Stratocam Reminds of The Wonderful World

Google Maps satellite view is something to easily overlook. When Google Earth came out, people might do a quick search for their house, take a stop at the Grand Canyon, and maybe even seek out the pyramids in Egypt. But, after that, the novelty wore off. Seeing the imaged Earth from above became commonplace and lost its luster. Here’s the thing: in the 1960s, to take a high aerial photo of the Earth, people had to launch a satellite into space, take pictures on film, deploy the film back to Earth, and send teams of people to go pick it up. That’s a reality technology has made us forget. Google Satellite imagine is a mundane miracle. With the images open to the public, anyone can view the pale blue dot from above, and the images available are stunning.

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‘Figure’ Will Make You the Greatest Electronic Musician Ever

Music is about feeling, and emoting, and hanging out with groupies, and writing cool songs, yeah? But learning to play can be so godawfully hard. You have to practice, and when you’re down practicing you’re supposed to practice some more. Then you’re supposed to eat lunch, think about music and then go back to practicing. What a bore! I’m still looking for the moment where I can just pick up a guitar and play some filthy, mind-blowing licks and whatnot. For now, I just keep on picking up guitars whenever I see them and hope for the best.

But, the advent of flashy, new applications for computers, and iPhones, and all sorts of technological gizmos is making my dream of being an awesome electronic musician a near reality. Sure, the professionals have auto-tune, vocoders, and audio-engineers to run it all. But that stuff is expensive. I just want an app on my iPhone where I can open it up, tap a few buttons, and really get into my zone. Figure, by Propellerhead, is that app, and the songs you make are awesome.

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Raise Your Hand If You Can See Four Dimensional Space

Liars! Every last one of you. Put your hands down. You can’t see 4D space. I can’t even see 4D space and I wear glasses to improve my 20/20 vision. But four dimensional space does exist (I checked, it’s on Wikipedia), it’s just very hard to wrap the noggin around because we don’t inhabit a traditionally four dimensional world. That’s where avant garde learning mobile app The Fourth Dimension comes in.

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SnapGuide: The Pocket Reference for The Universe (maybe)

Enough of this highfalutin education I’m paying for. I just learned how to roast cauliflower (perfectly), bottle beer, make duct tape feather earrings, and curl my hair with a straightening iron—all from the comforts of my iPhone. Mobile app SnapGuide intends to bring the world of “how-to” straight to the smartphone in a sexy and well-packaged way.

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Brandish Your Banter. It’s Better Than Memes

Texts From Last Night: Sleazy, delightful, delicious fun. Everyone was suspect to send or receive ludicrous SMS and TFLN provided for hilarious dialogue to appear behind a wall of area-code-anonymity. In 2010, TFLN founder Lauren Leto launched Bnter (which has been since renamed Banters) as an online hub to store any sort of dialogue. Many […]

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Getting Things Done Is Not So Clear

Getting Things Done Is Not So Clear

The new iOS application Clear promises to help you get your tasks done with its innovative, button free design. After using the application for five days, I can say that it certainly is the best list making app out there. But, list making is not the best way to get things done. If you want to make a grocery list where sequence and time don’t matter, go ahead and use Clear. The application designed to really help you get things done is still waiting out there.

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Frederic Chopin: Leprechaun Slayer

Chopin. Defender of Melody

“Rise and shine, Frederic. Rise and shine,” booms the voiced-over sound of God as Frederic Chopin rises from the grave. Leaving the cemetery he emerges onto an expansive boulevard, where Frederic becomes overwhelmed by flashing lights, rushing cars, and men dressed as ketchup bottles. He retreats to a park bench and sits in dismay. Much to his surprise (and my own) three comely Greek muses of the lyre—Nete, Hypate, and Mese—appear bearing “artifacts of great power.” A miniature floating golden carriage, and grand piano are bestowed upon Frederic. The muses disappear, and a French electro-DJ thug floats up to Fred. In a voice that could have been his, but might as well have been my own, Chopin cries out, “Why am I here? What am I supposed to do?!”

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The Guitarist’s Bottomless Toolbox

Courtesy: Pozadia
There are almost 206,000 free apps on the mobile market today. Of the paid apps available, by far the highest percentage (about 27% or nearly 112,000 apps) are priced at $0.99. We are conditioned to expect cheap applications, so more expensive apps are often overlooked; after all, they are outside of our comfort zone. I know I never would have spent $10 on a guitar application just to add convenience to my play time if I hadn’t had the $100 Apple Store gift card that came with my newly purchased MacBook via a back to school promotion. Even with my surplus of app money, purchasing Agile Partners’ GuitarToolkit felt strange. Would it really work better than the dozens of similar $1-2 apps on the market? After having and using the app for several months, the answer is indefinitely yes. GuitarToolkit simply contains enough content to deter me from looking elsewhere for any of my mobile music tool needs, and with a wealth of useful, user-friendly features, it could potentially revolutionize the way guitar players learn, practice, and play.

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Temple Run

Temple RunAn iPhone game, the perfect waste of time while walking to class, on a train, or when you’re on the john. If you’re anything like me though, you wont settle for any ole’ crappy game, one of those games with poor graphics and just awful control handling. My personal poison right now lies in the game Temple Run. You can probably guess what the game entails based off of the title; you run through a temple. This is something that I felt had been done many times but this game is filled with achievements, power-ups, and well made controls to make the whole gaming experience fun.

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Path: Where the Right Friends Are

Path Feature Banner

Mobility is the moniker of the modern network. Software design has reached a point where lightweight packaging and sensible interface align to form a new category of applications. There are few services which properly handle the lattice formed by combining mobile social network and traditional app development Most social networks, like Facebook and Google+, exist on the web and are therefore too clumsy, lumbering, and complicated to port to a mobile device in an intuitive way. The process and limits of web design and native app design are genetically different.

More importantly than that, your mobile device is a personal one. It’s ever present, always on, and almost never more than a couple feet away—even when you sleep. It holds your favorite photos, and your personal messages. It tracks where you go, what you eat, and the things that you do. It’s your secretary, muse, library and personal orchestra. A recently reinvigorated mobile app, Path, is the first app to take all that information, invite your friends, and create a social network for you to sincerely take part in—no masks, charades, or BS; just you.

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Commentary Ticker

  • Google Glass Lets You Take Photos With Your Brain
    July 12, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    If you haven’t heard, electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been getting better. Way better. Artificial limbs and even video game controllers are utilizing the non-invasive brain-wave monitoring method to guide computers by thought. Now English startup This Place has developed a way to bring the technology to Google Glass, allowing Google’s wearable to read your mind. Well, […]

  • Android Art: The Accidental Selfies of Google Art Project
    July 5, 2014 | 11:11 am

    Within the cultural centers of the world lurks a mechanical beast draped in silver spinning madly and capturing everything, sometimes even itself. In 2011 Google created the Art Project, an initiative to bring their Street View technology inside the cultural epicenters of the world. Google enlisted 17 world-class museums in short time. Institutions such as […]

  • Purple Mountunes Majesty: The Most Patriotic Playlist
    July 4, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    A while ago, Paul Lamere of The Echo Nest, a music-analysis company, took to finding each state’s most distinctive, yet popular, artist in a viral article. Spotify took note, purchasing Echo Nest for their analytical talent. Together, they’ve released a blog post documenting each state’s most distinctively American song creating a patriotic playlist for the […]

  • Emojinealogy: Where the Heck Emojis Come From
    July 2, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    On June 16th, the Unicode Consortium announced that 250 new emoji would be added to the list of symbols available to people’s cellphones and computer devices. The list of the new symbols can be found on Emojipedia. And no, the list doesn’t include the much needed minority representation, but it does include your favorite (?) […]

  • The Decline and Fall of the American Mall
    June 24, 2014 | 9:07 pm

    For ages, the shopping mall was as essential to the architecture of suburbia as Levittowns and freeways. But in an era of online shopping, these epicenters of brick and mortar yesteryear are quietly being abandoned across the country. While the U.S. currently has around 1,500, the number may soon shrink, and rapidly, leading to abandoned […]

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