Monthly Archives: June 2007

iPhone First Impressions

John Gruber (Daring Fireball) gives us his iPhone First Impressions. Pretty darned good if you ask him. Great news.

I predict that all of the cool features of the iPhone, minus the phone, will be in a future iPod. That will be the Palm killer that we’ve been waiting for. The iPhone is a Palm Treo killer but maybe not a Palm sans-phone killer. I’d love to have a small wifi device that will sync my contacts and calendars back to my computer and browse the web minus the phone. I’d love a phone too but would love a copious iPod (60 gigs) with this kind of UI. This will be what many have called a tablet PC. In fact the iPhone is a tablet PC, just a bit smaller in a different box. The tablet PC makes less sense as a big screen minus the computer (the failed Microsoft model) and more sense as a Palm-like or iPod-like device. It’s coming and it’s what I want.

[via Daring Fireball.]

The imperial Vice Presidency

Sidney Blumenthal writing for Salon:

Even as the spotlight shines on the opaque Cheney, the light reflects on others as well. By shielding Bush from alternatives, Cheney has locked in certain decisions that Bush stubbornly defends as his own. The president’s plight is not that of a removed ruler tragically kept from knowing what his government is doing in his name. He has had time to observe the consequences. He is aware of what Cheney says to him. The Decider decides that Cheney will decide what the Decider decides. This is not a case of if-only-the-czar-knew. In the seventh year of his presidency, Bush’s decision making consists of justifying his previous decisions.

This is in response to the recent Washington Post series: Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency which anyone following the disaster that is the Bush administration needs to read.

Apple iPhone Keyboard Video

The Apple iPhone Keyboard Video shows how much technology is built into iPhone and it’s impressive. My guess is that some of these advances will make it into OS X.5 (Leopard).

One of the biggest worries from many reviewers and pundits is the lack of a physical keyboard on the iPhone. Many think it will be awkward to use an on-screen keyboard but this video seems to prove that wrong. Time will tell.

The only piece I found counterintuitive was tapping the spacebar to accept a suggested word and tapping the word itself to dismiss it. That seems backwards to me but I’ve never touched the thing so what do I know?

[via MacRumors : Mac News and Rumors.]

Aperture Color-Space and Onscreen Proofing

This is a tip and/or reminder for anyone out there using Aperture.

Aperture has a feature called “Onscreen Proofing” that allows you to set the color-space (proofing profile) you’re doing your adjustments in; sRGB, Adobe RGB and any paper profiles you have installed.

Because I sometimes print direct from Aperture on Canon Fine Art Photo Rag paper, I have it chosen much of the time when I’m working on my own images that I’ll print. However, recently I photographed some paintings for a local gallery and the images, while exposed correctly were consistently too dark on export. Why? Because I’d made my adjustments with my paper’s profile chosen, not the more typical sRGB for output to the web or a more generic printing scenario.

Onscreen proofing is a wonderful feature, just remember to change it as needed for the desired output. When in doubt, leave it set to sRGB.

Apple, Take the Pain Out of Buying a Cell Phone — Please!

WIRED’s Leander Kahney has an interesting commentary this morning: Apple, Take the Pain Out of Buying a Cell Phone — Please!

The buzz on the iPhone debut is deafening and I’m psyched, but part of me is like a parent watching his kid on stage in a play, tensly waiting for any sign that things will go well or will go less than well. If the debut goes well the stock has plenty of headroom to do amazing things but if things go less than well it could tank badly. I doubt Jobs would have hyped it like this if there was any chance of it tanking. However, we still don’t know what the pricing plans will be and if they’re overpriced that will kill some initial sales. A few more days…

[via Wired News.]

Nelles Maps

Kevin Kelly (Cool Tools) reviews Nelles Maps:

Nelles Maps are the best foldable maps for travelers I’ve seen. I favor them for six reasons: 1) They come at a good practical scale for traveling, fine enough to show most small rural towns. 2) Each map displays shaded physical relief of mountains, highway numbers and even ‘places of interest’ – which are often not listed in guide books. 3) The maps are printed on both sides to maximize coverage. 4) They are printed in a form that folds neatly into a shoulder bag, with cover. 5) They are reasonably priced. 6) Best of all, Nelles seem to keep them very up to date. I haven’t found any Nelles maps in print that are more than a few years old.

[via Cool Tools.]

Canon Digital Photo Guidebook for Professionals

Canon Digital Photo Guidebook for Professionals: “Canon has made the Digital Photo Guidebook for Professionals available for download as a PDF (8MB).

This guidebook is designed to assist professional photographers in their switch to digital photography. In particular, the guidebook helps explain many of the creative options available when using digital cameras to produce photos for commercial printing. We believe photographers in all fields from advertising to publishing to photojournalism, whether shooting in the field or in a studio, will find this guidebook a source of useful information.

This book is also available for purchase in hard copy format ($19.95 USD).

[via - Canon Digital SLR, Lens and Accessory Reviews.]

Google Power

My friend Dilip has a nice story about how google got him some work:

Ok, so the story goes like this. There is this girl who is generally browsing the net for interesting pictures on flickr and thinks it will be cool to work on some portraits of herself with a Photographer who is more of a Hobbyist than a Pro. Why?

Because she is ticked off with the Flat pictures the studio people give her and the exorbitant amount of money they charge. So she goes on the net, opens Google and searches for “Chennai”, “Hobby”, “Portraits”. The fourth link on the first page comes down to “Flickr – Dilip Muralidaran” and she sends me an email and figures out if i would be interested in working with her.

What more does a portrait freak want?

Surface Computing

Popular Mechanics has a nice video of various research projects going on with surface computing, some of it using the multi-touch technology built into the iPhone. I must say, using a table surface like that looks like it might be cool but my back hurt watching these guys hovering over the table. Time will tell.

Update: leave it to someone to parody this: Microsoft Surface Parody. Great fun.

[via Dale Allyn]

Liberating Effects of Captive Conversation

Russ Berger describes two experiences where talking with the person next to him on a plane led to something good: Liberating Effects of Captive Conversation

What we generally hear about is the downside: sitting next to someone who’s trying to convert you to his/her religion, or next to crying babies who are throwing up. I’ve done a lot of flying myself and while I’ve never sat next to Michael Bolton I have sat next to some amazing people, both famous and less than famous. When it works and one is open to it, making connections like this can be “liberating” if not fun and entertaining.

Begging His Pardon

Bill Moyers summed up my thoughts about both Lewis Libby and the Bush Administration perfectly in his opening editorial on tonight’s “Journal” program: Begging His Pardon. Here’s an excerpt:

Attempting to trash critics of the war, Libby and his pals in high places—including his boss Dick Cheney—outed a covert CIA agent. Libby then lied to cover their tracks. To throw investigators off the trail, he kicked sand in the eyes of truth. “Libby lied about nearly everything that mattered,” wrote the chief prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. The jury agreed and found him guilty on four felony counts. Judge Reggie B. Walton—a no-nonsense, lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key type, appointed to the bench by none other than George W. Bush—called the evidence “overwhelming” and threw the book at Libby.

You would have thought their man had been ordered to Guantanamo, so intense was the reaction from his cheerleaders. They flooded the judge’s chambers with letters of support for their comrade and took to the airwaves in a campaign to “free Scooter.”

Vice President Cheney issued a statement praising Libby as “a man…of personal integrity”—without even a hint of irony about their collusion to browbeat the CIA into mangling intelligence about Iraq in order to justify the invasion.

“A patriot, a dedicated public servant, a strong family man, and a tireless, honorable, selfless human being,” said Donald Rumsfeld—the very same Rumsfeld who had claimed to know the whereabouts of weapons of mass destruction and who boasted of “bulletproof” evidence linking Saddam to 9/11. “A good person” and “decent man,” said the one-time Pentagon adviser Kenneth Adelman, who had predicted the war in Iraq would be a “cakewalk.” Paul Wolfowitz wrote a four-page letter to praise “the noblest spirit of selfless service” that he knew motivated his friend Scooter. Yes, that Paul Wolfowitz, who had claimed Iraqis would “greet us as liberators” and that Iraq would “finance its own reconstruction.” The same Paul Wolfowitz who had to resign recently as president of the World Bank for using his office to show favoritism to his girlfriend. Paul Wolfowitz turned character witness.