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.

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BSNL To Roll Out 3G In Orissa

February 2, 2009

The 3G is finally set to arrive in India, BSNL, the telecom major is doing it’s initial rollout in Orissa. The 3G services would be first launched in Bhubaneswar and later in the district headquarters of the state and for that BSNL is investing Rs 300cr for the infrastructure.

As BSNL is moving ahead the race though the 3G auction is yet to see light of the day. Recently the cabinet has referred the 3G auction issue to a group of ministers (GoM). Issues regarding the 3G auction include setting the base price for the auction and finalizing the number of slots firms can bid for in the 20 of India’s 22 service areas to be covered by the sale.

In an earlier panel held by FICCI and BDA on Demystifying 3G and BWA, Randeep Raina, Head, 3G Business(Sub region India), Nokia Siemens Networks had pointed out that it is difficult to plan out the infrastructure for 3G in the country unless there is clear decision on the 3G auction. If the 3G rollout is done soon enough, the subscriber base is estimated to grow to 89.9mn by 2013 and will represent 12% of the overall subscriber base contributing USD 15.8bn in service revenues.

For the sake of the thousands who bought a 3G handset in expectation of using broadband like speed on mobile lets hope 3G comes sooner rather than later.


The coolest cell phones you may never see

October 1, 2008

CHIBA, Japan–If the concepts on display at Ceatec are any indication, completely deconstructing the traditional form factor of the mobile phone is one of the next major phases of design and development research.
Japan has one of the most robust mobile phone cultures anywhere, and it shows here on the second day of the show. Sharp, Fujitsu, NTT DoCoMo, and KDDI each had intriguing takes on the next form factor for devices used not just for mobile communication, but watching videos, playing games, and performing mobile navigation.
Take the necklace on the right. It alerts the wearer when there’s a call or a message incoming. It’s made by Fujitsu and, while it isn’t an actual product, is indicative of how cell phones are thought of here: not just communication devices, but accessories made to fit neatly and inconspicuously into the daily routine.

Then there were a host of phones whose screens and keyboards pull apart to be used separately. The Fujitsu version shown below uses magnets to connect the two pieces in the desired configuration. NTT DoCoMo was demonstrating a similar concept.

But as far as futuristic, elegant design goes, KDDI was far and away the winner. The wireless company showed off beautiful designs, which are nowhere close to being reality, but show the aspirations it has for the cell phone. The Ply was part of its yearly Design Project. (Here’s a picture of last year’s version.)

Designed by Hideo Kambara, the Ply imagines the phone as a device with a series of layers. One layer is a pop-up projector, another is a slide-out keyboard, and another is a printer, a game controller, and so on. The ones on display here and shown further down the page are just papercraft renderings.


Samsung’s 8-megapixel Pixon gets official, ships in mid-October

September 30, 2008

Samsung’s 8-megapixel Pixon gets official, ships in mid-October by Darren Murph, posted Sep 29th 2008 at 10:28AM Samsung was content with teasing us all weekend long, but it has finally seen fit to officially reveal its next 8-megapixel handset, the Pixon. Boasting a 3.2-inch touchscreen, 13.8-millimeter thin design and an inbuilt camera with Auto Focus, face detection and geotagging, the handset clearly emphasizes the importance of taking a few photos each and everyday. Sammy has confessed that the currently unpriced mobile will start shipping in around a fortnight for those in France, while most other European / Asian countries will see it shortly.


Sony Ericsson: Microsoft said no, no, no

September 28, 2008

With Sony Ericsson’s inaugural Windows Mobile device set to be launched in the coming days, the handset maker has revealed that it had to convince Microsoft to embrace plans to make the Windows interface more user-friendly.

Sony Ericsson hopes that the Microsoft device, first announced at the Mobile World Congress event in February, will appeal to “fast living” professional types who want to be able to use their device for work and play. The Xperia X1 will be released first in the U.K., Germany, and Sweden.

To take the device beyond Windows’ traditional business roots, Sony Ericsson has added a user-friendly front end to the OS in the form of nine customizable panel icons. The panels enable users to run applications straight off the desktop, rather than digging through the Windows menu structure to find and boot them, and the phone maker has also launched an SDK to encourage developers to create more and more panels.

Keisuke Kakoi, head of product and application planning, convergence unit, said Microsoft’s initial response to Sony Ericsson’s plan to skin the OS with panels was not a positive one.

“I still remember in the very beginning phase we a little bit (did) disclose our panel concept to Microsoft, and (the) first reaction from Microsoft was ‘no, no, no! Please stay Microsoft way, Windows way.’ But we showed the panel application, then Microsoft top management suddenly (changed to): ‘yes, OK, you should do that’.”

Microsoft quickly came to accept and understand the panel concept, Kakoi said, adding that Sony Ericsson is now working closely with the software giant: “We are getting lots of help with them as well.”

The X1 runs the Opera mobile Web browser as a default, despite also having Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Sony Ericsson has high hopes for the Xperia–not just that it will appeal to “prosumers” but that it could even tempt enterprises away from the wares of BlackBerry-maker RIM, which has also been adding a multimedia entertainment edge to its offerings.

“Our sister companies like Sony Pictures, Sony BMG, everyone has (an) office in (the) West Coast (of the U.S.)–we can work easily (with them) of course. Unfortunately RIM cannot do that,” Kakoi said.

“But also we are open to work with RIM,” Kakoi said. “They are approaching us as well because they have the Windows Mobile BlackBerry client…You can see BlackBerry and its size as direct (competition) but also we can potentially work together. So this is an open platform product really.”

Kakoi works at Sony Ericsson’s Silicon Valley office–saying that the company wanted to have a base in the heart of Web development country where there are “so many creative companies,” adding it is even working with Apple in “the connectivity area.”

Asked why it has chosen to offer a Windows Mobile phone now, company CTO Mats Lindoff said: “The adventure started in 2001–those days we had 4 (percent), 5 percent market share. I think we had almost 10 (percent) in Q4 and of course when you grow you can also grow the opportunity to develop, you have more resources, you are reaching out to more markets.

Sony Ericsson wanted to focus on the U.S., where Windows Mobile is much stronger than Symbian, Lindoff said. “That’s the only business phone we’ve done in the past. So for me it’s a natural development of the company and I also think that (as for) operating systems we are not religious.”

Lindoff added he didn’t rule out the possibility of the Xperia being a Symbian Foundation product in the future.

Asked why the Xperia X1 has been in development for such an apparently long period, Magnus Andersson, senior product manager for the X1, said: “We’ve done this in a record time. I remember we talked about this (internally)–‘is this the right time to go out, at Mobile World Congress? It’s quite early in the development phase, should we wait?'”

Normally on development projects, the company holds an announcement until they’re nearly finished. “But we said no, we’ve kept this very well as a secret and we have something pretty unique, we have something great to tell the audience so let’s just do it,” Andersson said.

Kakoi added that it has spent more time than usual developing the X1 as it’s a “new platform for us.” Since February, he added, the handset maker has been working on performance tuning and also customization for each market the phone will be sold in.

“It’s not that it’s taking us very long, we actually announced it very early,” Kakoi said. “We are still delivering and performing on our original schedule that we had that day (at Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona.”


Fancy TV on your phone?

September 27, 2008

Dublin-based Qtelmedia Group Ltd, which has made Malaysia (Cyberjaya, to be more precise) as its Asian hub, will be offering consumers mobile access to TV for a flat rate of RM20 per month.

According Qtelmedia, there are three reasons why mobile TV has not taken off here:

i) Cost (of accessing video on phones)
ii) Price (of 3G phones)
iii) Content (or lack thereof)

Qtelmedia is addressing these three issues. Firstly, it’s offering a low flat fee (with no hidden charges)

Secondly, its technology does not require 3G phones. It works with GPRS- and EDGE-capable phones too.

Lastly, it is seeking out local content partners to provide localized content.

On paper this sounds good but will people want to watch TV or video on their phones? I have my doubts.


Report: China Mobile wants a slow iPhone

September 27, 2008

China Mobile might be asking Apple for a modified version of the iPhone to ensure its customers stay within its network.

Apple and China Mobile have been flirting for some time over the prospect of bringing the iPhone to China. Now the South China Morning Post is reporting (via Cellular-News) that China Mobile wants Apple to ship an iPhone in China with the Wi-Fi and 3G chips disabled. Why take out the fast networking chips that make the iPhone shine, you may ask?

Competition. China Mobile plans to build out a 3G network based on a homegrown Chinese standard for third-generation networks that is not compatible with the widely used W-CDMA standard that is also expected to be used by China Mobile competitor China Telecom.

The thinking, according to the report, is that China Mobile does not want its customers buying an iPhone 3G compatible with the W-CDMA standard before it can complete its own 3G network. Otherwise, those customers may decide to unlock the iPhone and use it on China Telecom’s network rather than staying tied to the China Mobile network. Unlocked iPhones are rampant in China; over 400,000 were estimated to be in use earlier in the year, and few think that number has gotten smaller.

If all Apple has to do is knock out the 3G and Wi-Fi chips it might not be too difficult to ship the modified handset, since it would not be like developing something completely different. But given how closely the iPhone is associated with Apple, the move would create the potential for Chinese iPhone users stuck on a slow data network to blame the iPhone for their poor experience.

China would be a big prize for Apple, but it might not be worth the cost of shipping a crippled iPhone.