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ExtraBITS for 15-Dec-08

Camera Works Series Exposes Digital Photography — Frequent TidBITS contributor Derek K. Miller has been writing an engaging Camera Works series on his Penmachine blog that explains the important things to know about digital photography, such as crop factor on lenses built for digital cameras, how a rolling shutter works, and more. (Posted 2008-12-13)

Apple Reorganizes iPhone App Store — Frequent App Store visitors will notice that Apple has recently reorganized things a bit. The main change is the addition of Top Free App and Top Paid App lists for every available category in the store. (Posted 2008-12-12)

Adam Discusses the TidBITS Gift Guide on Your Mac Life — To hear more about the 2008 TidBITS Gift Guide – why certain products made it, why others didn’t, and more – click through to listen to Adam and Shawn King on this week’s Your Mac Life Show. Also bandied about: the upcoming Macworld Expo in San Francisco. (Posted 2008-12-11)

AT&T Sells iPhone Online for New Lines, New Customers — You can now avoid an in-store visit at an Apple or AT&T Store to buy an iPhone 3G – so long as you’re adding a line to an existing account or are a new AT&T customer. You can purchase an iPhone online and activate it at home. For those with existing phones (a first-generation iPhone or otherwise) who want to convert service, you have to visit a store. (Posted 2008-12-11)

The Trouble with Mr. Stephen Fry — Listen: I don’t go to novelist, comedian, actor, and director Stephen Fry’s house and perform spot-on period interpretations of Oscar Wilde, nor, I might add, do I bombard him with screen adaptations of the works of Evelyn Waugh. So why, I must ask, does Mr. Fry persist in being all the things that he is so marvelous at – and a bloody interesting writer on things technological, such as this look at current smartphones, too? (Posted 2008-12-10)

T-Mobile G1 Can’t Prevent Apps from Chugging Expensive Data — The T-Mobile G1 running the Android OS can’t keep applications from downloading data even when a user has turned off the data roaming option, useful for avoiding heavy charges when traveling outside one’s home country. Individual applications can override this setting without warning; you’re only informed of this when a program is downloaded from the Android Market. Engadget has more. (Posted 2008-12-10)

Printerville Reviews the Epson Stylus Pro 3800 — Veteran Mac expert Rick LePage reviews the Epson Stylus Pro 3800 at his site Printerville. If you’re a photographer who prints his or her own photos (rather than sending them to a print service), the 3800 is an impressive inkjet printer. Equally impressive these days is a site like Printerville that takes the time to thoroughly review these types of expensive niche products that professionals rely on to make their livings. (Posted 2008-12-09)

Comparison of Google’s CalDAV and BusySync — John Chaffee of BusyMac has posted a detailed comparison of how Google’s official CalDAV support for syncing events with iCal compares with his company’s BusySync utility. BusySync isn’t free, but as with so many things, you get what you pay for. (Posted 2008-12-09)

Deep Green Chess Program Released for iPhone — John Gruber reviews Deep Green, a chess program for the iPhone and iPod touch that started life a decade ago on the Newton. The new version was rewritten from scratch by its developer, Joachim Bondo, but Gruber writes it has “the same attention to detail, graphics, simplicity, and fun that marked the Newton version.” (Posted 2008-12-09)

Why Cheap iPhone Apps Can Be a Problem — iPhone developer Craig Hockenberry (Twitterrific and Frenzic) works through the math of why it’s a problem that developers need to lower prices to get favorable placement in the App Store. One possible solution: trial versions. (Posted 2008-12-09)

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