The Saga of “The Interview”

The InterviewOkay, I’ve been covering this story for a while on The Gospel Herald, but here is the story behind “The Interview”.

1) The Interview is a film made by Sony Pictures with Seth Rogen and James Franco about two fake journalists that are on a secret mission to kill the North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un.

2) Sony Entertainment was hacked. Just like The Fappening and the Snappening, some info got out that shouldn’t have. I’m talking private information.

3) The hacking was done by a group known as The Guardians of Peace. They sent a message out saying that “the movie” must be stopped, and it is implied that The Interview is the movie that they are referring to.

4) Some have said that North Korea is the one hacking Sony, and Sony has decided not to release The Interview.

5) People are upset because it looks like we gave into terrorists.

All right, this is where I really get mad. I don’t know who would threaten to say, blow up a movie theater if they show a certain movie, but I’m assuming that they don’t have the ability to blow up every theater showing The Interview. I mean, that has to be at least hundreds of theaters.

Also, I guarantee you that by telling people that you will kill them if they have the gaul to watch a movie will only enhance their curiosity. I’m sure that the sales of The Satanic Verses went up when the Ayatollah wanted Salman Rushdie dead.

Okay, I’m guessing that The Interview is an irreverent film, but it probably has a statement, right? Is it that we want Kim Jong-Un dead? I can understand why North Korea would be upset, but threats of any type are pretty much unjustified.

This is just the first time that I have heard a film being yanked because of threats. I would like to think that we don’t respond to terrorists, but it feels like we have. But I’m not alone in this feeling, and I have a hunch that The Interview will be seen.

Nintendo looking to a donut-shaped screen?

Donut shaped screenThis is one of those rumored technologies that I may never see develop, but there is a rumor that Nintendo is looking for the technology to create donut-shaped screens.

Of course, the question that you have to ask yourself is why? After all, why have a donut shaped screen? Well, if you think about what Nintendo does, it is gaming. Their controllers have controllers, and you could put a joystick in the middle of that.

So imagine playing a game and it gives you direction on the donut-shaped screen surrounding the joystick. See, doesn’t that just make sense?

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any confirmation of this rumor, and my Source states that Nintendo did not comment on it.


Polaroid’s Socialmatic Instant Camera looks like Instagram Logo

socialmaticcameraI think it is interesting that Instagram has really changed our mobile world, so much so that now cameras are adapting to it. Not the most people use cameras these days since they have gone to cellular phones.

Polaroid, for example, has responded to this Instagram trend that will not end with the Socialmatic Instant Camera. Not only can you take pictures with its 14 Megapixel camera, but it has GPS for geotagging and WiFi so you can put it on Instagram.

Yes, this camera is powered by Android and it has a 4.5 color touchscreen. It has a 2 Megapixel front camera good for selfies, and 4GB of built-in storage with a microSD expansion slot for 32GB of additional memory.

Let’s see, I think I’ve covered all the features…oh wait, it is a camera. It is capable of giving the user 2 x 3 prints. Yeah, remember when cameras did those? At least you don’t have to wait an hour at the photo developers to get them made.

All that, and it looks like the Instagram logo. It should be out around January 1, 2015. Yes, I have no idea why it couldn’t be out earlier, especially with the holiday season. This really looks like it would be the perfect gift.

I’m going to see if I can’t get one of these to review. If Polaroid will give me one, I will be writing a follow-up hands-on review article.


NewerTech NuGuard KX Screen Armor for the iPhone 6 Plus

NuGuard KXIt has been a while since I reviewed a NuGuard product. The last time was the Energy X-orbing Case for the iPhone 5. Now, I’m looking at this for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Yeah, sure, I have seen a product like this before. I suppose that I’ll see more, but this one has three layers of protection. The first is the protection layer which keeps dust and dirt away from the screen. Then there is the absorption layer, military grade kinetic energy x-orbing protection that is good enough to hit with a hammer. Then there is the adhesion layer to stick the screen protector to the iPhone 6 Plus.

I found this product on OWC or Other World Computing for about $11.00 with a price after instant rebate. I think that OWC must do a lot, but I believe some company known as Newer Tech sent this to me. This is one of those times where I don’t know who is the distributor and who is the manufacturer.

iRig Pads MIDI Groove Controller

iRig PadThe other day, I reported on the K-Board from Keith McMillen Instruments, and it is a MIDI keyboard. This must be MIDI week, as I am reviewing another MIDI product with the iRig Pad.

This product works with the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch as well as a Mac or PC. It is reminiscent of QuNeo, as it allows the user to make beats, launch loops, and mix like a DJ and much more. Again, this is not a product for people like me, because I’m not really a musician. I had my chance to be a DJ after I reviewed the QuNeo, and I said no.

I can tell you about the features. It has 16 velocity-sensitive pads that can light up on your touch. Then there are two knobs, two buttons, and one slider for even more control. The iRig Pad comes with SampleTank for free, and you can use it for sampled instruments like drums, loops, and other MIDI patterns. There are other apps that are compatible with it like Groovemaker 2 and DJ Rig.

What really makes the iRig Pads interesting is how portable it is. What makes it even more interesting is that you don’t need a power cord. Just plug it in and it is all USB or whatever you device that you can connect it to.

Now, I can recommend this, just like I can recommend other IK Multimedia products like the iRig Pro, and you can get the iRig Pads for about $149.99 on the IK Multimedia site here.

Native Union Reviews: The Gripster for the iPad, MONOCLE, and the Key Cable

Monocle GripsterLast January, at CES 2014, I managed to get a good look at some Native Union products. I was pretty impressed with what I saw, and now, almost one year later, I got a chance to review the Gripster, the MONOCLE, and the Key Cable.

I’ll start with the Gripster, a multi-functional grip, stand, and handle for the iPad Air. I will be honest that I have seen products in the past with these features, but the Gripster has all of them at once. The Gripster has a cover that is magnetic, and is similar to the one that Apple unveiled a few iPad models ago. These are those magnetic ones that stick on the cover and come in all cool colors, rolling back to make a stand. This one rolls up in a perfect roll.

Yeah, you don’t need the roll up stand to prop up your iPad for video viewing, because this has a handle that can do that, in portrait and landscape mode. The handle can be used for carrying it around like a mini-briefcase. You can also slip your fingers through the Gripster and use the iPad with just one hand.

In short, the Gripster is an iPad accessory with a lot of accessories. You can get it on the Native Union website for about $39.99 in all kinds of colors for the iPad Air and iPad Air Mini.

Native Union MonocleAs for the MONOCLE, I am not certain why it is in all caps. It might have something to do with the fact that it is a stereo speaker with a 40 mm driver. Actually, it is a “speaker, handset, and speakerphone”.

So not only will it enhance the sound on your smartphone, but you can use it to make calls. That is kind of a standard for most smartphone Bluetooth speakers. This one is wired only, but here’s a nifty feature: you can daisy chain up to 10 of these together, resulting in some superior noise. That is not bad. By the way, you can control the volume by twisting it.

Well, this is one very interesting product, and you can see why I wanted to review it. You can get it on the Native Union site for about $39.99 in many colors.

Native Union key cableAnd last we have the Key Cable. Again, this is a device that I have seen before, a small charging cord that can fit on a keychain in case you really need juice.

As you can see, this Key Cable comes with a ball of paracord. If you aren’t into paracord bracelet, don’t worry, I think the fad is still going. I know my wife and daughter like to make paracord bracelets, and this formation is called a “monkey fist”.

The one that you see here is made for iDevices, but it also comes with a micro USB version if that floats your boat. The one for iPod, iPhone, and iPad Lightning connect is available on the Native Union site for about $29.99.

The K-Board from Keith McMillen Instruments

K-BoardIt has been a while since I have reviewed anything from Keith McMillen Instruments. I had a lot of fun with the QuNeo and I was almost ready to quit writing and become a DJ. I got a chance to review the K-Board, it is was very similar to the QuNexus that I reviewed before.

The K-Board is like its name implies, a keyboard, but shorter. If you have a music-playing program, you can use the K-Board to play some tunes. All that is required is to plug it into the tablet or computer, and you can play. You will need some kind of music program, and I used SimpleTank 3, a program from IK Multimedia, which I will discuss at a later time.

The keys are such so hitting them hard will be a loud sound, and there are special buttons so the keys will be sustained and other tricks. If you are concerned that two octaves on the K-Board not giving you enough notes, you should know that there are octave buttons to reach high and low notes.

I’m not certain if the K-Board is just a QuNexus Jr., but it is designed for spills and can even be run over by a car. All in all, the K-Board is a cool product and it is available at Guitar Center, or you can buy it here for about $69.99.

The Phorce Freedom: A Charging Bag

PhorceThis bag that you see here is the Freedom bag from Phorce. I didn’t misspell that, by the way, it is just how they spell the company is spelled.

The Phorce is three bags in one, as it can work as a briefcase, messenger bag, or a backpack. As a backpack, it fits on the bag very, very well. Too bad it doesn’t have handles like a travel bag, but it does slide over the handles of a travel bag. Yeah, you can’t beat that.

Actually, it very cool as it has a battery with 15,000 mAh power core with 2 high-speed USB power ports to charge tablets, smartwatches, headphones, and all kinds of other devices. Yeah, it is quite handy to have around in our mobile age.

One last thing. The Phorce Freedom is made of water-resistant and durable materials with magnetice leather handles, display-cleaning microfiber, waterproof zippers, and shock-resistant padding.

You should be able to get the Phorce Freedom for about $199 on the company website. There is free shipping on all orders with guaranteed delivery by December 25th.

IHome Review: The iDL46 and the iBN6

iDL46G-right_iPad_jpg_450x400_q85.jpg.450x400_q85Well, I have reviewed a lot of iHome products before, and yes, I’ll probably review them again. Today, I am going to be reviewing the iDL46 for the holiday season, and I’ll give you my recommendations. Oh forget it, I’ll recommend them because they are iHome products, and they make some quality stuff, man.

Let’s start out with iDL46, as it is a typical iPod dock. Okay, we’ve pretty much moved past the age of the iPod dock, but at one time, they really ruled the market. I suppose that this is an iPad and iPhone dock, but yeah, it can do iPods too as it has a flexible Lightning dock and 30-pin connector. Actually, it doesn’t seem to have a docking port for a 30-pin connector, but it does have a USB port that you can use.

The iDL46 has an auto sync ability, which means the clock will sync with your iDevice in seconds. Other features include an FM radio as well as an alarm clock. Yeah, these products take me back to the 80s where everyone had a clock/radio. Of course, those wimpy clock radios from yesteryear had weak speakers, but this guy has Reson8 speaker chambers, meaning that the sound is very, very good with 3D stereo sound.

If this is something you might like, or give as a gift, you can get it on the iHome site for about $99.99.

iBN6B.jpg.450x400_q85All right, let’s get to the iBN6. It is a waterproof wireless speaker that is very similar to Lifejacket from Altec Lansing that I reviewed a while ago.

As I said in that review, I have seen these type of speakers before. They are loud, resilient, and usually set up for IPX7 waterproof rating. In other words, they are made for bringing sound to the beach. In fact, the clip that is literally attached to this product has a bottle opener shape to it. Seriously, who’s ready to party

Of course, it is totally wireless speaker with NFC Technology and it has a rechargeable lithium ion battery good for up to 14 hours of playback before you need to recharge again.

You should be able to get the iHome iBN6 on the iHome site for about $99.99.

Speculative Fiction Saturday: Lucy

Lucy movieLucy is a film that showed up last summer, and it looked kind of promising, but it also looked like another superhero movie. Yes, there are a lot of them these days. I’m not certain if you know this, but Marvel films has a lot of movies coming out based in its own universe, then DC has a whole bunch coming out as well. In fact, the next few years is so full of superhero movies that adding another to the mix could easily not be noticed.

Unlike most superhero movies, Lucy is not based on any graphic novel. Another thing that it doesn’t have with super hero movies is that it has a female protagonist. Generally, these don’t really work; think Tank Girl, Catwoman, and Supergirl. At least the film’s title character doesn’t have a skintight costume or fancy name. Then again, Scarlett Johansson already has that as Black Widow from the Marvel films.

Okay, now that I think of it, it isn’t proper to call Lucy a superhero movie as it really is just about a woman who just happens to get super-powers. The premise behind the powers is simply not believable, and the film could have been done without the supernatural element.

I should probably get to the synopsis of the plot. Lucy is a woman traveling and takes a job being a drug mule. Actually, she takes a job that is clearly illegal as some courier, but it ends up that the man she’s working for knocks her out and performs some surgery on her. Lucy finds that she is carrying some drugs in her system that are designed to get past airport security.

At some point, Lucy gets taken by the bad guys. I can’t remember if these are the same bad guys that she was working for or what. My point is that bad guys take her, and injure her so that the sack of drugs within ruptures. Lucy is then forced into an overdose of this stuff, which has the power to increase your intelligence.

What happens next is Lucy uses her newfound powers to escape the bad guys in a manner that would make Jason Bourne jealous. Sadly, this stuff is affecting Lucy in a really negative way, and she actually takes doctors at gunpoint in an effort to get rid of it. The doctors are able to get the drugs out of her, but she needs some real help.

This help comes in the form of Morgan Freeman, the world’s most highly paid narrator. Freeman’s character, Professor Norman, is introduced showing him give a lecture. With this lecture is that factoid that you see on the poster, about how humans only use 10 percent of their brain.

Okay, let me just take moment to explain that this isn’t the first time I heard of the “humans only user 10 percent of their brain” thing. In fact, I am sure you have heard that. I found an article in Scientific American that seems to say that this “fact” is nothing more than an asteroid of stupid hitting the planet of ignorant people. The fact is that all of our brain is working constantly, and I usually see another addendum to this 10 percent theory: that Albert Einstein used more than his 10 percent, which is why he was such a genius.

Well, Lucy applies this theory as she gains more than her 10 percent. In fact, the film actually stops with a still frame every time her intelligence increases by 10 percent. This is a weird artistic move by director Luc Besson. This director is known for science-fiction films that have a weird streak in them, but where his masterpiece The Fifth Element film succeeds, Lucy fails. In the former film, the editing style worked, but Lucy has scenes of nature and random stuff inserted in with only some application. For example, when Professor Norman talks about why creatures mate, we cut to animals having sex. Is this really necessary?

Lucy gets some help from the law as she informs the authorities where the other drug mules are. She knows their location because she can apparently access all of her memories, and every residual detail. I will have to admit that the scene where she uses her talents is pretty interesting, at first.

When the super-genius Lucy flies back home, she discovers that her mind is becoming to big for her britches. Shen then ducks into an airplane restroom and takes more of the drug. It was here that there is a major hole in the plot. If Lucy can transport these drugs onto the plane without them being detected, then why did the bad guys need her to be a drug mule in the first place?

Yeah, this isn’t a film that didn’t put too much thought in details like that. I do have to give Scarlett Johansson some compliments on her performance, and she uses her powers to manipulate objects and electronics in a way that is neat. The problem is that the character gets so powerful, that when bad guys come after her, I don’t see it as any problem. The ending reminds me of the whole Dark Phoenix saga from X-men, a storyline done much better in the comics rather than in the third X-men movie. Too bad Lucy doesn’t end like that Dark Phoenix comic book saga, and the ending is as odd as 2001: A Space Odyssey.