Archive | June, 2010

iPhone 4: Worth Pitching a Tent For?

24 Jun

At 07:00 Thursday June 24, 2010 the new Apple iPhone 4 will be released in the United States, exciting apple fans across the globe. And as with any new release, such as the iPad and the iPhone 3GS etc, there are those hardcore fans that have been lining up outside apple stores across the US. According to this article on CNN, the first was a Dallas man who pitched his tent outside an apple store over a week ago already. If you take a spin down 5th avenue in New York tonight, you’ll probably see the line-up beginning to swell already as that 7am release time creeps closer and closer.

But I have to wonder, is it really worth it lining up for yet another hyped up release of an apple product? Lets look at 5 new features with the iPhone 4.

1.First up, the new iPhone 4 is boasting its new multi-tasking capabilities, now you can run up to 7 app services at the same time. But other smart phones such as the Droid have had unlimited multi-tasking capabilities for a long time already, old news…

2.The iphone 4 has the standard camera on the back, but now also a front facing camera as well for ‘FaceTime’ video calling. Yeah that’s cool, but my Nokia X6 has had that feature long before Apple thought about it. Its technology dating back to 2004.

3.Increased battery life is a new thing for apples latest phone. You would think that as Apple releases more and more versions of the same product, that things such as weight would be decreasing. But that’s not the case, the iPhone 4 weighs more than both previous version of the iPhone. A larger battery is attributed for this, which is a good thing, as the 3GS had one of the shortest battery lives of all smartphones.

4. Optics have been greatly improved and apple is claiming the new version has a display that ‘exceeds what’s perceivable by the human eye’. Maybe, but Apple has been lagging behind other smart phone display quality such as the AMOLED and TFT screens that Android phones like the HTC Evo4 have been using already.

5. The iphone 4 has moved the simcard slot to the right spine, but has switched to micro-simcard format. No longer will standard simcards be able to be used with the new phone. While this may not be a big deal to many. For myself, I value the compatibility a standard simcard format has when travelling etc.

I know I am a notorious Apple critic, but I do think the iPhone 4 is a great phone, just not worth the usual apple hype that goes along with it. Apple has been neck deep in lawsuits over patent infringement with multiple other phone companies over the past couple years, which only makes apples revolutionary claims even more questionable. Apple always does a great job at selling a decently ordinary product at an inflated price, and I’m sure they will continue to do this with the new iPhone 4. I mean what other company can make people call in sick for work, so they can run into a store first thing in the morning, high-fiving people, laughing and smiling as they purchase a mediocre product at steep price. Apple can. So if you feel this apparent breakthrough phone is worth sleeping in a tent on a cold hard sidewalk for a week, then by all means, go ahead, but I wont be there joining you!

Electric Summer

21 Jun

Its sunny, its hot, its summertime. In this kind of heat you need some music that can keep up. Ive recently been on a electronic/dance/techno funk and I cant seem to shake myself off it. Wake up in the morning, put the headphones on and turn it up, what a way to start the day. Here are my top picks for the summer of 2010.

Whats wrong with an Orange mini-skirt?

17 Jun

FIFA 2010 is now in full swing as teams begin their second rounds of games this week, but the star players aren’t the only ones creating media buzz during the king of all soccer tournaments. If you’ve been reading up on your news, you may have noticed this story.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/soccer/dutch-mini-skirt-marketers-1-south-african-police-0/article1606825/

I was reading a copy of the Globe and Mail on my flight home today, and I found this article particularly interesting. Here is the quick breakdown; Dutch brewer Bavaria NV paid for 2 attractive dutch girls to fly to South Africa for the tournament. Once there, they successfully recruited roughly 36 other girls for their mission. The mission? Disguise themselves as Danish fans and attend Hollands first game of the tournament against Denmark. Once inside, the girls stripped off their Danish outfits leaving only tight orange miniskirts and tops bearing the Bavaria NV logo on the back, as they danced together in the crowd. Flaunting the dutch colors and promoting Bavaria NV all at the same time, it didn’t take long for this youtube video to pop up soon after the spectacle.

The girls were quickly escorted out of the game by local authorities and the two dutch girls were charged by south african police with ambush marketing.

As we all know, advertising rights for the 2010 World Cup is a lucrative gig, Adidas and Budweiser pay massive amounts of money for exclusive rights to promote their products during this tournament. Budweiser is claiming it had no part in the events that took place at the dutch game on Monday. The girls have been released on bail, but the story is growing in complications as a british TV commentator recently lost his job when the tickets the girls used were traced back to him. Apparently Robbie Earle, the commentator and former player himself was sacked as it was discovered that tickets issued to him were used by the girls at the Netherlands-Denmark match.

Ambush marketing it may be, but do these girls really deserve to be kicked out of the game and charged just for wearing certain clothes at a soccer match? When did world cup games have a dress code? Is there really that much damage from some attractive women in tight-fitting orange outfits dancing in the stands? I think not.

Mammoth: The Film

3 Jun

The days of the mammoth are long gone, their lives only understood from what few remains can be found frozen in places like Siberia. What is the value of those remains; say the ivory from a long extinct mammoth tusk?

Sliding under the radar of the popular spotlight slides the film Mammoth. This is a film I recently watched one night as I was far from home in the Canadian arctic, not all that far from Siberia when you look at a map.

But geography aside, I was compelled to write about this film. Mammoth’s purpose is not to entertain you, but rather to move you, and move you it will. The story follows a successful young family living in Soho, New York, and a series of unexpected events that befall on them. Leo has been successful with a popular video game based web community and is leaving his family in New York to settle a business deal in Bangkok. Back in New York, daughter Jackie is spending more time with the nanny Gloria than with her mom, a busy surgeon at the hospital.

The film begins to focus on the lives of the husband, wife, nanny, and the nanny’s family back in the Philippines as they all drift into their own series of problems. Leo is experimenting with a lifestyle he is unfamiliar with, as his dealings are delayed and he heads to the beaches of Thailand to kill some time. While at home his wife struggles to connect with their daughter Jackie, who is busy learning the Tagalog language from Gloria the Nanny. The mother tries to establish a relationship with Jackie but it seems she is more capable helping her patients at work than her own daughter. The story only thickens as the nanny Gloria’s life unfolds as well. The movie isn’t without fault though, I found some scenes with Leo to be awkward and unnatural while there are mixed reviews about the feelings of guilt pushed on viewers in regards to the Nanny situation. Not to mention Leo’s choice of clothing and his persistance in wearing it everyday really bugged me (sorry, you’re going to notice that now).

What writer and director Lukas Moodysson does do is a beautiful job at using the challenges faced by the characters to reflect the underlying theme of some major global issues of poverty and development and also the disconnection many families face in the modern world today. You’ll find the use of silence over soundtrack in some key scenes in the film as Moodysson effectively creates a mood that pulls the viewer in. But music is not completely void from the film, and the soundtrack itself is both ominous and upbeat and works well the overall story. I watched for over 2 hours as this interesting and captivating film played on. And I started to wonder why the most important and real stories are confined to films that most people have never heard of. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed Iron Man 2, and I understand its popularity. I just wish that such important films to humanity such as Mammoth would be seen by more people, and could escape the doom of being shuffled straight to DVD.

So do yourself a favor and watch this movie. I will confirm that through the entire film, you will not see one single mammoth, but what you will find is a beautifully tragic story. So go find it, the name is Mammoth.