Facebook can’t be too pleased with Google right now. In addition to releasing a Facebook competitor called Google+, the company has also beaten Facebook to the mobile photo sharing space with a new app called Pool Party. Like Google+, the app is currently invite-only, but if you can score an invite it’s a free download for both iOS and Android. The app is based around collaborative group albums called “pools” that allow you to share pictures with friends and family in real-time.
After sticking too long to film technology, it looks like Leica is finally getting the digital game figured out. Yesterday it announced a record profit of €248.9 million for the latest fiscal year, a significant increase from the €158.2 million it earned the previous year.
The positive development is mainly due to the continuing strong demand for the Leica M system, the professional S system, the compact cameras and the Leica sport optics products.
They will also be paying dividends to shareholders — the first time the company has done so since 1997!
(via Foto Actualidad via Leica Rumors)
Image credit: Leica M9: Logo by bfishadow
If you’ve ever browsed the t-shirts at Threadless, you know that the company features photography very prominently on their website. Each shirt page shows off not only the design, but a unique photo of a guy and a gal wearing that design — often in a location that reflects the artwork. Grover Sanschagrin of PhotoShelter recently paid a visit to Threadless and made this interesting behind-the-scenes video of how the photo department (AKA Sean Dorgan) there operates.
If you love the fact that IKEA furniture is cheap and easy to put together, but hate the fact that it’s always so plain and minimalistic, then Mykea might be the solution for you. Aside from selling pre-made decals, they also allow you to create your own custom decals from your photographs, turning your furniture into a mini-space to display your work. Price depends on the furniture, with a single panel coffee table decal starting at €12.5 (~$16.5).
Mykea: Create Your Cover (via Photojojo)
With the ongoing craze in photo sharing services on mobile devices, it’s not surprising to see new photo apps launching left and right. Stealthy startup Path is a bit different though, with their high powered team launching an unusual sharing service service a couple days ago.
Companies that help you print and make things with your photographs are a dime a dozen, but Photozini‘s super easy magazine creation process caught our eye.
Their goal seems to be to take all the work out of turning your photographs into a nice magazine, and allow even those who are utterly computer-challenged to do so. Here’s a diagram found on the website showing how the service works:
After purchasing the Photozini kit for $40, they send you a Photozini USB card on which you can put up to 150 photographs. You then mail it in using their prepaid return envelope, and receive a photo magazine in about 3 weeks.
So much of the work is done for you that you don’t have a say on how the resulting magazine will look, but this could be a great way to quickly turn your vacation or event photographs into a nice magazine without spending hours on designing the pages yourself.
LensVector, a Silicon Valley startup working on novel lens technology, has received its latest round of funding from In-Q-Tel, a not-for-profit venture firm that invests for the sole purpose of boosting US intelligence capability by providing the CIA with state-of-the-art information technology.
So what’s LensVector developing that CIA would want? Lenses that focus electronically with no moving parts.
Here’s a diagram by LensVector showing how their tiny autofocus lenses work compared to traditional technology:
Rather than using mechanical parts to focus a lens, LensVector uses electricity to align liquid crystals to a desired shape, which focuses light to a particular point.
Given the CIA’s interest in this technology, it must be working pretty well. Hopefully we’ll see this introduced to consumer cameras that need it (i.e. cell phones) soon.
A fun fact: another startup that received In-Q-Tel funding was Keyhole, Inc., the geospatial data visualization company that was acquired by Google in 2004. Their flagship product, Earth Viewer, was turned into Google Earth.
Tom Petters, a former owner of Polaroid was sentenced yesterday to 50 years in prison for heading up a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme. One of Petters’ lawyers, Paul Engh, told reporters that his client is likely to appeal the sentence.
In 2008, Petters was charged for money laundering, wire and mail fraud. He allegedly used falsified documents to convince investors that he was putting their money towards consumer electronics produced by Polaroid and his other associated companies. Instead, prosecutors say Petters paid investors with profits made from other investments.
Petters was found guilty in December 2009. US District Judge Richard Kyle handed the sentence yesterday.“This was a massive fraud and the defendant’s involvement in the fraud was front and center,” Kyle said.
The already troubled Polaroid company, which had previously filed for bankruptcy in 2001, was purchased by Petters in January 2005. Under Petters’ watch, the company fell into bankruptcy once again, in 2008.
(via Amateur Photographer)