Trump follows GQ's fashion advice – USA TODAY

Goodbye, super-long Inauguration tie!

When President Trump arrived for his first joint address to Congress Tuesday night, he opted for a more stylish look than we’ve seen in the past: tailored jacket, cuffed sleeves, tie of appropriate length, one button buttoned.

It’s an aesthetic upgrade from the baggy suit, too-long sleeves and giant red tie he had during the Inauguration.

Makeover! It appears the president has followed some of the advice dished out by men’s fashion magazine GQ, which posted a video last month offering tips for Trump to improve his look. One suggestion he he hasn’t taken them up on yet? A new hairdo. And, you know, different politics.

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Tokyo's Five Best Photography Locations – Fstoppers

Tokyo is one of my favorite cities and I lived there for many years. While the crazy volume of traffic and crowds can be overwhelming at times, it’s always an inspiring and surprising place to explore with a camera. So, where should you go if you only have a few days or less to shoot this incredible city? Here are a few of my favorite locations to visit with a camera, and the stories of some of the photos I have taken there.

Being a cityscape and street portrait photographer I am always looking for ways to best combine these two genres of travel photography. It goes without saying that Tsukiji fish market is also on the list but I have not included here. However, you can read about it in my previous article. I would suggest a minimum of three days to explore Tokyo.

1. Akihabara and Harajuku

In Akihabara (aka Akiba) is where you will find electronic shops, gamers, maid cafes, manga, and anime collectors. Stroll in just before sunset. Ask a few cosplay dressers for a quick street portrait or drop into a cafe to be entertained by the cartoon grins of a waitress dressed in a French maid outfit. At dusk set up your tripod on a busy intersection to mix street car light movements and neon-lit buildings. The area is riddled with photo opportunities that should keep you busy all night. In Harajuku it is best to visit on a Sunday afternoon. You will start to see many groups congregating around the train stations nearby. Simply walk up to them and ask permission for a portrait. Offer to email them a copy if they’d like.

2. Shibuya and Shinjuku

Shibuya Crossing is a bustling intersection in the center of Tokyo where seas of people cross from multiple directions every time the traffic lights turn red. Go at dusk and take your tripod or monopod to capture the movement of the crowds while keeping the streets, buildings, and neon lights in sharp focus. There are plenty of opportunities for street portraits of young and trendy couples in the surrounding streets; Look for well-lit areas and nice backgrounds. A shallow depth of field (f/2.8) with a 50mm lens will help to throw the background out of focus and create some consistency in your portraits. Alternatively, a wide-angle lens (16-24mm) will also work if you wish to capture the surrounding buildings. Walk across the infamous Shibuya crossing with your tripod or monopod and set it down in the middle of the road while crossing. Set your shutter speed to around 1-3 seconds and click. You only have about 30 seconds to cross so you only have one to two shots per crossing. Repeat the process at different angles to get different backgrounds.

Shinjuku, near Studio Alta at East Shinjuku train station exit, is a good spot to float around looking for shots of neon-lit streets and funky revelers. A tripod for the streetscapes will help you get tack-sharp shots at slower shutter speeds, down around 5–10 seconds, with car tail lights creating streaks in the image to add a dynamic feel to your pictures. Try and focus on back lights (red) more than front lights (white). Wait for large traffic flows and pick a corner that has curves to add a more dynamic look. There is a lane way near the station known as piss lane. Here you might find some great street portraits with permission. Be careful when photographing without permission as too many tourists have been invading this popular spot in the last few years. Having someone who speaks fluent Japanese with you will break the ice and you’ll still manage some spontaneous portraits. 

3. Ueno

I used to live in the old downtown area of Tokyo, which is also known as Shitamachi, so there’s a little bit of bias in this choice. This is also where my wife is from so I’ve spent plenty of time exploring the back streets and alleys with my camera. Nighttime in these areas is best explored on a weekday. Anywhere along a railway track close to a station you will find hole-in-the wall style bars and street stalls. Local businessmen flock to these cheap eateries for beer and light snacks.

Streetscapes are usually best shot from walkways looking down on traffic. Use your tripod and shoot with a slow shutter speed around 10–30 seconds to get some interesting trails of car lights. Neon lights also make for lovely backdrops. The high viewpoint will help to isolate and frame your shot better. Consider a black and white conversion.

4. Ginza

The Ginza is another great spot for street portraits and modern architecture. Visit at the end of the day when the sun is low and the contrast between dark and light adds some drama to the scene. If you’re looking for amazing modern buildings to use as backdrops or subjects of your photos, the following Ginza stores are worth typing into Google Maps: Hermes, Bulgari, Mikimoto, Dior, Gucci, Louis Vitton, Prada, Ferragamo, and Zara. Best of all, most are within a three or four-block radius of the Ginza Station.

5. Asakusa (Traditional Temple)

Asakusa is a district of Tokyo famous for the historic Sensō-ji Buddhist temple. The Kaminarimon Gate entrance to Asakusa Temple is usually crowded, but you can avoid the rush by visiting at night when the souvenir shops have closed and the tourists have gone home. If you do want to visit during the day, the best times to travel on the subway — and avoid being shoved onto a train carriage like a human sardine — are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Another mini version of Asakusa is a place 45 minutes away by train called Shibamata also worth a look if you like this kind of ambience.

Of course there are many more areas in Tokyo you can explore so I would recommend a look at the very comprehensive site of Japan Guide for more valuable and up-to-date information. Traveling around Tokyo to get the best shots will have a lot to do with the best time and day of the week.

Making Money With Your Drone Photography Through Adobe Stock – Fstoppers

Ever since I got my drone, I basically keep it in my car at all times in case I happen upon some cool spot while driving. It turns out that all these random excursions have become something very useful to me: profitable stock photography. 

We all know that drones can provide a new perspective that allows unique, rarely before seen imagery. Such a trait is a huge boon in the stock photography world, where the images produced from the air can stand out from the incredible volume of images currently in catalogs. Adobe Stock has recognized this, naming February’s Visual Trend “View From Above.”

For the longest time, I didn’t really pay much attention to stock photography, not because I didn’t see the value, but because the majority of my work was contracted on a case-by-case basis and directing my attention to developing stock assets was just another thing on my already overloaded plate. However, when I got my Phantom 4 last year, I began shooting for pleasure much more. At the time, while I was loving the shots I was getting, I couldn’t really see how I was going to monetize them beyond just selling prints. Then, I realized I was being dense (a recurring character trait of mine). People are generally excited about drone shots, because even non-photographers can look at them and instantly recognize how they stand out from most others. And so, I began my taking drone to shoots just to try to incorporate it at the end as a little something extra. Within weeks, I was flooded with requests from clients wanting to book drone portraits or have them as part of their wedding package (you haven’t seen skill until you’ve seen me shooting with two camera bodies while also flying a drone). 

Still though, my landscape drone shots remained largely for pleasure. Then, Adobe offered me the chance to work with Adobe Stock, their quickly burgeoning stock service. I had seen the work of some very talented colleagues on there and knew that it was becoming a unique destination for truly high quality stock assets. I uploaded a bunch of my work, gave it a day to be accepted, then checked back a few days later, and to my surprise, the drone shots were a hit! 

Just like the unique perspective captured my photographic imagination, the aerial images captured the imaginations of those looking to purchase stock assets. So far, my most popular image has been the one below:

The process was incredibly easy: I simply exported my drone images from Lightroom, and Adobe’s uploader automatically read my keywords and applied them appropriately. From there, I made a few quick tweaks, and within 10 minutes, I had uploaded 40 images. Days later, all I had to do was check my dashboard to see how much I had made and which images were bringing in the most income.

Shooting drone work with the aim of stock photography is enjoyable in that the uniqueness inherent to the mode of capture allows one to explore their creativity while still creating viable images. The standard stock caveats apply in that one must attain model and property releases when the situation calls for them. But beyond that, you’re only limited by FAA regulations and your imagination. As Adobe notes, “the flexibility is an artist’s dream.” It’s really a golden age for drone photography: 

A number of key factors are aligning behind the drone photography trend — drone camera prices are down, the technology is solid, the public is interested, and artists are inspired. All of this suggests a sweet spot for photographers who want to give drones a try.

In addition to all of this, drones are still very new, and that means there’s much to be explored and the time to establish yourself as a figure in the industry is now. And it’s not just the creators who are embracing drones: 

Searches for drone photography in Adobe Stock grew 5% from the beginning of 2015 to the start of 2017. Based on similar trends we’ve tracked in the past, we predict interest in drone captured images and footage could grow as much as 14% in 2017.

Those who use stock assets are often drawn to drone work because it surprises the viewer: they know the subject matter they’re looking at, but the perspective is startling; it’s like seeing someone you’ve known for decades for the first time, and that feeling generates excitement that translates well to design work. I know that I personally feel a genuine emotional response when I’m reminded of just how small I am and how beautiful Earth is, and drone photography is how I replicate that emotion in my work. I think it harkens back to the human fascination with flight and the view from above, as Tobias Hägg notes:

When I was younger, I used to wonder about how things would look like from above, from the nose down.

My style tries to capture the fact that Earth is weirder and more beautiful than anything I could ever dare to conjure. And that’s what has me so excited about drone work and its use in stock assets: now is the time for individual photographers to develop a trademark style and make a name for themselves while this sub-industry is still in its infancy. Ryan Longnecker is one such photographer; his beautiful drone imagery has garnered him well-deserved accolades, and his thoughts on the genre and using it to create stock imagery are well worth reading. As Adobe notes:

Our analysis of social media underscores the emotional power of aerial images. People mentioned drone photography on social media with relative consistency throughout the year, with minor spikes in spring and fall and, overall, social sentiments were positive. But in June, when ‘Unequal Scenes’ began to trend, social sentiments turned notably negative, suggesting that the images made their mark on viewers in a deeply emotional way.

Just like any genre of photography, though, good drone images don’t just happen. There’s a tendency in aerial photography to want to lean on the unique perspective, but just like all photography, good light, good subject matter, and good composition make a great image. In particular, composition sometimes requires a different eye; geometry on the macroscale often becomes more important. Since you’re often quite far from your subjects, you’ll want to be especially considerate of the lines and shapes they create within the frame.

If you’re just getting started, Adobe Stock has a great guide for beginning flyers. If you want to understand the thought process more, Tobias Hägg is an excellent example of someone who understands the technical side of drone photography and the unique visualization skills it demands, as he talks about in this interview. And as Ryan Longnecker notes, as the popularity of drones continues to soar, it’s going to challenge photographers to really hone those skills:

Aerial photography is not at all new, but with the flexibility and accessibility of this incredible equipment, it’s going to take really learning the equipment and developing a style to stay on the front edge of innovation. It’s inexpensive enough that hobbyists will be alongside professionals, forcing them to progress, be experimental, be brave.

Altogether, drone photography is an exciting and quickly growing entrant in the stock photography market. Be sure to check out Adobe’s February Visual Trend: View From Above and Adobe Stock for more!

'The Rebellion!' Trump's Rallying Cry to His Supporters – Heat Street

In Tuesday night’s speech to a joint session of Congress, Donald Trump finally put a label on the upswell of support that pushed him into office: “the Rebellion.”

“The earth shifted beneath our feet,” Trump said, describing the movement that he says swept America, leading to his victory in November.

“The rebellion started,” he claimed, underscoring the drama attendant to his election. ” It was a quiet protest spoken by families of all colors and creeds.” That protest became a chorus, he continued, that “became an earthquake.”

Designating his supporters as a rebellion is a clear signal to anti-Trump activists, who have labeled their movement, “the Resistance.”

While his supporters were overjoyed at adopting the name, the moniker had an immediate effect on social media, as members of “The Resistance” took umbrage at the idea that Donald Trump was a rebellion against, well, anything. Some even claimed that Donald Trump could not possibly be anyone in Star Wars other than Darth Vader.

Trump’s speech Tuesday night centered around a theme of “unity,” opening with a condemnation of “hate” and “evil” and asking that legislators reach some compromises to push his agenda forward.

Labor calls out government for breaching privacy laws amid … – ZDNet – ZDNet

Labor has accused the Australian government of breaching privacy laws by leaking confidential information about Centrelink customers.

The accusation stems from Centrelink’s new automated debt recovery system that has seen some letters demanding money repayment sent in error to welfare recipients.

Opposition human services spokeswoman Linda Burney moved a motion in the lower house on Tuesday, arguing that the government had conducted a vindictive campaign to gag those who complain about the Centrelink scandal by leaking their details to the media.

“They have made it clear: If you speak out, they will target you,” she said. “They wanted revenge on those who have spoken publicly. We serve the people in this place, and it’s not for us to target them.”

Burney is also demanding an apology on behalf of those she said have been targeted, while the rest of her party is demanding the government reveal who authorised the release of the confidential information.

The remarks came after it was revealed the Department of Human Services (DHS) provided information on welfare recipient Andie Fox following an article she wrote for Fairfax Media.

In the article written earlier this month, Fox detailed the difficulties she had in dealing with the agency after she began receiving calls from a debt collector.

Fairfax Media published another article over the weekend that cited information provided by Centrelink, including details of Fox’s interactions with Centrelink and her claims history.

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge insisted that the government is allowed to release a person’s private information under social services laws in order to correct the record.

“In cases where people have gone to the media with statements that are incorrect or misleading … we are able to release information about the person for the purposes of correcting a mistake,” he told Parliament on Tuesday.

“It allows the correction of false information which has been placed into the media.”

During Senate Estimates on Tuesday, Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim requested that DHS consider the sensitivity of the information it holds, and said he would be looking into the release of personal information from within the department, but stressed that he was not opening a formal investigation at this stage.

Pilgrim did say, however, that there are particular circumstances where laws that govern the operation of a government organisation are able to override those present in the Privacy Act.

As the Centrelink debt recovery fiasco was unfolding in early January, Pilgrim said his office had been in contact with DHS, as well as the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman; however, no investigation into the matter was opened as a result.

“My office works closely with DHS and other government agencies to ensure they understand their privacy obligations and adopt best practice when undertaking data-matching activities,” Pilgrim said at the time.

“We also undertake assessments (formerly termed audits) of DHS’ data-matching activities to ensure that the personal information collected through these processes continues to be managed in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.”

In February, the Senate passed a motion to initiate an inquiry into the “robo-debt” system that will be chaired by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

DHS announced in December it had implemented the online compliance system in July and said it was finding approximately AU$4.5 million that had gone awry each day. With this, the federal government hopes to improve the nation’s Budget by AU$2.1 billion over the next four years.

The new system automatically compares the income people declare to the Australian Taxation Office against income declared to Centrelink. When it detects a disparity, Centrelink automatically issues a debt notice and that debt comes with a 10 percent recovery fee.

One large error in the Centrelink system is that it was incorrectly calculating a recipient’s annual income, basing a recipient’s yearly salary on their fortnightly pay rather than taking the annual total from each individual fortnight’s sum.

Previously, Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) national secretary Nadine Flood said she was looking forward to the Senate inquiry in order to shine a light on what has caused the “shameful robo-debt crisis”.

“The Department of Human Services has been far more concerned with gagging its staff and fudging its performance indicators than fixing this mess, so this is an important opportunity for staff to speak openly about how things have gone so wrong and their suggestions to maintain the integrity of our welfare system without the unnecessary collateral damage,” Flood said.

“Our members were warning for months that this automated debt system would not work, but this is an agency where the bosses don’t listen to their staff. The situation has highlighted the dysfunctional workplace culture across this agency, and the damage caused by years of budget cuts and the 5,000 jobs that have been slashed.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull previously called the debt recovery system “quite appropriate” and said it boils down to the fact that the government has an obligation to ensure that Australia’s “very extensive and generous” social welfare system is allocated correctly.

Tudge said on Tuesday the government would continue with the controversial debt recovery system in order to protect taxpayers’ money.

With AAP

The underground beauty salon that defied Islamic State in Mosul – Los Angeles Times

It was September 2014, three months after Islamic State’s blitz takeover of this once vibrant metropolis, when a car from the Hisbah, the group’s religious police, drew up to the door of Um Saud’s beauty salon.

“It was Abu Ashraf, the head of the Hisbah. He said the caliph had banned all salons as haram [forbidden]” said Um Saud, 25, speaking in an alley near her beauty parlor in one of Mosul’s eastern neighborhoods. Um Saud is a nickname that she used for reasons of security. 

“He gave us 10 days to remove everything and close the shop. If we didn’t, everything would be confiscated.”

It was the start of Um Saud’s career as an underground hairdresser, a furtive existence in which something as seemingly innocuous as eyeliner could be punished with a lashing and any customer could be a spy. 

Iraqi security forces reclaimed the eastern half of Mosul, which is split in two by the Tigris River, in late January. Although a semblance of normalcy has returned in many eastern neighborhoods, suicide bombers and grenade-dropping drones are still a threat.

Iraqi forces have since launched an assault on the western half of the city, which remains under Islamic State control.

When Islamic State initially captured the city, life had continued much as before. Um Saud said her customers still came to the parlor, which had been opened in 1996 by her mother, to get elaborate makeup and hairdos done before important occasions. (Her mother is now trapped in western Mosul, Um Saud said.)

The militants’ relative leniency changed after the first month, when they “had established themselves,” said Um Saud.

One month into the Islamic State reign, posters were put up saying women had to wear a manteau, a type of loose gown, in addition to their hijab. Soon the edicts went further, making the niqab (a full face covering), gloves and socks mandatory for women when leaving the house. 

Then an Islamic State militant, who gave his name as Abu Anas Ansari, visited the salon.

“When I first saw him, he was a bit of man and a lot of hair. You could barely tell there was a man underneath it all,” joked Um Saud.

He said that the salon’s name, which was feminine, was forbidden. So was the picture of a heavily made-up woman with sultry eyes on the sign. They would have to be removed.

“It wasn’t a matter of discussion. Of course we said yes,” said Um Saud. Also forbidden, under Islamic State’s particularly harsh application of Islamic law, were eyebrow plucking, hair dye and tattoos.

Any woman caught leaving the beauty parlor without being fully covered would spur a $600 fine on the salon’s owners, said Um Saud. A harsher fate would await the woman’s husband. As punishment, he would have to choose between being whipped, digging trenches near the frontline or destroying graves, whose headstones are considered idolatrous by Islamic State.

When the closure order came two months later, Um Saud moved her entire operation to her home, using a tailoring service and beauty products supply shop as a front. (Islamic State decrees allow women to wear makeup and perfume, but not in public and only in front of their husbands.) 

“Only my longtime customers knew I was still a hairdresser. If anyone asked, they would say they were coming to mend or alter clothes,” said Um Saud, who would import beauty products from Syria, making sure to scribble crayon over any faces printed on the boxes.

“If anyone new came to me, I wouldn’t trust them. I was always terrified they would be Islamic State spies.”

She spoke of the time a member from the Khansaa Brigade, the Hisbah’s all-female group, came to the house. 

“She came in wearing full niqab and had a walkie-talkie and had a ghadaarah slung over her shoulder,” she said, using a slang term for an Uzi submachine gun. 

“She told me ‘I know you have a salon and I would like to get my hair done.’ I was sure she was there to trick us, so I insisted she had heard wrong and that we didn’t operate anything like that anymore.”

Um Saud got a steady supply of Islamic State wives who wanted to buy authorized beauty products.

“They would come to us and say the caliphate won’t end. It’ll continue and that it would reach Rome,” she said. The conquest of Rome is central to Islamic State’s prophecies regarding the domination of the world by Muslims.

“We got lots of Russians, Syrians, French, Bangladeshis. We were always terrified of them,” she said.

Work was only slightly easier for barbers who cut men’s hair in Mosul. Their shops weren’t closed, but were still subject to heavy restrictions.

“We couldn’t trim the sides, define the edges of beards, remove excess facial hair, nothing,” said one barber who said he had been imprisoned and whipped three times for violating the jihadists’ injunctions on cutting hair. He declined to give his name for fear of reprisal.

“One time a customer insisted I cut his hair. When they caught him, they tortured him until he gave my name up so they got me too. I got 35 lashes for that one,” the barber said. He was standing in front of his barbershop in eastern Mosul, where customers streamed in,  eager to get the haircuts that had been banned under Islamic State.

But both he and Um Saud are still afraid of Islamic State sleeper cells in the city. Not only did they refuse to give their names, but requested that no information specific to their establishments be mentioned.

Um Saud’s husband, a friendly 26-year-old businessman, mentioned My Fair Lady, a well-known restaurant that was struck by a suicide bomber. It had reopened at the behest of authorities shortly after Mosul’s eastern half was retaken. 

“We know the owner, Hajj Nasser. He was cut down in the attack, and we don’t want the same to happen to us” said Um Saud’s husband. He took a visiting reporter on a tour of restaurants in the city. Most remained closed.

“They’re still here,” he said, referring to Islamic State members. “All they did was change their clothes and cut their beards.”

He and Um Saud sometimes wonder what happened to Abu Ashraf, the Hisbah chief. 

“We really hated him. He would torment us specifically because of the salon,” said Um Saud, a little smile on her face as she shook her head. 

“I hope he’s dead.”

Bulos is a special correspondent.

Mount Etna erupts in spectacular fashion on Sicily – UPI.com

Feb. 28 (UPI) — Europe’s most active volcano erupted in a fiery display of seismic power early Tuesday, sending bright orange flares of lava leaping into the darkness overnight as awed residents looked on.

Sicily’s Mount Etna continued to rumble for hours after its first eruption in more than a year. Lava poured over the side of the mountain and gave off a bright orange glow in the black of night.

Photos and videos of the event were widely circulated.

Skiers on the mountain, in fact, found themselves incredibly close to the action.

Volcanologists said Tuesday’s eruptions were not considered dangerous.

The 11,000-foot Mount Etna last erupted on Dec. 3, 2015. It is one of 16 “Decade Volcanoes” classified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior as being worthy of study for their history of large, destructive eruptions and their proximity to populated areas.

Data and kids’ voice messages exposed in CloudPets breach

John E Dunn

John E Dunn has covered cybersecurity since 2003 – long before anyone was worried.

He was co-founding editor of industry title Techworld and security editor at Computerworld UK. Other editor stints included Network Week, Network World, LAN Magazine, Personal Computer Magazine, start-up title Tornado-Insider Magazine, as well as the usual blogs, freelance articles, glum appearances on BBC TV/Radio, and expert opinion for the magnificent CBC Canada.