Archive for September, 2010

Apple to add HDR photos to iPhone 3GS after all?

The iPhone 4 may be the only iPhone to have “legitimate” HDR photos provided by Apple currently. But if a leaked image from the latest SDK is any indication, we could be seeing HDR photos trickle down the iPhone family tree just a bit. Having Apple-provided HDR support is a big deal, so much so that Apple received quite a bit of flack when iOS 4.0 features for legacy devices was announced and HDR photos was absent. Then again, if you really wanted HDR photos on your 3GS or 3G, there are several options already in the App Store.

Don’t be too distraught if such a feature doesn’t come, however. Just because there’s a rouge icon floating around in an SDK doesn’t mean we’ll see anything become of it.

Is this something that interests you? Have you already downloaded an app or hacked the feature onto your phone? Do you even care?

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Chinese iPhone 4 scalpers open up shop, close shop within 3 hours.

‘Tis a bad day to be an iPhone 4 scalper in Beijing. Apparently, the Apple store in said city relaxed restrictions on the number of iPhone 4′s any one person could by. As you can imagine, scalpers and re-sellers swarmed down on the location like a colony of flies on a nice, fresh animal carcass. Unfortunately for the scalpers (or flies if you prefer), the mad rush caused so much commotion that the store was closed by security. Once reopened, the per-person restriction was back in place at (1) iPhone 4 per human body.

How bad was it? Apparently, the scalpers were buying 20-30 at a time and then marking them up considerably (above the already high contract-free price of $800 USD) and reselling them within the same mall. From the reports I’ve seen around the web, it was literal chaos. It’s pretty nuts that some people will get so riled up over something as simple as a phone. Was it worth it guys?
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GS Deals: Spectre multi-level TV stand $60 off. Last day!

Searching for a new entertainment center/TV stand? Spectre has a pretty decent one on sale (sale ends tonight!) at Costco. The object of desire features black-tempered glass shelves, cable management functions built in, and can support up to a 55″ TV and/or 75lbs. The normal price comes in at $249. But if you get your self together and click the “buy” button before the clock strikes midnight tonight, you can net yourself one for a much more reasonable $189.99.

Get rid of iTunes 10.0.1′s vertical control buttons and ping dropdown.

iTunes users running OS X, listen up: Do you hate the new vertical control buttons in iTunes? What about the new Ping drop down that pops up inline with every song in your playlist? Personally, I don’t mind either of the new additions. I do wish, however, that Apple would get a little more consistent with UI design choices. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Back on topic — If you are aching for the old look pre-vertical buttons/ping, you’re in luck. Mac Observer has two simple Terminal commands that you can enter to revert things back to the way they used to be. All you’ve got to do is stop on by Mac Observer, and within 1-2 minutes you’ll be back to computing like it’s 2010…August-ish 2010 that is.

1080p will look like a big bag of suck next to this: Japanese pushing Super HI-Visoin — 7680 x 4320 of awesomeness.

We’re just getting to the point now here in the US where 1080p is getting pretty ubiquitous. Granted, millions of people still don’t have any type of HD device or signal coming into their house. But millions in the grander scheme of things — hundreds of millions — is rather tiny. But just as we catch up, the Japanese are off on the next venture already where our standard 1080p HD has been around for years…well before us.

The new standard: Super HI-Vision. What makes this so “super” is the pixel count — 16 times that of 1080p — 7680 x 4320! Transferring that massive amount of pixels consumers 24Gb/s! That’s insane! Japanese public broadcaster NHK is aiming to have Super HI-Vision broadcasts enter homes by 2020. More near-term goals, however, are a bit more within reach. Specifically, NHK wants to have the 2012 Olympics outfitted with Super HI-Vision broadcasts and equipment. But they’ve got a long way to go before then. To give you an idea of the challenges: There are only three cameras in the world that can record at 7680 x 4320 resolution. On top of that, NHK had to have custom made 103″ plasma TV’s built just to demo the technology.

It’s interesting to think that once we move on to Super HI-Vision and other higher definition forms of video, physical formats will die out pretty quickly. There’s only so much you can put on a physical object.

By the way, what was this bleeding edge demo? The Charlatans live in concert…
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Looks like that old link will be of use once again. After the unfortunate demise of Google’s baby, the Nexus One, and accompanying business model that had carriers becoming more like dumb pipes, it appears Google has another trick up their sleeve. Before you get too excited, I’ll make it clear that Google is not launching any new hardware. Instead, they’re taking a slew of Android handsets and putting them all up on one page so potential Android buyers can compare and contrast the devices that hold their eye.

The only real potential downside is that only Google Experience phones (read: NOT phones that carriers and manufacturers screw around with — removing Google services, excessive skins, chock full of bloatware, etc.) are on the new link. Of course, if you’re like me and absolutely despise a Google-branded OS running non-Google services, coming stuffed with bloatware, and marred by some god awful UI slapped on top, then this talking point isn’t such a bad one.

I’d like to hear what those more open to carrier/manufacturer-born Android customization have to say. Guys…gals..?
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The problem with volume and battery meters today…

Need I say more…?

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Review: Weather HD for iPhone

iPad users may be familiar with WeatherUnderground’s “Weather HD” weather app. What sets it apart from your typical weather app is that it doesn’t display everything in your typical list style. Instead, it uses moving backgrounds corresponding to current conditions with the actual forecast/current weather text overlayed on top. It’s a real eye catcher. Unfortunately, iPhone users have been left out in the dark as there wasn’t an equivalent for the small screen — until now.

Weather HD is a completely different animal when compared to your typical weather app. But is it unique enough to justify purchasing it over any one of the other countless weather apps? Gadgetsteria investigates…
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AT&T a-la-carte data plan pricing for Samsung Galaxy Tab leaked. (Spoiler: They suck)

I sure hope you weren’t planing on using that shiny new Samsung Galaxy Tab of yours for anything useful while you are out and about, far from the reaches of traditional WiFi networks. The supposed data plans for the Galaxy Tab were leaked not more than 24 hours ago by an AndroidGuys AT&T source, and boy is it looking mighty bad for 3G hopefuls.

AT&T a-la-carte Galaxy Tab data plan pricing

  • $15: 100MB for 1 day
  • $30: 300MB for 3 days
  • $50: 1GB for 30 days

Can you say ripoff, rape, highway robbery? If there was any shred of interest inside of me that was looking at purchasing a 3G plan for the Galaxy Tab, it was effectively strangled, hung, and then taken out back and shot. Seriously, I can’t fathom how AT&T can think these prices/plans are even remotely “fair” or of value to their customers.

AT&T already fucked over iPad owners when they advertised the original $30 unlimited data plan at the top of their voices and then a couple of months later pulled an ‘ol bait and switch, chopping down their data plan to a max of 2GB/month. Now AT&T is just blatantly giving potential Tab owners the finger.

Of course, I shouldn’t get too worked up. I’m not getting a Samsung Tab. But I know plenty of you out there are at the very least interested. For those that were/are eyeing picking up a data plan, what do you think of these prices? Remember, they could change by the time they become official.

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