Posts Tagged ‘ iPhone ’

Busy, Busy, Busy


It feels like I haven’t written anything at all in ages, and judging by my posts it certainly looks that way, too. As some of you may or may not know, I recently became engaged to my girlfriend and that has brought on a whole new set of “boyfriend duties” that, frankly, I did not see coming.

To save myself the embarassment I won’t go into what all that includes, but suffice it to say that I don’t think I’ll have my balls back any time soon. Not that I had full custody before – I just simply renegotiated the terms of my joint custody of them and I came out on the short end of that stick. Insert joke here.

A lot else has happened since I last wrote here. My post on the Texas Rangers and The Claw/The Antlers gets a hell of a lot of visits from across the intertoobs. I don’t blame them, because I’m just that awesome.

In other news, I have discovered that the fabled Netflix app for the iPhone does exist, and I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s about frackin’ time, though, because I need to have even more of a distraction while I drive. Amiright? Am I the only one who watches Matlock while flippin’ people off for driving the speed limit?

Anyhoo.

The app is almost complete. By that I mean that it doesn’t allow you to put even more crap in your disc que, but that isn’t a total loss. I don’t even mess with my disc que anyway; I let my girlfriend -AHEM – I mean fiance have that to herself. Just like most everything else. She sends off for the most craptastic movies anyway, so I honestly don’t give a hoot.

What do you mean "Keep your eye on the ball?"

And speaking of craptastic movies, I started to watch Krull last week while visiting my fiance’s family in Austin. Some people canhandle crap movies for the sake of humor and I fancy myself one of those people. But there is nothing remotely even funny about Krull. I think I would rather stomp on my own face then watch that movie. I’ve swallowed back bile that is less offensive.

Other than that, the movie sucks.

I’ve downloaded a few new apps to review, so I figure I’ll get into that this weekend. But I do have one thing to report on the app ScanBizCards. I finally had an opportunity to use that app “in the field.” I went to a business expo and instead of asking people for their business cards I asked if they would mind me scanning their card right there. It was such a hit that several people took out their iPhones and bought the full version of it right there. If that’s not a good testimony for ScanBizCards then I don’t know what is.

So look for more Bubble Gum and Energy Drinks this weekend. I’ve tried to get a guest writer to review video games so you might see something new on that front some time soon.

I’ve left out the normal facebook and Twitter buttons, hoping that you’ll all notice the Digg, Like, and Share on Twitter buttons below. Feel free to share away!

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iPhone App Review – Sudoku 2


I am brand new to the whole “Sudoku” experience. I have heard about it, and have made fun of people for it. But truth be told, it was because I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.

Until now.

I found a free sudoku game which I won’t mention, and found that the concept of the game warranted finding a better, nicer looking version in the app store. Preferably free. That desire was granted in the form of Finger Arts’ Sudoku 2.

There is a free version and a paid version, which sells for $2.99. For the extra cabbage you get zero ads, a different board look called glass, and horizontal game mode. Personally, I’m a cheap bastard. But I gotta admit that I am considering paying for the app just because I like this particular version of sudoku so much.

You don’t miss out on much with the free version. It’s not stunted, lame, or gutted by any means. It’s a solid game with no real restrictions compared to the paid version. This makes me happy, because again, I’m a cheap bastard. You still get to choose between two looks (or themes, if you will) and the ads are barely noticeable. At least to me. The default look is my favorite, as it reminds me of Scrabble letters. Only they’re numbers.

The game still records your stats, and is also tied into OpenFeint. If you’re into that sort of thing then you aren’t missing anything from either paid or free version. It tracks high scores and perfect games, meaning you completed the board with three screw ups or less. For a noob like me, it’s hard to do that. I’ve only done that 2 out of 7 tries.

Personally, I prefer to listen to my own badass music when I play this game. It’s easier to concentrate on the board if I got my Mariah Carey or Debbie Gibson playing in the background. But that’s just me. There’s also a helpful Help menu for those of you, like me, who don’t know what the hell they’re doing.

Once you’re in the game and playing, the beauty of the graphics drown out the Spice Girls anthology and envelope you in the numbers spread about the board. Filling out the missing pieces is a cinch, as is most everything else about this game. Everything is very intuitive and smooth, even for a nub like me. I found that I could easily navigate this app and figure out further tips on becoming a better sudoku player. Even if I’m no master yet, it is still really fun to play and it doesn’t hurt that it’s really nice looking, too.

Now I honestly don’t like whoring out games. Call of Atlantis impressed me so much that I wrote about it, and I gotta say that Sudoku 2 impresses me just as much. Of course, you gotta be into this kind of game to enjoy it.

The concept, for those who don’t know, is quite simple: each 3 x 3 box needs to have the numbers 1-9 in it. Every row and every column also needs to have the numbers 1-9 in it. Sounds simple enough, right? Not so fast, Johnny Fast Fingers. It’s just not as easy as it sounds. And I think that’s why I like it.

If you or someone you know digs on these kinds of games, please click on the share buttons below and let them know.

Now, back to my sudoku game and the soothing and pleasant sounds of Enigma. So suck it.

iPhone 4 Jailbreaking Made Easy


You mean I have to slide to jailbreak? Too complicated...

It would seem that as time goes by that certain things become technologically easier. Dial up made surfing a hassle, but now super fast speeds are feeding the “now” generation with little problem.

That being said, it was only matter of time before jailbreaking your iPhone became easy for anyone. If you can use Safari then you can jailbreak your iPhone 4. But of course that begs the question: Is jailbreaking your iPhone 4 really worth it?

Well, I haven’t found out yet because I haven’t decided on the answer. I think that a lot of the issues with the previous operating system were addressed with iOS4, but there are still key issues that leave me wanting more. For example, I really enjoyed being able to change every sound on my phone as I wished. A new email would make the old school AOL “You’ve Got Mail” sound, while a new text message would have Navi from Ocarina of Time yell, “Hey!”

Other examples are true multi-tasking. The current iOS4 allows for “multi-tasking,” not multi-tasking. An app does not run in the background while you reply to an email, it simply “freezes” until you come back. Certain apps allow for iTunes to run while doing other things, but people (including this guy) want to run anything while I do something else for a moment.

That being said, I loved the hell out of my jailbroken iPhone 3G. Users can take comfort, however, that the jailbreak is almost as easy to reverse as it is to do in the first place. Just plug it into your computer that runs your iTunes account and click the Restore button.

So without further rambles, here is how to easily jailbreak your iPhone 4 that is running on the 4.X firmware:

1. Back up your iPhone on iTunes by syncing your phone.

2. Take your iPhone out of your computer and then open Safari on your iPhone and navigate to http://www.jailbreakme.com.

3. If that link doesn’t work on your iPhone then try going to http://jailbreakme.modmyi.com.

4. There will be a slider, much like the unlock slide, that says “Slide to Jailbreak.” Slide it.

5. Wait.

It will take a few minutes to do, and if done properly then it will have installed Cydia to your iPhone. Cydia is the jailbroken iPhone App Store, if you will. There you will find all the jailbroken apps that Apple doesn’t allow on their store.

*I should point out that this does not unlock your phone to use with different carriers. That is totally different. To use this method you must have an AT&T sim card in the device. Jailbreak at your own risk. Doing so voids Apple warranties, and both Apple and AT&T will not help you with jailbreaking or undoing it. As the author, I must say that I have not tried this on my phone – yet – and cannot guarantee that it will work for you without problems. Do so at your own risk of phone failure.*

Phew, glad I got that off my chest.

That’s what she said.

Alright, now I’m just rambling. So try it if you like and if it does, in fact, work for you then please come back and let me know about your experience with it!

Please click the below buttons to tell your friends who might want to know about this. It’s handy info, and it’s FREE!

iPhone App Review – Call of Atlantis


Trippy

I’m one of those people who isn’t very easy to please when it comes to playing games on the iPhone. Sure, I love Angry Birds and Words With Friends (who doesn’t?!) but otherwise it takes a lot for me to actually download a game from the App Store and enjoy it.

Most games I come across have zombies or some other boring crap that just makes me wonder why people love that stuff so much. I did love Nazi Zombies in Call of Duty: World at War, but that’s about it when it comes to that sort of thing. That’s not to say that there aren’t decent games on the iPhone or that the ones I just mentioned are bad, I just don’t care for them most of the time.

One of the games I’ve been wanting for a long time is a decent Jewel Quest type game. Sure I have Bejeweled and there are plenty of match three games out there, but none as good as Jewel Quest. And to make something clear, I know there’s a Jewel Quest game on the iPhone but it’s just not the same. There’s something about it that just bugs me.

So it’s a catch 22 for me. I want my cake and I wanna eat it. Just look at my fat pants. But then I was searching through Pandora Box (another app I’ve had since I got my first iPhone, and I love it!) I found a free app called Call of Atlantis that is a match three game. I was skeptical, but decided to give it a go.

Yup. That's me.

I was first taken by surprise by the beautiful look of the game. Usually free games have a cheesy Windows 95 kind of look to them; but not this one! The graphics are stunning and the sound matches right along. There are brief “cut scenes” which have a real voice over; a very nice touch. And another feature is to follow along the path of a symbol with your finger. It makes you feel like you’re actually doing something and involved with the game rather than simply a spectator to it.

Once you get past those parts it time for the match three game. The pieces look amazing on my iPhone 4 and the music/sound fx are just about perfect. While the music is very well done it does tend to get repetitive, and after a while it annoys me because I can’t help but hum along.

Not yo mamma's match three game. Ok, so it is.

Unlike Bejeweled and Jewel Quest the object of Call of Atlantis is to get pieces of an artifact off the grid within a certain amount of time, which varies with each puzzle. Along with the artifacts are helpful “weapons” (my word, not the game’s) that do a variety of things. A bomb, for instance, rids a small area of the grid for you, while a lightening bolt destroys all of one kind of piece on the grid of your choice. They come in handy every so often, but overall they’re not really a necessity.

Instead of the wild jungles of Africa or the sands of Egypt, this game starts you off in ancient Rome. The artifact pieces that you collect throughout a single puzzle make a whole artifact, and after you complete a certain amount of puzzles then a mini game starts where you place those artifacts into a scene where they belong. Sounds kinda boring, but it’s actually quite satisfying.

Unlock the symbols. Or something.

I haven’t beaten the game yet, but I find myself going to this game more often than the others that I own now. For the price of zero you get a game that easily could sell in the App Store for $1.99 or more. If you like match three games at all then you need to check this one out before the makers, Playrix, find out that they can charge for an iPhone/iPod game, especially one of this calibre.

If you don’t like it then you’re out nothing, and that’s the beauty of it. I felt like I ripped them off by liking it so much and not paying for a full game. The inclusion of facebook integration alone should make this a paid app, but I’ll count my blessings in pennies saved. Call of Atlantis is sure to get up to the top of the list in the App Store, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they started charging for it one day, because they should. They’d make a lot of money.

So click the “Share” buttons below to tell all your friends on Twitter and facebook, go to the App Store, and download this app. It’s fantastic! So suck it.

EDIT: Just read that this is a paid app, but it free for a limited time. Better get it while you can!

Ten Most Played Songs on my iPhone


The Blood of the Cu Chulainn by Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna off A Celtic Romance

The first song on my top ten songs played on my iPhone is called The Blood of the Cu Chulainn by Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna. While it’s on the album called A Celtic Romance, most would probably remember it as the theme song from Boondock Saints. This song has a sweeping melody that takes you to the rolling hills of Ireland and makes you yearn for the days of old. Or something.

Just Breathe by Pearl Jam off Backspacer

Just Breathe by Pearl Jam, off the recent album Backspacer, reminds me of Neil Diamond – but in a good way. Where most Pearl Jam songs tend to be gimmicky, this song fits nicely in it’s acoustic backdrop and wonderful lyrics. Unlike past Pearl Jam outings, this song doesn’t suck.

Flowers in December by Mazzy Star off Among My Swan

I’ve always had a soft spot for Mazzy Star. When lead singer Hope Sandoval released her solo albums I was all over it, because let’s face it, it’s still Mazzy Star. But going back to the early works of hers, Flowers in December has a melody that reminds me of Last Kiss, written by Wayne Cochran in 1961 but also well known by the cover version a few years back by Pearl Jam. Hope makes good use of her harmonica and sings the precious song as though she’s whispering it in your ear. Pretty much like every other song she does, but I digress. The album Among My Swan isn’t her best, but this song makes it a great addition.

Sing For Me (Acoustic) by Andreas Johnson off Mr. Johnson Your Room is on Fire

I’ve loved Andreas Johnson for many years now, but most people don’t know who he is. That’s mostly because he’s Swedish. Or something. From the album entitled Mr. Johnson, Your Room is on Fire, the acoustic version of Sing For Me is sweet and tender. It also uses a harmonica for parts of the melody, but Adreas’ voice is, as per usual, at center stage. He sounds like a mixture of Billy Corgan and Raine Maida (of Our Lady Peace) but he has much better control over the nasally aspect of his voice. I strongly prefer and suggest the album Liebling, but this one is just as fun.

Above the Bones by Mishka off Above the Bones

I normally don’t like reggae music at all, especially if it’s from a white dude. But this white dude, Mishka, who went to school in Canada when he wasn’t sailing with his family in the Caribbean, does a pretty good job. The song Above the Bones is at once happy and sad. One could imagine listening to it while happily going about their day, but could easily listen to the same song while in a funk. That’s not too bad of an accomplishment if you ask this white guy who couldn’t do reggae if his life depended on it. Just sayin’. 

Sister Golden Hair by America off America's Greatest Hits

Sister Golden Hair by America is the next song on the list. I honestly couldn’t tell you why I love this song so much. Maybe it’s the melody, maybe it’s the truthfulness of the lyrics… I just don’t know. But I do know that this song is fun to play on the guitar and it has a really great chord progression. The chorus sticks with you every time you listen to it and the drum beat is easily followed but just perfect for the feel of the song.

Damaged Goods by Glint off Glint - EP

The reason I love Damaged Goods by Glint so much is because it could have easily been on the Spawn movie soundtrack in the 90’s. But alas, the song was written released in 2009. It has a slight hint of Industrial music to it, as well as shades of techno and goth. But in a good way, not the “I’m gonna eat your pathetic soul because you wear clothing of color.” Or something. Damaged Goods easily sounds like it could have been co-written by Type-O-Negative. I first heard this song as the free download of iTunes and I’ve been hooked ever since. Great song to jam out to, especially if you’re feeling nostalgic for that 90’s indutrial goth type stuff.

Breaking to Touch by Jets Overhead off No Nations

When I first heard the album No Nations by Jets Overhead, the thing that stood out to me is that this is also an album that could have easily been released in the 1990’s and no one would be anymore the wiser. Breaking to Touch is by far my favorite song on the album because of it’s innocence and simplicity. It’s just a really nice song to listen to. Add that to the acoustic music and I’m hooked.

Stratherrick by Alasdair fraser off Dawn Dance

The next song is another celtic song, but unlike the previous one this one is haunting and dark. With its stoic melody, Stratherrick by Alasdair Fraser captures exactly what real Celtic/Irish music is like. This guy travels the world playing his music, and his whole album, Dawn Dance, is worth the time to listen to it. Everything from upbeat medlies to songs like Stratherrick and Theme for Scotland make this album a good listen no matter your mood.

Black Gives Way to Blue by Alice in Chains off Black Gives Way to Blue

And finally I come to the last song in the top ten songs played on my iPhone. Hardly anything in the music world hits me quite like Alice in Chains does. The titular song, Black Gives Way to Blue, is Jerry Cantrell’s last hoorah for their late lead singer, Layne Stayley, who died of an overdose in 2002. If you need a good cry over a lost friend or family member, give this song a listen. Though they hadn’t released an actual album in over a decade, Alice in Chains hired a new singer, William Duvall, to sing with them for their comeback album Black Gives Way to Blue. William may look like Lenny Kravitz, but his voice is somewhere in between the blues and Layne Stayley without sounding like he’s trying to mimick him. I. Love. This. Album. And I’ve been a strong AiC fan since their first album Facelift in the late 80’s.

So there you have it: the top ten songs listened to on my iPhone. There were a lot of other songs that came close behind these, so perhaps I’ll do a whole list at some point. Until then, suck it.

iPhone App Review – ScanBizCards


First, I would like to thank those of you who stopped by my relatively new blog for my 101 Reason to Love the 1990’s! I set new clicks records and I hope it entertained you, or at the very least, made you remember how incredibly awesome the 90’s really were.

Enough with the ass kissing, however, because it’s back to work. And today’s entry will be a review for an iPhone app that I came across and downloaded a few days ago based on curiousity (which didn’t kill my cat- yet) and intrigue.

The app I’m talking about is called ScanBizCards, which also comes in a handy Lite version for those not willing to spend the $6.99 (or 88.76 in pesos, for our amigos across the border) to have the full version that features more… well… features.

ScanBizCards is an app that will take a picture of a business card and scan it for information. Sounds simple enough, right? No. Then they complicate things up a little byletting you settle the score with any incorrect information. OK, that’s pretty cool. What else does it do?

I’mma tell ya.

After you’re done doing that it’s time to add that info into a new contact or existing contact to your iPhone address book. Sweet! Adding it really is as simple as a click of a button because it does all the work for you! Also, though a bit annoying, it will automatically make the contact person’s photo a picture of their business card. Kind of informal, but you can change that at a later time. Plus it beats meeting someone and asking to take their picture. Or worse yet, meeting a person and trying to snap a picture of them when you think they won’t notice, but then they do, and all hell breaks loose. OK, that last one was just me, but you live and you learn, right folks?

Moving right along, there are even more features to talk about. Next up is after you input that contact it will automatically ask if you’d like to send a follow up email right away, send to a friend, and in the paid version it will also ask if you’d like to find on LinkedIn. That’s all pretty cool stuff for those sales people out there that are always on the go.

Moving along still, we aren’t finished here!

After all of that there are still a couple things you can do from this app. If you hold the iPhone sideways it will go into a scroll menu of your scanned business cards, similar to the sideways flow of albums in iTunes. This is especially handy for people like me, who can’t remember anyone’s names to save their life. I can, however, remember business cards and faces, so this is a helpful thing for me.

After you find your business card you can view the picture of it and have the option to touch the card wherever it’s highlighted to perform whichever function is was that you touched. So if you touch the phone number it will ask if you wish to call that person from your phone, or email or visit their URL, etc.

ScanBizCards is a great tool for those of you who work Trade Shows and meet a lot of people, and for anyone else who tends to receive a lot of business cards. I can definitely see myself using this in my day job life, as I come across lots of people all the time.

The Lite version is handy for those who’d like to make sure that the app is what they’re looking for, but otherwise I’d actually suggest forking over the $6.99 for the full version. It’s rare that I’ll actually pay for an app, but after downloading about three other business card scanning apps I feel that this one is by far the best and has the most functionality. Not to mention it’s just cool. So suck it.

EDIT: I should point out that ScanBizCards works with iPhone 4 and 3GS. You CAN download it for your iPhone 3G, but you won’t be able to use it properly.

101 Reasons to Love the 1990′s (20-1)


So we’ve made it to the final portion of the 101 reasons to love the 1990’s! Again, this really isn’t in any particular order…

20. The Wonderbra was reintroduced in 1994, lying to every boy in junior and high school.

I'm tellin' you, Charlies are everywhere!

19. The Crow. Nuff said.

18. Meg Ryan was still human.

17. MTV still played music videos. In return, music videos didn’t cost millions upon millions of dollars to make. They were shit. And they were good.

16. Cell phones began to look like they couldn’t call in an airstrike.

15. Comet Shoemaker Levy hit Jupiter in 1994, giving a spectacle to astonomers all over the place. I only know that because I watched the science channel last week.

Unbelieeeeeeevable!

14. 10-10-220 commercials. If you don’t know what those are, be very, very thankful.

13. Korn’s first three albums dropped in the 1990’s, causing needless confusion between a vegetable and a gutteral rock band.

12. The Fifth Element was released in 1997. Leeloo’s full name? Leeloo Minai Lekarariba-Laminai-Tchai Ekbat De Sebat

11. Andy Dufresne taught us that if you’re going to be wrongfully imprisoned, ask Morgan Freeman for a Rita Hayworth poster.

10. Jacob Dylan proved that, while he could sing better than his dad, he couldn’t write more than two decent songs.

'Cause when a girl walks in...

9. Hip Hop took a turn for the silly in the early 90’s. Groups like Sir Mix-A-Lot and The Fresh Prince made hip hop not only fun, but anatomically educational.

8. Iconic shows in the 90’s ruled the world like Dinosaurs, Step by Step, Family Matters, Boy Meets World, Full House, News Radio, Just Shoot Me, The Kids in the Hall, MST3000, Married… With Children, Seinfeld, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Fresh Prince, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, Mad About You, Ellen, Saved by the Bell, and Roseanne. But no one can erase the memory of Blossom. So I aopologize for that show.

7. All someone had to do to become a famous rock star was grow their hair long, never wash it, and scream. Nowadays they make you put a little effort into your messy hair, but hey, talent isn’t a requirement.

Shaw, right. And monkey might fly out my butt.

6. Wayne’s World. Party on.

5. The reintroduction of the VW Beetle in the late 90’s, and it still looks dumb.

4. Counting down in 1999 everything that was going to be “the last time I __________ in this millenium.” (Followed by things like, “Man, I haven’t taken a dump since the last millenium!” Terrible.)

3. All of the movies of the 1990’s like PCU could beat up movies from the 2000’s like Van Wilder: Freshman Year any day. Except for House Party 2 and Godzilla.

2. Parachute pants: because you never know when you’ll be sucked out of an airplane without an actual parachute and you wanna live to see another horribly dressed day.

1. Rock music was actually good. After suffering through the 80’s glam crap that made everyone’s ears bleed, it was nice to have actual good music. Some of the best music to come from the rock genre were written during that time, but then, some of the worst music (I’m looking at you Bjork) also came out.

Well that’s it! Thanks for taking that trip down memory lane with me! Again, I’d love to hear some of your favorite, or worst, memories from the 1990’s. Feel free to repost on facebook or twitter…

Henry. Out.

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