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So long, and thanks for all the fish

dolphins

After three years, 52 Tiger is closing its doors.

Here’s a big thanks to all my sponsors and readers. I appreciate your support. It was fun writing for you all these years. From today on, I’ll be focusing my professional efforts on my job at TUAW. It will actually feel good to be down to one job again, especially now that I can abandon the guilt of not giving 52 Tiger the time and attention that it deserved.

This site will no longer be updated, but I’ll leave its content up for you to browse. If you want to read  my casual, more personal blog, I invite you to do so.

Thanks again, everyone. It was fun. Bye, now.

Travel iPhoneography: Giovinazzo’s Port, Italy

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Nicola Losito shares this great shot of Giovinazzo’s port in south eastern Italy. Taken with an iPhone 4.

Travel iPhoneography is a weekly series of photos of our beautiful world, taken with an iPhone. If you have one you’d like to share, let me know at [comments at 52tiger dot net]. I’d love to feature it.

Introducing Fanny Pack Mafia

For over a thousand generations blogs were fun, personal hangouts on the Old Internet. Before niche markets. Before ROI. Before pageviews. Before the dark times.

Last night I found the remains of a blog I was in love with about 13 years ago. It was a lot of fun reading those old posts and remembering how personal, casual and how much like a conversation blogging used to be. There was no niche to fill, quota to make or editorial calendar to prostrate yourself to. It was fun.

I miss that fun. I miss the spontaneity of “I gotta blog this.” So, It decided to be a little proactive about it.

Meet Fanny Pack Mafia. My new personal weblog. It’s about whatever comes into my mind at any point in the day or night. Comments are open. There’s no agenda or posting schedule  There’s no Twitter account or Facebook page. It’s me talking out loud. Take off your shoes and relax. Sit down. Blogging can be fun.

Why “Fanny Pack Mafia?” It was the dumbest thing I could think of.

Travel iPhoneography: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Randolph West shares this great photo if the iconic Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Shot with an iPhone 5.

Travel iPhoneography is a weekly series of photos of our beautiful world, taken with an iPhone. If you have one you’d like to share, let me know at [comments at 52tiger dot net]. I’d love to feature it.

Newsstand can be placed in a folder in iOS 7

newsstandinafolder

Well, look at that. Newsstand can be placed in a folder in iOS 7. No more hacky hacks that break things.

Traveling with Pizza Compass for iPhone

pizzacompassappThere are seventy-four pizza chains in the US. That’s not individual stores, just franchises. And, I suspect, that number is nothing compared to all of the mom-and-pop shops across the country. So it should be easy to find a slice when you’re out of town, right?

Well, not always. Not a good one at least. That’s a problem that Pizza Compass for iPhone ($0.99) exists to solve. Just launch the app and it finds the nearest pizza place and points you to it.

Hold on. Pizza Compass won’t subject you the dump that the locals avoid. You can check each suggestion for Forsquare reviews. Or, if you’re feeling lucky, give the compass a spin at let it pick a stop for you.

I was recently out of town and hungry, so I decided to give Pizza Compass a try. Here’s how it went.

After a few hours of driving around, I had that hunger that only artery-clogging, life-shortening cheese and grease would satisfy. I pulled the car over and launched Pizza Compass, which pointed me towards Upper Crust Pizza. The reviews seemed largely positive, except for Cozzie D.’s stern warning:

“If you don’t like black olives, I recommend not getting the Greek salad.”

Done and done, Cozzie D.

Armed with the details of 44 Foursquare reviews and app-supplied driving directions, I drove to Upper Crust Pizza, despite the hoity-toity name.

It looked nice enough and the staff was friendly. I placed an order.

ucp

As you know, any disgusting pizza can be masked with toppings. In fact, if you ever see a cheese-stuffed crust…that’s an apology. That’s the cook saying, “Our pizza sucks. We know it. As an apology, we’ve crammed the crust with cheese.” Avoid those places.

I ordered a small cheese and sat down. As I waited, I shot this compelling Vine video.

At last it arrived! I lifted the glistening, greasy cardboard lid to reveal the cheesy goodness within!

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Partial foul for that glob of migratory cheese on the left, but that was my only complaint! I’m happy to say that Pizza Compass did steer me in the right direction. Well done, little app. You’ve earned a spot in my travel folder.

The iPhone Traveler Pt. 10: Shoot and edit vacation video with an iPhone

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I use Apple’s own camera app, simply called Camera, for shooting video with my iPhone. It does everything I want and is easily accessible from the iPhone’s lock screen (via iOS 5.x). Here’s what I love about shooting video with Camera.

First, it shoots HD video (720p on the iPhone 4, 1080p on the iPhone 4S and 5). Image stabilization goes a long way towards reducing the shakiness of hand-held shots and cropping lets me to perform minor edits before sharing with iMovie on my Mac or iPhone. To shoot some video with the Camera app, follow these steps:

  1. Tap Camera to launch it.
  2. Move the slider in the lower right-hand corner to select video (slide it to the right).
  3. The “shutter button” in the center acquires a red status indicator light. Frame your shot and tap the shutter button to begin recording video.
  4. The red button blinks during recording and a time stamp appears in the upper right-hand corner.
  5. When you’re finished, tap the shutter button again. The red light stops blinking and the video file “jumps” into the camera roll.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind while shooting video with your iPhone. First, It’s almost always better to shoot in landscape orientation (iPhone on its side) than portrait. The main reason is the aspect ratio will look much better on your TV, as you’ll be able to avoid large “black bars” on either side of your video.

You can record video with either the forward-facing camera or the rear-facing camera. You cannot switch while you’re shooting, so make your choice before you begin. Also, there’s no way to zoom in or out while recording, so frame the shot you want first.

Apple has added a nice feature by letting you use the volume up button as the shutter button. Hold your camera on the landscape orientation so that the volume buttons are on top. Tap the volume up button to begin recording (it resembles a “+”) and again to stop. This is feels much more natural than reaching for the software shutter button on your iPhone’s screen. Lastly, you can view your video quickly by simply swiping to the right. The Camera app will slide away and you’ll go right to the camera roll. That’s much easier than exiting Camera and tapping Photos.

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DODOnotes giveaway

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I have been a DODOcase customer since the original iPad was released in the US. I love these great-looking, high-quality cases. In fact, my first DODOcase actually saved my iPad’s life. 1 If you read the site, you know that I also love paper. That’s why I think DODOcase’s latest product, DODOnotes, is so cool.

It combines a gorgeous case with a handy, nice-looking notebook of Mohawk Superfine Paper. I have one and can tell you that it’s quite nice.

I also have one for you.

It’s a black model, made for an iPhone 5, with the notebook included. I’m sure you’re going to love it. To enter the giveaway contest, complete the form below. Here are the rules:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before June 6, 2013 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected and will receive a black DODOnotes case and notebook for the iPhone 5 valued at US$13.95.

  1. Note that the DODOcase is not an impact case. A healthy dose of luck was also in play here.

Travel iPhoneography: Machu Picchu, Peru

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Jamie Dassoulas shares this beautiful photo overlooking Machu Picchu, Peru. Shot with an iPhone 4S.

Travel iPhoneography is a weekly series of photos of our beautiful world, taken with an iPhone. If you have one you’d like to share, let me know at [comments at 52tiger dot net]. I’d love to feature it.

Evernote as all-around travel companion

hawaiiiphoneevernoteThis is a guest post by Brett Kelly, the man behind Bridging the Nerd Gap and author of Evernote Essentials

I realize it’s de rigeur to squawk about how taking photos of important or memorable things is the kind of thing an idiot does instead of “taking in the moment” or “actually being present,” but I’m a pretty firm believer in taking photos of cool things I see and experience when traveling. Perhaps that makes me a philistine, but whatever.

It won’t surprise those who know me to find out that the vast majority of my spiffy travel memories begin their lives in Evernote. Truthfully, most of them never leave.

Sure, Evernote lends itself nicely to organizing travel-related documents—flight and hotel confirmations and the like—and it’s hard to argue that having all such minutiae tucked away inside your smart phone does help one breathe a little easier when trying to herd cats travel with small children.

But the memory capture thing is, if you ask me, a far more compelling Evernote use case for itinerant iPhone operators. If you’ll allow me to present my case…

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