Welcome to the 367th issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is your first
issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me two or three
issues, I know that you will come back for more!
Japan's Canon Inc. said on Tuesday it has developed tiny fuel cells that
it hopes will start replacing conventional batteries to power some of its
digital cameras and printers in three years. Canon will join a small army
of companies, including Toshiba Corp., NEC Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., that are
working on the development and commercialization of fuel-cell batteries for
the next-generation of consumer electronics.
Old software weakening Net's backbone, survey says
Many Domain Name System servers are wrongly configured or running out-of-date
software, leaving them vulnerable to malicious attacks, according to a study
DNS servers, which translate domain names such as "yoursite.com" into
IP addresses, underpin the workings of the Internet. In its survey, Internet
performance company The Measurement Factory found that the BIND software
used for domain-name resolution is out-of-date on a fifth of DNS servers.
DNS servers that run versions of BIND earlier than version 9 are "opening
the door" to pharming attacks--a kind of phishing attempt--through DNS
cache poisoning, the company said in its report.
A quiet revolution is transforming life on the Internet: New, agile software
now lets people quickly check flight options, see stock prices fluctuate
and better manage their online photos and e-mail.
Such tools make computing less of a chore because they sit on distant Web
servers and run over standard browsers. Users thus don't have to worry about
installing software or moving data when they switch computers.
And that could bode ill for Microsoft Corp. and its flagship Office suite,
which packs together word processing, spreadsheets and other applications.
The federal government, vastly extending the reach of an 11-year-old law,
is requiring hundreds of universities, online communications companies and
cities to overhaul their Internet computer networks to make it easier for
law enforcement authorities to monitor e-mail and other online communications.
The action, which the government says is intended to help catch terrorists
and other criminals, has unleashed protests and the threat of lawsuits from
universities, which argue that it will cost at least $7 billion while doing
little to apprehend lawbreakers.
Anyone who has ever had to buy film for a camera will know that film is rated
by its sensitivity to light, or it's speed.
As the film speed (ASA or ISO) increases, two things happen, less time is needed
to expose the film and the appearance of grain (noise) becomes greater. These
principles also apply with digital photography.
Many digital cameras provide a mechanism for changing sensor sensitivity (film
speed). Low end point and shoot cameras may only have one film speed, others
may range from 100-200 or up to 400, while digital SLRs may have a selectable
film speed of between 50 ISO and 3200 ISO or higher. So why would you want
to change film speed?
With all other things being equal, a faster film speed allows you:
The greater ability to stop motion
To get a properly exposed shot in low light levels without camera shake
Have more depth of field
So what are the advantages to a slower film speed?
Slower film speed usually creates better quality images with less noise
Show motion in an photo
Can get less depth of field to isolate your subject.
You will notice that they seem to overlap. Why might you want to stop motion,
in one shot but not another? Why would you sometimes want more depth of field,
and other times not? There are creative reasons for changing your camera's
film speed. The most common reason though is for shooting in low light or indoors.
Lighting indoors ay be significantly dimmer than outdoors, up to 50 times as
dim, or even 500 times in extreme cases. Given that wide range of lighting
levels, film or digital sensors cannot be made to accommodate all of them,
so it is best to shoot with an appropriate film speed to ensure well exposed
images without camera shake.
bright sunlight, outdoor shots
partly sunny outdoor shots
indoor shots with flash
indoor shots without flash, fast action
If you do want to achieve some creative effects, try slowing your film speed
down which will force your camera to use longer shutter speeds and therefore
give you motion in your shot. In a I shot I took this summer of a waterfall,
motion is clearly visible in the water as it falls over the cliff (100 ISO)
. If I had used a faster film speed, the shutter speed would have been slow
enough that the motion of the water would not be clearly visible. Be aware
that longer shutter speeds will need to be taken with a tripod.
To capture motion, use a faster shutter speed to create shorter shutter speeds.
I used 800 ISO for this shot of
a baseball game. You can see even at this film speed, the ball still has some
motion to it. If I had used a slower shutter speed, the trail would have been
much longer (8 times longer with 100 ISO).
The digital photography tip of the week is written by the PCIN Assistant
Editor, Chris Empey. Chris is a long time photographer and is currently
the vice-president of the Niagara Falls Camera Club. You can see more of
his photography at his Photo
of the Day website.
If you have a tip to send Chris, or a question about digital photography
he can address in the newsletter, send it to email@example.com.
The Gigapxl Project
Defining the upper limits of large-format photography, digital scanning
and image processing, custom-built Gigapxl cameras capture images with
It would take a video wall of 10,000 television screens or 600 prints from
a professional digital SLR camera to capture as much information as that
contained in a single Gigapxl exposure.
The Project's near-term goal is to compile a coast-to-coast Portrait of
America; photographing her cities, parks and monuments in exquisite detail.
A longer term goal is to create for future generations a world-wide archive
of vanishing cultural and archaeological sites.
links to this list of the top
20 license-free fonts. Could someone please release the files as
I recently copied the new Windows Vista fonts out of a beta installation
and have been using them on my XP box to much satisfaction. Microsoft did
a great job designing / paying for these fonts. My favorite? Candara.
While working in a Microsoft program, to quickly select the current word,
double click on it. Triple clicking on a word (or section of a paragraph)
will select the entire paragraph. And if you need to erase a selection, simply
select the text and start to type, you will overwrite any existing text;
no need to delete it first.
PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of
the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing
and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying
the tips in this newsletter.
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