Podratic’s Blog


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Is A Picture Worth A Thousand Words?

After watching the Will Ferrell short, embedded in this months issue of Wired magazine for the iPad, it gave me pause. Photographs have been used as an advertising vehicle in magazines, newspapers and many other print media. In the hands of a skilled photographer, concepts can be delivered in a concise format. The question, however, is always: did the the viewer “get it”?
Wired magazine and may other publications are experimenting with the iPad as a way to transmit media through the moving picture. In this short we are presented with the dilemma of weather or not a picture could tell the story as accurately as the video. You be the judge.


Filed under: Apple, iPad, Photography, Tablet, TV

Luddite at Large

“For many people, shopping is as much about socializing as it is about buying something — a chance to run into neighbors at the farmers’ market or spend time with a friend at the mall”. So goes the opening sentence in the NY Times article: “An Amazon-Facebook Alliance to Make Shopping More Social“.

Social media has become the new interest for everyone, starting with grandma all the way to the programmers. Marketers would have us believe that it is simply the benign blending of technology with social interaction.

I am still apprehensive regarding my participation in the Facebook experiment. So many missteps have been committed surrounding issues of privacy, that I often consider opting out and accepting the luddite label. It is scary to see how much Amazon tracks you purchases. To combine the two behemoths  just seems like a recipe  for disaster.

There are those who welcome, yet another opportunity, to watch another segment of their lives go up in lights on the internet. For now I would rather remain in the shadows of safety.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Has Apple Forgotten Its Base?

Apple seems to have deployed a marketing strategy that places the pro community squarely in the background. FinalCut Studio patiently awaits an upgrade, while Adobe’s Premiere surges forward with all kinds of embedded goodies.

Yesterdays release of the Magic Trackpad offered no magic for its pro applications. Wouldn’t it have be nice of Apple to include some customized gesture recognition for Color. Instead the focus continues to target the more pedestrian tasks.

Has Apple forgotten its base?

Filed under: Apple, Software, TrackPad

I’m Back

I haven’t posted since March. It’s not that I have nothing to say –  quite the contrary. I simply got caught up in other projects. Plus I was pondering moving the Blog (which may still happen in the future) to another location. Anyway, I’m back.

Filed under: Uncategorized

A Flash Of Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Google announced that they will support Flash, natively, in the Chrome OS. This is huge for Adobe, who for a while, thought that Flash was in jeopardy.

The boys at Cupertino were ready to put the nail in Flash’s coffin in favor of HTML5. I still don’t understand the choice between the two. For the casual viewer, one would go away believing that Flash is simple a video player (this seems to be the only feature that gets discussed). Flash has the ability to create rich UI’s that I do not believe HTML5 will rival. So for now: “Viva la Flash”

Filed under: iPad, , , , , ,

Will It Be A Thumbs Up?

It’s funny how a new device can spawn so many new patterns of behavior. As we sit on the cusp of Apple’s iPad release we will once again, gaze into the future, hoping to get a glimpse of the changes that such a device will bring to our lives.

The hotly debated issue of the iPhone was weather or not we would be able to hunt and peck out messages with equal alacrity to that of the Blackberry. This is the first time, if I’m not mistaken, that a virtual keyboard will be going up against a regular keyboard, and there will no doubt be just as many many opinions offering the thumbs up or down in support of this new format.

I’ve got to hand it to Apple, they certainly are willing to blaze new trails and push us kicking, if not, screaming into the future.

Filed under: iPad, Tablet, , , , ,

Canon 7D Flash Tip – Extending Your Range

For all you lucky Canon 7D owners, I’m sure you’ve realized your ability to manually control of-camera flash settings from the cameras menu. There may, however, be certain situations where the flash is too distant to be triggered. The maximum range indoors is 32ft and a reduced 23ft for outdoor shooting. I have incorporated the PocketWizard Plus II Transceiver system as a backup. This gives may an improved distance of 1600ft

Each flash must have a transceiver connected along with one mounted on the camera.  Once you mount the transceiver on the camera you loose the ability to change the manual settings. So, what is the point of this article?

One of the problems you face is the issue of changing settings manually on all the flashes (some may be, physically, hard to reach). By removing the transceiver from the camera and popping up the flash you can move closer and remotely set each flash  group. Now you are ready to re-attach the transceiver, move back and start firing.

This should make those manual flash adjustments easier. If only Canon teamed with PocketWizard and embedded the transceiver in the camera then we would be on to something.

Filed under: Photography, , , , , ,

Frontline’s Digital_Nation

For anyone interested in the impact that technology is having on our youth, Frontline’s episode titled: “digital_nation” cannot be missed. It tracks students as they traverse the digital landscape – mobile devices in hand – to the beat of a multi-tasking electronic quickstep.

While listening to  the student’s comments on their supposed deftness – being able to simultaneously ingest a lecture, check twitter, update facebook and respond to email – one can only marvel at such hubris. When these MIT student’s , no less, are confronted with the real data, it is made painfully clear that this generation is in trouble.

It is also troubling, the ways that the military is seducing our teens, through the use of video games, into the armed forces.

Catch it online: Frontline

Filed under: TV, , , , , , ,

Who’s That Over There? – Part II

So it seems like Steve is being tricky. I had previously written that a mistake had occurred as Steve Jobs navigated to the NY Times website and the Flash content didn’t work, during the iPad debue. It has been pointed out that this was no mistake. Judging from Steve’s attention to detail, this argument certainly has merit.

What was really going on behind the curtain? Well, it turns out, it was all orchestrated. It appears that Apple is dissatisfied with Flash performance and is making a push for HTML5 as a replacement. He was simply planting the seed in the minds of the viewers.

This could be a risky strategy. All it would take is another vender to come along with a compelling tablet running flash and the plan would fall apart.

Filed under: iPad, Tablet, , , , ,

Who’s That Over There?

Apple, once again, has done a phenomenal job at taking an existing, dormant technology and transformed it into a lust-worthy item.

Yesterday Apple announced the iPad. It had the been the focus of attention of media for months. Everyone speculating its physical layout and the impact that it could potentially have on the technology industry. I was certainly blown away by the possibilities of such a device. Watching the keynote address, Steve, in typical form, sold us on the dream of being able to own the ultimate mobile device. The iTunes store, the App store, the new iBook store would all be integrated into an online browsing Shangri-La. With flourishing multi-touch gestures, we will be able to navigate the likes of the New York Times with such ease and pleasure… Oops!

What just happened? Did you catch that? As he flipped to one of the NYT pages that characteristic blue cube reared its ugly head, indicating that all was not well. For those with moderate technical savvy (just about everyone in the audience) the dreaded revelation was made clear for all to see. Flash had, once again, been left out of the ultimate mobile device.

I have heard all the excuses. I love you Steve, but there is no longer any plausible argument (other than stubbornness) why you continue to exclude flash support from you mobile browsers. Flash is everywhere. How can you have a pleasurable browsing experience if you can’t view flash content?

Come on Steve. Do you see that elephant in the corner?

Filed under: Tablet, , , , , , ,