Category Archives: Reviews

Galaxy S8 – The Little Things

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The screen of the Galaxy S8 is BIG, but as “they” sometimes say, it is the little things that matter.  I don’t know how true that is in all situations, but I’m discovering that it is certainly applicable to mobile technology.

When I moved over to Android and Samsung, from Windows Mobile, I knew about the big stuff that would be different, like the availability of more apps that were part of the “app gap” on Windows.  More important to me are some of the little things.  These first two features and things that I had requested on Windows for many years.  They are small things, but they matter to me.

Today’s double dose of small things are sponsored by the letter “C”.   I use my phone for a lot of things, but two areas that are mission critical in the JDE, are COMMUNICATION and CREATIVITY.  See, the “C” connection happening?   Read the rest of this entry

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In A Galaxy S8 Near/Far/Pan Focus Away

I have had my Galaxy for about a week. In that time,  I have played with the camera,  quite a bit. One of my favorite features is Selective Focus. It will take a single photo and allow you to change the focus. To do this you need to select Selective Focus from the camera menu. 

What happens,  is that the camera simultaneously takes multiple photos and gives you these options for effect. You get an option to choose the closest item as a near focus, or the background as a far focus,  or a pan focus,  which puts everything in focus. The editing screen for making that selection looks like this:

So, while the feature is not exactly the same as the dual camera Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7, the flexibility of the multi-frame approach does provide creative options for the photographer. 

Here are some shots with Selective Focus. 

Having the option to change your mind is a convenient and useful feature. Which focus do you prefer? 
Here you see that it works on the front facing camera, as well. 

Do I share my focus with the Beverly Hills sign or not? I can decide that later, with Selective Focus. 

Finally, it works with the front camera in low light. Craziness… 

After a Spinning workout at RPM Fitness Studio

There are limitations to selective focus. The dual camera option on the iPhone 7 lets you do these things from a distance where the Galaxy S8 needs the subject to be relatively close to the phone. For most of what I do this is not a deal-breaker but it would be awesome to combine both approaches and maybe Samsung has that a in mind for the Note 8. Of course, Apple surely has some tricks up its leaves with the upcoming iPhone 8. For now, the Galaxy S8 was the best option for me to choose. What do you think?

Please note, that I wrote a majority of this blog with voice to text on my phone. I think this mobile thing is here to stay and make us even more productive.

Have an apple! 😊 

My DalyDose of Eclectic Tunes

wp_ss_20141122_0001Like for a lot of people, music is a big part of my life.  Living in West Hollywood, I walk a lot errands, so I have the headphones in.  I workout to music.  I teach Spinning class to music.  I seem to cook and clean with a soundtrack playing to make chores bearable.  I fall asleep to the Songza “Classical for Sleeping” channel.  I’m not a music snob. I listen to the popular stuff, but I crave variety and I love when artists redefine themselves or their genre.  I’m not loyal to the genre paradigm; I just love passionate and artistic expression.

OK, now that my rant is over, I’m going to pull some things from my current playlists that you may or may not be familiar with.  These aren’t all “new”, but they are current in the JDE Soundtrack!

Enjoy!

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Tap That – My Tap To Pay Experience

JD Money AppIt has been promised for years, but today actually having a wallet in one’s phone is now a real option.   The media’s love affair with all things Apple has made Apple Pay very visible in the headlines.  Outside of the orchard, there are phones that, for years, have had the proper hardware, NFC (Near Field Communications) to get job done.

How does all of this work in the real world? Does it work at all?  Is this all worth it?  I will attempt to answer those questions, with first hand experience.  I setup my Windows Phone powered Lumia 1020 and…well…no spoilers.  Read on to see how it all turned out.

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Apps That I’ve Been Playing With on my Lumia

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It’s no secret that I rock Windows Phone.  Currently, in the form of a Lumia 1020.  The media loves to badmouth the platform as having “no apps”.  Even owners of Windows Phone jump in when the app they want isn’t available.  While there is some truth to that, there are also lots of really great apps and I’d like to showcase some of them here.  Don’t worry if you’re stuck on Android and iOS, some of these are available to you, as well.

So read on to see what apps that I’m using that you might not be using.

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JD Reacts to 4D!

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I had the fortune of being invited to see a movie in 4D Motion Effects.  Yeah, that sounds a full 6 syllables of impressive.   What is 4D Motion Effects? Is it really that amazing?

Well, check out my post-screening reaction below and then read along for some more thoughts and information about where you can experience this yourself  in Southern California.  Hint: You can pick up a load of fresh strawberries while you’re there.

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Just PROSHOWing Off Some Fave Lumia 1020 Pictures

The Nokia Lumia devices are not just all work, although you can see the good work that can be done with these phones in my last post.  No, today I discovered the ProShow app for making slideshow videos out of you still pictures.  Here’s my first one!

Some notes:

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2 Lumias + TapShoot App = Better Selfies

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If you’re like me, then you too are your own favorite model.  You not only have the looks and camera presence, but there’s an amazing relationship between photographer and subject.  These can be key ingredients for the magic to happen in the lens.  Look at the magic right here, that I caught during ‘Movember.  Don’t worry, the stache is stashed away now.

There are challenges to getting a great selfie.  It takes more that mere aesthetic prowess.  You can stick your arm out and generally aim in the right direction, but you’re better than that. Our beautiful faces deserve perfect framing, not a guess.  You can also use the front facing camera, but please.  You can’t entrust the capture of your image, your personality and your self-important brand, to inferior megapixels.  There has to be a better way, right “me”?  You guessed it “myself”.  Hey “I”, show the good people our secret to better selfies.

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My MOvember in PureView

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If you’ve been following along, lately I’ve been highlighting my experiences with the Nokia Lumia 1020.  I’ve been so enamored with the device that I almost forgot about Movember.  Movember is a time that not only gives men the excuse to grow a ‘stache, but it also promotes men’s health awareness as it pertains to different kinds of cancer.  That’s a good looking bit of exposure for a good cause, huh?  I thought so too.

I had grown my facial hair for a character in another video project and I decided to cut it off except for the moustache.  I also documented the whole things with the Lumia. See, I can multi-task, especially when both tasks are filled with insane amounts of goodness.  OK, Let’s expose My MOvember!

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Lumia 1020 on Roids

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This modern piece of photographic genius is capable of taking amazing pictures.  I was thinking that there had to be more. With the fad of InstaGrime, it appears that “more” is actually “less” and retro.

I took the plunge and put the Lumia on ‘roid…as in Polaroid.  Obviously, this was via an app and this app is called APict.

Let’s dig in and see a couple of examples.

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