Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Shutterfly Buys LIfeTouch For $825M

Interesting acquisition. 

It's a good deal, right? The US leader in consumer photo print products, Shutterfly, buys the US leader in professional photo print products, Lifetouch, for $825M, less than 1 x Lifetouch's annual revenues of $964M. Lifetouch caters to professional photographers who provide their services at schools, churches, and portrait studios - markets that are complementary to Shutterfly's. Lifetouch is also profitable with EBITDA of $111M. Shutterfly's revenues will almost double in the short term, and over time I expect the companies will integrate operations, which should produce significant cost savings. It's no surprise that yesterday Shutterfly's stock shot up by 19%.”

Read the full article here on VISUAL1ST

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Photo Print Market is Booming

Market Research Future has published a report on photo printing, The global market of Photo Printing is booming. A surprising spectacular growth is projected by 2022. 
The Global Printing Market is driven by smartphones and Camera Apps.

Photo Printing Movers and Shakers
The Eastman Kodak Company (U.S.), Cimpress N.V. (Netherlands), Shutterfly, Inc. (U.S.), Snapfish (U.S.), Bay Photo Lab (U.S.), Digitalab (U.K.), AdorPix LLC (U.S.), Mpix (U.S.), ProDPI (U.S.), Canvera  (India), Photojaanic (India), Photobox (U.K), Jessops Europe Ltd.(U.K), Walgreen Co. (U.S), District Photo are some of the prominent players profiled in MRFR Analysis and are at the forefront of competition in the Global Photo Printing Market.

Monday, January 29, 2018

What Came First?

Funny how startups can get money when they don't need it. Brutal when they do. I was struggling with this years back, so I asked an expert. 

"What came first, the chicken or the egg?" I asked my daughter when she was 5. "The chicken," she replied. "Why?" I asked. "Because you said chicken first." Now she's a computer programmer. 

Strava Helps Mountain Bikers Avoid Soldiers

Strava, the popular fitness App for tracking running routes, released a new version with global heatmapping in November. The good news, or bad news, depending on your point of view is that the heat mapping reveals the location of soldiers at isolated military installations. The military is probably not to thrilled with this, but it's great news for mountain bikers hoping to avoid harassment from special forces. 
To be fair, it is not just Strava. These bases are clearly mappable with standard global heatmapping mobile tech.

Best Blog Technology

I need to start another Blog about Service Side Swift in the Cloud. I have some experience with WIX and with Blogger of course, but I wanted to understand how best to build a Blog for Developers.

So I went for a bike ride, and then spent the entire day researching the best blogging technology. I've become some kind of an expert at this now. Not fun but I believe it was worth it.

 1. Blogger is great, but too primitive for advanced Blogs. I may switch Best Camera to my winner.

 2. Medium is beautiful and well designed,  but they own your content. Medium is a social media version of Wordpress.  It's great for gaining exposure. Initially you will get more visitors than on your own site. But they no longer let you have your own url. Not much customization. Every article basically looks the same. No branding. 

 3. WIX Blog is powerful but it is not good for programmers. No Code Block feature. A show stopper.

 4. Github Wiki is too technical and in your face with GitHub stuff. And they own it.

 5. Site builder is slow. I think they throttle it unless you pay more.

 6. does not have a great editor for blogs.

 7. Weebly is too simple. But good for beginners.

And then I stumbled onto GoDaddy. A stupid domain site. But now they host WordPress for you. It's easy to get started. They have a dashboard for installing and hosting WordPress, and the cost is pretty good.

But WordPress has a ton of themes to choose from. The default blog themes they suggest with their wizard were worthless. What I wanted was something clean and beautiful and similar to  No stupid side bar. I was getting discouraged when I found a theme called Wanderer. It's intelligent. It's like medium but better in some ways. No need for a constant side bar on this Blog because the menu, upper right slides out. You are able to build beautiful posts (real articles of value). Wordpress with Wanderer is cool!  Plenty of features for coders to write articles. I get nothing for telling you about this theme. I've never been a fan of WordPress until now.

So my Blog tech winner is GoDaddy with WordPress hosted and the Wanderer Theme. 

Here's some stats about Wordpress that I did not know:

*  WordPress powers almost 27 percent of the entire internet.
*  WordPress blogs receive 46.6 million comments per month.
*  There are more than 47,000 WordPress plugins.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Swift for Android Prediction

Google is being sued for billions for using Java for Android Apps. Apple’s Swift is open source. Google recently hired Chris Lattner, one of the inventors of Swift. 

Best Camera predicts Android Swift frameworks supported by Google, similar to server side swift frameworks. Swift will become the cross platform full stack language developers have been hoping for. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

iPhone Photography School

Here's a great site that teaches better photography with your iPhone. It talks about the best photography Apps, Photo Editing, Accessories, and more. Definitely worth checking out. Amazing what you can do with your mobile camera.


Google Photos App

With the iPhone or Android  version, you are able to store an unlimited number of high-quality photos in your Google account.  The App includes an album assistant and some pretty basic photo editing features. There’s a smart search for finding objects, places and events. 

There’s a slick slide show feature for showing off your photos. There is a way to label people in your saved photos. A bit of a Facebook tag idea. 

Using Google Takeout, you can easily download all of your photos. They are your photos 
after all. 

One problem I encountered is that it just starts backing up all your photos and tells you to leave the App open. But what if you don’t want all your photos backed up?

Here’s how to disable all your photos from being auto backed up to your google account. 

1) launch Google Photos
2) Hurry and tap the menu icon top left
3) Tap settings icon at the top 
4) Tap Back up & Sync and toggle it off.  Whew...

*Note, while using Google Photos it got stuck unable to login to an account and was unable to switch accounts. Deleting and reinstalling did not help. The App rendered itself useless. Therefore this ends my review of Google Photos for now. Perhaps they will fix it. 

Well, after much trial and error, I finally got Google Photos working again. I had to use the Google Drive App to add another account. What a pain. 

I did find one useful feature in Google Photos for use with Blogger from an iPad. Posting photos to a Blogger blog from an iPad is the mystery of the ages. Most people revert back to a desktop. However, with Google Photos, there is a way, at least for now.  The trick is to select a photo in Google Photos, and then do a "Backup" not an "Archive". Then in Blogger, you will see your backed up photo under "From your phone" when  adding a new photo. That's quite a mystery solved.  I hope this helps you iPad or iPhone Bloggers. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

What makes them successful?

App developers find themselves asking, what makes those people successful? So they look at the characteristics of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Bill Joy, Larry Ellison and the rest. But in his book OutliersMalcolm Gladwell found that where they came from was more important. He found something fascinating. The people he studied had at least 10,000 hours writing code. The leaders in the tech industry were first programmers or engineers. His book makes you ask the question. Do you have your 10,000 hours of training in your field?

In his book The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil,  there is some facinating advice. Kurzweil has been trying to teach entrepreneurs how to Leverage exponential technologies through his efforts with Singularity University, a school for entrepreneurs he co-founded with Peter Diamandis. The name technological singularity, is a term coined by sci-fi author Vernor Vinge whereby a super intelligence will arise that exceeds what humans can do in terms of thinking and even logic. 

In Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, The book captures the complexity of a man who could be a tyrant, an emotional wreck and a brilliant visionary. It was his technical background that made him clever. Wozniak admired Jobs's work.  "He did the creative stuff.  He realized how he could build the same thing a lot simpler and better.  It was engineering."

It seems that when you look close at the super successful, they each have a technical background. A young App developer of today could easily become the next super star. With a little luck, and surrounded by the right people anything is possible for those with a technical background. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Self Replicating Solar Panels

Now this would be smart energy. 
Instead of rocketing solar panels into orbit, we could program them to make copies of themselves. The panels could grow exponentially, covering the an area the size of California within a year. Orbiting panels have sunlight 24/7. They could gather their materials from the Moon.

We need energy. That would be a fun project to program. What fun that would be!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Original Right to Invent

One of the most valuable individual rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution is the right of "inventors" to own "the exclusive right" to their "discoveries" for "limited times." This right was set forth in Article I, Section 8, years before the rights to freedom of speech and religion were added.

But in 2011, that right was decimated with the American Inventions Act for the benefit of large corporations. 

Here’s a good article

Saturday, January 13, 2018

End of the World

The end of the world as we know it is approaching. But unlike doomsday proponents like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, I'm in the group of Ray Kurzweil and Steve Jobs. Artificial Intelligence is just another tool. 
The technological singularity is where our tools become smarter than we are. But that has already happened in many ways. Humans are not able to compute as fast as a basic computer. We cannot memorize the worlds entire knowledge. We are not able to  communicate across the world by yelling. Our machines and communication technologies are already smarter than we are at many things. Our cell phones make us smarter and safer.
So the next step is what has been called the technological singularity,  that point where machines are smarter than humans at reasoning. 
This idea of smart machines is not new. In the 1960s British mathematician I.J. Goode wrote the following,  “Let an ultra-intelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultra-intelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind.”
But intelligence is not inherently evil. It is the opposite. Creativity and knowledge have moved man forward. But with he the singularity it will be the end of the world, for the better. It could be mans only hope of survival.
Can you imagine Mobile Apps connected to real artificial intelligence? We will finally learn to fly and explore beyond our wildest imaginations. But imagination is what is making this possible. 

The Dawn of Singularity

Friday, January 12, 2018

Words for writing

I was wondering about how to improve my writing when I had an idea. How can I make what I write more absorbing. I want posts that are brilliant and honest. But also gripping, funny and fluid.  A magic labryrinth that resonates and educates.

Well I stumbled onto this site with words to use in your writing. It’s ... insightful.

Don’t just write in black and white, try to add some color. So I’ll try show and not just tell.

Click here for brilliant words for writing

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Emergency SOS from iPhone

This is a good idea from Apple! It's free. 

In the event of an emergency, you are able to quickly summon help to your location. Follow this link for instruction on use from your phone. 

When you make an emergency SOS,  your iPhone automatically calls the local emergency number. 
After an emergency call ends, your iPhone alerts your emergency contacts with a text message that includes your current location. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

IPRs on trial

Hoping for a win for developers, inventors and artists. Patents were built into the fabric of the Constitution.

                                                                     Supreme Court & IPRs

Sunday, January 7, 2018

AI Tech

Artificial Intelligence could bring the world it's greatest prosperity. But AI could also find the cures for diseases at exponential rates by predicting outcomes of complex organic chemistry reactions using neural sequence-to-sequence models. IBM has been working on AI science for decades and the tide is rising. This is exciting.

Besides AI Science, there is also AI Engineering and AI Tech. AI Tech includes natural language processing, speech and image recognition, neural networks, and knowledge of reasoning. 

This will lead to even more advanced Mobile Apps with onboard solutions and through connecting to the worlds super computers for distributed deep learning.  

Best Camera predicts that 2018 will be a year of astounding AI advances. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Best Camera Apps for 2018

IOS paid with in-apps

This App has features that make you look like a pro

  1. Dual-Lens Support
  2. proTimer
  3. Selfie Camera
  4. 3D Tiltmeter
  5. RAW Photos
  6. Slow motion

IOS Android. paid

Nice for people of any skill level

  1. Solid exposure control
  2. Raw
  3. Light meter
  4. Manual focus
  5. 3D Level
  6. Light painting

IOS Android Free

Not a fancy camera but plenty of after editing features

  1. Tools and Filters
  2. Raw
  3. Text
  4. Healing
  5. Vintage
  6. Double exposure

IOS Android, Free In-apps

Basic camera. Clean interface an integration

  1. Photo Editing
  2. Sharing
  3. Presets
  4. Free Add-ons
  5. Connect

Obscura Camera
IOS paid

Full featured manual camera

  1. Focus & Exposure
  2. Manual ISO
  3. Shutter speed
  4. Raw
  5. Filters
  6. White balance presets