Month: September 2012

iPhone 5 Camera Comparison vs. Ricoh GR Digital III

The new iPhone 5 features an improved camera, mainly in the area of image signal processing in the A6 chip, which reportedly allows it to do intelligent sharpening, noise removal, and pixel binning for low-light situations. The lens elements have also been rearranged, resulting in a slightly different field of vision from the iPhone 4S. There’s also the new sapphire crystal lens cover which resists scratches — unfortunately, I already have a tiny speck of dust on the inside of mine, which I’ll have to get them to clean at some point. I’m more interested in seeing how the iPhone 5 competes with other point and shoot cameras than with the iPhone 4S. Here are two scenes taken with the Ricoh GR Digital III (my review here), a high-end compact comparable to Panasonic’s LUMIX LX3/5/7 series, and Canon’s S90/95/100 cameras. The photos below are direct from camera and have not been fixed or enhanced. The GRD III is something of a prosumer camera, and if handled correctly, i.e. with manual controls and lots of fiddling, …

Why Can’t Twitter Be Like Foursquare?

Turf Geography Club I never thought little ol’ Foursquare could lead the way for Twitter, but their approach to the third-party access and monetization problem shows more class and understanding. For the past few weeks now, instead of investing in a user experience that users would choose, Twitter’s stated solution has been to make their apps the only ones in town. Thanks to a tweet from @tarngerine today, I discovered Turf Geography Club, a location-based iPhone game built atop Foursquare’s place database, with additional Monopoly-like mechanics for upgrading and defending your property. It stands out from all the other “check-in and own this location” type apps by taking a flat-out fun (as opposed to a utility) approach: retro 16-bit style graphics, a Wes Anderson-inspired aesthetic (evident in the name, video trailer, and writing), bears, compasses, illustrated logbooks, and nonsensical references to an eternal struggle between man and nature. What I liked was how I could suddenly start using Turf as my Foursquare client of choice, checking in as I usually do, but also playing this …

Learning about email newsletters the hard way, week 2

Issue 2 of The Round Down is out, but I had to abandon the TinyLetter service at the very last minute when it flagged the finished newsletter as containing spam, and refused to send it out until a human on their team could verify it wasn’t. That simply doesn’t work for our weekend publishing schedule, so I decided that relationship was over. Although TinyLetter was acquired by Mailchimp, it doesn’t seem to share tools and services with its larger parent, which is honestly the only game in town if you want to do full-featured newsletters for no money down. I’m betting on it being more reliable and letting us do neat things like submit posts by email. Issue #2 went out without getting caught in a spam filter, so that’s a start. TinyLetter provides a front page for your newsletter, but Mailchimp does not. I’m now using a custom domain + Tumblr for that, and that’s where old issues will go too. http://therounddown.com One thing I wish I’d caught: a link that got corrupted in …