The Empire is always the evil enemy in Star Wars films, except when Paul Johnson is at the helm. He spent four years working on his own fan-made animated short film called TIE Fighter done in 1980s style anime that's simply beautiful. It includes an appropriate 80s style musical score plus authentic sound effects, and shows just how wonderfully awesome animated Star Wars can be. The movie is a little over seven minutes long, and if you're watching at work be sure to wear headphones because you don't want to miss out on the audio.
Instagram announced Monday a new app called Layout for iOS (Android users can expect it in "the coming months"). Layout is a standalone app for making collages that can be posted to your Instagram feed, Facebook, or sent to other apps in iOS. It allows users to choose apps n the camera roll and then pick a layout pattern. The app auto-populates the photos into that layout, and the user can then swap photos out, rotate them, flip them, pinch to zoom, or drag them around. It includes a Faces tab that automatically detects photos with faces in them, and there's also a Photo Booth mode that allows you to take several photos in quick succession. Layout is a free app, and it's available now.
I've used the original iRig to play my guitars through my iDevices with IK Multimedia's AmpliTube and Apple's GarageBand (free) apps for years. It was a workhorse and a bargain at $39.99, but my one complaint was that it lacked an input gain control, so I had to record some of my guitars at lower-than-I'd-have-liked recording levels. iRig 2,the successor to my venerable iRig shipped last week, fixing my only complaint and adding new features like a 1/4" amplifier output jack, FX/Thru switch, and Android compatibility (not that I care)—all at the same low price ($39.99 - Amazon link). If you want to play your guitar through your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, I can't think of a better or more reasonably-priced way to connect it than iRig 2.
Hamza Sood posted a great video to Twitter (via 9to5Mac) showing how rearranging the apps on the Apple Watch Companion App works on the iPhone. While shot on the iPhone companion app, the process will work in a similar way on the Apple Watch itself. The Apple Watch will be available for preorder on April 10th and it ships on April 24th.
The Apple Watch companion app will also be used to manage how apps are positioned on the watch home screen pic.twitter.com/cy89HKUNld— Hamza Sood (@hamzasood) March 18, 2015
On Wednesday Phish announced their next summer festival, dubbed Magnaball, and true-to-form they published their informative-and-humorous FAQ. In addition to snarky answers to questions like, "Where is the farthest gas station?" and "Can I bring my own sea salt? It's harvested from ancient deposits within the pristine Himalayan mountains. Some consider it the purest salt on Earth," Phish provided this entry:
CAN I BRING MY $20,000 iWATCH?
I guess? It kind of sounds like you just want to brag.
If waiting until April 24 to get your Apple Watch seems like far too long to wait, you can make your own today. Even better, you can make your Apple Watch out of LEGO bricks, which adds an extra level of coolness to your wrist. Chris McVeigh worked out the design and is sharing the instructions (PDF) on his website. He's the guy that came up with other awesome LEGO builds I love like the original Macintosh, the retro TV with color bars, and the TARDIS. You'll need to provide your own bricks and his instructions include a shopping list so you won't come up short. Chris's LEGO Apple Watch looks great, and now I want Apple to make a special edition version that really works: Apple Watch Brick.
Hey Browncoats, Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk are making a new series called Con Man, and they want your help funding it. ZOMG, it also involves Gina Torres, Felicia Day, Seth Green, and James Gunn. Oh, and it's going to have a spaceship. That's because it's about a guy (Alan Tudyck) who starred in a SciFi show with another guy (Nathan Fillion), only the show got canceled...too soon. Since then, Nathan Fillion's character has gone on to fame and fortune, while Alan Tudyck's character has not. If that's not a premise rife with comedic possibilities, I don't know what comedic possibilities are. They are looking to crowd-fund some of the budget for the show through Indiegogo. With 24 days left to go, they've raised more than US$2 million, five times their intial goal. And funding options include super awesome cool perks for fans. The trailers alone are hilarious. Check it out and give generously so I can watch this great show! Please?
There are many different alternative fuels for portable battery chargers, and now you can add corn flakes to the list. Or Spinach. Or maybe Sushi...mmmm...sushi. Anyway, Ampware has launched an Indiegogo campaign for CrankCase and CrankBox, two different portable batteries you charge with a hand-turned crank. 5 minutes of cranking will get you enough juice for three hours of smartphone use or half that for a tablet. That's a lot of cranking, but consider it a workout. And if you're camping, hiking, or driving through the mountains in the snow, it means power any time, day or night. The company has preproduction units and is using its campaign to work up production—assembly will take place in the U.S. There's more information on the Indiegogo page.
After Johnny 5 because self aware in the 1980s movie Short Circuit, he went on the run because he didn't want to be disassembled. Thanks to an awesome LEGO Ideas proposal, you can do just that—after you build him, of course. The finished model stands about 30cm high, includes about 850 pieces, and really is the spitting image of Johnny 5. It even includes is back-mounted toolbox tha replaced his rocket launcher. The proposal has only 2,181 votes with only 43 days left to get the required 10,000 it needs for official consideration. This would look fantastic next to our Wall-E kit, so get your votes in now.
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