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

michaelanderson Author

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May 13, 2015 • Music Diary, News

Marco Minnemann Readies Celebration, His New Solo Tour-de-Force!

Last fall I reviewed Marco Minnemann’s excellent solo album Eeps. I called it ‘musician’s music’, “that is technically insane and that you will listen to again and again to absorb the details of what they are playing and how they are putting it together”. Now he is back with Celebration out June 1st, and it …

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May 13, 2015 • Health and Fitness

Garmin Announces the ForeRunner 225 with Wrist-Based Heart Rate from Mio

For years Garmin had an unassailable position with their GPS watches representing the ‘gold standard’ for runners. The move to low-cost Bluetooth activity trackers rocked the industry as it pushed manufacturers to include more features, wireless syncing, and lower prices. Garmin pushes the envelope again with ForeRunner 225, the first major running watch with integrated …

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May 7, 2015 • Gear Bits, Music Diary

IK Multimedia releases UltraTuner for Apple Watch

For anyone who plays a guitar, when AmpliTube arrived with a built-in tuner it was a revelation. Suddenly you didn’t need a tuner – just your phone, which you already had! Then IK Multimedia introduced UltraTuner and things got even better. Now they have introduced UltraTuner for Apple Watch, and the convenience factor is through …

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April 22, 2015 • Health and Fitness, Reviews

TCL Pulse – Small, But Powerful Enough to Wake a Sleeping Teenager!

If you have teenagers, you’ve probably struggled with getting them out of bed in the morning. With my older son, it’s like an arms race of alarms vs. his ability to sleep through them! So when I had the chance to check out the TCL Pulse, I was skeptical – ok, downright dubious – that …

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April 20, 2015 • Gaming, News

Valve Introduces Minimum Payment to Unlock Features to Fight Steam Fraud

There are many variations on the common phrase, but the sentiment remains the same: you know you’ve made it when you find yourself fighting fraud in absolutely trivial areas. Steam, the online gaming service, has found itself increasingly dealing with phishing and fraudulent activities in the social areas of their service – and now they …

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April 20, 2015 • Music Diary, News

IK Multimedia Releases AmpliTube UA App for All Android Devices

Even as I shift away from making music on iOS devices and back to my home studio, one thing remains: noodling around on my guitar using iRig and Amplitube. Since their introduction five years ago they have become ubiquitous tools for guitarists and bassists. Now that IK Multimedia has expanded their reach to Android devices …

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April 17, 2015 • Music Diary, Reviews

Mike Osborne – ‘Dawn’ Celebrates a Jazz Great and a Life Cut Short

A year ago when I reviewed the previously unreleased album ‘S.O.S.’, I didn’t single out each player for their amazing contributions because the album was more about bringing together three amazing musicians for an even more amazing outcome. Now with the release of Mike Osborne’s earliest solo works as ‘Dawn’, we can single out his amazing …

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April 17, 2015 • Gaming, News

Star Wars Battlefront Launches November 17th, Check Out the Trailer

The Star Wars Battlefront games released for PC and consoles back in 2004-5 were a big hit with fans, and the fun online play kept players engaged for several years. I also loved the PSP games Battlefront II, Renegade Squadron, and Elite Squadron. Now in time for the new Star Wars movie we’re getting a …

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April 17, 2015 • Editorials, Gaming, News

Spiderweb Cancels Avernum 2 HD After Launch, Halts All iOS Development

In January I reviewed Avernum 2, noting the iPad version Avernum 2 HD was set to release on April 15th. April 15th arrived, the game made it through Apple’s release process, but unfortunately iOS 8.3 arrived and broke the game. Rather than fix the game, Spiderweb Software has pulled the release, refunded money and cancelled all …

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April 16, 2015 • News

Check Out Star Wars The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer #2!

Its hard to believe we’re so close to getting another glimpse into the Star Wars universe, as Star Wars The Force Awakens is set to arrive this Christmas. And to get all of us even MORE excited, as part of Star Wars Celebrations we get a new teaser trailer with a Luke voice-over, and a …

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April 16, 2015 • Health and Fitness, Reviews

5 Reasons I Love the Garmin VivoActive SmartWatch & 3 Reasons I Don’t

Just as Apple Watch opened for pre-orders, the Garmin VivoActive arrived in stores and the hands of runners and athletes everywhere. I had written up announcement at CES, so I was thrilled to get one in my hands to play around with. Now after a week, I want to check in with my initial likes …

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April 16, 2015 • Music Diary, News

Roland Unveils JD-XA and Other Great Music Tech at Musicmesse 2015!

This week is the Musicmesse Festival in Frankfurt, Germany. This event, along with January’s NAMM, are the biggest events for the music industry and the place for new gear announcements. We won’t cover everything, but Roland has some new gear that simply needs to be discussed. The big announcement is their hotly anticipated JD-Xa Analog …

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April 13, 2015 • Gaming, News

iOS Exclusive Open-World Survival Game Radiation Island Available on Mac

One of my favorite iOS games of 2015 so far is Radiation Island. It is a first-person open-world survival game with gorgeous graphics, engaging emergent gameplay, and the ability to shape your own course through the adventure. Also a variety of enemies, weapons, locations and hazards, and tools to craft! Now Radiation Island is available …

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April 10, 2015 • Gaming, News

Hiveswap Episodic Adventure Game Annouced, Check Out the Trailer!

A few years ago my son and his friends were really into the webcomic Homestuck, a quirky adventure created initially in MS Paint that became quite the sensation based on the characters, setting, humor, stories and imaginative variations. Developer Pumpkin Studios captures that feeling in Hiveswap, an upcoming adventure game out this summer. Check out …

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April 10, 2015 • Gaming, News

18 Year Old Game ‘Postal’ Rejected from Google Play Due to ‘Violence’

Game developer Running With Scissors is no stranger to controversy, as the company name suggests! Their game ‘Postal‘ came out in 1997 when ‘Going Postal’ was fairly new and much in the public mind. Postal 2 and 3 went out of their way to offend, but now we get word that Google won’t allow Postal …

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April 10, 2015 • Gaming, News

CDProjekt Red Announces The Witcher 3 Expansion Pass, 30 MORE Hours of Fun

The Witcher 3 isn’t even out yet with a release planned for next month, yet we have just gotten word that developer CD Project Red is planning two large expansions, and has just put up for pre-order what they are calling The Witcher 3 Expansion Pass, which includes both expansions to be released over the …

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April 10, 2015 • Reviews

Loop Straitjacket iPhone 6 Case Review – Perfectly Minimal

I hate phone cases, but know for most people they are a real need – and for our kids we mandated full-protection cases when we got iPhones a few years ago. I’ve reviewed cases before, and promptly removed them! So having Loop Straitjacket STILL on my iPhone for more than two months after installing it …

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April 9, 2015 • Gaming, News, Reviews

Graven: The Purple Moon Prophecy on iOS

Have you ever played a game where you’re told that the world is in imminent danger from untold evil that only you can stop, yet you keep meeting people who task you with collecting berries and wolf skins? Fortunately that isn’t the case with Graven The Purple Moon Prophecy, where you have 7 hours before …

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April 7, 2015 • News

Star Wars the Digital Collection Comes to iTunes and Amazon April 10th!

Part of my low-key recent birthday was watching a mid-afternoon movie. I wanted to watch one of my favorites, and ended up choosing ‘Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back’, a classic I saw in theaters 35 years ago and dozens of times since. Soon I can watch it on my iPhone, as a digital release …

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April 7, 2015 • Gaming, News

‘Legend of Dungeon’ Launching Free Expansion and Massive Update!

One of the funniest and most quirky indie games I have played in recent years was Legend of Dungeon, which was cute and punishing all at once. The game grew out of a successful 2012 Kickstarter effort and launched in late 2013. Now they are returning with a FREE expansion to the game with a …

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March 26, 2015 • Music Diary, News

IK Multimedia Unveils UltraTuner for Android

Just over a year ago, IK Multimedia released UltraTuner for iOS devices, and my review summed up “It’s the Best iOS Tuner Available.” Between the accuracy, easy visibility and simple usability, there is no other tuner I have needed since. Now IK Multimedia has released UltraTuner for Android, allowing anyone with Android 4.1 or later …

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