The $1 origami Foldscope: Democratizing access to microscopy

Check out this rather brilliant Kickstarter project from some Stanford scientists on a mission to broaden access to the wonders of exploring our world:

Foldscope is a real microscope, with magnification and resolution sufficient for imaging live individual cells, cellular organelles, embryos, swimming bacteria and much more.   Because the Foldscope is so affordable and can be used anywhere, it brings science to your daily life, whether that means looking at what’s growing in your flower pot or watching bacteria from your mouth or analysing the bee stinger that got your thumb. Our goal is to encourage and enable the curious explorer in each of us and make science happen anywhere, anytime.

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[YouTube]

A flight over Mars

Wanna actually go to Mars & feel perpetually jetlagged? Hmm—while thinking that over, take a beautifully painterly flight over the planet surface, courtesy of Jan Fröjdman working with real NASA data:

The anaglyph images of Mars taken by the HiRISE camera holds information about the topography of Mars surface. There are hundreds of high-resolution images of this type. This gives the opportunity to create different studies in 3D. In this film I have chosen some locations and processed the images into panning video clips…

It has really been time-consuming making these panning clips. In my 3D-process I have manually hand-picked reference points on the anaglyph image pairs… The colors in this film are false because the anaglyph images are based on grayscale images. I have therefore color graded the clips. But I have tried to be moderate doing this.

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[Vimeo] [Via]

Google Photos gets more low-bandwidth savvy

It’s not glamorous, but optimizing apps for low-bandwidth environments is critical to democratizing access to their benefits. Having traveled in Nepal, I can tell you that all the cool creations in the world don’t matter if you can’t even back up & share your photos.

With that in mind, Google Photos is rolling out some important updates:

Now your photos will back up automatically in a lightweight preview quality that’s fast on 2G connections and still looks great on a smartphone. And when a good Wi-Fi connection becomes available, your backed up photos will be replaced with high-quality versions. We’re also making it easier to share many photos at once even on low connectivity. Never mind if you’re at the beach or hiking in the mountains, with Google Photos you can now share pictures quickly even with a spotty connection by sending first in low resolution so friends and family can view them right away. They’ll later update in higher resolution when connectivity permits.

🌍💪

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Snapseed gains Double Exposure, Face Pose, and more

The team esta en fuego!. On the heels of recent releases that added sharable looks, curves, and more, comes some new hotness:

Snapseed 2.17 starts rolling out today and it brings you three new awesome tools:

  • Double Exposure allows you to blend two photos and choose from blending modes that are inspired by analog film techniques as well as digital image processing.
  • Face Pose lets you correct the pose of portraits based on three dimensional models.
  • Expand allows you to increase the size of your canvas and fill up the new space in smart ways with content from your image. 

Enjoy, and as always, please let us know what you think.

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Animation: A world in color

I love the animals created for this piece for Sherwin-Williams:

“In 2009,” writes the team at Buck, “we were asked by our friends at McKinney to explore a world made of color, literally. The Sherwin colors themselves are the cast of their own story of infinite possibility, taking us places that spark our sense of curiosity, exploration, and expression.”

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[Vimeo] [Via]

Imagine Dragons + Adobe invite fans to cut their own music video

Here’s a cool contest to celebrate the 25th (25th!!) anniversary of Adobe Premiere Pro:

Download exclusive, uncut music video footage and work with Adobe Premiere Pro CC to create your own edit of the video for their new hit song “Believer.” Deadline is April 8th.

A panel of luminary judges… will select the ultimate winner of the $25,000 Grand Prize and bragging rights.

We’re also awarding bonus prizes of $1,000 each and a year-long subscription to Creative Cloud for four special categories: Fan Favorite, Most Unexpected, Best Young Creator, and Best Short Form. And one special bonus prize of $2,500, a year-long subscription to Creative Cloud and 25 Adobe Stock credits for the cut with the best use of supplied Adobe Stock clips.

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Opera’s concept for “the future of web browsing”

Hmm—I’m not entirely sure what to make of Opera Neon, but props to them for looking to shake up some largely staid interaction patterns. For example:

Opera Neon’s newly developed physics engine is set to breathe life back into the internet. Tabs and other objects respond to you like real objects; they have weight and move in a natural way when dragged, pushed, or even popped.

Cream floats to the top, and so do your favorite tabs; Opera Neon’s gravity system pulls your most used tabs to a prominent position on your Speed Dial.

Check out the quick tour:

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[YouTube]

Sony enables in-camera ND filters

Hmm, interesting—I honestly had no idea that Sony cameras could install apps, but in retrospect the idea seems blindingly obvious: Why not be able to modify your light-capturing computer like this? PetaPixel writes,

Actually, it’s more than a grad. When you open up the app, you get several options: Graduated ND, Reverse Graduated ND, Color Stripe, Blue Sky, Sunset, and two Custom options for setting up your own presets. The presets will capture preset exposure and white balance values, and if you pick Custom, you can adjust the location and feathering of each boundary, the effect above and below that boundary, and more!

[YouTube]