LIKE I WHAT- WHAT I LIKE

I love exciting form factor, I love tech, I'm a geek and an Apple fanboy these are the things I like.

“Inspired” by Apple: Five Reasons Why This is the Worst Article I Have Ever Read on the Internet

inspiredbyapple:

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This is kind of off topic but there is nothing that makes me LOL more consistently and thoroughly than a puff piece on Apple rumours. So join me, as I explain, in true linkbait fashion, the five reasons why this piece from the International Business Times (“New iPhone 5 Release Date: 5…

"This image is brilliant. A quick browse of CiccareseDesign’s website reveals an organisation solely devoted to designing things that look like Apple products. Samsung should hire them immediately."

The Walking Dead
I was the biggest Lost fan. However, as time goes by, the poor final season really gets to me. So much so that I almost feel cheated by the ending. It was pretty obvious that it wouldn’t be able to live up to the hype. Someone on the lost fansite Dark UFO predicted at the start of the last season, to answer all the unexplained mysteries, there would have to be a reveal on average every three minutes of running time throughout all 17 episodes. Anyway, I needed a replacement, something that would give me that level of almost unbearable anticipation for each episode. Flash Forward, The Event and Fringe, (although pretty promising,) failed. Then came The Walking Dead. Adapted from the Robert Kirkman graphic novel series, but clearly going in a different narrative direction, the first season was a five part masterpiece.
The series is produced by Frank Darabont, director of the Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption, has a totally cinematic quality. Elements of survival horror, which although a greatly pastiched genre, feel fresh and the whole feel of the series is that it is treading new ground. The two hour premiere itself is an amazing standalone piece of entertainment, the viewer feels the loneliness, claustrophobia and desperation. Unfortunately the second season will not be with us until 2012.

The Walking Dead

I was the biggest Lost fan. However, as time goes by, the poor final season really gets to me. So much so that I almost feel cheated by the ending. It was pretty obvious that it wouldn’t be able to live up to the hype. Someone on the lost fansite Dark UFO predicted at the start of the last season, to answer all the unexplained mysteries, there would have to be a reveal on average every three minutes of running time throughout all 17 episodes. Anyway, I needed a replacement, something that would give me that level of almost unbearable anticipation for each episode. Flash Forward, The Event and Fringe, (although pretty promising,) failed. Then came The Walking Dead. Adapted from the Robert Kirkman graphic novel series, but clearly going in a different narrative direction, the first season was a five part masterpiece.

The series is produced by Frank Darabont, director of the Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption, has a totally cinematic quality. Elements of survival horror, which although a greatly pastiched genre, feel fresh and the whole feel of the series is that it is treading new ground. The two hour premiere itself is an amazing standalone piece of entertainment, the viewer feels the loneliness, claustrophobia and desperation. Unfortunately the second season will not be with us until 2012.

Never Let Me Go

Okay, my probable top five books, in no particular order as as follows:
Never Let Me Go 
Catcher in the Rye 
One Day
High Fidelity 
American Psycho 
What really kills me about all of these is that they have all been made into films. I know it’s a statement of the obvious but books aren’t films, they’re books. Isn’t that the whole point? Rarely does an excellent book make and excellent film. At the risk of sounding like I have finally lost what little  ’it’ I have left, text incites the imagination in a way that film does not. Literature becomes as much a part of your imagination as that of the authors. That said I am not too much of a snob to refuse to watch film adaptations in general.

I am currently making an exception for Never Let Me Go because for me, reading the book was a deeply personal experience. However I am pretty torn at the moment because the film stars two of my favourite actors at the moment Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield. I particularly loved Carey’s performance in An Education. A film, of which if you admit you like, you gain an immediate and rightfully deserved tag as a Pabst drinking hipster. 

Kazua Ishiguro’s book details the childhood and adolescence of four young people in what is assumed to be an alternative reality, where the nature of humanity for chosen individuals is in question. It also questions the destiny and the human soul. To reveal much more would spoil the plot. What I really like about the book is that the full horror of the events of the books is revealed slowly over the course of the book rather than in a M Night Shalaman, Sixth Sense style twist. This gives the book a lasting potency. 

Never Let Me Go

Okay, my probable top five books, in no particular order as as follows:

What really kills me about all of these is that they have all been made into films. I know it’s a statement of the obvious but books aren’t films, they’re books. Isn’t that the whole point? Rarely does an excellent book make and excellent film. At the risk of sounding like I have finally lost what little  ’it’ I have left, text incites the imagination in a way that film does not. Literature becomes as much a part of your imagination as that of the authors. That said I am not too much of a snob to refuse to watch film adaptations in general.

I am currently making an exception for Never Let Me Go because for me, reading the book was a deeply personal experience. However I am pretty torn at the moment because the film stars two of my favourite actors at the moment Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield. I particularly loved Carey’s performance in An Education. A film, of which if you admit you like, you gain an immediate and rightfully deserved tag as a Pabsdrinking hipster

Kazua Ishiguro’s book details the childhood and adolescence of four young people in what is assumed to be an alternative reality, where the nature of humanity for chosen individuals is in question. It also questions the destiny and the human soul. To reveal much more would spoil the plot. What I really like about the book is that the full horror of the events of the books is revealed slowly over the course of the book rather than in a M Night Shalaman, Sixth Sense style twist. This gives the book a lasting potency. 

You’re not Google’s Customer - You’re the product

Nathan Newman - Tech Progress

Three Essential Cloud Based Apps

The mobile phone, Sky+ (TiVo) and toilet paper. Inventions that once used, you wonder how life was ever tolerable before they came into existence. Unfortunately there is far more dross that we have to use daily, that everyone wishes could be uninvented and banished from existence. 

As always, I feel legally obligated to link this to Apple and mention their latest update of their mobile operating system iOS 5 that has hit the headlines for ‘borrowing’ features from several popular existing cloud based iPhone/iPad apps,such as Dropbox, Instapaper and Evernote that could render these apps obsolete.  Personally I don’t think that is the case but what I do find interesting is that although wildly popular with those that are deeply into tech, I never seem to see these apps on any ‘regular’ persons mobile or PC. Like the three inventions I mentioned at the start, once used, I think its hard to go back imagining life without them.

Dropbox 

This free app, basically is cloud storage in its purest form. It can be installed on iPhone, Android mobile, Windows and Mac, and created an integrated folder system that saves to the cloud. This means that files saved to the folder can be accessed on any device with either dropbox installed or a web browser. It also saves a hardcopy on each device that can be accessed offline. It’s a service that once used, the thought of not storing files on dropbox  makes you worry about hard disk failures, loosing or damaging your phone and loosing those files. It also makes the process of emailing files to yourself or transferring files by USB stick seem outdated an obsolete. Whats more, you can send public or private links to share folders, which is a feature I use all the time when I want to transfer photo’s or large files.

Instapaper 

This app installs a ‘read later’ bookmark onto your web browser/ mobile device, which basically saves that page to your instapaper account for you to read at a later date. It saves all you pages in a clear text only format which is ideal for when your browsing. Essentially it’s a Sky+ for websites. One other feature is that on mobile devices, it sync’s and will display your read later folder offline. Meaning that when you’re in locations where there is no mobile connectivity, such as the underground or on a train, you can view all your favourite webpages offline. 

Evernote

I use Evernote to write these articles and compose/edit around 75% of all my emails and documents. Its a free application iPhone/iPad/Android/Mac/PC application that basically links information from a variety of different sources to make notes that contain text, pictures, audio notes, drawing files etc. The best thing is that it automatically syncs to the cloud meaning that your notes are accessible anywhere. It’s so satisfying to write finish a sentence in one location, then be able to pick up from the next sentence just by opening the app or logging in on a browser.

Republic Bike
A recent discovery courtesy of Joshua Topolsky of This is my next... These bikes excite me in the same way that the sight of yet another mountain bike makes me die a little bit inside. This particular combination is in the corporate colours of the company I work for. Click the photo to link to the website for more info

Republic Bike

A recent discovery courtesy of Joshua Topolsky of This is my next... These bikes excite me in the same way that the sight of yet another mountain bike makes me die a little bit inside. This particular combination is in the corporate colours of the company I work for. Click the photo to link to the website for more info

Edward Hopper - Nighthawks

This is my second and only other art print that I have in my house. This 1942 classic by Edward Hopper is in in my entrance hall above the piano. I tried to reference the painting in the decor of the hallway by adopting American diner style lamps, but in truth I think the effect is lost. I am a big fan of Americana and this painting has strong themes of Film Noir, wartime, emptiness and loneliness. For more information about the work of Edward Hopper click here. 

Edward Hopper - Nighthawks

This is my second and only other art print that I have in my house. This 1942 classic by Edward Hopper is in in my entrance hall above the piano. I tried to reference the painting in the decor of the hallway by adopting American diner style lamps, but in truth I think the effect is lost. I am a big fan of Americana and this painting has strong themes of Film Noir, wartime, emptiness and loneliness. For more information about the work of Edward Hopper click here

Is The iPhone Camera Doomed?

I have no idea who came up with the idea of putting a camera on a phone. On paper it seems like such an incompatible and bad combination. Apple seem to agree. iPhone camera’s are always lacking from their rivals. My Nokia N95 from 2007 had a 5mp camera, when my 2010 iPhone 4’s camera is only 3mp. And the 4 is the first generation on iPhone to get a flash. So why don’t Apple seem to believe in the iPhone camera? I have a theory.
 
I love photographs, I love photography, the problem is that I am a particular poor photographer. I have a Canon 350D that I bought by accident a few years ago, which I can just about use as a point and shoot, mainly for family events. It’s only recently that I have discovered Instagram for the iphone on the app store. It’s easy to use, point, shoot, edit using a variety of simple filters, post. The success of the app is, firstly, the speed at which it works, the app opens in under a second. Secondly the meta data, such as the location is automatically uploaded to the Instagram site, limiting the fuss. Thirdly and most importantly, the retro, hipstermatic-like filters make the photo’s look great. There has also been a general rise in iPhone camera usage by both casual and amateur photographers alike.
 
So it looks pretty good for the iPhone and Apple so far; and there’s more. It was recently reported in TUAW that a wedding photographer Joshua Brown had photographed and edited a whole album from a trip to Italy using only Camera+ on his iPhone The results are amazingly impressive. Joshua actually took a Canon D5 DSLR with him on the trip but didn’t use it as he found the D5 too bulky an obtrusive to carry round. 
 
It still looks good news for Apple; and theres even more good news. In the same week Techcrunch / reported that the iPhone is about to overtake the Nikon D90 as the most popular camera for posting to Flickr. It’s easy to see why,
 
So whats the problem? Answer: Google’s Android. It doesn’t take a great leap of imagination WiFi and 3g connectivity, capacitive touchscreens and realtime editing. If you want to adjust the white balance, is there a better way then taptaptap Camera +, method utilising the touchscreen? I don’t think so. Android is open source and free. In his Weekly Podcast The Talk Show, John Gruber connected the dots and predicted that the next generation of DSLR’s have a version of Android pre-installed with these features. If this is the case then, it doesn’t appear to bode well for future growth of the iPhone as a viable photography device. 
 
I doubt that this is going to worry Apple. In the long run it’s not going to affect sales of the iPhone or any other Apple product. The chances of standalone Apple DSLR camera? Slim, the Cupertino company just doesn’t have the background in this area, after all all it’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch manufacturers are sourced from other manufacturers. What is will definitely happen is that the iPhone 5 (or 4S) will have better camera that the 4. Just how far they will go is a matter is really contentious. Rumours were circulating that Sony were to provide an 8Mp camera, but this although not improbable, seems unlikely, and anyway 12Mp is the current benchmark for phones and point & shoot camera’s.
 
Anyway, these are all predictions. Apple had a record of achieving the unpredictable, (the iPhone as the number 1 gaming device anyone?). So I guess we just have to wait and see what happens next. 

Is The iPhone Camera Doomed?

I have no idea who came up with the idea of putting a camera on a phone. On paper it seems like such an incompatible and bad combination. Apple seem to agree. iPhone camera’s are always lacking from their rivals. My Nokia N95 from 2007 had a 5mp camera, when my 2010 iPhone 4’s camera is only 3mp. And the 4 is the first generation on iPhone to get a flash. So why don’t Apple seem to believe in the iPhone camera? I have a theory.

 

I love photographs, I love photography, the problem is that I am a particular poor photographer. I have a Canon 350D that I bought by accident a few years ago, which I can just about use as a point and shoot, mainly for family events. It’s only recently that I have discovered Instagram for the iphone on the app store. It’s easy to use, point, shoot, edit using a variety of simple filters, post. The success of the app is, firstly, the speed at which it works, the app opens in under a second. Secondly the meta data, such as the location is automatically uploaded to the Instagram site, limiting the fuss. Thirdly and most importantly, the retro, hipstermatic-like filters make the photo’s look great. There has also been a general rise in iPhone camera usage by both casual and amateur photographers alike.

 

So it looks pretty good for the iPhone and Apple so far; and there’s more. It was recently reported in TUAW that a wedding photographer Joshua Brown had photographed and edited a whole album from a trip to Italy using only Camera+ on his iPhone The results are amazingly impressive. Joshua actually took a Canon D5 DSLR with him on the trip but didn’t use it as he found the D5 too bulky an obtrusive to carry round. 

 

It still looks good news for Apple; and theres even more good news. In the same week Techcrunch / reported that the iPhone is about to overtake the Nikon D90 as the most popular camera for posting to Flickr. It’s easy to see why,

 

So whats the problem? Answer: Google’s Android. It doesn’t take a great leap of imagination WiFi and 3g connectivity, capacitive touchscreens and realtime editing. If you want to adjust the white balance, is there a better way then taptaptap Camera +, method utilising the touchscreen? I don’t think so. Android is open source and free. In his Weekly Podcast The Talk Show, John Gruber connected the dots and predicted that the next generation of DSLR’s have a version of Android pre-installed with these features. If this is the case then, it doesn’t appear to bode well for future growth of the iPhone as a viable photography device. 

 

I doubt that this is going to worry Apple. In the long run it’s not going to affect sales of the iPhone or any other Apple product. The chances of standalone Apple DSLR camera? Slim, the Cupertino company just doesn’t have the background in this area, after all all it’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch manufacturers are sourced from other manufacturers. What is will definitely happen is that the iPhone 5 (or 4S) will have better camera that the 4. Just how far they will go is a matter is really contentious. Rumours were circulating that Sony were to provide an 8Mp camera, but this although not improbable, seems unlikely, and anyway 12Mp is the current benchmark for phones and point & shoot camera’s.

 

Anyway, these are all predictions. Apple had a record of achieving the unpredictable, (the iPhone as the number 1 gaming device anyone?). So I guess we just have to wait and see what happens next.