Monday, April 26, 2010

The Olympus PEN firmware update is here and it works!

Firmware updates are rarely exciting moments, but in the case of the latest and first update for Olympus' Micro Four Thirds cameras (E-P1, E-P2 and E-PL1), it's case for celebration in the streets. I won't get into detail, so here's the Cliff Notes version: autofocus is now significantly faster! I tried it out last weekend and was pleasantly surprised to actually feel the difference on my Olympus E-PL1 -- impressive considering we're talking about fractions of a second here. Olympus claims an increase of as much as 15%, so you won't be competing with the speeds of SLR cameras, but it's definitely a welcome upgrade, especially considering that the Achilles' Heel of Micro Four Thirds cameras is the slow autofocus. What are you waiting for? Update now!

I smell an iPad shortage

It's late, it's late. And now it's nowhere to be found...

My quest for a new iPad hit a brick wall last weekend. I've been too cheap to buy one of the overpriced iPads here in Manila or nearby in Hong Kong, so I've been relying on the kindness of friends in New York to get me an iPad. Thanks to my wife's friend, we purchased an iPad from the US Apple Store only to find that the order was mysteriously cancelled. We're still trying to get to the bottom of this. Our friends meanwhile visited three Apple Stores in NYC and surprise surprise there were no iPads to be found. They were all sold out. Could this mean that there is now an iPad shortage? Looks like Apple was right to delay the worldwide launch of the iPad. Meanwhile, there's no shortage of overpriced iPads here in Manila. My brother just bought a 32GB model for P39,800. It's starting to look good…

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

10 best (and worst) nerdy TV shows

Battlestar Galactica may be over, but that doesn't mean there's nothing good on TV. Firefly, and Sarah Connor Chronicles are yes, all canceled, but don't despair. Many other sci-fi TV shows continue to carry the torch. The Nerd chooses the best of this season and a couple of the worst. (Minor spoilers follow.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Philippine launch

Sony Ericsson launched its Android phone, the Xperia X10, yesterday and Third World Nerd was there. Well, not me personally since I was stuck at work, but 3WN's top correspondent (a.k.a. my wife Frances) was there to take photos and give her first impression of the phone. Should the iPhone be worried? We'll tell you after the jump.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Magazines on the iPhone Part 2: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2010

Ok, I'm a little late to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue party. The yearly issue and the app have both been out for a while now. The thing is, this formerly "must-purchase" issue has become less and less of a must-purchase issue as the years have progressed. The last SI I bought had Beyonce on the cover when the world was young… They say the era of the supermodel has passed, but SI is soldiering on in the era of the iPhone...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Magazines on the iPhone Part 1: GQ

Today I'm testing out the future of magazines on the iPhone. With the debut of the iPad, a bunch of digital magazines, e-magazines, call them what you will, have appeared for the iPhone as well. The results? Not so great.

CNET featured Third World Nerd!

Head on over to the Virtual Eye, Joseph Nacino's blog on CNET Asia if you don't believe me. I had trouble believing it myself, given that Third World Nerd is all of two weeks old and written in between bouts of PS3 and afternoon naps. Must be doing something right after all. Haven't posted all week, but stay tuned because I've got some interesting gizmos on the way, one of which is that iPad thing everyone's been talking about. You may have heard of it. Shipping can be slow though so don't hold your breath. Until then I've got other interesting stuff...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Review: Olympus E-PL1

When the Olympus E-P1 busted out onto the digital camera scene, it looked like a marvelous alternative to all the giant digital SLR monsters out in the world.  It was small, it was pretty, and it had interchangeable lenses. Hold on to your wallets, nerds, its autofocus was also woefully slow. The E-PL1 came out around six months later with a $300 price cut, a much-clamored for viewfinder (via hotshoe), and a built-in flash. But what about the autofocus? Still slow, but for what the E-PL1 is meant to be, we’ll forgive it. We like it. Dare we even use the other L-word?

Nerd Finds 2: Revoltech Macross Valkyrie VF-1J

After 24 years, I finally own a transforming Macross Valkyrie. I was twelve years old when I first wanted one. My classmate had the Roy Focker Valkyrie, and to my young self, the white, yellow and black color scheme with the skull and crossbones logo was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Two things stopped me from buying one for myself: 1) the astronomical price, and 2) Minmay, the female lead in Macross SDF, who was to me -- though I was unable to make the analogy at the time -- Jar Jar Binks with boobs.

Review: Street Fighter IV for iPhone

Street Fighter IV is Capcom's popular fighter ported to the tiny screen of the iPod Touch and iPhone. It's a fair reincarnation of the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC hit. If you have an iPhone or an iPod Touch and are wondering if you should spend $9.99 on arguably the best fighting game ever, hit the link to find out more.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The iPad imports are here! Hold on to your wallets

Yep, you've seen them on Facebook. A bunch of lucky folks now have iPads here in the Philippines. Thanks to Anonymous who sniffed out a site called Gadget Grocery already selling iPads here in the Philippines. I also received an email from this place called My Gadget Shop. So far, the prices from both Gadget Grocery and My Gadget Shop are much higher than the published price on the Apple Store, but that's to be expected in some ways. It's just the law of supply and demand. Prices after the jump.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lord of the Rings Trilogy out on Blu-ray

Put down your iPads; it's time to watch some Blu-ray movies. It may have taken a while, but Lord of the Rings is finally out on Blu-ray as of today, April 6. This release features all three movies in their theatrical versions -- not the Extended Editions that you already own on DVD.

Nerd Finds: Bioshock's Big Daddy Plush Toy

I found this Big Daddy plush toy from Bioshock 2 on sale in Amazon for just thirty dollars. Cute little bugger, eh? My wife absolutely hates it. I told her that the first game is a touching tale about one man's descent into a mysterious city under the sea, where he gradually becomes something of a monster, but earns his humanity back when he saves these children, the Little Sisters, from a cruel fate. This plush toy was meant to be created by the Little Sisters (you can see the actual toy in a number of Bioshock 2 trailers) for you, their Big Daddy, so I really think it's adorable. My wife isn't convinced though. I guess you have to play the game. More pictures after the jump.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Want an iPad? Prepare to wait

It may be launch day for the iPad in North America today, but there's no sign of the iPad anywhere locally. Twiddlesticks! By my informal reckoning it will take one to two weeks for any iPads to say "Hello Philippines, mabuhay." Unless you pre-ordered an iPad from the U.S. Apple Store, that is. Otherwise, here are your options in hunting for an iPad:

Is my PS3 dying?

I have a 20GB launch PS3 Phat (now upgraded to 160GB), and I'm afraid it's dying. The problem began with Uncharted 2. It would hang (triple beep) five seconds into any game. Once it started happening in chapter two, it kept happening. I've tried every fix suggested on the Internet -- uninstall, then reinstall, update firmware, rebuild hard drive database, turn off updates, turn on the air-conditioning, you name it, I've done it. Help!

Should you get an iPad?

It's April 3, iPad D-Day. The reviews for the iPad have hit the Interwebs, and the verdict is out. Should you get an iPad? The short answer is yes, yes and yes. Gizmodo made a nice little roundup of all the reviews so far from Walt Mossberg to David Pogue. Check it out here. The iPad has been touted as the future of both publishing and mobile computing, and so far, it hasn't disappointed the reviewers. Should we believe them?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rock and roll is dead, quiet is the new loud

Came from the Kings of Convenience concert at the Fort last night, and here are the photos to prove it. I enjoyed it immensely, and I'm hoping more acts like King of Convenience drop by Manila next time they're in Singapore or Hong Kong or something. I started listening to them relatively late -- they were on their second studio album already. Of course it's never too late. Have a listen; here's their official website, their Wiki, Amazon MP3 download page, and their MySpace (my favorite place to sample new music) page.