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Technology

We Fail Harder – the Macbook Pro Retina.

FUCK the Macbook Pro Retina. Fuck it.

I’ll come out and say it – I use a regular Macbook Pro and I own two iPhones (an older unlocked one for travel, and a 4S). I convinced my parents to switch from PC to Mac, and I think OS X is the best operating system ever made for normal people (normal people do not use Linux).  Until Monday I thought Apple was awesome – far from perfect, but generally pretty sweet.

I’ve delayed writing this, but Ars Technica hammered the final nail in the coffin.  The MBPR SUCKS.  Sure, it’s sleek and pretty and has a sick display, but a) it’s more expensive than an Apple laptop has been in years (the baseline 15″ MBP has been $1800 for at least 4 years, possibly longer), and b) it is almost ENTIRELY un-upgradeable short of configuring it in the Apple Store for multiple hundreds of extra dollars off the bat.  If you change your computer every year, great, but that means you’re not a hard baller but a superficial punk with money to burn.  If you want a 15″, expensive-ass Macbook Air, great.  Pose away.  If you want something a lot more useful and practical, you got left with only a minor upgrade a couple days ago – to a computer with a 4 year old design.

Well done, Apple assholes.

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Killer Stuff: Tiny Mobile Phone Macro Lens

And now for the coolest thing I’ve seen all day: Look at these:

Look like they came from a sick macro camera setup huh?  Correct.  But I bet you have no idea just how sick….

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Killer Sound in a Small Package: Klipsch S4i Earphones

Last night a friend asked me to recommend him some good in-ear earphones, saying:
“I want WAY better than iPhone, I don’t even consider those headphones.”  And a fair point he has.  While I am an iPhone user, and my friend and I both Mac users, those white earbuds sound crappy, don’t isolate noise, requiring them to be cranked up quite high, and the control buttons are glitchy as hell.  Plus do you want to look like everyone else with that tell-tale white cable coming down from your ears?  I certainly don’t.

I happily recommended the Klipsch S4i to my friend, the product I’ve been using for about two years now.

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Killer Stuff: Manual Focus and Canon DSLRs

I’m not a serious photographer, but I strongly endorse having a proper camera.  Ever want to take a picture of a castle in the distance only to have your point-and-shoot, or worse, cameraphone, focus in on the garish and embarrassing fanny-packed American tourists in the foreground, leaving your precious castle a blurry mess?  I have.  It sucks.

This can all be fixed with a little something called MANUAL FOCUS.  While you don’t need an SLR, let alone a Canon DSLR to have manual focus, you typically need something more expensive than your $150 quicky-clicky contraption.  Over here, we don’t stand by the belief that expensive is necessarily better, but we are strong supporters of buying legit stuff that works really well and will last, and just sometimes that costs more.

That being said, unless you’re still stuck in the twentieth century (or indeed the nineteenth, as some of my friends are) or miserably broke, your phone probably has a decent enough camera on it for casual snaps.  Did your friend not believe you and then take the Cinnamon Challenge, and then fail spectacularly, coughing clouds of cinnamon up into the air for the next ten minutes?*  By all means, use your phone to record the hilarity.

But sometimes you want really outstanding pictures, and a phone isn’t really sufficient, even it’s one of those newfangled 8 Megapixel ones.  While a point and shoot camera can take great pictures, your chances of photographic awesomeness are higher with a camera over which you have complete control of every aspect, such as a DSLR.  Canon is unquestionably the market leader, and I have one of their T1i models, and although it’s “entry-level” it’s Killer Stuff compared to my Canon point-and-shoot.  Nowadays, models such as that can be had used for around $500, and less on Craigslist, which in my book is a valuable investment.  Given the state of phones today, you can probably forget the point-and-shoot and just stick to your phone for quick snaps and your SLR for everything else.

* This happened a few days ago and was brilliantly amusing.  I recommend you convince your more easily-convincible friends to try it, and then enjoy about half an hour of solid laughter.