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August 2009
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November 2009

New cameras shoot at 102,400 ISO

So, this is pretty crazy. Nikon just came out with their D3S which shoots to 102,400 ISO and 720p HD video. Gizmodo has a brief hands-on review, and coverage of the announcement.

Canon immediately follows with announcement of their 1D Mark IV (Gizmodo coverage) which also shoots at 102,400 ISO, but trumps Nikon with full 1080p HD video. Check out the short video that Vincent Laforet shot at 6,400 ISO.


The best camera is the one that's with you

Chase Jarvis just came out with a book titled The Best Camera Is The One That's With You: iPhone Photography. While I have not read this book, I could not agree more with the sentiment. A camera is no good if it’s sitting in your gear bag at home. The images are not going to take themselves. I happen to be a big fan of taking pictures with my phone.

Why you would flash your phone with generic firmware

So, my phone died again: it stopped recognizing the battery. AT&T sent me a warranty replacement. Of course, it had the default AT&T-branded firmware. I had forgotten how obnoxious it was: everything is locked out, and you have to pay to use them. You can't use the GPS without paying $10/month, you can't play MP3s, you can't use your own MP3s as ringtones, you can't tether the phone to your laptop for Internet access.

The only added feature is that it supports IM: AIM, Yahoo, and MSN. The built-in email client, however, is pretty braindead and doesn't have GMail as an option, and there is no way to manually set the account info.

This is why I reflashed my phone with the generic Sony Ericsson firmware. My phone is actually useful, now. Not bad for $16.

On the other hand, I am not terribly impressed with Sony Ericsson's quality control. This is the second replacement. I've had other SE phones in the past which never had problems, and I tend to use my phones for 3 years or so.

Minor CueCat hacking

I bought a CueCat from LibraryThing to make it easier to scan my books. However, by default, it outputs some weird encoding. This is OK for use with LibraryThing, since they can decode the CueCat output. However, not so great with Delicious Library, which can’t.

Fortunately, they must have gotten enough questions about it and they posted a simple solution. Basically, disconnect pin 5 of one of the chips on the circuit board. Beats the more complex solutions for some of the older models. And it works like a charm.

Anyway, what’s a bit ironic is that I got one of these for free right when they first came out. It was a promo with Wired magazine. I think I threw it away. It used a PS/2 interface rather than USB, anyway.