Cingular’s Insane American Idol Promo

Most of my phones are loaners, which come with the usual retail packaging, but occasionally I’ll get a special promotional model — and Cingular went way overboard with this one. They want you to know they sponsor “American Idol,” a show which, by the way, I despise – I think it generates a parade of bland, nearly unlistenable sub-pop with no genitals. (Think I’m joking? A group of fans has actually sued based on uncorroborated tabloid claims that one of their Idols, Clay Aiken, might have done certain grownup things they personally don’t like.)So yesterday a truly unusual package arrives at PC Magazine. It contains an utterly unremarkable Samsung SGH-X497 phone.

The X497 has much in common with American Idol; it’s alowest-common-denominator phone with a good set of pipes but little personality, a best-seller thanks to its low cost and reliability. But it’s the rest of the stuff that sort of freaked me out:A “do not disturb, I’m watching American Idol” sign. (“Do not disturb, Clay Aiken is in here doing things that a certain segment of his fans probably won’t want to see?” [Please note that this is not what the sign from Cingular actually said. Sascha is making fun of gossipers. See his 3 clarifications in Comments, below. Thank you.–Carol Mangis] ) – Okay.

  • A black T-Shirt (Simon Cowell reference.) – Unbranded T-shirts are nice, but Cowell wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a 50/50 cotton/poly blend.
  • A pom-pom. – Odd.
  • A container of hair gel. (Ryan Seacrest reference.) – Borderline funny, borderline a little gross.
  • A magnetic, legless stuffed dog. (Randy Jackson reference.) – Would be okay if the dog had legs.
  • A stick of deodorant (for ‘stressful moments.’) – Okay, that crosses the line, guys; that’s just disgusting.All of these things will remain in the PC Mag inventory for future testing. Cingular’s PR
  • crew gets points for originality, but no amount of shaking the pom-pom at the X497 will turn it into an SGH-ZX20, guys.

Track Your Workouts with Motion Lingo Adeo Fitness Companion

Spring is coming to the Northeast, which means it’s time for me to start pretending that I’m a serious cyclist. Serious is relative of course, but I try to get out about four times a week for twenty to forty mile rides. In the past, when I’ve gotten to the end of my rides, I went into Microsoft MapPoint and plotted my route, jotting down speed and distance info from my bike’s computer. This is why I was so excited at DEMO last month to see Bones in Motion’s BiM Active service. BiM Active is a free service that lets you map your route, capturing factors like speed (including splits), distance and calories. You can enter the data manually or upload it from a GPS data file.

Or, if you have certain GPS-enabled cell phones, you’ll be able to see and post your data in real-time. The real-time aspect carries with it a $9.99 monthly fee. Yes, it’s yet another monthly fee, but it’s pretty reasonable.Next month, a company called Motion Lingo is going to introduce the Adeo Fitness Companion, that takes a different approach to tracking workouts. The GPS-equipped Adeo looks like a small portable audio player. Plug-in headphones and Adeo will speak to you with real-time reports on your progress. You can also hook the device into your iPod or MP3 player and it will intersperse the reports with your music.When you get back to your PC, you’ll be able to download your workout data off of the Adeo, add comments, and track things like weather conditions and even shoe mileage. Adeo will cost $149.99 and, unlike BiM Active, it appears that there won’t be any monthly fee.

I would like to see community features with Adeo like BiM Active’s ability to share routes with other runners and riders.Despite the fact that I saw Lance Armstrong on an Outdoor Life Network special last year using his iPod while training on California roads, it’s not a very good idea to cycle in traffic while wearing headphones. (Lance had coaches keeping an ear out for motor vehicles.) You’re better off using something like a Garmin Forerunner GPS. But if you’re a runner or workout off-road, the Adeo Fitness Companion looks like it could be a great addition to your routine. Hopefully we’ll get a unit in soon to test out.

The Five Most Awesome Features of the Galaxy S4

It’s finally here!  Samsung announced one of the most anticipated smart phones of the year, introducing the Galaxy S4 to the world.   This phone is the next step in the evolution of the popular Galaxy S line of phones.  The S4 comes with some expected features, such as a 13 mega pixel camera with upgraded photo and video software and a slightly larger 2600 mAh battery.   It also includes 16/32/64 GB of built in storage with removable microSD card slot.  As expected, the S4 will run the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system.   It’s also loaded with tons of health conscious exercise and dieting software, meant to enhance your quality of life.  As a fat, out of shape tech blogger myself, I didn’t pay much attention to that crap.   While there are lots to like, below are the 5 most awesome features of the new Samsung Galaxy S4.


ScreenYou can’t talk about Galaxy S series phones without talking about their gorgeous screens.   The Galaxy S3 was a standard bearer for what a beautiful smart phone display should be.  The Galaxy S4 upholds those high standards.   It comes fitted with a gorgeous 5 inch HD Super AMOLED display, packing in 441ppi.   To top it off, the screen is made from Corning’s new Gorilla® Glass 3, making it one tough SOB.

Group Play

It appears Samsung has worked some real magic with this next new feature.   Samsung’s Group Play enables users to share music, photos, documents and games across multiple devices without using Wi-Fi or cellular signal.    For example, Samsung claims users will be able to “have the same song playing on multiple phones in sync to create the best party atmosphere.”  This sounds like an upgrade to the Samsung S3′s All Cast feature.   I am not a fan of the All Cast feature because it was too many steps for users to sync up, making the feature more of a hassle than a benefit.  Hopefully, Samsung has worked through these kinks and Group Play will be beneficial.

Smart Pause and Scroll

Expanding on their “smart line” of features that started with Smart Stay on the Galaxy S3, Samsung unveiled Smart Pause and Smart Scroll.   Smart Pause will control video you are watching, “the video pauses when you look away then it starts right up again when you are back.”    Smart Scroll enables you to scroll your web browser or email without touching the screen, by monitoring your face and the movement of your wrist.   I was really excited last year with the announcement of Smart Stay because I do a lot of reading on my phone.  Unfortunately, I could never get this feature to work for me.  I assume that it is because I wear transition lenses and it interfered with the phone reading my eyes.   It’s nice to see Samsung pushing innovation in these gesture areas. Let’s hope these features work in the practical world as well as they are advertised.

Touchless Gesture Features

Samsung is taking the touch out of the touch screen with their new Air features, Air View and Air Gestures.  Air View allows users to hover with their fingers to preview the content of an email, S Planner, image gallery or video without having to open it.  With Air Gesture, you can change the music track, scroll up and down a web page, or accept a call with a wave of your hand.  I love the idea of not having to touch the screen of my phone to do basic tasks.  It will help to keep that beautiful screen more fingerprint free.

WatchONI am still waiting for all of the Google Home items that Google showed off at I/O two years ago.   Samsung is making a move into the home automation field with the Galaxy S4 with their WatchON feature.  The S4 will “transform into an IR remote to control your home entertainment system including TV, set-top box, DVD player and even air conditioner.” I love this because I am very much into consolidating as many devices as possible.  The more I can do with a single device, means the less things I have to misplace.


The Galaxy S4 isn’t a game changing device, but Samsung has packed it with enough power and features to make it a solid follow up to the Galaxy S3.  If your contract is up and you’re looking for a new phone, this would be the phone that I would recommend.  The screen is gorgeous, yet, not too big to manage, and it’s got plenty of fun, innovative features to try out.  Although, if it’s anything like the Galaxy S3, you’ll find yourself trading out the Samsung Features out for the comparable Google versions because they just work a lot better.So what do you think of the Galaxy S4?  Is this the phone you are lusting after, or do you have another phone you want to purchase?  Let me know in the comments below.

Clash Royale has gain an incredible response from players

It was’t enough for the split development staff Supercell to rest on the laurels of their previous success, although Clash of Clans has been one of the largest mobile games to day. Nowadays, Supercell launched a gentle launch of their fresh card-based, direct competition sport Clash Royale.

Clash Royale has gain an incredible response from players that are mobile since its global launch just lately March 2, 2016. From then, the sport raced into the seniority of the best- saved charts and best -grossing mobile game listings. The video game company celebrated with the success of the mobile game Clash of Clans, supercell, has launched this brand new strategic real time duel sport nonetheless emerge the Clash of Clans galaxy. To be able to get resources you must spend plenty of money but utilizing our Clash Royale Compromise device, you can generate unlimited assets at no price.

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Players were allured by Clash of Clans with quite a few effective gameplay components. There ’s a sense of ingenuity that goes into creating a foundation. As it’s significant in order to evaluate and assault angles intelligently, scheme also plays a role. Group dynamics experienced the mix with the clans pitting themselves against one another, and the set-it- together with -neglect-it naturel of a lot of the gameplay let even gamers with a busy schedule get in on the activity.

Nonetheless, as games like Hearthstone have demo, there’s clearly a market for one-on-one, live multi player with card-based mechanics. Clash Royale attempts to bring users the same sense of creativity by letting gamers construct their own deck filled up with Clash of components and Clans figures, but with the immediacy and engagement of a card game. HackingFactory has released the newest tool: Clash Royale Hack, with this amazing software you will no longer need to spend money on in-game purchases.

As it is an entirely different sport of its own now, this is’t a whole lot a sequel to Clash of Clans,. Clash Royale seems like it may also have a radically different demographic than its forerunner, and Supercell reviews the team working on the project is totally diverse from the the one that remains actively creating Clash of Clans. Up to now, Clash Royale h AS only been released on iOS, but there’s little doubt that we’ll see it striking the Android operating system some time in the near future.

What are your applying for grants Clash Royale? The principal criticism leveled at Clash of Clans is that a few assert it drops in the pay to win” camp of mobile gambling. Will the sam-e criticisms be leveled at Clash Royale?

A Nearer Seem of Clash Royale on the Sport Mechanics

The previous games developed and released by Supercell aimed mo-Re on kingdoms or creating bottoms as well as on guarding them from additional players asynchronously. The offense and protection manners of the games exposed doorways for a mo Re aggressive setting. Clash Royale, on the other hand,is a-one-on-one conflict that is simultaneous not with a computer program but with still another player that is human.

The battle is real time and lasts for just three moments. The target would be to destroy the towers of the opponent while protecting your own. Each players have the same set up of three systems – a king tower behind and between two summit towers, merely that their systems are reverse with each additional.

BattleField 3 – Seizure Edition

This is my opinion and not that of GI, its sponsors or its staff. (Shut up Jim!)
First of all let me say that when the game is working well it’s a great game. I like the Battlefield series over the COD’s because of the tactical nature, the awesome vehicles, and my ability to stay alive for more than 2 minutes (even if one of those minutes is spent dashing across a massive battlefield).

battlefield 3
Hey EA/DICE, your lobby sucks! I don’t have any of the expansions for this game so anytime I try selecting a lobby I’m unable to join because “this server is currently running content that you don’t own”, only that’s a flat out lie! Border Brother and BooBoo, two major supporters of GI rent a personal server and they’ve reverted their server settings to only us the default maps in its rotation and I still can’t accept their invites. I don’t know if this is a problem with the code or if this is EA saying ” Hey looser, you thought this game was only $60 bucks? Wrong its $85 plus tax and don’t &*%@ing think about trading it in cause its worthless once you’ve used the online pass code that came with it”!
Lets get to the real grips though! And before I start I do have a high-speed internet connection and when I was playing this weekend no one else in the house besides me was using it. Three steps pause, three steps pause and then I get my dog-tags snatched by the invisible man! Apparently I’m running in place while everyone is zipping around the freaking map like sparkly vampires. And when I’m not lagging I’ve seen enemies just standing around shaking like their having a seizure, I can only assume that’s what I look like when I’m lagging and yes I’ve killed them all. Sorta like putting a rabid dog out of its misery!
Oh yeah I can’t get over the tank lag, I think I have seriously blown myself up in tanks more times than Splosion Man. It’s like the tanks cannon has a rubber band on it. Try aiming left right up or down and it snaps back dead center, so if what ever you’re targeting isn’t directly in front of you you’re pretty much driving a huge metal casket! Once when I was lagging in a tank, a guy ran me down on foot placed C4 on my tank took cover and blew me up. all the while I was driving in circles trying to get him directly in front of me so I could score the kill. If this situation wasn’t so funny I would have probably rage quit at that moment.
My advise for laggy games is to completely exit out of the game then start it up again. If that doesn’t keep repeating until you get a decent connection. And EA, you ought to be ashamed of yourself, this game is over 6 months old, you’re selling DLC and your servers are on crack!

The Wii U Isn’t A Competitor for PS4 and Xbox

Now before I begin, please note to the first word of the title is opinion. Everything in this article can be a hit and/or miss.So the Wii U, whether you like it or not. Is a next generation console. But not in the selling sense. Only in the literal sense. The Wii U is Nintendo’s next generation of console, the PS4 is the next generation of Sony’s console, and so on and so forth. But essentially what we should take from these new generations of consoles is if these are impressive upgrades from their previous predecessors. The PS4 and Xbox One show amazing graphic fidelity compared to their predecessors and if they were sold 8 years ago, they’d cost probably double the price they’re worth now.


The Wii U however, just like the Wii has been made to reach the niche and nostalgic crowd. The Wii U while yes, capable of the new generation standard of 60 frames and 1080p resolution, the graphics, however are nothing more of something that two Cell powered PS3 consoles put together could play. To be fair, however the Wii U would be easier to code and design for than a PS3, especially if there were two Cell’s in one PS3. Fact is, the Wii U is far behind on the graphics front, and will be proven hard to impress most gamers (primarily console gamers) who strive for powerful and beautiful games.The games. Now the Wii U has games, but the issue with these games is that a good amount of them are long being sucked dry. Nintendo has hit that perfect spot in every single gamer who has played one (or all) of their biggest franchises (Mario, Zelda, Kirby, Pokemon, etc.). It wasn’t until 2013-2014 that the nostalgia window pane started to crack. Left and right gamers are craving something new and unique. New IPs are roaming everywhere, indies to new development teams are sprouting out of the ground.

The gaming world is screaming for something new and beautiful. While Nintendo is still static on the same IPs they’ve had since their first console and handheld. We’re at that age where Call of Duty could finally be getting off it’s throne. People are tired of things that don’t progress or don’t impress. However, Nintendo has made some bold turns with new IPs. Monolith X, Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, etc. The company is still clinging to the same old IPs to save their console that is already being beaten in a matter of months, when it has had a year’s head start.The Wii U could have been a better console if Nintendo would just reach further into their fans, learn how to strategize, and quite simply pay attention. Nintendo doesn’t need to fail, but it’s either wake up or stay asleep and just let your absence be the demise of your heroic tale of how you entered the gaming industry.

wiiThe Gamers want more, we don’t want dude bro shooters everywhere (common defense of hardcore Nintendo fans). Just give us something new and truly unique, something we don’t know. Give us a platform that can compete with the others to have an even more truly beautiful experience than ever before. The Wii U isn’t holding up to much other than being a nostalgia console, which is good if you’re in that niche market, but if you are, you most likely already own a PC and are emulating all of the nostalgia you want. But Gamers want new experiences.Again, all opinion. Not really trying to pull numbers out my butt, nor really trying to dig in too much. Just the thought I felt like sharing. What do you guys think? Do you have an opinion similar to mine? Maybe it’s the opposite. Let me know in the comments.The views and opinions expressed on this Article are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the staff, Volunteers /or any/all contributors to this site.


Playstation vita overview

From a technical standpoint the Playstation Vita is an impressive little handheld and triumphs over the Nintendo 3DS in terms of raw horsepower but if you look beyond the impressive specifications, the overall functionality of the system whether it be the the new OS (Operating System) or the ultra smooth Playstation Button response time offers some incredible user experiances which can help in both gaming environments and multimedia experiences as even the PS3 struggled to multitask even when playing music only so seeing a small gaming handheld out perform a PS3 at a malfunctioning standpoint running the same game as well, is amazing.Specs: The handheld includes a multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, and supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and optional 3G. Internally, the Vita features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and a quad-core SGX543MP graphics processing unit, 512 MB RAM, 128 MB VRAM. The VITA’s Storage capacity for it’s memory cards range from (4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 GB)Controls – The controls feel very comfortable and this one of the major things that was lacking on the original Playstation Portable for me, The new analogue sticks feel responsive and natural and the over grip of the handheld is impressive, even without the add on protective case.

The front and rear touch pads are very accurate and i was amazed when i killed a helghast soldier for the first time in Killzone: Mercenary and when i used the rear touch ppsvitaad to zoom in with a sniper rifle.Display – The 5″ OLED screen is so crystal clear and i mean it, i don’t even want to touch it because i feel like i’m going to ruin this beautiful thing but that’s just me being cautious. The colours are approximately 17 million which show very nice and are vibrant. The resolution is 960 × 544 qHD @ 220 ppi.Software – The new Operating System is AMAZINGLY smooth, slick and fresh. I don’t get board with it and you can do more than just go left and right with this, you can literraly customize almost anything about the interface in terms of backgrounds, icons and now you can seemingly create folders and name them individually. Users can create multiple pages which you can scroll up and down and even set specific wallpapers/themes for each page and move icons from page to page and all this couldn’t be done on the PS3 or the PSP so this is a definite step up in how users can interact with the User Interface.

However how can we forget the influx of Social Apps? Well you can even send SMS messages and upload to social media applications such as facebook and now more importantly you can skype using the in built microphone and utilize the front and rear camera.Games – Now some people have been saying things like “Vita has no games” and in some ways i can understand that as Sony could do with learning some better marketing strategies in thisWrap-up – So is this system worth buying? Well i would defiantly say so and i even feel that i have underpayed Sony because this system with all the latest updates and a Playstation Plus subscription and a decently sized memory card makes it an unbeatable gaming handheld. The controls and the screen are just right and i feel like i’m still at home comfortably and being immersed by the the game on the big screen. I’ve never felt so comfortable with a gaming handheld before i tried the Vita for the first time back at launch when my friend showed me Uncharted: Golden Abyss.The PS Vita hasn’t exactly gone according to Sony’s plan.

Unveiled in Tokyo at the start of 2011, the PSP’s successor was supposed to be a world-beating handheld console with PS3-level graphics and smartphone sensibilities. But despite strong reviews for the hardware itself, sales never took off, and it never attracted much in the way of high-profile games at first but now with Playstation Plus offerings and a healthy slew of exclusive games being developed by the likes of Ubisoft, Media Molecule and Namco Bandai, the Vita has had alot more attention and software updates to make it must have now system for any playstation fan or person looking for a great gaming handheld experience.