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For the last two months I’ve been staring each day at beautiful pictures of our planet. They are published to Twitter from the International Space Station. Current ISS commander Chris Hadfield has been awing his followers with regular photos of the planet as the ISS passes overhead. You can follow him on Twitter

Vegas. Big, loud, tacky and slightly seedy. Not my scene. So why visit? My thinking was simple, on the doorstep is the Grand Canyon. A place I’ve wanted to visit for as long as I can remember. Vegas seemed liked a good hub to visit the amazing Canyon. Travelling on my own, I was unsure how well Vegas would work. I like travelling to the US because you can sit at a bar and you usually end up striking a conversation with somebody. But Vegas? Who goes to Vegas to party on their own? With this in mind, I booked several shows to take up some of my time in the evening. The plan was simple. Go on tours during the day. Shows in the evening. Then find a quiet bar and have a few beers. My hotel of choice was Harrah’s. This seemed nice and central and was very…

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I’ve always thought San Francisco would be a cool place to visit and I had been told by several people how great the city is. So it seemed a good place to start the first leg of my holiday. To save money, I chose to use a Super Shuttle to get from the airport to my hotel. I’d been warned about the Tenderloin district as a place to avoid. Unfortunately my shuttle driver had to make a stop near this district so one of my first experiences of San Francisco was seeing the hundreds of homeless, mentally ill and drug addicts who sleep rough in this district. I’ve never seen this level of deprivation in my life. It’s not something I expected to see in one of the richest cities in the world and I’m afraid it influenced my view of the city. How can a city as rich as…

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I'm going away later in the month and will be faced with the difficulty that all smartphone owning travellers have, that of keeping my phone charged. Usually I'm careful not to overuse my phone if I'm likely to be away from a charge point. But I'm heading to SXSW and twitter is a good way to keep track of what's going on. So I've picked up a New Trent IMP120D iCarrier 12000mAh heavy duty external battery. I was expecting the product to feel cheap. But it's light and well built and comes with a small soft carry case to protect the surface of battery. It comes with two ports. A 2A port for charging your tablet and a 1A port to charge your phone. The big 12000mAh battery should be enough for charging an iPhone six times and it has just about enough to fully charge the new iPad. So…

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I wrote a blog article on my gigs website about using your compact digital camera at gigs to capture reasonable photos. If you’ve only ever use your camera on auto mode. You might find the article useful http://gigs.pahudson.net/archives/768

Jessops, the UK national camera chain closed it’s doors for the final time on Friday night. It’s a sad passing. 1500 people had a job at the beginning of the week and by the end of the week, they were all unemployed. Awful news to receive at the beginning of the New Year. Hopefully, the staff will quickly find new jobs. I was in the New Oxford Street store last week. The staff were clearly unaware of the problems of the main company. Opposite Jessops is another closed shop, Jacob’s. Another ill-fated camera chain that collapsed in October. Before Christmas, Comet, the national electronics chain also collapsed. HMV, the high street music store, has a month-long sale on in an attempt to raise some much needed cash. If it doesn’t raise enough money, it looks like it will also collapse and when it does there will be no high street…

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Most of us fail to make any indelible mark on history. A small selection become a footnote in a history book. A very very small number become a historical nexus, the beginning of a new phase of human history. Neil Armstrong is one of these individuals. Neil’s name will be known to the end of human history as the first person to step on another world. In millennium to come, there will be children who know his name who have never seen Earth. I truly believe that this will happen. I have to, because this is what drove men like Neil Armstrong to tie themselves into a bomb and fling themselves out into the icy night sky. Like many, the Moon landings happened before I was born. It’s almost ‘futuristic’ for me to think of landing on the Moon, but it’s already happened. The thought of men bouncing around on…

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For the last few week signs have been appearing all round campus that include a ‘no photography’ symbol. In the modern connected world, with the ability to instantly grab and share photographs with all your friends, I think the instant reaction from most of us was ‘is this realistic?’. But I think this opens an interesting debate about the future of our right to privacy when just stepping out in public has the potential to undermined an individual’s privacy. As you would expect, almost all our students have camera phones. The youngest generation of our students, those who came straight from college, spend an inordinate amount of time on Facebook sharing photos of their life at Uni. To them, the idea of banning photography on campus is ridiculous. At the moment, most of our students are away for the summer, so few are aware of the new rules and it…

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Cameras for me, are like handbags are for many women. You need the right camera for the occasion. An iPhone for everywhere, a compact for gigs, a mirror less camera for times when I’ve got a small rucksack with me, and a SLR for quality. (I’ve recently upgraded my SLR to a Sony A77). For the last 3 years my I’ve been using a Panasonic TZ-5 as my compact of choice. I bought it because it was a super zoom and I thought it would be great for capturing the stage from further back in the audience. But after three years it was showing it’s age. The image quality in low light was very poor. The max ISO is a very noisy and muddy ISO 1600. Although it’s good to have the extra zoom, the maximum aperture would drop to 4.9, not great for low light use. So often, I’d…

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I bought the original iPad on the UK day of release and have used it daily ever since. I was at SXSW last year when the iPad2 was released but decided against buying one in the ‘pop-up’ shop, Apple set up for the conference. Clearly the iPad2 was much better than the original iPad. It was quicker, featured a front facing camera for video conferencing and was smaller and lighter than the original iPad. But despite all these advantages, it wasn’t enough to justify my buying one. The reason simply, after using my iPhone 4’s retina display, there was no way I was going to buy a new iPad until it offered a similar quality screen. So with the release of the iPad 3, or the new iPad, as Apple prefers to call it, coming as it does with a near retina display, it was time to upgrade. The new…

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