Photographic Gear Matter

via Sohail Mamdani, PetaPixel. Scott Kelby:

Here’s the truth. Sometimes, it is about the equipment. Sometimes it is, and nobody wants to say that, because everyone wants to be camera-politically correct… The reality of it is, sometimes it is. If you want a certain look, sometimes you have to buy stuff.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had the pleasure of taking photos with a Canon 20D + 35mm f/1.4 L. I try my best with what I have now, an iPhone 4, but it isn’t the same. That f/1.4 L lens took in so much light. And the bokeh was so beautiful. I miss that.

U.S. Windows Phone 7 Smartphone Owners Declining

Dan Frommer:

Specifically, while the number of smartphone owners in the U.S. — according to comScore — has grown to 104 million from 45 million, the number of Microsoft smartphone owners has declined to roughly 4 million, from 7 million.

WP7 app developers will now think twice before embarking on another app. And that will only accelerate the decline.

Microsoft made a huge strategic mistake by being rigid on pixel format (800×480). The goal was noble: to maintain a consistent experience across different WP7 smartphones. The mistake? 800×480 on different display sizes mean the visual experience will be different. Fonts will be rendered bigger on a bigger display, smaller on a smaller one. What Microsoft should have done instead is to be rigid on resolution, say 300 ppi. That way fonts, icons, etc. will have the same size regardless of how big or small the displays are. This is how you ensure a consistent visual experience across all WP7 smartphones. Big mistake Microsoft.

Karl Denninger on iPhone Sales

via John Gruber. Karl Denninger:

Apple is due to report this afternoon and if you can find the math that supports the expected numbers on iPhone sales given the reports from the two carriers in front of their numbers I wish you luck. Apple is “expected” to sell ~35 million iPhones this last quarter.

Well, we have 7.4 million between the two largest US carriers reported thus far.

Where did the other 27.6 million sales come from?

Any ideas? Anyone?

Uppleva

UPPLEVA, a more integrated TV experience, by IKEA. I like it. Give me less options so I can forget about everything and be engrossed by the amazing stories I will be watching.

The integrated Blu-ray player might be cause for concern: What if the optical disk format changes? That’s a valid concern, but not really. The future is non-optical.

What about TV technology? Isn’t the future OLED? Yes, but it’ll be a long time before most of us can afford one. In the mean time enjoy the built-in LCD TV. When OLED TVs become affordable you can get one, put it in the living room, and move the LCD TV UPPLEVA to your kid’s bedroom. Problem solved.

More Than Half of Verizon Smartphones Sold in Q1’12 Were iPhones

John Paczkowski, AllThingsD:

Apple’s iPhone continues to sell well at Verizon, though not quite as well as last quarter. Reporting first-quarter earnings largely in line with expectations this morning, Verizon said it sold 6.3 million smartphones. Of those, 3.2 million were iPhones.

Now I understand why, if true, Verizon wants to support building a strong third platform.

Update 2012.06.04: Horace Dediu:

The concern has to be that rather than seeing the net adds growing–as they have for two years with only two contiguous months of decline–Android net adds have been falling for four months.

Eyeballing the last chart in Dediu’s article it looks like Windows Phone experienced the most net user gains since, well, quite a while. I wonder if carriers like Verizon is focused on pushing more Windows Phone.

Thin vs. Battery Life

Chris Ziegler, The Verge:

At an event today, HTC’s vice president of product strategy Bjorn Kilburn noted that the company had conducted research last year to find out whether customers preferred thin smartphones to those which compromised thickness for better battery life. The answer, interestingly, was that they generally preferred thinness, at which point its plans for 3,000mAh-plus devices were removed from the roadmap.

Android smartphones are big. There are two good reasons. One is the assumption that a bigger display on a smartphone is better than a smaller one. Two is linked to one: With a bigger display you can integrate a bigger (not thicker) battery. Brilliant actually. As long as you don’t mind really big Android smartphones you get both: thin and battery life. If I had to choose between a thinner smartphone versus a smartphone with equal or better battery life I would choose the later, every time.

iPad Retina Display Perfect for VNC

Andy Ihnatko:

The second thing was the arrival of the third-gen iPad. Dammit, this is a sweet display. I expected that the Big Win of the Retina display would be crisper text and sharper graphics. Naw. It turns out that the 2,048 x 1,536 screen opens up the iPad to new functions that it couldn’t really handle very well. VNC sits at the top of that list. VNC was a bit clumsy on the iPad 1 and 2. On the new iPad, it’s damned-near perfect. The iPad’s display exceeds the resolution of your MacBook back home, and the LTE mobile broadband dramatically reduces the range of situations under which you won’t have a decent internet connection.

Aside from a few high-end monitors like the IBM T210 there are few with more pixels than the 2048×1536 Retina display on the iPad (3). The realization that we get this many pixels on a 9.7-inch LCD is amazing. But wouldn’t the tiny menu items and icons be difficult if not impossible to point-and-click with our fingers? Usability would be nightmarish. I’m not closed to the idea of using the iPad (3) like a traditional keyboard/mouse-based desktop/notebook replacement when running VNC, but I’d need something like the Magic Trackpad to work on the iPad (3).

Act II. The Wilderness Years

Brent Schlender, Fast Company:

Indeed, what at first glance seems like more wandering for the barefoot hippie who dropped out of Reed College to hitchhike around India, is in truth the equivalent of Steve Jobs attending business school. In other words, he grew. By leaps and bounds. In every aspect of his being. With a little massaging, this middle act could even be the plotline for a Pixar movie. It certainly fits the simple mantra John Lasseter ascribes to all the studio’s successes, from Toy Story to Up: “It’s gotta be about how the main character changes for the better.”

Schlender found recordings of his interviews with Steve Jobs from 1985 to 1996. I’ll share two quotes I thought were most insightful from this long but must-read article. Steve Jobs on forging a great partnership:

One way to drive fear out of a relationship is to realize that your partner’s values are the same as yours, that what you care about is exactly what they care about. In my opinion, that drives fear out and makes for a great partnership, whether it’s a corporate partnership or a marriage.

And here’s one about Steve Jobs himself:

At his memorial service, Laurene remarked that what struck her most upon really getting to know him was his “fully formed aesthetic sense.” He knew exactly what he liked, and he analyzed it until he could tell you precisely why.

HP EliteBook 8470p

Tom Cosie, Laptop Reviews:

In terms of brightness, unfortunately I do not have precision instruments in my possession to measure it. However, the 8470p was somewhat brighter than my previous HP 2560p, with slightly better viewing angles as well. The screen also exhibited good overall uniformity in terms of brightness, with no blooming or dark areas experienced. As with every Elitebook, the screen is a matte finish, with no overt reflections to annoy you in brighter areas.

Matte finish is good, but what’s so elite about a 1366×768 14-inch non-IPS LCD?