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John Allen
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@Mike the basic iPhone 6+ is $299 with a calling plan, and you kinda need a calling plan, since it doesn't work without one. It's somewhat illusory to price the iPhone like that. It really does cost $600-$800, and one way or the other you will be paying for it. Here in Luxembourg - simplifying a bit - a calling plan including an iPhone will be around 30 euros per month more expensive than a calling plan without a phone, say 720 euros extra over the mandatory 24-month period. If your telco doesn't offer a calling plan without a phone, at least for comparison purposes, it's a bad sign because it means they don't want you to calculate how much the phone is costing you. [I bought an electric water heater for my house for $800. But the bastards want me to pay for electricity too, and the water heater won't work without the electricity. So it actually costs much more than $800. Complete rip-off, right? --Mike]
I think have about six watches (with another in the post), and each day I decide which one to wear. Also, several of my watches will cope with swimming in the sea. And they all have a useful life expectancy of 10 years or more. I don't see the Apple Watch fitting well into this scenario, which is quite common among people who like watches. [Hi John, Well, as I've said, I don't think people would buy this just to use it as a watch. A watch is one of its functions and you wear it like a watch, but if you just want a watch that tells time, no question there are lots of much better options, as you imply. --Mike]
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2015 on Brand Nomad at The Online Photographer
Canon S95. My current camera, it has lived in my pocket for the past 2 years so I take more photographs.
Same here in Luxembourg. My wife and I have two cellular iPads; you buy them in any hypermarket, then get a SIM card from any of three local carriers. Our contracts have 2 GB of data for 10 euros/month, with no time commitment (so you can also change to another carrier if a better deal comes along). I have a second SIM from an Italian carrier which I use when I am in Italy.
Toggle Commented Dec 6, 2013 on Apple iPad Air Review at The Online Photographer
I think it depends what you mean by a "proper web presence". I would agree that Flickr is inferior to a really good website. However, a lot of professional photographers have Flash-based sites with strange special effects, which don't work properly on different devices and browsers, with slow and complex navigation, and which don't respect basic web conventions. Compared to those sites, I would rather see a photographer's work on Flickr, which has a lot of useful features which work well on all kinds of devices. And the use of collections and sets in Flickr is well adapted to organising a portfolio - Flickr is not just a stream of consciousness in the photostream.
I like the new Flickr design. I think people need to take this change a bit calmly. There were quite a few things to dislike about the old design. And for the record, can I add that Flickr Pro accounts were not free, they cost $25 a year.
My main desktop PC has been hooked up for several years to a NAD 3225PE amplifier, which acts as an interface to some old Goodmans speakers and various other things. The result is not high-end audio but still a satisfying blend of old and new technology, which sounds nice enough for computer-type things. The setup has also been used for transferring my old South American cassettes - Mercedes Sosa, Alfredo Zitarrosa et al - onto the PC. I also have a 1970s Goldring Lenco GL70 turntable which I always intended to hook into this setup, but there is no room on the desk. Sentiment plays a big role here. [But not the only role. Those Lenco idler drive turntables still have a fanatical following, and are often inserted in huge custom-made plinths. Google "Jean Nantais" for more--he's the Dean of Lenco fandom. --Mike]
Thanks for the pointer to Ken Straiton's website. I was particularly taken by his "Tokyo street" project - pictures of the "near hinterland" of Tokyo, not grand, or beautiful in the normal sense, but full of visual interest. I also rather liked the way Ken Straiton built his website - too many photographers have become addicted to Flash. His site is elegant and Flash-free, with proper links everywhere. If Ken is reading this, perhaps he could give a hint as to how his site was developed.
Toggle Commented Nov 10, 2012 on Ctein Meetup in Toronto at The Online Photographer
I don't think your problem watching the video is a DSL issue - it works fine on my DSL connection(about 4.5 Mbits/s). Is there a bottleneck somewhere else in your setup?
Toggle Commented Oct 6, 2012 on Richard Benson's Video at The Online Photographer
I have been considering the European equivalent of this printer - the Pixma MG6250 - as a possible replacement for my ageing Pixma IP4500, so it would be very interesting if any TOP readers could comment on the MG62XX printers. They have an extra grey ink among their 6 inks, so in theory they could be better at B&W printing. Also, there's an interesting general issue here for TOP readers. Some are obviously willing to invest heavily in high-end printers - Epson R3000, Pixma Pro, etc - but others like me are looking for something reasonably good but not that good. Unfortunately there is some evidence that mid-range printers with good photo quality are a bit of a dying breed, and some models which look good in their specifications are coming in for heavy criticism from purchasers complaining of problems ranging from very heavy ink usage to frequent paper feed problems. Should I just bite the bullet and accept that I have to spend $500-$1000 to get a printer for photographs, or is there some middle way that I have overlooked?
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2012 on Deal o' the Day at The Online Photographer
So what about Les Horribles Cernettes? That happens to be—cue drum roll, please—the very first photograph ever published on the Internet, a more twenty years and a few days ago. Can I be ultra-pedantic and say that this was the first photograph on the World Wide Web, not on the Internet? The WWW came into being at CERN about 20 years ago, hence the historical significance of the photograph. But the Internet existed long before the WWW (which runs on the Internet using the http protocol), and there were certainly photographs accessible via pre-http Internet protocols, like ftp, gopher and others long forgotten. [Thanks John. Fixed now. —Ed.]
This criticism extends to the Kindle's interface, too—on mine, all I get is an alphabetical list of all the titles; there's no way to organize them any better than that. Mike, with a Kindle from 2010 you should be able to organise your titles into collections: first by creating some collections and then by right-clicking the titles and following the "add to collection" link. It's a little tedious but it avoids having a multi-page undifferentiated list of titles.
Toggle Commented Apr 29, 2012 on Open Mike: Moving Day at The Online Photographer
Read some Carl Hiaasen novels. They will tell you what you need to know about life in Florida.
Over the last few months I've been digitising a small collection of much-valued 1980s Latin American music (Victor Jara, Mercedes Sosa, Isabel and Angel Parra...) which I bought on cassette when I lived in Ecudaor in the 1980s. The aim is not so much to achieve perfect versions of these songs - which could probably be bought on CD - but to preserve the spirit of my cassettes before they disintegrate physically. I used a programme called Total Recorder; this has an audio restoration add-in which to my inexpert ears seems to have done a reasonable job - it certainly offers an impressive number of options, which I mostly left in their default settings. When I listen to the digitised versions in the car I feel as if my cassettes have been reborn - the sound quality is still quite distinctive, perhaps because the tapes stretched, but the irritating cassette hiss has mostly been removed. Total Recorder was able to split the tracks fairly consistently, which greatly speeds up the process. It also handles the mp3 tagging, although of course the song names have to be entered manually.
I've always had face detection switched on in my Canon S95 - indeed, it's the default setting - and generally it's worked well, a feature which helps to make photography more spontaneous, for which the S95 is good. Recently I found one case where face detection seemed to cause a problem: photographing small alpine flowers in Switzerland, the camera always seemed to be focusing on the wrong part of the picture. Switching from face-detect to AF on the centre of the image worked way better with the alpines. But apart from this one special case I can't see any reason to switch it off.
Speaking as someone who has owned a Prius for the last 6 years, I think the point is that buying cars and cameras is not a completely rational act. If it was, then people wouldn't buy Leica-badged Panasonic point-and-shoots, or cars with leather seats and 2000 euro sound systems. There's often an element of self-indulgence about these purchases; in my case it was a question of opting for one potential self-indulgence (in my case buying a very nice piece of car engineering which happens to use less fuel) against other options (I nearly bought a Jaguar). So the Ricoh GXR is just a different kind of self-indulgence. PS I like Helena Bonham-Carter, too.
@Ctein There is broad agreement that the Consumer Price Index underestimates real inflation Are you sure about this? My memory is that people were thinking that CPI was tending to overestimate inflation, because it didn't take sufficient account of changes in consumption patterns and the increased functionality of new products. I wonder what the numbers would look like if you used straight CPI? I also think that the "real cost" of cameras in the past would make more sense if it was calculated in relation to data on average hourly income. Otherwise the argument becomes confused by (mis)perceptions about past real income levels. In most developed countries there have been very big increases in average real income over the past 60 years.
In our household we have a lot of books, and we also have 3 Kindles (one of the original ones was dropped, so we had to buy another one), to which we are very attached. Mike, you are absolutely right about the problems of poor formatting and lack of publishing information for many Kindle editions, especially cheap ones. However - and I expect you have already discovered this - for most Kindle books one can download a "free sample", which allows you to check exactly how the book looks on the screen and whether it has a proper table of contents, translator information and so on.
On Stonehenge: there are ambitious plans which include re-routing or closing nearby roads, moving the coach park and building new visitor centre further away from the stones, etc, but so far the cost of these plans as well as opposition to some of the changes means that nothing has happened. I remember visiting Stonehenge as a child and I prefer to live with my memory from the sixties rather than visit again and be disappointed. And one can always look at a good photograph (or re-read the last part of Tess of the d'Urbervilles).
Toggle Commented Dec 11, 2010 on Ranchos de Taos at The Online Photographer
"And pocketability? What is that, anyway? Really, who spends several hundred pounds/dollars on a camera to stick it in their fluff- and snotty hanky-filled pocket?" Can I put my hand up here? For me, pocketability is exactly the reason why I stopped using my Nikon D70 in favour of a 99 euro Panasonic P&S (an FS3, a model long disappeared from the shelves) and, having enjoyed picture-taking so much with the camera always in my pocket, I just spent another 379 euros to buy a Canon S95 which is in my pocket right now. In many situations pocketability is the most important feature of a camera, because it ensures that you have the camera with you at the "decisive moment". I'm doubtful if the GF2 qualifies as pocketable. Maybe it depends on whether we are talking about normal trouser pockets here.
Mike, I completely agree that no-one should over-react on this, and that this is a major book which deserves to be read as a whole. Thinking about the plagiarism issue pragmatically, perhaps I could propose a simple criterion of good practice: if borrowing content is acceptable, then it should be allowed in both directions. If it was acceptable for Thames & Hudson to borrow directly from Michael David Murphy, then would Thames & Hudson accept in turn that Michael David Murphy (or, indeed, another blogger) could publish on his site text from the book, without direct attribution? I have my doubts if a traditional publisher would be happy to accept this, but I would be interested to know if they would accept this reciprocal re-use as equitable.
I have often thought that Photoshop was responsible for confusing many people, especially beginners, about the real nature and benefits of digital photography. Until good workflow and digital asset management software entered the mainstream - I'm thinking of Lightroom and Aperture here - many people, including myself, thought that Photoshop was the natural companion for a first digital camera. Even today, magazines like Amateur Photographer devote far too many articles to Photoshop techniques for elaborately manipulating individual images, thereby failing to educate people in the pleasures of working with software that was designed for working with collections of images.
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Feb 20, 2010