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How I Drastically Improved My Photography with Just Two Little Decisions

The question I get asked the most is: “Wow, nice pic! Which camera are you using?” Does that sound familiar? In the past, every time I heard this question I would answer in the same way: by telling people which camera I was using, but that it didn’t really matter in my opinion. Beginners and hobby photographers usually expect that, if they can only save enough money to buy much better equipment, this will improve their results in a linear way. Maybe that’s the reason so many people are buying DSLR cameras without knowing how or even having an open mind about learning how to use one. You recognize these types of photographers pretty easily… they’re the ones using flash in auto mode to brighten up the whole skyline of New York. ;-) I understand that behavior because all of us want to take great pictures without having to invest too much work at first (or at all). I also started my landscape and cityscape photography like this, until I realized that there is no need to understand all these settings and things your camera is doing for you until you really want to get creative. For me (or for most of us) it’s essential to understand the difference between settings like f/4.5 and f/11 because we might have a certain type of style in mind, but if you are new to photography and you just want to get a great picture, it may not matter as much as you think. I was processing an image I took this year in New York and thought that it cou...  

Orca Health Aims To Make Understanding Anatomy Easier

When you go to the doctor’s office for an injury, or to discuss an upcoming surgery, it’s hard to retain everything that’s thrown at you. The provider will likely explain what’s going on in words, point to some x-rays, even demonstrate the issue on a physical model before sending you home with a pile of handouts. But Orca Health, a company specializing in point-of-care apps, aims to replace that process with a digital model using demonstrations instead of explanations. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” says Orca’s development head, Jared Huish. “And this decreases the need for words.” Orca’s products are specialized for different body parts – it sells apps to deal with hands, knees, spines, hearts, shoulders, eyes, feet, teeth and, as of today, hips – but they all work in a similar way. The app has sections for anatomy, condition, procedure, exercises, and supplementary material, allowing a doctor to walk her patient through each step of the healing process. The front page of Orca Health’s Knee Decide tool. In demonstration by founder Matthew Berry and Huish, the problem was a torn ACL. First, Huish used Orca’s Knee Decide app to show me a 3D model of the anatomy of the knee. The model is layered and movable, so the doctor can show, for instance, just the bone and tendon of the joint while bending it back and forth. Once the body part is demonstrated (and even annota...  

Microsoft Ups Open Source Ante on Azure Data Services

Microsoft announced updates to several Big Data-related services on its Azure cloud platform with preview of Azure HDInsight, Storm on HDInsight, Azure Machine Learning. Microsoft recently emphasized its message of openness and interoperability with updates to several Big Data-related services on its Azure cloud platform: an Azure HDInsight preview that runs on the open source Linux OS, and general availability of Storm on HDInsight, and Azure Machine Learning. Azure HDInsight is Microsoft's cloud service based on 100 percent Apache Hadoop technology, open sourced by the Apache Software Foundation. "Azure Machine Learning reflects our support for open source," stated a blog post authored by T. K. "Ranga" Rengarajan, Microsoft CVP, Data Platform, Cloud & Enterprise, and Joseph Sirosh, CVP with Machine Learning. "The Python programming language is a first-class citizen in Azure Machine Learning Studio, along with R, the popular language of statisticians." Microsoft acquired stewardship of the R language earlier this year. Data developers can now use the Machine Learning Marketplace to discover appropriate APIs and prebuilt services for common concerns such as recommendation engines, detecting anomalies and forecasting. The open source story continues with Storm for Azure HDInsight. "Storm is an open source stream analytics platform that can process millions of data 'events' in real time as they are generated by sensors and devices," ...  

With Mesh, Bluetooth Strengthens Case As Key Internet Of Things Technology

Back in the late nineties, it seemed everyone was talking about about a new wireless technology with a funny name. “It’s the name of a King of Denmark!” some would write, but soon it would become apparent it wasn’t the name that made Bluetooth interesting.  Instead, it was how the new short range, low power technology enabled new uses for wireless that others like 802.11b (later to be called Wi-Fi) and DECT (cordless phone technology) couldn’t that created real excitement for many in the technology industry. The first wave of these new use cases for Bluetooth embraced by both manufacturers and consumers were for what the industry called  the Personal Area Network (or PAN), which was another word for cable replacement.  While the term PAN (thankfully) never really caught on, Bluetooth sure did, and soon loud-talking forty-something business travelers everywhere were walking through airport concourses shouting into their Bluetooth headsets. Then came the invasion of Bluetooth peripherals like keyboards and mice, and soon Bluetooth enabled cars would make many of us look like we were talking to ourselves. A little later, Bluetooth enabled music streaming created an entire new industry around portable mobile speakers and music peripherals. Smart Is Sexy While Bluetooth adoption exploded over the next decade, it would eventually plateau. This led the...  

Alessio Cerci Must Do His Talking on the Pitch for AC Milan

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images Nothing has gone right for Alessio Cerci this season. His move to Atletico Madrid did not amount to anything: He started just once and left for AC Milan on loan for 18 months. His fortune has not changed in Italy. Coach Filippo Inzaghi does not call on him to play much. He is a substitute more than a starter. So Cerci is done with waiting.  According to Sky journalist Sandro Sabatini (h/t Football Italia), the 27-year-old bit back at Inzaghi for playing him in garbage time the last two matches. Sabatini claims that there was a screaming match between the two. “Don’t ever try to get me to play when the game is already over!” Cerci reportedly said. “The next time you send someone on [with four minutes left], don’t make it me.” His girlfriend, Federica Riccardi, made similar exclamations days earlier, saying on RAI program Quelli Che Il Calcio (h/t Football Italia) that Cerci is “in good shape." She continued: “It makes no sense to introduce him at the end of the match.” Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images But this happened at Atletico Madrid, too, and Cerci couldn’t convince Diego Simeone. It’s true that the Italian did not arrive until the last day of the summer transfer window, behind the rest of his teammates in training. But he didn’t fit into Atletico's dynamic in Spain: He is neither a good player on the counterattack or someone willing to go back and defend all g...  

The Surprising Reasons People Buy the PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Wii U

Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images The first customer to purchase the PlayStation 4 (PS4) video game console holds the box at the launch of the PS4 console at the Sony showroom in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Infometrics guru Nielsen just published the results of an inquiry into why people are buying the latest game systems from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. The results are surprising in part. Consider the following chart, which breaks the decision-making variables impacting each system into “factors” ranked by survey respondents: Nielsen The chart’s results are weirder than they appear at first. Take resolution, the number of horizontal by vertical lines output as video signal, and constitutive of the number of pixels onscreen. Several first-wave, multi-platform games ran at higher resolution on the PlayStation 4 than the Xbox One, owing, everyone in the media’s assumed based on anecdotal developer chitchat, to disparity between the two systems’ processing power. The presumption is that slight visual differences shouldn’t matter, that you’re just being slavish to detail if you’re obsessed with subtle pixel differentiation. Yet there it is, the topmost reason for buyers of Sony’s console. And what’s “Blu-ray Player” doing as PS4 factor number two? The Xbox One’s just as capable a Blu-ray system. Is this telling us something about a Microsoft messaging failure? O...  

European Markets Climbed On Positive Economic Data

The European markets ended Thursday's session in the green, following the release of some better than expected economic data. Eurozone economic confidence and German consumer confidence came in better than expected and the German unemployment rate declined in January. The quantitative easing will support economic activity and help to take inflation back towards the target of below, but close to, 2 percent over the medium term, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said in the European Parliament on Wednesday.Further, Draghi defended the central bank action on Greece. "We are ready to reinstate the waiver when the Governing Council decides that the conditions for successful conclusion of the program are in place," he said."As in the case of the existing purchases of private sector securities, the purchases of public securities have a high transmission potential to the real economy," Draghi said. "We have already seen some positive effects of our measures."The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks increased by 0.86 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 1.10 percent. The DAX of Germany climbed by 1.04 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose by 0.58 percent. The FTSE of the U.K. gained 0.21 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.80 percent.In Frankfurt, Bayer, which reported strong quarterly revenues, advanced by 3.69 percent. Rocket Internet added 2.56 percent after Citigroup raised the stock to...  

Games Inbox: Borderlands X Guardians of the Galaxy, Race The Sun, and ...

Could Borderlands be adapted into a Guardians of the Galaxy game? The evening Inbox recalls the expense of using video game hint lines, as one reader asks Nintendo about the Rosalina shortage. To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk Movie edition I’m liking the look of the Forza Horizon/Fast & Furious crossover, it takes the uncertainty of a licensed tie-in away by simply re-skinning a good quality, existing game engine and adding the relevant story and characters. Due to the lack of quality in a lot of licensed games, and the conspicuously absent Marvel Universe games, I’ve often thought that this was a good way to go to get tie-ins out without compromising the quality of a game For example, I’d be quite happy with the following: Borderlands presents Guardians of the Galaxy Medal Of Honor presents Captain America and the Howling Commandos Far Cry presents (Green) Arrow – Origins/Hawkeye Assassin’s Creed presents Black Widow Prototype presents The Incredible Hulk I’m sure the GC community can come up with better/more ideas… AddNauseum (gamertag) GC: Those are great concepts. We’ll add God Of War presents Wonder Woman and Suda51 presents Doom Patrol. But it’s a Green Arrow or Hawkeye game we want the most, we love using a bow and arrow in games. Speak slowly When I was younger, and a lot stupider, me and a friend rang a game help line. We were stuck on Fantasy World Dizzy and w...  

Commodities Bust Leaves Latin America with a Hangover

Five years ago spirits were soaring across Latin America. The region’s economies were bouncing back with startling speed from the global financial crisis to post their strongest growth rates in more than a decade. Robust Chinese demand for copper, iron ore, oil, soybeans and other commodities was filling government and private sector coffers and lifting millions of people into the ranks of the middle class. Companies like Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer, Chilean fashion retailer Falabella and Mexican bakery goods manufacturer Grupo Bimbo were extending their reach across the region and around the world. The Economist boldly proclaimed the region to be on the verge of a Latin American decade. Today many Latin Americans are wondering if the region is going back to the bad old days of sluggish growth and dashed aspirations. A slowing global economy, especially the cooling in China, has sent commodities prices tumbling and exposed the failure of most Latin economies to diversify during the boom years. Raw materials account for more than half of the region’s exports, a proportion that has changed little since the 1990s. In January the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for regional growth this year by 0.9 percentage point, to just 1.3 percent, virtually unchanged from last year’s 1.2 percent pace. It was the sharpest downgrade of any region except Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. This colder economic climate has sent...  

Precision Medicine Needs Precision Questions—Especially About Sex

We need health care providers who can reach black gay men, engage with them around health, and communicate about their sex lives. Photo by See-ming Lee/Flickr Creative Commons In President Obama’s State of the Union address last month, he announced that he was launching a new precision medicine initiative, noting that this initiative will “give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.” In essence, precision medicine can help doctors deliver tailored medical care that is matched to our genotypes and personal histories. Precision medicine is also known as personalized medicine; it is an approach to medical care that allows doctors to provide customized, “bespoke” medical treatments. As a society we value products and goods that are tailored to our personal preferences. But we cannot precisely (or personally) connect to our prevention needs, our treatment options, and our basic health concerns if our doctors don’t ask us questions. I’m talking about tough questions. Questions on topics that we don’t discuss with most people. Questions about things that even our genes can’t reveal, but that nonetheless affect our health. Call them “precision questions.” For example, to effectively prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, precision medicine will do nothing unless doctors can handle broaching precision questions about sexuality. When I was growing up as...  


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