Google Alphabet and The Apple Music Nightmare – We, Geeks Podcast Ep. 26

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Who Even Uses “LOL” Anymore?

Who Even Uses “LOL” Anymore?

Apparently we don’t use “lol” anymore online. A new study shows that we collectively use “lol” in our online conversations only about 1.9% of the time. Instead we’re using the term “haha” over 50% of the time and emoji over 33% of the time. Around 13% of us go with the somewhat creepy “hehe”. Expressing emotion is difficult online and “lol” for awhile was the perfect way to express that emotion of “Yeah, I find that funny”. What is your preferred method of online laughter? Check out the story here!

What is Google Alphabet?

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Is “Google” now “Alphabet”? Or… what exactly is Alphabet? Google recently released a statement that they’re creating a massive parent company to house entities like Google, Google Maps, Android, Chrome, and more. Alphabet will be the grand headmaster of all these “smaller” companies. Google Inc, will even be traded publicly on the stock market as Alphabet Inc. Is the whole issue simply about money and this is really nothing more than a shell company? You can check out the full statement from Google at abc.xyz and, as Google says, it’s time to get used to the new name. 

Apple Music Nightmare?

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There have been widespread complaints about Apple Music. Personally, I refuse to even sign up after seeing all the complaints and nightmare that Apple Music seems to be causing all the good people out there trying to get along with it. Menus upon menus upon menus? Where did the great UI design of Apple go? For me, I’ll stick with Spotify and an occasional dose of Pandora. Rumor has it that Apple was/is hoping for 100 million subscribers, but they’re around 11 million subscribers so far and how many of those will continue past the initial 3 month free trial period.

New Samsung Smart Watch – Samsung Gear S2 coming soon!

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On Thursday, Samsung unveiled their new Samsung Gear S2 smart watch and boy oh boy does it look like a circular Apple watch! So hopefully we’ve put all this Apple copied Samsung, and Samsung copied Apple nonsense behind us. Let them steal from each other and may the best man win! I actually like the way this Samsung watch looks a little better than the Apple Watch. It will be interesting to see if the new Gear S2 sells better than the original Gear series of smart wearables. Check out the CNET article here!

Fuji X Mount Lenses App Lets You Test and Compare Lenses Without Leaving Your Couch

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Fuji has a sweet app that will allow you to check out and demo different lenses in their repertoire. You can compare focal lengths or apertures of different lenses to really see how they will look on your camera. It’s as simple as opening the app and choosing the lens and setting focal length and aperture and even compare a couple of lenses side by side so you can see the difference between that 14mm and that 18mm lens that you’re thinking about purchasing. The app is available on both iOS and on Android. It would be interesting to see if larger camera companies follow suit and provide users with a similar app to test gear before purchase.

Grab the iOS app over at iTunes.

Grab the Android app at the Google Play store.

Rokinon Announces New Affordable Professional Grade Cine Lens System

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The lens production company, Rokinon is well known for pretty good lenses at a very low cost. The catch is that they’re almost all manually focus lenses, but they’re awesome for cinematography work! Well, Rokinon has just announced a full line of cine lenses that are ultra high quality and 4k ready! They have a 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm all ready and able to mount to Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony, Micro 4/3, and PL. The big catch here is that Rokinon is charging about $2,500 for each lens. A little more expensive than one may expect, but still much better than most other top-shelf cine lenses. Rokinon, you’re done yourself well here. Check out the full line of lenses here!

Sony A7r II sample ISO shots

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We’ve spoken a ton about the Sony A7r II in past episodes, and with it’s release on the horizon, reviews and sample images are starting to come out! Resource Magazine highlighted some low light images to show how the A7r II performs at different ISOs. Up until about 16000, there’s very little noise to be seen, and even up until ISO 40,000, the noise that is introduced isn’t terrible. Definitely something that can be dealt with in post. Of course, once you get to ISO 102,400, there’s quite a bit of noise, but still pretty impressive stuff!

How I Accidentally Captured the ISS in a Self Portrait

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Amsterdam based photographer, Albert Dros took a selfie photograph with his Sony A7II camera on a tripod one clear night hoping for a long exposure showcasing himself and the clear starry night. Instead he got more than he had bargained for when he noticed a striking object across the top of his photo frame which turned out to be the ISS (International space station) streaking across the night sky behind him. Pretty stinking cool! You can check out the photos here.

Check out the photographer’s Flickr here as well.

Using Dehaze to improve star photography

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When Adobe released the new Dehaze adjustment in Lightroom and Camera Raw, it was something that photographers used to, well, remove haze from their images, but one photographer, Tom Mackintosh, found another use for it – stars! He was able to take a very mediocre shot of the night’s sky, and just by using the Dehaze adjustment, reveal a lot more detail that was barely visible before. Check out the author’s full post here.

Why Photoshop Sucks (Except It Doesn’t)

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The socially acceptable position is to come down hard against over-retouching and CGI effects and all this darned “Photoshopping” that is taking place, but does Photoshop really suck all that much, or is it really kind of awesome? There was a video uploaded a couple weeks ago showcasing just what a number of major motion pictures would look like without CGI. Yeah, we’ll take CGI. Photoshop and CGI of any sort should always be used carefully, but we also just need to let art be expressed as the artist feels it needs to be expressed. Do it! But do it well! See the Petapixel article here.

Algorithm removes reflections/unwanted objects

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Researchers at MIT and Google have developed an algorithm which removes reflections and unwanted objects, like chain linked fences, from your photos! Don’t get too excited, though. In order for the algorithm to work, several photos need to be taken while moving the camera slightly. The software is able to detect the obstructions in the photos, and isolate them, similar to the Content Aware technology in Photoshop. Currently there’s no word on when/if this technology will make it into the hands of consumers, but it’s likely it’ll find its way at some point.

These Portraits Were Created by Combining Photos of Celebrities

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If nothing else, these portraits are remarkable examples of really good Photoshop work. Norwegian photographer/retoucher, Pedro Berg Johnsen had the great idea of creating mashups of celebrity features onto one face and see what it looks like. I only wonder what some of the not-so-attractive results looked like. Check them all out here!

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9 Comments

  1. The over use of Photoshop is something that I have conversations about with people quite often. It really depends on what one is trying to achieve. There are some images that for artistic purposes are not supposed to look real. When it comes to photo retouching, less is more. I prefer to mostly edit photos using light room and maybe go to Photoshop for a few little things that I personally like to do there, like dodging and burning. Great episode of the podcast and thanks for posting the story links here.

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