10 programs and services for editing and sharing photos

instagram

Allow you to manipulate images and then upload them to a social network. Are free.

Domestic cameras and cell phones gave the picture an immense circulation. Almost all users of the Internet and digital technologies at some point share, store or edited a photo. Here, ten options for applications, sites and services to improve the photos, save them and share them, either from your computer, mobile phone or tablet.

Instagram

Recently acquired by Facebook, this application only cell is proposed as “a fast, beautiful and fun to share your life with your friends through photos.” Allows you to retouch images and share them via social networks. Available for iPad and Android.

FxFoto

Among the many free programs for image processing, the FxFoto is one that collects good opinions. Stands out as being complete. Enhances photos automatically or manually remove red eye and blemishes, apply effects, add frames and borders, correct colors, designs collages. It is also lightweight.

Pixlr

Is presented as nothing less than the on-line photo editing world’s most popular.Beyond this is true or not, Pixlr offers three flexible options for working with photos from your computer or from mobile: Pixlr Editor Pixlr Pixlr Express-o-matic. Available for iPad and Android.

Picmonkey

Another good option to edit photos online. With a well stocked toolbox and intuitive to use.

Yfrog

Although long ago Twitter offers proprietary tools to disseminate images, there are services like Yfrog or Twitpic to share pictures and videos through the social network.

Awesome Duplicate Photo Finder (ADPF)

Among the programs with specific functions are those, like this one, are especially dedicated to find duplicate photos on your hard disk. It can be very useful to recover storage space on the PC.

Photoshop Express

The dean of professional image retouching has long had an online version for free.Also offers a range of applications associated with image editing specially designed for mobile phones and tablets, such as Photoshop Touch, an editing tool designed for touch screens.

Picasa

The Google photo software lets you view, edit and organize photos on your computer.And since the last version, 3.9, including integration with Google + social network.

Flickr

An “old” and known giant says it on their servers more than seven billion images of users around the world, he was elected to save and share your photos. In recent days, Flickr launched a major renovation of its tool for uploading images (Flickr Uploadr), now only required to select and drag files. And now the more rapid the rise of the photos, and increased the maximum size that may contain: paying users can upload files up to 50 MB for free account holders the maximum size is 30 MB per photo.

Photobucket

Another historic site (born in 2003) to store, edit and share photos and videos. It claims almost ten billion photos and videos stored. Now also be used from the phone.

Windows Mobile 7

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 promises to bring together contacts, photos, music and video into one smooth mobile experience. It’s holistic design aims to bring together web content, applications and services into a single view port, making you master of all you survey. Microsoft is introducing the new mobile OS at Mobile World Congress 2010, in Barcelona next month.

A New Home

The home screen, or Start, on Windows Phone 7 Series can be customized with live “tiles” that show the latest updates from the Web. In a radical departure from the earlier versions, the new one stop home screen provides access to contacts, web content, social networking services and local applications. Big, finger-loving notice icons or “tiles” for calls, text messages, email and of course Facebook etc stare you right in the face. Large, iconic text for menus, and content transitions slide a user into and out of different views. If you thought it’s just a pretty skin, think again. This is a brand new OS with fresh underlying code, not a mere rehash of the old guard offering a new user interface experience.

Social Networking

The OS is also heavily focused on social networking, providing integrated contact pages which show status updates from multiple services and allow fast jumps to richer cloud content (such as photo galleries). Rather than relying on applications and skins, Windows Phone 7 comes with social networking support wired right in.

Xbox Live and Zune Integration

The Xbox Live integration offers LIVE games, avatars and profiles and Zune’s features seem to be copy pasted directly in to the new OS. In fact Zune users will not be surprised by the new OS’s interface. Zune HD games run like hell on the Tegra Chip it uses. Will they play well with the Snapdragon chips, Windows Phone will most probably prevail with? Or are we going to see OMAP4 and Tegra 2 devices? Stay tuned for more updates.

Hardware

With regards to hardware, the 7 Series devices will all sport a specific CPU and speed, screen aspect ratio and resolution, memory and button configuration and will not partner with UI customizers like Sense or TouchWiz. Which means every Windows Phone 7 will sport a single Windows Phone identity regardless of carrier or device brand. Which means they will all look shockingly similar at first sight. Carrier collaborations  include AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone while hardware partners include Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC, HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm.

Is it time to conclude already? I think the game is just beginning. When I sat down to write about the burning hot smartphone OS market, I was thinking iPhone OS vs Android vs Blackberry vs Palm. Little did I know an old timer was going to make a radical new entry into the fray all over again. And it appears like Microsoft has finally got it after all these years. Burning bridges and adopting a radical approach may not be enough to come out tops but it sure as hell has brought them face to face with the top warriors of the smartphone war.

Ice Storms

Nature’s Cold Shoulder

Freezing rain… sounds innocent enough, until it becomes a layer of ice, enveloping every single thing in a heavy, unwelcome embrace.


(image credit: Joeo Paglione)


(image courtesy: Rick Macomber (c)2007)

Ice storms are able to put the life of an entire state on hold, as power distribution is disrupted and often not restored for a couple of weeks. You are left with nothing much to do, other than to admire the cold beauty of ice “kingdom” around you. You turn into a truly “captive audience”.

A week without any power

We all remember the 1998 ice storm in Quebec. Here are some pictures of this devastating event. Over fifty high voltage towers collapsed, one after another. According to wiki “just one quarter of an inch of ice accumulation can add about 500 pounds of weight per line span”.


(photo by Michel Laflamme)


(photo by Jacques Paul)


(photo by Serge LeClair)


(photo by Michel Lacroix)

Close to 1.4 million people in Quebec and 230,000 in Ontario were without electricity. In some cases, people stayed without power for up to six weeks. It was the most destructive storm in Canadian history. This is a good article about it. Also, for some interesting photographs of a significant ice storm in Spokane, Washington in 1996.

Ice-encased sea of grass

Mike Hollingshead from Extreme Instability documented the ice storm that happened in December 2006 in Nebraska and parts of Kansas. With photographer’s permission we reproduce some of the most impressive pictures of the aftermath of that storm.


(images credit: Mike Hollingshead)

The iconic image of ice-encased blade of grass is well-known. But here is what an ice storm can do with a grass field: turn it into a sea of ice.


(images credit: Mike Hollingshead)


(image credit: John Deerhake)

The picture above was taken outside the small town of LaFayette, Ohio. It was during a nasty ice storm in early 2005 that had left the whole northwest part of the state out of power for over a week.

Returning to the storm in Nebraska, here is some barb wire:

and a guiding wire to a pole – ice 2 inches thick!


(images credit: Mike Hollingshead)


(original unknown)

Want to fill up your car? You may be thwarted in your efforts. Here is the frozen control panel of a fuel pump:

and the pump handle:


(images credit: Brandon Hauff)

Strong winds and extreme cold combine to create ice sculptures

The following pictures were taken in Hungary, at Lake Balaton by an unknown photographer:

The conditions responsible for creating these icicles seem to be similar to the more famous extreme weather occasion on Lake Leman. In fact, these conditions happen throughout the region – the following picture was taken at a lake in central Italy, called Bolsena, in a windy area 100km north of Rome:


(image credit: MaxResolution)

Lake Leman has an icy touch

Technically, not an ice storm, but a very impressive accumulation of ice due to the high wind (gusting to 110 km/h) on Lake Leman near Geneva, Switzerland. This has happened 2 years ago and the pictures were widely seen on the internet, but they never fail to fascinate. See more photos here.

Here is the eye-witness account:
“The cold did not save sailing ships moored in the ports of Léman. In Geneva, several boats sank under the weight of the ice. Several minor roads were closed, passage having been made impossible by the ice and the snowdrifts. In downtown Geneva, Servette Street was closed after the rupture of a water pipeline transformed the roadway into a true skating rink.”


(image credit: Jean-Pierre Scherrer )


(images credit: skyandsummit)


(image credit: Jean-Pierre Scherrer )


(images credit: skyandsummit)


(image credit: Jean-Pierre Scherrer )

The Frozen Flood

The ice encasing these unfortunate automobiles will melt, but the situation could’ve been much worse – like during the flood of Badger River in Newfoundland in 2003. All the flood water froze completely and the trapped cars were sitting in two-meters-deep ice for months:


(images credit: snn-rdr.ca)

Buried in snow is no fun, either

Granted, it’s not as radical as power-killing ice storm, but extreme snowstorms can disrupt the normal life just as significantly:

After three snowstorms in Halifax, Canada, some cars disappear for good:


(image credit: photofiddler)


(image credit: Ruth & Dave)

When “The Flying Dutchman” becomes a frozen one

When you are at sea, exposed to storm weather elements, and then come to port – your buddies may not recognize the ship any more:


(original unknown)

The following picture may scare you into thinking about some horrendous ice storm, but it actually depicts a house after the fire-fighter’s efforts to put out the fire:

Finally, to reconcile you with Mother Nature again, here is a nice picture of a frozen waterfall: