Ready for Tomorrow? Brace Yourselves for the IPad Release!

April 2nd, 2010 |

Apple iPadFor all you Apple aficionados, we’re down to the last few hours. Thus begins the hardest part, waiting the less than 24 hours away from the  “big release.” To some of you, it’s like following the Dead on tour; you’ve done it enough to know the ins-and-outs. For others, this may be your first time.  A word of wisdom – always assume the product is going to be bad so that you don’t get shocked into unconsciousness. Plus, if it’s not that bad, you’ll have something to feel good about. If you have an iPhone, assume it will be the same but much more intense; Apple isn’t releasing a new product, but feels they’ve found the missing link. Remember that you can always walk away.

The iPad is a curious gadget; while it’s not really a tablet PC, it’s not an e-reader, iPhone, or iPod, either. Wait! I’ve got it. The iPad is the bridge between your phone and your computer.  The iPad is really a new species – a hybrid, if you will – integrating much of the activities for which we use phone or computer.  I think that it started off as an iPod but didn’t want to become a full fledged laptop.  In a way, the iPad is like a utility baseball player; they can play every position, but their not focused on one particular position.  In case you were wondering, Apple refers to the iPad as an “Internet Tablet.”

Before rushing to the store, or getting irritated by yet another gadget, the iPad does have some impressive standard features. Off the shelf (if it even makes it to the shelf), the iPad will be decked out with the following features:

  • iPod and iTunes Store. iPad will sync just like an iPod
  • Safari (web browser) and E-mail
  • Photo and video storage
  • YouTube Application
  • The App Store (of course) as well as Apple’s new iBooks and iBookstore
  • Maps, Notes, Calendar, Contacts, and Spotlight (desktop search)

The iPad was not created to replace your phone, but it can if necessary by using a Bluetooth headset to place calls over WiFi or 3G using VoIp protocols. Everything is touch-pad sensitive, just like the iPhone.

I’d tend to think that with the speed of technology, waiting might be the best gambit, although I do have to admit that “having it first” is a narcissistic pleasure that somehow defies logic. Yet, first isn’t always best. There are bound to be software bugs mixed in a with healthy dose of user stupidity. Lets not forget all of the other sordid details a new product release brings, like arguments, pushing, fights, disgruntled customers and similar crap. We’re buying iPads to make our lives easier, but we’ll take a couple of shots at our neighbor to do so – all our work towards civility, kindness, love thy brother, and peace all goes down the drain when you’re between me, and what I want. I will fricking kill you if you get in the way of making my life more fluid and urbane. That’s right. I will kill you. (If you happen to meet this person, let them have the iPad. People have been robbed at gun point for a Tickle Me Elmo.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Louis

SXSW Text!! Group Text from Brightkite, Oh Yes

March 17th, 2010 |

Local Texans in Austin are either grumbling about the slew of youths and db’s about to infiltrate their fair city, or rubbing their palms together for the tourist payday as the 24th Annual Music & Media Conference, South By Southwest, gets going (or should I say, growing). With social media, networking, technology, branding power, and everything else expanding faster than child obesity, so does SXSW and the amount of attendees.

The Interactive and Film portion kicked off on March 12th with trade shows, conferences, discussion panels, celebrity interviews, and film screenings, industry parties, etc. The big balls officially drop on the 17th, as bands from far and wide will melodically mount and rotate the 80-plus stages in downtown Austin. It’s hard to imagine the scope of planning that goes into the non-stop schedule, and if you think you have your itinerary all mapped out, think again. It’s going to get messy once the texts start pouring in – “Go see this show”, “Come to such-and-such film” – and your days become 90% planning, totally souring what should be a liberating mood.

So, we can all count our blessings for phones with email and the “what-the-f*ck did we do before” invention of text…but, like the dearly departed Corey Haim, everything has its limits. For example, if you’re at SXSW, you might text a group of friends, and then you get a text back, you respond, you get one from someone else and you fill them in on what you already heard back, and thus begins the chaotic cycle of simply trying to meet up with your goddamned friends. Sucks to be popular, don’t it?!?

Well, for you high-in-social-demand types, scratch the above time-consuming malarkey. With the new Brightkite Group Text, you can hit all your loyal buddies at once and start a big old text-versation – including pics.  You can use it from your computer, iPhone, iPhone touch, even if you’re not a member of Brightkite. With it, you can still text back from your phone and it will go to everyone on the list in the Group Text. It’s like the “Reply All” of texting. But the awesome thread is still saved with Brightkite, if – unthinkable as it seems – you can’t remember last night.

But for those of you looking to downsize your phone bill, you can cancel that bastard and use Brightkite’s Group Text for all your texting needs. Then meet up with your friends and borrow their phone!  Bite me, Verizon – can you hear me now, bitch?

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Rocky Mills

A Twitter Runs Through It: A MySpace Reduction?

October 19th, 2009 |

If a tree harboring a bird’s nest fell on MySpace, would anyone be around to hear the tweets?

That is the question the release of the Twitter Sync Official App a month ago on September 21st sought to override in the coming weeks. According to Complete.com statistics via Mashable, MySpace lost over five million unique visitors to the site between August and September. Oddly enough, I’ve recently seen some “friends” add new photos to their albums albeit visiting the site with minimal regularity, as if dressing up their profiles in preparation for digital burial. While these statistics may hold little surprise for the many who’ve expatriated to Facebook, it begs the question of what the much hyped Twitter sync app actually accomplished for the site over the last few weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lauren Cannon