Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nikon brings Wi-Fi and improvements to D5300 DSLR, plus pricey 58mm pro-level prime lens

There are several noteworthy improvements in Nikon's new Nikon D5300 Cheap APS-C (DX) DSLR from its predecessor, the D5200. One of Nikon's best-selling and most popular models, the midrange 24.1-megapixel D5300's smaller and lighter body has improved ergonomics - there's more surface area on the grip for a tighter hold and more clearance between your fingers and the lens. Despite the body being smaller, the vari-angle flip-out LCD got bigger (3.2 inches from 3 inches in the D5200). With the Expeed 4 image processor the ISO range has increased (100-12,800). But the big addition is that Wi-Fi is now built into the camera ­- a first for Nikon DSLRs.

Another big change, Nikon has removed the optical low pass (anti-aliasing) filter from the 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, to improve the image quality of stills and videos - a trend that's happening with many new cameras. The D5300 has the same 39-point autofocus system and 5 frames-per-second continuous shooting as the D5200. There's also Nikon's Scene Reconigtion System that uses the 2,016-pixel RGB metering system to automatically select exposure, AF, and white balance based on the scene conditions.

Wi-Fi has been available in Nikon cameras via an optional adapter, but the D5300 will be the first to have it built in. It's also the first Nikon DSLR to have onboard GPS, which lets you geotag your images before you upload or e-mail them from the camera via a connected smartphone or tablet. You can also use a connected smart device as an external monitor for remote shooting.

For video capture, Nikon has added Full HD 1080p at 60p. There are nine special effects you can use to edit in-camera, including a "HDR painting" feature that lets you alter the colors of an image to make it look as if it was shot as a high-dynamic range photo.

The D5300 is on sale now for $1,400, which comes with the AF-S Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR kit lens; if you're stepping up and you already have a set of Nikkor DX lenses, you can pick up just the body for $800. The camera comes in three colors: black, red, and a new gray option.

AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G lens

In addition to the D5300, Nikon has also announced a new pro-level prime lens, the AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G. Carrying the legacy of popular Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 lens, this fixed 58mm focal length (35mm/FX equivalent; 87mm DX/cropped format) is ideal for shooting portraits, landscapes, and street photography, Nikon says, but it's all about achieving bokeh - that artistic background blurring - with the nine-blade diaphragm. Made for low-light capture, the lens has Nikon's Nano Crystal coating to avoid ghosting and flare. The Silent Wave Motor operates quietly when autofocusing, which is key for recording video.

This premium lens will go on sale later this month for $1,700.

Source: Digitaltrends

Monday, October 21, 2013

Meet the 63-year-old rapping grandmother who makes YouTube videos

<face makeup 101ul>
  • Marianne Brown has been making YouTube videos since April - all just to make her grandson laugh
  • Her latest video raps about growing old and having fun
  • She has made 45 videos in all
  • By Ryan Gorman

    PUBLISHED: 09:25 EST, 21 October 2013 | UPDATED: 12:39 EST, 21 October 2013

    A rapping granny is dispensing advice and creating laughs as she entertains her grandson.

    Marianne Brown, 63, of Michigan, often takes to YouTube to entertain her grandson, but her latest video is turning more heads than usual.

    Ms Brown curses, raps about elves and bowel movements - but told the Daily Dot her diatribes have a purpose.

    'There's a method to my madness,' she explained. 'I want him to grow up and be a grandfather who also has fun with his grandchildren.'

    Ms Brown's first foray into hip hop starts off with a bang.

    'You think you all know it, but you need to find - being a grandma will blow your f*****g mind,' she rhymes.

    The rapping retiree has been making the videos since April because she misses her grandson two hours away in Chicago.

    'He likes me, and I like him,' said the kooky granny.


    On menopause: She wears a beard and says it's worse than a period

    Not afraid to share the perils of growing old, Ms Brown then hits upon her physical appearance.

    'It explains itself, you just need to start to shrink and resemble an elf,' she raps, adding 'you fall on your ass, and if you're very lucky, you pass a lot of gas.'

    She even throws in a line about bowel movements before tackling her teeth and hair.

    'Did your hair turn gray, did your teeth fall out? My momma didn't tell me, but that's what it's all about.' Ms Brown says she competed in the 1969 Miss America pageant, a claim MailOnline was unable to verify.

    A message left with the Miss America Organization for comment has not yet been returned.

    'It tickles me when I see women with duck lips and big cleavage,' she told the Daily Dot.

    'That's not going to last,' she added, 'I was in the Miss America pageant in 1969. I was a little hottie.'
    'You can fight it, you can tight it 'till you taught, but that southerly direction cannot be caught,' she espouses in the video.

    'Your only hope my sister, is maybe you are black, and every cracker knows that black don't crack,' she continues.

    Young at heart, Ms Brown told the Daily Dot of the fun she has with her grandson.

    'We're pretty much the same mindset,' Brown explained. 'His parents are in their 30s, and they're very serious; they're parents.'

    'He and I totally trash his room,' she continued. 'We totally trash it. And then they come in and see us, and I look like a really bad kid sitting there, and then I walk away.'

    They tell me not to give him more than one cookie, and when they leave, I give him like 10,' she said.

    She told the site that she makes the video to prove that being old isn't the end of the world.

    Some of her other YouTube moments include 'A Little Message from the Tooth Fairy,' 'Menopause,' Turning S**t Into a Divine Gift' and 'How to Apply Makeup on the Elderly 101.'

    'You can actually have fun and make videos,' she said. 'You can jump out of airplanes. You can do whatever you want.'

    And she's doing just that.

    Source: Dailymail

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Homemade for Halloween

    <halloween cartoon movies 2013p>Starbucks drinks
    From left, Miranda Giambi, 11, of Chevy Chase, Mary Rose Bell, 12, of Alexandria, and Priya Phillips, 11, of Bowie
    Inspiration: They decided to make the costumes because they all love Starbucks and could represent different sizes -- venti, grande and tall. They also represented all of their favorite drinks.
    Supplies: Felt, iro-ons for logos.
    Grown-up help: Mary Rose's dad helped measure, which was tricky because the cups get smaller toward the bottom.

    Family photo

    Source: Washingtonpost

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Mukwonago area hosts Halloween fun

    Whether you like your Halloween with a little spook, a lot of candy or some beautiful fall colors Mukwonago has a host of events coming up to ensure even the oldest ghosts and goblins have a great time.

    Jack-o-Lantern Jaunt and Halloween Haunt

    In it's 11th year the Jack-O-Lantern Jaunt has once again teamed up with the Mukwonago Rotary Club's Halloween Haunt to create and evening of spooktacular family fun halloween. Hundreds of pumpkins like the way in Mukwonago's Field Park as residents drive through from 6-6:45 or walk through from 7-10 p.m. on Oct. 18 and 19. Make your way through the spooky pavilion, play games and enjoy refreshments. At 8 p.m. the move "The Giant Spider" will also play in the park. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for kids 12 and under and all of the money goes to support community iniatives.

    If your family or business is interested in placing a pumpkin in the park just drop off your carved pumpkin off at Field Park on Friday Oct. 18 from 1-5 p.m.

    Eagle Business Association Pumpkin Party

    The 6th Annual Eagle Community Pumpkin Party will be held on Oct. 26 from 12-4 p.m. in and around the Village of Eagle. Register at the Gazebo to get a $1 wristband and a bag of goodies. Events include cookie decorating, caramel apple decorating, a color contest, the big slide story time, a monster mall, story time, a pet costume contest, crafts, balloon clown, face painting, pumpkin painting, the Palmyra Eagle Community Band, and concessions. The Grand Finale Pumpkin Drop is scheduled for 4 p.m. The Eagle Fire Department will host a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon. Participants are also asked to help Can the Casket by bringing a canned good or non-perishable food item for the Eagle Food Pantry.

    Elegant Farmer's Autumn Harvest Festival

    When you're continuing a family tradition or starting a new on, The Elegant farmer offers a family fun apple and pumpkin picking experience each weekend until Oct. 26. The family-friendly 5-acre corn maze, hayrides, pony rides and a train ride will round out the day while observing the beautiful and quickly changing fall colors. For more information about the Autumn Harvest Festival visit elegantfarmer.com

    Old World Wisconsin's Halloween Legends and Lore

    Find your way through mazes, flee ghosts, solve strange riddles, create artifacts and encounter cackling witches, gloomy grave diggers and strange beasts. Enjoy tasty treats and drinks and wrap up the night with the bonfire finale. Oct 18-19 and 25-26 from 4:30-8:30 p.m.

    Old World Wisconsin's Halloween Dinner Theatre Wake Not the Dead

    Enjoy a themed harvest meal followed by a lam-lit stroll to a live drama that will thrill and chill you. One weekend left, Oct. 18 and 19 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 20 at 5 and 8 p.m.

    Fore more information on either of these events visit oldworldwisconsin.wisconsinhistory.org

    East Troy's Tracks and Treats

    The East Troy Electric Railroad will host Tracks & Treats during Halloween weekend. Children who arrive in Halloween costumes can ride the rails for free with an adult admission and all ghoulish boys and girls will receive trees from their haunted hosts. The event takes place Saturday Nov. 2 and Sunday Nov. 3. The normal fall schedule will be in-place offering hourly departures from the eerie East Troy depot beginning at 11 a.m. and with the last train leaving at 3 p.m. The railroad operates a 10-miles round trip from its historic depot and museum to the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago.

    Source: Livinglakecountry

    Saturday, October 5, 2013

    Man sets himself on fire on the National Mall

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    WASHINGTON — A man set himself afire on the National Mall in the nation's capital as passers-by rushed over to help douse the flames, officials and witnesses said Friday afternoon.

    The reason for the self-immolation was not immediately clear and the man's identity was not disclosed. But it occurred in public view, on a central national gathering place, in a city still rattled by a mass shooting last month and a high-speed car chase outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday that ended with a woman being shot dead by police.

    The man on the Mall suffered life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to a hospital, said District of Columbia fire department spokesman Tim Wilson.

    He was standing by himself in the center portion of the Mall when he emptied the contents of a red gasoline can on himself and set himself on fire moments later, said Katy Scheflen, who witnessed it as she walked across the area. Police say they responded around 4:20 p.m. Friday.

    Scheflen said passing joggers took off their shirts in an effort to help douse the flames, and the man was clearly alive as the fire spread. A police department spokesman said he was conscious and breathing at the scene. MedStar Washington Hospital Center tweeted that the man was taken there and he was in critical condition.

    "There was not a lot people could do because it was a gasoline fire," Scheflen said.

    She said he may have said something before he acted "but it was nothing intelligible." She said she did not see him holding any signs before he set himself ablaze. She said there was another man with a tripod set up near him, but it's unclear if the man was filming the incident.

    Lt. Pamela Smith of the U.S. Park Police, which is investigating along with the D.C. police department, said: "I'm not aware of any signage or any articulation of any causes."

    The D.C. police department has dispatched its violent crimes branch, which responds to cases in which a person suffers serious injury.

    Source: Telegram

    Friday, October 4, 2013

    Apple's iPhone 5S sensors are massively screwed up (and so are the games that rely on them)

    Apple appears to have a serious hardware problem on its hands as the internal sensors of its new flagship phone, the iPhone 5s iphone cases otterbox pink for ipad, are not reporting accurate numbers.

    Numerous reports on Apple support communities indicate that people believe the sensors that report level, motion, and acceleration seem to be reporting incorrect information. And a detailed Gizmodo test indicates that indeed, they are "all screwed up."

    "My iPhone 5S is off by 4 degrees when using the level on its back (screen up). I had an iPhone 4 and 4s that I upgraded to iOS 7 and both were perfect, but the 5S is off," an iPhone 5S owner reported in Apple's support forums. "Holding it vertically it is also off by 1 or 2 degrees."

    I tested the iPhone 5S myself and found that the iHandy Level app indicates that a surface is level when the phone is clearly at an angle, and the Gyroscope app reports pitch and roll numbers that indicate the phone is on a slope when actually, it's on a flat and level table. My older iPhone 5, other the other hand, reports numbers that are much more accurate. Both phones are running Apple's latest version of iOS 7.

    Here's just one example, in which the iPhone 5S reports 2.3 degrees differently than the iPhone 5:

    This has real-world implications, as Gizmodo points out, and it's not just that your shelves or paintings will hang crooked (of course, I'd never use an iPhone sensor to hang a painting or install furniture). Games also rely on those sensors, and players who want to beat the game or beat their friends may run into trouble - like I did in Real Racing 3.

    As you can see, when the phone is flat on the table, the car turns left and hits the bumper. Clearly, the sensor is telling the game that the gamer is trying to turn left:

    Not all the sensors are reporting bad data - at least not on my phones. The same iHandy Level app that reports incorrect numbers for level on the iPhone 5S, reports almost identical numbers to the iPhone 5 version for plumb (straight up and down):

    The internal gyroscope, however, that measures pitch and roll and yaw appears to be also affected by whatever gremlin is troubling the new iPhone 5S. As you can see in the image below, the white iPhone 5 on the right reports zero degrees of roll and -1 degree of pitch. The space gray iPhone 5S in the red case on the left reports one degree of roll and 3 degrees of pitch - 4 degrees off.

    (The yaw numbers aren't relevant here, as they relate to the individual motions of the phones prior to being placed on the table, and not to their current orientation.)

    While perhaps not quite as severe, there's still a slight and unexplainable difference. The question is what could be causing this. It's unlikely that software is the issue here, as I'm running iOS 7 on both phones and the same apps. There would appear to be a hardware issue at fault, which is a big problem for Apple.

    Because, after all, how do you fix shipped hardware?

    Essentially, you can't, unless you recall it or issue a software fix that sort of kind of somewhat corrects for the bad data - assuming Apple engineers can spot a pattern in reported sensor data that can be adjusted for. Which leaves equally unattractive options such as Apple just telling people to live it it (and hurting its premium image in the process) or issuing some kind of credit to affected customers.

    I have asked Apple for a comment and will update this story when I hear more.

    Source: VentureBeat

    Apple's iPhone 5S sensors are massively screwed up (and so are the games that rely on them)

    Apple appears to have a serious hardware problem on its hands as the internet sensors of its new flagship phone, the iPhone 5s iphone i phone cases otterbox iphone 4, are not reporting accurate numbers.

    Numerous reports on Apple support communities indicate that people believe the sensors the report level, motion, and acceleration seem to be reporting incorrect information. And a detailed Gizmodo test indicates that indeed, they are "all screwed up." I tested the iPhone 5S myself and found that the iHandy Level app indicates plumb (straight up and down) when the phone is clearly at an angle, and the Gyroscope app reports pitch and roll numbers that indicate the phone is on a slope when actually, it's on a flat and level table.

    My iPhone 5, other the other hand, reports numbers that are much more accurate.

    Here's just one example:

    This has real-world implications, as Gizmodo points out, and it's not just that your shelves or paintings will hand crooked (of course, I'd never use an iPhone sensor to hang a painting or install furniture). Games also rely on those sensors, and gamers who want to beat the game or beat their friends may run into trouble - like I did in Real Racing 3.

    As you can see, when the phone is flat on the table, the car turns left and hits the bumper:

    I have asked Apple for a comment, and will update this story when I hear more.

    Source: VentureBeat

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

    Amazon's Smartphones Detailed: 'Project Smith' 3D Flagship Model And A Value Handset With FireOS

    <tonep>Amazon is in the process of developing two smartphones, one inexpensive model and one with a 3D eye-tracking interface, TechCrunch has learned. The details are somewhat sparse, but are corroborated by sources and reports from earlier this year.

    Amazon is planning two devices, the first of which is the previously rumored 'expensive' version with a 3D user interface, eye tracking and more. Both devices were under the 'Project B' moniker before the news was leaked on WSJ earlier this year. The expensive model's code-name has since been changed to 'Duke' and now 'Smith' - and a release is not planned this year.

    Details of the devices appeared on a HN posting via a throwaway account earlier today and TechCrunch verified some aspects of the posting with our sources.

    They match up with details from the WSJ report:

    But the people familiar with the plans said the smartphone and set-top box are just two elements of a broader foray into hardware that also includes the audiostreaming device and the high-end smartphone with the 3-D screen.

    Inside Amazon's Lab126 facility in Cupertino, Calif., where each of the devices have been under development, the efforts are known as Project A, B, C and D, or collectively the Alphabet Projects, said the people familiar with the plans.

    The 'Smith' project includes a device that sounds like a bit of a hardware beast. The screen itself is not 3D but the device features four cameras, one at each corner of the device that will be used to track eye and head motions in order to move the interface around to 'give the impression' of 3D. Instead of using the phone's internal sensors, like Apple does with iOS 7, it would base the movements off of the user's point of view. Theoretically, this will provide a more accurate 3D representation of the screen's contents.

    There has been some software testing on a feature that will recognize the user's face and ignore other faces around it, so as not to project 3D perspectives that are proper for your neighbors, but not for you.

    Another feature said to be planned for the device, but not yet locked for release, is an image recognition feature that lets users take a shot of any real-world object and match it to an Amazon product for purchase. The possibility of this object recognition model offsetting some of the cost of the device through purchases by users is mentioned in the posting.

    A second project which fell under the 'Project B' handle is a value device. Said to be a 'cheap' phone with basic software that is similar to that found on the Kindle Fire tablets - now called FireOS. The posting says that Amazon is looking to release the inexpensive device this year, something that would dovetail with a report by 'Jessica Lessin' writer Amir Efrati from last month. Note that Amazon denied to Efrati that it would release a device at all this year and that if it did the device wouldn't be free. Our sources indicate that this may be because the project's target date has been shifting around and it may get pushed into next year. There is no word on whether Amazon would try to offer the 'cheap' device low-cost via ads.

    The devices are being shipped around internally inside a locked metal case with just the screen visible, and are not allowed outside of the building, even for engineers working from home. The floors of Amazon's Lab126 facility where the devices are under development are locked down. This has become standard operating procedure for secretive companies like Amazon and Apple when it comes to hardware development. The development teams for the devices are split between Sunnyvale and Seattle.

    There is also some scuttlebutt around staffing in the posting, some of which we hear is accurate. Amazon has indeed pulled engineers from other projects onto the phone teams, leaving other hardware projects understaffed.

    The posting also claims that Amazon wanted to have launched the device already, but had issues with software and hardware, as well as employee retention. We've been unable to corroborate this aspect of the leak.

    Since these devices are still classified as in development, it is quite possible that the feature-sets may change before they are released to the public. If there has been a struggle developing the devices, then Amazon could consider modifying its requirements for bringing them to market. We have reached out for comment on this story and will update the piece if we hear back.

    Image Credit: Puamelia

    → Learn more

    Source: TechCrunch

    Snedeker, Kuchar to use Bridgestone prototype ball at Presidents Cup


    Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar are planning to put a new Bridgestone prototype golf ball in play at the Presidents Cup.

    Snedeker had been using the company's B330 ball while Kuchar had played the B330-S ball. But on Wednesday, Snedeker confirmed his use of the prototype during practice rounds this week at Muirfield Village.

    "It's a little longer, spins a little more, and is a little softer. It's a really good ball," he told Golfweek. The prototype has a four-piece construction and urethane cover just like the golf balls Snedeker and Kuchar had been using. Snedeker's B330 and Kuchar's B330-S models were released two years ago, and Bridgestone historically has released updates every two years - so don't be surprised if this prototype becomes available in early 2014.

    Snedeker said that he has been practicing with the ball for about a week and is comfortable making the switch on the eve of the competition.

    Said Snedeker: "[It went] straight into the bag. Kuch, too."

    Snedeker and Kuchar clearly have similar taste in equipment. Both golfers also use Bridgestone J40 Cavity Back irons and a Ping Anser hybrid. Furthermore, when Kuchar switched to Aerotech SteelFiber i95 Constant Taper shafts in his irons, Snedeker tried them and switched as well.

    - Jeff Babineau contributed.
    Source: Golfweek

    App roundup: Best fitness apps that use the iPhone 5s' M7 motion co-processor

    The M7 motion co-processor Apple packed into the iPhone 5s iphone cases otterbox camo zippo lighters is already seeing use from a number of fitness app developers anxious to maximize its potential, changing the handset into a new platform.

    Apple didn't exactly hype the M7 when it introduced the chip last month in announcing the iPhone 5s, but among the handset's many new features, the co-processor may turn out to be the most impactful for app developers and consumers alike.

    Using very little power, the M7 constantly measures and tracks motion data, keeping the information accessible to any apps that may need it. That means fitness and lifestyle apps no longer need to be active or running in the background to track user movements throughout the day, a benefit that could allow developers to harvest and utilize information on their users' daily habits in much greater detail than previously possible.

    Developers on the iOS platform are already taking advantage of the M7's capabilities, with the first wave of enabled apps coming to the App Store just days after the iPhone 5s' release.

    Strava Run

    Strava was first out of the gate to take advantage of the M7, releasing version 3.5.3 of Strava Run just four days after the iPhone 5s was released. The new version adds an Auto-Pause feature for runners, giving them highly accurate activity level data without having to directly interact with the app. It also takes advantage of the M7's low-power constant monitoring, as the app gathers information from the chip for those times when Strava is not running.

    Strava allows users to track their runs with GPS, displaying maps of their route alongside stats such as distance, pace, elevation, and calories burned. It also allows users to compete on interactive score boards, find and follow friends, and explore new places to run.

    Strava Run is a free download in the App Store. The 53.7MB app requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod running iOS 5.0 or higher.


    GammaPoint, too, has taken advantage of the M7 with version 2.2.1 of WeatherRun. The new version adds a step counter that draws data from the motion co-processor. Step data is logged and organized in both daily and monthly measures.

    WeatherRun provides users with up-to-date weather information while they are outside being active. The app also tracks activity and compares it against weather, altitude, humidity, and temperature. It interfaces with the Pebble Smartwatch, as well as other Bluetooth 4.0 devices such as the TI SensorTag.

    The latest update also includes a fix for a bug that affected deleting and sharing functions on devices running iOS 7.

    Version 2.2.1 of WeatherRun costs $2 in the App Store. It is a 12.2MB download that requires an iPad, iPhone, or iPod running iOS 6.0 or higher.


    Also joining in on leveraging the M7 was Azumio, which recently released version 2.4 of its Argus app. The latest iteration uses the M7 for passive step-counting when not running, meaning the app automatically pulls data from the chip once the reactivated. The update also includes a streamlined honeycomb user interface and improved visual design, including a step counter that shows up as an app badge.

    Argus monitors not only user activities, but food intake, workouts, sleep, hydration, weight, and vital signs. The app is engineered to consume very little power and is designed to run in the background at all times. Users can create food diaries, observe trends over time, and track and share data with friends. Also included is interaction with a number of third-party wellness devices, like the Withings Smart Body Analyzer.

    The new version of Argus is available as a free download in the App Store for iOS devices running iOS 6.0 or higher.


    The most recent addition to the line of M7-supporting apps comes from Cross Forward Consulting, which debuted its Pedometer++ app on Tuesday. The new app functions as a simple step counter that relies on the M7's passive monitoring to log steps taken throughout the day. Pedometer++ allows users to compile their data on both a weekly and a daily basis. Like Argus, Pedometer++ can be set to display the current step count as the app's notification badge. The figure displayed in the badge will dynamically update throughout the day.

    Pedometer++ version 1.1 is available now in the App Store as a free 0.3MB download only for the iPhone 5s.

    Maximizing the M7

    The coming months will almost certainly see more developers adding new features relying on the M7. Nike, maker of the popular Nike+ app, has already promised a Nike+ Move based on the M7's capabilities.

    Apple's motion co-processor will also likely figure into apps outside of the fitness category. In addition to user motion tracking, the M7 can, even in sleep mode, tell when a user is walking or even driving. For example, navigation apps may leverage the data to switch from driving to walking directions dynamically depending on a user's speed.

    Source: Appleinsider