Dropbox Pro Users Now Get 1TB of Storage, Other features

by JamesNYCAugust 27. 2014 06:13

The cloud storage service Dropbox has added a number of new features to its Pro storage tier.

Headlining the changes is a more generous allotment of storage. Whereas the Pro tier was previously split between 100, 200 and 500GB tiers, Dropbox will consolidate a Pro membership around a single, 1TB offering for $9.99 a month.

Beyond more generous storage, the company has introduced view-only permissions for shared folders which will enable users to share files without worrying that their recipient will make unwanted changes or edits. Now shared folders will come with three permission levels (owner, editor and viewer) to better control who can do what with Dropbox files.

In addition to the price cut, Dropbox is bringing some new sharing controls to Dropbox Pro. For added security, you can now set a password and expiration date for a shared links. The change comes after Dropbox in May disabled shared links to fix a bug that caused users to unwittingly leak their own personal files online. You can also now specify whether recipients can edit or just view the files in your shared folder.

There's also a new remote wipe feature that lets you easily delete Dropbox files from a lost or stolen device while keeping them safely backed up in the cloud..

Launched in 2008, Dropbox now has 300 million users saving 1 billion files a day.

 

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Photographer Files Vague Patent, Sues Others for Shooting and Selling Photos of Sporting Events

by JamesNYCAugust 23. 2014 14:17

In the world of patents, some money, a lawyer and the carefully crafting a few hundred words can go a long way — for better or worse.

 

One such example is the case of Peter Wolf, owner of Photocrazy, a company that takes photos of sporting events such as triathlons, then offers prints to the participants by matching their race number to an internalized, searchable database.

And although this concept has been around for quite some time in various forms, EFF reveals that Wolf managed to get three patents on this generalized idea and is now attempting to squash other, smaller operations that use a similar method.

Specifically, 6,985,875; 7,047,214 and 7,870,035 are the patents Wolf has managed to secure with the help of some clever wording on behalf of his lawyer. The basis of the most vital component in primary claim — 6,985,875 — is the process of taking a photo of a sporting event, tagging and sorting the participants by their bib number and date of the event, then making available the photographs in an online search form using those variables.

Naturally, the patent filing explains it in far greater detail:

  1. A process providing event photographs of a sporting event for inspection, selection and distribution via a computer network, comprising the steps of:

taking photographs of at least one participant of a sporting event along at least one point of a course or field thereof;

associating identifying data with each photograph taken, wherein the identifying data is selected from at least one of: a number corresponding to a number worn by a participant, a participant’s name, a code acquired from a component worn by a participant, and a date and time, including hour and minute the photograph was taken;

informing the sporting participants of the identifying data;

transferring the photographs to a computer network server;

cataloging each of the photographs in a web-site server according to the identifying data;

accessing the server at a location other than the sporting event and searching for a photograph of a particular sporting event participant utilizing the identifying data; and

displaying the photograph of the sporting event participant for inspection and ordering.

This patent is drawing a great deal of criticism though, considering there’s nothing exactly proprietary within the filings — it’s a conglomeration of already-existing general concepts. With the patents in hand though, Wolf is able to effectively control this generalized idea and file lawsuits against other, smaller operations.

The first is a rather small company called Capstone, which has been using a similar workflow for their images for quite some time. Wolf is looking to sue them for doing so. Fortunately, two previous cases — Alice v. CLS ruling and Limelight v. Akamai ruling — make it seem like these patents could be rendered invalid for a number of reasons.

Even if the patents are determined invalid though, Capstone and any future company using a similar workflow aren’t quite off the hook.

Legal fees alone could collapse a small company such as Capstone, which is made up of almost completely part-time workers. Capstone is attempting to crowdfund support for the lawsuit, but only $5,000 has come through, which is just a drop in the bucket of the impending legal fees, regardless of whether the patent is ruled valid or not.

One way or another, cases like this show just how counterintuitive patents can be, when their original purpose was to create, not stifle, innovation.

To read up more on the patents filed, follow the respective links in the article above.

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Leica goes discreet with the improved M-P

by JamesNYCAugust 23. 2014 08:38

Photo Assistant

The Leica M-P will be available in silver chrome or black paint finishes

Leica has announced the launch of the M-P rangefinder camera. The new model improves on the original Leica M by featuring a bigger buffer, a sapphire glass display-cover, and a frame selection lever for subject framing. The German firm has also opted to make the M-P more discreet by omitting the iconic red dot.

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The Leica M-P (not to be confused with the film-shooting Leica MP) shares the vast majority of its features with the Leica M. As such the full-frame M-mount shooter features a 24 megapixel sensor, an ISO range of 200-6,400 and the ability to shoot Full HD 1080p video footage.

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Photo Assistant

The Leica M-P will cost US$7,950 and is due to start shipping by the end of the month

In much the same way as the Leica M9-P differed from the M9, changes to the M-P are modest, but could make all the difference to some users. The most performance enhancing improvement is a bigger buffer, which at 2 GB now makes it possible to shoot up to 24 full resolution images at a continuous speed of 3 fps.

Photo Assistant

The Leica M-P has a sapphire glass cover on its rear monitor

While the three-inch rear LCD still just features a 920k dot resolution, it's now covered with sapphire glass, to offer better scratch resistance and durability. The M-P also gains a frame selection lever on the front, which can be used to show the framing of various focal lengths in the viewfinder. New versions of some protectors and ever ready cases will be released which accommodate the added frame selector.

Photo Assistant

The Leica M-P features a 24 megapixel full-frame sensor

Another change, again in line with previous P-series cameras, is that the M-P is designed to be more discreet. What this means in practice is that it lacks either the M or Leica red dot branding on the front of the camera, which some users tape over. Instead there's the less attention-grabbing classical Leica script engraving on the top of the camera.

The Leica M-P will be available in silver chrome or black paint finishes and is expected to start shipping by the end of the month. It will set you back US$7,950, compared with the $6,950 price-tag of the Leica M.

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Product page: Leica M-P

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Photo Assistant

The Leica M-P has an ISO range of 200-6,400 and the ability to shoot Full HD 1080p video footage

Photo Assistant

The Leica M-P a discreet variation of the M camera which lacks the iconic red dot

 

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General

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Films Through Pentax Viewfinder for Charming Short Film

by JamesNYCAugust 22. 2014 07:24

Mathieu Maury and Antoine Pai used the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera to film vignettes through the viewfinder of a Pentax 67 camera.

Mathieu Maury and Antoine Pai are two photography and filmmaking enthusiast who decided to launch a production and advertising company called Maison Carnot. They are passionate about finding new subjects and ways to explore what surrounds them. Based on this philosophy, they came up with the short film "Paris through Pentax".

Through the viewfinder images always seem to catch the eye and this video is no exception. The beauty of Parisian life is shown from start to finish. Here is a short interview with them to see how and why the film was made. From Antoine: 

It's interesting story, Mathieu passed by my place with the Pentax 67 and almost the same day I received the Blackmagic pocket camera and it just seemed obvious to us when the two cameras were lying together on the table. The depth and beauty from the Pentax is just hypnotizing. So, after some DIY brainstorming we ended up with the right set up.

This short film is shot in a few of the best spots around Paris, they cleverly used a mix of famous and not-so famous locations. Watching this film, it is quickly evident that there is a decent amount of dynamic range in the scenes - great use of the Black Magic Pocket camera's capabilities. They also created a wooden jig to hold the camera and black paper covered flag to get rid of any reflections or flares. This resulted in a relatively inexpensive setup that created expensive looking high-end finished product. When DIY is done right, you don't know it's DIY. Enjoy this quick trip around Paris.

Maison Carnon around the web: Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo.

DIY brainstorming we ended up with the right set up.

 

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Canon 5D Mark III vs. ,OnePlus One Android Phone

by JamesNYCAugust 21. 2014 07:03

In the below video, YouTube user EXIV compares footage taken from a Canon 5D Mark III with that taken from a OnePlus One Android phone.

He writes, "The aim of this test is exclusively to compare how the OnePlus One performs respect the Canon 5D Mark III in a ideal light condition. In this case I am pleased to notice that the OPO performed incredibly well, but no doubts that the Canon 5D Mark III is obviously still the best option for filmmakers for all the many reasons that make a DSLR what it is. But it is interesting also to notice that, in terms of dynamic range, the OPO performed incredibly well compared with the 5D, and I can tell you that with a similar exposure, there is almost no difference between the two."

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Free Color Predictor App Lets You Preview Camera Color Capabilities Under Different Lighting

by JamesNYCAugust 20. 2014 08:12

First released at NAB earlier this year, the Academy Color Predictor for iOS 7 aims to let you predict and preview the color rendering capabilities of digital cameras under different lighting setups.

Great lighting is just as much science as it is art. Finding tools and resources covering the artistic side of lighting is fairly easy, finding them on the scientific side not so much. Luckily for us, there’s an incredibly bright group of people out there that think of nothing else but the physics behind light and how it relates to cinematography. They’re called The Academy’s Scientific and Technology Council, a part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the very same people who hand out those small golden statues each year that everyone seems to enjoy so much).

The Academy’s Solid State Lighting committee released a very interesting free app for the iPad (iOS 7 only) at NAB 2014 called the Academy Color Predictor (ACP). Its object is to allow cinematographers and art directors to predict and preview the color rendering capabilities of digital cameras under different lighting setups. The ACP allows you to check a camera setup with a wide variety of variables against a known reference light source, and shows you the color differences you’ll have using standard color charts on your iPad.

Here’s the issue: you have a shot that encompasses two different types of lights.

Light A is a small 1x1 foot square panel made up of hundreds of small LEDs, drawing around 40 Watts of power from a small camera battery, that you want to keep about 1-3 meters from your talent.

Light B is a giant ball of plasma 1.3 million kilometers around, putting out 3.846×1026 Watts of power from an ongoing hydrogen thermonuclear fusion reaction, that you really want to keep about 150 million kilometers or so away from your talent.

It probably wouldn’t surprise you that because of the wildly different sources of light, the spectral response of each light may be very divergent even though the color temperature (5600K) is the same. The LED panel and the Sun have different frequencies of red in their light, so they will render a red shirt in different ways. The Academy Color Predictor can show you those differences, and let you determine if this combo may pose difficulties for color correction later.

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Federal Judge Upholds $1.2 Million Verdict in Morel v. AFP Copyright Case

by JamesNYCAugust 14. 2014 14:10

A federal judge has upheld a $1.2 million jury award in favor of photographer Daniel Morel, after determining that there was sufficient evidence presented at the trial last year to support the verdict.

Morel won $1.2 million in damages after a federal jury determined that Getty and AFP willfully violated his copyrights by uploading eight of his exclusive news images of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and distributing them without his permission. The award also included an additional $20,000 damages for violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Getty and AFP had appealed the $1.2 million award on the grounds that there was not enough evidence presented at the trial to establish willful copyright infringement. They had asked the court to vacate the jury’s finding of willful infringement, reduce the award to Morel, or grant a new trial.

A federal judge rejected the appeal.

“There was evidence from which the jury could have concluded that the defendant’s infringement (and particularly AFP’s) was not just willful but reflected a gross disregard for the rights of copyright holders,” US District Court Judge Alison Nathan wrote in a decision handed down yesterday. She added, “In light of all the consideration that the jury was entitled to consider, [reduction] of the $1.2 million statutory damages award is not required.

“The evidence was plainly sufficient for the jury to conclude that AFP’s infringement was willful under either an actual knowledge or reckless disregard theory,” Nathan said. She said the evidence for willfulness on Getty’s part was “somewhat thin” in comparison to the evidence against AFP. But she went on to say that the evidence of Getty’s willfulness “was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict.”

Morel had uploaded his images to Twitter, offering to license them to news outlets. The images were stolen and re-distributed by another Twitter account holder. Judge Nathan cited evidence presented at trial that Vincent Amalvy, AFP’s Director of Photography for the Americas, knew or should have known that the images were actually Morel’s, and that AFP didn’t have permission to distribute them.

The evidence against Getty for willful infringement was that it left Morel’s images on its web site under a false credit for more than two weeks after AFP sent a “kill notice” telling Getty to remove the images.

The award was the maximum amount of statutory damages possible under the law.

AFP and Getty had asked the court to reduce the $1.2 million award on the grounds that it was based on a “speculative” figure of actual damages amounting to $275,000 in lost sales. Judge Nathan said that on the basis of actual downloads (1,000 or more) of the image and sale prices, the actual damage estimate was reasonable. But she went on to say that juries aren’t required in any case to base statutory awards on actual damage estimates.

She also rejected arguments that the $1.2 million statutory award was “instinsically excessive.” Noting that courts defer to the prerogative of juries to set damage awards and rarely set them aside unless they “shock the judicial conscience and constitute of denial of justice,” Nathan said AFP’s actions in particular could be seen as “gross disregard for the rights of copyright holders” and let the jury award stand.

At the same time, Nathan upheld a $10,000 jury award against AFP for Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) violations, while vacating a $10,000 award for DMCA violations against Getty.

The DMCA makes it unlawful to intentionally remove or alter copyright management information, or to knowingly provide or distribute false copyright management information with intent to conceal infringement.

Evidence presented at trial showed that Vincent Amalvy, the AFP Director of Photography, knew that Morel’s images were falsely credited to another Twitter user, but distributed the pictures with the false credit anyway, Judge Nathan wrote in her decision.

Getty violated the DMCA by continuing to distribute the images under a false credit, after receiving notice from AFP to remove the images, the judge said. But Getty was not liable under a DMCA provision for distributing the images with knowledge before the fact that the image credits had been illegally altered.

----UPDATE---

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP press release below:

Court Upholds Landmark Jury Verdict for Willkie Client, Photojournalist Daniel Morel

New York, NY (August 14, 2014) — U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday issued a Decision and Order upholding the jury’s verdict that Agence France-Presse and Getty Images (US) Inc. must pay $1.22 million for willfully infringing photojournalist Daniel Morel’s copyrights in his award-winning images of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

In the Decision, the Court rejected defendants’ argument that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding that the defendants acted willfully when they wrongfully misappropriated and transmitted Mr. Morel’s photographs to over 1,000 of their subscribers and licensees. The Court also left intact the jury’s award of the maximum statutory damages available under the Copyright Act. The Court held: “There was evidence from which the jury could have concluded that Defendants’ infringement (and particularly AFP’s) was not just willful but reflected a gross disregard for the rights of copyright holders.” After learning of the Decision, Mr. Morel said, “I am grateful that Judge Nathan recognizes the value of a photojournalist’s work and that she is holding AFP and Getty Images fully responsible for what they did to me. I hope no other photojournalist will have to go through a similar ordeal.”

The Willkie team is led by partner Joseph Baio in the firm’s New York Office. ***************************************************** Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is an international law firm of over 600 attorneys with offices in New York, Washington, Paris, London, Milan, Rome, Frankfurt and Brussels. The firm is headquartered in New York City at 787 Seventh Avenue. Tel: 212.728.8000.

 

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General

Propane Powered Motor Scooter-Go Clean, Go Green, Go PROGO!

by JamesNYCAugust 4. 2014 08:20

Here is a Kickstarter that we like.

Performance of gas scooter + Eco friendliness of electric scooter = The ProGo 3000 Propane Powered Motor Scooter.

The Inspiration

What inspired us here at ProGo started with a question. "Why are small motor scooters not a popular mode of transportation?" They are easy to carry and store. They are extremely cost efficient, especially with todays high gas costs. They are easy to maintain, cheap to own, and a whole lot of fun!!

So why are motor scooters, CURRENTLY, not a popular mode of transportation? To answer this question we have to take a look into both types of motor scooters currently on the market, electric and gas.

 

READ MORE HERE

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Pentax Unveils Limited Edition K-3 DSLR

by JamesNYCJuly 28. 2014 17:56

To celebrate its flagship K-3 digital SLR, Pentax announced last week that they would ship a limited edition version in gunmetal gray to dealers in August. They'll also sell the K-3 online at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com.

Only 2,000 such models will be sold and the kit will include the K-3 body, the BG-5 battery grip in matching gunmetal gray, an exclusive black leather strap and a pair of batteries that can be used in the camera body or the grip. You'll pay $1,399 for the honor of owning this limited edition K-3, which is $100 above the standard K-3's MSRP.

The K-3 was announced to the world in October 2013 and sports a 24-megapixel APS-C-sized sensor, a 27-point AF system and high-speed shooting at 8.3 frames per second (fps). It does not use an anti-aliasing (AA) filter but instead features an AA simulator, allowing you to select whether you want filtering turned on or off.

 

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The most important and spot on advice any new or existing photographer could ever learn

by JamesNYCJuly 17. 2014 11:10

Greg Heisler Talks Photography as a Career and Having ‘True’ Style

The advice given in this video by Gregory Heisler is so dead on it should be required viewing

 

Gregory Heisler from Maine Media Workshops + College on Vimeo.

As much information as we’re able to pull in through the Internet, there is one thing that can never be obtained through words or pictures on a screen: experience. Through time and experience, information turns to knowledge, and we begin to wrap our heads around the complicated concepts that baffled us in the beginning.

One phenomenal example of a man who has accrued more experience than most is renowned portrait photographer Gregory Heisler, and in the interview above with Maine Media Workshops + College, he shares valuable insight and advice for photographers both young and old.

Heisler starts off with a funny, profound and very relatable event that took place when he was a young photography student in college. From there, he goes on to share some valuable pieces of knowledge he’s gained throughout his career, covering everything from business to ‘true’ style in that concise and focused manner all his own.

At five-and-a-half minutes long, it’s a quick watch that will enrich your day and, quite possibly, your career as a photographer. Be sure to give it a watch or toss it in your queue so you don’t miss out.

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Stuff people say

Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar. - Helmut Newton

 

"The Camera does not lie, Post Production and Publishers do". - James-ism 09/06/2013

 

Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work. - Booker T. Washington

 

"Papa, ... Music is your love, but Photography is your Religion." - Joya D. Hall-Sullivan | Age 10

 

"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." - Richard Avedon - 1984

 

 "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Alva Edison

 

"Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar." - Helmut Newton

 

"You don’t have to sort of enhance reality. There is nothing stranger than truth." - Annie Leibovitz

 

"When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track." - Weegee

 

" The camera is much more than a recording apparatus. It is a medium via which messages reach us from another world." - Orson Welles

 

"Some people's photography is an art. Not mine. Art is a dirty word in photography. All this fine art crap is killing it already." - Helmut Newton

 

"Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more. " - Nikola Tesla

 

"I think all art is about control - the encounter between control and the uncontrollable." - Richard Avedon

 

"The first 10 000 shots are the worst." - Helmut Newton

 

“If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no short cuts in photography.” – Edward Weston

 

"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning." - Mahatma Gandhi

 

"Ultimately success or failure in photographing people depends on the photographer's ability to understand his fellow man." - Edward Weston

 

"If you want reality take the bus." - David LaChapelle

 

"You don't take a photograph, you make it." - Ansel Adams

 

"When I have sex with someone I forget who I am. For a minute I even forget I’m human. It’s the same thing when I’m behind a camera. I forget I exist." - Robert Mapplethorpe

 

" Great photography is always on the edge of failure." - Garry Winogrand

 

"I don’t think photography has anything remotely to do with the brain. It has to do with eye appeal." - Horst P. Horst

 

"Be yourself. I much prefer seeing something, even it is clumsy, that doesn't look like somebody else's work." - William Klein

 

"Avedon claims to have been the best photographer in the '60s - bullshit - Bob Richardson was - despite or because of being insane and strung out on drugs, I managed to do photographs that are considered iconic - being known as the 'photographer's photographer' means I lead and they follow - I'm broke and they are rich." - Bob Richardson

 

"If you're absent during my struggle, don't expect to be present during my success" - Will Smith

 

"Either take the lead or follow behind, just stay the fuck out of my way." - James Sullivan

 
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