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3 Useful & Must Have Gadgets for the Travel Photographer

March 30, 2015 by  

Traveling in nature and being out in the wilderness is a life changing experience for most. But, for photographers, it can be the experience of a lifetime, especially if they’re in the middle of untamed territory or shooting wildlife on a safari. Photographic subjects are plentiful – as are the vistas and landscapes that fill each view. Wild animals, which many people have only seen on wildlife documentaries, walk past mere meters from you, often stopping to stare back at you, providing an image, and a memory, that many would turn green for. The same goes for fast moving objects in a city you’re trying to capture. One of the most challenging things for photographers is to keep the camera steady in order to produce a crystal clear shot. There is nothing more frustrating, or heartbreaking, than composing the perfect shot, with the perfect light, only for it to come out blurred because of camera shake. Luckily there are a few great pieces of gear available that will greatly decrease the frustration and heartbreak of a shaky shot. The Sturdy Monopod The monopod fits somewhere in between the versatile beanbag and the steady tripod. Using a monopod (which is quite…

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The Pros of a Selfie Stick for the Avid Traveler

March 28, 2015 by  

The selfie stick has been getting a bad rap. Not only is it now officially banned in many major museums around the world to help keep collections safe and disruptions to a minimum, but the New York Post called it “the most controversial gift of 2014.” Sure, I’ve seen my fair share of narcissistic Instagram accounts where following someone’s trip through Peru is actually a trip through their face, with a sprinkling of Inca ruins and Andes peaks in the background. And I’ve definitely smashed into oblivious selfie stick touting tourists on crowded NYC streets as I’m rushing to meetings. For these types of snap happy vagabonds, their selfie sticks should be taken away and the offender deported (too harsh?). That being said, as someone who uses a selfie stick regularly — mine’s actually a GoPro 3-Way Arm, as I like to clarify — I would argue it’s not all bad. Here’s why: selfie stick

1. It Gives Photos Depth

When using your own arms, or even a tripod, your limited to the motions and heights possible with these. The selfie stick allows you to take shots from a wide variety of distances and heights…

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Testing the Adisi Tent in Taiwan

March 26, 2015 by  

Our latest camping adventure in Taiwan was in Guoxing where we used a brand named Adisi, which is a Taiwanese home grown brand. More Camping in Taiwan The tent structure remains attached to the quick-setup frame, so you don’t have to take it down. More Camping in Taiwan These very clever joints fold and lock into place, making it very easy to set up the frame with the tent attached. More Camping in Taiwan After the frame is set up, all that remains is to install the frame components for the foyer, and then put on the rain fly. More Camping in Taiwan This is the tent and additional frame in the front for the foyer, awaiting the addition of the rain fly. More Camping in Taiwan Notice the die-cast aluminum feet on the frame.  The inner strap is the tent.  The rain fly cleverly snaps into a connector on the outside of the foot.  To be…

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Gadget Design Trends are a’ Changin’!

March 19, 2015 by  

Intel Free Press began to notice that square designs are becoming too square and the world is moving to rounded shapes for its wearables and other gizmos… (Why can’t we have triangular?) Take a casual survey of personal technology and electronics on the market today and you will notice the majority of them are rectangular in shape. But there is a rising trend, or perhaps a return, to more rounded design. The smartwatch is the latest area of debate of round versus square. The circular screen of the Motorola Moto 360 Android Wear watch makes it stand out among competitors with more traditional, rectangular screens, such as the Samsung Gear, Pebble and even the upcoming Apple Watch. Just revealed at the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC), the LG Watch Urbane and Huawei Watch smartwatches both also have perfectly round displays. Why Round? Motorola design chief Jim Wicks cites “time” as the biggest inspiration behind the round design of the Moto 360, which recently won the award for best wearable at MWC. “Eighty-five percent of the watches sold in the world are round, and there’s a reason for that – its comfort and people are used to it,” Wicks adds. “When you go back in civilization,

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How Robots Becoming More Integrated In Our Lives

January 27, 2015 by  

In 2007, David Levy an artificial intelligence researcher at the University of Maastricht, Netherlands, speculated that we would be marrying robots by 2050, and that Massachusetts would be the first state to allow it.
While you may smirk in disbelief at this prediction, society’s infatuation with the digital lifestyle suggests that a man-machine relationship is not all that far-fetched. Here’s growing evidence that robot love, or hate, is gathering momentum:
  • Concert conductor – On May 13, 2008, Honda’s stair-stepping Asimo robot lead the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, performing “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha” with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
  • Domestic robots – Woody Allen’s 1973 movie Sleeper gave a hilarious but prescient look at the future of domestic robotics. The domestic robot invasion began with the vacuum cleaner, launched by the iRobot Roomba with much success in 2002.

Samsung POWERbot VR9000At the January 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Samsung introduced its latest generation of vacuum-cleaning robots. The Samsung POWERbot VR9000 robot vacuum (£815), pictured above, offers “CycloneForce” suction power.
  • Employment trend – The New York Times reports that the American work force has been growing polarized for decades. Highly skilled jobs,

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The Sony Experia Z Ultra & Phablet Trend

January 19, 2015 by  

You’re the front runner of the mobile market. You re-invented both the first disruption, the iPhone, and the second one, the tablet. But something happened after the iPad. Consumers couldn’t live without a big-screen device. Yet the iPhone had a small screen.
The shoot-from-the-hip Android market saw an opening and ran with it. Samsung pioneered the “phablet” trend, a contraction of phone and tablet, with the introduction of the Galaxy Note in October 2011. So what happened? Apple was too successful. It got users addicted to hi-res touch screens. The iPad further spoiled consumers but when faced with a choice between a small-screen phone and a large-screen tablet, consumers opted for convergence. Which lead Samsung to the phablet, or as one pundit put it — “big-ass phone.” And why not? Who wants to carry two devices when one can do? Manufacturers like Sony stretched the limits even further with the 6.4-inch Sony Experia Z Ultra, pictured above. Apple faced a typical innovator’s dilemma. In a classic case of innovation recoil, Apple couldn’t put its iPad sales under pressure, which at the time was the fastest growing consumer device in history. And that’s what a larger iPhone…

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Top Innovative Products & Designs at CES 2015

January 17, 2015 by  

Ever since Apple showed the technology industry the importance of outstanding design, there’s seen a dramatic upsurge in product design. Here are the eight best designed products shown at CES 2015. This article showcases the most stellar designs packaging innovative technologies. The list is by design incomplete, since there are surely more products that might qualify, but these ones are on our radar screen. A photo gallery follows the list: HP Pavilion Mini
The mini computer is growing in significance. HP interpreted the concept beautifully in the HP Pavilion Mini ($320 and up), packing Windows 8.1, an Intel Pentium 3558U, 4GB memory and 500GB hard drive in a 6×6-inch (15 cm) package. LaCie Mirror Drive
Portable hard drives are mass commodities, selling for as little as $50. So LaCie recruited French designer Pauline Deltour to create the stunning LaCie Mirror ($280), which is encases a 1TB hard drive in scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass placed atop a stand made of ebony wood from Makassar. Logitech UE MEGABOOM
Logitech’s UE BOOM and MINIBOOM have already achieved much acclaim but they now have competition from the new Logitech UE MEGABOOM ($300), which is 200% larger. Logitech’s battery powered Bluetooth speaker features an octagonal…

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Taking a Look at Unusual Consumer Tech Products Over 6 Years

January 16, 2015 by  

Silentium comfort shell Intel Free Press takes a look at some of the oddest tech from the past six years at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – by Intel Free Press. CES 2015: Racing into Silence At this year’s CES people could enter the “shell of silence,” Silentium’s Comfort-Shell (above). “It basically looks like a giant, white version of those spiky shells that Lakitu throws in the original Mario,” wrote Jacob Kastrenakes on The Verge. Despite its odd looks, any way to deaden the noise that is characteristic of CES is a blessing. Lambo2 CES had plenty of smartphones, the Tonino Lamborghini 88 Tauri phone definitely drew attention for its race car inspired design and its price tag. Revving in at $6000 and in scarce supply, its design turned a few heads but left others scratching theirs. “With a stitched leather finish that’s the real deal and gold-plated stainless steel surrounding this phone, you’re bound to stand out in the crowd if you’re crazy enough to even want to pay $6,000 for pure stupidity,” said The Verge’s Tom Warren. CES 2014: Helping the body? Some design…

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