Have you ever wondered what people are talking about in the cyberspace cloud in real time? Well, now you can with the iPhone App Twitscoop.
Twitscoop allows visualization of real time trends and discussions on Twitter straight from your iPhone. The tag cloud grows and shrinks in real-time depending on the popularity of the topic. The app has a trend algorithm that pulls buzz words, breaking news, and content such as pictures, links, and videos.
Strangely, the key feature lacking in Twitscoop is the lack of ability to tweet from within the app. It is such an obvious feature that they should include it in future updates.
Ever since cameras have been small enough to hold with just one hand people have been taking hand held self portraits. I pride myself on being a master of it. I know just what angles work and about 95% of all self portraits I’ve done the last few years have turned out framed just right. But I think I’m in the minority on this one. So I’m surprised it took this long for a company to implement such a great idea.
Samsung will be releasing a point and shoot that includes a small front-facing LCD, so you can line up your self portraits just right EVERY single time. Alas, I spent all that time perfecting my technique for nothing. Oh well!
And it’s not just for self portraits. It can also display the timer as well as little animations to get your kiddos to look at you when you are trying to take that all important shot of their beautiful smiling face!
Not to mention all the other excellent features of this camera: touch screen capabilities, 720p HD video and facial recognition to name just a few.
The lower end T220 runs $200, and the higher end T225 (which includes a slightly larger screen and an HDMI out) will be $350.
Novelty gadget accessories will continue to thrive as products for as long as companies continue to manufacture gadgets. One of the newest such novelties is actually finding itself to be quite useful.
Meet the Digidudes. Each Digidude is a tripod. The legs pull out of the body area to create the base, and the head of the character screws right off providing a convenient base for most compact digital cameras, Flip cameras, and other related gadgetry. (I wouldn’t trust the little thing to hold your DSLR with your super-zooming-large lens though…just a word to the wise out there).
Remember how high-tech hidden cameras were in action movies? These rogue tools are now accessible to almost everyone. Miniature cellphones come with video recording capabilities like the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 3G can also record video after it has been jailbroken with the Cycorder or Video Recorder app from the Cydia store. These devices are small enough to be hidden almost everywhere. ESPN Reporter Erin Andrews was recently a victim of a spy camera.
The Spy Camera Finder will help you find hidden spy cameras in your hotel, locker room, or next vacation. Just look through the view finder and scan your room to detect the location of hidden cameras (even if they are off). It works by using “optical” augmentation” to locate video cameras.
For $87, it is reasonable and affordable way to protect your privacy. It is also small and lightweight enough to be portable.
I recently returned from a family vacation in Puerto Rico. Aside from having a great time and seeing some great sights, I was able to play around with an iPhone app I’d installed some time ago. I say “play around” but really the app became a core part of my vacation photography. AutoStitch is one of the most impressive photography apps I’ve seen on any platform, iPhone or otherwise.
You may remember my review of an app called Pano. AutoStitch one-ups Pano by removing the need to manually align subsequent photos to create the panorama. Before I go into detail, let me show you a couple of the pics it created. (All panoramas have been reduced to 60% of their original size to help them fit better on most screens. Click on the images to see them in their full glory.)
The image quality is not bad at all, considering I took these using the iPhone 3G’s junky camera. This app actually made me want to upgrade to the higher resolution/quality of the iPhone3GS, because I think the same pictures would have turned out even better.
If you recall, Pano used its own interface to the iPhone’s camera to do its thing. You took a series of pictures that overlapped guidelines that Pano provided. While I originally really liked Pano, I found it really difficult to use in real life because it’s tough to get the overlap Pano needs to make its panorama. I also found that Pano was slow to snap and save successive images, making picture taking a pain. AutoStitch solves both those problems.
It’s not a point and shoot, it’s not an SLR. It seems to pack the best of both worlds in a sleek, and small, retro casing. I first saw a leaked image of this camera on Wired’s GadgetLab last week. It intrigued me so I did a little research on it and found that it was announced officially by Olympus just the other day.
There are many reasons I love this camera already, without even having tried it out.
First and foremost, it reminds me of my first 35mm camera, an early 80s model Pentax given to me by my dad. My photos back then weren’t very good, but I loved that camera.
And now it seems all the joy and convenience of DSLR can be packed into a small retro styled body. Sweet!
All the familiar scene modes are there in a handy thumb dial. No built in view finder, BUT you can get one as an accessory that goes in the flash mount.
It also shoots RAW as well as JPEG, which should get the attention of more than just hobby photographers.
And, this is probably my favorite part, the lenses are interchangeable! No digital camera this small has that capability (that I know of anyway). As it says on the E-P1 site, “the photographic optics of an SLR and the size and simplicity of a point and shoot.” Nice!
It also shoots 720p HD video (though limited to only 7 minutes), and has a whole laundry list of excellent features.
See the product site for more details (hope you have some time, cuz there’s a lot).
A peak at a few of the specs:
Interchangeable Lens Type Live View Digital Camera
Memory: SD memory card (SDHC compatible)
Screen size: 17.3mm (H) x 13.0mm (V)
Micro Four thirds mount (adapters for lenses available)
High speed Live MOS Sensor
19 automatic scene modes
adjustable aspect ratios
SSWF (dust reduction)
Still images: RAW, JPEG, RAW+JPEG
Movies: AVI Motion Jpeg (30fps)
HD 1280×720 (720p) -Max recording time 7 minutes
SD 640×480 -Max recording time 14 minutes
Audio: Wave files, stereo PCM/16Bit, 44.1kHz
Built in Image stabilizer
6 Art Filters
Multi exposure capability
Full Manual control available
Sometimes I fantasize about making movies. I even made one once. A short one. It was pretty good too (there were zombies in it and a hot girl killing them). But it would have been way better if I had a camera mounted on a car to get some crazy fast shots. If only I had known about the Fat Gecko Camera Mount from Delkin.
The Fat Gecko is a dual suction cup mount that allows you to mount your camera (up to 8lbs) on motorcycles, cars, trucks, airplanes (!?!?) or any other smooth surface. They even have a pic of one on a snowboard. The design of the mount also allows for 360° tilt, turn and rotation (for that all important driver through the windshield shot).
This mount runs $89.99. Totally reasonable in my opinion, especially if it is as good as they say.
They have one specifically for bikes too:
However, it seems a little pricy at $64.99 especially since you could probably build one very similar for a few bucks if you have any motivation at all.