Olloclip for iPhone 5 Review

I just completed a video review of the Olloclip for iPhone 5 3-in-1 lens. I've really loved my Olloclip in the past, and this newly-redesigned version lives up to the original! Check out myreview HERE.


Time Spent: The iPod Nano Watch

Well, I haven't posted a product review for a while, so I think it's about time to take another gadget through its paces. Today's subject? The elusive and controversial iPod Nano Watch. It's an iPod Nano that attaches to one of hundreds of aftermarket watch bands, and the two items have been the subject of a lot of nerd rage lately.

New to the iPod Nano? Well, it's one of Apple's latest MP3 players, much in the same vein as the iPod Shuffle. It's squarish, small, light, comes in a myriad of colors and has all the capabilities of the Shuffle, only it includes a 1.54-inch diagonal TFT touchscreen display on its front. Yes, a touchscreen. Trust me, with Apple's genius-laced touch implementation, it's very easy to use.

I have yet to see somebody strolling along with one of these creatures on. Sure, you'll see a plethora of DKNY and Rolex wristwatches whilst perusing the local mall, but the idea of taking an MP3 player, in this case the 6th generation iPod Nano, and using it as one still isn't mainstream. So why is putting a Nano on a watch band "controversial?" Well, I've read several reviews lately from some big blogs here and here, and it seems that there are enough nitpicks the authors have with using an iPod Nano as a watch that keep them from using it as such full-time. Some opinions range from the Nano being too big for a watch to it not having enough watch-like features to be a full-time replacement. But, there are hundreds of companies now manufacturing bands to allow use of the Nano as a watch, so that counts for something, right?

So, how does it stack up to this particular tech nerd? Here's my experience...


Mac App Store: The New Hotness

The Mac App Store is now live and in-effect, which means not only do I have to keep up with apps for my iPad and iPhone, but for my Mac as well. The Mac App Store presents with the same type of interface as the previously mentioned two devices, offers free and paid apps just like they do, and allows hassle-free installation and updates just the same as well.

I'm only now taking it for a spin, but I can already tell it's going to play a huge part in my day to day operations from now on. I see great, new applications being offered for great prices such as Camera Bag Desktop for $14.99 and Apple's Own Aperture 3 for a crazy $79.99. What's also nice is that there are iPhone and iPad apps that have been ported to run natively on the Mac such as the immensely-popular Angry Birds and graphic apps like SketchBook Pro.

I'm excited by the possibilities, and look forward to having more developers hop on board the Mac train!


iPhoneography. Yes, it's a "thing" I'm into now.

[caption id="attachment_169" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Mini City"]Tilt-Shifted City[/caption]

Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything, but I'll tell you, it's been a wild ride the last few months. I went from being a nearly out-of-work photographer to working a digital sales job, then back to being extremely busy taking and editing photo sessions. I also picked up a great part time teaching gig at one of our colleges in the visual arts arena; I've been teaching Photoshop, lighting in photography and portrait photography, and it's been a blast.


Next semester I'll be fairly busy as well. I'm picking up at least three additional classes, and come Spring, I hope to be in some classes myself. I see next Spring being chock-full of surprises, fun, stress and overall not-having-time-for-much-ness.

But, one thing I've picked up lately that I've been very dedicated to has been iPhoneography. Yes, it's an actual "thing" now. There are so many great apps for the iPhone in the Photography category, it's actually hard to keep them all straight. I've begun posting pictures on both iPhoneArt.com and Instagram, with some great social aspects being a result.

If you have an iPhone and love photography, it's definitely something you should look into. I recommend the applications Hipstamatic, Instagram, Adobe Photoshop Express, Pic Grunger, Vintage Scene and TiltShiftGen amongst others. Take a look, take 'em for a spin and have fun! Also, visit me at my iPhoneArt page!


nook eReader: Will I Buy a Real Book Again?

My beautiful wife and my wonderful (and beautiful) mom stopped by work last night and unleashed Father's Day upon me: they bought a Barnes & Noble nook eReader from me. Yes, they were buying it FOR me, but thought that it would be fun to also buy the unit from me while I was manning the nook counter at work. Let me tell you, they lit up the little techno-geeky reader in me!

I picked out the pleasantly antique-looking Chesterton Quote cover, and rung the whole shebang up at the register. My immediate first thought centered around which book I'd buy first (I'm actually still trying to decide that one...I also got a $50 gift card as part of the purchase) . My second thought? How often would I buy actual books anymore? Barring those books which I cannot get as eBooks yet (as it's up to the publisher to actually release any given book in that format...and some don't), I began thinking just how liberating the nook could turn out to be.

You see, I'm a hard core reader. I love books. I've read hundreds of books in my lifetime, and I don't see that trend stopping any time soon. My job at Barnes & Noble is perfect for me: I get to mix tech AND books every day. But, will I become heartsick for the feel of a good leather-bound classic? Will the thought of turning paper pages create a hole in my experience? Will my senses long for the smell of freshly-printed works? Actually, I don't think it will be as bad as it might sound.

Why, you ask? Well, I've been throwing around the pluses and minuses for a good, long while now, and I've come to the conclusion that it's all a matter of simple practicality, space management, and some good old love of tech. I realized that, in the old days, I used to carry around an entire bag full of books and magazines when I traveled. Nowadays, you can't take a flight with books like that without incurring a nice, fat fee. Plus, who would want to carry around an entire load of books when we're usually carrying around so much more in the first place?

I also have to consider my dwelling and its ability to house a library...I just don't have the bookshelf space I'd like to have. Sure, I'd love to have a "Library of Congress" sized space to put all the books I could, but the fact is that a lot of my books end up in rubbermaid tubs in our garage. That's no way for a good book to hang out, in my opinion.

It's no secret that I love the look, feel and smell of books. It reminds me of childhood when I stared at the bookshelves of my father and marveled at how one person could read so many books. I was raised reading and appreciating literature, and I still do to this day. But, having an eReader like nook makes my reading life just a little less cluttered and cumbersome.

Now, I can carry thousands of books on one device and they don't take up any more space or weight than the 11.2 ounce device itself. I can download books, newspapers and magazines over WiFi or 3G connections (which means virtually everywhere nowadays), and I'm usually paying less for each book than I would to own a physical copy. But, if a book I want to read isn't available in the eBook format, I CAN always purchase the real deal anyway. Options, options...

To me, the positives outweigh my innate need to hold or smell a real book. Practicality overrides simple tactile sense. I'll still buy real books when and if the need arises. But, my tech-crazy tendencies definitely win out in this situation, which happily coincide with my alter ego, The Geek Source...

-Posted from my iPad.


Facebook Security and Skankiness.

The question was recently posed as to whether or not I was going to ditch Facebook as the result of all the privacy (or lack thereof) issues. As the matter of fact, I can't check my Twitter account without seeing at least one reference to Facebook's horrid privacy model or someone asking if quitting is in order. Someone also pointed out Facebook's "skankiness" as a possible reason to ditch. So, what is my opinion on this pressing global matter?

Well, I'd pretty much say that "Mark Zuckerberg is an asshat." It's really that simple. Am I afraid that, by having a Facebook account, I'm going to reveal all of my deepest, darkest secrets? Am I terrified that my family and i are going to be taken in the middle of the night by a black-clad paramilitary force because of my Facebook wall posts? Not at all. I don't put anything online that I wouldn't tell someone myself. Why would I care if somehow the photo of me eating messily out of a can of cake frosting made it out past my "friends only" list? I don't have paparazzi following my every move (yet), and I don't have any photos of me in a miniskirt without panties getting out of a limo. The fact is, any of my more private pictures aren't on there to begin with (such as the limo pics).

The truth is, I DO think Zuckerberg is a dick and that his head is probably too big to fit through most doorways or into small vehicles. But, I keep in touch with family members and friends through Facebook and I'm just not sure there's an easier way to do so right now that is as prolific and widespread. Twitter is great for blips, but it is a different and less "family/friend casual" animal. Facebook's tools for posting photos, links and sharing information (no matter how ridiculously buggy and shitty they may be) are a good thing for friends and family who might not otherwise be able to easily keep in touch, i.e. overseas service members.

I suppose that, if Facebook continues its meteoric rise in popularity and privacy isn't either taken more seriously or forced by regulation, I wouldn't have any issue with leaving it altogether. I am not, by any means, locked into Facebook for the rest of my life. As the matter of fact, I sure as hell hope an enterprising young entrepreneur creates something more along the lines of Tumblr as a rival to FB, only with privacy as a focal point. I'd switch to it in a heartbeat, and I'd recommend all my contacts do the same. Right now, however, I'm on the fence...a small and relatively rickety fence. It might not take much for me to fall to the Facebook-free side.


Accessory of the Week, May 3rd: Frickin' Light Sabers!

For this edition of "Accessory of the Week," I thought I'd pay tribute to Star Wars Day (the 4th of May) by posting what all good Jedi should have: a light saber!

Think Geek has Force FX light sabers in their arsenal, and they are pretty kick-ass! There are nine sabers total, from Darth Vader's to Asajj Ventress', and each one is $119.99. The sabers light up via battery power, and make the classic Star Wars sound when you swish it through the air!

Order yours today at the following page: http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/collectibles/b72c/

These are great for impromptu duels: