Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Google Maps for iPad   

Technology

Daniel Graf, Director of Google Maps, writing on the Google Maps Blog:

Last week we launched the new Google Maps app for Android smartphones and tablets.

And now, we’re rolling out the brand new Google Maps experience for iPhone and iPad that includes enhanced search and navigation features, as well as our first dedicated iPad mapping experience.

The gold standard in mapping software finally arrives on the iPad. Included in this update are indoor maps with walking directions for malls, airports, and transit stations.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Apple Pitches Ad-Skipping for New TV Service   

Apple

Jessica Lessin reporting on her blog:

Apple has a new trick up its sleeve as it tries to launch a long-awaited television service: technology that allows viewers to skip commercials and that pays media companies for the skipped views.

As someone that recently “cut the cord,” these types of rumours give me hope for the future of television.

The Weatherman   

Music

From the biography at gregoryalanisakov.com:

To me, the idea of a weatherman is really powerful. There’s a guy on television or on the radio telling us the future, and nobody cares. It’s this daily mundane miracle, and I think the songs I chose are about noticing the beauty in normal, everyday life.

We first discovered Gregory Alan Isakov when his music was featured as the background track for a McDonald’s commercial several years ago. After just a few listens I am very much enjoying his latest album, The Weatherman. You can stream the album from the New York Times.

Beyond the Finish Line   

Reading

Tim Rohan writing for the New York Times:

But he feared his money and fame would run out. He retained a lawyer and two financial advisers. He put his money in a trust fund. He would trade it all, though, just to have his legs back.

An article detailing Jeff Bauman’s recovery after losing both legs in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Add your e-mail address to iMessage   

iOS

Allyson Kazmucha writing for iMore:

Along with receiving iMessages at your phone number on the iPhone, you can receive iMessages at your Apple ID email address on iOS and OS X as well. But what if you’ve got more than one email address and you want to be able to use all of them with iMessages?

A friend of mine recently sent me an iMessage from her computer, then later sent another message from her iPhone. One message came through from her e-mail address while the other came through from her phone number. Here’s how to merge the two.

Canon EOS M

Photography

Andy Westlake, writing for DPReview in July 2012:

Of course the really big question is how well the EOS M will fare against established competitors from the likes of Olympus, Panasonic and Sony. We’re not expecting any surprises in terms of image quality; Canon says the EOS M’s stills and video output will be identical to the EOS 650D, which means it should be a close match to anything else in its class. In terms of features the EOS M looks reasonably competitive, although without perhaps an obvious standout selling point against its peers. As always, we’re looking forward to getting our hands on a fully-working example for an in-depth evaluation.

I’m surprised that DPReview hasn’t done a full review of the Canon EOS M, but other online reviews have been almost universal in their harsh criticism of the camera’s slow auto-focus capabilities.  I just bought one of these year-old devices last week after they received a substantial price discount, and I have been quite pleased with it so far.  I immediately installed the 2.0 firmware which reportedly helps with auto-focus speed, but even when I played around with the old firmware at a local camera store, I wasn’t overly concerned by it – in fact I was pleasantly surprised after reading all the horrible reviews.

I own a Canon 7D and several EF and EF-S lenses, so I’m used to that camera’s very fast auto-focus.  So why doesn’t the EOS M auto-focus bother me?  I think it’s because I bought the EOS M to serve a different purpose than my 7D – portability.  I often leave my 7D at home due to its size and weight – yes it would probably lead to better images, but if the alternative is no image at all (because the camera is sitting at home), I think the EOS M is a winner.  I’ll soon be travelling on vacation to Toronto, London, and Paris for a month.  The thought of lugging around my 7D camera and lenses already gives me a sore shoulder; the thought of my new EOS M with EF-M 22mm pancake lens gets me excited about photography again.