Parody and satire musical artist Weird Al Yankovic has been rolling out videos for his just released album, and his latest, titled "Word Crimes," is nothing short of a call to arms for the grammatically inclined. It's so good (or at least fun) that it ought to be required viewing for all english classes. Start watching because there will be a quiz.
The special effects wizards who put the realism into HBO's Game of Thrones (loosely inspired by George R. R. Martin's The Song of Ice and Fire) have put out an amazing video. The Making-of Reel for Season 4 of the popular series shows just how good these folks are at adding special effects that don't seem in any way to be special effects. It's a remarkable video that shows just how far this industry has come—I'm looking at you, obviously CGI Legolas on the back of an obviously CGI troll. In any event, it's so frakking cool, so check it out. [Via IGN via Melissa Davis (@TheMacMommy).]
They Might Be Giants fans have a little something special waiting for them online: a free download of the band's First Album Live album. The recordings were made during the band's 2013 world tour, and the album includes 19 tracks in MP3 format. If that isn't enough for you, TMBG has plans to release more free content throughout the year. Time to download and listen up!
Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame) can also be found over at Tested.com, a site for, as it says, "anything awesome." This includes a video featuring Marty Cooper, a guy who shoots animation out in the world on his iPhone. He draws little characters on overhead projector sheets and holds them up in front of his iPhone to make Instagram videos or sometimes just a still. After talking a little about animation, Adam signed up to be in one of these videos, and Marty set to work creating it. I won't give away the ending or the special video guest, just check out the video below and see what you think. It was fun to see it come together, and everything he needs fits in a backpack!
What's involved in making an app, and more importantly, what are the people like who make the apps you use every day? Thanks to a Kickstarter project from Jake Schumacher and Story & Pixel, you can have the opportunity to meet the fascinating people behind the the apps that make your Mac, iPhone and iPad so important in your life through a new documentary called App: The Human Story. The movie will include interviews with Cabel Sasser, Craig Hockenberry, Jean MacDonald, Lisa Bettany, John Gruber, Marco Arment, Jason Snell, and more. The project needs to raise US$100,000 by the end of July to get off the ground. You know what to do.
ECO Pact wants to make sure you don't have to go hunting for your family, pets, or belongings again, so the company has launched a Kickstarter for their Total POM personal tracker. Total POM lets you track locations through Bluetooth proximity, cellular signals and GPS, so it doesn't matter how near or far away the fob is. You can attach it to a pet's collar, wear it on your wrist, pop it in your pocket, or leave it in your computer bag and the device dutifully broadcasts its location for a year before you'll need to replace the battery, saving you from buying a new one. Total POM will come with a free year of tracking, and US$19.99 a year after that. ECO Pact's Kickstarter just started and the company is hoping to raise $75,000 to start production.
In late 2012 I backed a Kickstarter project for a pen and notebook case from Nock. I heard about it from my "notebook nerd" friends, people who still rock the analog setup for various things. I got mine and I love it, I can carry my fountain pen, mechanical pencil, and either sharpie or ballpoint pen in one side, and my Moleskine notebook in the other. It's durable and has survived a number of trips and abuses. I'm glad to say that the company now has its storefront open, where you can get a nice enclosure for a notebook or index cards and a writing implement, or maybe a pouch instead. Everyone I know who has one says the same thing I do: It's super well-built and if you carry a notebook (or want to) this is a great way to do it. I'm always pleased when something I backed becomes a reality, and this is where they wanted to go. I'm glad I helped make it happen. (That's my Nock and its contents in the image.)
I liked the original iKlip from IK Multimedia, the first product designed to hold the original iPad on a mic stand. I've used it on stage, and it was amazingly handy. On Thursday the company announced what looks to be a big improvement, iKlip Xpand and iKlip Xpand Mini. The iKlip Xpand ($49.99) is designed for iPad mini and iPad Air. Because it uses a spring-loaded clamping mechanism, as shown in the image, it has much greater flexibility than the original versions of the device. It will even hold an Android tablet if that's your thing. The iKlip Xpand Mini ($39.99) is designed for iPhone, iPod touch, or Android smartphones. Heck, it would even hold a Windows Phone device. Both devices are available now.
One of the Boinx employees built a prototype of an app to display (via projector) the photos guests were taking at his wedding, and at the end all the photos were also stored on his device, so he had all those pictures immediately instead of waiting for email and Dropbox and Facebook and whatever other way people share photos. Now Boinx wants to turn this into a real app, but coding isn't cheap so there's now an Indiegogo campaign to help make that happen. I say help because each dollar raised in the campaign gets matched by two Boinx dollars. This is really a way to measure interest in the app before investing significant resources into it. As with all crowd funding campaigns, there are perks and these range from one "party ticket" for US $5 all the way up to the $5,000 level which gets you food, drinks, and a room in Munich to come party with the Boinx crew at Oktoberfest (travel costs excluded). If you feel particularly generous, there are million dollar (Apple CEO level) and billion dollar (Facebook CEO level) options, which have some pretty sweet perks. I love this idea because aside from the cool factor of showing off pictures at an event as they happen, having them all on my device at the end is unbelievably convenient. Check out the video below.
Check out the MIXBAG, a "transformer" bag designed for gadget owners. It's remarkably versatile—it's designed to be carried ten different ways and it can be configured in three different volumes—from a small bag to a backpack—as shown in the image. It has a ton of pockets and includes a rain cover. It has clips for your keys, a bottle holder, and can be carried like a saddlebag. If that's not enough, it's also designed to be used with a portable 1300 mAh charger. The MIXBAG is available in two colors, beige and black, and two sizes, 11.6-inch ($212) and 13.3-inch ($237).
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