Shooting Video in Portrait Mode :- That’s Not How You Use That

August 4, 2013

The smartphone has made us all videographers. We’re constantly pointing our cameras at friends, family and cats. Well, mostly cats. The problem is that too many of us are shooting these videos in portrait mode. And it’s the most annoying thing to hit YouTube since the yelling goats.

Video should be shot and viewed in landscape mode — that’s the “long way” instead of the “tall way,” the orientation that mimics your HDTV screen. Every time you see a video shot in portrait mode on YouTube or Facebook, you should weep for humanity and its inability to teach individuals how to shoot video so it fits properly into the same shape as the TV they watch in their homes. How much more brainwashing can society be expected to bestow on humans than non-stop video in the form of television, movies, and commercials shoved into their faces since birth? It’s a standard we should all know.

Videos, unlike photos, are almost universally presented horizontally. There’s a reason for this: It’s how we’re built to view the world. Our vision allows us to see more to the left and right than top and bottom. So when you shoot a video on your smartphone in portrait mode, you’re violating not only the set video standard, but also the laws of nature as they pertain to human sight.

It doesn’t help that video apps like Vine encourage you to shoot video while holding your phone in portrait mode. Sure it creates a square video, but it’s a bad precedent. So the next time you feel compelled to capture video on your smartphone, imagine what it will look like on your HDTV. If you see it in your mind’s eye as a video with enormous black bars to the left and right of the action, turn your phone sideways.

There. You just stopped your film school friends from having an aneurism, and you made your video about 80 percent better.


Obama Administration Sides With Apple on Import Ban Ruling

August 4, 2013

President Obama and U.S. Trade Representitive Michael Froman in 2011. Photo: Pete Souza/White House

In a letter from U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the Obama administration overruled an import ban on older iPhone and iPad models issued by the International Trade Commission at Samsung’s request earlier this year. The action allows Apple to continue imports of AT&T models of the iPhone 4, iPad 3G, and iPad 2 3G.

The issue centers around patents held by Samsung for the cellular data chips used in those devices. Samsung claimed Apple infringed on those patents, while Apple argued that Samsung’s patents were so-called “standards-essential patents” (SEPs) that Samsung had agreed to license at “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory” (FRAND) terms.

In vetoing the International Trade Commission’s decision, Froman highlights concerns that owners of SEPs who have previously agreed to license patents under those FRAND terms can then engage in “‘patent hold-up’, i.e. asserting the patent to exclude an implementer of a standard from a market to obtain a higher price for use of the patent than would have been possible before the standard was set, when alternative technologies could have been chosen.”

Such administration action to veto an action by the International Trade Commission is rare. According to The Wall Street Journal, this is the first time since 1987 that an administration has vetoed a ban ordered by the Commission. The action doesn’t impact Samsung’s ability to continue its legal battle against Apple on the issue, but it means that it will have to take place in court, rather than before the ITC.

Froman’s letter (.pdf) also signals the intent of the Obama administration to keep a close eye on the Commission in other cases involving SEPs, encouraging the Commission to determine “whether a particular remedy is in the public interest.”

In January, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued policy guidelines around SEP enforcement (.pdf) that Froman cites in his letter. These guidelines indicate that the administration sees injunctions and exclusion orders like the one Samsung sought as potentially inconsistent with innovation and the broader public interest.

Infected PCs May Lose Internet Access In July

August 4, 2013

I hadn’t heard of this until this morning and verified this issue with our computer consultation friends at Bronxville Computer. Yes, it’s a legitimate concern, but don’t worry as it’s easy to see if your computer could be affected. From Today’s USA Today here’s the situation:

WASHINGTON – For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer. Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. In a highly unusual response, the FBI set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down.

Most victims don’t even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.

Last November, the FBI and other authorities were preparing to take down a hacker ring that had been running an Internet ad scam on a massive network of infected computers.
“We started to realize that we might have a little bit of a problem on our hands because … if we just pulled the plug on their criminal infrastructure and threw everybody in jail, the victims of this were going to be without Internet service,” said Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent. “The average user would open up Internet Explorer and get ‘page not found’ and think the Internet is broken.”

Now, said Grasso, “the full court press is on to get people to address this problem.” And it’s up to computer users to check their PCs.

Here’s what you need to know from Bronxville Computer:

Here’s The Good News:

It’s easy to see if you’re computer is infected. Just click this link and you’ll see a photo. If the background of the photo is green, your computer is okay. If it’s red, then you’ll need to take action before July or you could lose your Internet access. The test takes about three seconds.

Leaked: First Office 14 screenshots

February 7, 2009

It didn’t take long this time, either. Earlier this week, testers received alpha builds of Office 14, the codename for the successor to Office 2007. A reader wrote in to tell us that a tester from Russian site has now leaked the screenshots of the applications included in the productivity suite.

While he didn’t screenshot every application individually, we do now know that the list includes: Access 14, Excel 14, Groove 14, InfoPath Designer 14, InfoPath Filler 14, InterConnect 14, OneNote 14, Outlook 14, PowerPoint 14, Project 14, Publisher 14, SharePoint Designer 14, Visio 14, and Word 14. Without further ado, here they are:

I’ve been told that the beta of Office 14 will start in May, and the final version is slated for the end of the year. The alpha is reportedly running with good stability, all things considered. Redmond is expected to provide official release details for Office 14 next quarter.

Google Launches Multiple Inboxes For GMail – Its Like Having Multiple Screens!

February 6, 2009

Google really seems to be in the groove. We’ve been covering a lot of Google stories in the last 2-3 days and here’s another one.

From what it seems, Gmail is going for subtle and not so subtle changes. Every day another feature gets added through Google Labs. The subtle changes include vanishing of the search the web browser at the top and inclusion of a separate move to/labels tab.

Now Google Labs has introduced a new multiple inboxes feature and it’s quite interesting.

It’s creator introduces it in this blog post:

“I’m seriously into filters and labels. All the email I get related to Flash goes under my “flash” label, everything about paragliding goes under “flying,” and they all skip my inbox because that’s how I like to stay organized. But when new email arrives I have to switch to the “flash” label first, then click on “paragliding,” etc. I wanted a way to see it all at once.”

To select this feature, head over to Google Labs section and enable Multiple Inboxes. And the end product? Here have a look for yourself.

You can obviously choose how many inboxes you want. To do the same go to settings and select the Multiple Inboxes tab (after you have enabled the feature). There is great personalisation. You can select the labels and even the number of posts you want to see so that you’re screen isn’t too cluttered. This is what it looks like.

I think it’s an awesome feature because its almost like having 2/3 screens at once as far as mail is concerned and makes it very convenient if you’re using a lot of labels.

This feature was created by Octavian “Vivi” Costache in his 20% time that Google offers their employees. Do check the feature out and then discuss it in the comments section below.

Windows 7: To be launched in 6 versions with a beta release in Hindi

February 5, 2009

The speculations are rife that Microsoft latest upcoming operating system windows 7 would be launched in 6 different versions.

The company in order to avoid clash of versions would heavily promote only two versions i.e primary version for consumers which will be called Windows 7 Home Premium, and the one for businesses which will be called Windows 7 Professional.

Versions to be launched:

Windows 7 Home Premium:: main promoted version for home users.

Windows 7 Professional:: main promoted version for business and professionals.

Home Basic :: It would mainly be used as OEM VERSION.

Starter edition:The Starter edition is intended for sale in developing countries

There would also be a Top-end Enterprise version for big corporate customers and a similar Ultimate version for consumers. Those versions will include security features and a few other tools not available in the two main versions.
Does game of plenty work?

* Microsoft first encounter with multi-tiered versions of their product started with windows xp which was launched in versions like home, professional, media centre edition etc…this practice of launching plenty of versions in the market seemed to have paid during xp time but was not so successful during the time of vista launch.
* This multi-tiered approach results into a increase in use of pirated operating systems in emerging markets and the reason being that people believe that the core or simple version may not be enough for their work and higher version being unaffordable they go for piracy route.
* It make cumbersome for people to decide which version to go for their use.

Why does Microsoft play this game:

* The main reason for launching multiple versions with different functionality is to remove price barriers and make it more accessible to buyers.
* This again helps in fueling the volume growth or the sales growth for the company.
* The company is able to leverage the brand Rep of its flagship operating system to sell different versions of it which again does not put too much load on advertising budget.

Microsoft has also said in a statement that changes to the way it communicates about Windows 7 should `make these choices as simple and clear as possible for customers and partners.”
Microsoft launches windows 7 beta in Hindi:

* Microsoft has announced that it has launched windows 7 in Hindi.

* The new initiatives is again followed by launch of Language Interface Packs (LIPs) in 12 Indian languages for MS Office and Windows.

* The company has also announced a total of 45 additional virtual keyboards for these languages.

According to the company,”This would facilitate company to overcome the language barrier to computing,and has showcased a variety of custom made products directed specifically at the vernacular language market – a market that has been largely left untapped till now.”

If you want to download windows 7 beta in Hindi just go here and click Hindi in the dropdown box.

End note:

This could be followed by full fledge launches of future releases from the company in Hindi and other vernacular languages and in turn suggests that Microsoft is waking up to seriously notice the requirements of emerging markets which could provide it the next big opportunity looking at capping of I.T budgets in its prime markets.

This could further imply good news for PC and Internet penetration in India as it would finally see a robust growth due to breaking of language barriers.

Jadeja debuts as professional golfer

February 4, 2009

Former cricketer Ajay Jadeja made his debut on Tuesday as a professional golfer at the PGTI Players Championship, which saw Himmat Singh Rai shoot five under-65 to emerge opening day leaders here. Jadeja produced a round of one under 69 to be tied 12th along with Shamim Khan and Harendra Gupta at the Tollygunge club greens.

The former Indian ODI captain left behind the seasoned S.S.P. Chowrasia, and admitted at the end of the day: “When I was a cricketer, I thought it to be the only difficult sport. I thought only in cricket you are under pressure … But there’s lot more pressure here.”

Comparing cricket with golf, he said: “There’s a lot of difference. In cricket, you have teammates to help you out when you are in trouble. But here, you are alone in the middle and there’s nobody you can turn to. You have to fight your way out.”

Jadeja said he was satisfied with his debut showing. . “My first shot was behind a tree … It happens once in a lifetime to imagine a ball going off the fairway. But you have got to play from where it lies so I had to take the penalty shot and start again.

“But at the end of the day, I am happy with the progress of having finished with one-under. I have just started today.”

Delhi boy Rai hit two eagles and two birdies at the par 70 course, with a bogey in the fifth being the only blot.

Mukesh Kumar birdied the 10th, 15th, 18th, fourth, ninth and bogeyed the 17th and 2nd to be tied second at three under 67. Kolkata’s Nur Hossian Sardar fired five birdies (10th, 15th, second, fifth, seventh) against two bogeys (first and fourth) to be tied second with an overall score of three under 67.

Kolkata-based professionals SS.P. Chowrasia and Feroz Ali Mollah were both tied sixth at two under 68.