Monthly Archives: February 2011

Months Before Its Official Release, Radiohead Delivers King of Limbs, Its Eighth Full-Length Album, Digitally

Radiohead will release their eighth full-length album, King of Limbs, online Saturday, February 19th. Unlike their last album, 2007′s Rainbows (in which the band allowed buyers to pay what they want), King of Limbs has different payment options.

A digital version can be purchased in advance for $9 (for MP3 format) or $14 (for WAV format).

Buyers also have the option to purchase a “newspaper album” release (to be shipped May 9). It includes two 10-inch vinyl records and a CD, as well as “many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-color piece of oxo-degradable plastic to hold it all together. Prices run $48 (for MP3 digital files) or $53 (for WAV).

Click HERE to order.

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Smaller iPhone, MobileMe Revamp Coming This Summer?

A new report from the Wall Street Journal has corroborated a story from late last week indicating that Apple is working on a smaller, less expensive version of the iPhone, while adding details of a revamp to Apple’s MobileMe online service suite that could include a cloud-based streaming media service. Citing a person who saw a prototype of the phone late last year, the report states that the new model is codenamed “N97,” is said to be “about half the size of the iPhone 4,” and is to have “an edge-to-edge screen” as well as “voice-based navigation.” It is intended for sale alongside Apple’s existing iPhone line and would be available to carriers for roughly half the price of traditional iPhone models. The new phone is expected to be released this summer, although those plans could change, according to the report’s source.

Also mentioned in the report is a revamp of Apple’s MobileMe online service suite. According to a person familiar with the matter, Apple is considering making MobileMe a free service to serve as an online “locker” for personal data such as photos, music, and videos. In addition, MobileMe could also be part of a new online music service for Apple, that would give users access to their iTunes libraries from mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad without the need for the devices be synched via cable with a computer, or for physical onboard components to store the actual files. The report notes that the new service could debut as early as June, dependent on the progress of licensing talks that are said to be in their preliminary stages; according to the report, Apple had planned for the service to roll out last year. (Reprinted from iLounge.com)

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The Amazing Spider-Man To Be Released On July 3, 2012

Columbia Pictures announced today that the title of the next Spider-Man film will be The Amazing Spider-Man.

The studio simultaneously released a photo of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, the first shot of Garfield in the famous full mask and suit.

The film, which is now in production and is being shot entirely in 3D, will be released on July 3, 2012. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen, and Sally Field. The film is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt and Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, and Matt Tolmach are producing the Marvel Entertainment production for Columbia Pictures. The executive producers are Stan Lee, Kevin Feige, and Michael Grillo.

The film’s official website is TheAmazingSpiderMan-movie.com.

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The SONY Xperia Play – The PlayStation Phone

Sony officially unveiled the Xperia Play ($TBA). The Xperia Play will be the first PlayStation certified device. It will come preloaded with a “legendary PlayStation title”, and look for around 50 PlayStation titles to be available at time of launch. It is an Android smartphone, running Android 2.3. Features include a 854×480 pixel capacitive multi-touch TFT LCD display, 5.5 hours of gaming time on a single charge and a 5.1MP flash assisted digital camera. The device is powered by 1 GHz Scorpion ARMv7 single-core CPU, 512MB of RAM and comes with an 8GB microSD card. It’s launching in March, and will be available on Verizon in “early spring”.

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2011 Grammy Award Winners

HERE is a list of the 2011 Grammy Award nominees and winners.

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards which aired from 8-11:30 p.m. on CBS – was watched by 26.5 million viewers, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen.

The 2011 Grammys ended with a major shocker as Canadian indie rockers Arcade Fire beat out platinum pop stars Eminem, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry for the night’s big award, Album of the Year for “The Suburbs.”

Despite not winning the Album of the Year title, Lady Antebellum still walked away with the most trophies overall, winning Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Country Song and Best Country Performance by Duo/Group for the song “Need You Now.” Additionally, the chart-topping country trio took home the award for Best Country Album, winning five awards total.

The other big surprise of the night was a Best New Artist win by jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding, who beat out both Justin Bieber and Drake to win the title.

Other big winners included Eminem, who performed alongside Dr. Dre and Rihanna during the show and walked away with a Best Rap Album trophy for “Recovery,” and Lady Gaga, who took home the Best Pop Vocal Album statuette “The Fame Monster.” In addition to thanking her fans and family during her acceptance speech, Gaga gave Whitney Houston an unexpected shout-out. “I want to thank Whitney Houston because when I wrote ‘Born This Way,’ I imagined [she was] singing it,” Gaga told the Grammy crowd.

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McSweeney’s Launches ‘The Goods’ – A Weekly Collection of Games,
Puzzles, Comics Appearing In Newspapers Across The U.S. & Canada

Last week, McSweeney’s the quirky publishing house founded by author Dave Eggers launched a thing called The Goods. The Goods is a weekly smorgasbord of games, puzzles, comics and other diversions. Each week, a cavalcade of New York Times-best-selling book authors and Caldecott Award-Winning illustrators from the world of children’s books will contribute amusements that will enthrall kids and adults alike. Readers will pore over a variety of features, including a spot-the-difference puzzle featuring motorcycle-riding ice cream cones; a guide to creating your own secret language; a maze navigating George Washington’s famous curly locks; and clip-out paper dolls of Grigori Rasputin.

Thoughtfully conceived and visually stunning, every issue of The Goods will deliver a new collection of recurring features and new work. Contributors include: Mo Willems, Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith, Laurie Keller, Carson Ellis, Bob Shea, Adam Rex, Sean Qualls, and Dan Santat.

Your call to action is to figure out who the features editor of your local paper is and ask them to start running The Goods. The website is http://www2.mcsweeneys.net/thegoods.

McSweeney’s is really excited about this humble venture. So play your part, if you can, and spread the word!

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More Information About The Incredibles Blu-ray Release On April 12, 2011

The Incredibles, everyone’s favorite family of undercover superheroes and Disney Pixar’s two time Academy Award-winning animated feature film (2004 Best Animated Feature Film and Best Achievement in Sound Editing), makes its highly-anticipated Blu-ray debut on April 12, 2011. Releasing as a 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (2 Blu-ray Discs + 1 DVD + 1 Digital Copy), this superset ($46) has something for everyone – from the discerning enthusiast who demands nothing less than the highest-quality home entertainment experience, to the family who enjoys the interactive and engaging bonus features that only Blu-ray can provide – making this a “must add” to every home entertainment collection across the nation.

Bonus Features:

Blu-ray:
Includes The Following All-New Bonus Features Plus All The Classic DVD Features:

- The Incredibles Revisited – A roundtable discussion with Writer/Director Brad Bird, Producer John Walker, Story Supervisor Mark Andrews, Supervising Technical Director Rick Sayre, Production Designer Lou Romano, Character Designer Teddy Newton, and Supervising Animator Tony Fucile.

- Paths To Pixar: Story Artists – Continuing the popular bonus feature series that viewers have seen onmany other Disney•Pixar releases, this exciting new feature showcases multiple Pixar story artists givingviewers exciting insight into their work, their inspiration and the personal paths that eventually led themto a career at Pixar.

- Studio Stories: Gary’s Birthday – Trying to make a movie when there are not enough work days and too many birthday parties? This feature showcases how The Incredibles crew solved that problem.

- Ending With A Bang: Making The End Credits – Interview with Director of Photography Andy Jimenez and Character Designer Teddy Newton about the process of creating the end credits for the film.

- “The New Nomanisan” Island Redevelopment Plan – A guided tour of Nomanisan Island, post-Syndrome, pitching the island as a vacation resort paradise.

Classic DVD Features:

The DVD in the 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack Includes:

The Incredibles feature film plus the original short film Jack-Jack Attack and Pixar’s Academy Award-nominated short film Boundin’ (2003 Best Animated Short)

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The United States of GOOD Beer

GOOD asked their readers “What is the most awesome, best-tasting, sustainably brewed, independently owned, community-oriented craft beer brewed in your state?”. The result is The United States of GOOD Beer.

Click to make image larger

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Guitar Lessons Print By Maxim Dalton

Check out this great new illustration entitled Guitar Lessons by Maxim Dalton. The Buenos Aires based artist tried to include all of his rock guitar heroes.

The soon to be produced print features: Frank Zappa, George Harrison, Slash, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Brian May, Johnny Ramone, Jack White, The Edge, Chuck Berry, Angus Young, Pete Townshend, Tony Iommi, Eddie Van Halen, David Gilmour, Ace Frehley, Ritchie Blackmore, Duane Allman, Kirk Hammett, Carlos Santana, John Frusciante, Yngwie Malmsteen, Kurt Cobain, Mike Bloomfield, Jerry Garcia, Ry Cooder, Bo Diddley, Jeff Beck, Tom Morello, Brian Setzer and Peter Green.

Dalton will make only 50 hand signed and numbered giclée prints. The size will be 19 x 25 inches and the cost around $40 + $11 shipping for the US and Europe.

You can email him HERE if you’re interested and he will reserve the print for you!

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Tune Into Disney Junior On February 14th

Beginning on February 14, 2011, Disney Junior will be available every morning on Disney Channel! Disney Junior invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. Disney Junior’s animated and live action series blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills.

Various new shows such as Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Tinga Tinga Tales, and Babar and the Adventures of Badou and new short series such as Mickey Mousekersize, Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps and A Poem Is… are set to premiere.

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The Origins of 20 Mall Staples

If you’ve been to a mall recently, chances are at least a few of these stores were listed in the directory. From Abercrombie & Fitch to Williams-Sonoma, HERE are the stories behind 20 mall staples.

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AT&T Offering 1,000 Rollover Minutes Free Via Text

AT&T is offering iPhone users a free gift of 1,000 rollover minutes via a text message. Some iPhone users have received a text from AT&T stating, “You’re a valued AT&T customer. We’d like to add 1000 bonus rollover minutes to the mobile number ending in [blank]. There’s NO cost or obligation to you. It’s our war of saying thank you. To have your minutes added, reply YES by 3/31/2011.”

Also you can send a text message of “yes” to the number 11113020. The reply will state, “Thank you for accepting our free 1000 bonus Rollover minute offer. Please allow up to 4 weeks for processing.”

AT&T has confirmed the offer, saying “it’s a way of thanking our customers.”

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Comic Strip Frame

Transform your photos into a fun comic strip with this fun frame. Insert your photos into the frame to create the story, included with the frame a pack of speech bubbles and a pen so you can complete the comic strip with written jokes! Buy it here ( £12.99 – $20.68)

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TRON: Legacy And The Original Classic Due On Blu-ray & DVD On April 5th

The Walt Disney Studios is proud to announce the release of its high-tech, action-packed adventure TRON: Legacy, available April 5th on multiple home entertainment platforms, including Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy, Movie Download and On-Demand.  Also making its long-awaited Blu-ray debut on April 5th is TRON: The Original Classic Special Edition.

Sure to light-up fans this Spring, TRON: Legacy provides consumers with the ultimate Hi-Def Blu-ray experience with breathtaking 1080p visuals and superior 7.1 surround sounds that bring to life the visually stunning world of TRON.  Taking you further behind the grid, are also in-depth bonus features on the making of the film (i.e., creating the futuristic vehicles and world of TRON, storyline mythologies, actors/characters and more) and the all-new Disney Second Screen interactive experience.

Disney Second Screen transforms the movie watching experience by allowing viewers to explore the story behind the film perfectly synched on a second device, like an iPad™ or laptop, without interrupting their enjoyment of the movie. By simply accessing the Disney Second Screen companion application on their Internet-connected device, consumers are able to dive deeper into the film by engaging with elements including 360-degree vehicle turnarounds, interactive progression reels, and more. Disney Second Screen directions and access codes can be found inside the Blu-ray Disc packaging.Audio synching is powered by TVPLUS.

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Pixar Surprises John Lasseter with Cars 2 Cameo

The Associated Press reports that Disney Pixar surprised the company’s chief creative officer John Lasseter with a cameo in Cars 2. The character, pictured below, is a yellow pick-up truck named “John Lassetire.” The animation studio registered the character’s name to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

“It was news to me,” said Lasseter, who is also serving as a director on the sequel. “I did not know about that, so I was a little surprised. I ended up voicing this character. It was just one line, but now I have a ‘Cars’ character. I’m very excited about that. He’s a good ol’ American pick-up truck, which I think is very appropriate for John Lassetire.”

Lasseter’s character serves as the pit crew chief for a high-profile race car. Cars 2 hits theaters on June 24.

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Lionsgate, Studiocanal and Miramax Sign Home Entertainment Deal For Worldwide Distribution Of 550 Movie Titles

Lionsgate, a leading diversified filmed entertainment studio, Studiocanal and Miramax announced today that they have entered into a worldwide home entertainment distribution deal. Under the long-term deal, Lionsgate and Studiocanal will distribute more than 550 titles from the renowned Miramax film library via DVD, Blu-ray, EST and Internet Video On Demand (VOD), in addition to cable VOD internationally.

Lionsgate will partner with leading international distributor Studiocanal to distribute Miramax titles in the UK and Europe. The announcement was made by Steve Beeks, President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Lionsgate, Olivier Courson, Chief Executive Officer of Studiocanal and Mike Lang, Chief Executive Officer of Miramax.

“The Miramax library will be one of the most treasured jewels in our home entertainment crown,” said Beeks. “With our longstanding commitment and expertise in aggressively managing library titles, we are thrilled to bring together under one roof such Miramax film icons as Shakespeare in Love, The English Patient, Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting with our existing classics such as Dirty Dancing and Monster’s Ball to create what is unquestionably one of the most powerful and prestigious filmed entertainment libraries in the world. We are looking forward to working with Mike and his incredible team on this exciting venture.”

The first home entertainment release under the deal will be The Switch in the US, the romantic comedy about friendship, fertility and family, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, which will be released on Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and available for digital download on March 15th.

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Face Mug

Put a smile on that mug with a hungry mouth cubby that bites off more than you can chew. Perfect for serving milk and cookies, coffee and doughnuts, tea and biscotti, or your favorite snack-time combinations.

Buy it here ($18)

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Genesis SodaStream System Review

Create your own soda shop, right in your very own kitchen with the Genesis SodaStream Starter Kit ($109.95). With the push of a button you can customize your favorite beverage and control the fizz to create the perfect bubbly blend. The SodaStream is fun and easy to use.  My kids were able to create a batch of Root Beer and Lemon Lime Soda within minutes. This package includes everything you need to make your very own homemade soda or seltzer.  The Genesis Starter Kit includes: the Soda Maker Unit, User Manual, 1 60 liter Carbonator (Co2 canister) , 1 Carbonating Bottle, and 2 SodaMix bottles. Setup was a breeze, I simply inserted the Co2 canister inside the unit and attached the lid into the base. No electricity was needed, and setup could not have been quicker. I then filled the 1 liter bottle with water, chilled it, and then easily screwed it into the units exterior nozzle.  I quickly pushed the button located on top of the unit 3 times, and my water was instantly transformed into carbonated seltzer.  I then added my flavoring, sealed the top and gave the mix a swirl.  My family enjoyed a taste test party consisting of our favorite flavored beverages.  The choices of Sodamix flavors are endless.  They are categorized into the following groups: Regular Flavors, Diet Flavors, Energy Drink, Sparkling Naturals, Sparkling Tea, Sodamix Variety Packs, as well as MyWater Essence Flavors.  The flavor choices can be viewed here. Sodamix Flavors are available in economy sized bottles. Each bottle of concentrated SodaMix contains enough syrup to make about 12 liters or 33 cans of soda. There is no aspartame in the diet flavors, instead sucralose is used, also there is no high-fructose corn syrup in the regular flavors. The slim and compact Genesis model comes in either Red or Gray. The SodaStream System comes in a variety of styles to suit all tastes, please refer to the comparison chart here.  I adore seltzer water, and typically drink several bottles per week.  The carbonated water that we made with our SodaStream rivaled some of the best tasting imported carbonated waters that I have ever tasted.  SodaStream systems and supplies can be purchased online or can be found at a wide variety of retailers including: Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Williams-Sonoma. The Co2 canister will give you approximately 60 liters of fizzy beverages. Once the Co2 canister is empty, you’ll have to swap it out for a full one. Canisters are available at several retailers.  You can access a list of stores here. (Reviewed by Meredith Fire-Hess)

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X-Men: First Class Trailer

20th Century Fox has released the trailer for X-Men: First Class today.

Hitting theaters on June 3, the Matthew Vaughn directed film stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Kevin Bacon, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Caleb Landry Jones, Lucas Till, Edi Gathegi, Jason Flemyng, Oliver Platt, Morgan Lily, Zoe Kravitz and Bill Bilner.

X-Men: First Class charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga, and reveals a secret history of famous global events. Before mutants had revealed themselves to the world, and before Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Not archenemies, they were instead at first the closest of friends, working together with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to prevent nuclear Armageddon. In the process, a grave rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.

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The N.Y. Times Gives a Rare Look Inside Pixar Studios

The Pixar Animation Studios complex in California looks exactly like what you’d expect. There are giant fluffy couches and pool and ping-pong tables and huge pictures of their most successful movies and a display case with all the studio’s Oscars.

But the public has rarely gotten to actually see behind the scenes of the studio beloved for the creation of the ‘Toy Story’ franchise, ‘Up,’ ‘Wall-E’ and numerous other favorites.

The New York Times’ Melena Ryzik got the chance to go inside Pixar and talk to ‘Toy Story 3′ director Lee Unkrich, Pixar producers and animators, as well as watch them work on some familiar faces.

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Jim Lee’s Batman: Hush Unwrapped Deluxe Hardcover Due On February 16th

A new, unprecedented edition of the classic Batman epic featuring the art of comics superstar Jim Lee in pencil form for the first time ever, giving comics connoisseurs the chance to study a true master of the form at his best!

This amazing new 320 page hardcover ($40) presents Jim Lee’s artwork in pencil form, with lettering and in black and white.

Relive the thrilling mystery of the best-selling Batman: Hush as Batman sets out to discover the identity of a mysterious mastermind using The Joker, The Riddler, Ra’s al Ghul and the Dark Knight’s other enemies – and allies – as pawns in a plan to wreak havoc.

The book will be available on February 16th.

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Meet The New Pixar Cars 2 Characters: Francesco Bernoulli & Uncle and Mama Topolino

Francesco Bernoulli grew up in the shadow of the famous Monza race course in Italy where he and his friends would sneak onto the track and race the famous Pista di Alta Velocita bank turn. He was an instant winner on the amateur circuit and soon became an international Formula Racer champion. The ladies love Francesco’s open wheels, youngsters look up to his winning spirit and fellow racers envy his speed. But Francesco’s biggest fan is Francesco himself, as evidenced by his racing number. As the most famous race car in Europe, #1 Francesco is a favorite to win the World Grand Prix, which also makes him McQueen’s chief rival.

In the small village of Santa Ruotina, near Porto Corsa, Italy, Luigi’s favorite uncle, Uncle Topolino, resides with his beloved wife, Mama Topolino. Uncle Topolino is the owner of the village’s tire shop, where he taught Luigi and Guido everything they know, though Uncle Topolino is full of sage advice about more than just tires.

To all who know her, Luigi’s aunt, Mama Topolino, is a masterful cook with the best fuel in the village of Santa Ruotina, near Porto Corsa, Italy. Though she has a loving, but fiery relationship with her husband, Uncle Topolino, she shows her love and generosity for both family and friends by feeding everyone her renowned delizioso fuel.

Cars 2 will be in theaters on June 24th.

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HP TouchPad

The HP TouchPad ($TBA) seems nearly identical to the ubiquitous iPad.  They both share the same screen (9.7 inches), weight (1.6 pounds) and dimensions.

Setting it apart are a dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor, 1.3 megapixel webcam, HP’s webOS 3.0, “true” multitasking, a HP Synergy-powered communication suite and some unique features such as touch-to-share data transfer and Touchstone technology for sharing info with a webOS phone.

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Spider-Man To Join The Fantastic Four

The Fantastic Four lost a member following the death of the Human Torch in January’s Fantastic Four #587, and it looks like another wise-cracking, iconic Marvel Comics hero will replace him: Spider-Man.

Marvel Comics announced on Wednesday the first details of the March-debuting FF #1, the series effectively replacing Fantastic Four in the company’s publishing line. “FF” stands for “Future Foundation” (a concept introduced previously in writer Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four run) with Spider-Man joining with Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Thing and “some top secret members” to save the Marvel Universe from the biggest threats. As previously announced, the creative team of Hickman and artist Steve Epting will carry over to FF.

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