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Strange slant effects with iPhone camera

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The iPhone’s diddy little camera wins no photography awards, and rarely even a positive remark from fellow iPhone owners in the pub.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t come up with some interesting images when it tries hard. Or even when it doesn’t try hard at all, and just acts weird. We’ve seen iPhone cubism covered before, but how about iPhone slants?

Slanted by taiyofj.

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iPhone can take a strange photo by kenic.

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Llandudno beach by Fr Peter Weatherby.

All photos used with permission of their owners. Thanks to all.

Android’s Shortcomings Proves Brilliance of iPhone

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Google phone

Today, the finest minds from Google, HTC, and T-Mobile on hand to launch the Android platform proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the iPhone's monomaniacal whole-widget development model is the only way to claim genuinely new territory in a market.


Today, the finest minds from Google, HTC, and T-Mobile on hand to launch the Android platform proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the iPhone’s monomaniacal “whole widget” development model is the only way to claim genuinely new territory in a market. The T-Mobile G1 comes up tragically short in the race to launch a widespread, modern mobile OS to prevent the proliferation of Windows Mobile. As Steve Jobs has learned, if you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself. In fact, the Android Troika is making the same assumptions that have ensured that Linux will always be a marginal desktop OS in developed markets. Here are the top three reasons why:

3. Presuming that Someone Else Will Fix Your Problems

Google has left a lot undone with Android: no built-in Exchange support; no desktop syncing; no video playback; a comically variable UI. But it’s OK, Google says: third-party developers will definitely come up with solutions. While that’s probably true, it also means that standards won’t get established for these features, which means that new features will always lag behind more tightly controlled platforms like the iPhone. Worse, the Exchange omission ensures that this will never play with corporate IT environments that are looking to replace a fleet of aging Treos right now. That means the only credible alternative to Windows Mobile and BlackBerry? iPhone. I never thought I would see the day when Apple was more corporate friendly than the open alternative.

uTorrent Mac Client Leaked

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An Alpha version of the long-awaited BitTorrent client for Mac has been leaked, according to a post at Pirate Bay. The application is still in development, but as expected, looks very Mac-like, and reportedly runs better than its Windows counterpart.

BitTorrent’s VP of Product Management, Simon Morris, said in response to the leak, “An internal development build of uTorrent for Mac has been leaked publicly. It [is] an “alpha” quality build. We did not intentionally release this build and would strongly recommend folks not to use it as it isn’t yet complete or stable enough to be released to the public.”

Early user reports say the application is largely functional, though search appears to be broken. The good news for P2P lovers is that BitTorrent seems serious about releasing uTorrent for Mac in the near future.

Via TorrentFreak

Apple Bars Competing Mail App from iPhone Sandbox

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Apple has denied AppStore certification to a third party developer’s mail application that the company says “duplicates the functionality” of the iPhone’s built-in Mail app. Angelo DiNardi’s MailWranger app claims to let users check multiple GMail accounts without manually logging in and out and to provide functionality unavailable through the iPhone’s native mail application, including support for threaded views, access to Google contacts, and support for easy mail archiving.

The dispute here recalls last week’s brouhaha over Podcaster’s denial of service based on similar claims the app would “duplicate the functionality” of the podcasting functionality of iTunes. Whether MailWrangler will follow Podcaster creator Alex Sokirynsky and resort to ad hoc distribution is uncertain at this time.

By any analysis, however, Apple’s gatekeeping behavior with the AppStore seems increasingly capricious. If “duplicating the functionality” of native apps is a standard, for example, can someone at Apple explain why there are nearly two dozen tip calculators in the AppStore?

Apple Store Opening in Belfast: What’s the Skull/Bones TShirt? UPDATE: It’s a Protest!

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UPDATE: The t-shirts are a protest from Murderdrome, the digital comic Apple banned from the iPhone App Store. As reader Alan notes in the comments, the t-shirts were handed out as protest by infuroiuscomics.com, the Northern Irish outfit behind the banned Murderdrome digital comic.

What is this t-shirt everyone is wearing at the grand opening of Apple’s first store in Northern Ireland?

Watch this BBC News report from the grand opening of the new store in Belfast this weekend. (“It’s absolutely mental,” says the delighted Apple fan above).

The overnight camping, high-fives and excited whooping are very much a part of grand openings in the U.S., but oddly, there’s one weird difference: Few people are wearing Apple shirts. Instead, half the crowd seems to wearing the same skull and bones shirt in either red or black.

Anyone recognize it?

Chrome is an OS, not a “Premature Googasm”!

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I usually steer clear of a point by point repudiation of another writer's work, but reader Handsomematt asked me to, and there is little I won't do to satisfy the desires of our readers ( are you reading this, Scarlet? ... Chrome on top of a File management system like MS-DOS (or more exactly, a highly scaled down, ultra secure Linux) IS an OS for cloud computing that could run on $200 hardware, and satisfy the needs of most consumers.


I usually steer clear of a point by point repudiation of another writer’s work, but reader Handsomematt asked me to, and there is little I won’t do to satisfy the desires of our readers (are you reading this, Scarlet?)

It all started with my piece about how Chrome is an operating system for cloud computing, and why Apple isn’t scared at all. Handsomematt (hereafter: ‘Mat’), forwarded me an article indicating that apparently I was completely full of it. What’s more, what I thought was a piece of insightful analysis disappointedly turns out to be conventional wisdom.

Nevertheless Matt, here you go, Writing on the Wall, or Premature “Googasm“, follow us after the break, and you decide.

7Digital No Great Threat to iTunes’ U.S. Market

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I was intrigued when I read my colleague Johnny Evans’ post about 7digital and its 4 million DRM-free tracks available in 320k MP3 quality, so I went to the site to pick up a copy of the classic Harry Nilsson album, The Point, which I’ve been wanting to buy.

I found the site easy enough to navigate, with a pleasant balance between text and graphics that seemed a refreshing change from iTunes’s hevavily-graphics-oriented interface. I located The Point quickly, listened to a couple of preview tracks and thought, hey, why not? Signing up for an account was even relatively painless and straightforward, and when it came time to give my address, I put in that of a friend who lives in London, which is when the deal started heading south. See how after the jump.

I’m a PC—and I’m desperate for people to like me

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PC user in “I’ve got a beard” shocker!

Leander already wrote about the new Microsoft ads, noting that they convincingly portray “the PC as part of global culture, unpretentious and down-to-earth”.

But, really, they say very little. Instead of finding these adverts a refreshing antidote to the brash and somewhat tiresome arrogance of Apple’s ads, they just come across as a feeble and overly defensive response, like a weedy geek whimpering “stop picking on me, dammit!” Microsoft should have blazed on to the scene, proving its worth and reasoning why it’s better than Apple, or at least hammered home its point with a little humor.

Instead, we get dry, by-the-numbers, designed-by-committee adverts that are borderline nauseating. Little more than a self-congratulatory pat on the back, they tell us what we already know: lots of people use PCs, and PCs can be used for diverse things. Thrilling. They don’t say lives can be made better by using PCs, nor do they provide any compelling reason whatsoever to check out Microsoft’s output over the competition. (Possible exception: beard lovers.) They’re also dull, unimaginative and unoriginal, riffing weakly off of Apple’s ideas, rather than Microsoft coming up with its own. While that might make them very relevant to Microsoft, that doesn’t make them good adverts.

Apple’s gains on Microsoft haven’t been down to advertising—in fact, one might argue that Apple’s advertisements actually put many people off the brand. Instead, they’ve been down to user experience, and rallying against complacency. Until Microsoft can offer similarly persuasive arguments, I can’t see its adverts convincing anyone to stick with ‘PC’, let alone switch to it.

Nokia Could Loosen Apple’s Grip On Digital Music

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For years, Microsoft and others have attempted without much success to shake Apple’s tight grip on the digital music scene. From subscription services to the Zune, companies have searched for the winning alternative to the iTunes, iPod bundle. Analysts now believe Finland’s Nokia may have a good shot of chipping away at Apple’s dominance.

More than 80 percent of people would pay for Nokia’s ‘Comes with Music’ service – particularly when it feels like they are getting tunes for free. Nokia says it will launch the handsets Oct. 17 in Britain.

Strategy Analytics said cost and selection trump brand – even ones so tightly woven as Apple, iPod and iTunes.

“Nokia Comes With Music effectively bundles a year’s subscription of music downloads (PC and mobile) into the price of a handset,” analyst Pitesh Patel told Cult of Mac.

Patel said Nokia – the largest handset maker – could overwhelm Apple’s iPhone.

“Nokia’s strong distribution and handset marketshare means that it currently sells more music playing devices than Apple,” the Strategy Analytics wireless analyst said.

However, we are not likely to see a head-to-head battle between the two companies in the United States. Nokia instead will challenge the iPhone in Europe and Asia – areas where Apple’s name awareness gives way to the handset maker.

The key point in this dust-up is that digital music fans care little about the name on their music player.

“It turns out that brand is irrelevant,” said Patel.

A Mac rig that’ll make your eyes bleed

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Admit it: you’ve always wanted an office like this, haven’t you? Your dual-monitor setup looks a bit pathetic now, doesn’t it?

This is the massive eight-monitor workspace of Mitch Haile, and when we saw it on Flickr we knew we had to share it. You can see the original pics of his iMac and his Mac Pro, as well as many more photos of his office space. But why on earth does he need so many monitors? We asked him. Over to you, Mitch:

“I am working at a stealth mode start-up in San Jose, where I used to live. I commute from Boston. Part-time I do some consulting and oversee back-end software architecture for a new DVD cataloging service, www.take11.com.

“The iMac is for email and mundane tasks like bug triage,
documentation, etc–stuff that doesn’t require 6 monitors.
The MacBook Pro is obviously for travel. Both of these machines have 4GB of RAM each.

“The six monitors are connected to the Mac Pro. Main apps are X11, Eclipse, Terminal, BBedit, gvim, VMware. The Linux box next to the Mac Pro also is a VMware-oriented system and I run xterms and another Eclipse application on that box, using X11 forwarding to display it on the Mac. NFS all over the place. The Mac Pro has about 4TB of storage, the Linux box 1TB.

“The main reason for the 6 monitors is to see multiple debuggers concurrently. The 95” or so of width is about
the physical maximum I can take in at once; it’s not really
enough room but I don’t want to kill my neck.

“The boxes in the closet are more testing infrastructure. More RAM, more VMware on the towers. The small shuttles were cheap (about $200 each) and perform small little tasks that are important but need isolation from the rest of the environment.

“I have been running multi-monitors for about 9 years now. I think I upgraded to 4 monitors in 2004; as LCDs have gotten cheaper, it’s been more practical. Three 21″ CRTs would
kill a desk, but 6 LCDs weighs a lot less.”

Thanks to Mitch for the guided tour and permission to re-use the pics. Image smushing was done with DoubleTake.