Project 52 (2019) – Week 2: Window

I did a little bit more editing than I normal would for my photo this week (well 15-20 minutes) so thought I would share what I use to edit in case anyone finds its useful.

Basically I’m currently just using my phone to take all of my photos (iPhone Xs).  I use a app called Snapseed by Google.

You can get it for both Android and iOS.


Snapseed by Google LLC


I find it very easy for basic stuff like little colour tweaks but you can also do things like HDR, Prospective changes and some basic filters.

Almost all of the photos I take on my phone are edited using Snapseed, often just minor tweaks.  This photo a had to change the whole angle of the photo as I couldn’t get a straight on view of the windows O wanted to photo.  I’ve lost a bit a quality due to the amount of cropping and prospective changes; however I’m happy with the end result.

Project 52 (2019) – Week 1: Beginning

So a new project 52 begins with the start of 2019.

One Photo per week using a set list for themes for guidance.

Queen Victoria Monument Liverpool

This weeks photo is the first light of the day rising behind the Victoria Monument on Derby Square is the centre of Liverpool.,_Liverpool

Apple, bring back Nokia LifeBlog

Way back in 2014 when Apple introduced iCloud Photo library I have been a very happy bunny.  An in-house and integrated way to backup my photos and have access across all my apple devices.

It may seem like an odd feature to be so happy about however many moons ago my house was broken into and my old Black MacBook was stolen; fortunately, the USB hard drive that contained my library of over 50,000 photos was left behind. At the time that bad feeling of thinking that I had lost such a massive collection of memories of my single life, meeting my wife, my two kids and everything in between was gut-wrenching. I didn’t have a back up of my digital life at the time just the odd badly organised collection of DVD containing a month or two of Photos, one of music and a stack of software that was either illegally obtained or obsolete. I was onboard with iCloud Photo Library the day after launch.

My library has currently expanded to 76,478 Photos and 4,101 Videos and my family has increased by 1 child and 3 goldfish. Having the off site back up that is so simply integrated with my iPhone, iPad, Mac and the addition of my wife’s iPhone link to the same family plan for me is amazing. I now also back up to Google Drive and Google Photo just to be sure so that I don’t have that panic feeling ever again.

I have always felt that a digital log of memories is important to help with reliving them life experiences as I get older. I look back to my childhood and the memories that I have are amazing but they are limited; even when talking to my parents, I have always wanted a more detailed way to look back into the journey me and my family are on.

Something, however, was still missing. I look back to around 2002 when I first had this idea of being able to have these triggers to look back at my life. At the time I had not long had my first digital camera and was already starting the build my memory box of life, I also got my first “Smartphone” that incorporated a camera. It was the Nokia 7650 and it ran Symbian OS. It’s
almost comical now to say this but it was a powerhouse of a phone at the time. More importantly for me, it had a great trick up its sleeve in the form of a desktop application, Nokia LifeBlog.

The idea of RSS feeds and blogs at the time were for me very exciting. The collection of information from different sources pulled together into one place and your own easy way to add to this collection with your own blog. Nokia Lifeblog was this, but for your own personal memory box. It pulled information from your phone and displayed a time log of your life, day by day, week by week. It listed text messages, calls made and missed, alongside the photos you had taken all in time order and in a calendar view. Looking back at it you could follow a night out from the calls to the boys and the “Almost in town now” message followed by the drunken photos and the hangover comedown the next day. It was for me almost perfect way to look back at what was happening in my life at the time.

The only problem was it didn’t take long before my phone was changed for something better and then Symbian OS started to fade away Nokia LifeBlog became useless. I switch to Windows Mobile then Apple came along and I settled into the closed garden and happily handed them all my money. I have over the years ran multiple handsets with Android running side by side with my iPhone, however, every time the integration with my iPhone and Mac (and the happiness of not having to use a Windows PC) iPhoto and later Photos was just to good for me to want to ever switch again (ok may Huawei could tempt me).

Apple has just released messages in iCloud and that reassurance of not having to worry about losing photos anymore now also includes my messages. There is, however, a more exciting development; I feel I am now one step closer to being able to have the Lifeblog days back. Over the years I have often looked back at messages received and sent to my girlfriend and now wife and mother of my children. It an extension to the memory box I have from my photos. Like my photo, I have been hoarding message since 2008… almost every one of them. Transferred from phone to phone in one way or another; I couldn’t even comprehend how many messages that is over the years (4.9GB according to my iCloud storage) but more importantly just about every message gives meaning to the photos taken over the years.

Photos already offer Memories with additional improvements due later this year but it only offers memories from Photos. What I’m looking for next from Apple is to integrate these two collections into one LifeLog so that not only can I look back over the images in my memory box but also the context of what was happening from the communications in my life even if it is just how many time me and my wife have messaged each other to pass the toilet roll.


Lazer Powered

Imagine it; you walking down the street with your mobile phone in your hand and then all of a sudden… Zap! your phone gets blasted with a laser to give it a boost of power.

I know wireless charging at distance is already something that is being looked at but I love the idea of visable laser beams being fired around all over the place charging up people’s stuff.

It may only be an tiny RoboFly but this is basically what the university of Washington are about to be unval at the international conference of robotics. A Robotic fly no heavier than a toothpick being powered by a laser blast.

Very cool.

News Link: Spectrum IEEE


Apple Watch – On it’s feet

I personally find the Apple watch my goto bit a tech on a daily basis. I actually own two. Now before you start thinking “what a show off” I actually didn’t buy them myself, (although I did buy my wife one) one was a gift from work colleagues and the other was given to me by Apple.

Apple Watch

I work in retail, mobile phone retail to be more precise and having the watch is such a good tool in my day to day. Being able to leave my phone “out back” but still being connected to all my notifications is invaluable. I also use it to run test calls and texts when dealing with service queries. The activity rings are always my goto benchmark to see if I have been doing enough at work. Basically if I sit down for more than five minutes I know I’m not working hard enough or motive enough to be in the right frame of mind for my customers (motion creates emotion).

I honestly wouldn’t be without one. I thought that it was just my particular job and my Apple Fan boy approach to the tech that made the device so appealing; not according to Quartz.

“Many service-industry jobs where employees have to be on their feet all day don’t allow workers to check their phones while they’re on the clock. But that rule doesn’t necessarily apply to a piece of unobtrusive jewelry that happens to let you text your friends and check the weather.”

They have rightly pointed out that although the marketing for Apple Watch is currently focused on health it may be better focused on the more basic functions of the watch like notifications and communications for people that work in retail or any job where they are on their feet.

News link: Quartz