Encrypting pictures and video to secure them from prying eyes is a simple process with this easy-to-use utility, but it didn't turn out to be as flexible as it claimed during our tests.
Picture and Video Encrypt launches a small, unadorned but functional and easy-to-comprehend interface that's mostly taken up by a pane for listing filenames. There's no detailed Help feature, but figuring out how to use this app is a simple matter: you just click Add, select a file, then click Protect (or Unprotect, if you're decrypting a file).
This app worked fine in our … Read more
How well does the face recognition feature built into iPhoto '09 work? CNET News reporter Ina Fried put it through the paces and she shares her impressions, including a few funny misses. That, plus the headlines of the day, on Thursday's CNET News Daily Podcast.Listen now: Download today's podcast
Face recognition technology isn't perfect yet.
That's certainly clear when using the "Faces" feature that is built into the recently released iPhoto '09.
Sure, the product does reasonably well at finding your friends and family in your photo collection. Tag a few photos by name and iPhoto comes up with other suggestions, often recognizing photos that are taken years apart and with vastly different looks. Heck, iPhoto even spotted me when I was a different gender.
The science behind face recognition is complex and still evolving. In general, face recognition software looks for predictable patterns--characteristics and proportions that stay constant from one photograph to another, things like the distance between the eyes or from the eyes to the mouth.
Even with things where the science is today, having help--any help--with the tedious task of tagging photos is welcome. And iPhoto can certainly find plenty of matches in your library, even if it won't spot them all.
But the real genius part is how Apple has made the process fun, even when the results aren't perfect.
Early speech recognition was also hit or miss, but it was painful to have to scream at a computer while it constantly misunderstood what you were trying to say. With face recognition, at least as built into iPhoto, the goofs are what make it fun.
The software frequently suggested that my contemporary friends and family were actually my 80-something cousin, my 90-something great aunt, or both. iPhoto also confused Bill Gates with our friend's 3-year-old. And among the suggestions for former CNET colleague Joris Evers was a shot of Wayne Gretzky that I had taken at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. … Read more
During and after the rollout of the E-30 dSLR, Olympus really pushed the Art Filters feature--a handful of preset special effects--which seemed a bit out of place on a $1,300 dSLR (especially a dSLR that has quite a bit going for it, including very good photo quality and speedy performance).
But in the course of testing the camera I discovered that the Art Filters, or at least some of them, are pretty useful and interesting. Which is another way of saying that they're kind of fun and addictive and completely derailed my completing the review.
More expensive than … Read more
If one cute kid can help sell products, more kids must be better, right?
After debuting its first "rookies" spot last week showing 4-year-old Kylie using Windows Live Photo Gallery to fix her goldfish picture, Microsoft is back with a new spot that shows 7-year-old Alexa using the software to create a panoramic photo.
Microsoft is clearly trying to convince us its software is so easy that a kid can master it.
It's not a bad strategy. But I'm a little surprised it's are back at it with Photo Gallery. The first ad was pretty … Read more
Microsoft's new Windows ad made its expected debut over the weekend, with a 4-year-old cutie named Kylie showing how easy it is to use Windows Live Photo Gallery to edit and share photos.
In the new spot, which debuted during the Grammy Awards Sunday (and is embedded below), Kylie shows how she uses the program to touch up her photo and then share it with … Read more
Just got an e-mail from Alexander Turcic over at MobileRead.
Turcic, based in Switzerland, writes:
I hope you are doing fine. Got some news regarding Kindle 2 price and release info, plus the first Kindle 2 pics.
According to the post, the Kindle 2, which is expected to be announced Monday at 10 a.m. in New York, will be available on February 24 and carry a list price of $359--just like its predecessor. All in all, the device looks similar to what we saw in earlier leaked photos, but in these shots the Kindle 2 looks sleeker and decidedly more impressive. While we have no confirmation that this is the real deal, these look like marketing shots if I ever saw them.
More photos after the jump. … Read more
Play With Pictures takes one of the most essential image-editing features and expands it into an entire program. It is not a photo editor, at least not in the mold of Photoshop. Play With Pictures takes the cut-and-paste feature and simplifies the process while building out supplementary features for creating online avatars, greetings cards, and other projects that require image mash-ups.
The interface presents a reimagining of the image-editing toolset, gearing users towards projects instead of stand-alone edits. The left nav toolbar even notes the steps needed to take a user from start to finish. Tools are categorized as Start, … Read more