Tag Archives: drone

Ebook news digest: co-authoring tips, Estonia citizenship for nomads, websites for writers

2016-12-06

Ebook news digest: December 6th, 2016

Smiling woman holding books
10 Great Tips on How to Write a Book With a Co-author
(Writer’s Digest)

Many travel guidebooks, non-fiction books, textbooks, and scientific publications are written by more than one author. A collection of articles is relatively easy to compile into a book if you compare it to a real book that reads like it was written by one author. The really difficult thing in multi-author projects is to get the writers’ team truly to co-operate and collaborate. Christopher Mari and Jeremy K. Brown know what they are talking about when they list 10 tips for co-authoring a book. My favorite tip: editing other writers output (acknowledging that someone will edit yours).

Why are so many digital nomads becoming “e-Residents” of Estonia?
(LeapIn Blog)

Estonia is a small country on the shores of the Baltic Sea, located between Russia and Latvia. The capital Tallin has one of the most beatiful medieval old towns you can find in Europe. In 1991, when the nation managed to separate itself from Russia, it started building its telecommunications infrastructure from scratch. The leaders of the country were and still are very modern people who realized high tech is the way go for a small nation. Many innovative digital services have been developed (for instance, Skype) in Estonia. One of the latest is e-citizenship. Practically anyone can become a digital citizen of Estonia.

The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2016
(The Write Life)

No one really needs 100 websites to start writing a book, but if you can find even two or three sites that help you, it has been worth the time to check out all the listed web pages. Most of the listed web sites provide tools and advice for writers who are starting out their pursuit of independent work. That’s when you need help the most – published authors have usually learned the tricks of the trade during the years. One more web site for writers: travel writers and photographers who want to publish a book, read this.

Meet the photographer taking stunning drone images from around the world
(Brisbane Times)

Amos Chapple is a travel photographer, but not one who is going from place to place with a large SLR camera hanging from his neck. He is a travel photographer who uses drones to take pictures from an angle that has been unavailable for photographers until recently. He got a dream gig from Unesco that hired him to travel and photograph on a drone World Heritage Sites. He has plenty of insight on what travel photography really is all about.

European Union lifts the VAT burden on ebooks
(roger packer)

EU has been consistent with its VAT policy: printed books have a low VAT, and ebooks have a high VAT because digital media products are services. Luxembourg and France have fought this principle and lowered the VAT for ebooks, but EU told them it is not allowed. Finally, all the necessary steps have been taken in the EU, and the VAT for ebooks can be set as low as it is for paper books. The new regulation will become effective in 2017.

A small, easy-to-use drone for serious selfie-photographers

2016-10-15

Selfie-sticks are surprisingly popular, even though they let you take photos from a very limited angle, and that’s why selfie-stick photos tend to look the same. We don’t expect to see as many selfie sticks at tourist destinations next peak season anymore as we have seen this year. Ambitious selfie photographers may move on to selfie drones because now, it looks like there is a drone product that everyone can use without having to spend days in learning how to fly one.
yuneec breeze selfie drone
Yuneec Breeze is roughly the size of a thick book, but it is much lighter than a book (the heaviest component is the battery). It is meant to be small and light so that it is easy to take along in a bag or packbag. A smartphone or tablet (Android and Apple) is required in order to tell the drone what it has to do.

Before the drone takes off, you have to choose the flying mode:

Pilot: This gives the most control over the drone. You can fly the drone manually by controlling it in the Breeze Cam app.
Selfie: Distance, altitude, and position sliders let you adjust the position of the drone in relation to yourself.
Orbit: The Orbit mode lets you instruct the Breeze to circle around you or another object.
Journey: The camera pitch determines the angle the drone will fly at, and you can adjust how far it goes.
Follow Me: First, you have to manually fly the drone to a position where you want it. Activate Follow Me, and the drone will keep its distance and position and follow you.

If the drone detects any problems with communication between itself and the device that is controlling it, it will return home (the place where it took off). And it is always possible to push return home button in the app.

The list price for the Yuneec Breeze is USD 499. The company lists retailers for the product on the web page here.

Le Monde tested the Breeze, and they were happy about:
– the image quality
– ease of use
– flight stability
– compact size.
Le Monde didn’t like:
– weak light indicators.
– image quality in some video modes.
– short flight time (battery lasts 12 minutes).

Here you can view sample video clips captured by Terry Dunn:

Yuneec Breeze key features and specifications

Flying modes: selfie, pilot, follow-me, journey, orbit.
Dimensions: 196 x 196 x 65 mm
Weight: 385 g.
Battery: 1150 mAh LiPo.
Flight time: up to 12 minutes.
Max flying height: 80 meters.
Max horizontal speed: 5 m/s (restricted by software)
Max climbing speed: 1 m/s
Wifi.
Android and Apple iOS apps for controlling the drone.
Camera:
– 0°C – 40°C working temperature.
– 13 Megapixel CMOS sensor.
– 4K and 1080p video capture.
– 4160 x 3120 pixels (13 MP) still images.
– FOV 117°
– 1/30 – 1/8000s shutter speed
– White balance: auto, sunny, sunrise, sunset, cloudy, tungsten light, glowing, disabled

On this video Bo Lorentzen shows you the features of the Yuneec Breeze and how to fly it:

Ebook news digest: two types of digital nomads, low-cost ereader, drone photography for everyone

2016-08-16

Ebook news digest August 16, 2016

digital nomad dorothy by duncan rawlinson

Digital nomad Dorothy by Duncan Rawlinson


Mashable: My life as a remote year guinea pig

Stephanie Walden participated in a year-long packaged tour around world. It wasn’t a vacation, but a package for digital nomads who worked the whole time (well, depending on each nomad’s own motivation). They stayed in one place for one month, experiencing 12 destinations during the year. The organizer, Remote Year, took care of travel and accommodation costs and logistics. The idea was to have a community of 70 nomads who would stay together for the whole year. Many exciting and interesting things happened during the year – an intriguing story which is a must read for everyone even remotely thinking of nomad life.

Amateur Photographer: Drone the World holidays promise travel photography with a twist

Everyone knows that there are lots of ways to take better travel photos than the usual selfies in front of statues. Black Tomato has made it extremely easy for anyone to become a master in rather difficult special field of photography: snapping images from a drone. The company organizes travel packages where professional drone photographers follow the travel group. The professionals take aerial images of travelers and they can also teach individual tourists to control a drone and its camera.

The Ebook Reader: New Onyx Boox C67s ereader now available for $73

Even though the Amazon Kindle totally dominates the ereader market, a few companies are actively developing new products for ebook lovers. Onyx has introduced a new product, the Onyx Boox C67s, which looks like a reasonably good value for the money. Six-inch E ink screen with 1024×758 resolution, but no Wi-Fi, touch screen or frontlight. Price at the moment: $73.

Law Fuel: Leading Blogger Becomes Digital Nomad on World Cruise

Active travel bloggers and photographers may give the impression that every digital nomads is a relatively young, trendy person. Personally, I have always suspected it, because it is the over-50s and over-60s who tend to have resources to live a nomad life if they wish. Jo Castro, a social media consultant, is one of these seasoned digital nomads who has embarked on a trip around the world. She is doing it in style on a cruise ship that visits 39 destinations in 27 countries over 104 nights. The upfront cost is about the same as the digital nomad who traveled for one year on a packaged around the world nomad tour.

Resource Travel: Top 9 landscape photography locations in Northern Spain

Christian Hoiberg lived one year in Santander, a coastal town in northwest Spain. The story features good tips if you are considering traveling in this part of not-so-well-travelled Spain, and even better tips for photo locations and pictures from the northwest region’s rugged coast.

More travel stories here.

Ebook news digest: ereader hacks, tips for Google Play Books, the future of reading

2016-07-15

Ebook news digest 15. July, 2016

kobo glo hd ereader

Kobo Glo HD ereader.


Six E-Reader Hacks You Need To Know (Bustle)

Book lovers fill up their ereaders with ebooks that have been sitting on the to-be-read list when they head for vacation. Julia Seales provides excellent tips for ereader users who already know the basic features of their devices, but don’t necessarily know that it is possible to read magazines and news on many ereaders as well.

Ebooks: How the future of reading became an open book (The Big Issue)

We have heard so many arguments in the continuing discussion of “I love the smell of old books” versus “ebooks are the future” that we are tired of the whole debate. That is exactly why Jane Graham’s balanced article on the book formats is a refreshing read, and it highlights one of the key points of ebooks: the new technology will develop books into a new direction.

How to upload your own eBooks to Google Play Books (Updato)

Google Play Books application gives you access to the Play bookstore, and lets you read EPUB and PDF ebooks as well. A less advertised feature in Play Books is upload: you can upload ebooks that you already have to your Play library, and read them in the Play Books application. EPUB and PDF books are accepted by the app as long as the books are DRM-free (watermarked ebooks are fine).

High Art: The Best of Drone Photography (Wmagazine)

A web site specialized in drone photography Dronestagram organizes photo contests for the best drone pictures. Admire the best of this year’s drone photos.

Amazon’s Kindle Oasis is the Most Travel-Friendly E-reader Yet (Travel+Leisure)

Amazon’s high-end ereader the Oasis is thinner and lighter than other Kindle devices, and its special case provides additional power for the product, which makes the Oasis an ideal travel companion. That’s what Travel+Leisure claims, but we still believe that although an excellent product, the Oasis (current price $290) is not as good value as the Kindle ereaders priced around $100.

Non-fiction ebooks for your smartphone, tablet, ereader or PC: download here.

Ebook news digest: ereader reviews, drone photography for travelers, writing tips from an author, imprint explained

2016-06-22

Ebook news digest June 22th, 2016

apple ipad pro 9.7 smart keyboard
Why are there so many new publishing imprints? (The Guardian)

* So what is an imprint, and why are there suddenly so many more of them? The simple answer is that they are subdivisions of bigger publishers. Sometimes, they come about through takeovers and sometimes they are startups.

10 Travel Photography Tips (Julia Trotti)

* Excellent, proven tips. The only point we encourage travelers to reconsider is how many cameras to take along – with a high-end smartphone you can take excellent photos (and videos), and a waterproof camera is a practical choice in some destinations.

Ebook Readers: The 5 Best Models You Can Buy (Gear & Style CheatSheet)

* Yes, the Amazon Kindle is a very good ereader, but Kobo and Onyx models are good choices as well.

‘I write first thing, when I can suspend disbelief in the act of making things up’ (Will Self)

* It is valuable for a writer to learn from other writers. Will Self makes the point of writing a specific amount of text (a Conrad) in the morning before he does anything else. It works for some authors, whereas others may prefer to do other things in the morning and plan what to write in the afternoon.

High times: the rise of drone photography (The Guardian)

* Photos and video clips shot from drones are one of the fastest growing types of images on Instagram. A new profession: drone operators who travel to shoot images for brands.

Non-fiction ebooks for your smartphone, tablet, ereader or PC: download here.

The best photos of 2015 taken by a drone

2016-01-04

Drones were hot products in 2015 and continue to be so in 2016. Taking good photos and capturing interesting videos with a drone is not easy, but it opens up a whole new world to travel photographers and everyone else interested in photography. Dronestagram is a site that only publishes images taken by drones. The service organized a contest for the best photos taken by drones, and the winning shots are amazing.

Dronestagram received more than 5000 entries to the contest from everywhere in the world by professional photographers and amateur drone photo enthusiasts. The photos were judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts including National Geographic photographer Ken Geiger and Jean-Pierre Vrignaud, Editor in Chief of National Geographic France and Dronestagram.

Here are the most liked pictures of 2015:
1. Above the mist, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil by Ricardo Matiello
dronestagram, ricardo matiello

2. Plovdiv, Bulgaria by IceFire (a fountain with lights in a park forms the question mark)
dronestagram, icefire

3. Glorieta Rodolfo Sanchez Taboada, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico by w00tsor
dronestagram, w00tsor

View all the winners in various categories at Dronestagram.

Review: the best drones for travel video

2015-11-12

Drones are one of the hottest product categories in photography and video recording at the moment. As consumer products, drones are still a new gadget category that is going through an extensive technology development phase. Two major technologies require development: image quality and ease of steering. Are any of the most popular drone brands ready for the big time? Here is a review.

Le Monde picked up four popular consumer drones that are available in the US, Europe and in other regions: 3DR Solo with GoPro camera, DJI Phantom 3 Standard, Parrot Bepop and Xiro Xplorer Vision.

dji phantom 3 drone

DJI Phantom 3


Le Monde tested the drones for steering, reliability and safety, quality of images, stability of images, automatic flying capabilities, flying indoors, ease of use and price. After tallying up the scores for the tests, the winner drone was DJI. Based on technical features and usability, here are the best drones:

1. DJI Phantom 3 Standard, score 79 (price in Euros 820)
2. 3DR Solo with GoPro camera, 75 (price 2200)
3. Xiro Xplorer Vision, 74 (price 1000)
4. Parrot Bepop, 63 (price 460)

What is the best drone for shooting travel video?

It is not necessarily the same one that won the test because other factors come into play. When we travel, we have to make choices what we can take with us. It doesn’t matter if we fly, travel by train, by car, by motorcycle or by bicycle, the space for clothes, supplies and electronics is always limited.

The size and the shape of the drone is a key factor for determining if it can be taken along for a trip. DJI Phantom, for instance, is relatively large and shaped in a way that makes it very difficult to pack it in a backpack or in any kind of bag. The dimensions of the DJI Phantom are 18 x 13 x 8 inches / 46 x 33 x 20 cm.

parrot bepop drone, blue

Parrot Bepop


Parrot Bepop, on the other hand, is relatively small and it has a low profile which makes it easy to carry along in a bag. Additionally, the drone is designed to be disassembled for transportation. Its dimensions are 28 x 32 x 3.6 cm without the hull and 33 x 38 x 3.6 cm with the hull.

Parrot Bepop can be complemented with an app titled Flight Plan that runs on smartphones and tablets. The application lets you create a route that drone must fly and camera angles that it must use to take still images and shoot video.

View sample videos for each drone and plenty of useful details (in French) at Le Monde.

Flight Plan application for a drone lets you create a predetermined route for fascinating travel photography

2015-10-24

Piloting a drone is more difficult than promotional videos filmed by manufacturers let you understand. Travel photographers who use drones in order to get new angles to places that have been photographed millions of times, should find the new feature in the Parrot Bepop drone useful. It is now possible to download Flight Plan application to a smartphone or tablet, and create a predetermined route for the drone.
parrot flight plan application
The Flight Plan app costs $10 extra but it is worth every penny. You can create a detailed route for the drone on a satellite map, and specify what the drone must do at each stage of the flight.

You tap the map to establish waypoints that define the route. At each waypoint, you can tell the drone to start shooting video, take photos, adjust the camera angle and so on. Once the plan is ready, you load it to the drone.

You can follow what the drone sees on your smartphone or tablet in real time when the drone is flying along its route. If something interesting turns up, you can interrupt the predetermined flight plan and take the drone in manual control. The drone must in Wi-Fi signal range to do this. If it isn’t, the drone will follow the preloaded route.

View a video that shows how a flight route is created and how the drone follows it:

Flight Plan app is available for Apple and Android mobile devices and it works with the Parrot Bepop drone.

Via Stuffi.

The Best Photos 2014 Taken by a Drone

2015-01-07

Selfies became a new phenomenon in photography in 2014, but so did photos and videos shot by drones. A number of new services, like TravelbyDrone and Dronestagram display fabulous image material submitted by thousands of drone owners. Beautiful sceneries and funny events are on the menu for drone photo viewers.

Dronestagram arranged a competition for the best drone photos of 2014, and an eagle who came to check out a drone won the title.

Bali, eagle, Capungaero
1. Capungaero, Bali.

Annecy, France by drone-cs
3. Drone-cs, Annecy France.

waterfall in Tamul Mexico by Postandfly
Most liked: Postandfly, Tamul waterfall in Mexico.

View the whole winning gallery here.