Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

The Art of iPhoneography: instructive and inspiring.

I’m increasingly fascinated by iPhoneography as an art form in its own right. The humble camera phone has developed into much more than a handy ‘point and snap’ and the vast number of apps now available for iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets allow you to be as creative as your imagination allows. Sites like Pixels At An Exhibition showcase the stunning work now being produced by mobile photographers.

If you’re looking to get more serious about phone photography, I can highly recommend a couple of items I’ve recently discovered.

The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide To Mobile Creativity is an excellent book by Stephanie C. Roberts that is now an iPad app. It doesn’t just cover the basics but shows you how to get the best out of apps like Hipstamatic, Photo fx and Photoshop Express as well as providing inspiration with interactive profiles of leading iPhoneographers, project ideas and the best sites to share your work on. Beautifully designed and easy to use, it’s a steal at $9.99.

Snap, which launched in June, is a free monthly magazine for iPad and iPhone produced by Hipstamatic that features gorgeous and inspirational work by some of the most creative iPhonoegraphers around as well as tips on getting the most out of Hipstamatic. A great feature is that you can click on every image in the magazine to reveal the specific settings used to take the photo.

I’m not enough of a camera techie to know exactly how this works but this Light Field Camera, due to be released in the wild later this year by California startup Lytro looks incredible.

Essentially, unlike regular or digital cameras, it captures all the light rays in a scene and enables you to shoot pictures faster because – get this – you focus after taking the picture, allowing to change depth of field and other tricks to produce sone astonishingly lifelike images. Have a play around with this Lytro image below – click to refocus and double click to zoom – and check out their website. No word yet on pricing.

http://www.lytro.com/pictures/lyt-4/embed?utm_source=Embed&utm_medium=EmbedLink

Setting a new Standard

Posted: April 20, 2011 in iPad, iPhone, media, Technology

With the plethora of devices on the market, designing a website – especially a news media one – that works well on all platforms is getting to be more of a headache. Many companies are finding themselves having to develop apps for specific devices – PC, smartphone (with separate versions for Blackberry, Android and iPhone) and iPads and tablets.

The recently launched Toronto Standard  however, is an elegant example of a one-stop solution.

The site features a “liquid layout” built by Toronto design firm Playground Digital which automatically adapts content to suit a reader’s device, whether it’s a desktop or an iPad, thus eliminating the need for device-specific apps.

It looks superb and works really well. And it certainly sets “a new Standard” – the original Toronto Standard last published in 1850, as a printed newspaper, having lasted just two years in business!

If you’re interested in finding out more about adding adaptive elements for your website, Net. magazine also has a good tutorial.

This is pretty impressive … the Adobe Museum of Digital Media, the world’s first virtual art museum dedicated to digital art and innovation. The Museum went live this week with a work entitled “Valley” by American artist Tom Oursler.

Check out this fascinating clip on how the Museum was designed and built too:

App, app and away

Posted: January 21, 2011 in iPad, Technology
Tags: ,

New to iPad? Overwhelmed by the app store? Here are some to get you started.

Given that Apple flogged some 7 million of them leading up to Christmas, it wasn’t surprising that many of my friends ended up with a shiny iPad in their stockings. What was surprising was how many of them were not Mac users but instantly fell in love with the iPad and as a result have either switched to Macs or are planning to do so.

Needless to say I’ve had calls or emails from several of them asking how to do one thing or another. Most of them, faced with the overwhelming choice of the App Store, simply want to know what are the best apps to get. Obviously what apps you like will naturally depend on your interests and lifestyle (I’m not much of a gamer for example, although I’m rather partial to FIFA 11, Brothers In Arms and Scrabble on the iPad) but here (in alphabetical order) are the apps that I find myself using most often:

Allowabank ($0.99) – As our kids are too young to have bank accounts, I use Allowabank for keeping track of their weekly allowances. You can set it up for regular weekly or monthly allowances (we automatically add “interest” to encourage them to save) and any time they spend anything, we mark it in Allowabank and they can see exactly how much they have. A useful tool for helping them understand the value of money.

Apple iBooks and Amazon Kindle (free) – I use both these book readers depending what books are available. I prefer the options and technical wizardry of iBooks (download Alice In Wonderland to see what I mean) but the Kindle has more choice and allows you to share books with other Kindle users.

Apple Remote (Free) – Essential if you have Apple TV. Easy to use and great for controlling iTunes playback to any Apple device on your wi-fi network.

Evernote (Free) – I’ve been a long time user of Evernote which allows you to quickly clip text, images, links and documents for later use. I already have it on my desktop and iPhone so extending it to the iPad and being able to have them automatically sync between each other is a no-brainer.

The Economist (Free, optional paid content) – Arguably the best publication on the iPad right now. If you’re an Economist reader, the $110 annual subscription is well worth it – plus you get access to  online content, archives and you can listen to an audio version of the whole edition. Alternatively, download the free Editors Highlights version for the week’s best stories. Like the ST you have to manually download each edition.

Epicurious (Free) – The excellent cooking website is even more useful on the iPad. We use it constantly as an interactive cookbook – you can also enter ingredients to come up with recipe suggestions and shopping lists. Well worth buying a Griffin stand for.

(more…)

The case of lawyer Charles Richardson, who has been charged with libelling a police detective in a status update on his Facebook page, has reopened the debate about whether what you post on social media sites can or should land you in a lot of legal trouble. The short answer is, of course it can, as a lengthening list of high-profile Twitter and Facebook cases illustrates.  I’ve long made the point to fellow users that if you post something on a blog or your Facebook page, you are effectively publishing and  are subject to the same laws of libel as any traditional media.  Freedom of expression should not come without responsibility.

James Whittaker and Sirkka Huish did a good job in today’s Bermuda Sun highlighting the pitfalls and potential risks for local social media users in light of the Richardson case.  I urge you to read it – and show it your kids, many of whom either seem to be oblivious to the personal damage their posts can cause or the fact that they are accountable for what they write and, in an extreme case, end up being taken to court.

The legal debate is growing ever complex as it grapples with jurisdictional issues thrown up by the internet, whether Facebook and Twitter should be held liable for the content of their sites in the same way that newspapers are, and whether the law can even keep up with the pace of emerging technology.

Given the trillons of tweets and updates posted every day, it would be impossible for any legal system to deal with every potentially damaging case. Ultimately we need to take more personal responsibility for our actions. As a law professor stated in an excellent CNN piece in 2009:

“The law is only good at policing the most extreme invasions and the most outrageous cases. It can’t take the place of good manners, social norms and etiquette – the kind of thing that has always governed negotiations about face-to-face behaviour. We should never expect that the judges are going to save us from our own worst impulses.”

 

 

 

 

New media: the year ahead

Posted: December 20, 2010 in internet, iPad, media, Technology
Tags: ,

Some thoughts on the fast-changing news media landscape from Mashable:

In 2011, the focus on mobile will continue to grow with the launch of mobile- and iPad-only news products, but the greater focus for news media in 2011 will be on re-imagining its approach to the open social web. The focus will shift from searchable news to social and share-able news, as social media referrals close the gap on search traffic for more news organizations. In the coming year, news media’s focus will be affected by the personalization of news consumption andsocial media’s influence on journalism.