Leap Motion + Fleksy is Genius Typing in the Air

A post showed up on Engadget this morning that caught my eye.

Laser projected virtual keyboardsSo 2004. These days, tech firms are dreaming up completely invisible typewriters, or at least Syntellia is. By marrying a Leap Motion sensor with its own Fleksy predictive keyboard, the company has created a system that seems to let you type on thin air


Yet another crazy-cool thing coming out of SXSW this year. You might say I predicted this. Last week I wrote posts about each of these companies and how I was excited about the work they are doing. I ended my Leap Motion post remarking on the promising future the miniscule device has. I suggested it could read sign language and allow people with arthritis to control computers without the joint pain, to control of a television without a remote.

Fleksy_LogoThen, in my Fleksy post I suggested ways Fleksy could make the move out of touchscreen devices and incorporated into computers. I wrote specifically how it could be used to speed up typing and allow a dramatic increase in accuracy.

But what I neglected to put together was what would happen if Fleksy worked with Leap Motion. Well, turns out they were already thinking about this and have announced Fleksy integration with Leap Motion, and it’s pretty brilliant. Imagine controlling your AppleTV with the Leap Motion, swiping in the air through videos and songs. When it came time to do a search in the Netflix app, you’d have the ability to simply type in the air using Fleksy integration instead of the traditional, and painfully slow, method of input with the AppleTV onscreen keyboard.

I’m not sure if I’m a genius for thinking abstractly of these two ideas or dense for not thinking of combining the two. Either way I’m even more looking forward to the delivery of my Leap Motion. Apple being the silo that it is, we might have to work with some XMBC hackers to get the above integration working but it would be worth it.

My Photography Site, Reborn

Photography is something that I am absolutely passionate about. I’m can’t think of a legitimate reason for why I don’t write about photography and art here on my site but perhaps that is something I need to look into. Meanwhile, I did want to let you guys know that my photography site is finally back online.

Back in 2008 I started my photoblog/gallery Piczar Photo. It was a pun on the obvious, Pixar, and the idea of being a “Photography Czar”. I think the joke was mostly lost on visitors to the site but that didn’t stop them from visiting. Between 2008 and 2011 my photography site found around 5,000 hits a month. Not a huge amount of traffic but enough to keep me posting regularly. Being in an active photography program at the University of Missouri certainly helped as well.

Sometime in 2010 my site was hit with a massive amount of traffic. I’m not sure if it was StumbleUpon or Reddit or a bot net but the traffic managed to corrupt my site’s PixelPost database and spell the end of Piczar Photo. I tried to relaunch it as part of It’s Just Justin but ultimately felt it was important to keep my photography posts distinct from the posts you find on this blog.

Well after years of dormancy, my site is back up and with a new motto, “Photography without filter.” Take that Instagram hehe. It is no longer Piczar Photo (that URL will forward eventually) but it’s back and it’s sort of better than ever. I’m now on a WordPress installation instead of PixelPost and my site has a responsive design (go ahead, resize the window). It isn’t perfect but I’m always working to make it better. If you haven’t already checked it out, here’s some of my latest work:

I am doing my best to upload a new photo at least once a week and sometimes I get on a crazy kick and get a photo up each day. I hope you find the time to visit the site at either PicsJust.in or JustinMooreScott.com. I would be remiss if I didn’t say thanks to David for helping me record a basic template to make the site fit my needs. David had a more hands-off approach this time around which is why it isn’t perfect but it would have been a mess had he not been so kind as to look at and help modify some code.

Right now I’m uploading photos from my trip to the Middle East and sprinkling in a few photos from other adventures. If you want to keep up with my photography, subscribe to my photo RSS feed and remember you can always click the Photography link at the top of It’s Just Justin.

As I have done with every site I run, this site features Livefyre for comments. Comments on my photography are incredibly important to me and how I grow my art. Back in college I had critiques with a professor and fellow students. Their insight and guidance helped direct me into the style of photography I shoot these days. It was truly invaluable. I hope you find the time and are able to share your thoughts on my work.

Apple Releases Aperture 3

I think I’m in love.

Apple released their third generation of their professional image management software, Aperture.  Aperture 1 was the first of it’s kind, a real photo management system that handled large libraries of raw files and  allowed it’s users unprecedented access and mobility through their image library.

But really, it was little more than iPhoto with some bells and whistles.  Aperture 2 came out with dozens of improvements and new features including major speeds increases, plugins and support for dozens of new raw file formats.

Aperture 3 is built on Apple’s 64bit codebase so we should expect even greater speed increases as well as greater stability.  It now handles video files which is very exciting to me and any photographer who is looking into transitioning into multimedia.  Wedding photographers are especially subject to this shift, responsible for shooting the stills and video of a wedding with the flip of a switch on their Canon 7D or 5DMII cameras.  Nikon… yeah, where are you with this?

For the first time, Aperture has ever feature that iPhoto has, well, for as long as until iLife ’10 comes out.  Places and Faces are finally in Aperture as well as native Facebook and Flickr integration.

Non-destructive brushes and U Point style technology of editing, which made Nik Software’s Viveza a huge hit, is built right in to the application.   Don’t forget the new a smoother workflow, increased organization techniques, largely due to Faces and Places integration and import actions.

I requested my Aperture 3 license today and hope to receive it soon so I can try out the latest iteration of my favorite photo management system.  On second thought, Photo Management System, PMS, might be the wrong classification.  Almost as bad as the iPad…

Adobe released Lightroom 3 beta a few months ago.  I gave it a try, substituting Aperture 2 for Lightroom 3 for over a month.  In the end, Aperture 2 proved to me to be a better solution for me so I can only imagine how great Aperture 3 will be.

Come on Apple, send me that License! Hopefully it will come in time for me to build my presentation for PS Gallery!

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Exclusive! Fusion Garage Ripped Off JooJoo

I’m sure you’ve read about the controversy behind the Crunchpad, CrunchGear, Fusion Garage, Michael Arrington and Chandra Rathakrishnan.

Here’s a brief breakdown and then I’ll get into my absolute exclusive, breaking news story.

Michael Arrington and his blog CrunchGear had this idea of an Internet tablet.  He has an incredible pull in the tech industry with production companies, advertisers, publishers, the whole deal.  Arrington had this idea of an internet connected, totally open source tablet that would allow a user to have a total web experience without the big computer.  Most of your web experience doesn’t require a mouse or keyboard, really.  A multitouch screen, like that on the iPhone, has proven this.

Of course, Apple has a rumored tablet coming out too.  But lucky for Arrington, the Apple tablet, if it is indeed real, would be in a totally different market.  Arrington wanted the Crunchpad to cost around or les than $200.  There simply isn’t any way Apple would meet that.  When their tablet comes out, if it does exist, look for one at least $800.

Just days ago, Arrington broke the news that the company he had teamed up with to build the Crunchpad had bailed on him, that they planned to release the device without his backing and that lawsuits were pending.

Rathakrishnan, of Fusion Garage, the company behind the actual creation of the Crunchpad had a lot to say about this.  Here are his claims, which actually sound pretty legit.

  1. Arrington and CrunchGear had no contracts with Fusion Garage
  2. Fusion Garage was already working on bringing a tablet to market
  3. Fusion Garage owns all the intellectual property for the device
  4. The tablet would be released by Fusion Garage
  5. Arrington never had any formal, written, legal agreement with Fusion Garage or Rathakrishnan to engineer, build, sell the tablet.
  6. The understanding was Arrington would buy Fusion Garage and with it the Crunchpad but until he did so, had no rights to the device or its IP

His argument is pretty interesting.  If Arrington (a lawyer) didn’t sign any contracts and had no formal agreements, prior art, etc… he’s pretty much SOL.

So what about the name?  Arrington definitely owns the rights to Crunchpad.  Whatever will Fusion Garage sell this device as and for what amount?

It’s the JooJoo, which means magic and you’ll be able to buy it for $500.

It’s got a sleek, elegant, industrial design it plays back 1080p video, built in WiFi, five hour battery life, 5gb of built in storage and I want one.

However… upon closer inspection, something didn’t seem right.

I got to thinking about tablets and when I first heard such a thing and that’s when I realized, Fusion Garage totally, and I mean TOTALLY, ripped off the JooJoo from someone else.  Someone with a higher power at his side, even higher than Arrington if you can believe it.  I even have a photograph of the original tablet with two prototypes!  The first two were destroyed  after a lackluster adoption by the masses…

I give to you, the original “JooJoo” tablets.

Behold, the original JewJew tablets as modeled by the Fusion Garage of 1441 BC.  We all know the story of Moses, leader of the Jews, and his creation of the tablets with the intellectual property loaned to him by God.

Think of it this way. Michael Arrington is to God as Chandra Rathakrishnan is to Moses.  I’m pretty sure this will take the technology world by storm.  Look out CNet, ValleyWag, Engadget, Gizmodo and yes, even TechCrunch/Crunchgear.

You learned of this vast conspiracy here first.  Spread the word!

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When Google Enters a Market…

We all knew this day would come and we all knew when it did it would bring the usuals, namely the price of free.

Google announced it would release a free, GPS navigation app with turn-by-turn navigation for Android with the promise that they have an iPhone version in the works.

So what happened to Garmin and TomTom today?

Google Rules, Garmin and TomTom drool

Google Rules, Garmin and TomTom drool

Garmin dropped 14%, TomTom 36%.

Google went up nearly 10%!

All of this on the heels of TomTom releasing their $200+ GPS navigation system for the iPhone.  Oops much?

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Disqus the Disappointment

UPDATE: And just like that, Gianni at Disqus has my comments imported and everything works.  Fantastic.  A testament to Disqus and their support staff.  Resolved the problem less than an hour after I blogged about it! – Turns out not so lucky, click here to learn why.

Yesterday I shared my ultimately negative experience with the blog comment system, IntenseDebate.  The system was at first promising, before it fell flat on it’s face with a beautiful front end but clunky backend, inability to properly manage logins and artificially limiting features.  You can read more about why, just click back to that post.

So I switched back to Disqus, the commenting system I tried out a couple of years ago before ultimately abandoning it.  The early versions of Disqus wouldn’t synchronize comments with the WordPress database.  If Disqus ever went away, so did your comments.

I installed the latest Disqus as a plugin for the latest version of WordPress.  I rand the installation, followed the directions to import my comments and this is what happened and continues to happen.

No comments are imported! I went to Twitter and talked to @Disqus a few weeks ago.  I even emailed them about the problem and they said they’d take care of it.

And yet, still, there are no comments from my previous posts.  They all still exist in my blog, you can see there are over 1,600 of them.

If I go to Disqus to see my comments, only five show up!

There is certainly no way I can really review Disqus until I get it to actually work.  I really want to like the system and the people behind it.  They have been so quick to send help my way, even on this blog, but sadly the help never fixes the problem.

For right now though, Disqus is just a disappointment.  Even more so than IntenseDebate.  At least that would import my comments…

So why not discuss this Disqus problem but logging your comments on the form below.  See, any new post and any new comments show up just fine. It’s those pesky historical comments and conversations that never showed up to the party.

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Nikon D700 ISO Experiments

My friend Zack (@zackluye) just got the new, beautiful, Canon 7D.  This thing takes the most incredible video you ever did see, for under $2k!  It got me all in a mess.  I have this amazing Nikon D700 which has the insides of a Nikon D3 with a smaller outside.  Yeah it’s missing some of the features of the D3 but it also has a few that the D3 doesn’t have.  In the end, it takes identical photos as the D3, same chip, same processor, same images.

I went to Internet to read about the 7D, the Canon 5D Mark II, Nikon D700, D3, D3X and D3S and, to my surprise, I left happy.  I was expecting to read that the 5D and 7D have lower image quality than the D700 but shoot amazing video. Got that.

The Canon 5D Mark II has a full frame sensor but doesn’t handle low light nearly as well as my D700 but shoots at a higher megapixel and does video.  The Canon 7D has the same problem but is aggravated by a smaller sensor so even more noise.  But again, the video? Glorious.

I was expecting to hear that the D3, D3X and D3S all take better pictures than my D700.  NOPE!  While the D3X and D3S take arguably better pictures, there are caveats.

The Nikon D3X has a 24mp sensor that would allow me to print my photos even larger than my current (20×30 inches) which I would love.  But it’s low light performance is ranked below my D700 and it costs three times as much (or something like that.)

The Nikon D3S has the same size sensor but ISO sensitivity up to like a babillion. Basically it can shoot in the dark and still get great photos.  At ISO 12,800 the image looks like ISO 6400!  Incredible.

So, after shooting a weekend full of concerts and artists and having to deal with extremely low lighting situations, I decided to run a little ISO test. So check out the image below, click to view it a little larger, there will be a download link for the full size image if you really feel the need for that.

Nikon D700 ISO Experiment

Nikon D700 ISO Experiment click to download the (almost) full resolution image.

I wish I had my Nikon D80 with me right now to run the same test. I’m pretty sure it’s ISO 800 looks like the Nikon D700 at ISO 3200.  The results here are pretty impressive to me and it makes me feel just that much better about my purchase.  It will be a year in January. What shall we do for my Nikon D700 anniversary?!

And as far as shooting HD video? I’ll just keep experimenting with my Kodak Zi8 until I’ve grown up into something better.  Really do hope Nikon comes out with a DSLR that shoots video that competes with the Canon equivalents, with a full frame sensor and doesn’t cost a fortune

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