brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell


Why can’t camera phones become better cameras?

I really like the convenience of having a camera phone for taking snapshots, but unfortunately, there is a vast gulf in capability between what a modest digital camera can do and what is standard on camera phones. My Motorola MPx220 (despite it's quoted 1.3megapixel capability) is just pathetic. Witness the following two pictures, the first taken with my MPx220:

Photo from my MPx220

The second with my Nikon 4500, a 3.2 megapixel digital camera:

Photo From My Nikon 4500

Click through to look at the originals. There is no comparison. Yes, the Nikon has a good quality, high resolution sensor and a reasonable lens, but can't anyone make a decent camera phone that takes decent, honest 640x480 images. I'm not asking for megapixels here...


Everything You Need to Know About Next-gen Broadband – New DSL flavors, DOCSIS 3.0, Bell TV, and more…

Broadband Reports has this cool overview of where residential networking is likely to go in the next few years. I'm currently stuck on cable modem because we are too far from the phone switch for DSL, but it is good to see what might be possible in the next few years.

Filed under: Hardware No Comments

Brainwagon Radio: Terror in London, WiFi arrest, and Two Movies

I almost didn't upload this podcast. I did twenty minutes in my car this morning, and then (as I usually do) played it back to see how it sounded. Today's topics began with some thoughts on the role that the Internet, camera phones and the Wikipedia can play in helping us learn and understand about tragic events like yesterday's bombings in London. I do think the point is interesting, but I also think that I may have given the impression that I am using the tragedy of the event as a flimsy pretext to muse about the cool technologies like the blogging and Flickr and the role they have in helping us learn about events. I also strayed into politics more than I think was truly tasteful given that there are people planning funerals and waiting in hospital waiting rooms. I apologize if anyone turns out to be offended, and give my best wishes and/or condolences to all who are dealing with the real human aftermath of these tragic events.

Does anyone have any links to podcasts regarding events that happened yesterday? I did some sweeps, but didn't turn up any.

Les Tremayne as General Mann

To lighten the mood, I rambled a bit about the case of a Florida man arrested for unauthorized access to a computer network, and gave my impressions of the Australian movie Undead and Spielberg's remake of War of the Worlds. I thought the effects were great, but the overall arc of the story was kind of disappointing. I prefer Haskin's 1953 version better as a story. Great stuff from the post WWII. (I incorrectly cited the year of this as 1958 in my podcast, apologies). I particularly like actor Les Tremayne in his supporting role as Major General Mann. Sitting in a bunker covered in radioactive dust from the A-bomb just dropped by the Flying Wing, he delivers the classic line:

Guns, tanks, bombs — they are like toys against them!

Great, great stuff.

To all Londoners, our hearts go out to you. To those responsible, stay where you are. I'm sure someone will be with you shortly.


People helping people…

DURING EMERGENCY Please feel free to come in and stay as long as you like.  Join us for tea, soft drinks, coffee, soup on the house.

What doesn't get reported in the media enough is all the little kindnesses that people can pay to one another when trouble unites them. I found this Moment of London Zen linked by Xeni over at BoingBoing to be a good example.

In the shadow of the monstrous there gleam hundreds of tiny lights. Good job, Richard.

Filed under: News No Comments