Digitize Old Photos With Google Photoscan

Digitize Old Photos With Google Photoscan

Your smartphone is a wonderful device to capture memories either with comments on social media, saved voicemails, but especially photos and video taken with your onboard camera.

Earlier this month I bragged about the Hasselblad True Zoom camera mod for my Moto Z Force phone, but today Google I saw the next big step in saving memories, Google Photoscan.

Digitize Old Photos With Google Photoscan

This isn’t new. For as long as phones have had cameras we’ve been snapping photos of old pictures on the wall or in albums and sending them to friends and family either to embarrass them or just to remember. But it’s always been noticeable with the flash, crooked framing or a table in the background. Google Photoscan does away with most of that!

While scanning a photo isn’t just “BOOP-BOOP-BOOP-BOOP,” it does get easier with a little practice and the results are MUCH better than just firing your camera at the wall. Check out this image I scanned just a few minutes ago from a photo mounted on my wall.

Google Photoscan Kauai

Now compare this to the original photo taken in Kauai a few years ago.

Kauai - Original

Sure, theres a little difference in color, a slight blemish at the top because of the light, but overall, pretty good! Now check out a photo in the same lighting conditions as the first photo just using my smartphone camera.

camera phone

Photoscan logoGoogle Photoscan is a wonderful app for both iOS and Android, so with those long, wintery weekends and evenings coming up, put your phone and Google Photos to work and save some of those old photos lying around the house with your smartphone!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

 

 

BBP: Episode 16 – Yahoo! Mail, SSLs & Wearable Security

BBP: Episode 16 – Yahoo! Mail, SSLs & Wearable Security

It’s November 14, 2016… and it’s 56° in North Dakota. Something’s not right.

Episode 16 – Yahoo! Mail, SSLs and Wearable Security

But on today’s BeBizzy Break Podcast I talk a little bit about:

  • Yahoo! Mail, and why you should get rid of that thing moving to Outlook.com or Gmail
  • Why you should start planning on getting an SSL installed on your website to use HTTPS, even if you don’t collect secure information and just want it to maintain your current search position.
  • And wearable device security.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP: Episode 15 – Scribblepost, IE Loses Bigtime, and President Trump?

BBP: Episode 15 – Scribblepost, IE Loses Bigtime, and President Trump?

Well, it’s the day after election day. Hopefully all of your candidates and measures passed, and if not, lick the wounds and get back to work, right?

BBP: Episode 15 – Scribblepost, IE Loses Bigtime, and President Trump?

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Today we are talking about Scribblepost, a wonderful task-management system that I’ve been using for a few months. Paul Berkovic joins in from Australia to talk about the app and how you can use it to manage your business and your day better.

We also spend some time on :

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

Hasselblad True Zoom Camera Mod for the Moto Z

Hasselblad True Zoom Camera Mod for the Moto Z

moto-mods-hasselblad-pdp-specsexpanded-d-vzwI’m normally fairly neutral on smartphone accessories. Yeah, bluetooth speakers, cases, and charging stations can make life just a little bit quicker, brighter or better sound-wise, but they don’t change the operation of the phone a whole bunch.

But the Moto Z has changed that dramatically with their speaker, battery and projector mods. And last week I was asked to try out THE accessory that changes the game… the Hasselblad True Zoom Camera mod.

Hasselblad True Zoom Camera

The Hasselblad looks like a small-form attached lens camera, but when you snap it on to the Mozo Z magnetic connectors it changes the Moto Z into an awesome 10x-zoom enabled camera.

The camera comes with a on-off switch which calls up the camera app and opens the lens on the Hasselblad, and also a wide/tight zoom toggle switch. Tapping the camera snap button once focuses the shot on auto and holding it down longer snaps the photo or starts the video.

I tried the camera in a variety of lighting situations and the focus and pixels were phenomenal, even with the camera “only” being 12MP.

Other specs include :

  • 12MP photo camera/1080p Full HD video at 30fps
  • 2 Mics
  • Aperature f3.5-6.5
  • Zoom : 10x optical/4x digital
  • Pro Mode Options : Focus, white balance, f-stop, ISO, exposure
  • White Balance Options : Auto, incandescent, florescent, sunny, shade
  • File formats : JPG, DNG (RAW) – Video : MPEG4
  • Battery Life : Phone Dependant

There are a few things I’m not 100% pleased with, mainly the camera is powered solely off the camera power. The projector and speaker mods both have their own on-board power and I think the camera would benefit if a large number of photos are going to be taken. And a manual focus ring instead of using the software would be nice. But both of these concerns don’t hurt the performance much and are not deal-breakers.

I am really excited to test this camera out in the next couple of weekends as I attend and DJ weddings, but if it performs like it does in the other situations I’ve already tested it in I will only get more impressed.

The Moto Z phone the mods are a wonderful leap forward for smartphone accessories and if you’re looking for that new smartphone, consider the Moto Z Force as you test flagship phones.

Demo Photos and Video

img_20161105_080122913_hdr HB4116

img_20161105_080100605_hdr HB4116

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

BBP: Episode 14 – Laguna, Microsoft Teams & Lastpass

BBP: Episode 14 – Laguna, Microsoft Teams & Lastpass

Happy Day After World Series Day, everyone!

Congratulations to the fans of the Chicago Cubs on the team’s big Game 7 victory over the Cleveland Indians last night. It was the first baseball game I’ve watched in years and boy was I glad I did. Great game, and the horrible national nightmare of the 108 year winless streak is finally over.

Episode 14 Show Notes

  • Microsoft Teams – a Slack competitor
  • Microsoft Introduces a trade-in program from Macbook Pros to Surface devices.
    • Program ends November 11, 2016, so hurry up!
  • LastPass – making the mobile app free! You can use Lastpass to manage secure passwords across all of your logins and keep it safe with one secure password
    • Mobile traffic from StatCounter has finally passsed desktop. 51% of all web traffic is now mobile. – Have you updated your website yet?
  • Get ready for Snapchat Glasses – codename Laguna
    • Video camera sunglasses going on sale in the coming weeks
    • Synced to smartphone and snapchat accounts
    • Video files up to 10 seconds
  • Hype – Live Video Broadcasting app from the creators of Vine
      • Creators were not happy when Twitter announced Vine was being shut down.
      • iOS beta app
      • Competitors include Periscope, Snapchat, and Facebook Live and the rumored Instagram livestreaming app, GoInst

As always, make sure you send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

BBP : Episode 13 – Goodbye Vine & the Apple Startup Sound, SEO Keyword Throttling, and New Computers

BBP : Episode 13 – Goodbye Vine & the Apple Startup Sound, SEO Keyword Throttling, and New Computers

Happy Halloween, everyone!

We’re celebrating by releasing Episode 13 (ooooooohhhh, spooky) of the BeBizzy Break Podcast where I talk about :
  • New Apple Macbook Pro and Microsoft Surface Studio computers launched last week at big prices.
  • Goodbye to Vine
  • Speaking of goodbye’s… the Apple startup sound won’t be included in new computers or operating system updates.
  • Google has announced throttling of Google Keyword Planner tools for those not spending an un-announced threshold with AdWords.
    • Alternates include using MOZ Keyword Explorer, SEMRush, Search Metrics, and KeywordTool,io. Or it might be time to hire a dedicated SEO person
  • Looking for your favorite task management software and/or app. Send them to @bebizzy on Twitter.

BBP : Episode 12 – LinkedIn Company Pages, Surface Studio & Toggl

BBP : Episode 12 – LinkedIn Company Pages, Surface Studio & Toggl

Sorry we missed Monday’s broadcast, but I was on SuperTalk 1270am to guest host the Tech Ranch radio show and most of the afternoon/evening at an open house for Harvest Events, a new wedding venue in Mandan, ND. 

Episode 12 Topics

  • The Smartwatch is dead, or not…
  • Mac Sierra 10.12.1 was released, upgrade today!
  • New beta LinkedIn Company Pages are being rolled out to some
  • The new Microsoft Surface Studio all-in-one computer was announced today:
    • 32GB RAM, 2TB HD/SD storage, four USB 3.0 ports, MiniDisplay port
    • Surface Dial – haptic feedback device that can be placed on the touchscreen
    • Hinge allows the 28″ monitor to be laid perfectly flat for document markup, design work and more.
    • True Scale function features a 1″:1″ actual scale.
    • $2999, available for pre-order today
  • Toggl
    • Great time-tracking app I have used for a few months
    • Pushes time, projects and client info to virtually any device in almost real time.
    • Free for small/solo users, but cost ranges from $9-59 for a variety of features
    • http://www.toggl.com 

Choosing Your Next Smartphone

Choosing Your Next Smartphone

It finally happened, didn’t it? You dropped your smartphone and the screen is either damaged or doesn’t work at all.

So you wander into your nearest Verizon store and only then it hits you… there are DOZENS of choices! Samsung Galaxy, Moto, HTC, Pixel, iPhone… and much, much more.

How is it even possible to decide what phone is best for you, your spouse, your child, or even your parents?

Choosing Your Next Smartphone

  • Decide on Deal Breakers : What do you absolutely NEED in your phone? Usually there are one or two absolute must-haves you will want and/or need on your next phone. Some features that can be decided upon are :
    – Operating system (iOS/Android/Window)
    Carrier, if you are out of contract and want better service
    – Screen size
    – Camera specs
    – Onboard memory size
    – Expandable memory
    – Spillproof
    – Speed, screen resolution, weight, fingerprint scanners, accessories, etc
  • Look of the Phone : Like it or not many of us like to have a phone that LOOKS cool. Apple used to have a monopoly on recognizable form factors, colors, and more, but now there is a vast number of possibilities in the Android lines like combination plastic/glass/aluminum form factors, bezel sizes, available cases, or even if it comes in “Really Blue” like the new Google Pixel.
  • Friends and Other “Experts” : Have friends, family or other resources that you trust to guide you on this journey to new technology? Ask them, knowing full well that they may be biased towards certain operating systems, manufactures or devices. There will be a advocates on many sides based on their personal needs and usage, so filter all of that out as needed.
  • Apps : Sometimes apps just don’t work well on certain phones. Unfortunately for many of us on the bleeding edge of technology it can be too late to find out a certain app doesn’t work on a recently purchased phone. But if you’re getting into the game a few weeks after launch it will often become obvious by reading reviews, online reports or other sources that the apps you need to function at work, your personal life, or entertainment does or does not work with the device you had in mind.
  • Ease of Transition : Most manufacturers have apps that will make the transition from your phone to a new device extremely easy, especially if you are moving Samsung to Samsung, or Motorola to Motorola. This can be a concern to someone who is not very technical or does’t have access, or is willing to pay someone to move apps, data and settings to the new phone. There are other apps that will do this for you as well, my favorite being My App List, which keeps a list of all installed apps that can be transferred to a new phone/tablet for easy install. I also use a custom launcher (Nova) and after all the apps are installed, I can transfer the layout of my home and other screens to the new phone and all the shortcuts and widgets will automatically be created or laid out for me. You can also ease the transition by moving images and videos to Google Photos, contacts to your Google account, move documents to Dropbox, and more!
  • Compare the Specs : All the “easy” stuff is done, and if you still haven’t made up your mind, there are the pure technical specs of the phone that could sway you one way or another.  Below are few of the flagship Android device specs as listed on the Verizon Wireless website:Google Pixel
    Standby Time – Up to: 19 days
    Usage Time – Up to: 22 hrs
    Camera 12.3 MP
    Front Camera 8 MP
    Width 2.74 in
    Weight 5.04 oz
    Height 5.66 in
    Screen 5.0’’ FHD 441ppi AMOLED, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 >75% Active Area
    Battery 2770 mAh
    Operating System Android Nougat 7.1
    Storage RAM: 4GB LPDDR4, Flash 32GB or 128GB (Actual formatted capacity is less)
    Colors Quite Black, Very Silver, or Really Blue (Subject to availability)
    SAR Head: 0.92 W/Kg@1g, Body: 0.58 W/Kg@1g
    Hearing Aid Compatibility M4/T4
    Network 3x Carrier aggregation; CAT 9 (450 Mbps DL/50 Mpbs); CDMA: BC0/BC1; LTE: B13, B4, B2, B5;
    Global Network LTE (Global) B3, B7, B20, B28; GSM Quad B5, B8, B3, B2 (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) UMTS Quad B5, B8, B2, B1 (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz);
    Processor Snapdragon 821; MSM8996 pro AB Quad Core 2+2 Kryo 2.15GHz / 1.6GHz
    HD Voice Experience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.


    Samsung Galaxy S7

    Standby Time – Up to: 12 days‡
    Usage Time – Up to: 27 hrs‡
    Camera 12 MP
    Front Camera 5 MP
    Width 2.74 in
    Weight 5.36 oz
    Height 5.61 in
    Screen 5.1” Quad HD, Super Amoled, 577 PPI; Full Touch Bar
    Battery 3,000mAH, Non-removable
    Operating System Android Marshmallow (6.0.1)
    Storage RAM: 4G, Flash 32GB (Actual formatted capacity is less)
    Expandable Memory Removable microSD up to 256GB (sold separately)
    Colors Black Onyx or Gold Platinum (Subject to availability)
    SAR Head 1.24 W/kg; Body 1.41 W/kg
    Hearing Aid Compatibility M4/T3
    Network CDMA 1X and EvDO Rev 0/RevA; LTE (Domestic) B13, B4, B2, B5
    Global Network LTE (Global) B3, B7, B20; GSM Quad B5, B8, B3, B2 (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) UMTS Quad B5, B8, B2, B1 (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); TDS CDMA 34, 39 TDD LTE 38, 39, 40, CAT 4 / CAT 6 / (CAT 9 capable)
    Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 Quad Core processor (MSM8996, Quad-Core, 2.15GHz + 1.6GHz)
    HD Voice Experience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.


    Moto Z Force Droid

    Standby Time – Up to: 20 days
    Usage Time – Up to: 29 hrs
    Camera 21 MP
    Front Camera 5 MP
    Width 2.98 in
    Weight 5.75 oz
    Height 6.14 in
    Screen 5.5” AMOLED, 1440p Quad HD (2560 x 1440), 535 ppi; Shattershield™
    Battery 3500 mAh (non-removable), TurboPower for up to 15 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging
    Operating System Android™ 6.0.1, Marshmallow
    Storage 32 GB, 4GB RAM (Actual formatted capacity is less)
    Expandable Memory Supports microSD card up to 2 TB (sold separately)
    Colors Black/Lunar Grey or White/Fine Gold (Subject to availability)
    SAR 0.78 W/kg (head), 1.14 W/kg (body)
    Hearing Aid Compatibility M3/T3
    Network CDMA: 850, 1900MHz;GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); 4G LTE (B2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 13)
    Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 processor
    HD Voice Experience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.

One final tip…  Join the #VZWBUZZ chat every Friday at 2pm Central on Twitter. We talk about tips on using your phones in real-world situations, give away great phone and accessorie prizes, and provide access to lifestyle professionals that use their mobile devices in a very wide spectrum of uses. Attendees may either have some of the same questions as you, or would benefit from YOU asking questions of the group. See you there!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

BBP: Episode 11 – Surface-gate, Apple Rumors & Me, Live!

BBP: Episode 11 – Surface-gate, Apple Rumors & Me, Live!

In Episode 11 of the BeBizzy Break Podcast we chat a little about:

  • The debates are finally over, can I have my social media back yet?
  • My fancy new Dell D3100 docking station connected to two 23″ monitors.
  • The rumors emerging from the pending Mac announcement for next week including the Magic Toolbar.
  • Microsoft’s new booking service through Facebook that will allow tickets and food to be sold right from the social media site.
  • Change your LinkedIn password! Czech officials caught a Russian hacker that compromised over 100million accounts in 2012.
  • Belichick is smashing Surface tablets on the sideline of New England Patriots games.
  • Samsung is replacing Note 7’s right at the airport.
  • And I’ll be appearing on the #VZWBUZZ (#ad) Facebook Live stream tomorrow (Friday, Oct 21) at 3pm CT. Join the chat from 2-3pm, then watch me live!

BeBizzy Break : Episode 10 – Death of Note 7, Verizon Pixel Updates & Kiss Me On First on LinkedIn

BeBizzy Break : Episode 10 – Death of Note 7, Verizon Pixel Updates & Kiss Me On First on LinkedIn

Episode 10 of the BeBizzy Break Podcast features some commentary on : 

  • Why do you still have your Note 7? Samsung has stopped the sale and replacement, so turn it in!
  • Verizon promised to push Google Pixel updates at the same time as unlocked phones. 
  • Verizon is also asking for a $1B decrease on the offer to buy Yahoo! due to some information regarding Yahoo!’s screening account information for intelligence informaton, and the 2014 data breach that affected around 500 Million subscribers.
  • Twitter is being shopped around… still. Why hasn’t Google just written a check yet?
  • And if you’re going to “friend” me on LinkedIn, at least wait more than an hour to try and sell me something.
Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Sticher Radio, and PocketCasts!