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Archived posts: December 2012

Flickr’s new iPhone App

Well, it’s been a longtime coming, but Flickr have finally pulled a decent iPhone app out of the bag, and it’s looking Instagram square in the face.

It combines Flickr’s great sharing & viewing functionality with a fairly solid camera application (following hot on Twitter’s heels, using the SDK from the folks at Aviary).

It shoots at full iPhone size (2448 x 3264 pixels on the iPhone 5′s main camera, above; 960 x 1280 pixels on the front facing camera, below).

Before you take the shot, you can take a light reading from one place, and focus on another (drag your fingers apart on your phone’s screen to do that), set a background grid to straighten your shot, and zoom in (though that’s an artificial zoom, you’re really just cropping into the pixels).

Once you’ve taken your shot, before it’s saved, the app lets you play around with some admittedly rather arbitrarily named filters, as well as make various adjustments: cropping, brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness. You can also add some very basic text, do some basic drawing, add brightness and fix blemishes. All of that while keeping the image at full size (though you can set it to be smaller in the settings if you want).

Once you’re done editing, you upload the image (it only saves to the camera roll at this point, which speeds things up, but can lead to you thinking you’ve saved a shot that you haven’t).

You can upload directly to Flickr of course, with all your tags in place, and send it to all the Groups and Sets you fancy at the same time. Rather neatly, at the same time as it loads to Flickr, you can send the image to Twitter (works well on the native app, but not at all on a third party app like TweetDeck) and Facebook (the images are hi-res, and dumped into a Flickr Photos album on your page).

Once you’ve finished shooting, you can do all the browsing you’d expect too – that’s Alistair’s Signs and lettering set below.

Good work Flickr.

God’s Own Junkyard

We nipped into Chris Bracey’s God’s Own Junkyard in Soho yesterday – what a treasure trove!

Bracey creates neon signage for fashion and film, and the exhibition / pop-up shop collects together a stunning mix of his work as well as some found signs, old movie props, and other bits and bobs. He started making signs in Soho back in the 70s (his work feels entirely at home on Beak Street) and he’s since worked with the likes of David Lachapelle and Martin Creed, Tim Burton and Stanley Kubrick. Not a bad client list.

God’s Own Junkyard is at Circus of Soho, 47 Beak St, London W1 until the end of January.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia’s great isn’t it?

How many of its articles do you think you’ve looked at on it this year? 50? 100? More perhaps?

Wikipedia runs no advertising, and receives no government funds. As its founder Jimmy Wales has said “When I founded Wikipedia, I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but decided to do something different. Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn’t belong here.”

Since its foundation, it has expanded massively. It’s the 5th most used site on the planet, with 23 million articles, more than 4.1 million of them in English (Wikipedia is available in 285 languages, the largest being English, then German, French, Dutch and Italian).

The site is currently doing a donation drive. (As it says on their homepage, if everyone who saw the request for donations on their homepage gave the price of a cup of coffee, their fundraiser would be done within an hour.)

Anyone (barring places where it’s censored) can find a vast depth of information, entirely for free. It’s a staggering, glowing example of how volunteers can work together using the internet for the betterment of society.

We reckon that’s worth the price of a cup of coffee.