Canon 50D and the direct-to-print button

So Canon has just announced the 50D (wish they had announced a 6D instead). Pretty interesting upgrade, in my case it’s mainly the Auto-ISO mode being able to go from 100 to 1600 (rather than 400-800 as in the 40D) which might be worth the upgrade (that, and the fact that upgrading to every other release makes it very hard to sell your old camera). One thing’s extensive preview  notes is that the ‘direct print’ button now has an actual useful usage as it gives access to the live view. They can’t understand the purpose of such a button on a ‘prosumer’ camera, and neither could I until I read this article. In short, it explains that Japan passed on the wave of 8-bits machines because they simply were not able to handle their alphabet. Therefore, instead of PCs, Japan mostly developed appliances. Machines which were pretty much stand-alone and could do one main thing and many other related things. Like taking photos, and printing them. Therefore I figure that the Canon’s “direct print” button could be a remnant of this “appliance culture”. At least that’s the only sane explanation I can think of.

How to triple the battery life of your iphone 3G

Answer : Turn off 3G.

After the first few days of using my iphone 3G, I was rather disappointed to see that the battery would hardly last through a couple of days (with usage limited to a phone call or two, and listening to podcasts). This was a clear regression from my first iphone. Well, it seems that you can revert back to having the same battery life by turning off 3G in the settings (which is annoying but tolerable, given that I rarely access the Net from the outside, in which case I can turn it back on).


[EDIT: Firmware upgrade to 2.1 does indeed solve this problem ]

iPhone vs. Openmoko

Two days ago, my office mate received his Openmoko-based mobile phone. First thing he told me about it was that is wasn’t quite ready for the general public : “yeah, you need to run the ‘date’ command from the console to set its internal clock”. At first, all you have is the ability to make and receive phone calls and… a console. And apparently that’s about it. After about an hour he said “ok, it’s finally connected to the guest WiFi, I can ssh to it now”. At the same time, by some strange coincidence, I came across this blog post linked from the Linux Hater’s Blog (which I wholeheartedly recommend – so far I’ve yet to find a single article which I couldn’t link to my own experience with Linux). I read the first few lines of the post to my office mate and he agreed : “yeah, I figure it will take me about a week to set it up completely”.