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Archive for April, 2011

HOW TO: Make Your QR Codes More Beautiful

The QR code: A thing of beauty or an eyesore? The magical barcodes that can be scanned by a smartphone to launch an offline-to-online experience are often criticized for their black and white checkerbox appearance. Those who doubt that QR codes will go mainstream are quick to point out that the look of QR codes will deter marketers and advertisers from using them.

Fortunately, QR codes are malleable and can be redesigned in truly extraordinary ways, while still maintaining their scanability. The truth is, QR codes no longer have to be checkerbox in appearance. We’ve entered a new phase of “designer codes” that can be integrated into marketing campaigns in an attractive way that isn’t an eyesore.

via HOW TO: Make Your QR Codes More Beautiful.

Why Apple is suing Samsung | News | TechRadar UK

Where theres a hit, theres a writ – especially in the smartphone industry, where firms often seem to spend more time suing one another than they do actually making phones.So its not entirely surprising that Samsung has attracted the attention of Apples legal rottweilers. This is, after all, a firm whose – great – products tend to be reviewed using terms such as “Looks like an iPhone”.

via Why Apple is suing Samsung | News | TechRadar UK.

informitv – YouView releases specification but lacks detail

YouView has published its final Core Technical Specification. The document runs to over 200 pages and provides necessary but not sufficient specifications to build a box for the planned hybrid broadcast and broadband television platform. It does not yet address the middleware, programming interfaces or user experience that will enable it to do anything useful. Developers are left wanting more detail. As such, the publication of the specification is long overdue but shows how much more work is yet to be done.

via informitv – YouView releases specification but lacks detail.

Apps: the future of tech or a passing fad? | News | TechRadar UK

App – seldom has such a small word had such a big impact. Its always on the lips of techs biggest and brightest firms: Apple, Microsoft, Google and BlackBerry. Smartphones, tablets, TVs, fridges, cars: if your devices dont already sport the ability to run small, slick, one-trick programs, then the option is only an upgrade away.The term has become so ubiquitous that the American Dialect Society – a learned group dedicated to the study of the English Language in America – dubbed app its 2010 Word of the Year.

via Apps: the future of tech or a passing fad? | News | TechRadar UK.

DTG :: News :: BBC expands iPlayer offering

The BBC iPlayer service is now available to Virgin Media TV and BT Vision customers and across more connected TVs and Bluray players in response to growing support for HTML and Flash technologies, according to BBC Product Manager of the TV iPlayer, Gideon Summerfield.

The Virgin TiVo-powered set-top box supports the Flash-based BBC iPlayer and offers a new iplayer user interface. BT has started to upgrade the software on its BT Vision boxes enabling the iPlayer to become available to nearly every BT Vision customer by the end of June.

via DTG :: News :: BBC expands iPlayer offering.

informitv – YouView opens doors and announces advisory groups

YouView has published details of the programming and service providers with which it will work initially to develop the broadband enabled television platform. While the inclusion of Sky may be a surprise to some, apart from some other predictable names it seems the initial programming proposition will be driven by traditional broadcasters. Following the appointment of Lord Sugar as non-executive chairman, the chief executive invited informitv to an exclusive briefing at their offices in the Broadcast Centre at the BBC White City campus and provided a preview of the YouView user experience.

Much has been made of the appointment of the plain speaking Lord Sugar, who has extensive experience in consumer electronics, having sold his Amstrad business to Sky. Alan Sugar was brought in to replace former consultant and Ofcom partner Kip Meek at the instigation of Richard Desmond, the owner of Channel Five, one of the shareholders in the joint venture. A report in the Telegraph, quoting an unnamed senior television executive, said that “Lord Sugar will either cure or kill off YouView.”

via informitv – YouView opens doors and announces advisory groups.

6 best photo editors and organisers for OS X | News | TechRadar UK

You might think image editors such as Photoshop are the be-all and end-all of digital photography. But the more photos you take, the more the issue of organisation rears its head.

You can file away a small amount of photos in named folders and be reasonably sure of being able to find them again. But when you run into thousands, filing problems take on a new dimension. This has led to a new type of all-in-one photo cataloguing and editing app, with iPhoto at one end of the spectrum and Aperture at the other.

via 6 best photo editors and organisers for OS X | News | TechRadar UK.

Virgin Media Tivo vs Sky HD: which is best for you? | News | TechRadar UK

The battle between the UKs biggest Pay TV operators is heating up. Satellite broadcaster Sky, long time ruler of the subscription TV world, is now having to contend with the return of old nemesis Tivo, courtesy of rival Virgin Media. With its smart recording functionality, jazzy interface and blended linear and VOD Video on Demand programming, Tivo is getting clued-up telly addicts in a lather.But how do the two TV titans actually compare?

via Virgin Media Tivo vs Sky HD: which is best for you? | News | TechRadar UK.

HOW TO: Master Smartphone Photography [PICS]

Flickr currently hosts more than five million photos taken on a Sony Ericsson K800i, more than seven million snapped on a Nokia N95 and in excess of 45 million captured with an Apple iPhone. These phenomenal figures show just how much we’re shooting on our smartphones.

In most cases, the phone has become our primary camera, but despite tech developments that can see high-end options, most of us have 5-megapixel or less snappers with limited functionality. But this doesn’t mean you can’t take great photos — it just means you have to be smart about getting the right shot.

If you’re interested in taking better photos with your phone, then have a look through the gallery for some hints, tips, tricks and ideas for shooting success with your camera phone. Let us know your tips in the comments below.

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Image 1 of 81. Manage Light

Camera phones often struggle with extremes of light. Although these shortcomings can sometimes be used to create special effects, for the average snap you want to manage the available light as well as possible. If you can, position your subject so that the light hits differently to see which angle gives the best result. Alternatively, use the manual settings on your camera phone to try pics with and without flash. For example using flash as a fill-in effect on a sunny day can create a sharp photo with little shadow. Turning off a harsh flash and shooting with available light can also be effective for portraits.

via HOW TO: Master Smartphone Photography [PICS].

Snow Leopard guide for new users | News | TechRadar UK

Mac OS X is packed to the brim with clever little tricks that will enhance the way you work and help you save time. But so much of the operating system is easy to use that you could hardly call yourself a pro.

However, that’s all about to change. We show you just how easy it is to become a Mac OS guru with the best collection of power tips for a wide range of tasks.

From Finder shortcuts to image manipulation, we’ve got all the techniques you need to get even more from your Mac use. We will even demystify the obscure apps lurking in the Utilities folder that you may never have used.

via Snow Leopard guide for new users | News | TechRadar UK.