wi fi

Snapchat: persona non grata at Eton

In a short interlude from CES coverage, we'll revert to some Snapchat chat (there's been a bit of that recently) and an amusing story that emerged out of Eton College—educator of Prime Ministers and future kings of England—over the weekend. Following concerns that some of its students might've been using the ephemeral messaging service to share less than wholesome photos, the college has blocked access to Snapchat via its wi-fi network. It's hoped that this move will encourage students to consider the ramefication of what they share and how they choose to share it. As Headmaster Tony Little told The Sunday Telegraph: '... we hope that blocking it on our network will at least make them think twice. This is part of our continuing effort to educate boys in the sensible use of technology.'

Of course, it won't prevent anyone who's determined to send or receive a salacious (or otherwise) image from flipping off wi-fi and using cellular data from doing the deed, but the delay might give them pause for thought.

(Headsup to Gizmodo)

Triggertrap launches updated Android app!

We haven't seen any updates from Triggertrap's Android division since November last year or so, but that doesn't mean to say that their boffins have been kicking back and drinking tea. Oh no, they've been hard at it, and have just launched a shiny new Android version of the universally awesome universal camera trigger to prove it. Along with a swathe of minor bug fixes, the big news is the inclusion of the Bang! sound detection mode and the Wi-Fi Master mode. Bang! will allow you to trigger your camera with a clap, whistle, click of your fingers, or squahonk of a Kazoo; the Wi-Fi Master does pretty much what it sounds as if it does: lets you trigger all of your enslaved devices from a master via Wi-Fi.

If you'd rather get the low-down straight from the Triggertrap team you can see this post on Triggertrap's website for the full details or watch their video


And don't forget, you can update your app via the Google Play store, or download it direct from Triggertrap.

Quirky design, but who's it for? The Canon Powershot N

It looks cute, there are some fun elements to it, but I'm not convinced that Canon has identified a workable target market for the square-shaped, touchscreen Powershot N. Let me explain.

There are some elements of the Powershot N that I like a lot: the lens rings for zooming and shutter release; the tiltable touch-screen that you use the control focus and image review; the 28mm lens with 8× optical zoom; the 12 megapixel sensor with DIGIC 5 processor, and sensitivity to ISO 6,400; the quirky design; and of course, the wi-fi connectivity.

There are some elements of the Powershot N to which I'm indifferent. Being able to apply creative filters in-camera is ubiquitous now. Creative Shot mode, which examines a picture, applies a series of enhancements according to its attributes, and then presents you with five different versions is a novel toy, but doesn't exactly float my photographic boat.

Then there are the elements that leave me going 'Wuh?' Why, exactly, would I want to compile the four seconds of focusing and fiddling before taking any picture in Hybrid Auto mode, so that I can watch some odd kind of meta filmshoot at the end of the day? Why would I want to piddle about taking a photo and then transfering it to my smartphone or tablet so that I can upload it to Flickr because there's no available wi-fi network, when I could just take the photo and apply a filter using my phone? It's a bit gimmicky and feels slightly half-baked. Afterall, there are Android-based 'smartcameras' out there now that provide a whole lot more functionality.

Canon, it looks very to me as if you've designed a camera that is meant to appeal to the Instagramming, filtering, uploading crowd. But the thing is - they've gone and they're not coming back. They love their smartphones and their instant connectivity. They already have the tools they need for the job they want to do. At £270 ($300), I can't see them rushing to buy one in a hurry. In fact, I'm not sure who will.

The fun design demonstrates that you are at least thinking creatively about the point-and-shoot market. Carry on - it needs this. But what you really need to think about are who still uses point-and-shoot cameras. Make cameras for them. With the Powershot N you've a camera that isn't sophisticated enough to be a smartcamera, isn't cheap enough to be a fun camera, and isn't serious enough to be regarded as a game-changer. It isn't even falling between two stools, but three.

Potentially, there are the beginnings of something here, but I'm not sure where you're going with it, Canon.