There was a time when getting a good computer meant spending over a thousand dollars and sacrificing on portability and design. In recent years, however, the trend of creating slim, powerful, and affordable laptops has picked up. These days, it is very easy to get a really good, powerful laptop, around $750. This is great for people who don’t have a lot of money to spend but still need something that can handle heavy workloads.
These are ‘Gaming’ Laptops
The laptops we are talking about fall under the category of gaming laptops. They all come with quadcore CPUs and dedicated GTX-series video cards by Nvidia. They don’t have the best screens, but usually come with strong speakers. They also boast pretty solid cooling technologies so that they don’t run hot when under load. They’re not the lightest laptops but are still quite manageable.
Now, they do come under the gaming category, but the fact that they have quadcore CPUs and dedicated video cards means that they can handle a vast array of tasks ranging from video editing and 3D modeling to running the best photo editing software. They also have the possibility of adding an SSD if you are sick of the slow hard drives that still dominate the budget laptop market, allowing you to achieve blazing fast speeds for the OS and your most used programs. You can also increase the RAM on these laptops so that you can use multiple programs at once without having your whole system hang up.
So, for most of your tasks, ranging from the most basic to the most demanding, a budget gaming laptop is a very viable choice. Of course, if you have more money you can get even better laptops that have better keyboards, more color-accurate screens, and are better in design. But if you don’t, then you can get a budget gaming laptop and you’ll be quite happy with it.
Technology is something that is ever-evolving. It strives to make our lives easier and more comfortable by providing new and innovative solutions to everyday problems. Despite having many facets, today we are going to focus on a new technological trend in the world of smartphones, which is the introduction of multiple lenses for smartphone cameras.
More Creative Control
The main idea behind putting more lenses than one at the back of smartphones is to give users much more control over how creative they can get with their photography. Smartphones already had manual controls and even RAW support, but the addition of such lenses makes them more capable to taking very good-looking photos.
With dual, or even triple, camera lenses on a smartphone, you can take photos the likes of which you couldn’t before. You can zoom into scenes without cropping thanks to telephoto lenses; you can take photos of large groups of people without cutting anyone out of the photo thanks to wide angle lenses; you can take stunning-looking black and white street shots thanks to monochrome lenses. So, there is a lot you can do directly on your phone without having to edit photos in the best photo editor for Mac or Windows in order to do these basic tasks. Of course, you can edit your photos in such editors for more creative effects, but at least you don’t need to do that for cropping, reframing, or using a black and white filter.
Another great thing made possible by multiple lenses is a fake bokeh effect for photos. To make this happen, the phone uses its main camera to take the actual photo while the secondary camera is being used as a ‘depth sensor’. Then, the phone combines the information from the two photos to blur out the background of the final scene.
So, it’s a great time to be alive if you’re someone who enjoys technology and takes a lot of photos on their phone. With the rise of such multi-lens smartphones, you don’t really have to spend additional money on a compact camera for most of your daily photography.
If you’re familiar with photographic technology, chances are you’ve heard of the term HDR photography. This is a great technique for taking photos of architecture and landscapes, and many people take advantage of the technique to take product photos as well. There are specialized HDR editors that can help you create such images, like www.aurorahdr.com and www.hdrsoft.com, but many people don’t understand the core concept behind the technology.
We are here to help.
In Simple Terms: It’s Stacking Images Together
An HDR image, essentially, is created by stacking two or more photos of the same subject from the same angle together. The only difference between these photos is that they are all taken with different exposure settings. So for example, one photo would be darker while the other would be brighter.
What happens next is simple. You stack these photos together with the help of the HDR processor of your choice and get a resulting image that has the best parts of both exposures. Now, what you are left with is an image with a much more extensive dynamic range than each individual image you stacked. You can then easily adjust the exposure settings of your HDR image and get an even exposure throughout the frame.
HDR or Fake HDR?
There are many image editors available that have an HDR effect available for users to try. All this effect does is make an image look like it’s an HDR by boosting the shadows of a photo and often making it look over-sharpened. This, as you may have already assessed, is not a great way to go as most editors just make the images look fake.
So now that you have a little more understanding of how HDR photography works, head out and experiment with this flexible technique yourself and see if it’s something you’d like to adopt for your photographic endeavors.
HDR photography, perhaps more than most other kinds of photography, is very dependent on which editor you choose to get that exact look you want. There are so many HDR editors available that it becomes impossible for one person to test them all and make up their mind as to which one they want to invest time and money in.
But when Aurora HDR launched, it was almost unanimously hailed as one of the best in the business. The software paired advanced editing capabilities with an excellently intuitive interface and focused on providing a software that you could comfortably use from the very first try. However, Windows users were left behind as Aurora HDR was only available for Mac OS.
No More Though
Earlier this year, the software’s developer MacPhun announced the release of the all-new Aurora HDR 2018. This, as with most new software versions, was to come with improvements across the board. The headlining feature for many users, however, was that it would finally be compatible with Windows as well.
This is great news for all fans of HDR photography. No longer do they have to rely on half-baked HDR solutions or programs that are too complicated to understand. They can spend an affordable amount of money and get the best HDR software for their needs.
New Features Also Added
The compatibility with Windows is not the only new thing about Aurora HDR 2018. It also comes with a revamped interface that is geared to be equally comfortable for beginner and professional photographers. The usability of the software is made much easier thanks to a more fluid and responsive interface. The company is touting the new version to be four times as fast as the previous one. It can handle twice the number of brackets as before and has new brushes and masks as well. Users will also be able to correct technical issues such as vignette, lens distortion, and color shifting with the included lens correction profiles.
So if you’ve been waiting for a one-stop solution for your HDR editing needs on a Windows system, head on to Aurora HDR’s website and give it a shot for yourself.
Facebook data harvesting methods have come under scrutiny again. The tech giant has now faced another privacy violation fine in Europe. The Spanish data protection regulator, AEPD is the enforcer this time. It has issued a fine of 1.2 Million Euros against series of privacy violations. Facebook has always been allegedly crossing lines when it comes to privacy of its users. It provides users with plenty of privacy options within the platform to protect against stalkers. But your data is allegedly being used by the company itself.
APED investigated into how the social media platform collects, stores and use data for advertising purposes. It found a major part of Facebook operations happened without consent of the user. There were two serious and another critical violation of data protection law. The fine sanction breaks into 300,000 Euros for minor violations and 600000 Euros for the major one. Processing sensitive information without user’s consent is classified as serious offence under Spanish DP law.
APED found the largest social media platform collects data on sex, religion, spirituality, personal tastes, ideology and navigation directly or through activity from third party websites. In its judgment, Facebook never informed the user clearly about use and purpose of their data. The usage of web browsing cookies is again found to be violating privacy laws. The users are never informed how the information will be processed through cookies, when they use third party websites.
The regulator reported Facebook never delete harvested data even after using it. It never deletes web browsing habits of the user. Even when a user explicitly request for deletion of data, the company never does that. Any social network should delete information in full, when a user deletes accounts and request complete deletion of his data. Facebook do not adhere to the ethics in regards to data retention.