How to Choose The Best DSLR Cameras

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Best Digital SLR Cameras – All about DSLR Cameras

Greetings, this is Steve, a debt of gratitude is in order for perusing my DSLR Reviews. I appreciate taking photographs, so I welcome it caught my charming minutes. In the event that you are intrigued to take in more about advanced SLR and how to pick the best cameras to put resources into for taking uncommon photographs, here’s the correct place!

It should remember what you require your camera to do before purchasing any one, so now I’ve included data and realities that you will discover accommodating for you to pick the best camera. I took the points of interest from my own particular experience while looking for the ideal camera to purchase.

What is the DSLR Camera?

An incredible number of specialists are craving for a DSLR, the truth of the matter is that they have no clue what it is precisely, if have, much the same as “It resembles the reduced one in my pocket, it will be better, it is a major one.”

In my approach to portray a DSLR, it would be ‘Surrounding’; you can utilize the DSLR for nearly anything, taking pictures of stunning creatures, excellent scenes or astounding space science, recording striking superb video cuts.

What’s more, there is a noteworthy distinction on the cost as well. What amount would you say you will pay for a respectable camera that fits your requirements? I will prescribe a few cameras with reasonable spending plan!

Why a DSLR Camera is superior to Compact Camera?

Having a DSLR Camera, you will profit by:

Exchangeable focal point – in light of the sort of photography you want, you can buy focal points streamlined for the errand, instead of the one-measure fit-all focal point of a reduced.

Optical viewfinder which experiences the focal point by means of a mirror or crystal – look all through the camera focal point for consummate confining and discover significantly more detail than utilizing the LCD screen.

Speedier self-adjust – the computerized camera will concentrate significantly quicker and with better exactness.

No shade slack – when squeezing the screen discharge catch and taking the real photographs, no slack time in the middle of them – you won’t miss any essential minute.

No postponement in the middle of pictures – you’ll have the capacity to shoot no under 3 fps (in view of the camera demonstrate it might be even to 12 fps), perfect for activity shots.

Less clamor in low light – it is conceivable to shoot in low light while still get usable picture.

How to Choose the Best DSLR Cameras for Beginners?

Think economy

Here, economy implies profound thought on a brand: camera bodies, focal points, outsider focal points, extras, stuff you find on, for example, Amazon, eBay instructional exercises, classes, and that’s just the beginning.

All makes boast that their cameras have been outfitted with loads of highlights; some of the time they give a similar thing under an alternate name.

By and large, I don’t prescribe you buying a top of the line and most exceptional camera as your initial one. The cash you spend on the most developed camera can’t consequently total the astonishing magnum opus, the supernatural occurrence administrator is behind of the camera – you. Then again, the mind boggling alternatives will confound you, at last, you just work with the “completely programmed mode”, that is the thing that your “Conservative Camera” could understand. A section level of camera could item better pictures with a decent focal point than the blend of cutting edge camera and crappy focal point.

Which is the best entry level dslr Brand? 

Almost certainly, Canon and Nikon are the most aggressive and are probably going to remain so for a long time to come.

The brand isn’t the most critical issue, while the piece of the pie does, it should lead your decision. Wow the reason, in the event that you just need a camera and the pack focal point, piece of the overall industry doesn’t influence you

Be that as it may, in the event that you expect to continue contributing and updating the equipment, picking a most prominent brand can spare you cash and your opportunity, since you can undoubtedly discover all kind of embellishments for it, while for a little brand, you’ll need to chase to discover what you require, possibly with substantially more time and cash.

High Resolution for DSLR Camera Is Always Necessary?

While picking an advanced camera, there are different critical specs to consider separated from which shading to pick. A long time back, the way you’d approach this was to have the camera outfitted with the most noteworthy/greatest determination. Everybody likes greater one, isn’t that so? It appears to be greater one means all-round, multifunction and all the more effective. The reality under cameras isn’t that straightforward. Greater determination is genuinely incredible, however keep in mind the basic perspective – the last picture quality depends a considerable measure on the sensor estimate. Most DSLR cameras furnished with around 24X16mm APS (Advanced Photo System) sensors. As the determination expands, commotion increments as well. The correct adjust is 16Mp for them. In the event that you incline toward a “Full-Frame” sensor which is expansive and costly and prepared in top of the line cameras, you get a determination of 24Mp by 36X24mm sensor. Being the principal DSLR camera for fledglings, it is a touch of prior to discuss those points of interest. Additionally, you could trim expansive parts of pictures caught through higher resolutions, however for what reason not figure out how to outline the protest significantly more viably.

DSLR Camera: What is Live View?

A live view LCD on an advanced SLR camera gives you a chance to see the pictures you’re going to catch utilizing the expansive LCD on the back of the camera. A live view LCD is an awesome element for individuals who hate to peep this present reality through a “Gap”.

The nonstop picture appeared on the LCD empowers you to ensure you’re having the arrangement right, regardless of if your eye isn’t squeezed to the viewfinder.

In any case, hang on a sec… This “one of a kind” component sounds a superb parcel simply like the way every smaller computerized camera works.

It is, however adding a live view LCD to an advanced SLR isn’t generally a decent alternative as it sounds.

LCDs can be convenient, however they likewise do bring about weaknesses in plan general execution; particularly, on the off chance that you work with Live View, the auto-center will be again moderate, finishing the speed favorable circumstances of SLRs over compacts. The most critical perspective, the power utilization will be essentially expanded. When shooting regular view in the wild, a DSLR camera with battery depleted may be a decent weapon against assaulting from creatures, rather than taking their photographs back.

The best devices and apps to up your selfie game

The first time a stranger on the train told me I had a nice smile, I didn’t believe her. Back then, I hadn’t yet had my crooked teeth fixed, and my self-esteem wasn’t anywhere as high as it is today. I was an ugly kid, and it took a shocking number of selfies to convince myself that I’m not an ugly adult. It may seem like a superficial pastime, but selfie-taking has real benefits.

I’m not alone in believing there are psychological advantages here. Studies have shown that seeing a good picture of yourself can boost your confidence, while taking a smiling selfie can make you feel happier. Over time, that can improve your self-esteem. But getting selfies to look the way you want requires a very particular set of skills, skills I’ve acquired over a very long career of testing gadgets that are often designed to help you take better photos. We’ll talk about those devices later — best if you nail your technique first.

The basics

First of all, practice, practice, practice. When you have free time at home, take as many selfies as you need to figure out what angle works for you. Whether it’s holding your phone up high, sticking your chin out at a particular angle or figuring out which of your smiles looks best, there are certain key elements that even the most advanced technology won’t address.

There isn’t a rule that applies to everyone, but in general, holding your camera slightly above your eyes will prevent the appearance of double chins. Tilting your head ever so slightly to the left or right will make your face look slimmer (if that’s something you’re going for), and it usually helps to stick out your chin slightly to elongate your neck. Ultimately, there are various flattering ways one can pose, and everyone’s good angles are different. Your best bet is to experiment and learn what works for your face.

Understanding light

Once you’ve figured out your best angles (make sure you have a few to avoid becoming a one-trick pony), you’ll need to find or create the best lighting. Any photographer will tell you that light is your best friend, and that’s equally true with selfies. This is something you won’t have much control over if you’re outside with ample natural light. But if you’re in an environment where light is coming from just one direction, try to face the light source without your hand casting a shadow on you. In fact, try to avoid any shadows on your face at all.

It also helps to understand the type of light you’re shooting in. The best condition is natural light, specifically during the hour before sunset. Daylight is ideal for bringing out colors and details — best for showing off a new outfit or hair color. But your pictures will look better on a slightly cloudy day than under harsh sunlight. Clouds provide a natural filter for a softer effect on your face and prevent the overexposure that can happen on a sunny day.

When you’re indoors, very often you’ll be stuck under overhead lights that have an orange or greenish cast. In these situations, try to find a neutral light source and face it. It’s also better if the bulb is covered with a translucent material like tracing/tissue paper or a light-color lampshade, since this filters the rays to avoid harshness.

Remote triggers to avoid blur

All the prep you do before taking a picture can be ruined by shaky hands. Sometimes, you have to hold your phone in a way that makes the trigger hard to reach. In those situations, using a voice or gesture trigger can be very helpful. Today, many phones from companies such as Samsung and LG offer voice commands to take photos when you say prompts like “Cheese” or “Smile.” You can even ask Siri or the Google Assistant to “take a selfie” (though Apple’s software is useless since you still have to press the shutter button yourself).

Smartphone on its magnetic tripod

Activate these, as well as gesture triggers, to avoid introducing blur to your image when pressing down on a physical button. If your phone has none of these options, a good workaround is setting a short timer, pressing the shutter button, then framing your shot. You can also get a mini tripod for your phone, as well as a remote control, to take perfectly still selfies. I’d recommend a selfie stick, because they can be very useful in preventing blur, but they’ve been banned in so many places (I’ve had them confiscated at various security checks) that at this point they’re not worth the investment.

Accessories you can buy

If you’re serious enough about selfies to consider buying tools to improve them, the options run the gamut from lights to standalone cameras. Portrait photographers use a ring light to avoid their cameras casting a shadow on their subject’s faces while creating a sparkle in their eyes. The phone equivalent would be a selfie case, like the ones from LuMee or Allure/CaseMate. They add bulbs around the screen of your phone that you can turn on when you’re in a dark environment or if you just want a glamour boost.

Both the LuMee and Allure options have their strengths — the LuMee Duo’slights are more flattering, while the Allure has a fold-out ring that makes for better grip and doubles as a kickstand. I prefer the LuMee Duo (and the Kardashians use it, too) but I wish it weren’t so hard to pry off your phone once you put it on. I haven’t tried other options like the Ty-Lite, unfortunately, so I can’t vouch for it.

You can also try a clip-on selfie light like the Chatlight or a plug-in flash like the iBlazr LED if you don’t want to swap out your existing phone case. I found both those options effective (if a tad blue) during my testing, but I don’t like carrying additional accessories on me, so I prefer the cases.

Of course, strong lights like that can cause oily faces to look shiny, so make sure you blot or powder your skin before snapping a shot. If you don’t carry blotters or powder on you, even dabbing your forehead and nose with a napkin or tissue will help.

Some accessories let you get some distance from the camera, so you can see more of yourself in the picture. A mini tripod is a good way to set up your phone far away, but a camera accessory that’s controlled by your phone has the added benefit of giving you a preview of your shot before you capture it. Try this webcam-like toy called a Snap Petz that you can set anywhere to take your picture. You may also consider the upcoming Amazon Echo Look, a voice-controlled camera that takes full-length pictures or short videos. The Echo Look also has built-in LED lights, and also senses depth to apply an artificial background blur so you (and your outfits) stand out. The Echo Look still isn’t available, though, and we’ve yet to test it.

If you have money to blow and are happy to be extremely extra, go ahead and take a drone selfie. These flying cameras can recognize your face and follow you as you wander around a picturesque field or mingle with guests at a wedding reception. There are plenty of options, and they typically cost hundreds of dollars. Drone cameras are excellent for aerial videography, capturing stunning landscapes that add drama to home movies and indie films alike.

We don’t recommend spending so much just to take an impressive selfie, but if you happen to get the chance to play with one, definitely make full use of it. Be careful to keep your eye on your drone, though. As our UK bureau chief Mat Smith learned, the possibility of accidentally decapitating other attendees or yourself is always looming.

Our favorite is the Hover Passport drone by startup Zero Zero, which Snap Inc is rumored to be buying. But at $550, the Passport is a pricey investment. There are plenty of decent alternatives for less money, including the Parrot Mambo FPV, the Yuneec Breeze 4K and the DJI Spark.

Apps

After you’ve taken the picture, there’s more you can do to improve your selfie. Aside from using your built-in Photos app or Instagram to tweak highlights, shadows, warmth, saturation and more, you can also consider fixing your pictures with selfie apps.

These let you make fixes as subtle as smoothing your complexion or as dramatic as giving yourself a new look altogether. Discussions about misrepresenting yourself aside (a good practice when editing your selfies is to declare if you’ve done so), a virtual makeover can entertain your friends and followers. You can try out a different hair color, add thick eyelashes and see what your pals think.

My most popular selfies, as determined by number of Instagram likes, have been the ones where I’ve experimented with wild looks. I achieve most of these with CyberLink’s YouCam Makeup app, which not only lets me slim my face, apply digital makeup and smoothen my noticeable acne scars, but can also change the color of my eyes and hair for a dramatic result. YouCam is excellent at detecting my facial features to apply things like eyelashes, eyeliner or blush, but it struggles to recognize hair. You’ll have to manually paint an outline of your hair for the app to correctly identify it and change its color.

After I’m done with YouCam, I often use another app called Meitu Xiuxiuto add an overall glow to the picture. You might recall Meitu for its ethereal anime-esque selfie filters, but the app offers so much more. You can stretch yourself to appear taller, turn yourself into the cover star of a magazine or add stickers, doodles and text. I usually use Meitu for its beautifully rosy filters that make Instagram’s options look garish by comparison.

There are many other apps that let you edit your face, but I’ve stuck with the above two for years because they’re the most full-featured. For fun, I sometimes use an app called EditLab to add a double exposure effect that blends another picture on top of my selfie, which creates a romantic effect. I also like Snow for its fun Snapchat-like face filters, that superimpose my face onto a cartoon schoolkid or a steaming hot shower. It’s a good alternative for those who don’t have or want Snapchat but would still like to play with photo effects.

Remember, though, these apps are really more for fun than for achieving perfection; don’t go overboard trying to look like someone you’re not — your friends can tell when you don’t look like yourself.

Wrap-up

Now that we’ve gone over the technical skills you can use to improve your selfies, remember to have fun and not try to perfect your pictures for others. Our digital world can get toxic sometimes, and even the best selfies will be subject to scrutiny and ridicule. Even Kim Kardashian gets sensitive about unflattering photos and the subsequent insults. Ultimately, these your pictures are for your own pleasure and entertainment. Experiment, strike a weird pose or share an “ugly selfie” with your friends — if it makes you happy, it’s a good selfie.

Wireless charging will make drones always ready to fly

Image result for Wireless charging will make drones always ready to fly

Drones are great until you realize running all those propellers, a camera, GPS and other assorted technology bits are a real drain on the battery. If you’re just using one for images it’s not too big of a deal. But if you’re using one for surveying, security or delivering burritos, swapping out batteries all the time can be a huge pain and time suck. Fortunately, there’s a new wireless charging landing pad on its way.

The WiBotic PowerPad is a three-foot by three-foot landing station that comes with an onboard charger that can be attached to pretty much any drone according to the company. The company says the weather-resistant platform can be mounted pretty much anywhere and can help alleviate the need to handle drones that run automated flights on a regular basis.

The PowerPad also can serve as a waypoint for long-distance flights. If a drone needs to survey a large plot of land, it can stop and recharge at regular intervals on distributed platforms. No word on pricing or when the pad will be available, but there are sure to more than a few companies interested in reducing the time they spend swapping batteries while gathering data about battery health in the drones they have deployed.

What it takes to be a drone racer

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One cold, dreary afternoon in 2014, Jordan Temkin took his drone to Chautauqua Park in Boulder, Colorado. He put on a pair of goggles that filled his view with the live video feed from the drone’s tiny camera.

He’d built the drone frame from scratch using a 3D printer, finishing it with parts he’d bought online. It took about a month for it to take off straight. Eventually, it could hover around his backyard, so one day he took it to the park and began gingerly flying around.

You can still find the video feed of this first flight on YouTube. Temkin flies slowly and carefully at first, meandering around the asphalt path. But before long, he flies the drone up, over and then around a rocky peak before diving toward the ground and pulling up a split second before disaster.

At one point, Temkin appears in the video, sitting on the asphalt path as the drone loops around. “It really felt like I was flying,” he said. “I put on the goggles, and it’s like your consciousness is transferred into this drone. It’s especially weird when you’re flying around a park and you see some guy sitting there with a pair of goggles and you’re like, ‘Who the hell is that? Oh, it’s me.’”

Temkin isn’t alone in describing flying as an out-of-body experience — it’s a common feeling for first-person view (FPV) pilots. Total freedom. Flying like Superman.

He was only 22 at the time of that first flight. Three years later, he hasn’t stopped flying drones. In fact, he now gets paid to fly drones every day, and he’s arguably the best drone racer in the world. That’s not hyperbole: In a sport that’s only a few years old, he’s dominated the most high-profile competition. Twice.

Temkin likes to say he is getting paid to play with toys. He’s made hundreds of thousands of dollars in races from London to Dubai. Drone racing has made him some quick cash, but is it really a living?

Like professional gamers, drone racers use pseudonyms. Temkin’s racing name is Jet, an acronym of his name, Jordan Eiji Temkin. He rents an unassuming ranch house outside Fort Collins, Colorado, with fellow FPV racers Zach Thayer (A_Nub) and Travis McIntyre (m0ke). He moved to Fort Collins in part because authorities in Boulder had been putting up signs outlawing drone flying in public places, including Chautauqua Park.

For the trio, the selling point of this house was the wide-open backyard. The interior is littered with broken drones, airframes, batteries, propellers, racing trophies and not much else. The basement carpet looks like a used-drone sales lot, with row after row of drones, many of them smashed and broken. There’s an audio-visual studio for producing videos for their various YouTube channels and a spare room in the basement where visiting drone pilots can stay. A cutting tool in the garage is used for making prototype drone frames, and a small room in the basement is dedicated to storing frames, which Temkin and Thayer sell under the brand Shrike.

“They’re doing more than just flying the drones. They’re developing their own drones; they’re working on the hardware.”

The title of professional drone racer sounds like the cushiest job in the world: Get out of bed, go fly a drone. But unlike most other sports, it demands a high level of engineering skill. “Some people think of drone racers as early skateboarders, where they are finding empty pools and are just skating anywhere they can,” said Nick Horbaczewski, CEO and founder of the Drone Racing League. “[But] these guys are very sophisticated. They’re doing more than just flying the drones. They’re developing their own drones; they’re working on the hardware. This is his profession, it’s his hobby. It’s where he lives.”

Temkin and Thayer, who won last year’s U.S. National Drone Racing Championship, fly with a team of local pilots under the name Team Big Whoop. Since drone racing isn’t a team sport (although some leagues hope to make it one), Big Whoop is just a bunch of guys in Colorado with a passion for flying, racing and building drones. On days off, they set up soccer goals (sans netting) and use them as racing gates. Other obstacles work just as well — the team also improvises race courses that involve trees in the yard. “The neighbors probably hate us on days when we’re flying, because we fly for hours,” said Temkin. “On other days, we go up to the mountains, where we can fly a thousand feet up and down the cliffs in seconds.”

Why do robots need to do backflips?

Bipedal humanoid robot Atlas can jump, do a backflip and stick the landing.

Created by US robotics company Boston Dynamics, a video of the two-legged humanoid performing impressive athletic feats — for a robot — recently went viral.

Measuring 150 centimetres tall and weighing in at 75 kilograms, Atlas is able to coordinate the function of a torso, arms and legs to achieve a whole body manipulation.

Unlike other bipedal robots which seem clumsy and unable to even walk, Atlas has the ability to balance, along with a high strength-to-weight ratio and a complex range of sensors and stereo vision — meaning more complex actions are achievable.

GIF: Even for a robot not every landing sticks.

We expect robots to take over our homes and roads — but why would they ever need to do a backflip?

According to CSIRO Robotics Research Group senior engineer Ryan Steindl, there is no specific acrobatic requirement.

Still, the fact Boston Dynamic’s team set itself this challenge means other, more basic movements can become a lot easier to achieve.

“This is a common thing in robotics: tackle the very hard problem and the easier tasks — like just walking around and moving in our environment — get a lot easier,” he said.

“Like what the moon race did for space. Get there, and now we can get to orbit easily. It’s routine.”

Queensland University of Technology robotics lecturer Dr Chris Lehnert said the ability to achieve explosive energy in undertaking the flip and then stabilising the landing was significant.

The robot’s blooper reel also matters.

“The failures — when it lands and doesn’t land appropriately, it puts a foot out to stabilise itself — show it’s robust in different scenarios,” Dr Lehnert said.

GIF: Robot fails from the DARPA Robotics Challenge

But do we even need humanoid robots with legs?

Mr Steindl, who works on legged robotics, said they are necessary for activities on unstructured terrain or in human environments.

“Where roads and the right infrastructure exists, wheels are fine,” he explained.

“But when it comes to the outdoors or walking where a human would walk, or going into the bush or anywhere extreme, wheels can be quite prohibitive.”

Dr Lehnert said Atlas shows an ability to traverse difficult terrain.

“Previous humanoids have really struggled in real-world environments,” he said.

“Being able to walk upstairs, or at least run, has been very difficult.”

Not all robots with legs need only two

Boston Dynamics have designed a number of other robots to perform specific tasks, including Sand Flea, a robot with four wheels that can jump to a height of 10 metres.

Big Dog, a large robot with limbs akin to an animal’s legs, is built to travel across rugged terrain, including mud, snow and water — albeit not very gracefully.

GIF: Big Dog created by Boston Dynamics tackling some tricky terrain

Meanwhile, Mr Steindl and his team are working on their own many-legged robot, called Multilegged Autonomous eXplorer, or MAX.

The robot is tall (2.25 metres), light (60 kilograms) and flexible.

The aim is for MAX to autonomously explore an unstructured area, like the Amazon, and undertake an ecological survey.

“We are targeting walking as our means of transport, so we are really targeting rough terrain — like big boulders, big slopes — and being able to carry a science payload over a long period of time,” he said.

Ultimately, Atlas’s flipping feat is an impressive combination of weight management, power and computation — all with a metallic barrel chest and two spindly legs.

“To have it all happen that fast is the impressive part,” Mr Steindl said.

Gardener plugs in to 1960s CIA interrogation technique to get her plants to sing

Gardeners have long espoused the benefits of playing music to plants, but a West Australian musician and seamstress is looking to turn the tables by having her plant “sing” to her.

Tamara Jarrahmarri discovered the practice of amplifying a plant’s electrical field during a visit to the ecovillage of Damanhur, an independent federation nestled in the foothills of the Italian northern alps.

The music of the plants device Photo: Officially called a Music of the Plants device, the instrument interprets the electrical field of plants into sound. (ABC South West: Anthony Pancia)

Taken by the spectacle, Ms Jarramarri returned to her base in WA’s south-west armed with a Music of the Plants device and set about extracting music from her potted geranium named Citronella.

The process involves attaching an alligator clamp to the leaf of a plant and an earthing rod into the soil.

Both feed back to the device which interprets the current to a pulse which can be set to replicate a variety of musical instruments.

After a period of trial and error, Citronella began to produce notes similar to keys being played on a piano.

“It was a bit of a thrill to hear those first few notes,” Ms Jarrahmarri told the ABC during an impromptu demonstration.

“There’s a process of learning involved. But once I understood the energy Citronella was putting out there it simply became a matter of letting it flow.”

CIA interrogator thought to have unlocked secret

Ms Jarramarri credits the practice to the research of former CIA interrogation expert Cleeve Backster, who experimented with plants attached to a polygraph machine in the late sixties.

He deduced they are capable of both feeling pain and in possession of extrasensory perception.

Largely debunked by scientific fellows of the time, Mr Backster’s work inspired others to continue exploring the inner working of plants and the impact of human behaviour on them.

Tamara Jarrah Marri with her plant, Citronella Photo: Plant and alternative music advocate Tamara Jarrahmarri with her potted geranium, Citronella. (ABC South West: Anthony Pancia)

In 2011, then-postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Western Australia Dr Monica Gagliano explored the impact of sound frequencies on plants and the possibility humans could be connected to plants via sound.

Talking plants Photo: Dr Monica Gagliano’s research suggests plants communicate via sound. (Supplied: University of Western Australia)

Dr Gagliano posited that plants also do indeed produce sound which registers at the lower end of the audio spectrum, one which the human ear cannot detect.

“We know that plants produce sound waves, they don’t just hear them but produce them themselves. We’ve known that for quite some time, scientifically,” Dr Gagliano told the ABC at the time.

“They’ve been playing different frequencies to a vineyard for six years and, of course, the vines have been growing differently depending on what was played to them. Not necessarily music, just different frequencies.

“They produce wine out of it and apparently it’s much richer in the flavours that indicate a good wine.”

Science broadcaster, journalist and 2006 Australian Skeptic of the Year, Karl Kruszelnicki, said plants like every living creature do generate electricity which was capable of being transformed into sound.

“It [the process of extracting ‘music’ from plants] makes as much sense as putting electrodes on your skin or into the ground,” Dr Kruszelnicki said.

“It’s picking up random noise and then turning into notes via a sophisticated sound system.”

Connectivity the key to good music

Upon arriving at Ms Jarramarri’s property, Citronella was soon hooked up to the Music of the Plants device for an impromptu performance for the ABC to witness.

Before long, random notes did indeed begin to flow from the connected amplifier in a not unsatisfying manner.

“She [Citronella] would have been detecting your energy as you’re somebody brand new and there needs to be a connection of some sort,” Ms Jarramarri told the ABC prior to the first notes ‘being played’.

“She would have been detecting that and it would have come out as sound. When she’s met somebody and the energy is very calm, she is then able to relax and make her own plant song.”

Concert debut a success

Ms Jarrahmarri recently staged a concert in her yard with attendees performing to the accompaniment of Citronella’s steady output.

Citronella the plant in concert Photo: Citronella centre stage at a recent concert where attendees were encouraged to play along. (Source: Tamara Jarrahmarri)

Though she says the duo “are still a long way off yet”, Ms Jarrahmarri envisages performing with a variety of other plants in larger performances away from home.

“People stayed at our concert for probably four or five hours, whereas the concert was only supposed to go for two,” Ms Jarrahmarri said.

“I think the energy was so amazing that it was really difficult to leave and, yeah, there was a certain glow by the trees in the garden and I think its been glowing ever since.”

DJI threatens legal action after researcher reports bug

In August, DJI announced that it was launching a bug bounty program that would give out rewards to people who could find flaws in its software. The company said it would pay between $100 and $30,000 depending on the flaw. But according to an essay written by security researcher Kevin Finisterre, and reported by the Verge, the program isn’t off to a great start.

In his write-up, Finisterre describes his interactions with DJI before and after he reported some pretty significant problems with the drone-maker’s security. Before getting too deep into it, he checked with DJI to see if their servers were included in the scope of the bug bounty program and though it took a while for DJI to respond, it did eventually confirm that servers were on the table. After quite a bit of digging, Finisterre put together a 31-page report that detailed what he and his colleagues had found. That included the private key to DJI’s SSL certificate, which had been leaked on GitHub, allowing Finisterre to see a pile of customer data stored on DJI’s servers.

Finisterre turned in his report and DJI eventually said that the information warranted a $30,000 reward. But what followed was a series of negotiations over the terms of the deal, largely focused on what Finisterre could or couldn’t say about the situation. After a number of lawyers told him that the agreement was risky at best — and as Finisterre puts it, “likely crafted in bad faith to silence anyone that signed it,” — and after being sent a letter stating that he had no authority to access DJI servers and the company was therefore reserving its right of action under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Finisterre abandoned the deal.

These types of programs are used by a number of companies including Samsung, Apple, Twitter, Facebook and even dark net black markets. But for them to work, they really need to lay out their terms from the get go. DJI has now created a website that provides more information on its bounty program but that wasn’t available when they announced it in August.

DJI has released a statement about the situation. “DJI asks researchers to follow standard terms for bug bounty programs, which are designed to protect confidential data and allow time for analysis and resolution of a vulnerability before it is publicly disclosed,” the company said. “The hacker in question refused to agree to these terms, despite DJI’s continued attempts to negotiate with him, and threatened DJI if his terms were not met.” You can read the full statement here.

Xiaomi’s latest US-ready devices include an action cam

Xiaomi has chosen to focus its efforts on dozens of markets outside the US that very few of its products ever make it stateside. It has slowly been bringing its offerings into the country, though, and has started selling four new products on Amazon (with one more to come) just in time for this year’s holiday shopping season. The priciest one you can add to your Christmas list is Xiaomi’s GoPro rival, the $300 Mi Sphere Camera kit, which is a 23.88-megapixel 360-degree camera that can record videos in 3.5K.

Xiaomi has also released a $140 robot builder kit with Lego-like components and electronic parts like high-speed motors and engine that you can use to build robotic dinosaurs, Transformer-like machines or pretty much anything you want. You can write programs for your creations with the kit’s accompanying app even if you don’t know how to write code. If you’re not really a builder but love listening to music, the next item in Xiaomi’s list is for you: a pair of $130 gold-and-black Hi-Fi stereo headphones that has a closed-loop design that can supposedly block noise.

The company is releasing a cheaper ($25) pair of in-ear headphones, as well, but that’s not arriving until November 24th. Finally, there’s the manufacturer’s 10,000 mAh powerbank with a microUSB and USB Type-C connection for your newer phones. It will only set you back $30, which is quite cheaper than the one Tesla released, though it’s also unfortunately sold out at the moment. The sphere camera is also temporarily out of stock, but the headphones and the robot builder are both available and ready to be snapped up as somebody’s Christmas gift.

Sony’s Robotic Dog Aibo Is Back From the Dead

First released back in 1999, Sony’s robotic dog Aibo was so lifelike and animated that devoted owners are still doing everything they can to keep their aging pets alive, after Sony discontinued repair service on earlier models. But 18 years later, it might finally be time for them to say goodbye now that Sony has finally announced a new and improved version of the robo-pup.

Powered by a 64-bit quad-core CPU and a rechargeable battery good for about two hours of playtime, the new Aibo is brought to life with custom-designed compact actuators that allow the robot to move along 22 different axes. To non-engineers that means the robot should be able to more convincingly recreate the movements of a real dog, including tail and ear wagging, individual paw movements, and a mouth synced to sounds. The only thing it won’t do is shred your favorite pair of shoes.

Using a wide-angle camera hidden in Aibo’s nose, a second near its tail, and additional sensors that can recognize touch inputs like petting, Sony says the robot will take advantage of deep learning and AI tricks to better recognize faces, smiles, and even spoken commands and praise, to help it form a strong bond with its owner—something we’ve already seen in the similarly pet-like Anki Cozmo. The company also hopes the introduction of expressive OLED displays used for Aibo’s eyes will help improve the chances of humans interacting with it like a real pet.

When available exclusively in Japan in January of next year (Sony says it will test the market there before making a decision on selling the new Aibo in other parts of the world) the “entertainment robot” will also be able to take advantage of a SIM card so that it can access the internet and software updates even while you’re taking it for a walk.

Unfortunately, the only improvement Sony didn’t make with the new Aibo is its price tag. Like the original, this will be a very expensive toy, with a $1,730+ price tag. But to take advantage of all of Aibo’s features, including smartphone connectivity and an app store that introduces new tricks and skills, owners will also have to subscribe to a three year online plan for roughly $800. Sony will even introduce an Apple Care-like service for the robot that discounts the cost of repairs for an additional $475. The high cost of ownership might be the most realistic part of Sony’s new robot dog.

Logitech Will Be Intentionally Bricking All Harmony Link Units on March 16th, 2018 [Updated]

Logitech will be deliberately bricking every unit of the Harmony Link, a universal hub which allows users to control their home theater systems and a variety of other devices from their smartphones, on March 16th, 2018. According to Bleeping Computer, on that date Logitech will issue a firmware update that permanently disables the devices. As Popular Science additionally noted, the Harmony Link relies upon a cloud-based service to function that will be taken offline, ensuring that users will be locked out no matter what. Update below.

Rory Dooley, head of Logitech Harmony, told Gizmodo in a statement that the decision to turn off the devices “does not impact Logitech’s commitment to Logitech Harmony customers,” adding that those within a one-year warranty period could exchange their devices for free for an upgraded Harmony Hub. Other owners can get a “one-time discount offer” (35 percent, per Bleeping Computer) on the $100 replacement.

Dooley told Gizmodo they had discontinued support for the devices because of the expiration of a security license, and that the product only had a “small user base.”

“The technology certificate (for Harmony Link) is an encryption certification that expires in the spring of 2018, which may open the product up to potential security vulnerabilities,” Dooley added. “We’ve refocused development resources on newer technologies, and therefore, we are not updating the Harmony Link certificate.”

While Dooley said the product was last sold by Logitech in 2015, Bleeping Computer reported the company “held fire sales for Harmony Link devices in the past months, offering the universal hubs at lowered prices and with a warranty of only three months.” It also noted that users on Logitech’s forums claimed the terms “class action lawsuit” were being censored.

Discontinuing support for an aging product is pretty par for the course and more or less inevitable, given it’s impossible to expect companies to commit resources to maintaining old technology forever. Deliberately bricking those products while encouraging them to migrate to a newer model is, on the other hand, a considerably rarer thing to do—though consumers should be wary that with the rise of networked home electronics, companies can choose to turn off their tech at the flick of a button.

As Ars Technica noted, Harmony Link owners on web forums don’t seem to have noticed any significant problems with their devices and likely expected to continue using them until they stopped functioning. Them’s the breaks, apparently.

Correction: An earlier version of this headline (but not the article below) misstated the date of the terminal firmware update as March 18th. You can only use the Link until March 16th, sorry.

Update November 9th: After livid customer feedback, Logitech has decided to give all Harmony Link owners a free upgrade to its newer Harmony Hub devices. Customers that already used Logitech’s previous discount coupon will also be able to contact Logitech so that they can be refunded the difference in price. However, existing Harmony Link devices will still cease to function on March 16th, 2018.