Sunday, 11 September 2011

Mashable: Latest 6 News Updates - including “Go Mono: 3 iPhone Apps For Black & White iPhotography [PICS]”

Mashable: Latest 6 News Updates - including “Go Mono: 3 iPhone Apps For Black & White iPhotography [PICS]”

Go Mono: 3 iPhone Apps For Black & White iPhotography [PICS]

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 02:50 PM PDT

While many iPhone photography apps offer a monotone filter, there’s a lot to be said for having an app in your iPhotography arsenal that’s dedicated to creating excellent black & white photographs.

We’ve tried and tested a handful, and here bring you three brilliant black & white iPhone photography apps — complete with screengrabs and some sample photographs.

SEE ALSO: 3 Fresh iPhotography Apps: LEGO Photo, KaleidaCam & WordFoto [PICS]

Take a look through the photo galleries below. Let us know in the comments about your experiences shooting monochrome imagery on your iPhone, and any apps you’d recommend.

1. Simply B&W

This well-designed, capable app provides just what you need to create stunning, classic black-and-white photos on your iPhone.

Cost: $0.99

2. The App Interface

The interface is no-nonsense. Once you've snapped or selected an image, there are three processes to go through. The first, shown in this shot, gives you the option to add a filter. The second lets you select whether you want a black or white vignette or border.

3. The App Interface

The third stage gives you the opportunity to play around with the brightness, contrast and grain of the image.

4. Sample Simply B&W Image

The black border gives a crisp finish to a monotoned pic.

5. Sample Simply B&W Image

You can add filters to your images to make certain tones stand out.

6. Sample Simply B&W Image

The contrast and brightness settings let you experiment with under- and over-exposure.

1. Noir Photo

Boasting "white hot thrills and shadow-rich drama,"Noir Photo" is a gem of a black-and-white iPhotography app.

You can touch to highlight a particular area of an image, fading the rest out, then play around with contrast and exposure to create a cinematic masterpiece.

Cost:: $2.99

2. The App Interface

The controls -- via gloriously retro dials and buttons -- allow you to add apply tints and adjust the image.

The three dials control contrast, outer exposure and inner exposure to tweak the darks and lights around the vignette to exactly how you want them to appear.

3. Sample Noir Photo Image

A strong vignette adds focus to particular area of an image.

4. Sample Noir Photo Image

The ability to fade out (or in analog photography terms -- burn in) areas is particularly effective with portrait pics.

5. Sample Noir Photo Image

Noir Photo offers an easy way to add artificial and "cinematic" lighting to a photo.

6. Sample Noir Photo Image

We'll admit, we got a little bit carried away with the dramatic possibilities this app lends your photography.

1. Spica - Super Monochrome

Spica is a one-trick pony, but it does that trick very well indeed. It automatically generates images with "super strong black-and-white contrast."

Cost: $0.99

2. The App Interface

The app is easy to use. Simply snap an image with the app, or upload one from your Camera Roll and Spica gives it the high contrast treatment.

3. The Sharing Options

Sharing options include the ability to email the image from within the app, and to share to Twitter.

4. Sample Spica Image

An urban snapshot gets a contrasty make-over.

5. Sample Spica Image

Spica is a great app to call on when you want to create stark, striking photos.

6. Sample Spica Image

Spica offers a gritty look with plenty of grain.

More About: gallery, iphone, iphone apps, iphotography, photography, photography apps, Photos

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Peugeot’s Future Car is Called “World’s First Diesel Hybrid” [PICS]

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 01:49 PM PDT

Here’s the latest future car to peek out from behind the Frankfurt Motor Show curtain, the Peugeot HX-1 plug-in hybrid. It features gullwing doors and a unique design the company calls “the first diesel hybrid in the world.”

Peugeot says its goal with this concept car was to create a conveyance for six passengers that uses plug-in hybrid technology and can still deliver sporty performance while maintaining fuel efficiency. The French carmaker is getting creative with this concept, with 2.2-liter HDi diesel “Hybrid4″ technology consisting of a diesel engine powering the front wheels while an electric motor powers the rear wheels.

It’s a somewhat simpler method of delivering plug-in hybrid power, unlike hybrids such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic hybrid which use a combination of an electric motor and internal combustion engine applied at the same time on the car’s front wheels.

According to Peugeot’s press release, the long, low-slung car can accommodate six passengers thanks to two retractable jump seats nestled between the front and rear seats. That small crowd of riders will be whisked to its destination post haste, thanks to the 299 hp of the combined electric and diesel power plants.

You’d think with all these swanky press materials, Peugeot was selling a production vehicle, not an experimental concept car:

Peugeot HX1 Concept Top Side Open Doors

Peugeot HX1 Concept Front Section

Peugeot HX1 Concept Front Angle

Peugeot HX1 Concept Rear Angle

Peugeot HX1 Concept Side Doors Open

Peugeot HX1 Concept Front

Peugeot HX1 Concept Front and Side

Peugeot HX1 Concept Dashboard

Peugeot HX1 Concept Drawing

Peugeot HX1 Concept Interior

[via Serious Wheels/TechEBlog]

More About: concepts, electric cars, Frankfurt, hybrid, Peugeot

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Hacked NBC News Twitter Account Issues False Reports of Ground Zero Plane Crash

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 12:30 PM PDT

The “Script Kiddies” have struck again, this time hacking the Twitter account of NBC News, and falsely reporting that an airliner had crashed into Ground Zero in New York. The hacker group infiltrated NBC’s Twitter account Friday evening, with the first message showing up on Twitter at 5:48 P.M.:

Shortly after NBC had Twitter temporarily shut down its account, NBC’s chief digital officer (and former president and CEO of NPR) Vivian Schiller released the following statement on her Twitter account:

“The NBC News Twitter account was hacked late this afternoon and as a result, false reports of a plane attack on ground zero were sent to @NBCNews followers. We are working with Twitter to correct the situation and…cont… [sic] sincerely apologize for the scare that could have been caused by such a reckless and irresponsible act.”

Schiller tweeted early Saturday morning that the NBC News Twitter account “is back in our control and reporting news. Tnx for your understanding.”

The hackers identified themselves as “Script Kiddies,” the same group that hacked into a Fox News account early on the morning of July 4, falsely reporting that President Obama had been assassinated. Now, the group, an offshoot of hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec, is under investigation by the FBI, NBC News reported on its Today news website on Saturday morning.

In a later post on the MSNBC site, the company reported that “FBI officials confirmed Friday night that agents from the bureau’s computer crimes unit were investigating the incident — the latest in a string of malicious cyber attacks on government and private companies. So far, bureau officials said, they are still gathering information from NBC and declined to discuss any suspects.”

How did the hackers gain access to the NBC News Twitter account? NBC admits that one of its employees clicked on a malicious email attachment that could have allowed the Script Kiddies to intercept NBC’s Twitter password, which the company said is only in the hands of three executives. NBC reported its social media director Ryan Osborn had received a suspicious email two weeks ago, when Hurricane Irene was threatening the Eastern seaboard. The email read:

“Ryan, You need to get off TWITTER immediately and protect your family from the hurricane. That is an order.” Osborn wrote back “I'm sorry. Who is this?” The sender then replied, “I'm the girl next door” with an attachment. Osborn said he mistakenly clicked on the attachment and it contained a Christmas tree.

During Friday’s NBC Nightly News broadcast less than an hour after the Twitter account breach, NBC anchor Brian Williams read the following statement:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

[via Today News]

More About: False Tweets, hackers, nbc news, Script Kiddies

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10 Excellent Pairs of Earphones With a Designer Touch

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 11:19 AM PDT

As a commuting or exercising must-have, earphones are an essential part of modern life. If you’re in the market for a new pair then look no further — we’ve found 10 excellent options for you.

Rather than go down the standard route though, we’ve searched long and hard to find earphones that look good as well as sound good. From dashing designer products to cheap and cheerful choices, there’s something here to suit all budgets.

Take a look through the photo gallery below for our eclectic mix of fun earphones. Let us know in the comments which pair you prefer — and why.

1. Altec Lansing Muzx MHP136

Boasting a warm sound from the natural wood chamber, these earphones are perfect for people who are looking for something more than cold metallics or impersonal plastic.

Cost: $15.95

2. AIAIAI Pipe Earphone

Designer Danish brand AIAIAI's unusual Pipe Earphones are available in a "sunset" (pictured) and "petroleum" gradient, offering a different angle on colorful headphones.

Cost: Approx $55

3. Sony PIIQ Clip-On Earbuds

We think Sony's design department have scored a big win with these rad Eighties-inspired earbuds..

Cost: $24.99

4. Monster Butterfly by Vivienne Tam

These high-end headphones get a subtle, pretty designer touch with Vivienne Tam's lovely butterflies.

Cost: $199.95

5. Frends The Clip

Designed for "the person who wants to be different" The Clip from snowboard brand Frends offers a rectangular splash of color and a funky fabric cable.

Cost: $40

6. Altec Lansing Bliss Platinum Series

Specially sized for women's ears, Altec Lansing's Bliss Platinum Series manages that tricky balance between making something that will appeal to women and not being overtly girly.

Cost: $69.95

7. Philips Color Tune In-Ear Headphones

For anyone who'd like colorful earphones but doesn't have the budget to splash out, Philips' Color Tune product line is ideal. Available in a variety of color combinations, a pair will set you back less than $10.

Cost: Varies (typically less than $10)

8. Harajuku Lovers Super Kawaii In-Ear Headphones from Monster

These might tip the balance from "novel" to "novelty" but, as they're made by cable company Monster, the sound quality should be decent.

Cost: $59.95

9. Skullcandy INK'd Paul Frank Earbuds

Paul Frank's famous marsupial, Julius the Monkey, adds a cheeky touch of fun to these great earbuds.

Cost: $10.95

10. Sony PIIQ Bass Earbuds

With an affordable price tag, a bonkers "gas mask" design, range of bright colors and the promise of "big beat bluster" there's nothing not to like about these funky earbuds from Sony.

Cost: $14.99

More About: earphones, gadgets, gallery, Lists, Tech, trending

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What’s the Deal With Daily Deals? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 10:08 AM PDT

Daily Deals sites are attracting millions of customers. It’s a lively marketplace with hundreds of companies competing for a limited number of users and businesses willing to give them a try.

How lively? It’s hot. According to researchers at Lab42, there are more than 660 deals sites online today. But is this sustainable? Certainly not all those sites will survive. Some of us here at Mashable are questioning whether the Daily Deals era is coming to a close.

The number one player in the market, Groupon, has 115 million subscribers, but saw a 50% dip in its web traffic since July, 2011, according to Experian Hitwise. And Friday we reported that hundreds of members of the Groupon sales team filed a class-action suit against the company for allegedly not paying overtime. Meanwhile, Groupon’s second-place competitor LivingSocial saw a 27% rise in traffic.

Sounds lively. Maybe the Daily Deals market is a bit too lively — according to Pricegrabber, even though 44% of consumers use daily deals websites, 52% of U.S. customers are feeling overwhelmed by the proliferation of daily deals offers clogging their email boxes.

Given that mixed landscape, how are people using daily deals sites right now? That was the question Lab42 asked of 500 daily deals users, determining which sites they use the most, how diligent they are at checking for new deals, and how much money they’re spending on them:

Infographic courtesy Lab42

More About: daily deals, groupon, infographic, trending

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35 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 08:36 AM PDT

The theme of this week’s roundup is: fresh. As in cool. Just check out our editor’s picks. We covered money and Beyonce. No one in their right mind would turn either down.

The coolness continues: Mashable staff went “stocking,” Fashion Week went digital, and television went social. Learn how to budget a startup and how to modernize your resume. In the last hurrah of summer, we dose out the cool in this week’s features roundup.

Editors’ Picks

How the Media Is Using Digital Tech to Tell the Story of 9/11

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 07:21 AM PDT

As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks approaches, news websites throughout the world have been organizing social and digital media projects that commemorate the day that changed lives forever.

The event is unlike any other. It touches every community in the country and many across the globe, prompting discussion, emotion and remembrance. For news organizations, it’s an opportunity to inform, engage and, with social media, listen to readers.

Much like the American people did on 9/11, media sites are leaning on each other for support and inspiration. Together they’re developing interactive and informative web projects that tell the story of 9/11 as it’s remembered today.

Here are some of the most notable digital media collaborations commemorating the anniversary.

New York Times & YouTube

Media powerhouses The New York Times and YouTube are joining forces to create one of the biggest 9/11 multimedia packages on the web. The project features original Times videos, standout videos curated from YouTube and reader-submitted videos from the Times community.

Social narrative-building tool Storyful is also a part of the collaboration, helping to curate the best videos from YouTube and the Times’ reader-submission pool. Storyful editorial director David Clinch said he and his team have already delved into more than 100 reader videos and expects they’ll have selected 50 of the best ones by this weekend. Readers were prompted with three different questions about memories of and change since Sept. 11, 2001.

“The range of what we’ve gotten has already exceeded my expectations,” said Alexis Mainland, social media editor at The Times. “I didn’t think we’d get such a variety of people: old people, young people, people of varying backgrounds.”

The Times has done a fair amount of user-submitted video projects but the collaboration with YouTube helped garner far more entries than the site would have gotten without YouTube. “It just gives us a whole ‘nother dimension,” Mainland said.

Yahoo! News & 9/11 Memorial

Yahoo! News and the 9/11 Memorial established an official partnership to create an extensive microsite that showcases a variety of content including photo, video and text stories from both readers and Yahoo! News reporters. The 9/11 Memorial helped provide sources that the reporters used to tell the story of Sept. 11′s 10th anniversary.

“It’s our storytelling expertise and, in many, cases their assets,” said Sam Silverstein, senior director of editorial events at Yahoo! News. “There was a great level of trust they were able to turn over to us in using their materials — and the results, I think, show themselves.”

The microsite has its own tab on the navigation bar and incorporates existing site features such as the The Upshot blog and the Yahoo! Contributor Network, which encourages community member contributions. Silverstein said the site has received more than 700 reader-submitted stories and he expects they’ll see at least 1,000 by Sunday. Readers from across the globe are sharing and have talked about all 9/11-related topics from being Muslim in America to soldiers inspired to enlist.

In addition to working with the 9/11 Memorial via storytelling, Yahoo! News also provides a link on the site for readers interested in making a contribution. The company will also be making its own donation to the organization.

Arguably the most amazing contribution Yahoo! is making to the rememberance of 9/11 is its site-wide Digital Moment of Silence. At 8:46 a.m. ET, the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, the site will come to a complete stop. Whether users are browsing the news or checking their email, a page will appear asking them to take a moment out of their online lives to reflect for a full minute.

“It’s a never-been-done-before piece of Yahoo! technical wizardry,” Silverstein said. “The collaboration backstage and the way that Yahoo! has pulled together around this is really heartwarming.”

The Washington Post & PostSecret

Among the The Washington Post‘s web features commemorating 9/11 is a virtual memory wall that showcases reader submissions, including drawings, messages, photographs and collages, that represent their feelings about 9/11. The project is a collaboration with PostSecret, an ongoing community art project in which people mail in their secrets anonymously on homemade postcards.

“We wanted to create a tribute that blends traditional storytelling and digital presentation through the sharing of your private reflections on Sept. 11,” wrote Melissa Bell, a web columnist working on the project.

The collaboration isn’t a formal partnership, but it’s truly one-of-a-kind. Though many news sites are featuring reader memories via videos, photos and blog posts, found a creative niche in homemade postcards. Bravo to its web team for taking inspiration from a successful web project and making it work for their community.

NPR & Center for Investigative Reporting

The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) and NPR have come together to launch America’s War Within, a site that houses an extensive joint reporting project on homeland security and the first 10 years of the war on terror. It hosts in-depth text reports, video, data and graphics as well as a searchable database of homeland security documents.

Reporters worked closely together and each organization had control of the elements it created. NPR focused on its specialty of radio reporting, while CIR contributed expertise in written investigations, video and animations. “Partnerships with radio partners such as NPR and KQED are crucial to our multi-platform distribution model and for telling stories in different ways,” said CIR’s Executive Director Robert Rosenthal.

With many organizations focusing on the memories and the emotions of the day, CIR and NPR’s coverage will be a refreshing and educational way to look at how Sept. 11 changed the United States. It will live on after the anniversary has passed as reporters continue to work on homeland security stories.

What other examples have you seen of media organizations and tech companies joining forces for digital storytelling around 9/11? Tell us in the comments below.

Photo courtesy The Washington Post.

More About: media, new york times, NPR, september 11, washington post, yahoo news

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