PushMail: How Apple should be doing iPhone e-mail

August 30th, 2009 | Comments Off on PushMail: How Apple should be doing iPhone e-mail
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Apple Talk, Gadgets, Technology

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During my two weeks with the Palm Pre, the one thing I missed the most was how it notified me of new e-mail on all of my accounts via push. Any time an e-mail arrived in my inbox — regardless of which account it was — the Pre would light up and show me a short preview of the e-mail. If it was junk mail, I could avoid having to open up my mail just to be disappointed (same goes for random e-mails from friends or colleagues that aren’t time-sensitive).

On the iPhone, even with OS 3.0, there are only two options for push e-mail: MobileMe (which I have, and use for personal e-mail) or an Exchange account. But even with those, I’m still not getting the same experience from the Pre — I still have to actually unlock the phone and go into Mail (which kills the battery faster) instead of the iPhone displaying a preview notification.

That is, until I found the PushMail app.
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DJ AM is dead! (Who the f#@k is DJ AM??)

August 29th, 2009 | Comments Off on DJ AM is dead! (Who the f#@k is DJ AM??)
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Complaint Department, Random Thoughts, Seen & Heard

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OK, with all due respect to those who knew & loved this DJ AM guy when he was alive… am I alone in scratching my head and thinking, “Who the fahrvergnügen is that guy, anyway?!” And he’s just one of an increasingly-long list of “celebrities” that make me feel old every time I log onto MySpace and see their dubious list of “Celebrity Updates” such as the one I screen-snapped this morning (above).
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The studios hate you, cheap bastards!

August 14th, 2009 | Comments Off on The studios hate you, cheap bastards!
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Movies, Random Thoughts, Seen & Heard, Technology

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It goes without saying that consumers are in love with Redbox, the Coinstar-owned company who in just a few short years has built up a formidable rental kiosk business against the likes of mail-order favorite Netflix. I mean, DVD rentals for a buck a night? What’s not to like? (Unless you like indie fare like Tempe… Redbox is for the big boys only.)

Somebody explain that to the bigwigs in Hollywood. First they succeeded in mostly squashing the 99¢ iTunes new release (that’ll be $1.29 now, thankyouverymuch), and now they’re trying to put the squeeze on the $1 DVD rental.
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AT&T (and Apple) is screwing up a good thing

July 28th, 2009 | Comments Off on AT&T (and Apple) is screwing up a good thing
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Apple Talk, Complaint Department, Gadgets, Random Thoughts, Seen & Heard, Technology

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Image courtesy of Gizmodo

I speak, of course, of the iPhone, and in particular, the great App Store that swung open its doors little more than a year ago. As any iPhone user can attest to, it’s a veritable playground of extra functionality that spoils us with every new release. Sure, other cell phones have had applications in the past (and most of them are scrambling to catch up to Apple even now), but let’s face it… they were kludges at best, and few people really used them as a result. The iPhone is clearly a mini-computer that happens to also make phone calls, and the success of the App Store is a testament to why cell phone carriers are nervous about their own little Berlin Wall that’s coming down now, a few bricks at a time.

But make no mistake, AT&T (aka “the Empire”) is striking back, and it’s going to take some great innovation and technology with it if it’s not careful.
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SKINNED ALIVE: The Musical…?

July 14th, 2009 | Comments Off on SKINNED ALIVE: The Musical…?
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Movies, Seen & Heard, Tempe Entertainment

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OK, not really… but thanks to the musical stylings of one of the cast members, you can sit back and imagine what it might be like!

This audio track comes courtesy of Michael Render, who played “Willard” in SKINNED ALIVE. Mike is a talented musician first & foremost, having been a founding member of Joy Circuit, the popular Akron-area band back in the ’80s who also contributed an end title track, “The Answer”, to THE DEAD NEXT DOOR. Mike’s other contributions to the Tempe Universe include a cameo in ROBOT NINJA and guitar tracks on the original (VHS-era) version of “Into The Black” (the end title track from OZONE).

And now comes this, a musical version of the scene in SKINNED ALIVE where the Willard character meets his untimely fate at the hands of Phink, Violet and Crawldaddy. It’s a hoot!

SKINNED ALIVE: The Musical (Demo) by Michael Render

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But what if they all suck…?

June 30th, 2009 | Comments Off on But what if they all suck…?
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Complaint Department, Movies, Seen & Heard

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In case you haven’t heard, the classic, underrated 1986 horror comedy NIGHT OF THE CREEPS is finally coming to DVD in October. Until July 12, Amazon.com is having a neat little thing where customers can vote for which cover art the DVD will have (and entice you to pre-order at the same time, of course).
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R.I.P. Michael Jackson

June 25th, 2009 | Comments Off on R.I.P. Michael Jackson
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Announcements, Random Thoughts, Seen & Heard

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Just about everybody is reporting the news this evening that Michael Jackson has died at age 50. If it’s indeed found to be true in the hours ahead, it caps off an already-sad day that began with Farrah Fawcett’s death at age 62. And, two more pieces of my childhood slip away, leaving behind their individual legacies of music, cinema and television.

I may have some more extensive thoughts on the matter later on, but suffice it to say that I grew up with Michael Jackson — from his early days with the Jackson 5 to the mind-blowing experience of hearing the Thriller album for the first time, and even up to his more recent work that was largely discarded by a fickle public weary of his personal dramas. And despite that whacky behavior and his alleged proclivities later in life, there’s no denying that he was a talented son of a bitch. Yes, I consider myself a fan.

I’m sort of horrified watching the assheads on Facebook distill the man’s life down to bad pedophilia jokes, but unfortunately, to the younger generation, all they really knew was The Michael Jackson Freakshow, day in and day out on their televisions.

Me, I had top-of-every-hour viewings of the THRILLER video on MTV… still one of the best music videos ever made. Or being exactly the right age to have seen that moonwalk dance and have your mind blown. That is the Michael Jackson that I am choosing to honor, respect and remember as he takes that last moonwalk into the great beyond.

AP Breaking News

FUN FACTS: I think I was too in shock last night when I wrote this to remember that M.J. came to the Hollywood & Vine offices of Full Moon during my tenure there (must have been 1999?) to meet with Charlie Band about a line of toys. We lowly worker drones on the 8th floor (where the production & post offices were) weren’t allowed upstairs for that block of time, although many of us snuck around trying to catch a peek. WITCHOUSE 3: DEMON FIRE starlet Tanya Dempsey tweeted last night: “6 years ago I had the honor of attending Michael Jackson’s birthday at Neverland Ranch. It was one of the most magical nights of my life.” Lucky wench!

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iPhone upgrades: Broken hearts, broken wallets

June 11th, 2009 | Comments Off on iPhone upgrades: Broken hearts, broken wallets
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Apple Talk, Complaint Department, Gadgets, Random Thoughts, Seen & Heard, Technology

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There’s been quite a kerfuffle (if I can use that word in a sentence) going on in blog comments and forum threads around the ‘Net this week, since Monday’s Apple WWDC keynote announcing the new iPhone 3Gs model landing on June 19.

And honestly, I just don’t get it.
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iCaved: Palm Pre edition (Part 2)

June 8th, 2009 | 2 Comments »
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Apple Talk, Gadgets, Reviews, Technology

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Aaaand, I’m back. Today’s Apple WWDC keynote (and subsequent iPhone-related announcements) sort of distracted me from finishing my Palm Pre post, so I split it into two parts for ease of reading.

The Palm Pre has been exhaustively reviewed and dissected on numerous blogs by now, so I won’t go into a thorough review, but rather spend the rest of this second part discussing some minutiae that I haven’t seen discussed elsewhere as much. To me, it’s the small “gotchas” that make or break handsets like this, so hunker down and let’s get started.

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Apple updates iPhone to 3G S model on June 19

June 8th, 2009 | Comments Off on Apple updates iPhone to 3G S model on June 19
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Announcements, Apple Talk, Gadgets, Seen & Heard, Technology

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Just a quickie sandwiched in-between the Palm Pre chatter. As predicted by many, Apple today announced the iPhone 3G S, a new model which adds a faster processor, faster 3G data transfer speeds, an upgraded, 3 megapixel camera with video recording & editing, voice control and digital compass, available Friday, June 19 for $199 (16 GB) or $299 (32 GB). And hey, from the outside it’s exactly the same as the current model, which means all of your cases, screen protectors and accessories will get another year’s worth of value for a change.

Also announced was the availability of iPhone OS 3.0 next Wednesday, June 17… which will certainly mark an unbearable 48 hours of waiting for me, since my current iPhone 3G is happily jailbroken & unlocked, and I want to keep it as such so I can sell it on eBay, or possibly to one of my wife’s friends in Ukraine, and subsidize some of the $499 I’ll have to pay for upgrading to the new model, since I’m only halfway through the 2-year contract from last year. (Bah!)

Kudos to Apple for the new model, and for not making us wait until July to get our hands on OS 3.0… that would have killed me. LOL

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