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World’s most snapped sites: Table Mountain sneaks in

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New pan-global research has revealed the top 30 most photographed landmarks worldwide – a list topped by The Eiffel Tower and including Alhambra, The Colosseum, The Burj Khalifa and Big Ben. Table Mountain sneaks in at number 28.

The #XperiaNewPerspectives research revealed that more than half of the Top 30 landmarks are shot from the same three angles. With 55% of travellers saying they would plan their itinerary based on photography opportunities, it looks like we need to up our holiday photography game to avoid boring our friends as 47% of people said they were bored of seeing the same three shots. Whilst 52% were more likely to ‘like’ an image of a landmark if it was interesting and something they’d not see before.

The Eiffel Tower’s presence at the top of the list may not surprise, but the data that shows 35% of photographs of the landmark were taken from the same three angles is eye-opening. Other notable landmarks that follow this trend include Christ the Redeemer in Brazil where 71% of shots are from the same three angles, Trevi Fountain in Italy (74%), Mount Fiji in Japan (77%) and Machu Picchu where 85% of all Instagrammed images are taken from the same few spots.

Research also concluded that half of those surveyed pick their holiday based on others’ holiday snaps and a further 45% look to Instagram for inspiration of where to photograph and visit.

Sony Mobile has partnered with three award-winning travel photographers from across the globe and equipped them with the Sony Xperia XZ to visit some of the leading landmarks and capture them from new perspectives. From low light shots of the Colosseum to blur-free crowds of the Eiffel Tower showing off the capabilities of the Xperia XZ’s camera.

“This research has given us real insight into how important photography has become to our holidays and how the two are inextricably linked, said Christian Haghofer, South Africa Country Manager at Sony Mobile. “Photography has become a vital part of any trip – whether city break, adventure or simply lying on a beach. With the quality of the camera in our Xperia XZ, travellers can experience blur-free images with ‘true-to-life’ colour image capture, and superb low-light capability. We hope to inspire a new generation of photographers to capture a new perspective on their travels.”

Commenting on the fantastic imagery created on Xperia XZ and the New Perspectives report CEO of World Photography Organisation, Scott Gray, said: “The photography landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade and this is ultimately down to the accessibility and quality of cameras.

“This accessibility is even more pronounced with smartphones, the technology within these camera phones enable people to improve their photography but also, very importantly, have a high enough resolution to be able to actually do something with that image. This ability to capture the spontaneous can really help challenge the photographer’s creativity whilst providing a unique image for the viewer.

“It is absolutely fantastic that photographers are using different techniques and filters but these more unique images, whilst they may require editing, should suffice without heavy touching up and therefore produce a more natural photograph.”

Award winning travel photographer, Lluís Salvadó, offers his top tips for capturing photography with a new perspective this summer:

1. Play around with colours and brightness, it’s amazing how different one scene can look with some clever camera tricks

2. If you’re struggling to get an original shot play around with reflective surfaces, a famous landmark can be transformed by a little water

3. Look for beauty in the architecture around you, not just the landmark as a whole. There can be a very artistic quality to structural things

4. Try out a new perspective and get some shots from high above or below the subject, don’t be scared to experiment with compositions

5. Use people and their silhouettes to give a shot a sense of place and time, and play around with forced perspective too.

About the Top 30 list

Rank Landmark Location No. of Instagram images % from top three angles
1 Eiffel Tower France 4,654,699 35%
2 Big Ben UK 2,435,223 50%
3 The Louvre France 1,740,908 43%
4 Empire State Building USA 1,570,167 45%
5 Burj Khalifa UAE 1,446,682 43%
6 Notre Dame Cathedral France 1,330,688 53%
7 St Peter’s Basilica Vatican City 1,131,705 30%
8 Time Square USA 1,100,344 54%
9 Sagrada Familia Spain 936,216 55%
10 Colosseum Italy 860,248 66%
11 Statue of Liberty USA 813,930 74%
12 Machu Picchu Peru 745,815 85%
13 Alhambra Spain 745,716 35%
14 Borobudur Indonesia 667,086 50%
15 Red Square Russia 591,430 52%
16 Christ the Redeemer Brazil 581,523 71%
17 Taj Mahal India 571,070 38%
18 Burj Al Arab UAE 534,562 56%
19 Mount Fuji Japan 533,696 77%
20 Buckingham Palace UK 498,280 58%
21 Tokyo Tower Japan 485,744 44%
22 Ha Long Bay Thailand 475,390 57%
23 Arc de Triomphe France 449,856 49%
24 Berlin Wall Germany 434,869 21%
25 Trevi Fountain Italy 427,708 74%
26 Great Wall of China China 412,603 72%
27 Sydney Opera House Australia 408,919 44%
28 Table Mountain South Africa 386,723 61%
29 Park Güell Spain 383,853 32%
30 Sacré-Cœur Basilica France 376,730 59%

 

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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Five key biometric facts

Due to their uniqueness, fingerprints are being used more and more to quickly identify and ensure the security of customers. CLAUDE LANGLEY, Regional Sales Manager, for Africa at HID Global Biometrics, outlines five facts about the technology.

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How many times in a day are you expected to identify yourself? From when you arrive at work you are required to sign in, visiting your bank, receiving healthcare services… The list is endless. When a system knows who you are, you are able to do any number common, everyday activities. Your identity is unique and precious. It is also easily stolen and the target of many hackers across the globe. Technology is constantly evolving alongside the criminal element, always looking for ways to protect data and identity. One such solution happens to be biometrics and it is rapidly gaining traction in our increasingly complex modern world.

Reliable, secure and fundamentally YOU, unique biometric traits such as fingerprints are being used by banks, enterprises and consumers to verify identity. Biometric solutions offer significant identity protection because they use unique biological details to ensure an account is only accessed by the account holder, a door only opened by the owner. Here are five things that are little known about this technology…

  • The uncut identity. Your fingerprint is unique to you. Nobody can use a copy of it to impersonate you. Good technology is capable of scanning down into the layers of the fingertip to differentiate unique elements of a person’s fingerprint, this data is then encrypted and used as a key to unlocking whichever physical or virtual door that the biometric system protects.
  • The living proof. No, there is nothing to the stories of fingerprints being used without their owner’s knowledge or permission. Biometric solutions can use specific variables to determine if the finger used to access the system is that of a present, living person.  A copy or a fake cannot be used to access a cutting-edge biometric solution.
  • Easy and convenient. Queues and documents and paperwork may well be a thing of the past should biometrics take a firmer grip of government and banking systems. The process of registering is easy, and access to identity documents and records is yours alone.
  • Security blanket. A thousand passwords and a hundred post-it notes stuck on walls and drawers.  An excel file with a list of sites and applications and their corresponding passwords, all a thing of the past.  Nobody needs to remember their password with biometrics, they only need to show up.
  • Anywhere is cool. Schools, airports, networks, offices, homes, toilets, banks, libraries, governments, border controls, immigration services, call centres, hospitals and even clubs and pubs – knowing “who” matters and biometrics can quickly and conveniently confirm your identity where needed.

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