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5 fun and innovative smartphone photography tools

(Tech News) Photojojo offers five incredibly innovative iOS smartphone photography tools to make getting professional-quality photography results simple.

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smartphone photography

smartphone photography

Take your smartphone photography to the next level

Thanks to technology, we no longer have to lug around multiple devices to take awesome, professional-looking photos and videos. These days, all you need is your iPhone, iPad, or other smart device and the right accessories. With the right accessories, you can turn these smart devices into full-blown professional photography gear for a fraction of the traditional cost. Here are five of the newest, coolest, Photojojo dream tools:

iOgrapher

iographer-ipad-case-f503_600.0000001402789836iOgrapher for iPad or iPad Mini turns your iPad into the ultimate video rig. The base looks like a regular iPade case, but with handles. The handles are super tough and durable, so you do can focus on what you are filming, rather than worrying about dropping your device. It also has three cold shoe mounts for accessories: tripods, pro-quality microphones, and lights. It comes with a wide angle lens, but will fit any 37mm filter. You can order the iOgraher with the rig and wide angle lens for $85, or go all out and order it with the Rode mic for $320. (If you do not have an iPad, you can purchase the RODE mic separately, see next post).

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Rode VideoMic Pro

rode-videomic-pro-boom-aa68_600.0000001402794845While technology has brought us a long way in terms of photography, the built-in microphones on smartphones and tablets, can leave something to be desired for professionals and avid amateurs alike. The Rode VideoMic Pro plugs directly into the audio jack on your DSLR, iPhone, or iPad for pro-quality recording from up to 20 feet away. It can be used with any hot or cold shoe mount and boasts a suspension system (cutting down on pops and crackles). It is powered by a single 9-volt battery, so it will not drain your device’s battery. Each 9-volt should last you approximately 70 hours. The Rode mic can be paired with the iOgrapher rig, or used alone.  For the creative-minded business entrepreneur this could be a great investment to make your own marketing videos, YouTube tutorials, and virtual tour videos. The Rode VideoMic will run you $229.

The Phantom 2 Photography Drone

phantom-2-photography-drone-9edc_600.0000001401392519Drones are an amazing piece of technology. They can go where humans cannot or should not go. They capture amazing images that would not be possible or economical without their help. Now you can get one for your own use. The Phantom 2 works on 3 axises to hold your camera as steady as possible. You can approximately a half a mile away, or use the built-in GPS assisted hovering feature to film just a few feet away. You also have a simple, intuitive remote control. The Phantom comes in two different setups:  Phantom 2 with vision camera and Phantom 2 with GoPro camera mount. The first option comes with a high definition camera built into the rigging, so when you connect the drone to your phone via the DJI Vision Mobile App, you can see, in real time, what the drone sees as it is flying. The second option is for individual who already own a GoPro camera (any kind). While the price is a bit high; option one with camera included is $1299, option two GoPro mount is $959, there are numerous instances where aerial photography and video would come in handy, not the mention the cool factor.

Nova

nova-wireless-phone-flash-e5fb.0000001402246485Nova is a wallet-sized, wireless flash for iPhone, iPad, and iPod, that uses Bluetooth to talk to your phone from up to 20 feet away, syncing its flash with your shutter, allowing you to take the perfect picture. The Nova has 40 LED lights that are diffused through a white panel for super even light. Nova has three light modes: gentle, effective for removing shadows; warm, giving skin a natural, even look, and bright, to light up large areas or large crowds.  If you find it is too bright, too warm, or too cool, you can adjust the setting of the Nova through the mobile app; even customized a brightness and temperature that works for you. The Nova does not need to be attached to your device, so you can position it wherever and however you need it to get that perfect shot. The Nova device is so slim it will fit actually fit in your wallet and charges via a USB  cable. The Nova is $59 and could come in quite handy since it is so portable.

iPhone Super Suit

iphone-super-suit-ad43_600.0000001398533111iPhone 5 and 5s users will delight in the Super Suit. The Super Suit case is completely sealed and waterproof, as well as sleek. With this case, you can use your camera underwater, up to six feet.  While swimming with your iPhone, all buttons and the touchscreen are 100% protected and accessible. They say you can even use your phone’s camera with the attachable Photojojo lenses. It also protects against drops and bumps from up to six feet high. If you visit their page, there is a water test with the Super Suit and a link to a story about what happened to it when the creators took the Suit camping. The Super Suit is $79; well worth it if you are prone to dropping your phone in the sink, enjoy underwater photography with your phone, or just want to text in the shower without ruining your iPhone.

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

Tech News

Which security company (that knows better) is actively selling your data?

(TECH NEWS) Maybe you can’t even trust your antivirus software anymore. Avast is protecting your data from all outside threats, but ignores the wolf in the hen house.

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Avast sells data

A company designed to protect users from online harm is at the center of the latest data scandal, except this time it’s not hackers we have to worry about. Avast, a popular antivirus software used by people around the globe, has been selling users data through a subsidiary company.

A new investigation by Motherboard and PCMag has found that Avast has been taking user data from its antivirus software and selling it through a subsidiary company called Jumpshot. Avast used the subsidiary company to pass off the data collected from users of their antivirus software and then sell it for millions.

Some of the biggest companies out there, names you recognize and see everyday, are on the list of past and current customers. A few of the companies we know have worked with Jumpshot to purchase user data are Google, Home Depot, Microsoft, Pepsi, Expedia, Intuit, Keurig, Conde Nast, Sephora, and Loreal.
What is still unclear is which of these companies are current and which are past Jumpshot clients. Yelp, another big name on the list, has already admitted to using the company to purchase data, but insist that it was on a “one-time basis.”

While users of Avast’s antivirus software were required to opt-in to sharing their data, the investigation found that many users were unaware that their data was being sold. This is unsurprising.
We’ve all been there, you jump onto a new website and it asks if they can collect data, use cookies, sell your left kidney, or whatever they need to better serve you. You don’t really understand what they’re asking, but you click the little yes box because if you say no then you’re taken to a new screen with a pile of legal jargon in tiny text to sort through.

Companies know that you don’t want to deal this. You’re just trying to read an interesting article on your lunch break or do a little online shopping. Companies like Avast know exactly what they’re doing when they convince you to sell your data. And make no mistake, your user data is valuable.

One of Jumpshot’s products called “All Clicks Feed,” sells for just over $2 million. This product allows the buyer to see everything from Google searches, Google Maps locations, LinkedIn page activity, YouTube video views, visits to porn websites, and more.

In a statement to Vice, Avast said, “Because of our approach, we ensure that Jumpshot does not acquire personal identification information, including name, email address or contact details, from people using our popular free antivirus software.”

All the data Jumpshot sells is anonymous, meaning users personal information and possible identifiers are scrubbed, but experts are skeptical about the security of anonymized information.

The safety of your personal data and the frightening power that comes with holding millions of users data is already enough to keep a person up at night. Perhaps the most troubling part is that this type of behavior doesn’t necessarily call for legal action.

At most, we are looking at an ethics breach for not making it clearer to users precisely how their data is being used. Avast claims to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and until someone can find direct evidence of a legal misstep, they’re free to continue selling user data to the highest bidder.

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Tech News

WTH is ‘Green UX’ anyway?

(TECH NEWS) Earth-saving green UX? It’s a green new deal, for real, and can actually create a more environmentally friendly company.

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green ux, green Earth

Remember that time a 6th-grader proved you could save a metric butt-ton of ink by switching from Times New Roman to Garamond?

I’m a nerd, so I found that unbelievably cool. Cooler still is the fact that the spirit of Suvir Mirchandani’s experiment isn’t just for physical press!

Enter “Green UX.” It’s a website-building methodology that slightly offsets polluters’ near cartoonish levels of choking the planet, and the dent it makes isn’t just saving the whales, it’s saving users a hell of a lot of hassle! So how do you do it? I have you covered with a few steps.

1: Don’t clutter your interface with a lot of crap. That means ads everywhere, a subscription pop-up on entering and on leaving, and a bunch of ill-curated “sponsored stories”. The more of that you cut out, the more carbon you cut down, the more of a green ux you will have.

2: Emphasize accessibility. Building things the right way, with everyone’s needs in mind is always the most efficient thing to do. Think about getting a commercial building ready. The person in charge of the purse strings might not be swayed by doing the right thing. What will give them a push is the idea of a well-deserved ADA lawsuit smackdown, closing for days due to construction, and hiring a rebranding professional to wipe down all the bad press.

And in terms of environmental assistance, everything involved in repairing, company image included, is sucking resources. Your website is the same way. The more users need to add their own image descriptions in shares, host alternative videos with captions, and click back and forth because they can’t read your ‘edgy’ white print on a yellow background for more than .01 seconds at a time, the more okapis you may as well be punching straight in the face. Keep everyone in mind, keep the earth happy, and keep off of African ungulates’ hit lists.

3: Optimize EVERYTHING. Text? Wrapped. Gifs? Clipped down by HAND, not by automation. Pictures? Compressed. When everything loads faster, everyone’s happier. When everyone’s happier, they tend to buy more.

When they buy more based on your website being easier to navigate than everyone else’s, you get to spend less money on ads, less money on new campaigns, and more money donating to foundations that turn air pollution particles into ink for needy children. See how this works?

In a SHOCKING turn of events, doing what’s best for the planet is best for the people making a living on it!

Who would have thought, right?

Now some of our regular readers might recognize most of these from when AG boosted news about how to slip past Google’s potential ‘SLOW SITE’ stamp.

That’s for good reason.

A fast, convenient website is literally better for the environment! The less processing power they draw, the less electricity they pull, and the end user saves enough time in their day not waiting on any variant of the circle of doom to go plant a tree or something. So it’s best to have a green UX.

Big Momma Earth wins? We win! It’s literally that simple.

Let’s see some innovation as we race UPWARDS this time, shall we?

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Tech News

Soma AI + ML = security system to reduce the number of mass shootings

(TECH NEWS) Soma robotics has a new plan and new devices for protecting schools from the rising dangers. They have heard the thoughts and answered the prayers.

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Soma robotics anti shooting device

In an age where everyone is separated in the debates between the security and the rights of the American people’s future, there is a company out there who is looking to upgrade our security systems to combat with the current issues of today with technology.

SOMA Robotics, a houstonian company at heart, has built a security system “using non-lethal AI (artificial intelligence) powered technology” with MI (machine learning), to allow these situational victims a chance to either “fight, or hide, or run”.

According to their website, the system essentially engages with the attacker through a blinding spotlight that then follows them much like a real spotlight on a stage. Although this system might not be the end of all new-aged attacks, it can at least be a mitigator of the impact these attacks have on their victims.

To be as blunt as possible, “at the end of 2019 there were 417 mass shootings” of which “31 were considered to be mass-murders” stated CBS News. 2019 was reported to be the year with the highest rate of mass shootings.

It seems SOMA Robotics is actively trying to lower those statistics, at a time when, sadly, this is a huge public safety issue impacting over 39,000 people in 2019 alone, posted Gun Violence Archive. I would even say, SOMA Robotics is tired of seeing “Thoughts & Prayers” on social media, and trying to put up a fight for us since we cannot agree on how to protect ourselves.

Currently, SOMA Robotics’s Founder and CTO, Ed Schipul, is seeking investors to support their mission of “peace of mind”. In a posted interview on SOMA Robotics’ website, Schipul discusses how this technology could be a “game changer” for “soft-targets”,places like schools and airports.

Schipul even discusses how hopefully the costs to the product is inexpensive enough to all others to affordable purchase this technology, and even possibly releasing the open-source code for others to use.

Be like SOMA Robotics, be good.

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