Monday, September 24, 2012

There's No Business Like Soul Business

Rioters in Greece protesting against the video "Innocence Of Muslims"

In the wake of the recent worldwide riots in the Muslim world, I have been scrutinizing the power and the influence that media has in our modern global society. That one poorly produced and badly done video can have this much impact, is a very blatant warning to all of us. We must all start becoming more responsible and conscious about what we create and spread to the general public. Because any material or information we disseminate publicly, can now have worldwide repercussions in this current global information age-- that can result in mass violence and chaos. Freedom of speech is one thing, abuse of individual rights is another. Intentions are secondary to this issue, because even if the intention was innocent at the inception, the resulting misinterpretation can be fatal. Is "sorry" enough for lives lost? If we are adamant about our rights to free speech (and expression), then we should also have the decency to use it responsibly.
Actor/Filmmaker/Broadcaster Orson Welles doing "The War Of The Worlds"
Something similar (but in a much smaller scale) happened in 1938, when Orson Welles dramatized H.G.Well's novel,"The War of the Worlds." Some listeners only heard a portion of the broadcast and mistook the radio play for a real full-scale invasion of Earth by Martians. It may sound silly in hindsight, but with the tension of World War II looming, panic ensued-- with people across the Northeastern United States and Canada fleeing their homes. That was just the radio, now we have TV, cable TV, the internet with its social networks and mobile device access in the hands of billions of people around the world. Social responsibility and culpability regarding public media must become the social and cultural norm (a part of our generally accepted etiquette and manners). 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

6th Generation iPhone - iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 is slightly bigger than its predecessors

The sixth generation iPhone was just unveiled several hours ago. Dubbed the iPhone 5, it is actually the 6th iPhone down the line from the 1st model.

As expected, Apple upgraded its most popular product inside out. While it retains its shape and general cosmetic appearance, the iPhone 5 is actually slightly longer and thinner than the 4s and now has an anodized aluminum back (same material used in Apple's notebooks). IPhone 5's new length accomodates its 4 inch (diagonal) widescreen fingerprint-resistant display with 1136-by-640-pixel resolution. The headphone jack has also been relocated to the bottom, beside the built-in speaker and the more durable "lightning connector" (w/c replaces the older 30-pin connector from previous models).

The new phone is 4G LTE capable and supports advanced networks such as HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. It has Dual-band 802.11n wi-fi connectivity for faster browsing and downloads, up to 150 mbps. The new A6 chip offers better graphic performance and is more efficient, twice as fast as the A5 chip in the 4s.  The camera in the iPhone 5 remains at 8 megapixels with essentially the same hardware specs, but has better low-light performance (2 stops better), improved noise-reduction and improved video image-stabilization. It also has a new panorama feature - with one smooth motion you can shoot 240 degree high-resolution panoramas, up to 28 megapixels.

For details on the iPhone 5's features go to:

Would I upgrade? I probably would, since I have upgraded from every version of the phone since its inception. But I am in no hurry. I am happy with my current 4s model and the features on the new iPhone 5 can wait until after the Christmas rush is over.

--image from

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Celebrities And Their Cameras

Celebrities are normally found in front of the camera.  But in this collection of celebrity photographs I collected from the internet, we see them behind the camera-- being photographers themselves.  I thought it would be interesting to put these pictures together in one exhibit.  There seems to be a personality fit in their choice of camera formats and brands.  What do you think?
Large Format for Angelina Jolie 
Canon DSLR for Madonna
Classic Nikon for Kristen Stewart 
Avril Lavigne likes Canon
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck horsing around with a Hasselblad

James Dean and his Rollei TLR 

Denzel Washington using a classic 8mm movie camera
Julia Roberts uses film in her Leica
Brad Pitt likes using a classic Leica