How an iPad can become a practical PC

Much controversy has resulted from Tim Cook saying, after the original iPad Pro was released: “I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?”

I’m not going to rehash what was said about it - for one thing in many ways I’ve been on Mr. Cook’s side, as have been Apple customers, who have consistently bought more iPads than Macs.

There are however some clear needs to improve the iPad, to greatly lessen the blowback and make it more practical for many users other than very specific professionals like software developers, people in need of huge screens, etc.

My proposal: improve professional/dedicated amateur photography use. The iPad Pro already has a huge step forward in that area: the amazing precision of the color screen, Apple Pencil, a new maximum 512GB storage capacity for a large number of photos when on a trip, CPU/GPU rivaling many laptops including the current MacBook. But software continues to have problems. Two basic ones:

First:

Ability to import new photos directly to available third party apps (Lightroom, Pixelmator, etc.). Currently attaching an SD or CF cards or a DSLR camera directly via USB/Apple’s USB to Lightning adaptor forces you to first import the photos directly to Apple’s Photos app, before you then transfer them to a different app. Besides the extra time, effort and space being wasted, for a traveling photographer this can be a huge problem.

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Many photographers will shoot thousands of photos on a single trip if not a single day. But if traveling abroad they are often away from working WiFi or certainly one capable of transferring to iCloud thousands of photos, which the Photos app normally does. Their best bet is to have purchased a local SIM card for their iPad. But even under the absolute best circumstances, like in Italy where you can get a 30GB SIM for 30€, you can use it all up with a couple of days worth of photos being uploaded to iCloud. Never mind videos. What if no longer in a major city where one could get another great SIM card, never mind in a country where such a gem simply doesn’t exist? All of this amounts to either using a MacBook where you can import to the photo app of your choice or to not import your CF/SD cards until you return to your home country (at which point you would probably be doing it to a Mac or PC anyway).

Second:

iPads are a fantastic way for photographers to exhibit their past work. Unfortunately if you are away from fast, reliable WiFi you need to store them in full resolution on your iPad, and the easiest way no longer exists - iCloud Photo Sharing with yourself. That was an amazingly good, fast, reliable way of doing it, until iOS 7 or 8(?) Apple decided for “your storage space benefit” to store most photos offline and you to download them every time you are showing them. This is a non-starter for a pro photographer showing photos to a potential client, waiting for them to painfully slowly download. To top it off, there is a limit of 100 active iCloud photo shares, which is insufficient and greater capacity is not available for people who are more than happy to pay. Third party options don’t exist either. Flickr based albums are an obvious choice, but here to there is no way to download your albums permanently into their app.

I am all for ways to spare regular users from constantly running out of space, but having options to in Settings to open up your iPad for what is truly necessary should exist.

I am sure that there are ton of other similar stories that can be told by people in multitudes of different professions - the iPad would be fantastic but for a couple of fatal obstacles.

Miles Ahead

written, directed by and starring Don Cheadle

 

What has to be the most original, wildly exiting and best made “biopic” or if you prefer, fiction based on a real person is the currently released Miles Ahead - Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis film.

 My photo of Don Cheadle at NYFF

My photo of Don Cheadle at NYFF

 

It is easy to compare it positively against similar works like the also good, also running now “Born to be Blue” but in fact Miles Ahead is so good it was the most exiting screening at the very good 2015 New York Film Festival.

 My photo of Ewan McGregor at NYFF

My photo of Ewan McGregor at NYFF

 

Everything about from it how original it is, to how well it was directed to all its performances including Don Cheadle, Emayatzy Corinealdi and Ewan McGregor makes it worth tuning not walking to see.  Currently it is playing in New York and Los Angeles.

 My photo of Emayatzy Corinealdi at NYFF

My photo of Emayatzy Corinealdi at NYFF

50 Shades of Bad Reviews

Time to start treating female fantasies equally to the male ones

 

It took a couple of days to realize how unreasonable the derision of the recently released, and stunningly successful female movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” and the completely different view awarded to male equivalents such as the “Batman” movies.

 Batman movie from 1966

Batman movie from 1966


The otherwise fine critic, NY Times’ A.O. Scott says: ““Fifty Shades of Grey” might not be a good movie — O.K., it’s a terrible movie” — a typical statement of critics and other journalists about it.  But to the best of my knowledge, the only things that motivate their hatred is that it is a women’s fantasy, and worse one with plenty of S&M in it.   

Batman of course is a male (comic book based) fantasy, and one with plenty of cruel torture and murders in it.  But since it is from the boys will be boys department it gets taken with great seriousness and downright respect instead of the mockery against the girls will be girls department.  


Let’s take just one example to compare the two — again from Scott’s review: “Christian Grey, the kinky billionaire bachelor …. He runs a big, vague company but doesn’t really seem to do much work.”


Does this sound like an exact comparison of “Bruce Wayne aka Batman, the bat suit, tight underpants wearing billionaire bachelor … He runs a big, vague philanthropy company and a rich mansion but doesn’t really seem to do much work”.


I’ll grant you that the original “Fifty Shades of Grey” novel was pretty poorly written, but lets face it — so were the original Batman comics — indeed the original Batman movie and TV shows starring Adam West in the 1960s was a self-mockery as it was obviously supposed to be.  The latest, absurdly overpraised Batman movies by director Christopher Nolan seem to have among other things utterly lost their sense of humor and reality, but vastly increased the brutal violence.  Sure, his Batman, British (Welsh) actor Christian Bale speaks flawless American English.  But “Fifty Shades of Grey”, British (Northern Ireland) actor Jamie Dornan speaks equally flawless American English and lead actress Dakota Johnson is superb.  Indeed director Sam Taylor-Johnson is also an amazingly talented woman, whose previous film, “Nowhere Man” (about John Lennon’s early life) was superb and received plenty of praise - but it wasn’t a girls will be girls movie so it certainly doesn’t count.


There were plenty of smart boys will be boys comics: take last year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”. But so were there well written women’s S&M fantasies like Pauline Réage’s (Dominique Aury) “Story of O” which none of the books or film public haters of “Fifty Shades of Grey” ever seem to bother to mention.  Yet another more proof of the denial for female fantasies.