Thursday, May 28, 2009

Epoch-3 Golf Tees Again...

This is really a big disappointment. I think I had either been cheated by the store or by the reviews I've read on the Net. The highly recommended Epoch-3 Golf Tees, see here, is much more than a big disappointment to me. It breaks and disintegrates easily. I can't even use a single one for my game this morning. *SIGH* It just breaks.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gadgets Hurt Our Environment

PARIS - CHARGE your iPod, kill a polar bear? The choice might not be quite that stark, but an energy watchdog is alarmed about the threat to the environment from the soaring electricity needs of gadgets like MP3 players, mobile phones and flat screen TVs.

In a report Wednesday, the Paris-based International Energy Agency estimates new electronic gadgets will triple their energy consumption by 2030 to 1,700 terawatt hours, the equivalent of today's home electricity consumption of the United States and Japan combined.
The world would have to build around 200 new nuclear power plants just to power all the TVs, iPods, PCs and other home electronics expected to be plugged in by 2030, when the global electric bill to power them will rise to US$200 billion (S$293 billion) a year, the IEA said.

Consumer electronics is 'the fastest growing area and it's the area with the least amount of policies in place' to control energy efficiency, said Paul Waide, a senior policy analyst at the IEA.

Electronic gadgets already account for about 15 per cent of household electric consumption, a share that is rising rapidly as the number of these gadgets multiplies. Last year, the world spent US$80 billion on electricity to power all these household electronics, the IEA said.

Most of the increase in consumer electronics will be in developing countries, where economic growth is fastest and ownership rates of gadgets is the lowest, Waide said.

'This will jeopardize efforts to increase energy security and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases' blamed for global warming, the agency said.

Existing technologies could slash gadgets' energy consumption by more than 30 per cent at no cost or by more than 50 per cent at a small cost, the IEA estimates, meaning total greenhouse gas emissions from households' electronic gadgets could be held stable at around 500 million tons of CO2 per year.

If nothing is done, this figure will double to around 1 billion tons of CO2 per year by 2030, the IEA estimates. -- AP

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Dream Lens

I had finally saved enough to get one of these : See Here

That's right the cream machine. I got it for HKD $7180, during my recent trip to Hong Kong. It's just great!

AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G

This smallish and compact wide-angle prime is a signal from Nikon that their DX line is vital and will remain so for a long time. It serves as a "normal lens" taking up the same position with DX as the 50mm does for FX. The AFS feature means it is fully compatible with all DX bodies including the lower-end D40/D40x and suchlike models. You get a nice crisp viewfinder image that even on the D40/40x can be focused fairly easy in manual-focus mode, The AFS response might not be the snappierst of its kind, but the speed suffices and there is the A/M switch to let you override whatever mischiefs the AF might be up to.

The lens has 52mm filter thread and uses a HB-46 lens hood that bayonets onto the front of the lens casing. The fit is quite tight so there is little tendency for the hood to drop off on its own. The front element itself is not overly large yet is not set very deep so using the hood at all times for protection is recommended.

The sharpness of the 35/1.8 is better than expected and in fact, it delivers sharp images even wide open without the veiling flare that is so characteristic of the 35/1.4, thus many would prefer it over the older classic legend. Image sharpness hold up well against the 35/1.4 up to f/2.8 or so thanks to the lower flare and higher contrast, but from f/3.2 to f/4 and up the 35/1.4 is the better performer although the margins are not huge in favour of the old lens.

Flare is in general well controlled, but shooting into bright light sources is rewarded by some rainbow-coloured ghosts and flare patches. The older lens handles this often much better. Chromatic fringing is also more evident with the new f/1.8, but my suspicion is that Nikon relies on its EXPEED engine and the fact that low-end camera often capture images in jpg format thus mitigating CA issues to a large extent.

Given its low price, I expect this lens to become very popular for DX shooters seeking a good performance under situations in which a 35 is the solution.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Lolaloo Baby Rocker

Parents often find themselves needing to get other things done, but their infant needs rocked to sleep. Well if you need just a few moments of peace or just have to deal with your older child, this would be a nice gadget to have around. It’s actually an electronic item that rocks your child’s stroller back and forth. Putting them to sleep and giving you just a few moments of sweet silence.

It’s a German product, so it’s not all over just yet. However, it’s easy to see this taking off in other parts of the world. The device itself can run anywhere from 2 hours on up to 4 hours. You can of course adjust the intensity of the rocking to meet your child’s needs. It attaches to the stroller with a couple Velcro straps. As of now this is being sold in Germany for 129 euros, so it is a bit pricey. So most parents might just opt to do the rocking themselves.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Recommended camera shops in Hong Kong

For those interested in going to purchase photographic equipment in Hong Kong, below is a link to a blog by Roland Lim. It blogs about the tips in getting them in Hong Kong, the recommended shops, and warranty.

Blog on recommended camera shops in Hong Kong.