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21
Browsers & Technology / Re: Keeping an eye on Opera
Last post by ersi -
Will you start commenting there now?
22
Browsers & Technology / Re: Keeping an eye on Opera
Last post by Frenzie -
The unusable Disqus system is being replaced with something better.

From now on, in addition to the usual comments section underneath the blog posts, you will be able to participate in the discussion directly on the Opera Forums. Moreover, blog posts on similar topics (like subsequent builds of a particular Opera version) can share the same comments thread - which means less noise and more productive discussions. If a similar question arises among people across different blog posts, we will also be able to direct you to an existing thread on the Opera Forums where your question might have already been answered.
24
Browsers & Technology / Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Last post by Frenzie -
Perhaps the JPEG quality or resolution defaults to low (the output is only 1.6 MB)
Resolution is set to 16:9 (16Mpix). The only alternative is 4:3 (13Mpix).

This is kind of odd because in Android apps the max res is 5984 x 339x (187:106, 20.3 MP).

There are no JPEG quality settings in the Sailfish photo app, nor an option for RAW.

A lack of settings can certainly be defended to some degree. Is there any point to being able to select 160 x 120? Or really almost any of the lower settings? Presumably those modes are there to save apps like Skype some processing power when they have to limit the resolution to something like 1280 x 720 for bandwidth reasons but they really have no place in photos. My SE T630 took pictures in 320x200 (or some such). I haven't the slightest desire to replicate that. Curious sidenote, my Zenfone 2 offers 2M as the lowest option, which is basically the smallest resolution that isn't completely hopeless.[1]

By contrast, there's certainly something to be said for recording in 720p or perhaps even lower if you don't need higher quality video.

Anyway, conclusion being that regardless whether you use RAW, the results show that you require an Android photo app because the stock Sailfish one is worthless. Luckily Open Camera and FreeDCam are pretty decent, probably others as well.
A good camera can do quite well with 4 MP, for example. I've got an old Konica Minolta 6 MP DSLR here; excellent quality. The difference is that all 6 megapixels are stock full of information, while the "20" megapixels on my XA2 are largely noise.
25
Browsers & Technology / Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Last post by Frenzie -
Okay, I decided to create a few quick sample pictures.

This is the Sailfish stock camera, afaict all set to auto. It's oddly awful. Perhaps the JPEG quality or resolution defaults to low (the output is only 1.6 MB) but that's obviously not the whole story. Using a lower resolution doesn't make a picture shitty except for specific use cases like print. (And forgoing on print to save some space would be absurdly stupid, but that aside.)



This is a picture in auto-mode in Open Camera (saved as JPEG+RAW):



And this is the same picture with minimal processing in DarkTable, of the type that could be auto-applied by default to all pictures from this device. It's using a Sony Alpha-like base curve, which is pretty neutral, plus the default shadows & highlights and filmic filters:



For comparison, here's a Nokia-like base curve, which adds inaccurate but possibly pleasant saturation:



As you can see the results from simple off-device processing can be significantly superior.

The downside is that these RAW images are some 40 MB. By itself that's not too significant, but apparently on my phone that takes a few seconds to write/process, which confuses me. Perhaps it'd be less of an issue in pure RAW.

Of course more or less requiring RAW is a definite downside, but it could be worse. My Zenfone 2 doesn't do RAW.

My Sony Alpha 200 (real DSLR) from 2008 can do RAW or JPEG+RAW, but I don't typically use it because it creates nice JPEGs. But it sure doesn't have any issues writing those 40 MB files. Of course it uses nice, speedy CompactFlash but I'd expect a 2018 phone to match or exceed those speeds. It's just that it has a comparatively shitty lens and sensor, a simple insurmountable matter of physics. No small phone camera will ever be able to beat a proper camera. But they come disturbingly/excitingly close these days (i.e., you can actually take pictures for print), and for many situations that's all that matters.
26
Browsers & Technology / Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Last post by Frenzie -
Isn't the hardware capacity there, so it is just a software issue? What you need is some community hacking the appropriate os/platform/app. I would very much like to use handhelds as displays for different inputs too, e.g. from my computer over bluetooth or wifi maybe. Surely there are apps for that, and if you want quick bootup, there should be a way to make that particular app the only app...
In part. My XA2 boots in about 15-20 seconds. Quite speedy for a phone. But a regular drawing tablet/touchpad is just plug & play. Same for a webcam. A couple of apps difference only makes a few seconds difference at the tail end of booting.

I think a lot of the boot process is just hardware initialization, same as on older particularly computers. The speed of booting into Linux/Windows hasn't really changed that much between my '06/'07 hardware PC and my current '14/'15 hardware PC. Or at least not compared to the SSD I put in back in 2010. The real difference is that now it gets started actually starting the OS within 5-10 seconds, which used to take probably more than twice as long. So now I've got a fully operational PC within about half a minute, which used to be closer to a minute.

The above is provided I disable fastboot in Windows. I used to think Windows 10 took a small eternity to boot -- several minutes. Then I found out that disabling "fast"boot made it boot almost as fast as Linux.

Anyway, I have no doubt that a purer Linux that only exposed certain hardware over USB would boot faster. I just wonder by how much. I suppose that once I fully retire my Zenfone 2 I'll go ahead and find out. The Google Play services may well add some 5-10 seconds.
27
Browsers & Technology / Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Last post by Frenzie -
Maybe, but the better camera would be even better, wouldn't it? Therefore, if you want good video calling, you are actually agreeing with me  :)  Or, if you do not want video calling to be too good, then you actually do not like video calling much.
The way video calling works is you have a good picture on the front and a better picture on the back for when you want to show something. But the thing is, except for putting in either two good cameras or two good screens I can't think of a better compromise than the one that exists, with a fairly decent front and a "good" rear camera.

On the Sony Xperia XA2 they implemented an interesting twist on the compromise. The front cam is basically a good wide angle cam, not unlike how on more expensive phones there are now multiple cameras on the rear. Quite inconvenient when you might want to take a non-selfie wide angle picture, but it does take the compromise to a whole new level.

Unfortunately the camera is worse without proprietary Sony stuff, quite possibly the biggest disadvantage of Sailfish. Or more accurately, custom anything; unlocking the bootloader removes their special camera sauce. If you like the phone for its camera you'll be forced to do some serious soul searching.

However, I've done some minor experiments with shooting in RAW (DNG) and using Darktable for processing. It does seem to result in somewhat better quality pictures. Once you've got a profile figured out you don't need to individually look at pictures, basically you'd just tell Darktable to do its thing to your pics.
28
Browsers & Technology / Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Last post by ersi -
there is no need for any other cameras on any other side
I disagree. The secondary camera on my phone is good enough for video calling...
Maybe, but the better camera would be even better, wouldn't it? Therefore, if you want good video calling, you are actually agreeing with me :) Or, if you do not want video calling to be too good, then you actually do not like video calling much.

I have probably made just two video calls on my phone. They were Skype calls. And about two Skype video calls on the computer too. So few calls partly because the cameras are crap and also the sound is not too good, and often there are ambient disturbers. The chat feature is enough. Well, at work we need to do Skype conferences. There are often glitches that will never endear me to this form of communication. I will forever prefer writing.

I think it would be great if we could easily reuse old Android devices as touchpads or webcams. You can kind of do that with regular Android, but that's slow and cumbersome. I mean more like a plugin USB device, where instead of slow Android booting you have a minimal quick boot.
Isn't the hardware capacity there, so it is just a software issue? What you need is some community hacking the appropriate os/platform/app. I would very much like to use handhelds as displays for different inputs too, e.g. from my computer over bluetooth or wifi maybe. Surely there are apps for that, and if you want quick bootup, there should be a way to make that particular app the only app...

My Sony Ericsson T630 came with a mirror just below the camera for selfie purposes. It's a lot cheaper than even the cheapest secondary screen and almost just as effective.
Yes, that was ingenious.


29
Some interview-like section with Snowden on Dutch TV, starting at 26:25 https://www.npostart.nl/nieuwsuur/27-09-2019/VPWON_1303265
Not sure where the guy is located, likely Russia :)

And some article too https://nos.nl/nieuwsuur/artikel/2303561-zes-jaar-na-nsa-onthullingen-komt-edward-snowden-met-eigen-verhaal.html
30
Browsers & Technology / Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Last post by Frenzie -
there is no need for any other cameras on any other side
I disagree. The secondary camera on my phone is good enough for video calling (albeit obviously worse than the "good" camera in low-light conditions) and it enables you to more easily switch between showing someone something in the room and regular video calling. And it easily beats the expensive Logitech webcam I bought a decade ago.[1]

I think it would be great if we could easily reuse old Android devices as touchpads or webcams. You can kind of do that with regular Android, but that's slow and cumbersome. I mean more like a plugin USB device, where instead of slow Android booting you have a minimal quick boot.[2]

Of course as a selfie camera it's a lot worse than just taking a classic P&S selfie where you turn the camera around.

My Sony Ericsson T630 came with a mirror just below the camera for selfie purposes. It's a lot cheaper than even the cheapest secondary screen and almost just as effective. Possibly more so because cheap screens may not be visible in bright lighting conditions. You just can't see if it's focusing correctly.

When a device actually already has a secondary screen, it's pure madness not being able to use that for selfie/video calling purposes. That missed chance seems like it could be a killer feature with the Instagram audience.
Depending on your definition of expensive. It's not like we're talking more than € 100 here but it was something like 60 - 80 because the cheaper models were just plain bad.
Actually my new phone boots Sailfish/Android in seconds, quite unlike the minutes from my older devices. I'm not sure how that can be because it's only very marginally better, and CPU speed may not even be one in which it is (as opposed to CPU performance vs power usage).