More Pictures from the Syrian Houla Massacre

I had a few people ask me if I had more pictures of the Syrian Houla Massacre where over 106 people were killed, including 49 children and 20 women.

The new ones are a follow-up to this post and contain images that verify the location (last one), as well as ones showing the presence of UN-individuals at the location.

I will refrain from political commentary. The only thing that can be said: I see lots of humans but no humanity.

A bulletin hung at the premises where the body were put. The caption on top is Arabic for: the people of Houla

The Facebook Camera App: My Impressions

Seeing as I have a US iTunes account, which I dearly cherish, I got to download the Facebook Camera app, currently exclusive for iPhone, before its availability on other stores. So I tested it for a whole day on my iPhone 4S and these are my initial impressions.

It’s pretty fast. Once you launch the app, it takes you immediately to a news feed version for Facebook’s photos. You can see pictures that your friends uploaded and comment on them. This is where the pictures you take will go as well. You can swipe among the pictures your friends were tagged in. Loading the pictures is much faster than the regular Facebook app, which I think is horrible at handling pictures.

Facebook Camera is streamlined enough to post pictures on your Facebook timeline without much effort. Once you take the picture, you’ll get many filters to choose from before sharing your work. Those filters are a total of 14 (apart from normal). You access them by tapping on a brush button similar to that in Apple’s iPhoto app. They are similar to the filters you get in instagram but are named differently, obviously. You can upload pictures in batches, faster than with the regular Facebook app, and in higher resolution.

Once you’ve chosen the filter of choice, you click on the button to post. Now you’re back to familiar territory, similar to the Facebook app for iOS. However, you can actually save a post draft here in case you decided you wanted to save sharing the picture for later. That’s something I hope they add for the regular Facebook app.

Once you share the picture and it uploads, it’ll appear on your timeline as posted from “Facebook Camera.”

Overall, I think it’s an interesting app. I really like the icon, actually. But it’s not quite a home-run. Will it overtake instagram? I doubt that’s Facebook’s intention but they’re not betting right if they think it will. While it has its advantages, such as saving the original picture in your camera roll immediately after taking it, it has its drawbacks as well. For instance, it doesn’t save the modified picture in your camera roll, unlike Instagram.

Instagram has become so ingrained with users that uprooting it will take much more than an app which shares exclusively on Facebook and using it means flooding un-wanting users with pictures of things you find interesting but they have no interest in.

At the end of the day, where Facebook Camera falls short is in it not being a photo-exclusive platform. It comes with the baggage that is “Facebook.” Bonafide photography applications, such as Instagram and Camera+, cater to those who have a hobby for photography. They created an environment where those users can stretch their wings with exotic shots that they wouldn’t necessarily want to share with their Facebook friends.

Facebook Camera caters to the Facebook crowds whose pictures are less interesting than the Instagram crowd. But they are much, much more numerous. For once, however, Facebook has created a mobile app that is actually good. Hopefully that’s a sign of what’s to come for the regular Facebook app.

Brace yourselves, everyone, the Facebook Camera posters are coming.

Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl” Music Video To Debut on Monday March 12th – Pictures Inside

Carrie Underwood has probably turned up her sex appeal a whole notch with her Blown Away era. After a fiery first single in the form of Good Girl (read my review here), she’s set to release the music video for the song as an Entertainment Tonight exclusive on Monday, March 12th.

And it doesn’t end there.

Starting today, March 9th, VEVO will begin to promote the music video with never-before-seen footage from the music video shoot. The video will be released to iTunes on Tuesday, as well.

I’ll be posting the video the moment it becomes available. However, for the Carrie and country music fans that read my blog, here are two pictures that will get you by until Monday.

The first one, the sexiness of which I cannot get over, is absolutely stunning.

Sexy!

The second one is highly reminiscent of the music video for Carrie’s lead single off her previous album, Play On, the hit single Cowboy Casanova:

And with the director of this music video being Theresa Wingert, the same woman who directed the Cowboy Casanova video, it looks like Carrie’s team is basically revamping the whole Cowboy Casanova cycle with a stronger video, a stronger song and stronger promo.

The pictures give me a good girl/bad girl feel for the video. I have to say, I’m quite excited.

The first sneak peek of Good Girl is at the 0:55 to 1:02 mark:

Scorpions Concert In Byblos (Jbeil), Lebanon – Part 2

The original dates for the two Scorpions concerts in Lebanon took place over the past 2 days, on July 6th and 7th, whilst a third one was added on a prior date on July 4th, the overview of which you can see here.

While I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to attend either of the three concerts, I’ve had relatives attend both concerts.

My cousin attended the July 6th one. He’s a die hard Scorpions fan and even taught himself how to play the electric guitar to their songs. His SMS ringtone is their lead guitarist Matthias Jabs playing a riff and his usual ringtone is for their hit: Wind of Change.

He reported that it was the wildest and most astonishing concert of his life. While he might be biased, that was the sentiment that most people attending the concert came out with. Drumsticks thrown by drummer James Kottak were picked up by the lucky few who were close enough to catch them, as well as lots of guitar picks thrown by Rudolf Schenker.

Their setlist was comprised of the same songs as their July 4th concert, although they replaced their song Dynamite by their hit “You and I” to the joy of many.

Meanwhile, my brother attended the July 7th concert and while he is a big fan, I can’t say he matches up with July 6th cousin. He said they had a blast at the concert and while some of the songs were unfamiliar to him (he’s more familiar with their classics than with their newer hits), he was still able to have a good time. He said the ambiance was electric with the heavy music that was playing and he said that even twenty years later, Scorpions are better able to entertain a crowd than many common bands today.

The setlist for July 7th was similar to the July 4th concert except “Dynamite” was replaced by “Always Somewhere.”

Here are pictures taken by both my brother and cousin of their concerts. I will update this post with video when they’re done uploading. More pictures will be posted as well.

Want A Google+ Invite?

I just got invited to use Google+ and I have to say, there is so much promise there.

It’s a great and smooth interface that combines elements from most known social networking platforms.

You can add people to circles that are categorized based on the degree of you knowing them: friends, family, acquaintance, etc…

Your home screen is a feed of everything that the people in your circles share. You can comment and interact with them on the home feed. You can also share things you like, specifying which circles you want what you share to appear to. In addition to that, you can categorize which stream you want to see by simply clicking on the circle you wish to check.

Moreover, there is a cool option called: Sparks. It basically allows you to pin interests on your profile so you can stay updated on everything that’s current in that field.

Also, another cool feature is hangout. It allows you to have a video chat session with a selected friend or circle, sort of like hanging out in cyberspace. Google+ also has a mobile app, although it’s not available for all platforms at this point so I can’t test it out on my iPhone. You also get to mute posts you don’t want to see by clicking on the arrow next to the post.

You can update your profile with a tagline that summarizes who you are. There’s a “Bragging Rights” section where you post things you’re proud of. Places You’ve Lived and Education are also included on your profile. You get to post pictures and videos.

Gtalk is integrated with Google+ as well, even for your contacts that don’t have Google+ yet.

And instead of the “legendary” Facebook like button, Google is introducing its +1 version, which is widely used on the social networking website twitter. You can check all the things to which you have clicked +1 directly from your profile.

Moreover, everything with Google+ is available to you at any Google page you visit: your notifications, a quick link to your home feed…

That’s pretty much what I’ve used out of Google+ so far. I’ll make sure to edit this post with any additional information. Now, if you want an invite, let me know your gmail email in a comment on this post.

PS: If the invite doesn’t work right away, try again at some other time. If you receive an email from me, then you are invited!

Pictures from Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Two new pictures have surfaced from this year’s most anticipated movie: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2.

I can’t stress enough how excited I am for this movie.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is released on July 15th, worldwide.