Sunday, September 30, 2012

From Up On Poppy Hill review

Thought I'd break up the gadget news with a film review. From Up On Poppy Hill is the latest feature film from Studio Ghibli. Nothing could be further from high tech than Studio Ghibli's old world values, but the studio's work has a special place in the heart of every nerd. My favorites are Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and well, virtually every film they've made. They're that good. So when I heard that they released a new film, I was excited, to put it mildly.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

iPhone 5 selling in the Philippines

Okay, the iPhone 5 is really here, though not from Globe or Smart, so no plans bundled yet.

The other day, it was Villman who had the iPhone 5. This time, it's from Widget City Hub. This is their announcement on Facebook:

"iPhone 5 available now for orders!
16GB P47,000
32GB P56,000
64GB P61,000
LTE fully functional in asia with A1429 model.

*Note to all buyers:there are 2 kinds of types of iPhone 5 in the market
A1429 and A1428 here's the difference of the variants.

Careful not to pick the wrong one!
Happy shopping!"

Friday, September 28, 2012

iPad Price Comparison UPDATE

I recently discovered a number of online stores selling iPads, and they're cheaper than retail. The first shop is iWidget, which is a Multiply site. You'll also find them on Facebook, plus on Facebook (where they are called Widget City) you can view their non-Apple inventory which includes Kindle Fire HDs and Nexus 7's. The other shop is One Stop Shop Gadgets, which I also found on Facebook. I was going to include Lazada on this list but for the moment, there are no iPads selling on the site. Looks like business is good in online retail. Prices after the jump.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

iPhone 5, Nexus 7, Nikon D600, Kindle Fire HD selling in the Philippines

Stumbled upon these gadgets – Nikon D600, iPhone 5, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD – and yes, there are local prices for them. Warning: hide your money!

Olympus M. Zuiko 60mm Macro looks awesome

The reviews for the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro are beginning to trickle out. And the lens looks awesome. They're comparing it to the 50mm f/2.0 for Four Thirds, which is a great lens. The new 60mm is said to be even sharper. And it makes a pretty good portrait lens too. (Unless you like blurry ears, then maybe you should get something with narrower depth of field, hehe.) As a portrait lens, they're even comparing it to the Olympus 75mm f/1.5, another stellar lens. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SMART vs Globe: NTC Fight!

It's a pissing contest of titanic proportions. The NTC did some benchmark tests on the services of the two biggest telcos and came up with some unflattering results. (If you want to check out a balanced report, click the link for one from Rappler.) Globe and SMART both reacted strongly to the tests, which you can also read in the link. My reaction is summed up by the somewhat blurry meme above, which I found on Facebook. But you get the idea. As the Alma Moreno saying goes, damage you do, damage you don't.

New PS3 Skinny

This is the new PS3 and it's a beauty! Sony says it's 20% lighter and more energy efficient. Both good things. I wish it were 20% cheaper, but it's around the same price as before, though the hard drives are now larger. So it's $270 for the 250GB and $300 for the 500GB model.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sound Shapes Review

It's a platformer and music visualizer in one, a game that lets you play inside music. What's not to love?

There's no shortage of cutesy indie games out right now, but Sound Shapes manages to stand head and shoulders above the rest by the strength of its concept. In this game, the level creates music. Cloud platforms sing when they appear. The beat is pumped out by crushing machines that will kill you. Creatures sing a series of notes when you interact with them. It's like seeing a Radiohead song come to life. As a platformer, the game can be solved by consciously figuring out the pattern behind the beats or finding out the perfect timing to jump onto that singing cloud. Or you can forget about it all, just let go and immerse yourself in the music.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ben Folds Five "The Sound of the Life of the Mind" Review

You know that feeling when your favorite band announces a new album, their first after a bajillion years, and you hope, you anticipate, you pray that this new album will be the Best Thing Ever? You can almost taste it. You falsely think that through the album you will relive the hey-day of your favorite band, and you mutter a novena and sacrifice a chicken so the album might be more awesome than awesome. Then you hear it, and it's not any good at all, and your disappointment pierces all your hope and anticipation, sends it plummeting towards the earth, sets it on fire, and jumps up and down on it till it's broken and dead. That is not the new Ben Folds Five album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind. This album is the bomb. It's the bee's knees. It's great, more awesome than awesome, the Best Thing Ever.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Attack of the Large Sensor Cameras

If there's anything you need to know about new cameras nowadays, it's this: the sensors are getting bigger. In every camera category, the sensors that they're using are increasing in size, and this means an increase in image quality as well (among other things). This is good news for all photographers and all fauxtographers as well, such as myself. 

Wii U coming soon! Hooray?

Hot on the heels of iPhone 5 news and Photokina news, the Wii U was announced to thunderous silence. Well alright, the gaming press made all the noise you'd expect, and the fanboys made some token noise as well, but this isn't the rabid madness that preceded the Wii release.

I'm concerned about the Wii U. 

Here's what we know so far:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Olympus Stuff

 Almost all of these new cameras and lenses leaked out days before the official announcement. Can no one keep a secret nowadays? Here are my top picks from Olympus' latest announcement.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What Apple didn't announce

An alleged iPad mini leak photo

iPhone 5, iOS 6, new iPods, yadda yadda yadda… But wait. Aren't we missing something? The iPhone 5 is an amazing technological achievement, and Apple deserves the millions in sales that will surely come its way, but the iPhone 5 is also nothing new. Many were hoping for an announcement from Apple about something truly new and revolutionary. You know, the kind of magic they used to do. But we didn't get it.

To be specific about things, here's what we missed:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Sony RX1 changes everything (not an Apple iPhone 5 post)

Screw the iPhone 5! THIS is what I'm most excited about right now: the Sony RX1. I'm not even going to make an iPhone 5 post. After staying up late for the Apple announcement, I told my wife at 2 AM, "The iPhone 5 looks like a nice phone, but it's not a game-changer. Not like Sony's new camera."

So here's a shot of the RX1. What the hell is it? Why are photographers wetting their pants when they find out about this little camera? And why is it cheap for $3,000?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Smart vs Globe: Let the iPhone 5 war begin!

Or as I like to think of it, how to sell the iPhone 5 without mentioning the iPhone 5.

From my Globe phone. iP5, get it?

From Smart from Facebook.

September 12 can't come soon enough.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Your move, Apple

Dear Apple, I'm just about ready to ditch you. The other day I saw the Kindle Fire HD and I realized that it had everything I wanted in a tablet for far less money than your iPad.

Yes, Apple, I know. We've had some good times. I've invested quite a bit in apps from your iTunes store, and I'll miss them. But maybe it's time to move on. Amazon's store is pretty well stocked too.

It's not a case of replacing you with the latest model. It's something that Jeff Bezos said that made a whole lot of sense, something about getting off the "upgrade treadmill." And there was some talk about the Kindle Fire as a service. "Hardware device as a service – that's what people want," he said. And I think he's right about that.  

I don't want to pay for the latest greatest tablet every year. Amazon's biz model – where they make money off the content instead of the hardware and the content – looks to work in my favor.

The tablet is just a gateway to this beautiful garden of content full of books, apps, movies and tunes. Amazon's "gateway" is dirt cheap. Cost of entry into your garden, Apple, is an arm and a leg compared to everyone else. Kindle Fire HD (large)? $300. Nexus 7 (7-inch screen)? $200. New Apple iPad? Starts at $499.

You know what? I'm still rooting for you. You've created some amazing stuff, and the announcement next week will no doubt address this change in the tablet landscape. Maybe you'll announce a small, cheaper iPad. Maybe you'll show us some fancy new tech that we'll gladly pay more for. Maybe you'll drop your prices. I would like to be surprised.

I just have a sneaky suspicion that it will come down to what Mr Bezos was talking about. I'm going to buy your content no matter what. Are you still going to overcharge me for the hardware? If the answer is yes, you better pull something amazing out of that hat, Apple. These Amazon guys are on to something here.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Third World Nerd rides the Segway

I don't know why it took me so long to get on one of these, but now that I have, I'm crazy in love with the damn thing.

There was a time when they called the Segway the future of transportation. One day it would replace the automobile, they said. Since that time, it's proven to be not quite the car-killer we hoped for. Nevertheless, there's an important niche that the Segway occupies, providing transpo in places like resorts, malls, trails and for a variety of people from pedestrian cops to the outdoorsy to the elderly to rich environmentalists to nerds like Steve Wozniak. So some enterprising folks brought the Segway to the Philippines and gave bloggers and journalists a free test drive. That blogger was the wifey, and I tagged along for the, er, ride.