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May 2017

Nikon 8-15mm Fisheye, 28mm f/1.4E and 10-20mm DX VR Announcements

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Today Nikon revealed three new lenses: AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED, AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED and AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR. While the latter 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR is an addition to the DX line-up of lenses, the 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E Fisheye and the 28mm f/1.4E lenses are pro-grade lenses designed specifically for full-frame cameras. Let’s take a look at these three lenses in more detail.

AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED

It has been a while since Nikon released a full-frame fisheye lens. The Nikon 16mm f/2.8D has not been updated since 1993 and while it is a great lens, it does not have the resolving power needed for the latest high-resolution cameras and it does not have all the latest optical technologies that Nikon has been incorporating into the current generation lenses. In short, it is long overdue for a refresh. The Nikon 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E is a completely new lens that is targeted to compete with Canon’s 8-15mm f/4L fisheye and provide a much wider angle of view. At its widest focal length, the lens creates circular fisheye images with a 180° angle of view (vertical and horizontal), while producing full-frame fisheye images with a 180° diagonal angle of view at its longest focal length of 15mm.

Nikon AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED

As with all the current generation Nikkor lenses, the 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED fisheye boasts the latest optical and coating technologies. Nikon incorporated an electronic diaphragm for precise aperture changes, silent wave motor (SWM) for quick and precise focusing, three ED glass elements for superb sharpness and chromatic aberration compensation, Nano Crystal Coat for drastic reduction of ghosting and flare in images and fluorine coating to prevent dust and water drops from sticking to the front element of the lens.

It is a fun lens that allows creating images that have a “Fisheye” look to them. If you are wondering why one would want to use such a lens, check out Bob Vishneski’s article “Why use Fisheye lenses?“. Take a look at a couple of sample images provided by Nikon USA to see what this lens is capable of:

Nikon 8-15mm Fisheye Sample Image #2

Nikon 8-15mm Fisheye Sample Image

Optically, the lens promises to be superb in terms of sharpness. Take a look at the following MTF charts:

Nikon AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f3.5-4.5E ED MTF Chart

If you don’t know how to interpret the above charts, check out my article on how to read MTF charts. On the wide end, the lens is supposed to have stellar sharpness and contrast, from the center of the frame, all the way to the extreme edges. The lens sharpness is going to drop a little when zoomed in to 15mm, with the extreme edges looking visibly softer compared to the center, which is expected from a fisheye lens. Still, the contrast and sharpness stay very high in most of the image frame, which is impressive. It looks like Nikon did a great job in making sure that the lens will resolve very well on high-resolution cameras like the Nikon D810 and its upcoming replacement.

The lens will retail for $1,249.95 and it is already available to purchase today.

AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED

My personal favorite among the three newly announced lenses is the new Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED. While the Nikon 28mm f/1.8G is a relatively recent release (see our in-depth review of the Nikon 28mm f/1.8G), it is an enthusiast-grade lens and hence it was never considered to be a replacement for the Nikon 28mm f/1.4D classic.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED

Nikon finally decided to update the beast with all the latest and greatest technologies it has to offer, and that’s how the new Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED was born. Boasting a quick and accurate Silent Wave Motor (SWM), 9-blade rounded electronic diaphragm, Nano Coated glass, fluorine coated front element and a complex 14-element optical construction, 2 of which are ED and 3 of which are aspherical elements, the Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED is a lens designed to deliver exceptional image quality and sharpness that surpasses the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G ED lens. Take a look at the MTF chart of the lens compared to 24mm f/1.4G (Left: Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED, Right: Nikon 24mm f/1.4G ED):

Nikon 28mm f/1.4E vs 24mm f/1.4G MTF Chart

We can see that the new Nikon 28mm f/1.4E is supposed to be sharper than the 24mm f/1.4G in the center. But take a look at the extreme edges – the 24mm f/1.4E is significantly worse in comparison. And that’s just at its widest aperture of f/1.4. Stopped down to f/2.8 and smaller, I expect the Nikon 28mm f/1.4E to be stellar.

Also, pay attention to how close sagittal and meridional lines are to each other. This is a sign of very low level of astigmatism and good bokeh. In fact, the MTF of the lens looks exceptionally good for a wide-angle lens – even the NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G looks much inferior in comparison!

With the existing line-up of 20mm f/1.8G, 24mm f/1.4G, 24mm f/1.8G, 28mm f/1.8G, 35mm f/1.4G and 35mm f/1.8G wide-angle lenses, it is exciting to see that Nikon is filling the blanks with yet another superb lens release.

Based on my experience with Nikon primes, I have no doubt that the Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED is going to be an exceptional lens that will appeal to many professionals. With its price tag of $1,999.95, it is not a cheap lens to buy, but let’s not forget that the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G also sells for the same amount, so the pricing is not unexpectedly high.

AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

Lastly, Nikon also announced the AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens, a budget-friendly option for those who shoot with DX cameras. While it is nice to see yet another AF-P lens added to the DX line-up, I personally don’t see the point of yet another slow DX zoom wide-angle lens. The DX line-up already has the 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED and 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED lenses and while the new 10-20mm is significantly cheaper than the other two, I would rather see Nikon release fast DX zoom and prime lenses that could bring weight benefits to the DX system. Why not release 20mm, 24mm, and 28mm DX primes instead? Why not make a few DX telephoto primes? It is sad to see only the 10.5mm DX Fisheye, 35mm f/1.8G DX, 40mm f/2.8G DX macro and the 85mm f/3.5G DX macro as the only DX prime options. That’s just a shame…

Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

Anyway, I won’t spend much time exploring the new DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR. You can see all the details yourself by checking out the lens in our lens database.

Official Press Release

Below is the full official press release from Nikon:

MELVILLE, NY (May 31, 2017 at 12:01 A.M. EDT) – Today, Nikon announced three exciting new wide-angle NIKKOR lenses to give a diverse array of users brilliant image quality and maximum versatility whether shooting vast landscapes, architecture, interiors, events and many other wide-angle applications. The new ultra-wide zoom and lightweight DX-format AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR is an excellent value for budding shutterbugs and novice shooters looking to explore a wide-angle point of view, while the new AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED is an FX-format circular fisheye zoom lens for photographers and content creators who desire a truly unique perspective. Lastly, the new AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED is a superior prime lens that provides professional and advanced photographers the ultimate in wide-angle image quality. Both the AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED and AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED are the latest additions to the Gold Ring Series of NIKKOR lenses, a mark identifying Nikon’s premium lens offerings.

“Nikon continues to push the limits of optical excellence, while making new perspectives more attainable than ever before with our latest wide-angle NIKKOR offerings,” said Kosuke Kawaura, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “Whether a photographer is a novice learning the art of landscapes, an enthusiastic video creator or a working professional shooter, Nikon now makes the wide-angle perspective achievable for everyone.”

AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED – Circular Fisheye for Photographers and Content Creators
Nikon’s first fisheye zoom gives photographers and filmmakers an FX-format lens with the look and feel of a circular fisheye and the versatility of a full-frame fisheye, all in one lens. The new lens design provides a creative circular 180-degree vertical / horizontal angle of view on full frame cameras, and zooms to a non-circular fisheye view (180-degree diagonal angle of view) on the long end of the focal range. The lens can also be used on DX-format cameras for a distinctive point-of-view and extreme wide-angle applications. When looking to push creative boundaries, the intriguing perspective from a fisheye lens should be considered to provide a distinct look to your photos and videos, such as a dramatic emphasis on a subject or an extremely wide interior point of view.

The AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED is also the latest in Nikon’s Gold Ring Series of premier lenses and features a next-generation design for high-resolution Nikon DSLR cameras. Made for advanced photographers and creators, this durable lens is constructed of lightweight magnesium alloy, and employs internal focusing (IF) to retain its compact size, even while focusing. It is also Nikon’s latest lens to use an electromagnetic diaphragm for consistent exposure during high speed shooting, or smooth exposure control while capturing video.

The optical formula of the Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm consists of three ED elements to reduce chromatic aberration, while two aspherical lens elements minimize coma even at the widest aperture, and enable a more compact lens size. Additionally, the front lens element is coated with Nikon’s non-stick Fluorine coat to help resist dirt, fingerprints and smudges, while Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat helps reduce ghost and flare.

AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED – The Latest in The Gold Ring Series of f/1.4 Primes in the NIKKOR Line
The new AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED is Gold Ring glass that provides maximum versatility for outstanding definition and sharpness regardless of shooting scenario. With a fast f/1.4 maximum aperture and nine blade rounded diaphragm, it affords a shallow depth of field with gorgeous bokeh and stellar low light performance, making it a great choice for shooting low light landscapes, interiors and events.

The superbly balanced and solid body is composed of lightweight magnesium alloy, and features dust and water drop resistant sealing to withstand the elements, combined with a fluorine coating to resist dirt and smudges. The optical construction of the lens is engineered for the best possible wide-angle image quality. It consists of 14 elements in 11 groups, with three aspherical elements that virtually eliminate coma, aberration and distortion, with two ED glass elements that minimize chromatic aberration. The lens also uses Nikon’s Nano Crystal coat to reduce instances of ghosting and flare.

The new AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED is a welcome addition to Nikon’s stable of impressive f/1.4 primes that give professional photographers and creators the highest levels of image quality and performance, which also include; The AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED, AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G, AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G, AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G and AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED.

The AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR – Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens That’s Compact and Portable
The new NIKKOR 10-20mm is an ultra-wide-angle DX-format zoom lens that opens new perspectives and possibilities for those new to photography, and is ideal for shooting travel and scenery, real estate, large group portraits or vlogging. This new lens combines superior image quality and an attainable price to give consumers wide-angle versatility with a lens that’s remarkably compact and lightweight.

Like all NIKKOR lenses, the new AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR provides advanced optical technologies for stellar image quality in any light, whether shooting a sun-drenched coastal vista, tight spaces or the night sky. The lens features the equivalent of 3.5 stops1 of Vibration Reduction (VR) performance, to help capture sharp images while handheld or in challenging light. Additionally, it utilizes Nikon’s Pulse Motor technology for super-fast and whisper quiet AF operation- which is especially useful when recording video. The optical formula contains three aspherical elements for excellent image quality with minimal distortion even at the widest focal length.

This is a versatile lens that not only excels at shooting expansive horizons, but also offers a remarkably close working distance that’s useful for images or showing up-close details when making product-related videos or how-to content. To get closer to capture small objects with big details, the lens has a close minimum focusing distance of only 8.6 inches (0.22 meters), bringing small objects to life in glorious size.

Price and Availability
The Nikon AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED will be available immediately for a suggested retail price (SRP)* of $1249.95. The AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR and AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED will be available in late June for a suggested retail price (SRP)*, $309.95 and $1999.95, respectively. For more information on these NIKKOR lenses as well as the latest Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

Pre-Order Options

As usual, you can pre-order all three lenses through our trusted partner B&H Photo Video:

  1. Pre-Order Nikon AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED for $1,246.95
  2. Pre-Order Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED for $1996.95
  3. Pre-Order Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR for $306.95

The post Nikon 8-15mm Fisheye, 28mm f/1.4E and 10-20mm DX VR Announcements appeared first on Photography Life.

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Mid-Atlantic coastal skies will light up tomorrow morning as a research rocket studies aurora. Watch at 3:45am ET:… https://t.co/CmokEwsJU3



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Amazon Has to Pay $70 Million Because It Let Kids Splurge on in-App Purchases Without Their Parents’ Permission

After nearly three years of litigation, Amazon finally agreed to refund consumers an estimated $70 million on Tuesday—fees incurred after the users’ children made thousands of in-app purchases without their parents’ permission.

Amazon’s troubles began in 2011, when the company first pioneered its Kindle Fire OS technology for mobile and tablet devices like the Kindle. As Ars Technica warned at the time, parental controls weren’t the default setting, while in-app purchases—things like virtual currency, stars, and acorns in mobile games including Candy Crush Saga and Ice Age Village—were facilitated by the “one-click shopping” default. Although Amazon later updated its settings to mandate a password for in-app purchases over $20, a security update in 2013 meant that parental authorization for a single charge “often opened an undisclosed window of 15 minutes to an hour during which the child could then make unlimited charges without further authorization,” according to a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC sued Amazon in 2014 for insufficiently protecting users’ bank accounts from overeager children, whose in-app purchases sometimes ran consumers as much as $99.99 at a time without requiring any form of parental authentication. One mother cited in the federal agency’s complaint claimed that Amazon’s lax security had enabled her daughter to make $358.42 of in-app purchases without her permission, according to the Chicago Tribune. The FTC alleged that the Seattle-based company retained 30 percent of in-app fees incurred by the splurging kids. (And lest you think only the feds care about consumers getting suckered by their children, Kanye West went on an infamous Twitter rampage railing against in-app purchases made by his daughter, North, in 2015.)

The case simmered on in court until April 2016, when Judge John C. Coughenour of the U.S. District Court in Seattle granted the FTC’s motion for summary judgment against Amazon. The judge’s order held Amazon responsible for the missing consumer safeguards that enabled the juvenile spendthrifts, concluding that “a reasonable consumer unaware of the possibility of in-app purchases would not assume she was authorizing unforeseen charges.” The long-running legal tussle finally ended early last month when the FTC and Amazon jointly agreed to withdraw appeals they’d lodged following Judge Coughenour’s ruling, TechCrunch reported at the time. The FTC had appealed a judge’s denial of an injunction that would have barred Amazon from engaging in similar behavior in the future, USA Today reported Wednesday, while Amazon had quibbled with the court’s finding that its lax security surrounding in-app purchases was illegal. “This case demonstrates what should be a bedrock principle for all companies—you must get customers’ consent before you charge them,” said the acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Thomas Pahl, after the cessation of courtroom hostilities.

Amazon isn’t the first highflying tech giant to find itself in the FTC’s crosshairs over unauthorized in-app purchases. Apple reached a $32.5 million settlement with the federal agency in 2014 after unwitting users incurred a spate of unwanted fees on mobile and tablet devices, USA Today recorded. In September of that same year, Google likewise agreed to change its billing practices and shell out a minimum of $19 million to consumers in response to user allegations of unauthorized mobile purchases by children and an FTC complaint.

Amazon’s payouts started landing in users’ bank accounts on Tuesday. “Refund requests can be completed entirely online,” according to the FTC, and cover in-app purchases made between November 2011 and May 2016. Affected users have a full year to file a request with the company.

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Aaron Levie: RT @BoxHQ: Some Q1 FY18 highlights! Tune into today’s earnings call at 2pm PT here: https://t.co/xn5qjvYzRo https://t.co/DtFzX3kiuq



First commercial carbon capture plant is going live in Switzerland

A Swiss company on Wednesday is set to become the world’s first to commercially remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and turn it into a useful product.

Climeworks, which will begin operations at a facility near Zurich, Switzerland, plans to compress the CO2 it captures and use it as fertilizer to grow crops in greenhouses. The company wants to dramatically scale its technology over the next decade, and its long-term goal is to capture 1 percent of global annual carbon dioxide emissions by 2025.

Along with cutting fossil fuel use to zero, removing carbon dioxide from the air is increasingly seen as one way to stop the long-term buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Carbon removal and storage coupled with drawing down fossil fuel use is called “negative emissions.”

Time is running out to perfect the various methods of capturing carbon dioxide and permanently storing it. Research shows that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations will increase to the point that 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) of global warming will be inevitable within the next 22 years. Scientists consider that level of global warming dangerous, and the goal of the Paris climate agreement is to stop global warming before that limit is reached.

The technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, including planting new forests and building facilities that directly remove and capture climate pollution from the air, is in its infancy. It has never been tried at a large scale, and nobody knows if it can be used worldwide to remove enough carbon dioxide to slow warming.

The Climeworks plant represents the beginning of an industry that is attempting to perfect the technology. Other companies, such as British Columbia–based Carbon Engineering, are also working on direct-air capture plants that will commercially suck carbon dioxide from the air.

Sabine Fuss, a sustainable energy researcher at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin who is unaffiliated with Climeworks, said that the company’s direct-air capture plant is the first of its kind to operate on an industrial scale.

“It’s important to note that they will not be permanently storing the CO2 that will be captured,” she said. “Instead, it will be used for greenhouses, producing synfuels, etc. No negative emissions will be generated.”

Negative emissions can only occur when the captured carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and then locked away forever, she said.

But Climeworks cofounder Christoph Gebald said the company’s carbon capture plant can be used for carbon sequestration.

“Highly scalable negative emission technologies are crucial if we are to stay below the 2 degrees C target of the international community,” he said. “The DAC (direct-air capture) technology provides distinct advantages to achieve this aim and is perfectly suitable to be combined with underground storage.”

Climeworks

Gebald said his team installed 18 carbon dioxide collectors on the roof of a garbage incineration plant outside Zurich. Powered by wasted heat from the incinerator, the collectors use fans to suck ambient air into filters, which absorb carbon dioxide. The filters are heated and the carbon dioxide is removed and piped into nearby greenhouses, which will use 900 metric tons of captured carbon to grow crops each year.

The captured carbon dioxide could also be used to manufacture transportation fuel, carbonated soft drinks, and other products, Gebald said.

In order to meet the goal of removing the equivalent of 1 percent of annual global carbon dioxide emissions, 250,000 similar direct-air capture plants would have to be built, Gebald said.

Future direct-air capture plants will cost up to $400 per metric ton of captured carbon dioxide to operate, Gebald said, with carbon sequestration adding an additional $10–$20 to that cost per ton.

Glen Peters, a researcher at CICERO, a climate research organization in Norway, said he is not closely familiar with Climeworks, but said it will be impressive if the company can meet its goal to capture 1 percent of global carbon emissions, but only if it can be stored. He said operational costs need to fall to about $100 per ton of captured carbon for the technology to be scalable.

Some carbon removal technology is controversial because some methods involve planting new forests and forcing large-scale changes in the way land is used, possibly displacing people and the farms they rely on to grow their food.

Peters coauthored a paper published last year warning that staking the future only on negative emissions technologies presents a “moral hazard” because they’re unproven, there is a substantial risk that the technology can’t be scaled up, and it may allow policymakers to think that weaning humanity away from fossil fuels is not urgent.

When asked if Climeworks is participating in a morally hazardous climate strategy, Gebald said that scientists are certain that global warming can only be addressed if global carbon dioxide emissions drop to zero.

“We feel there is no moral hazard,” he said. “The only way we can achieve this is by using all means we have available.”

Both getting rid of fossil fuels and directly capturing carbon dioxide from the air are necessary to solve climate change, Gebald said.

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline First commercial carbon capture plant is going live in Switzerland on May 31, 2017.

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3 Pros and 3 Cons You Need to Weigh About Specialization in Today’s Job Market

Unpacking the Pros and Cons of Job Specialization in Today’s Business World

Everyone reaches a point in their career where they get really good at a particular skill and they face a crossroads. Do I further hone this skill or do I continue to add new skills? Unfortunately, there isn’t a correct answer. It depends on a variety of other factors.

Understanding Specialization

If you want to understand the progression of the business world – and professional service industries, in particular – you have to get familiar with specialization.

By definition, work specialization is the act of splitting up processes of work into individual responsibilities that are each handled by the most qualified individuals available. Specialization often occurs within businesses and organizations, but individuals also benefit from concentrating on specific skills.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increased emphasis on specialization within the entrepreneurial/freelance community and the reverberations of this shift are clearly seen on multiple levels.

“Ongoing specialization has been a decisive factor for the current state of our society,” explains Consultants 500, a platform designed to connect businesses with specialized services. “The effects of specialization is such a broad concept that it touches upon almost everything in our daily life. And our natural urge for specialization is also one of the main reasons why professional services exist. Society and businesses cannot know everything and therefore need specialists with practical experience to help and guide us.”

While specialization clearly plays a valuable role in the business world, the dilemma of whether or not to pursue it as the focus of your own career can be intense. It sounds great on the surface, but what are the costs and benefits when you analyze career specialization at the roots?

The Pros of Job Specialization

While it’s not for everyone, there’s a lot of value that can be extracted from focusing on a specific skill or role. Let’s begin this analysis by taking a look at some of the benefits specialization affords so that you can get a better idea of the “why” behind such a career move.

1. Defined Skillset

There’s something about having specific responsibilities that allow you to get really focused on a defined skillset. This is perhaps the biggest benefit of specialization. When you’re able to stop wasting your time on low-returning tasks and instead drill down to what really matters, suddenly you become a more valuable commodity.

Consider a fictional scenario for a moment. Let’s say your house is getting old and needs some substantial work done. Namely, you need some of the siding repaired and a new roof installed. The first thing you do is call a local handyman who you know is pretty good with installing siding. And when he arrives at your house and you mention that you’re also replacing your roof, he suddenly perks up and tells you that he can do the siding repair and the roof replacement for one convenient price.

The handyman leaves and the specialized roof installation company that you had previously called out for an estimate arrives. They want to charge you substantially more for the job. Despite this, most people would be more comfortable paying the premium for the specialized service. Why? Because specialized companies/professionals are deemed to be more skilled at what they do. In other words, a defined skillset is a bonus.

2. Increased Trust

Specialization comes with a greater sense of trust in the eyes of employers. If you’re looking for a job and are able to say that you specialize in X, Y, or Z, that’s better than saying you have some basic experience doing X, Y, and Z. An employer is going to have more trust that you know what you’re doing if you’ve exhibited a history of focusing your efforts on a singular skill or objective.

3. Better Job Satisfaction

From your perspective, you’ll find that specialization generally leads to higher job satisfaction. The reason for this is rooted in any number of factors. For a lot of people, it’s a result of doing something that you love. That’s because professionals generally focus on a skill that they enjoy. Other people are happier because they get immense satisfaction and pleasure from doing something that they’re good at. It makes them feel like they have something of value to offer their employer/customers/etc.

The Cons of Job Specialization

Job specialization isn’t for everyone, though. Some people aren’t cut out for it and perform much better when they’re able to utilize a variety of skills and take on a diverse set of responsibilities. Keeping that in mind, let’s review some of the major cons of specialization in today’s job market.

1. Potential for Boredom

The majority of American workers aren’t finding fulfillment in their jobs. In fact, a Gallup poll shows that 50.8 percent of people are “not engaged” at work, while another 17.2 percent are “actively disengaged.” Less than one-third of people report being fully engaged. There are plenty of reasons for this, but boredom plays a big role.

Unfortunately, specialization is often a major cause for boredom. If you end up becoming too focused on one thing, you don’t get enough diversity in your life and burn out fairly quickly. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s always a risk – especially for those who like change.

2. Risk of Obsolescence

The world changes and certain skills and occupations come and go in terms of utility and value. When you’re a generalist, this doesn’t really matter. You slowly evolve along with the marketplace. But when you’re a specialist, you can get left behind. Obsolescence is a very real threat.

Consider, for example, someone who specializes in Google AdWords strategy and optimization. What would happen if suddenly Google went under or decided to eliminate AdWords and focus on an entirely different form of advertising? Suddenly that person would be out of a job. That’s the risk of tying yourself to one specific skill.

3. Limited Skillset

You also have to consider the fact that not every customer/client/employer is looking for specialization. When cost is a factor, it’s usually makes more sense for them to hire someone who can offer a variety of services. So while you may view it as a focused skillset, others could see it as a limited skillset. Keep this in mind as you decide where you want your career to go.

The Future of Job Specialization

There will always be an opportunity for skilled professionals to specialize their services. The key to specialization is to make sure you’re balancing your approach. You can specialize yourself right out of a job if you aren’t careful.

But done the right way, specialization can lead to a bright career in today’s job market.

Man at Computer Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "3 Pros and 3 Cons You Need to Weigh About Specialization in Today’s Job Market" was first published on Small Business Trends

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Microsoft Reveals Asus Mixed Reality Headset, New Design from Dell

At Computex 2017, the annual IT expo held in Taipei, Taiwan,  Microsoft today revealed more from their line-up of affordable Windows ‘Mixed Reality’ headsets, including Asus’ headset and an updated design from Dell.

While solid specs or pricing information aren’t available for either headset just yet, the company today revealed Asus’ headset which sports an interesting low-poly front cover panel. Microsoft says in their blogpost that the headset was designed with an ergonomically adjustable strap that can be adjusted with a single hand. The company further says that Asus is working with Microsoft to make the headset “fast, powerful, and ultra-light with a six degrees of freedom (DOF) tracked motion controller, for an incredible, immersive MR experience.”

The Windows 6 DOF motion controller was first announced at the company’s annual Build dev conference, and utilizes the headsets’ inside-out, positional tracking sensor tech.

image courtesy The Verge

Dell’s headset has undergone a noticeable change from when it was first publicly shown back at CES earlier this year, now featuring a remodeled front cover panel with indented sensor mounts and black head strap accents. Microsoft says the headset is designed by the same team that creates their premium XPS and Alienware PCs. The headset features cable routing, replaceable cushions and a halo-style headband with flip-up visor.


Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality (formerly called ‘Windows Holographic’) is the company’s immersive platform built on the foundation laid by their HoloLens AR headset. The platform features a operating environment—native to Windows 10 devices—that essentially allows compatible headsets to run any Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app. Microsoft says that a staggering 20,000 UWP apps are already available for Mixed Reality headsets. Compatible devices, first announced last December, include headsets from Asus, Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Chinese firm 3Glasses.

As for computer hardware specs, Microsoft and Intel have partnered on a platform specification for these headsets so they’ll be able to “scale across mainstream Intel architecture platforms natively on [Intel’s CPU-integrated] HD Graphics,” by the end of 2017. That means there’s no need for a high-end dedicated GPU like with the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

Microsoft maintains that its Mixed Reality headsets will be available as early as holiday season. Acer ($299) and HP ($329) are now available for pre-order through the Microsoft Store for developers in the US (Acer, HP) and Canada (Acer, HP).

The post Microsoft Reveals Asus Mixed Reality Headset, New Design from Dell appeared first on Road to VR.

http://ift.tt/2sonvFI Source: http://www.roadtovr.com



uSens Reveals American Winners Of uDev Challenge

The Augmented World Expo (AWE) played host to a number of announcements today including, amongst others the reveal by VR tracking specialists uSens of the winners uDev Challenge for America. This followed a sister competition in China.

The projects, which required use of uSens’ own Software Development Kit (SDK) for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) and could utilize either the Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. And were initially narrowed down to a selection of semi-finalists by a judging panel consisting of members of the uSens, Samsung and the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Meetup group.

“We were impressed by the quality and creativity of the projects submitted by our semifinalists.” Explained uSens CTO and company co-founder Dr. Yue Fei . “Our winners integrated Fingo modules,” uSens’s tracking device, which recently received an upgrade, “in imaginative ways and demonstrated the ability to make engaging, exciting use of our tracking technology to benefit end-users. I’m very pleased about the promise of future applications of our tracking tech.”

$50,000 (USD) was won by the grand prize winner, Chris Wren who developed MonsterShop an application for VR retail.

VIDEO

Wallace Lages came in second for spellcasting mobile game Krinkle VR, netting the developer $25,000 (USD).

VIDEO

Third place was won by a medical related tool called Embodied Labs developed by Tom Leahy. Which shows the degeneration of the macular, a very small but important part of the retina. It’s a condition that results in people losing their central vision.

VIDEO

The US prizes bring the total amount awarded across both challenges to $200,000. VRFocus will bring you more news from AWE 2017 throughout the week.

http://ift.tt/2sf7tyF Source: https://www.vrfocus.com



7 days until we announce #NewAstronauts! What are the qualifications for becoming an astronaut? That & more Qs here… https://t.co/0sPf180UO5




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