• Ben Johnston

    Published on 14th May 2013 by
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    One tweet. Just twenty-eight words. That's all it took to start a complete shift in the way I use my iMac in my full-time Marketing Communications role at work. I've rearranged and modified my desk, moved my chair over to one side, and have spent the last week standing at my computer instead of sitting in the stale, stagnant position I've spent the last ten or more years sitting in throughout my working life. ...
    Published on 30th April 2013 by
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    We've just got back from a week-long, two-thousand kilometre road-trip from Brisbane to the majestic Hunter Valley wine region in New South Wales. We set off in search of locally produced wine, boutique beer and to visit the Estate that makes virgin olive oil that Renée sells at the markets. We had our usual arsenal of iPhones for communication, searching for good coffee and playing music in the car, our compact Nikon P7000 for snapping some holiday shots, and the iPad for downloading and viewing those photos. But on this trip we had an extra hi-tech traveller, Logitech's battery-powered bluetooth enabled UE Boombox. ...
    Published on 16th April 2013 by
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    I know plenty of people who have bought themselves thousands of dollars worth of camera gear with the promise that they'll instantly become an amazing photographer. Unfortunately this is like giving a self-opinionated, zit-faced wet-dreaming teenager the keys to a Lamborghini Aventador and expecting some kind of race driving child-prodigy to miraculously materialise. The absolute truth is: expensive cameras don't take amazing photos; people take amazing photos. With some tips about lighting and composition, there's no reason why you can't practice and develop your photography skills using simply the camera on your very own iPhone. ...
    Published on 2nd April 2013 by
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    I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my iPad ever since its sleek, cool aluminium posterior first slid across my desk at work as a trial unit before I got lobbed with rolling a stack of them out to all the sales staff (my computer that I do graphic design on has a giant Apple logo on the back, so that automatically qualified me to be the company’s in-house Apple IT expert ...). I’d seen them advertised and I’d seen them in the metal on display at Dickhead’s, JB and in the Apple Store. And I have to say I wasn’t keen. My iPhone did everything I needed to do while away from my Mac, so I didn’t really see the point. To me, the iPad was always going to be a compromise. ...
    Published on 19th March 2013 by
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    I like things that are complex but are simplistic to interact with. The iPhone is a great example of that. One of the most complicated little things on the planet, yet pretty much anyone from a three year old to your grandma can pick one up and use it. Our Audi A3 is another example of having features that help you out, are probably very complicated to engineer, but don’t get in the way of the joy of driving. For example, the door mirrors have heaters built into them to melt frost, ice or snow. But there’s no button to switch them on or off. In fact if you hadn’t read the user manual, you wouldn’t even know that they were heated. What happens is when the temperature gets below 4ºC the car automatically turns on the heaters to prevent frosty buildup. But all the driver ever knows is that the door mirrors are always clear and visible regardless of what the weather is like. And I think that’s brilliant design. ...
    Published on 5th March 2013 by
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    I've recently become quite a fan of Google's new Google+ platform which has allowed me to follow lots of tech companies and tech website pages. But one thing I've really noticed lately is the barrage of 'new' smartphones that come flooding down the stream of posts, each one the pride and joy of the teams and companies that produced them. And I have to say I'm getting to the point where they are all starting to look the same ... to be honest I just don't care anymore. I'm now looking for the next big thing. Something that will inspire, excite, and revolutionise the way we communicate and interact with technology. Maybe it will be Google Glass, the Apple iWatch, or something else. ...
    Published on 19th February 2013 by
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    Advertising is everywhere. It forces our poor HD TVs to yell at us in our own living rooms. Our cars become mobile brainwashing booths as the radio flogs everything from iced coffee to nasal spray technology. It's slapped all over buildings, bus stops, buses, shopping centre walkways and highways. Try reading an in-flight magazine, newspaper or your favourite webpage without being smashed in the face with messages telling you how inadequate your life is because you don't use a particular fragrance or wear a four-and-a-half thousand dollar watch. But recently I've been surprised at the level of product placement by Apple in both film and television ...
    Published on 5th February 2013 by
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    Benny's article back on the 14th of January about cable management really struck a cord ... ahem, chord with me for two reasons. Firstly: I hate cables. In a world of mobile phones, wireless Internet and Bluetooth keyboards and mice, cables suddenly seem clumsy, restrictive and ugly. A disorganised excess of them often results in one's place of work looking more like a snake pit scene from Indiana Jones than somewhere where productivity and creativity prevails. ...
    Published on 22nd January 2013 by
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    I'll just get straight to the point. Exhibit A: this is my folder of song sheets for ONE particular cover band I sometimes play along with. And on top of it is my iPad. Make no mistake, this folder is a beast. 3.1kgs in fact, four times as heavy as the 3G iPad 2—even with leather Smart Cover attached—which comes in at 757grams total. It's a bitch to transport, it's a bitch to flick through hundreds of pages to find the song I want, and it's busting at the seams like an escaped Fat Camp kid in a Krispy Kreme factory ... meaning there's no room for any more songs. There has to be a better way. And there is ... ...
    Published on 8th January 2013 by
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    Airports stress me out. I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's taking off to new places. Maybe I'm picking up on the general vibe of emotions: people leaving their loved ones behind, or being reunited; the general anger of business people and regular travellers pile-driving into holiday makers who are wandering the airports walkways in a stunned stupor—confused and wide eyed like stunned mullets. Or maybe it's just the general chaos and stress of people going all different directions, people running late, people getting lost ... And ultimately the fear that if one little thing doesn't go exactly to plan, you'll end up missing ...
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