Get paid to walk around and take pictures with your iPhone

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Finally, my iPhone will start making me some money! How? Gigwalk. It’s a relatively new app that I learned about from an article in the Los Angeles Times, so it’s been around a bit and earned some high-profile, credibility-establishing attention. That’s important for something promising to make you money. How does it work? You download the app, sign up through Facebook or create your own login, then start looking for gigs. I live in Philadelphia in Center City, and there are hundreds of available gigs. What are the gigs? They can vary, but it seems the vast majority involve visiting a business and taking pictures and answering some questions about the place. The gigs pay from $3 to $90, but most of the ones I clicked on were in the $5 to $7 range. However, as you gain experience and prove to be reliable, more lucrative gigs await. Maybe! Here’s what a user had to say to the Times: More

Will Apple turn off your iPhone video camera at concerts?

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Sure, video is decent, but this sounds horrible.

This really bugged me when I read about it: Apple is developing a system that would allow concert and sports venues to shut off the video function on your iPhone at arenas or stadiums (stadia?) to prevent unauthorized recording of shows or games. I am absolutely opposed to this. I am not renting my iPhone. I paid for it. I own it. It should be up to venue owners to prohibit recording devices and enforce those bans. More worrisome is the technology. Will governments (police? military?) be able to set up zones where your video-recording capabilities will be disabled? In theory, I am resigned to a future when technology will be messing with other technology. You can already buy devices now that block GPS signals around you. But I don’t have to sit back and say nothing as Apple devises ways to limit the functionality of the devices I pay for. Hey, Steve, when “it just works,” don’t mess with it.

Photo! Solution? Make Better!!!

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Nick Bilton at The New York Times noted on Monday that the iPhone 4 was fast-becoming the most popular camera being used for Flickr, the photo-sharing site. If you’ve reached your Times paywall limit of stories, you can just go to the Flickr graphs here that he cites in his blog post. Before I got the iPhone 4, I used to carry a camera bag containing my Canon PowerShot SX 1 IS, which is one of the best point-and-shoots just below the DSLR category. I still take it on special trips and vacations, but I don’t carry it around on a regular basis like before. The iPhone 4 camera is that good. I also carry a bendy Joby hand-held tripod that I carry in a pocket.  The iPhone 4 picture quality is impressive, but half the fun is in all the photo apps. I’ve written about the popular ones, but tonight I went on a downloading binge for crazy photo apps, particular ones from Asia. I have several now that put Hello Kitty-type cartoony decorations on pictures. Another one puts the face of a woman you photographed into a maid outfit. Fetish apps! I also downloaded several panorama apps, including the new Microsoft Photosynth, which looks pretty awesome. I have a big trip to California planned for next month with stops at Death Valley, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, and Big Sur, and I plan to go bonkers with my photography and tech. I’ll let you know how these apps work out as I test them to see what works. I can’t wait to use the maid app!

8 megapixel camera for iPhone 5?

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Grandfather's volunteer badges

I shot the above photo with my iPhone 4 camera. The detail in the original image is amazing. The file, when viewed at full size, is huge. If you have good light, a steady hand, and a subject that isn’t moving, the camera is awesome. If you’re in a dark situation, or if your subject is moving, the images won’t be so good. It’s the nature of photography. It’s the limitation of digital photography when you aren’t shooting with a DSLR. I don’t need more megapixels. I need a bigger sensor that can capture available light in dim situations. I need a faster processor to freeze moving images. So the news that maybe the next iPhone will be equipped with an 8 MP camera isn’t encouraging. That means larger file sizes and slower processing times. I’m assuming there will be some performance boost to accompany the added megapixels. But why not just make the 5 MP camera that already exists on the iPhone 4 better without the added baggage? More megapixels is a scam to make consumers buy the next gen of digital cameras. But the camera manufacturers play that game for a reason: Consumers are dopes and fall for the scam. Also, there are Android phones with 8 MP cams, and they aren’t better, but in the marketing battle, it doesn’t matter what is better. If the 8 MP iPhone cam is the pipeline, then all I can hope for is that Steve Jobs, when he does his iPhone 5 introduction, does a demo that, somehow, blows me and my reservations away. You want to see how good the iPhone is, watch this movie which was shot with the 4: More

eBay promotion to buy old iPhones extended

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I'm rich!

The eBay offer to buy old iPhones and Androids for a minimum of $200 was to end on Feb. 22, but it was extended for two weeks. I got $200 for my iPhone 3GS. I clicked a few circles on eBay and was given a FedEx shipping label to print out. I dropped my old iPhone in an envelope with the free shipping label and that was it. Yesterday I got an email from eBay saying the phone was inspected and the sale was completed (see above). eBay figured it could make a mint off of AT&T customers dumping their iPhones for the Verizon iPhone. Verizon sales are brisk, but it hasn’t been the stampede that was hyped by the media. There is plenty of speculation as to why several years of bellyaching about AT&T’s call service hasn’t translated into the anticipated rush for Verizon iPhones (see video below). As for me, I sold my old iPhone because it had turned into a paperweight. I’m happy with my AT&T iPhone 4. The $200 will likely go to Apple because Steve needs my money.

eBay buying old iPhones, Androids

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Old iPhone 2

That’s my old iPhone 3GS (above). When I upgraded to the iPhone 4, I kept my 3GS. I didn’t think it was worth much, and I figured I could use it as a backup on WiFi. But with the Verizon iPhones going on sale this week, eBay has offered to buy AT&T iPhones and some Androids for $200 minimum, figuring a ton of them will get dumped in favor of switching to Verizon for its generally better signal service. Sounds like a good deal, right? I read, however, that the average sale price for an iPhone 3GS in a regular eBay auction is about $340. Of course, average is not what everyone pays. If I offered it up direct, I could get lucky. As an alternative (if I was getting the Verizon iPhone), I could get trade-in credit from Verizon. But I’m not switching phones. AT&T’s service works fairly well in Philadelphia, at least for me. I’ve bought stuff through eBay, but never sold anything. Hmm. Maybe I’ll just put it in a blender:

iPhone glove update & random bits

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I'll miss your warm glow

In my previous post, I generally praised Digits, which you attach to the tips of your glove fingers so you can work the touchscreen of an iPhone or similar device in cold weather. I did note that I had a problem making the iPhone camera respond to my gloved fingertips. After I wrote about that, I later had the same problem using my bare fingers. I switched my iPhone off, then back on, and everything worked fine. So Digits, which are offered by “social-product” developer Quirky for $13.99, are good for anything you need to do on a touchscreen when the temps get bone-chilling.

Also, you can follow me @warpafx on Twitter. I tweet frequently everyday on tech, funny memes, weird news, WikiLeaks and international news, and life in Philly because I live here. You can see the latest from my Twitter feed in the top right corner of this page.

The photo above shows a Compaq computer monitor, manufactured in 1997, disconnected after 13 glorious years in my employer’s office. We are finally getting LCD flatscreen monitors. Fancy us!

Winter tip: Cheap way to use an iPhone while wearing gloves

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I took the above iPhone photograph wearing a glove. I have conductive pads on my gloves’ two index finger tips and right thumb. They’re called Digits and they are sold through Quirky, a site where people can get their product ideas “socially developed” through a community of designers. The Digits box I got in the mail says the inventor is Brian Shy of Chicago. Bottom line: Digits work on an iPhone…most of the time. More

Jon Stewart on the new Verizon iPhone

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Freedom!…to switch your mobile provider. It’s great to have another option, but there are some downsides to having a Verizon iPhone, in particular the CDMA network vs. AT&T’s UMTS/GSM network. Read here.
Now back to the funny: