About Paul Worthington

Paul Worthington is a journalist and consumer imaging consultant. He produces the annual Future Imaging Summit at PMA@CES, and writes for PMA Newsline and PMA Magazine, as well as other publications.

Yahoo acquires photo startup Cooliris


CoolirisPhoto service Cooliris announced it was acquired by Yahoo.

The company was founded in 2006, with a simulated 3D wall for displaying and browsing photos online. It recently launched an app to look at photos across multiple online sites, and the BeamIt messaging tool.

The buy is more of an acqui-hire according to the Yahoo announcement TechCrunch reports: “In order to build inspiring products, grow engagement, and ultimately revenue, everything starts with having the best people to help us accelerate our transformation in our growth areas.. We are excited to welcome 17 employees from Cooliris to Sunnyvale, where our core communications team is located.”

The full story is here.




Cooliris yahoo

On the PMA Podcast: Measuring image quality with Daniel Grotta

Daniel Grotta

Daniel GrottaFor more than a decade, Daniel Grotta and Sally Wiener Grotta of Digital Benchmarks have reviewed and rated digital cameras. But what are the benchmarks for photography today?
The Grottas tracked the various quality metrics for cameras for years — and Daniel finds the primary consideration for most people nowadays is simply how quickly can they get the shot, and how fast can they share it.
Are other quality considerations obsolete for all but a few shooters? Join us for an interesting discussion of what social, technical, and aesthetic aspects are now affecting imaging.
You can download the podcast or subscribe here.

Or listen in now by clicking on the player:

Technology News Digest #2



There’s too much tech news to keep up with yourself — so let us do it for you!

The new Top Ten Today-Tech digest provides a brief look at only the most interesting or important items of the week.

This weeks headlines include:
Robots on Patrol
Intel, Samsung back faster wireless connectivity
No hands required: type your thoughts
Police test networked guns
Motorola will find your phone
Pilot-free helicopter fights wildfires
Wearable dialysis device for kidney patients
You can read the full free briefing here.



PhotoTime automatically tags and groups photos



The developers at Orbeus claim their free PhotoTime app will give you a photographic memory — sort of.

“The human brain is an amazing thing,” they say. “But computers have definitely got us beat in memory and indexing” Two crucial skills for managing your photos in the age of digital photography, in which an estimated 880 billion photos are taken every year. A few hundred (or thousand) of those will probably be yours. That’s a lot for one human brain to process.”

Orbeus says it detects race, emotion, age, and gender, and automatically groups the same faces to label friends and family. Its scene recognition determines the context and settings of images and , automatically generates and tags searchable keywords.

PhotoTime then automatically organizes, sorts and tags all your photos. It “integrates with your iPhone Camera Roll, social networks and cloud services to automatically organize, sort and tag your photos. Instead of struggling to remember (or guess-and-checking) where you’ve stored a specific photo, then scrolling through every image in that album until you find it… you can simply type the name of the person, place, location or concept you’re looking for, and voilà!”

There’s a demonstration video here.

And there’s more information here.

Hiring the right employees

Business Success Logo

Business Success LogoHaving the right staff is vital to the success of any business, writes executive coach Jay Katz. He provides four tips for “to help small businesses reduce the uncertainty inherent in the hiring process.”

1. Idealize the fit. An ideal candidate will need to have certain abilities and qualifications. That person also needs to work well with you and your other staff.

2. Starting the employment with a three or six month probationary period.

3. Ask some non-standard, open-ended questions that will really identify the work style and fit that you want.

4. Understand your Gen Y applicants. Millennials are quickly changing the way we interact with each other and conduct business.

For the full details on each tip, read the story here.

Sony stabilizes full-frame mirrorless camera

sony 5-axis

sony 5-axis

Sony updated its A7 mirrorless camera, saying it now offers the first full-frame ILC with a 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system.

The 5-axis system compensates for yaw, pitch, roll, and vertical and horizontal motion, and Sony says it will yield 4.5 stops of stabilization correction. As the Imaging Resource notes, Olympus first debuted a 5-axis system — and with Sony’s investment in Olympus, it could be using similar technology.

The A7 II has the same 24-megapixel sensor as its predecessor, but with a 30 percent faster focus speed and 1.5x better tracking. It is currently official only in Japan.

: On 11/26, Sony widely announced the camera, and will ship it in the US mid-December for $1700.

Flickr decorates walls

flickr wall art

flickr wall art

Yahoo’s Flickr photo sharing site says it is now “bringing the best photographers from around the world to your walls.”

The service will sell large prints of more than 50 million “freely-licensed Creative Commons images” and selected collections from Flickr’s licensed artists. (Artists retain 51 percent of net sales, TechCrunch reported.)

Among the images now available are “interstellar dreamscapes from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center” with infrared solar flares, “gaseous galaxies in deep space, and beautiful satellite images of our earthly home.”

This follows the October debut of personal photo “Wall Art” prints. Sizes range from 8×10 to 20×30-inches.

“Smartphone Mums” risk losing memories

nero Moms

nero Moms

In London, imaging software developer Nero says its research shows “44 percent of this first generation of ‘smartphone mums’ admit that they would lose all of their photos if their phone was lost or broken.”

The study found 92 percent of UK mothers use smartphones to photograph their children, and 49 percent believe social media pages are the safest place to store photos, the company adds.

One-fifth “complain they have lost a treasured digital photo.”

“We would urge parents not to play roulette with precious memories when backing up securely is such an easy and simple thing to do,” Nero says. “Children grow up so fast that losing even a small amount of images can cut out a large chunk of a child’s life. Backing up is simple and easy, so there really is no excuse to forget.” (Yes, they sell back-up utilities — but the general idea is true of all “mums,” and hey, many other young mothers too.)


JVC offers Micro Four Thirds camcorder with 4K resolution

jvc 4k cam

jvc 4k cam

JVC says its “palm-sized camera with professional features …makes ultra-high definition 4K economical for cinematographers, webcasters and broadcasters, corporate and live event production teams, and independent filmmakers.”

The GY-LS300 compact camcorder features a Micro Four Thirds lens mount, “to accommodate the largest variety of lenses and adapters without compromising image quality and lens characteristics,” the company adds. It has a Super 35 sensor, as well as a 3.5-inch display with smart focus assist. It’s $4,450 for the body, available in March.

More information is here.


Google advances image recognition

google image pizza

google image pizza

I don’t know about you, but now I want pizza.

On its Research Blog, scientists at Google who are “building a natural description of images” report they’ve improved the automatic accurate description of a complex scene.

“People can summarize a complex scene in a few words without thinking twice,” they write. “It’s much more difficult for computers. But we’ve just gotten a bit closer — we’ve developed a machine-learning system that can automatically produce captions to accurately describe images the first time it sees them.”

How? By merging “recent computer vision and language models into a single jointly trained system, taking an image and directly producing a human readable sequence of words to describe it.”

The researchers add that the system could “eventually help visually impaired people understand pictures, provide alternate text for images in parts of the world where mobile connections are slow, and make it easier for everyone to search on Google for images.”

The full report is here.