Top tech, social media and horror news (20/05/2013)
Elvis Halilović - Slovenianindustrial designer and self-taughtcarpenter has developed pinholecameras that he and his brothermake out of locally-harvestedchestnut and maple wood. Thecameras, which have been sharedthousands of times across socialmedia prove that vintage techniquesstill have a place in an increasinglydigital world. The brand, named ONDU PinholeCameras, have been constructed in arange of sizes including 35mm and4-by-5-inch. Most of the camera areheld together by magnetism ratherthan bolts or screws.The camera’s creator explained that"Pinhole photography slows theexperience ... that you truly begin toappreciate the phenomena of lights.“He is currently raising funds onKickstarter to improve the design,with various versions of the cameraoffered as rewards
The world’s first liquid cooled smartphonehas been revealed this week. The NECMedias X 06E will feature liquid coolingpipes beside the processor and behind thedisplay. According to test results, thesystem does not make the phone performnoticeably better, but can apparentlyextend the life of the chip.The phone comes running Android 4.2 andalso features a 4.7-inch 720 x 1,280 OLEDdisplay, 13.1-megapixel shooter,2,300 mAh battery and waterproofand dustproof casing. No UKrelease date has been confirmed,but the phone will hit the shelvesthis June in Japan. NEC claim thatthe phone is primarily aimed atwomen.It is interesting to consider whythis new technology is beingaimed solely at women, with thephone featuring a pink case andbeing pre-loaded with ‘feminine’themes. It is also worthconsidering whether there is anyreal benefit to the creation, orwhether it was made “just becausewe can”
Scientists in Glasgow havecreated a low-cost way ofcreating 3D images. Theirsystem uses detectors whichhave a single pixel to senselight instead of the millionsof pixels used in theimaging sensors of digitalcameras. The above image explainsthe technique known as"shape from shade" Aprojector displays patternedlight on the face on amannequin. These patternsare used to produce a 2Dimage. A 3D image is thenformed.The detectors can "see" frequencies which thehuman eye cannot, with researcherspredicting could open up new uses for 3Dimaging in medicine and geography.The single-pixel detectors cost "a few pounds"compared to current systems, which cost"thousands". Prof Miles Padgett led the teamat University of Glasgows School of Physicsand Astronomy, which developed thetechnique.
Yahoo has announced this week that they haveacquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion. The decisionwas unanimous by Yahoo’s board and will beCEO Marissa Mayers largest deal since takingcontrol of Yahoo last year. As of yet, neitherTumblr or Yahoo have released any officialstatement on the deal.The Wall Street Journal haveclaimed that under the terms ofthe acquisition, Tumblr wouldcontinue to operate as anindependent business. Thecompany is currently run byDavid Karp, a 26-year-old NewYorker who founded Tumblr in2007, and he is expected toremain in his role. Social mediaanalysts believe that the movewas Yahoo’s attempt to claimsome control over social media,and also aim their brand at ayounger target audience. Aconcern being raised is thatadvertising could become moreprominent on Tumblr.
Pinterest has received a majorupgrade this week which could seeit become a more viable marketingplatform for brands. From now on,posts can be set up to link to brandswhich will display informationrather than simply linking to thesource image.For example, a film poster could linkto cinema showing times, or a productimage could link to an order form orprice guide.A spokesperson for the companyexplained the reasoning behind theupdate as "community will now seemore useful Pins at first glance, ratherthan having to dig around or click toother websites."Also included in the upgrade, is theinstallation of the Pin It button onthird part mobile phoneapps. Etsy, Fotopedia, Jetsetter andModCloth will all feature the buttonin an effort to expand Pinterest’spresence on smartphones.
Facebook and Google debuted their newmessenger systems only six weeks apart,and this week their move; and the twosystems , have been under scrutiny.Facebook Home prominently places it’schat heads messaging alerts on thehome screen . Google’s new system isfocused more on group chat, somethingwhich is still difficult to set up onFacebook. The launches of bothproducts followed several key reports in2012, which suggested that smartphoneinstant messaging had begun evolving.The unexpected popularity of WhatsApp is being credited with the move byboth companies. Reports which alsoshowed that consumers were willing tojuggle several messaging apps (inmany cases up to five), probablyprompted the move by Google andFacebook also.
The biggest story of the week is that Amazon hascancelled the Zombieland series. Rhett Reese,writer of the series and the film of the same namespoke about the announcement on Twitter saying– “Our Zombieland series will not be movingforward on Amazon. Sad for everyone involved.I’ll never understand the vehement hate the pilotreceived from die-hardZombieland fans. You guyssuccessfully hated it out ofexistence. Anyway, we did ourbest, and we’re very proud of ourteam.”A few interesting article havebeen written about the decision,including speculation that theseries may have had moresuccess on Netflix. The reactionfrom horror fans regarding theseries is also interesting toconsider, as many felt that theseries had to broad a targetmarket to appeal to the horrorfans it should have targeted.
Although ABCs of Death received asomewhat mixed reaction,it’s definitely an interesting concept.This week, it was announcedthat ABCs of Death 2 is planned for2014. The sequel’s new rosterincludes Goya Award winner Álex dela Iglesia (THE LAST CIRCUS, DAYOF THE BEAST), ROOM 237mastermind Rodney Ascher; AcademyAward-nominated animator BillPlympton; Filipino icon – andDirector’s Fortnight inductee – ErikMatti (ON THE JOB, MAGIC TEMPLE);and the founder of Nigerian“Nollywood” cinema Lancelot Imasuen.Sequels very often receive a great deal ofcriticism, but the premise of ABCs ofDeath is so open ended that there is noreason for it to be repetitive. The factthat an entirely different set ofdirectors are on board is also a bonus.The competition for an aspiring filmmaker to create the 26th short will againbe run in conjunction with the film.
Upcomingdocumentary Crystal LakeMemories: The CompleteHistory of Friday The 13th scoreda release date this week. Thefilm will be released this August27th, with pre-orders beginning July 8th. With a running time ofapproximately seven hours, thedocumentary explores each filmfrom the original 1980 slasherhit to the 2009 reboot. The filmis created by the teambehind Never Sleep Again: TheElm Street Legacy. Due to the running time, therewill be no DVD release with thedocumentary being a Blu-Rayexclusive.