Archive for September, 2009

Google Voice: One Number to Rule Them All

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Google VoiceBack in July, I received my Google Voice invitation and promptly started testing the system. If you aren’t familiar with Google Voice, it’s a free* service that provides you with a phone number and a number of “Voice Features“. The service doesn’t replace your phone lines, think of it as having a main, super number. The most notable feature is caller-based routing to the myriad of phones the average person has these days… or as I like to call it “one number to rule them all”. Also notable are a robust voicemail system, voicemail transcription and call switching. This is not a comprehensive review, it’s more like the selling points I give to people when I explain why they should call me on my new number.


Palm and the iTunes Mistake – Updated 3x

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

I have been wanting to write something about the recent issues with Palm, Apple and world of USB. The problem is, I had this idea in my head that this needed to be a detailed post, with a high word count. It is an important story after all. But, no matter how hard I tried, I could not figure out how use a lot of words to say that I think Palm is nuts. So here is the short version.

Palm wants to have their device, the Palm Pre, sync through iTunes. Palm even said it would on their own site (via Wired). The problem for Palm? Apple does not want that to happen. So, Apple has broken the ability when they update iTunes. Now, I have no problem with Apple doing that. They wrote the software and Palm can do the same.

Here is where it gets interesting…


The Six Rules of Net Neutrality

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

In describing Net Neutrality, Wikipedia says “A neutral broadband network is one that is free of restrictions on content, sites, or platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and on the modes of communication allowed”. It has long been a subject of debate. I say debate only because many Internet Service Providers appear to think that, since the road to the net is paved with their pipes, that they control it’s use. While I feel that in a business the employer who owns the computers, network & Internet connections, has the full right, and often responsibility, to prevent unwanted internet use. For personal use, I believe the consumer should have access to any technology or legal content they want. Most consumers don’t see this debate. Most consumers use the Internet and never hit any boundaries. If you fall into that category let me explain…


ThinkTank Airport International V2 Camera Case

Monday, September 21st, 2009

This summer we were taking a family vacation to the Caribbean. A cruise that I figured would be great for taking photos. The problem was not just getting the camera gear from California to Florida safe and secure, but storing in the stateroom safely. I normally have two camera bags, a Tamrac sling and a Tamrac backpack. Sometimes I just wear the backpack all day on a shoot, but mostly it’s for getting a larger quantity of gear to the hotel or general area and then I choose the gear for that day and put it into the sling for the photo walk. If needed, I also have a few lens tubes. For this trip I thought about carrying my gear on the plane in the backpack but it was not big enough because I wanted the family video camera, my wife’s G10 and all my lenses in one case.

With the idea of using the sling on excursions, I set out to find a good travel case.


BlackRapid R-Strap Review

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

I enjoy photography as a hobby. I make no claim that those viewing the photos get the same enjoyment, but hey, if it were easy everyone would be good. When I first bought the Canon I immediately knew I was not going to be happy with the stock neck strap. It was thin and uncomfortable, very uncomfortable for long wear. Not being a pro, I decided I should just live with it. Then it happened. I wore that thing in San Francisco during a family vacation… all day. We went to Alcatraz and walked that island up and down. By the time we were back at the pier, and waiting for a ride back to the hotel, my neck was killing me. I started looking for a new strap that day and I actually settled on two. The BlackRapid R-Strap and the Optec Pro Loop Strap. I will review the Optec soon, but first the R-Strap.

This is not a normal strap. It is worn from one shoulder to the opposite hip – diagonally. This places the camera weight on your shoulder instead of your neck, and it is very comfortable. The interesting part is the camera attachment. It screws into the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera or lens. Yes, the camera hangs upside down. The strap allows adjustment so the camera hangs where you want. For me that is just around my back pocket with the lens behind my belt.