Gear Google

Rethinking Chromebook Pixel

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Chromebook Pixel

Yesterday marked my second full day using Chromebook Pixel, following a nearly 7-month hiatus and pointless journey to Windows 8.1 and OS X Yosemite. Last summer, I sold my 64GB LTE Pixel to a student from Brazil; I had purchased the laptop new off Craigslist, substantially discounted. I feel foolish for letting it go. I type on the 32GB WiFi model—used, and I’m grateful to have it.

Google unveiled the Pixel two years ago next month. The hardware is unchanged, while competitors—and even most Chromebook manufacturing partners—have moved on to newer hardware. The only real difference is Chrome OS, now at version 40, up from 25 when I reviewed the computer in late February 2013. My questions today, rethinking the computer: Is there still a place for the Pixel, and, if so, should Google release updated models?  Read More

People Photo

Flickr a Day 31: ‘Couple’

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Couple

Today’s selection comes from Flickr searches for the Leica X1 and X2 digicams. Photographer Andrew Xu uses the latter, and I once owned the former. Originally from China, and living in New Zealand, the VFX artist is true to his profession, by posting photos that punch you with their terrific visual style.

I could easily fill the remaining 324 Flickrs a Day with Andrew’s images, which is comment about the challenge choosing one. I left the decision to fate, picking the pic from my initial search. Andrew’s style is so strong because, in part, he has a photographic philosophy that merges art and science. I recommend reading the full explanation on his Flickr profile pageRead More

Motorola Photo

Flickr a Day 30: ‘Try’

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SONY DSC

Where is Fe Ilya? He joined Flickr in July 2008, but his last posted pic was taken Dec. 11, 2011. I see him on Tumblr, where his last posted photo was June 7, 2014; despite bleeding-edge presentation, his work looks much better on Flickr. Mmmm. He is active on Twitter. Tagline: “Was a writer. Still a photographer”.

Whew, that’s a relief. Fe had me worried, because his visual, photographic style is hypnotic. He can give up writing. But not photography. Wait. Is it Friday? That’s how hypnotic are his photos. I started looking on Tuesday, and now I’ve lost three days.

“I’m an artist that can’t draw. So photography is my art”, Fe expresses. I relate to that. Totally. As for his self-titled photo “Try”, which features a song lyric that I am unable to identify, shooting date was Jan. 13, 2009, using Sony Alpha DSLR-A200. I chose the photo for color and composition, which show how an incomplete subject can make a complete picture. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 400, 1/15 sec, 70mm. Unless the being sitting is a mannequin, Fe used Photoshop CS3 to nail done color and hue (look at her skin).

Photo Credit: Fe Ilya

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Sameness is Secret to Apple’s Success

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Apple Mac Bored

Apple is boring. Perhaps you have seen such statement somewhere on the InterWebs sometime during the last couple of months and increasingly the past few weeks. It’s a meme slowly growing—and for good reasons. While others innovate, Apple iterates and succeeds unblushingly well. The company is mountains more successful today innovating less and taking fewer risks.

Apple is the new Microsoft, where maximizing margins matters more than innovation. Look how much more successful Apple is by being boring and following where innovators lead. Consider today’s Strategy Analytics report that puts Apple and Samsung tied for calendar fourth-quarter smartphone shipments. Such scenario was all but unfathomable two quarters earlier. Yet the foundation laid long before Apple cofounder Steve Job’s death, when logistics genius and now CEO Tim Cook managed day-to-day operations. Risk-to-innovation defined Jobs’ management style. Cook is more tactical.  Read More

Games Photo

Flickr a Day 29: ‘Tiny Houses’

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Settlers of Catan

Vantage point best describes the photography of Jessica P., better known as jjesskalee around the social networks. Perspective works just as well. She sets very defined viewpoints, often getting in close to subjects. Like me, she uses the Fujifilm X100T, which shoots surprisingly great Macros; the f/2 lens gives shallow depth-of-field that produces fantastic bokeh.

Jessica shot self-titled “Tiny Houses” on Dec. 31, 2014. The houses belong to board game The Settlers of Catan, which was unknown to me before seeing this pic and a companion my wife prefers. As someone who fanatically role-played Dungeons and Dragons and Empire of the Petal Throne in high school, I’m surprised to somehow have missed Catan, which Klaus Teuber developed and released to the German market 20 years ago.  Read More