Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

January, 2012 Archive


January 28, 2012 • Music Diary, Reviews

iRig MIDI Interface and Recorder Software Review

The folks at IK Multimedia have been at the forefront of developing great hardware and software tools for iOS devices ever since that capability was introduced. I have been a big fan of their products since iRig and Amplitude launched, so when I was offered a chance to review their new Sample Tank product I …

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January 28, 2012 • Music Diary, News

Google Music Adds ‘Download Purchases’ Button and It Is Still Astonishingly Bad

I have been fairly critical of Google’s Music service, largely for two reasons: first off it was ‘worst in class’ and made every other music service look great in comparison; and second because as a Google service there were legions of blind Google fanboys spewing effusive praise because it was free. That was 9 months …

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January 28, 2012 • Editorials, Music Diary

Splash.FM Seeks to Ease Social Music Discovery, and My Hands-On Experience with the Beta

Music Discovery is hard stuff. Take this example: I just discovered that Kenny Burrell, a legendary guitarist that I love, recently released a solo guitar album so grabbed it immediately. Then I realize it has already been out for three months! I scan blogs, track release charts and so on … and this one slipped …

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January 28, 2012 • Music Diary, News

MusicPlayr Will Help You Discover Music

Late last year I heard about the MidemLab competition for promising music startups, which had finalists in the ‘music discovery’ category as follows: Music Discovery, Recommendation & Creation (UK) – mass market mobile music service MPme by Apsmart (UK) – curated internet radio musicplayr (Germany) – music discovery & blogging Navegas (Germany) – connecting …

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January 28, 2012 • News

ZBoard, Like a Moped Only Way Cooler

  Remember that moped you thought was the coolest when you were 14? No? Well, pre-drivers license, the idea of motorized transportation in any form sounded way cool to a lot of us. That even went for mopeds, until we actually bought one. Well this is like the moped but is a whole lot cooler.

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January 27, 2012 • Reviews, Yum Log

iGrill + Omaha Steaks’ Steak Time App = Meat Magic

Now far be it from me to tell a man (or a woman for that matter) how to use their BBQ grill. Like politics and religion, grilling is a topic where advice is rarely appreciated or even more rarely followed. I’m sure you’re great at cooking a steak over charcoal or gas, and I wouldn’t …

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January 27, 2012 • Reviews

Swingline Stack and Shred 80X Handsfree Cross-Cut Shredder Review

Who in the world would get excited about a shredder? ME, that’s who. So when Judie posted a review of the SwingLine Cross-Cut Shredder last year I took note. You see, as bad as Judie and Kevin’s stack of “waiting to be shredded documents” was, Elana’s and mine is worse. How much worse? Let me …

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January 27, 2012 • Reviews

Incipio M&M’s feather Case for iPhone 4S Review

Aren’t these just the cutest iPhone 4S cases EVER!?!?! These are the Incipio M&M’s feather cases and they are more than just a tasty-looking way to protect your iPhone. The cases are based on Incipio’s popular feather line of cases. The feather is “Incipio’s answer for a low-profile protective cover. Measuring approximately 1mm in thickness, the …

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January 27, 2012 • Gaming, Reviews

Spirit of Wandering – the Legend, HD iPad Game Review

I was still warm in the afterglow of the awesome iOS game ‘Letters from Nowhere’ from G5 Games when I started another hidden object game from G5 Games called Spirit of Wandering. Given the innovative style of the former game, I really didn’t expect Spirit of Wandering – a stock standard hidden object adventure – …

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January 27, 2012 • Reviews

vlock Video Clock for iPhone/iPad: Watch Videos and Time Go By!

Back in the ’70s and ’80s there used to be a series of commercials for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that featured a person with a chocolate candy bar and another with an open container of peanut butter.  The inevitable collision of the two oblivious eaters resulted in them exclaiming “You got your peanut butter in …

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January 27, 2012 • Music Diary

Random Cool Video: Metal Meets Pop

Time for another cool mashup video! The folks at Ultimate Guitar have put together a bunch of mashups of pop and heavy metal music, all of which are pretty fun … but this one was my favorite! It takes Ke$ha’s Tik Tok opening and beat track and overlays Lamb of God’s Redneck. Enjoy! And … …

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January 27, 2012 • News, Travel

JumpFromPaper Makes Real Life Feel Like a Cartoon with Seriously Ridiculous Bags

I loved the way “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988) and “Cool World” (1992) mixed cartoon elements into a real-world backdrop. I enjoyed the same effect as a kid, watching older Disney movies such as Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Song of the South. There’s just something quirky and irresistible about imagining a world where cartoons can …

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January 27, 2012 • Events, Music Diary, News

Mark of the Unicorn Introduces the MicroBook II Audio Interface

Mark of the Unicorn had one huge announcement that I already covered, the note that the upcoming Digital Performer 8 would support Windows 7 as well as Mac OS X. But now we learn that MOTU is also introducing a new version of the well-received MicroBook audio interface. MicroBook was released in 2010 and was …

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January 27, 2012 • Music Diary

Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder Reunite on New McCartney Album

It is hard to believe that it has been 30 years since ‘Ebony and Ivory’ ruled the airwaves in an unlikely but perfect pairing of two mega-stars … but in just a couple of weeks we will have a new chance to hear the two on a single from McCartney’s upcoming (and oddly titled) “Kisses …

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January 26, 2012 • Editorials, Travel

Alaska Airlines, Your Mega-Church in the Sky

A few years ago I was on a plane that almost went down. The person next to me had spent the flight trying to convince me why I was wrong in my “choice” of religions, and when the wingtip almost hit the ground he looked at me and with all seriousness said, “At least I …

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January 26, 2012 • Reviews

iTunes App Store App Review; PDF Forms Impresses!

We’ve come a long way since Thomas published his amazing post How To View PDF Files on an iPad. Now you can’t just view them but you can edit and manipulate them too. There are a few options in the iTunes App Store for editing PDFs and a new one was just announced. PDF Forms lets you …

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January 26, 2012 • Events, News

Make Your iPhone 4S Case mykase with Bodyguardz New Case Offering

Bodyguardz has come up with a great way to change-up and/or customize your iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S case in seconds. The mykase line offers a base case in black or white as well as interchangeable back plates that can reflect your mood or dress. They’ll even be rolling out an easy-to-use engine for making …

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January 26, 2012 • Gear Bits

Old Cables to the Rescue!

I wrote yesterday about my first impressions of the Case-Mate Phantom for the iPhone 4s, and I pointed out that it was new and therefore in the “new accessory honeymoon phase”. Last night I discovered a potential issue, but luckily for me, the legacy of the original iPhone came to the rescue! See, the original …

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January 26, 2012 • Editorials, How to Do It Yourself!

Replacing the Fan: How My MacBook Pro Avoided the Trash, Part 3

In part 2 of this series, I took the fan out of my 13″ MacBook Pro, cleaned it and lightly lubricated it. For about a day, the fan noise was almost non-existent and the heating issue was mildly approved. Unfortunately, the noise quickly returned along with the hot CPU. This problem had to be fixed …

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January 26, 2012 • How to Do It Yourself!

Arch Linux: Only the Hardcore Need Apply

In search of a different distro (term of endearment for Linux distributions) to try, I decided to try installing probably one of the harder distros to install, Arch Linux over the weekend.  I thought I would gather some thoughts into a post and share what I think of this interesting distro that doesn’t get the …

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January 25, 2012 • News

Ubuntu’s HUD: A New Way to Use Your Linux Computer

Yesterday Ubuntu’s community manager, Jono Bacon put up a post calling for people to test their brand new idea for the Unity interface they currently use.  They call it HUD.  HUD will be included in the next relse of Ubuntu, version 12.04, code named “Precise Pangolin”. With HUD, you can do many different things like …

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