Welcome to the 413th 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!
Andrew's surgery (tonsillectomy
and adenoidectomy) went very well. It is amazing how resilient kids can
be. He's hardly complained about any pain, and is anxious to eat regular
foods and go out and play. Lisa's having a hard time keeping him inside.
She's a great mom... she can do it!
I was "this close" (can you see how close my fingers are together?)
to buying a laptop, but I just can't get myself to do it. I look around the
house and see the huge list of improvements we need, and I just can't get myself
to spend the money. Lisa has said to go for it, but I just can't. Maybe in
Dartmouth Professor Hany Farid already devised software tools to detect
when someone has tampered with digital photos. His next challenge: determining
whether video or audio files have been retouched.
"I thought, "This is going to be so much easier,' but it turns out
to be much harder," Farid said. "In a minute (of) video, you are talking
about thousands of images. Just the sheer mass of data that you have to contend
with is challenging. You have memory and run-time issues that you don't have
with (still) images."
The Dartmouth Image Science Group is also releasing a series of tools that
will enable law enforcement officials, scientists and media outlets to detect
photo fraud more easily, he said.
Has Apple Computer's chief executive, Steve Jobs, found a way to connect
the PC to the TV?
With an enticing invitation proclaiming "It's Showtime," Jobs
last week touched off speculation about how far Apple will go as it takes
its next big step into digital video.
On Tuesday, Apple will hold another of Jobs' marketing events in San Francisco
to introduce what trade publications and analysts indicate will be his next
campaign: an effort to transform the distribution of Hollywood movies as
thoroughly as he has revolutionized the recording industry with the iTunes
The demand for using traditional electrical lines as a medium for broadband
technology in the residential sector is rising worldwide and will continue
to grow, according to a study by market research firm In-Stat.
Broadband service over power lines (BPL), which allows an Internet connection
to be established through a standard electrical outlet, is seen as a potential
rival to coaxial (coax) and twisted-pair wiring, the fixed-line technologies
most commonly used for cable and telephone service, respectively. Incorporating
BPL into a residence or business requires no additional wire installation.
I wrote last week about furthering
your photographic abilities by joining a local camera club or taking a course
at a community college. As I said last week, I found them to be helpful in
my own photography.
This week I offer a tip to aid in focus and composition. I had previously
wrote about using the rule of thirds as
a guideline to your composition. One inherent problem in doing that though
is that your subject ends up being off center, where your camera likes to focus.
If you have selectable focus points, this is not an issue, however, if your
camera only focused on the center area, then you need to use a different method
Of course you can manually focus, but with smaller viewfinders in today's
cameras or no manual focus ability on many digital point and shoot cameras,
you have to utilize the focus lock feature of your digital camera. With this
feature you can point your camera at your subject, press the shutter button
down half way until it is in focus, and then while holding the button down,
recompose your shot to place the subject where you want it in the frame. Shooting
this way will ensure your main subject is in sharp focus, while retaining the
ability of better composed photographs.
One word of caution though, some cameras also lock exposure at the same time
they lock focus, and concentrate their exposure algorithms at the center of
the frame, which could affect you overall exposure. Your camera may allow you
to turn this feature off, so check your manual. Otherwise, you may have to
provide some exposure compensation to attain a good exposure. Good thing for
the instant feedback of digital!
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Google Operating System blog
had a posting recently about a freeware disk defragmenting utility I'd never
heard of before:
Auslogics Disk Defrag is a
freeware for Windows 2000/ XP/ Vista with a simple interface, that runs
much faster than the built-in defragmenter. You can't defragment more than
one partiton at a time or set advanced options, but that also means it's
easy to use. The program doesn't use too many resources, so you can continue
I haven't used it yet, but I wanted to pass the information along. To learn
more, visit the Auslogics web site.
Adobe releases Photoshop Elements 5 and Premiere Elements 3
I received the following press release from Adobe today.
I will post a full review on the product once I receive a review copy.
Adobe Takes Home Videos and Photos to New Level with Landmark Release
of Photoshop Elements Plus Premiere Elements Software Bundle
Integrated Photo and Video Functionality Offers More Ways to Make and Share
Creations Just in Time for the Holidays
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Sept. 12, 2006 - Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced
two milestone upgrades to its digital photo and video products for consumers,
Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 5.0 for Windows® and Adobe Premiere® Elements
3.0 for Windows. The unique integrated functionality of the products allows
users to do more with their photos and videos, whether adding impact to
photo slideshows with video effects and transitions, providing dramatic
pauses to videos with freeze frame effects or creating professional-looking
printed CD/DVD labels and covers.
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.
If any of the links are too long to fit on one line, you may have to cut
To subscribe another address or unsubscribe, please visit http://PCIN.net/ and
follow the appropriate links.
The only way to become a subscriber is by asking. You have either filled
out the subscription form or asked me directly.
If you have a web site or run your own newsletter, please email me at email@example.com and
I will add it to the subscriber web pages that I have on my site.