Archive for October 25, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

iPhone 4S Camera Comparison

Lisa Bettany (via John Gruber):

A photo comparison from all iPhone version cameras (first generation iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, the new iPhone 4S), a point-and-shoot camera, the Canon S95 ($500), and a professional dSLR, the Canon 5DMKII ($4000+) in two situations: 1. A macro setting to test detail and quality of the cameras; 2. A backlit skyline shot.

My main camera has been a Canon PowerShot S90. It’s been encouraging to see that in some cases, particularly those where HDR is beneficial, the iPhone 4S takes better photos. It’s also frustrating, because now I have to think about which to use.

Update (2011-11-07): The low-light follow-up.

John McCarthy, RIP

October has been a sad month for developers: Steve Jobs, Dennis Ritchie (co-creator of C), and now the creator of Lisp. This xkcd seems apt.

Jamie Zawinski:

As the inventor of Lisp, the world’s second-oldest programming language, and coiner of the phrase “artificial intelligence”, it’s fair to say that (aside from Turing) there’s nobody whose contributions to computer science have had a bigger impact on my life.

Paul Graham (in 2008):

In 1958 these ideas were anything but obvious. In 1958 there seem to have been two ways of thinking about programming. Some people thought of it as math, and proved things about Turing Machines. Others thought of it as a way to get things done, and designed languages all too influenced by the technology of the day. McCarthy alone bridged the gap. He designed a language that was math. But designed is not really the word; discovered is more like it.

If Flickr Had an Ego

Dave Winer:

I wish every product had a spokesperson and ego behind it like the Kindle and iPad do. Take Flickr for example. It’s way ahead of all the other Internet photo apps. But its egos, Stewart and Caterina, left years ago. Since then it’s drifted on with a little of the momentum they left with it. And even so, it’s way ahead of all the other photo apps, as a platform. And that’s proving to be really important.

Google Reader and Mac/iOS RSS Readers That Sync

Brent Simmons:

But Google Reader has just changed, and some syncing RSS readers will lose some features, and I take that as a reminder that it could change in a way that breaks syncing, and Google would not have broken any official APIs.

I’m not an RSS reader developer any more. But if I were, I’d start looking for an alternative syncing system right now.

I wish that NetNewsWire hadn’t switched to using Google Reader for syncing in the first place. The Google syncing of the read and flagged status was unreliable for me. Plus, it seemed to delay receiving new items (compared with downloading the feeds directly), and I would sometimes completely lose unread content if the author later deleted or revised the item. Plus, I’d prefer to put this data on another server, rather than entrusting it to Google.

Update (2011-10-25): Of course, that’s not as easy as it sounds.

NSCompositingOperation at a Glance

Uli Kusterer:

Today I broke down and just wrote a little NSView subclass that draws an example of all compositing operations. Feel free to download this image and print it out or whatever for future reference.