Saturday, January 7, 2012

BookGem holder

Thanks to Len. I wish I'd had this BookGem holder back in the days (seems so long ago now) when I was reading paper books alda time. For example I loved to do that over lunch in cafés, but holding a book flat while eating is tricky.

It really does seem like a very good piece of engineering, and lo the reviews back it up.
I can't believe either that they sell it at fifteen bucks.
... Huh, that's interesting: on Amazon US, it's almost all five-star reviews. But on Amazon UK, there's only three reviews and they are all cold or lukewarm. Trés strange.

Friday, January 6, 2012

another tablet arm

Here's a new arm for holding the iPad.

I've mentioned my book holder. I think it would be a boon if we get a greater variety of such devices in the future, because they really enhance the enjoyment of reading.

Tick Tock Dock

Thanks to AppMinute podcast, I found the Tick Tock Dock.

It has surprisingly good sound for the size (good enough for most music use, and great for podcasts and audiobooks), and it ads physical control buttons to the iPod Touch and iPhone, something I like when in bed. They especially help with scrolling a little bit back in an audiobook, which is dang hard with only screen controls.

It also has FM radio and alarm clock, but that's of less interest to myself.

It's also small/light enough to be a good sound system to bring on the road for hotel rooms and such. (It also has an audio plug for other kinds of sources, and the iPod dock can be swivelled away and when there's no iPod's on it, there's a time/alarm display in the middle.)

A small suggestion to the company: make the start/pause button a bit easier to feel without looking, so one doesn't have to feel around in order to not hit Next by accident.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pano made in iPhone

This was made in AutoStitch, a cheap app for iPhone. It stitched together about six photos taken by hand with the iPhone. I am very impressed by the seamlessness of this panorama, especially considering the extremely uneven lighting in the room, and that it was made on full auto on a friggin’ phone. (And also that I had to try to rotate around the phone, not myself, and probably didn’t do all that good a job of that.) 

AutoStitch makes pretty small pictures by default, but you can change the setting to make them larger.  (I have cropped and scaled this one down in Photoshop, but it was about 5,400 px by 1500 px and about 1.7MB.) 

(Click for big.)

By the way, showing just how uneven the light was, I can tell you that *all* the light in the room comes only from the floor lamp on the left! It's amazing how the software evened all that out. (The camera of course made very different exposures of each part, which would normally give quite high-contrast sharp edges.)
(Normally I have that lamp at a lower setting, I thin it goes up to 300 Watts. But theoretically the picture would look the same if I turned it down.)

The astonishing smartphone

2025, tOP article.
An actual iPhone simply wouldn't have worked as futurism in the 1960s when I was a kid: it would have been far too outlandish. No one would have believed it, even if someone could have imagined it. And that seems unlikely: I don't think anyone could have imagined an iPhone in 1990, if we're being honest. At least not in detail. Maybe not even 1999. Assuming continuing progress, it makes you curious about 2025, doesn't it?

Well said. I keep being astounded by this progress.
Some people aren't. I think that either they have much, much more imagination than I have, and so have seen these things coming, or they have much less imagination than I, and so just take for granted whatever is in front of them instead of putting it in perspective.

I'll be frank, when trying to imagine tech in 2025, my mind goes blank, I just give up. This may be good or bad. I know that if, 20 or 30 years ago, I would have heard of Photoshop, the Internet, and my new Fuji X10, I would probably have killed myself in frustration that I couldn't get my hands on them.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Steve Jobs action figure (updated)

How bizarre. (article.)

Like one could have foreseen:

Apple isn’t excited about In Icon’s plans to make a 12-inch Steve Jobs doll, and is apparently threatening legal action if the company follows through. The legal team for company that Mr. Jobs co-founded sent In Icon a letter telling them to stop production or face a lawsuit.

Talking about work and Jobs, here is an interesting composite my friend Norm Nason has made:

Funny how his stare is intense in two different ways at the two ages. Seems more absolute and uncompromising in the late age. More roguish and relaxed in the younger age.