I have a new blog! And a contest!

iPad Darkroom Icons Header (480px)

Over the last little while you may have noticed I’ve become a bit iPad centric. To be specific, I’ve been exploring using the iPad as a portable, digital darkroom.

Yes, the iPad doesn’t have a camera (for now, maybe in version 2?), but that shouldn’t stop us from using it to manipulate images imported into the iPad.

A few of my Future Shop posts have explored this concept, most recently this series I’ve started on digital darkroom workflow.

But there’s so much stuff to talk about that I thought it deserved it’s own blog. And now it does:

iPad Darkroom Logo

iPad Darkroom is a place where I’ll start sharing information on Apps, Tools and Technique for using your iPad as a core component of digital photography.

I hope you take a look around, it’s still quite new and a little rough in spots — that’ll be fixed up in the coming days.

And do feel free to leave your thoughts, here or on the blog itself.

Oh, I almost forgot. To really kick the blog off with a bang, I thought I’d have another blog contest — with the help from my good friends over at MacPhun.

All the details on the contest are, of course, over at iPad Darkroom. So go! Enter the contest, and let me know what you think!

5 days left to win a webOS 2.0 powered Palm Pre 2 phone!

Well then, think there’s enough relevant keywords in that post title? 😀

Good, because I really do want to make sure this little phone goes to a good home.

WebOS2 is a funky little OS, and hardware running it is very slick. So why not take a chance and enter the contest — who knows, you could soon be in a position to welcome this little guy into your digital lifestyle.

Here’s how to enter:

1) Fol­low me (@bgrier) on Twit­ter
2) Tweet once (one ping only please) the fol­low­ing:

Just entered to win a Palm Pre 2.
Fol­low @bgrier and retweet this tweet to enter
http://g1z.me/fJzl5c #WinAPalmPre2

And there you go. It’s simple. Fol­low me, tweet once and you’re entered to win the Palm Pre 2.

This con­test will run until mid­night, Feb­ru­ary 11th, 2011, MST , after which I’ll ran­domly select the winner.

Good Luck!

Hardware helps information be free

i1_300.jpgInformation wants to be free, an interesting phrase summing up the concept that technology has the potential to be liberating, rather than oppressing. It was first used in the 1960’s and attributed to the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog.

Today, that phrase is often used to support open file sharing activities. And recently I found two hardware projects that facilitate the ‘freeing of information’.
i3_300.jpg

Dead Drop
This one hit the news in October of last year. Basically a USB stick stuck in a wall. Hook up your device to it, and check out the contents.

I am ‘injecting’ USB flash drives into walls, buildings and curbs accessible to anybody in public space. You are invited to go to these places (so far 5 in NYC) to drop or find files on a dead drop. Plug your laptop to a wall, house or pole to share your favorite files and data. Each dead drop contains a readme.txt file explaining the project.

i2_300.jpg


Pirate Box

This one is new. It’s a server, router, and batteries in a portable box.

Using the PirateBox is easy. Simply turn it on and transform any space into a free file sharing network. Users within range of the device can join the PirateBox open wireless network from any wifi-enabled device and begin uploading or downloading files immediately.

Usages
Aside from the obvious, popular, and questionable sharing of copyrighted software or media, how else could these be used? Here’s how.

Let’s say I’m in a moderately popular indiband and I’m looking for ways to get the band in the news, and get our music heard.

i4_300.jpgWhat better, and inexpensive way than to install dead drops (loaded with our band’s tunes, natch) around the major cities that I’m interested in targeting.

Then ‘leak’ the word to our fanbase, tech blogs, boing-boing, and our name is in the news, and our tunes are getting heard.

Or I’m an author and use the Pirate Box to serve out copies of my books to people attending my Book Signing or speaking events.

Or I’m a citizen in a country where the news media is controlled by the state… yes, you can see the potential.

It’s cool to see this kind of tech being developed. The potential uses and real-world impact are as vast as the imagination, beyond sharing the latest Justin Bieber tune to my friends.
[ad#Future Shop Post Attribution]

I’m giving away a Palm Pre 2

Time for another Lifestyle Technology giveaway contest — and this time the prize is one very cool Palm Pre 2 and a few accessories, worth around $500.00. 😀

Over the last few weeks I’ve had a chance to put the Palm Pre 2 through it’s paces and found it to be a solid smartphone.

And now, you have a chance to win your own, here’s how:

1) Follow me (@bgrier) on Twitter
2) Tweet once (one ping only please) the following:

Just entered to win a Palm Pre 2.
Follow @bgrier and retweet this tweet to enter
http://g1z.me/fJzl5c #WinAPalmPre2

Simple. Follow me, tweet once and you’re entered to win the Palm Pre 2.

This contest will run until midnight, February 11th, 2011, MST , after which I’ll randomly select the winner.

Bon Chance!

Two words I thought I’d never see together: Library & Groupon

I must say I’m rather proud of the Edmonton Public Library — my local library. They were one of the first in Canada to:

  • offer free Wi-Fi to members,
  • jump into social media,
  • equip branches with self-checkout barscanners and RFID chip automated checkin,
  • allow online holds and media reservations,
  • create a mobile library app,
  • offer digital delivery of ‘loaned’ material.

And now they’re taking advantage of Groupon to offer discounts on membership renewals.

ScreenShot_500.jpg

dealdeets.jpgThis last initiative is just another step the library is taking to remain relevant, and stimulate membership by ‘being where the users are’, while magazines, newspapers and other forms of traditional media are being challenged by mobile internet technologies.

At the close of the offer, it looks like just under two thousand people bought in to the concept and bought $6.00 library cards — a steal, actually for all the services offered.

But mine can’t be the only forward-thinking library in Canada…got an example of your public library embracing tech? Write about it in the comments!

[ad#Future Shop Post Attribution]