August 31, 2012

5 Things You Should Consider Before Getting A DSLR


You have a lot of love and passion for photography, and you are constantly clicking with whatever you have – your iPhone camera, your film camera, your point and shoot, etc. You are browsing the Internet, most probably Flickr, Facebook or deviantART and you notice some sharp, well-executed photographs.

(Image Source: Sam)
On checking the EXIF data of the available image, you come to find out that the image was shot using a DSLR. After this, you start checking the DSLR prices on Amazon, or any other online website, and decide it is time you buy youself a DSLR camera and produce great shots yourself; but the real question is – do you actually need one?
I have been into photography for the last 6-7 years and had only recently bought my own DSLR around a year ago. I noticed that many people start their passion for photography with a DSLR (usually a medium end one). I’m not sure that it’s really something that you should start with, since I believe that getting a DSLR require some pondering.
Here are some of the things you should consider before emptying your pockets for a DSLR.

1. Type Of Photography

One of the first things to consider when buying a DSLR is the type of photography practiced by you. Whether you mostly shoot weddings, or family events, schools events or just at random, the type of photography greatly influences the type of camera to use for the purpose.
For example, using the idea of wedding photography, a photographer may be required to film videos as well. Carrying an extra HD video camera would just increase the bulk and hassle. It would be much wiser to use a DSLR that supports HD video recording – such as the Canon EOS 5D MKII and Nikon alternative D700.

(Image Source: Videomaker)
Another consideration to be taken into account is the weight of the camera, which includes all the accessories. If a person is a wedding photographer or a travel photographer, he or she may have assistants carrying the accessories and thus weight may not be the prime problem.
However, if you are a photojournalist or a war-photojournalist, you would be on the move constantly. Carrying bulky items would not be the most intelligent, let alone safe thing to do.
On the other hand, if you photograph family events and you take thousands of images every day, do you really need an SLR? I would rather spend on a good Point-and-Shoot camera than spend on an expensive DSLR if the only purpose of my camera is to take photographs of family events, and snapshots as I go out with family, friends, relatives, and so on.

2. Professional Or Hobbyist

If you are a professional photographer, do you have to have a DSLR? No.
True, being a professional requires you to have equipment worthy of the task at hand, but just because you are a professional does not mean you must work only on the DSLR. In fact, many professionals still rely on 35mm film cameras, abeit the good ones. How about if you are new to photography, or have just started it, and have caught the photo-bug while indulging in it, do you need the DSLR? The answer is yet again, no.

(Image Source: Crezalyn Nerona Uratsuji)
I would suggest using a Point & Shoot camera for the first 1-2 years and then gradually moving onto a UZ camera (Ultra-Zoom). Once you feel comfortable using a UZ camera and believe that you have learned all the basics of photography and that your photos have reached their maximum level of ‘goodness’ then I’d suggest trying your hands on an entry level DSLR camera.
If you are a professional photographer and want to move into the "digital" age, then get yourself a full-frame sensor DSLR camera. Remember your camera is only as good as you get.

3. Maintenance Of A DSLR

Getting a DSLR is no child’s play. It requires your utmost dedication. You don’t just play with it, you have to always ensure that the camera is always in perfect condition. As with other normal Point & Shoot cameras, your DSLR is not just made to stand "shoot and forget" attitudes. Before each shot, you need to make sure that the lens is clean, the sensor is clean and that there is absolutely no speck on dust on either of the items.

(Image Source: Mumbai Pav)
Owning a DSLR is like owning a car. If you keep it under regular check it would work best, if not, you would encounter some problems later on with the camera that would cost you.
Now, how exactly can you take care of your precious, expensive DSLR? The answer is to buy a sensor cleaning kit. That would help you clean most of the items: sensor, lens, viewfinder lens, etc. Any dust that lands on the lens or sensor would show up on the final image. Thus, it is very important for the specks of dust to be cleaned right away – they could also end up scratching your lens or sensor, rendering them useless unless you like extra decorations in your pictures. If you don’t, this means a dent in your wallet.
Dust in the viewfinder will be visible through your viewfinder scope and even though it is not that dangerous, it is wise to clean the dust to avoid any risks.

4. Price

This is one of the main factors that determines whether you should get a DSLR or not. The very first thing is to chalk out a budget plan for yourself – including the price of camera, lenses, and accessories if any – and see which camera comes in your range.
Once you have a list of potential cameras in your budget range, you should visit a website like to compare the cameras, and find the best three from your list. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily have to buy the best camera in your budget and you could always compromise a little money on the body itself (as long as they both have the same sensor size) and get an additional lens instead.

(Image Source: Claudio Matsuoka)
If you have a smaller budget of say below $500 then it would be much wise to get a Point & Shoot camera, keeping in mind the type of photography that interests you.
Nevertheless, if you want to get into the wedding photography or similar fields, it would be wiser to save money for a DSLR; P&S cameras do not do the newlyweds justice.
Finally, always remember that once you get a DSLR you are in an "expensive" hobby. Unlike P&S cameras, DSLR require regular cleaning and maintainance to keep them in their best possible condition. Not only that but lenses cost a fortune at times and the type of photography you do would influence the type of lens required, whether it is a wide-angle lens, prime-lense or so on.

5. Funding Your DSLR

This portion is only important if you finally decide to get a DSLR and some good lenses. Now that you have posted a tweet on Twitter saying "Ouch! Photography is an expensive hobby" or something similar, note that you can recover your losses and fund your DSLR with your DSLR, with a bit of hard work and some time, of course. One way to do this is by selling stock images or selling prints.
Stock images are used by advertising agencies and people to complement their projects. These shots are taken mostly in-studio, some out, depicting models doing one action or another that can be used to supplement any written material in the right context, for example, an executive talking on phone, jewellery photographs, etc.
Selling prints gives the user the option to sell their images to people who would want to hang it on their walls at their home or office. Selling prints is far more difficult as it needs the photographer to be passionate about his photograph and come with results that amaze the peer – rendering the impulse in them to hang such a photograph on their wall.
Users can also put their lens up for rent – though it might be a risky business and will require users to use their own judgement when picking the people who want to rent the lens. Finally, the user can always shoot portraits, weddings and commercial photographs, taking money for each shoot. Do it well enough, and you can even earn your livelihood with it. [via hongkiat]

August 30, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Camera announced: 16 megapixels, 21x optical zoom, and Android 4.1

What happens when you combine a pocket camera with an Android smartphone? Samsung's answer is the Galaxy Camera. Running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on a massive 4.8-inch HD LCD display, the Galaxy Camera aims to take the best of Samsung's camera and phone departments and mix them up for something altogether unique. There's a 16-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor within what is otherwise an unmistakably camera-shaped body, equipped with a retractable lens that provides 21x optical zoom.
On the inside, we can look forward to a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G wireless options, although disappointingly there's no SD card compatibility. If you want removable storage, you'll have to go for microSD cards. The Galaxy Camera will accept Micro SIM cards only. The display is described as using scLCD technology and has a 308ppi pixel density thanks to its 1280 x 720 resolution.

  Samsung has really gone to town with its software automation, giving you 10 so-called Smart Pro modes, designed to ease the process of taking professionally-styled photos. A good example of that is the light trails that you see in long-exposure pictures of moving traffic in low light. Samsung has a mode for that, helpfully dubbed Light Trace. A Smart Content Manager will create folders and tag faces automatically, while also suggesting bad shots for deletion. You'll be able to search by people's faces, time, location and other photo data. A Photo Wizard is included for sprucing up your pictures effortlessly, plus there's a Best Group Shot feature that creates a composite image out of a continuous shot, stitching together the best captures of each person's face.
Completing the S-E-E-S quadriga of software features is Sharing (the other three being Shoot, Enjoy, and Edit), which is facilitated by the wealth of wireless connectivity, a Share Shot option for connecting to other nearby Galaxy devices, and Auto Cloud Backup. That last feature is essentially the same thing you can do with Google's auto-upload to Picasa, though it sends the pics up to Samsung's cloud and not Google's. Samsung wouldn't say whether this is the first step of its previously rumored S Cloud service, but it's there if you want to use.
The Galaxy Camera will be going on sale in the fourth quarter of this year, to be marketed and launched in partnership with mobile operators, much like a smartphone, though Samsung's Ryan Bidan tells us the device is still a camera first and foremost. For Samsung, the Galaxy Camera is just a point-and-shoot enhanced with the goodness of Android. In Ryan's words, we should "stop worrying about Android, it's just tools under the hood. It's what it enables in the devices that's the important part." [via Verge]

August 28, 2012

Samsung may be working on Android-based Galaxy S camera

Samsung already has a good interface for its point-and-shoot compact cameras. However, it appears that the brand is seeking to enhance it to a large extent. If a report by GSMArena is anything to go by, Samsung may be making an Android-based point-and-shoot digital camera expected to feature in the brand’s Galaxy S line-up of devices.

Samsung have recently unveiled its Galaxy Player 5.8 that runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS. If the report by GSMArena holds true, then it will be another device that is not a smartphone or a tablet launched by the brand to run on the Android OS.
May be announced soon (Mock up image)
May be announced soon (Mock up image)

As per the report, an anonymous source has informed GSMArena that it will take design references from the Galaxy S III, and will be called the Galaxy S Camera. Keeping the design of the Galaxy S III in mind, this digital camera will feature a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display. As for the operating system used here, Samsung will load it with Android v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

The report states, “The Samsung Galaxy S camera is described as a Galaxy S III glued to the back of a point-and-shoot camera, with no physical buttons on the back. It is reportedly 1.5 to 2 times thicker than an S III, but that seems too little given the rumored 10x zoom. The camera will feature a 16MP sensor of unknown size, a pop-out Xenon flash and a curved right side to help with the ergonomics. The Galaxy S Camera will run on Ice Cream Sandwich and will come in Wi-Fi and 3G + Wi-Fi versions (only mobile data, no voice), which is reportedly being pitched to various carriers”.  The post ends by stating that the Samsung Galaxy S camera will be unveiled at this year’s IFA 2012 event scheduled to take place in the next few days.

It is also believed that Samsung will showcase the Galaxy Note 2 at the event and this handset will be the next major smartphone announcement from the brand after the Galaxy S III.

For those not in the know, the Galaxy Note 2 is the successor to the hugely popular Galaxy Note which debuted last year. Samsung has sold over 10 million units of the Galaxy Note and the next generation model is expected to feature much higher end specifications that its predecessor. [via Tech2]

Here is a quick look at some of the features expected to be found on the Galaxy Note 2:
  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a 1280 x 720
  • 4G LTE, EDGE, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, NFC
  • GPS possibly with GLONASS and A-GPS support
  • Bluetooth possible v4.0 with USB and hopefully USB-on-the-go
  • 8 megapixel AF/ Touchfocus camera with full HD video recording and playback
  • A front facing camera for video calls and chats
  • 16GB and 32GB versions, all with expandable support
  • MHL for AV out

The World’s Most Expensive Camera Lens : Espikes09


The Worlds Most Expensive Camera Lens mostexpensivelens mini

A Leica camera from 1923 became the world’s most expensive camera earlier this year when it was auctioned for a staggering $2.79 million. The world’s most expensive lens has a similar price tag… and is also a Leica.

The Leica APO-Telyt-R 1:5.6/1600mm, pictured above, is a massive telephoto lens that dwarfs any Leica camera that you attach to it. It’s the company’s longest, largest, and heaviest lens.
It was produced as a custom order by one of the world’s wealthiest photography-enthusiasts, Qatari prince Saud bin Muhammed Al Thani, who paid a whopping $2,064,500 for the hefty piece of glass.
That’s not all though. Like any good billionaire photographer would do, Al Thani reportedly purchased a customized four wheel drive Mercedes Benz for the sole purpose of transporting the lens from place to place (the world’s most expensive “camera case”?)
There’s actually a second copy of the lens in existence: a prototype that’s on display at a Leica showroom in Solms, Germany.
While the technical specs of the lens are shrouded in mystery, certain things are known: it’s equipped with a Leica R-mount, it’s approximately 4 feet long, and it weighs at least 132 pounds.
Sadly, it doesn’t appear that there are any sample shots taken with the lens available for pixel peepers, but we’re guessing the shots and the functionality of the lens are similar to the magical Sigma 200-500mm.
(via Geek, via Petapixel)

August 24, 2012

Slow Motion Video Captures Light Moving


This amazing video from a Ted Talk shows off a new camera that can capture video at 1 trillion frames per second.  As a result, the camera can record the movement of light through space.  There are lots of potential applications for this technology as it develops, including medical imaging and military applications. [via Photographybay]
How do you see this technology being used in the future?

August 23, 2012

Logitech Washable Keyboard K310 Gets Rid of the Goo

It may come as no surprise to many of you out there, but I’m what’s technically referred to as a slob. I keep myself clean, my clothes clean, and my car clean, but outside of those three things, I pretty much don’t care. I’ve been known to eat Cheetos while typing to the point that you can’t read the letters on the key tops because of the thick cheesy coating.
I once did that on my wife’s keyboard she didn’t appreciate it all, she really didn’t like the fact that I simply licked the cheese off when she complained either. If you want a keyboard that you can wash safely without worrying the letters will wipe off when you clean it with water – or stop working altogether, Logitech has a new washable keyboard called the K310. This is perfect for messy people and germophobes.
logitech washable keyboard
The keyboard is designed with programmable function keys, media control keys, and a number pad. The keyboard has drain holes in the back to help water dry and the keyboard can be submerged in water up to 11 inches deep as long as you keep the USB cable dry. The keyboard will hit the US this month for $39.99(USD)

August 18, 2012

How to Install Free Photoshop Content

There are hundreds of Web sites (including this one) offering free Photoshop brushes, layer style effects, actions, shapes, patterns, gradients, and color swatch sets. Here's what you need to do with these files to get them working in Photoshop, along with links to where you can find these free goodies.


Place the *.abr files into:
Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Brushes where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

Brushes created in Photoshop 7 or later will not work in earlier versions of Photoshop. Any Photoshop brushes should work in Photoshop 7 and later.
From the Brushes Palette in Photoshop, click the small arrow in the upper right corner of the palette, and choose load brushes. The brushes will be added to the current brushes.

Layer Styles

Place the *.asl files into:
Program Files\Adobe\Adobe PhotoshopX\Presets\Styles where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.


Place the *.csh files into:
Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Custom Shapes where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

To load a file, go to the Styles palette, then click the small arrow in the top right corner and choose one of the layer style collections from the menu.


Place the *.pat files into:
Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Patterns where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

To load a pattern set, go to the Patterns palette (in the fill tool, Pattern overlay style, etc.), then click the small arrow in the top right corner and choose one of the pattern collections from the menu, or choose "Load Patterns" if the set is not listed in the menu. You can also load patterns via the Preset Manager in Photoshop 6 and up.


Place the *.grd files into:
Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Gradients where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

To load a file, go to the Gradients palette, then click the small arrow in the top right corner and choose one of the gradient sets collections from the menu.

Color Swatches

Place the *.aco files into:
Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Color Swatches where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

To load a file, go to the Swatches palette, then click the small arrow in the top right corner and choose one of the swatch collections from the menu.


Place the *.atn files into:
Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Photoshop Actions where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

To load an action set, go to the Actions palette, then click the small arrow in the top right corner and navigate to the location where you saved the action. Select the file you'd like to load and it will be added to the actions palette. 

Zip Files

Most of the free Photoshop content on this site is distributed as Zip files to reduce download time. Before the files can be used, they must first be extracted. Zip file extraction is built into the operating system in Macintosh OS X and Windows XP. Consult your computer help if you're not sure how to extract zip files. For earlier operating system versions, you will need an unzipping tool such as Winzip (Win)Stuffit Expander (Mac), or ZipGenius (Win) to extract the files. After extracting the files, place them in the appropriate folder as indicated above.
Note: Most of these files can actually be saved anywhere on your computer, but to make them available from each tool's menu, they should be located in the appropriate folder under Presets. If you keep the files in another location, you will need to navigate to that location each time you want to use them. [via]

August 17, 2012

Facebook finally erasing deleted photos from its servers

The latest in a string of good news pertaining to Facebook photos is that Ars Technica, having concluded an independent testing, has revealed that photos deleted from Facebook are quickly moving out of its servers. Facebook had earlier admitted to being unable to erase user-deleted images from its servers, much to the chagrin of its users. Photos cached on the servers now stop being visible within 30 days of deletion.

In a detailed report, Ars Technica affirms that it first began investigating the social networks Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and Twitter in 2009 for the swiftness with which deleted photos became well and truly irretrievable from these websites. One way in which Ars Technica did this was by obtaining and saving direct links to the test photos it had uploaded on Facebook. What Ars Technica found became a cause of worry.
Facebook's office hiring more
No more hoarding of deleted photos

While Twitter and Flickr took a few seconds to remove the photos from their content delivery networks (CDN), MySpace and Facebook were found to take very long to do so. MySpace took several months, Facebook over a year. Ars Technica adds that Facebook only removed the photos that the former deleted as part of its investigation. It was found that, "...numerous Ars readers wrote in with links to their own photos that they tried to delete, and nearly all of those remained online (in direct-linkable form) for three years or more".

Facebook soon admitted that not all photos were deleted "within a reasonable period". Quoting Facebook spokesperson, Frederic Wolens, the Ars Technica report said, "The systems we used for photo storage a few years ago did not always delete images from content delivery networks in a reasonable period of time even though they were immediately removed from the site. We have been working hard to move our photo storage to newer systems which do ensure photos are fully deleted".

The report states that since February this year, photos that users deleted from Facebook took only about two days to move out of the company's servers. Wolens confirmed to Ars Technica that this was the result of the company's new photo deletion policy and change in storage systems. Wolens said, "As a result of work on our policies and infrastructure, we have instituted a 'max-age' of 30 days for our CDN links. However, in some cases the content will expire on the CDN much more quickly, based on a number of factors". 

Wolens added, "As you know, the photos stop being shown to other users on Facebook immediately when the photo is first deleted by the user. The 30-day window only applies to the cached images on the CDN". [via Tech2]

No bulk SMS, MMS for next 15 days

Starting today, for the next 15 days, the Indian government has imposed a nationwide ban on bulk SMSes and MMSes. The decision has been made in order to curtail text messages and MMSes containing rumours or misleading information about the Assam violence. It has been found that these messages contain fabricated videos, and supposed threats to northeasterners living in several cities across the country. This has caused much panic among those of northeastern origin.

During the period that the ban is effective, it will not be possible to send more than five SMSes or more than 20KB of data at a time from a mobile phone number.
No bulk SMSes, MMSes for the next 15 days (Image credit: Getty Images)
No bulk SMSes, MMSes for the next 15 days (Image credit: Getty Images)

As per reports, the Home Ministry has asked the Department of Telecommunications to implement the order through telecom operators in the country. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that rumours spread by miscreants in this way have caused those of northeastern origin to flee their homes across several places in the country.       

The concept of banning bulk messages isn't new. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had allowed customers who did not wish to receive unsolicited commercial calls and SMSes to register their preferences under the National Customer Preference Register (NCPR). Little did the regulatory body know that it would get a miffed response from consumers, who were understandably annoyed by an endless stream of unwanted calls and texts for promotional offers, schemes, etc. 

In April last year, the Mumbai Police banned bulk SMSes, especially of the promotional kind, from March 31 to April 2. The order referring to a cricket match read, “…there is a likelihood of creation of discontent in the minds of the general public prior to the final match and after the final match is over, which may create a law and order problem”. Bulk SMS has been identified as one of the possible sources of law and order problems, and has been banned in such situations. [via Tech2]

August 15, 2012

HCL launches ME Y2 tablet for Rs. 14,999


HCL Infosystems has launched a new 3G-enabled tablet named HCL ME Y2. It incorporates a 7-inch multi-touch capacitive screen with a 1024x600 display. The tablet offers 3G connectivity with an in-built SIM slot. It is priced at Rs. 14,999. The Y2 runs on Android v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). It features a 2MP rear camera and a 0.3MP front camera for video conferencing.

The ME Y2 tablet sports a 1GHz Cortex A9 processor complemented by 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory. HCL includes a memory card slot that expands the memory to up to 32GB. On the connectivity front, the device packs in mini-USB and mini-HDMI ports. Also included are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios for seamless connectivity with accessories and wireless networks respectively. The battery is rated at a capacity of 4000mAH, which HCL claims will deliver extended runtimes even with high definition video playback.
The Android 4.0 tablet is priced at Rs 14,999
The HCL ME Y2 tablet Android 4.0 tablet is priced at Rs. 14,999

"This third generation tablet delivers enhanced experiences to our customers through advanced connectivity and innovative features. With the growth in tablet market and increasing adoption, on-the-go connectivity has become vital and the ME Y2 promises seamless connectivity with great user interface," says Gautam Advani of HCL Infosystems Ltd.

The HCL ME Y2 tablet, touted as a third-generation tablet from HCL's repertoire, comes preloaded with applications tailor-made for the sensibilities of the Indian consumer. The Bollywood Hungama app comes with a special offer for HCL ME Y2 customers. Buyers of the tablet get three months' subscription free for downloading unlimited music, videos, and ringtones. In addition, customers get unlimited streaming of movies for a month from Reliance BIGFlix for a token amount of Re. 1. The bundled ThinkFree Office Mobile lets users create, view, edit, and share MS Office documents.

Other assorted, preinstalled applications include LinkedIn, Twitter, 3D Digital Weather Clock, Games, Sweet’N‘Spicy (a huge collection of Indian recipes), iBrowser (makes downloading and browsing on the tablet easy and smooth), ICS Browser (to view multiple open pages at once), and Saavn (Bollywood and Indian music app). Apart from the pre-loaded apps, the Y2 has exclusive access to the ME App store, which houses over 15,000 tablet applications for the Android platform. [via Tech2]
The tablet sports a 1 Ghz Cortex A9 processor complemented by 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory.
1GHz Cortex A9 processor complemented by 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory

August 7, 2012

5 Reasons Why You Should Try Freelancing


Editor’s note: Thinking of finally quitting your job and going into freelancing full time but still have burning questions that you want answered? Well, we’re hoping to address that in this week-long"Freelancing for Beginners" series, starting with tonight’s post.
For me, when I started freelancing full-time, it was (somewhat) the case of following others, more than anything else.What struck me most was the ease with which freelancers work, especially, if one could get everything done with the Internet and a computer. But if that’s the only reason you want to become a freelancer then you’re in for a bad time.

(Image Source: Fotolia)
It’s not that we are discouraging you from taking up freelancing (full-time or partime), in fact the point of this article is to give you reasons why you should give it a go.
The first reason why you should try freelancing is…

1. To Satisfy Your Creative Impulse

Many individuals are just born creative and talented. They usually have a great desire to exhibit skills in some form, yet in a normal desk job, it’s rare that they could ever find a platform to showcase their talent.

(Image Source: Fotolia)
For instance, a designer working in a software firm may come across a great design idea, but there isn’t really a chance to try the idea out since he has to work within the confines of his job scope or the project requirements. In most cases, even if he were to suggest that the team tries his new idea, more often than not, it’s just "not the right time to try something so new" – give me a show of hands if you have heard this.

Don’t Get Mad, Get To Work!

In this case, you can put your idea to good use in freelance: produce a good sample and put it in your portfolio, or keep the idea in your "Idea Book" for a chance to try it out in the future, or just go all out and make it, then feature it in design websites or enter it into competitions.

2. To Obtain Added Income

There is no dearth of individuals who spend more than half their life grumbling about low pay in their jobs. No matter what salary you draw every month, it usually runs out way too early. If your job isn’t taking too many hours out of your day, you can use your spare time to work on freelance projects.

Side Income

It’s a win-win situation: you get to keep your job and your benefits, and you can find potential clients for freelance work from your network of acquaintances.
There are many companies that prefer to engage freelancers rather than employ a full time in-house artist, designer, developer or writers. You can take advantage of that and earn yourself some extra pocket money in the process.

3. To Open Up New Career Options

Freelancing prepares you for a professional career ahead. It also harnesses your skills, and for those who catch on fast and who are willing to learn new things, the sky is the limit.
In the beginning, however, you may find that things may advance slower than expected. It’s not easy to convince someone to try something new, let alone pay for a freelancer who has yet to make a name of himself (or herself). But as you build your clientele list and become an expert in your field, things will indefinitely become way easier.
This opens up the opportunity to really do something you love (if you aren’t already doing it) and in this career choice, you can have a part in making the rules.

4. To Work From Home

This is what makes freelancing an attractive option to pursue, and the crucial factor that makes everyone want to fill in ‘freelancer’ as their occupation.
For starters, there are plenty of ways you can save on working from home: transportation expenses, money for gas (or petrol depending on where you come from), the time spent getting to and from work, buying lunch and other work-related expenses.

The Essentials

If you work from home, you’ll only need:
  • a stable Wi-Fi connection
  • a (cell)phone number or video conference tool
  • an email account and possibly a printer (if invoicing on paper is still your thing)
The (probably) best thing to come out of this is that there will be no more meetings, office politics and drama from the workplace. You get to focus on just getting the work done and be paid for just that.

5. To Pick Up Holidays At Will

Those who have worked in the office know how hard it is for them to get their days-off approved from the bosses. It’s different for freelancers. Provided that you have completed your project, simiply don’t accept any new assignment for a self-imposed break from work. Pack your bags and slip to your favourite destination with your family or friends.

(Image Source: Fotolia)
If there comes a need to get back to work – a.k.a. an emergency – just whip out your laptop or smartphone and you can continue as if you have never left. It is up to you to make it your vacation fun, you get to decide where you want to tune in or tune out.


Bear in mind that you need to have self-discipline to pull through, the kind of discipline that was imposed on you at the workplace. You can always be more more lenient with yourself, nonetheless and by having proper time management and knowing where to set your boundaries, there’s no stopping you.
So there you have it, five simple reasons why you should give freelancing a try. Are you all hyped up and going "this is so the life for me", hold your horses. You might want to check out tomorrow’s post. Remember to tune in tomorrow. (via hongkiat)

August 5, 2012

8.7 percent Facebook accounts are fake

In its 10-Q filing that Facebook made public this week, it revealed that 8.7 percent, or 83.09 million accounts, on the social networking site are fake. This number marks a huge leap from the number of fake accounts that Facebook made public in March - between 42.25 million and 50.70 million. Facebook, according to this report, is being more transparent about what fake accounts it is targetting. Earlier Facebook listed only two categories of fake accounts - duplicate users and false users. It has now recategorised them into duplicate accounts (4.8 percent), misclassified accounts (2.4 percent), and undesirable accounts (1.5 percent).
Gets 'biz'y
83.09 million accounts on Facebook are fake

Facebook has further revealed that as on June 30, 2012, 4.8 percent of their worldwide monthly active users (MAUs) had duplicate accounts. Duplicate accounts are essentially those that users create in addition to their 'principal account'. Then there are false accounts that can be divided into two categories - user-misclassified accounts and undesirable accounts. User-misclassified accounts are personal profiles created for businesses, organizations, or non-human entities such as pets. These, as per Facebook's Terms of Service, are required to use a Page and not a personal profile. Then there are undesirable accounts, which are created for activities such as spamming. 

The social networking giant further adds that the numbers put forth by them are also affected by such applications on some mobile devices that manage to "automatically contact our servers for regular updates with no user action involved." This activity, specifies Facebook, leads their system to count the associated user as an active user for that particular contact. Figures depicting mobile activity and its subsequent effect on the numbers vary from region to region. The report details further, " In addition, our data regarding the geographic location of our users is estimated based on a number of factors, such as the user’s IP address and self-disclosed location. These factors may not always accurately reflect the user’s actual location. For example, a mobile-only user may appear to be accessing Facebook from the location of the proxy server that the user connects to rather than from the user’s actual location."

August 4, 2012

Facebook Timeline compulsory from next week

One of Facebook's major announcements last year had been the launch of their new Timeline feature. Although Timeline did not sit well with some users, it was a feature that everyone wanted to try. From August 8, switching to the Timeline style of profile will become compulsory for all Facebook users. As per reports, before the scheduled switch happens, users are shown a preview of their profile pages. So far users had the option of choosing between the Timeline and the older format, as per their liking. That, however is set to change with the Timeline being made compulsory now.
Timeline compulsory from next week
Timeline, essentially allows users to view their lives as on Facebook in chronological order, dotted with pictures, posts, videos, et al. All the events in the life of the user, and the content he or she has posted, right from the date of creating the profile, are neatly arranged in chronology, almost as if they’re telling a story, which is essentially what Facebook intended to do with Timeline.
Not all users like the idea of adopting the Timeline and sure enough, this compulsory transition is bound to face stiff resistance. The Telegraph quoted one user as saying, "I’m sorry but this is rubbish. I’m surprised Facebook hasn’t included a compulsory DNA profile section (default to public obviously)”.
Late in January this year, there were similar reports about Facebook giving users a week's time to make the scheduled switch from their old profiles to the one with the Timeline. At the time, we had cited an official blog post by Paul McDonald on The Facebook blog. In his post, he said, "Last year we introduced timeline, a new kind of profile that lets you highlight the photos, posts and life events that help you tell your story. Over the next few weeks, everyone will get timeline. When you get timeline, you'll have 7 days to preview what's there now. This gives you a chance to add or hide whatever you want before anyone else sees it".
Today morning, we had carried a report about Facebook revealing in a regulatory filing that there are about 83.09 million fake accounts on Facebook. This number marks a huge leap from the number of fake accounts that Facebook made public in March - between 42.25 million and 50.70 million. Facebook, according to this report, is being more transparent about the fake accounts it is targetting. Earlier Facebook listed only two categories of fake accounts - duplicate users and false users. It has now recategorised them into duplicate accounts (4.8 percent), misclassified accounts (2.4 percent), and undesirable accounts (1.5 percent).

Related Post:

The Most-Viewed Photo of All Time :: Bliss


Ever wonder what the most viewed photograph of all time is? One leading candidate is Bliss, the photograph chosen by Microsoft to be the default wallpaper of Windows XP. Showing rolling green hills in Sonoma County, California, the image was shot by the side of a highway by professional photographer Charles O’Rear using a medium format camera. It has reportedly been viewed by over 1 billion people since it first emerged in 2002.

It’s unknown exactly how much money Bill Gates shelled out for rights to the photograph, but O’Rear has stated that the price was “extraordinary” (guesses, anyone?).
If you’re interested in paying a visit to the location, look up the address 3101 Fremont Dr. (Sonoma Hwy.), Sonoma, CA. The hill’s exact coordinates are 38.250124,-122.410817.
You won’t be the first though: many photographers have journeyed to the spot to recreate the iconic image. Here are some pictures shot at the same location:

Captured by Simon Goldin on November 26, 2006

Captured by Tony Immoos on May 2, 2010

Captured by Google Street View on May 19, 2011

Bliss (via Morts Lindholm via Mashable via HUH via PetaPixel)

August 3, 2012

25 Best Free Blogger Templates Of 2012 List


Flexor Magazine - Pro Blogger Template

Flexor Magazine has a three column design with a right sidebar.A featured slider and fixed read more with two columns of post on the home page are among the features
Pro Blogger Template

Unite - Pro Magazine Blogger Template

Unite has a professional magazine design.A drop down navigation menu in the header is followed by a full width featured slider.

Pro Magazine Blogger Template

Portfolio - Minimal Gallery Blogger Template

A great template for portfolio and photo blogs with a minimal design.A two column layout with a white color scheme.

Portfolio - Minimal Gallery Blogger Template

Gadget Web - Technology Blogger Template

A great design for your Gadget or Technology blogs.A stylish magazine design with fixed read more and thumbnail display on the home page.

Technology Blogger Template

Metapami Magazine - Dark Retro Blogger Template

A pure magazine template with a dark color scheme.A 2 column with right sidebar layout the features include a full width slideshow.

Dark Retro Blogger Template

Simple Red - Three Column Magazine Template

This is a bright 3 column template with 2 right sidebars.The design is professional with a beautiful slider and much more.

Simple Red - Three Column Magazine Template

Lummoxie - Fluid Blogger Template

Lummoxie has a fluid width retro design.Custom fonts and special post date and comments displays are among the features.

Fluid Blogger Template

Music Plus - Music Theme Blogger Template

This template has a design for Music themed blogs.A modern dark design with image slider and more.

Music Theme Blogger Template

Hector - Gallery Magazine Blogger Template

The Hector template has a huge image gallery slideshow with static gadgets section below.Other features include numbered page navigation and four footer columns.

Gallery Magazine Blogger Template

Mangos - Magazine Blogger Template

The Mangos template has a full width featured posts image slideshow.The home page posts have a magazine style fixed rad more.Other features include a drop down menu and numbered page navigation.

Magazine Blogger Template

JEmber - Advanced Gallery Blogger Template

This gallery template is packed with features.A special grid and list view option on the home page and posts by label lists are two of the unique features.

JEmber - Advanced Gallery Blogger Template

Church - Religion Theme Blogger Template

The Church template is designed for religious blogs.Different religious images give it a holy feel.

Religion Theme Blogger Template

Abstract Vector - Colorful Blogger Template

This is a colorful retro template.The template has a featured slideshow and three footer columns.

Colorful Blogger Template

X7 Black - Unique Grunge Blogger Template

This template really has a very unique design.A dark color scheme with large bold sections.The header has a fixed scroll feature.

Unique Grunge Blogger Template

Casino Nights - Gambling Theme Blogger Template

This template has a classic gambling style for poker, betting and gambling blogs.

Gambling Theme Blogger Template

Elite Minima - Free Premium Blogger Template

This is a minimal design template for your Blogger blogs.The main color is white with lots of features and a professional design.

Free Prmium Blogger Template

London Creative - Portfolio Gallery Template

This is a great looking design.Another Gallery or Photo blog layout with a bold color scheme.

London Creative - Portfolio Gallery Template

iPhone4S - Technology Theme Blogger Template

This templates design is based around the iPhone.With different iPhone, Apple and app imagery.
Technology Theme Blogger Template

Weight Loss - Health Theme Blogger Template

This is a health and weight loss themed template.A bright design with a two column layout.
Health Theme Blogger Template

JK - Professional News Site Blogger Template

This template has the classic news blog design.Posts or latest news are displayed in a number of ways including tickers and gadgets.

JK - Professional News Site Blogger Template

Design Office - Office Theme Blogger Template

This is a stylish template with an office theme.A featured slideshow and footer columns are among the features.

Office Theme Blogger Template

Kiosk - Blogger Shopping Store Enabled Template

As the name suggests this template is set up to act your online store.It has a bright design with a shopping cart and is PayPal enabled.

Kiosk - Blogger Shopping Store Enabled Template

Colorite Design - Bright Magazine Blogger Template

This is a very colorful abstract Blogger template.A two column layout with right sidebar and magazine style.

Bright Magazine Blogger Template

Gossip Show - Celebrity Theme Blogger Template

This template is set up for your Celebrity Gossip blogs.A bright 2 column design with a featured posts slider and auto read more and thumbnails on the home page.

Celebrity Theme Blogger Template

Game Zone - Gaming Magazine Blogger Template

This is a gaming themed template with a magazine design.The template is packed with features and ads ready.
Gaming Magazine Blogger Template

That's the list thanks to all the designers and make sure to check out more of our Blogger Templates Lists.Have you a favorite ? [via Spiceupyourblog]