Facebook Adds New 360 Degree Photo Feature

In the past week, Facebook added the option to take 360 degree photos directly from the Facebook camera.

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This option allows users to either take a full 360 degree photo, or a 180 degree “VR Style” photo. These photos can then be viewed using the screen or gyroscope of the device.

This writer has definitely been having fun using the feature, though be warned it seems to have some bugs yet, artifacts sometimes form when taking pictures due to swift movements.

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Complete stillness is recommended and as always, stay safe.

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Flu Epidemic Hits US With Force

That’s right, epidemic.

The CDC, now closed due to the government shutdown, has declared the current flu strain, an epidemic. With over 30, deaths do far, many of which were young and healthy individuals, the season is not looking positive.

A few weeks ago, the CDC announced that the flu vaccine developers would not be effective against the dominant string this season, H3N2, with an estimated 30 percent effectiveness against the especially deadly strain.

Just before Christmas, a 21-year-old was rushed to the hospital after experiencing symptoms of the flu. The hospital was unable to save him. Just after him, a healthy 10-year-old was taken by the deadly illness.

Despite the low effectiveness rate, the vaccine will still help to reduce the extremity of symptoms and help the body fight the flu should you still catch it.

And on a side note, the vaccine will not give you the flu, that is a mythos supported and spread by groups of anti-vaxxers.

Other ways you can prevent getting or spreading the the flu are:

  • Washing hands before and after eating
  • Get plenty of sleep and fluids
  • Don’t go to work or school sick
  • Wash desktop surfaces, especially if someone in your household is sick
  • Get the flu vaccine

Before the epidemic gets worse, remember to get a flu shot, and stay healthy readers.

New Smart Umbrella Prepares Users For Rain

Ever wish your umbrella could send you reminders to take it with you if it’s going to rain that day?

That’s the idea behind the oombrella, a internet connected smart umbrella that alerts users with notifications when its going to rain and when they’ve forgotten it at home.

Created by Paris resident Clément Guillot and his team, the oombrella raised over 81,000 dollars on Indiegogo to fund the product which utilizes a number of features to make its users lives easier, but also provides live weather sharing with the companies app, Wezzoo, a commented-based weather app for iPhone and Android.

According to the products website, the oombrella has three main features beside its main use as a rain umbrella: weather alerts, the Forget Me Not Alert, and weather sharing.

The smart umbrella has several sensors embedded in the base of its handle allowing it to communicate with Bluetooth on smartphones, alerting its user if its ever left behind, like at a restaurant or on the bus.

The sensors also track light, humidity, pressure and temperature all from the base of the umbrellas handle.

These sensors then send information to the Wezzoo app, a social and real-time weather service aimed at giving a voice to users to describe the weather they are experiencing, something Wezzoo says the oombrella will do seamlessly with the use of its Bluetooth chip and weather sensors.

“The oombrella collected real time data such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and light,” a Wezzoo spokesman said. “Data is processed and shared with all of the oombrella community, allowing everyone to receive hyper-local alerts.”

In other words, a social umbrella.

“We wanted to make this umbrella unforgettable in terms of design,” Alexandre of Escabo Design Studio said. “We developed an exclusive material that makes you feel like you are holding the aurora borealis in your hands, it has effects that are amazing in the light and always changing.”

The umbrella itself comes in three colors, its rainbow-like shiny color, white, and black and features two distinct styles, classic, which features a curved handle, or the fold-able which features a straight handle.

The product is still in development but its Indiegogo campaign was successful. When the product releases, both versions of the smart umbrella will cost $79.

Replacing a laptop with an iPad, is it possible?

To begin, I’ve always had nasty luck with laptops. I’ve had everything from HP to Acer, and everyone of them was either slow or sluggish with even menial tasks or would crash, such as my most recent laptop.

I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy an iPad with hope it could completely replace my laptop while I finish off my degree at school. I currently now have been using the iPad 2017 edition, the other option beyond the iPad iPad Pro which I just couldn’t justify for its price.

It has now been two weeks since I replaced my laptop with the iPad and I have had a wonderful time. I do not miss my laptop in the slightest but there are still flaws I have encountered while living with my iPad. There are some things that you just need a laptop for, but only slightly. Luckily my school has a fairly nice computer lab where I can complete those assignments that are incompatible with the iPad.

I am a journalism major. For what I am tasked to do on a daily basis, the iPad works for me 90% of the time. Simple screenshots, downloading stock images, writing articles, it all works flawlessly on the iPad and I can write from anywhere and continue on the computer if I need to.

One flaw I have found is photo editing. Of course, I can take pictures from my phone and transfer them over to use in Lightroom, but when it comes to photos from my DSLR, there is really no way for me to transfer my photos unless I get to a computer and have Lightroom sync to my iPad.

Another flaw, some websites required for classes or otherwise just don’t work correctly on the mobile format. I have found workarounds, but sometimes the inconvenience is enough to make me look for the nearest computer to complete what I’m doing.

The only other inconvenience I have found while working with the iPad is the screen size. I often have to look closely at the screen or zoom in when reading things online or writing depending on the text size, but that may just me needing glasses.

In short, it is quite possible and even feasible to replace your laptop with an iPad, especially the iPad Pro if you can afford it.