Tag Archives: zoom

The Apocalypticon ~ Trump, Faceplant, Climactic, Hope


Trump’s golf club employed illegals — The Trump Organization employed undocumented immigrants at one of its New Jersey golf clubs, according to a lawyer representing one former and one current employee. [Honestly, is anyone surprised at new hypocrisies to do with the Donald?] Two women, for example, worked in close proximity to Trump both before and after he was elected president.
Flynn trumpets on Trump — Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has provided “substantial” aid in the Russia investigation and beyond [my italics]. And that merits a judge’s consideration at Flynn’s sentencing this month, prosecutors said in court papers.
Only in America? Hundreds of military service members reportedly got caught up in a sextortion scam run by prison inmates using mobile phones, according to a release issued on Wednesday by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).

Faceplant — While we’re in the US, Facebook employees have been using burner phones to talk about Facebook: Facebook’s reputation has only continued to get more sullied in recent weeks, and it’s taking a toll on employees. Things over at the old FB are getting grim, with people now using untraceable ‘burner phones’ to talk about the company. And not even to reporters, just to other employees, according to one former employee. Another described the current scene as a ‘bunker mentality’ after nearly two years of continuous bad press. [You know, like this.]
Sandberg sure as hell knew exactly what Facebook was doing in regards to Soros —
Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg was directly involved in the company’s decision to seek information on billionaire philanthropist and vocal Facebook critic George Soros, the New York Times has reported. Citing people familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to avoid retaliation [you see why Facebook employees might want burner phones?], the Times reported that Sandberg specifically requested information [my italics] on Soros’ financial interests. [It’s always a bad sign when news outlets start selecting the Grinch photos.]
Facial recognition has to be regulated to protect the public, says AI report — The research institute AI Now has identified facial recognition as a key challenge for society and policymakers – but is it too late? It might mean you can unlock your phone with a smile, but it also means that governments and big corporations have been given a powerful new surveillance tool.

Climactic — massive decline of monarchs: Far fewer of the butterflies were heading south this year, and those that have arrived did so a month late, according to Xerces, a non-profit conservation group for invertebrates. One researcher said it was the fewest monarch butterflies in central California in 46 years. Surveyors at 97 sites found only 20,456 monarchs compared to 148,000 at the same sites last year, an 86% decline.
Shocking human-wrought changes to Earth — It’s one thing to know this in the abstract, and another to see global changes laid out in detail, as they are in comprehensive new maps published in the International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. Developed by geoscientist Tomasz Stepinski and his team at the University of Cincinnati’s Space Informatics Lab (SPI), the intricate visualisations reveal that 22% of Earth’s total landmass was altered between 1992 and 2015, mostly by humans.
Decline in maple syrup — Sugar maple trees need snow to stay warm and grow. Each winter, a deep blanket of snow covers about 65% of northeastern sugar maples. Without this insulating snow, the soil freezes deeper and longer, damaging the trees’ shallow roots. So as climate change reduces the amount of deep snow. a new study says this spells trouble for the trees.
Greenland may one day be a green land — Rising sea levels could become overwhelming sooner than previously believed, according to the authors of the most comprehensive study yet of the accelerating ice melt in Greenland.
Vanishing coaster settlements — Del Mar is a picturesque Southern Californian place; its name means “of the sea,” in Spanish. That’s becoming increasingly true: Del Mar is one of countless coastal communities in California and across the US that is seeing the impacts of climate change and preparing for worse to come.
But we still need to burn coal … right? More than 40% of the world’s coal plants are operating at a loss due to high fuel costs and that proportion could to rise to nearly 75% by 2040, a report by environmental think-tank Carbon Tracker showed on Friday.
Last week, at least 8000 barrels of crude oil gushed into the northern Amazon rainforest in Peru — This created one of the worst spills the region has seen in years. State oil company Petroperú is blaming a local indigenous community for sabotaging a pipeline and triggering the spill, but the leader of Peru’s Wampis Nation, whose members make up that community, denies the accusations.

Hope? Aston Martin announced it’s starting a Heritage EV program where owners of classic Aston Martins can have their cars converted to an all-electric powertrain: The British automaker said it is starting this program so that classic cars don’t get banned from cities that are moving to shun internal combustion engines in favour of boosting air quality for residents. [Yeah, you really want to look after those rich people … the innocent victims in all this … but is there another alternative?]
Free public transport — Luxembourg City, the capital of the small Grand Duchy, suffers from some of the worst traffic congestion in the world. Luxembourg has increasingly shown a progressive attitude to transport. This summer, the government brought in free transport for every child and young person under the age of 20. Secondary school students can use free shuttles between their institution and their home. Commuters need only pay €2 (£1.78) for up to two hours of travel, which in a country of just 2590sq km covers almost all journeys.
But from the start of 2020 all tickets will be abolished, saving on the collection of fares and the policing of ticket purchases. [While getting loads of cars off the roads.]

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Five Tip Friday ~ iOS Photo markup, Portrait mode, zoom, 3D touch


markup

1/ Quickly mark up Photos on iPhone — The stock Photos app in iOS has a great tool for drawing perfect geometric figures on your photos. With Photos you can draw shapes freehand, and the software can determine what shape you are trying to draw and, at the lower part of the screen, offer two options: your original shape or what the photo app thinks you are trying to draw.
Access the markup options by tapping on the three lines with circles located at the bottom of the photo. Then tap on the circle with the three dots and choose Markup.
At the bottom there are options for colour selection, and below that four options: drawing a shape, lens magnification, overlaying text, and undo.
Choose the colour you want – the drawing tool should be selected and in blue. If not, tap on the drawing tool which looks like a marker drawing a line. Now draw the shape on the photo. If you draw a shape closely resembling something the app recognizes, then, at the bottom, you will be given two choices: your drawing or a well-defined shape the app thinks you are trying to draw.
If you tap on the box to the right, choosing the shape the app suggests, you will have a perfectly formed shape with handles to resize or shape it further. You can press on the shape and move it to place it somewhere different on the photo. When you are finished, simply tap on an open space on the photo. If you like what has been done with the photo, tap “done”; otherwise tap “cancel.”

2/ Portrait mode in iOS 10.1 on iPhone 7 Plus — iPhone 7 Plus can utilise its Portrait mode, creating an effect known as bokeh where the background behind a subject is blurred automatically. Officially it’s still in beta but you can get some pretty decent results out of it.
Swipe across the photo modes to Portrait, then frame your shot. Your iPhone will tell you if you need to move further away or find more light.
Keep your composition as simple as possible, with your subject (living or inanimate) as clearly defined as possible to avoid blurring the wrong thing. Experiment with exposure levels by tapping on the screen then dragging up or down on the sun icon. This will make things brighter or darker.

3/ Digital zoom — If your phone doesn’t have a second physical lens for zooming, digital zoom is an option too, but this is inferior since it just enlarges and crops the photo. If you do want to use it, tap and hold on the zoom button then drag left or right. Just don’t expect super sharp results.

4/ Get up close with optical zoom — Zooming in with optical zoom on the iPhone 7 Plus, which has two lenses, is easy: tap the 1x button above the shutter button and hey presto, you’re twice as close to your subject.
Keeping your phone steady is really important, but this model of iPhone is actually having its lens move so it’s a sharp, details zoom rather than the artificial result all the other iPhones get, as above.

5/ 3D touch shortcuts — Since iPhone 6s, pressing harder on your screen gives you extra commands and abilities (this does not work on iPhone 6 and any iPhone before that).
Here are some good ones to learn:
When downloading an app, you’ll see its icon appear as a timer on the home screen. To prioritise a download, and put it to the front of the queue of all the apps currently being installed, 3D Touch (i.e., press harder on) the icon and choose Prioritize Download.
One of the key uses for 3D Touch is to expand notifications and get more details without having to actually open them – if you do this on an Uber alert, you’ll get information on the driver’s current location, plus the option to send a message.
The iOS Control Center is packed with 3D Touch shortcuts just waiting to be discovered and used, including one for the Flashlight icon, which lets you choose between three different levels of intensity for the light: low, medium, and high.
Do a hard press anywhere on the iOS keyboard and it grays out, which means you can then move your finger to adjust the position of the cursor in the text.
A shortlist of contacts you frequently communicate with appears with a 3D Touch on the Phone app icon.
With a light tap on a link in Safari you can get a preview of the page without actually navigating there. It’s one of the “peek and pop” uses of 3D Touch.

Want more? Check out this Gizmodo story.