Meet the Camera that puts everything in focus

At first it looks awesome…

But these are good points

Here’s the “how it works” page on Lytro’s website. If you want to experiment with the technology, try their one-click photo gallery. Just one question: As neat as this is, who’s going to shell out several hundred bucks for a standalone flex-focus camera? I remember dropping $500 in 2002 on a Canon Powershot with 4 megapixel resolution. Fast-forward nine years and I get a better image than that from my iPhone, with plenty of zoom features, filters, etc, available via apps in the iTunes store. Unless I’m a semi-serious photographer, why would I spend extra money on a separate camera that I have to lug around? And if I am a semi-serious photographer, why would I “cheat” by using after-the-fact focus instead of challenging myself to take the perfect shot in real time? There will be a market for this camera, I’m just … not sure who it’ll be.

They’ve got two obvious business strategies going forward, I think, and neither relies on semi-serious photogs. One: Miniaturize the technology to the point where it’s cell-phone ready and then sell it to Apple or Google or whoever. Having a feature like this in the iPhone to let you sharpen up shoddy pics would be lovely. Two: Surveillance. Isn’t that the most obvious application for this? How many times have you watched a true-crime show where the perp walks by a gas-station camera 25 feet away and the best they can do to get a description of him is magnify his face until it’s a pixelated blotch? Universal focus would be a very tasty treat for security agencies. There’s certainly a market for it. Chop chop, Lytro!


New Angry Birds Levels

If you need me i’ll be hanging upside down on my bed playing the new Angry Birds levels on my iPad. and thinking of YOUUUU! lolomgzNstuff ?

These stupid new levels are hard though…they’re more like the “Seasons” version of the game, which high rollers like me bought at halloween and then got updated with christmas and now valentines worlds and they’re totally harder and have new bullshit rules that go against the original physics principals. totally ghey. especially since i gotta beat this level before i can go to sleep. gawd.

Apple TV remains unimpressive

Apple interrupted my stream of Dexter from my laptop to television to let me know that an update for the device was available and I got excited thinking I was in for the awesomeness I’ve been waiting for: Apps on the AppleTV. FINALLY, Hulu, ABC video, news – and eventually games like Angry Birds where you use your iPhone or iPad as the controller will now make this $99 device a little black brick of bodaciousness.

Alas… it was some meaningless bug fix. DAMMIT Apple… what is taking you so long to make this device something noteworthy? what is the wisdom in letting GoogleTV upstage you with these features in new tvs while you lag behind only to be late comers? It makes no sense.

This dude on summed it up better than I and it’s from a post that is not even responding to the current update of the AppleTV:

When the time is right? Yes, instead of offering an innovative and interesting new product with all kinds of potential 3rd party support and things to look forward to, let’s offer the same old product that didn’t sell before for a somewhat lower price, take away all internal storage so it’s even less useful in some areas, ignore ALL previous customer suggestions (say 1080p?) and hope it sells anyway. Then we’ll hint that SOME DAY maybe we’ll offer something useful or interesting to consumers IF we sell a whole boat load of them, which we won’t because it’s uninteresting and out of date just like the last version that didn’t sell for squat.

Sometimes I TRULY wonder how Steve ever got where he did. He’ll show all this innovation in some areas like the iPhone but then appear to be Forrest Gump when it comes to something that’s actually pretty simple like home theater products (i.e. offer the best quality and state of the art features for a reasonable price offering all the conveniences of the best products that already exist).

For example, if Apple TV had 1080p from the start, a DECENT sized hard drive (even if that meant making SLIGHTLY bigger to fit a 3.5″ hard drive; imagine THAT!?!) contained a DVR and Blu-Ray drive with support to convert them to be stored in iTunes automatically (like they do for CDs; a license would make this possible), had a front panel display that at least had a CLOCK on it (rather than just a little led light that does squat) and maybe even display title/artist information so you can see what’s playing music-wise when the TV is turned off and don’t have to wear out your projector bulb just to see a flipping album cover endlessly…or perhaps offer a cool visualizer to watch while you listen? What’s THAT?!? ), put in place the ability to add features like Netflix support, etc. as they become available (i.e. give the thing proper hardware assisted video decoding) and supported ALL the available formats so you can watch your home movies etc. without having to convert them to M4V and left provisions in place for gaming (and included a “remote” that could be used for gaming ala the “wii”) and offered it for around $500, MAYBE just MAYBE the thing would have actually SOLD because it would have the potential to replace most of the home theater gear out there (just add receiver and TV).

THAT is what it would take to be as innovative as an iPhone. Apple TV should be a general purpose computing device with slick controls that can be upgraded to do just about anything you’d want it to do, whether it be a DVR or a cookbook display for the TV in the kitchen/dining room. If it had the proper connections (e.g. input video as well as output it) and the right hardware inside (hardware assisted encoding/decoding) with enough room to store apps/videos/movies (1.5TB 3.5″ drives and larger are DIRT CHEAP for goodness sake!), it could do for TV what the iPhone did for smart phones. But no, some of those things MIGHT cannibalize iTunes music/movie sales, so we cannot include them! Never mind that we claim we do not make much profit from selling those sorts of things. We simply CANNOT offer a user-friendly do-everything type device because we want to sell SD 480p movies with low-quality video encoding and Dolby Pro Logic 2-channel sound to people that don’t think there is anything better….

This device just doesn’t do enough… It needs services from 3rd parties, it needs games, and it *should* just be open to the app store like the iPhone is and allow developers to build their own stuff for the device. Imagine calendars, weather, and other features made for the big screen, not to mention a Richardland TV channel option to stream directly to the living room and finally democratize tv.

What is Apple waiting for?…

iOS 4 finally goes online

After failing to meet the projected date for the latest release of Apples mobile operating system, the company has finally delivered a week later.

Apple plays Software Updates the way I play Just The Tip… they withhold even the basics for weeks, promising an upgrade, leaving our mouths to water with anticipation for something that should have been included on day one and then when we finally get it, its like a party instead of an anti-climactic let down. Well played, Jobs. I know the technique well…

FINALLY we can have the luxury of running more than one application at a time on the iPad (like listen to music and surf the web. I’m spelling it out for history to reflect how ridiculous it was that in 2010, a major electronics company actually released a wildly popular product that made you choose between tasks like listening to god damn music and browsing websites).

FINALLY I can make folders. Yes… the ability to make god damn folders on the iPad is one of the new features being rolled out today. This is pathetic.

Also some new stuff for the iPhone. idk.

Virgin Mobile $40 Internet is the best deal of it’s kind

The cheapest smartphone data plans are all $60 a month and that is just for a stupid phone. For that reason, I have opted out of data on my iPhone for the past 2 years of owning it and instead use an AT&T GoPhone month to month plan that I can fill or not fill at my discretion. If I shelled out double what I pay now for internet on my phone though, I would gain what? GPS? I have a GPS. Non-wifi use of Twitter? Not that important. If I could tether the internet from my phone to make a Mifi (mini wireless internet) spot, then that would be worth it, but for some reason that is frowned upon by most carriers and when allowed is at least $80.

A separate cellular modem is the only option for now but when I had my Sprint satellite internet in 07, I ended up not receiving the coverage as advertised, had trouble hibernating the service and getting charged for use I didn’t make. That’s when I decided the 2 year contract for cellular modem internet would not be happening for me again and unfortunately the $60 minimum data rate offered by AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint all come with that 2 year lock as well as a scoff-worthy 5 gigabyte monthly cap. Being limited to 5 gigs a month for 3G speed service (about as fast as DSL) that is spotty and not always available for an average minimum of $60 (T-mobile has a $40 monthly plan but the data limit and contract still apply) = I will not be using this service.

I just want what I have for my phone except for internet instead of phone service: an under $50 a month plan that I can cancel any time and shut on or off month to month. I’m also not playing this data limit game either. I want it unlimited. It appeared that such a service doesn’t exist.

Then I stumbled across this little gem: The Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200…

It’s so awesome that it is out of stock on VirginMobiles online store. Best Buy has them for $50 over the average price ($200 vs $150) but I found them in stock with an Amazon seller.

I was ready to buy but naturally, I went searching for the big catch – the fine print that makes this alleged mega deal not so mega. I found no such deal breaker and New York Times Tech columnist David Pogue didn’t either:

I’ve pounded my head against the fine print, grilled the product managers and researched the heck out of this, and I simply cannot find the catch.

Is it the speed? No. You’re getting exactly the same 3G speed you’d get on rival cellular modems and MiFi’s. That is, about as fast as a DSL modem. A cell modem doesn’t give you cable-modem speed, but you’ll have no problem watching online videos and, where you have a decent Sprint signal, even doing video chats.

Is it the coverage? Not really; Virgin uses Sprint’s 3G cellular Internet network, which is excellent. You’re getting exactly the same battery life and convenience of Verizon’s MiFi — for two-thirds the monthly price.

Pogue asks and answers “(Why would Sprint allow Virgin to use its data network but undercut its own pricing in such a brazen way? Because Sprint is focused on promoting its 4G phones and portable hot spots — even faster Internet, available so far only in a few cities. For example, its Overdrive portable hot spot is $100 after rebate, with a two-year commitment. The service is $60 a month for 5 gigabytes of 3G data and unlimited 4G data.)” – but later learned and explained in a follow up column that Sprint owns Virgin Mobile, which makes the price and feature difference even more bizarre. But whatever.

I just bought mine and am excited to use it over the Christmas break.

Computers the size of sand will network the planet

“Smart Dust is an emerging technology made up from tiny, wireless sensors or “motes”. Eventually, these devices will be smart enough to talk with other sensors yet small enough to fit on the head of a pin. Each mote is a tiny computer with a power supply, one more sensors, and communications system. The term was coined in the 1990s by UC Berkeley researcher Kris Pister, who envisioned “smart dust” spreading rice-grain sized sensors across the Earth (think a more mobile version of Helen Hunt’s tornado trackers in ‘Twister’). These sensors would gather loads of environmental data, and then send it all back to a central server.

Future World Micro Computers sprinkled everywhere, tracking and recording our movements. Dreams of a better future, but usher in a Big Brother nightmare with no privacy.

this response to the above video (including the video in it, so if you only want to watch one of these you can kill 2 ducks with one rock here) poses a conspiracy theory that’s kindov retarded but im posting it anyway. It says there are already Smart Dust particles in the air and that we breath them and it gives us cancer but then disolves into our body to control us and thats how come there is no actual evidence of that happening any time ever and also how there are so many American Idol fans still.

HP will start depositing “smart dust” around the globe in the next two years.

Alice for iPad

The official statement:
Download it now from the app store! Tilt your iPad to make Alice grow big as a house, or shrink to just six inches tall. This is Alice in Wonderland digitally remastered for the iPad. Play with the White Rabbit’s pocket watch – it realistically swings and bounces. Help Alice swim through a Pool of Tears. Or hand out sweets that bounce and collide with the magical talking Dodo. This wonderful lite edition is the first instalment [sic] of Alice’s journey and includes an amazing selection of animated scenes. Watch as full screen physics modelling bring the classic illustrations to life.

The iPad Approacheth

With availability of the iPad, just weeks away, millions of people like me CAN’T WAIT till it hits stores!…so we can go to our local Apple store to play with it for free and then go home without buying one…

Tens of thousands of others, however, are excited about actually OWNING one though. I would be too if it had half the features it should, and I each one of their absence (no multi-tasking, no camera and less functionality of a real computer at above-Netbook price) is a deal breaker for me, especially considering how easy their inclusion would be. The purposeful holding-back so the 2.0 and beyond versions have lots of room for improvement is obnoxious.

Almost as obnoxious as the device’s absence of Flash…

This official commercials from HP Computers Youtube account touts their new device’s superiority to the iPad (without mentioning the iPad by name of course) because it has Flash. The video is titled “NEW! Web, Flash & Air on Slate Device from HP” in a non-specific slam on the iPad’s frustrating lack of Flash, going on to say in the description “Access the full web and not just a part of it!“.

That’s the short version. The teaser with the one line touting. But HP went further with this 5 minute long demonstration of just how Flashy this Flash enabled Flash Player device is. What was subtle in the first video is pounded hard in the following video that translates to “Wanna watch MTV on your tablet device? stay away from the iPad. Apple loyalist? have fun playing your Spongebob maze games on it, SUCKER!”

Alan Tam from Adobe Flash Product Marketing walks us through Adobe Flash and Adobe Air functionalities on HP’s upcoming slate device. Learn how you can access the full web, and not just a part of it.

Indeed, if the device is price-compatible or even competitive with the iPad, has all the same features and has the added advantage of not banning the thing that makes watching videos on sites like Hulu possible, its hard to see why anyone would view the Apple product as superior – EXCEPT for the inevitable situation an HP Tablet user will find themselves in where someone see’s them holding the interactive tablet device and says “oh cool, is that the iPad?” and when the awkward reply of “no.. its an HP Slate Device…” comes, the significantly less impressed “…oh…cool..[i guess]”. The deep burn of that negative wow-factor may just be the thing that keeps Apple on top of this market. After all, isn’t that the business model of the iPod and the iPhone?…

Apple deserves credit for pushing this market forward though. While these things should be commonplace by now, it was Apples announcement that has brought the others to the surface. Being first deserves kudos, but it comes with ridicule as we saw with the endless “iPad sounds like a feminine hygiene product” cracks. As that meme grows stale, new ones like the following arise.
This is a submission for a Doritos viral marketing campaign contest:

iPad is finally here to change the world. or something

Would have been more impressive a year ago. i would have bet everything i owned that there was no way in hell the Apple Tablet device would be called a freaking iPad. good thing i didnt. ifail. Being one vowel off from the company’s flagship product is an equally wtf-ish move.

The price is the the big news. Macworld:

$499 for 16GB is the base model.
For 32GB it’s $100 more, for another $100 you get 64GB of storage.
The 3G models cost an extra $130 to build in radios. $629, $729, $829.
These are the six models.
The most expensive model is just $829. Unbelievable price.

So what can you do with this giant iPod? everything the iPhone does (including all the apps) except make calls – BUT – since the screen is bigger, you can burn out your eyes by reading books on the large backlit screen… yeay…

i want one just cuz it’d be easier to surf web stuffs on a smaller hand held thing than my 17inch Macbook but bigger than the iphone. i, along with the human race, have no real use or need for one.

What’s missing? NY Times Blog:

* No ability to play Adobe Flash animations, widely used on the Web.
* No camera, still or video
* No non-Internet phone function
* Unclear whether you can bundle your AT&T iPhone plan with an iPad data plan
* No removable battery for a device that can suck a lot of power
* No removable storage

Some of these are obvious, like the battery and storage being locked in – duh – Apple is even starting to do that with it’s laptops, so of course this thing wouldn’t have those. I don’t know why either is so great anyway. Removable storage would be nice, but not necessary.

No flash however is just frigging unacceptable. wtf is that shit about? no flash? I can’t watch Hulu videos on this thing? uhm… ya. now I’m not buying one. thanks for that necessary deal breaker. No camera? at all? not even a forward facing one like on the iphone? Why are you downgrading, Apple? your previous smaller device has a forward facing camera that takes pictures and video. You just put HD video capturing and editing on the otherwise useless ipod NANO for Christ sake and you cut it out of the iPad? what the hell? the iPad should have 2 cameras facing front and forward (or a single one on a hinge that you can flip to the opposite direction, though that would interrupt Apples one-piece sleekness it goes for in everything). Not having even one camera is a major fail.

Still can’t get over the name… It’s another “why are you making this harder than it needs to be?” moment. why IPad instead of the hundreds of better choices?

If you think the stupid name iPad sounds like a product for a bloody vagina, so did MadTV 5 years ago:

President Obama is set to give a rebuttal speech to Steve Job’s event later tonight.

UPDATE: the actress and writer of the sketch talk to CNN via…webcam for some reason…