David Pogue

David Pogue on SOPA

Put Down the Pitchforks on SOPA

Pogue lays out the situation calmly and clearly. Its worth a read.

Some people are O.K. with the goals of the bills, acknowledging that software piracy is out of control; they object only to the bills’ approaches. If the entertainment industry’s legal arm gets out of control, they say, they could deem almost anything to be a piracy site. YouTube could be one, because lots of videos include bits of TV shows and copyrighted music. Facebook could be one, because people often link to copyrighted videos and songs. Google and Bing would be responsible for removing every link to a questionable Web site. Just a gigantic headache.

But there’s another group of people with a different agenda: They don’t even agree with the bills’ purpose. They don’t want their free movies taken away. A good number of them believe that free music and movies are their natural-born rights. They don’t want the big evil government taking away their free fun.

The second group of people is the group I don’t want to be associated with. This is what clouds my support for the entire protest.

AssistiveTouch

Apple’s AssistiveTouch Helps the Disabled Use a Smartphone

David Pogue is pretty worked up over AssistiveTouch and I can see why. After reading his piece I just played around with it and it’s quite fantastic. Settings/General/Accessibility/AssistiveTouch.

Try it (iOS 5), it’s quite interesting.

I’m most interested to see if it might make the iPad more accessible to my 96 year old mother. I don’t think so but it would be great if Apple worked on making iOS devices more accessible to the elderly.

Gorilla Glass, the smartphone’s unsung hero

Gorilla Glass, the Smartphone’s Unsung Hero

…I still carry my phone around naked all the time, and there’s not a scratch on it. (To be clear: only the phone is naked all the time.)

What I’ve never understood is how that can be. The screens (and, on the iPhone 4, the back as well) are glass, for crying out loud. People carry their phones around in pockets with keys and change. People drop these things, toss them, scrape them. Why on earth don’t they get totally scratched up?

Fascinating piece by David Pogue. Great to hear of an American company (Corning) getting this right.

Big sensors, shrinking cameras

Big Sensors, Shrinking Cameras

David Pogue reviews the Canon Powershot S90 and the Panasonic Lumix GF1. Pogue is always a great reviewer because he knows which technical details to include and which to leave out for most consumers.

I’ve been shooting my hikes with the Canon SD1200 IS which is an amazingly good small camera that costs a little over $150. But, this camera can’t handle scenes where the sky and ground are too far apart in tone without either over exposing the sky or under exposing the ground. This is typical of cheaper cameras and better cameras can handle this kind of dynamic range problem more easily.

I’ve been reading about the Canon G11, S90, Panasonic LX3, GF1, Ricoh models and others for a while now. As I understand things, the Canon G11 and S90 are about the same camera in different clothing and I find the G11’s larger controls easier to use than the S90s which are bordering on too small for me to easily see without glasses.

The Panasonic GF1 is the obvious winner with the biggest sensor, and best image quality by a longshot. But, that comes at a price of higher cost, larger size and a bit more complexity.

For me, this hiking camera has to be able to fit in a small pouch that I attach to the shoulder strap of my pack and be readily accessible from there for quick snapshots on hikes. My bottom line is to document hikes without getting in the way of the other hikers so I don’t want to futz with controls or setups that would usually take me some time with my DSLR.

Here’s some more discussion of these cameras by reviewers with more a more technical viewpoint:

Luminous Landscape: Canon PowerShot G11
Luminous Landscape: Canon PowerShot S90
Luminous Landscape: Panasonic Lumix GF1
DP Review: Panasonic Lumix GF1