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Gnomedex 8.0: Kris Krug: Making Better Photographs

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Productivity

Kris Krug is here at Gnomedex to talk to us about taking better pictures. He goes into tips:

  1. Light in the Eyes: You want to try and get light in the eyes.
  2. Evaluate the Light: Sun? Shade? Incandesent? Halogen? Look around and find highlights, spotlights, and shadows, and then put your subject in good light. Look for reflection and light in the eyes, and if possible, use lamps.
  3. To shoot in low light: Turn your ISO UP, Increase your aperture (make number lower), decrease your shutter speed, focus manually if autofocus fails you, tinker with manual settings/metering, brace on things (tripod, wall, gear bag)
  4. Reflections are Yummy: Look for puddles, glass, metal, shiny floors that may have reflections in them, and then take an image of that reflection.
  5. Focus on a theme: Black and white, portraits, funny faces, laptop stickers, over-exposed. This will give you a goal.
  6. Learn Your Camera: Isolate the variables like depth of field, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc. ALso, Tinker, tweek, shoot a bunch of photos, share them, get feedback, and feel free to change up your style. Share your gear by finding someone you can test out lenses, flashes, etc. with. Last, but certainly not least, set the white balance.
  7. Take a look at your background: No trees sprouting out of peoples heads, less busy puts more focus on the subject.
  8. Fill the frame: Hold your hand out, and if your subject isn’t bigger than your hand, you are too far away.
  9. Get High! Swing Low: People look better from above, so stand on things, lay down, get the angle, and change your perspective. This is why people are always taking MySpace photos by holding their phone above themselves.
  10. Tips for being a good subject: Laugh, smile, have fun. Make eye contact with the camera. Stand in the light.
  11. Camera buying advice: Lenses are more important than the body. You should spend 2/3 of your camera budget on your lens. Don’t fall for megapixels. Look for manual controls. Cameras from Canon, Nikon, and Fuji are great.


You can find Kris at Static Photography. This dude is an amazing photographer.


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Apple grants all MobileMe subscribers a 60-day extension

MobileMe Extension

We know that ‘s service has been off to a rocky start, but we are just glad that the company realizes it as well. Since the launch, people have had trouble with syncing, have lost email, and have discovered that this whole “push” thing wasn’t really as “pushy” as Apple made it out to be when they gave us a look at the product back at .

Originally, Apple gave all subscribers a 30-day extension to compensate for all the issues, as well as a written apology. Since then, things have gotten a little better, but are still in no way seamless. Because of this, Apple has just decided to grant another extension, and this one is twice as long as the original. If you were a MobileMe subscriber as of 12:00 AM PDT on August 19, you get an additional 60 days tacked on to the end of your subscription. Even better, if you were taking a free trial of the service as of that time, you get 60 days added on to your trial. Apparently, Apple doesn’t want you to not sign up due to the kinks they are trying to work out. Good for them.

Hit the Read link below for the full details on the extension, and the eligibility requirements around it.

Read More | MobileMe extension details

Too Human quick review

Too Human CoverEarlier this morning, our copy of Too Human finally arrived. You know, the one we’ve been waiting over a decade for? Well, Silicon Knights baby will finally be available for all to purchase tomorrow. We figured we would give you a glimpse into our initial impressions of the game. I’ve been playing Too Human for about three hours now, and feel like I am about halfway through the story. I’ve destroyed creatures, upgraded weaponry, and chosen my path. Hop on down to get our full thoughts on Too Human, the next big title for the .


Unboxing Live 040: HP TouchSmart PC second gen

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Features, PC, Peripherals, Videocasts

We were able to get our hands on one of the new TouchSmart computers recently, and were very impressed by what we saw - especially when compared to the original TouchSmart that we saw back at 2007. We unbox the new TouchSmart in this episode, showing off the new, sleek form factor, along with all the new wireless accessories that HP has designed to compliment the experience.

What we love most about it, aside from the cool touch screen implementation, is the fact that it is a full featured, powerful computer. Typically, all-in-one computers like these have been underpowered. Not so with the TouchSmart, which is chock-full of RAM (4GB), hard drive space (500 GB), 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 256 MB NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS HD graphics card, and Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit edition. It even has an integrated ATSC & NTSC TV tuner with PVR and remote.

Check out the video for the full scoop on the new HP TouchSmart.

If you want to pick up one of your own, take a look at the HP TouchSmart premium version, or the standard HP TouchSmart computer.


Apple lists different prices for same Dashbuster iPhone app!

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Movies, Software

Dashbuster search pricing

Okay, Apple, we know that you’ve had some trouble getting your act together since the launch, but when you list two different prices in different areas of iTunes for the same app, that is when it is just getting ridiculous. Case in point, Dashbuster. I downloaded the free version from the about a week ago, as it sounded fantastic to be able to manage my Netflix queue from the iPhone. The app, however, was missing a couple of features that I wanted - namely, the ability to add movies to the queue, select the format of the disc, etc. That was to come in the pad version.

Well, due to the fact that Apple has been unable to push updates out in a timely fashion, the paid version was finished, but I had to wait about a week for it to hit the App Store. I searched for the app, saw it was available for $5, and proceeded to download it. I then saw that there was a bug in the app, where it wouldn’t show my queue at all. I emailed the developer, and he responded (almost immediately) offering help. He also mentioned that the app should have been $3.99, not $4.99 like I paid.

Click to continue reading Apple lists different prices for same Dashbuster iPhone app!

Read More | Gallery: Dashbuster pricing screwed up

Gallery: Apple lists different prices for same Dashbuster iPhone app!


EA Scrabble iPhone review

Scrabble for iPhone reviewLast year, my interest in Scrabble was brought to life with the release of the Scrabulous Facebook application. It was a good time challenging Facebook friends to old-fashioned word battles, and destroying them all with my superior wordsmithing skills. Or not. If you wanna test me, feel free to challenge me on Facebook. So what’s the point? Well, the moment that I saw that EA had released a version of Scrabble for the and iPod touch, I had to grab it immediately.  I mean, an official Scrabble game for the mobile device that I use more than any other? What’s not to love about that?

Well, we will tell you. Step on in for our full review of the Scrabble app for iPhone.


E3 2008: Street Fighter IV first look

During 2008, we got the opportunity to chat with ‘s Seth Killian about the much anticipated Street Fighter IV. Seth gives us some insight into the development of the next generation of Street Fighter, and then demos a few of the new characters for us, our favorite being El Fuerte, the luchador chef. He shows off some of the super moves, the 2D/3D play mechanics, and let’s us know which characters he uses to win tournaments. We also talk to Seth about the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade and PSN title, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.

We are definitely looking forward to getting our hands on Street FIghter IV for an extended period of time.


Steve Jobs to WSJ: App Store rakes in $30 million in first month

App Store downloads

Well, if you were curious just how successful the has been since its launch, Steve Jobs spilled the beans in an interview published in the Wall Street Journal this morning. First and foremost, the most amazing part is that sales in the App Store hit about $30 million. Now, if you think about that figure and realize that only keeps 30% of it (well, 30% of sales of apps that aren’t their own), that is $9 million for Apple, and $21 million for developers.

Of course, a large percentage of apps downloaded are free. You just know those have to be popular, right? Well, we didn’t get an official breakdown of free app downloads versus paid, but Jobs did say that there have been over 60 million downloads from the App Store. That’s an average of 2 million downloads per day, every day. If you had any doubt that the App Store would be a hit, well, there’s your proof.

Click to continue reading Steve Jobs to WSJ: App Store rakes in $30 million in first month


iPhone 2.0.1 firmware update released

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

iPhone 2.0.1 update

While it’s not quite the iPhone 2.1 firmware that we are patiently waiting for, has released the iPhone 2.0.1 firmware update earlier this evening. As you can see in the image above, all Apple is telling us is that this release is all about “bug fixes” - you won’t find us arguing though, as we mentioned during the week on our Twitter and FriendFeed accounts, our problems got so bad that we had to have the Apple Store hook us up with a brand new altogether. So, yeah, we aren’t mad at bug fixes.

We’ve already installed the almost 250MB update on our iPhone 3G, and right off the bat, I notice that I am no longer getting the stalled keyboard bug, and also, when I launch NetNewsWire now, it actually works. That’s a first.

Let us know how the new firmware is treating you.


RIchard Solo Smart Backup Battery Pack rocks for iPhone 3G

Richard Solo Smart Backup Battery with iPhone

Anyone who has picked up an knows that the battery, while great for a 3G phone, still leaves a lot to be desired. It’s simply no fun when your phone warns you that you have 20% power left while you are in the middle of your lunch break. Heck, I don’t even need to leave the house to go to work, and even I have issues with the battery. During , I had to be careful with my iPhone usage if I didn’t want the phone to run out of juice. Since I am going to be taking a trip to NYC this week, I wanted to be sure I was armed with a backup.

After doing some looking around, I came across this Richard Solo Smart Backup Battery Pack for the iPhone. In all actuality, it works with the iPhone as well as any iPod with a dock connector. It basically holds a charge that is similar to about 80% of the iPhone battery. That means that if you see your iPhone give you that 20% warning, you just plug this thing in, and it will charge it back to full. That is cool.

Even better though, you can charge the iPhone or iPod and the Backup Battery at the same time. You plug in the battery to your phone, and then connect the battery to the charger. This will first charge your device, and then once that is done, it will charge the battery. So if you do this overnight, you have a fully charged phone, and backup battery, when you walk out the door. Love it.

The device is thin enough to not be burdensome at all, reminding me of an iPod nano. I am gonna give this a try during this next week, where I will definitely be out and about and using my iPhone on a near-constant basis, being the awesome road warrior that I am. I will let you know how it turns out. Meanwhile, if you wanna pick up one of these for yourself, you can grab one here for $50. If it works as advertised, we think this is well worth it. Check the video after the break for more details, and also, we have a small Richard Solo Smart Backup Battery pack gallery we just put up as well.

Click to continue reading RIchard Solo Smart Backup Battery Pack rocks for iPhone 3G

Read More | Smart Backup Battery Pack gallery

Gallery: RIchard Solo Smart Backup Battery Pack rocks for iPhone 3G


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