15.6-inch class, but does not feature touch sensitivity. Three USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports, and a 128GB SSD / 1TB HHD combo rounds things out.
The GT60 Workstation has been optimized to run Adobe Creative Suite 6, Autodesk software, and Solidworks, and the 3K display allows professionals to work in stunning ultra high-resolution for the highest quality work possible from a mobile workstation. The GT60 2OKWS-278US features the same CPU, RAM, and storage. The difference in the powerful NVIDIA Quado K3100M workstation GPU that MSI has fit inside.
This was something we saw at the NVIDIA Editors' Day 2013 in Montreal, Canada, but now it is available with 1080p @ 60FPS through your own, personal Shield device, thanks to a new update NVIDIA is currently pushing out.
NVIDIA has announced the new December Software Update, which improves the 720p 60FPS Console Mode function, provides new games it works with, and the crown jewel: 1080p 60FPS PC Gaming Console Mode. Officially supported games include the biggest hits right now: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, Battlefield 4, BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2, Crysis 3, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
NVIDIA has said that it will continue to add games to its list of titles that pump out to your TV at 1080p at 60FPS, with more details available at the Shield website.
Patent Bolt has discovered quite the idea that Samsung has, where the South Korean giant has a patent on something that describes touch controls which are on the back of the smartphone, with transparent displays.
There are multiple uses for this type of technology, with one of them being the ability to open an application, or control a video without getting your hand in front of the screen. You could also move objects that are on the bottom layer of the multi-layered screen, as well as security uses, for increasing your password with dual-sided passwords.
Apple were the first to the market with a fingerprint scanner on a smartphone, with the iPhone 5S and its Touch ID technology. But now it looks like Samsung is going to follow through with its own security technology based on a fingerprint scanner.
Reuters is reporting that a company that specializes in fingerprint recognition technology, Sweden's Fingerprint Cards, is expecting "seven or eight of the world's biggest smartphone makers" to jump into the fingerprint recognition market. Fingerprint Cards' CEO, Johan Carlstrom, has said that Samsung will be launching a fingerprint scanner-capable smartphone in 2014, and that his company is hoping to become a supplier.
We did hear that Samsung stated it wasn't working on a 'Touch ID' type of technology for its devices, but we all knew it was an eventuality.
This shouldn't come as a surprise to you, especially if you read TweakTown, as we try to cover the Edward Snowden leaks as they break. Well, the latest news is being reported by The Washington Post, and its a doozy.
The NSA is reportedly taking in users' cellphone data, on a global level, not just within the United States. This equates to around 5 billion records everyday, but don't worry, the NSA says it doesn't have the proper tools to check every single record. Because, you know - we should believe them, right? Well, one of the programs is named Co-Traveler, which allows the US spy agency to determine "behaviorally relevant relationships" based on data from signals intelligence activity designators located around the world. One of which, is named "Stormbrew".
Co-Traveler can locate targets purely from cellphone users moving in a group, even if they're unknown threats. Multiple meetups, with the geolocational data, is enough for the NSA's "Co-Traveler" system to notice a pattern.
The first season of House of Cards was great, and a massive success for Netflix, but now we have a confirmation of when to expect the second season of the hit show: February 14, 2014.
Netflix knows when to release shows, and holidays are a huge hit because people are at home, and what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day, than sitting down with your loved one, watching House of Cards, right? There's even a teaser, which I'm two minds about watching... I might just bite the bullet and tease myself.