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Lytro – the end of photography as we know it?

15 Jan

Lytro is the acronym under which hides the first commercially available light field camera. The main difference between conventional cameras and light field cameras is that conventional focus on something, and after taking the photo, you can’t refocus on something else – you can see sharply only the man in the front, and the background stays blurred. A light field camera ‘just captures the light field’. For the end user this means that you’ll point the camera at what you want, press the button and the picture is there. The key difference is that it doesn’t need to focus, making the process faster. The problem with this technology is that you need a special application to view these photos, which is for mac only at the moment. You can of course focus the photo on what you want, and then export it as a jpeg.

You can take a peek at https://www.lytro.com/living-pictures.

The pricing is currently $400/8GiB and $500/16GiB model. (~8.000 and ~10.000 czk).


More info at http://www.lytro.com

Chrome OS … on a mac

3 Jan

You surely have heard of Google Chrome – the browser that created a revolution in web browsing, with its sleek design, and great space efficiency. It had no toolbars, providing the user with more space to work with and mainly, it was extremely fast. It has been some time since when google decided to work on an operating system – the Chrome OS. It goes in the steps of google chrome – it is a browser with some added functions. Currently, there are three ChromeBooks – netbooks that are made for chrome OS and come with it, and the pricings are from $350 – $500 which is ~7000-1000 czk.

As said, Chrome OS is a browser, and even though there is an offline mode, without the internet Chromebooks are basically just expensive pieces of junk. Everything is stored in the cloud, so in the offline mode you have google docs (if you get the free app) and all the media stored on the petite internal 16GiB drive or external devices; if you were hoping for some leisure games like solitaire, too bad, without the internet connection they won’t work. The extreme internet dependency does have its pros, as all your data is in the cloud, virtually nothing can happen to it, and switching between chromebooks is without a problem – you just login on the other one. Furthermore, all the data can be accessed from any internet browser, and the apps can be downloaded to google chrome.

So should you get a ChromeBook? If all you need from laptop is done on the internet – social sites like Facebook, tumblr or 4chan, videos – youtube, vimeo, and create documents, and you will be in ‘internet zones’ at times when you need to use the laptop (they have built in 3g modules, so they work where there mobile signal), then a ChromeBook might be a great choice for you. ChromeBooks can do what most netbooks can, except for games that haven’t been put onto the cloud like CS, but they can do all these things much faster (even though it might seem that they won’t be as fast in bad internet conditions, google docs are pretty lightweight, so they load right away, and as games and videos are concerned, they take as long as on the netbook). Moreover, they have longer lasting batteries 6-8 hours, where netbooks have problems reaching such values.

I don’t have a ChromeBook, as its usability for me is near zero, but thanks to Parallels Desktop (mac) I’ve been able to get a taste of Chrome OS. I posted some screenshots below: