Sunday, May 31, 2020

Autofocus Glasses: A new way to see, coming to an optician near you

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Back in December was feeling pleased with myself after being advised to get a paid of "computer glasses". Up to then I had been happily using my varifocal glasses for everything. I didn't think anything of it until I realised I was getting neck and back problems while working at the iMac on the office desk.

Steam-powered iPhone charger

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180px-Stephenson's_Rocket Despite my love of the latest gadgets, I do have a soft spot for old mechanical contraptions such as typewriters, trams, cars and, of course, steam engines. So I am grateful to Engadget for news of the latest development in USB-charging power. An enterprising mechanic has harnessed a small steam engine to a generator in order to produce enough power to charge and run any device that can take a USB feed--including our beloved iPhone. Now this is much more fun than simply plugging the thing into the wall socket. It makes a lovely noise and you really get all the visual and audible clues that your device is being charged.


As Engadget says, this could be yet another example steampunk. There has been a recent revival in the construction of fantasy machines which look like Victorian science fiction but often contain modern equipment. An example would be a Mac Mini hidden inside a fantastic re-creation of Charles Babbage's difference engine. 

I rather fancy a replica of Stephenson's Rocket in my garage, powered up to provide light and heat. What a wonderful concept! Come to think of it, that steam USB charger isn't as daft as it sounds. All you need is a drop of paraffin and you have enough power to charge a phone. When all else fails, this could be the answer.

Leica M-A: The thinking man’s film camera

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When I heard about the new M-A (the M-Analog according to Dr. Kaufmann) I was not so sure it would be popular. Wouldn't most film fans prefer the MP with its built in light meter or, even, the automatic M7?

William Hannah’s new pen case and notebook fastener

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William Hannah's leather-bound loose-leaf notebooks are the best. But that's just my opinion. Now you can add an elastic fastener and a colour-matching leather pencase. It makes a perfect Christmas present.

Leica T: More leaks and a look at the competition

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Next week Leica will launch a new product, if not a complete product range. Rumour has it that we will see...

Now we are ten: Happy birthday, Leica M9 and X1

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This week sees the 10th birthday of the Leica M9 — and let's not forget the little X1 which, in its way, made a big impression

Hasselblad’s Lunar available at $5,500 discount. Is it worth $1,500?

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There’s discounts and there’s discounts. But B&H Photo’s whopping $5,500 off the egregious Hasselblad Lunar(tic) is pretty stunning. I have no...

Photokina 2016: Welcome to press day

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Mike sets out for Cologne and Photokina, travelling by train unusually, and choosing a lighter weight camera set up than he had intended.

Street Photography: Events where everybody just loves to be snapped

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If you want to try your hand at street photography there is no better place to start than an event, especially...

Leica M-P the buffer slayer

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The interesting thing about the new and certainly predictable Leica M-P is not the sapphire screen, nor the ultra-discreet appearance. No, it is the additional features that address two of the known criticisms of the M since it was introduced in 2012. The buffer was too small, at 1GB, and even in normal operations there was sometimes a significant delay while files were written to disk. M connoisseurs will see this as a major improvement.