Happy 50th Birthday — Moore’s Law

Without getting too techie, April 19th was the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law. Not familiar with it? No worries …

Moore’s law refers to a statement made by Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel (yes, the company that makes the chips used by some electronic devices) where he predicted that the number of components (aka transistors) in a chip would double roughly every 18 months.

Ok, so what does this mean? Moore’s law has made it possible for computers, smartphones, etc. to become more powerful and cheaper. The more transistors you can pack in a chip, the cheaper the transistor become and the more powerful the device.

For example, the chip in your iPhone has approximately 2 billion transistors.

Since it is a physical process (packing more and more transistors into smaller and smaller areas), experts believe this cannot continue forever. The question then becomes, will the digital age continue even if our devices not get cheaper and more powerful?

 

Phoneography Series: Part III

While the definition of Phoneography slightly differs for each person, simply put, it is taking pictures with your phone. Some people take it a step further by saying Phoneography is shooting, editing, producing, and uploading multimedia content with only a smart phone or tablet. Either way, this series will help you take better pictures with your smartphone or tablet camera. We have already gotten familiar with the iPhone camera and composition. Today, we are talking about Lighting.


Lighting

Good light is key in any type of photography.  If you want a good photo, you must have good light. Cell phone cameras have become very powerful, but they don’t handle bad lighting very well.  If you are shooting in a low-light environment, your smartphone knows and will adjust the exposure to let in as much light as possible. However, this usually creates a “noisy”, or grainy, picture.

snipe-grainySource: snipe.net

When you have good lighting, it’s not only flattering, when you edit the photo, the colors will pop, no matter what app or filter you are using.

6a00d8358081ff69e201a3fd306355970b-800wiSource: abeautifulmess.com

Even though it is not always available, the best lighting is the sun. If the sun is too harsh, you can take your pictures indoors by a window, or look for shade, which will cast softer shadows.

6a00d8358081ff69e201b8d0d7a168970c-800wiSource: abeautifulmess.com

Don’t be afraid to play with exposure though. Knowing where to tap on your phone to get the results you want, and quickly, will help you become a better phoneographer. Tap on the dark area to brighten your subject. Tap on the light area to create a silhouette. Tap all around the screen to see the different exposures and find the one you want.

CY365-Phone-Photography-Tips-9077Source: captureyour365.com

IMG_1593Source: iphonephotographyschool.com

Remember: tap on dark=bright; tap on light=dark

Lighting Your Subject

Straight On: The sun, or your light source, is behind you but facing you subject. This gives you an even plane of sunlight.

bradpitt297x368Source: madphotoassistant.wordpress.com

At An Angle: The sun, or your light source, is coming from either side, or diagonally, which creates dramatic shadows.

phonecameracmblogbluella_3-640x410Source: clickinmoms.com

Backlit: The sun, or your light source, is behind your subject, facing you. This creates a soft cast across the picture. Make sure to tap the screen where your subject is located to capture all of the details.

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Source: lighting-essentials.com

Low-Light Setting Tip: If you are shooting in low-light environments, the most important thing to remember is to keep the camera steady, otherwise your photo will have motion blur.  You can use the volume button on your iPhone headphones to snap the picture without even holding your phone, or you can prop your camera on a flat surface and set the self-timer, creating an instant tripod. Both options will help keep your phone steady and still to help prevent blurring.

Part 4 of the phoneography series will focus on editing pictures. If you have any questions or want to know something specific, leave a comment below.

The Importance of Responsive Web Design: Part 1

01_Responsive-vs-Adaptive

Our world is more connected today than ever before. The Web can be accessed from all types of different devices, with even more yet to be imagined. Yesterday was the Internet of Things Day, a day dedicated to the advancing trend of the Internet (and, by extension, the World Wide Web) being accessible and integrated into our everyday world. While mobile apps may be the “in” thing right now, the Web has been around for far longer, and isn’t limited to the walled gardens of Apple, Google, Microsoft, and so on. The Web was designed to be device-agnostic, viewable on as many devices, and as many screen dimensions, as possible.

What makes this possible today? The answer: Responsive Web Design.

What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive Web Design is a term that was coined by Ethan Marcotte, a designer/developer, in his landmark article on A List Apart, Responsive Web Design way back in 2010.

According to Wikipedia:

Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

Wikipedia.org

The basic building blocks to a responsive web design are:

  • Fluid grids (a layout that adapts based on screen size, for example)
  • Flexible images (images that expand or are replaced based on the viewport, for example)
  • Media queries (code that manipulates the elements on the screen, allowing for the two above things)

While I’ve already probably become too technical for the average reader, know this: if you want to have a website for your organization, then by default you should seek out someone who can build it for you using the elements of Responsive Web Design. If your website can’t adapt to the device that your customers are accessing it on, and things appear broken, the site won’t load, and so on, that is going to cost you customers and money due to a frustrating user experience. Your typical customer, citizen, user, or whomever your website’s market caters to is going to be viewing your website on a variety of different media—some on desktop computers with gigabit Internet, others on a several years old iPhone 4 with spotty 3G. While you can’t control all of the experience for your audience when it comes to your online presence, you can control how your site is built.

And the only solution that can cover all of your bases is to make sure your website utilizes Responsive Web Design.

To be continued…

Stay tuned for the next part of the Responsive Web Design series, where I will go into more detail on ways you can make sure your site can best reach your audience.

Pew Internet Releases Data on Teens, Social Media, & Technology

The Pew Research Center released yesterday the results of a nationwide survey of teens ages 13 to 17 regarding technology and social media use. A couple of points worth highlighting include:

  • One-quarter (24%) of teens reported going online “almost constantly” while 92% reported going online daily. 34% of African-american teens reported going online “almost constantly” compared to 32% of Hispanic teens and 19% of white teens.
  • Nearly three-quarters of teens have or have access to a smartphone. African-american (85%) teens are more likely to have a smartphone compared to white (71%) and Hispanic (71%) teens.
  • Social media platforms most used by teens include Facebook (71% reported using Facebook most often), Instagram (20%), and Snapchat (11%).
  • Middle and upper income teens lean toward Instagram and Snapchat while over 50% of lower income youth use Facebook most often.
  • 11% of cell-owning teens reported using anonymous sharing or question apps such as Whisper, Yik Yak, Ask.fm, etc.). Of these, 16% reported being Hispanic compared to 7% African-american and 9% white.

Yep, these statistics confirm teens are truly digital natives. As local governments and businesses increase their online presence, it is important to keep in mind that not all age groups and/or demographics utilize Internet in similar ways.