Good.iWare's brand new GoodReader 4 builds on an already essential tool for the iPhone and iPad by going Universal, meaning the same app runs with native interfaces on both devices. The new version also includes more PDF editing features such as the ability to rotate and rearrange pages, add or delete pages, and combine PDFs into a single document. The app continues to include support for accessing a long list of online storage services, making it a kind of Babble Fish for remote file access. GoodReader 4 is priced at US$2.99 and is available at Apple's iTunes-based App Store.
So…there’s this video below. It’s four guys dressed as Tibetan monks (or actually are Tibetan monks) who fully break it down to a Beastie Boys song. It is amazing to watch, especially when you realize the kind of moves they’re busting in those robes. In the interest of full disclosure, it’s a video from an agency, and their client was MCA Day, an organization celebrating the life of Adam Yauch, Beastie Boys founding member and Buddhist who passed away on May 4, 2012 after a battle with cancer. I know it’s "advertising," but it is awesome, and not advertising a product, so I’m OK with passing it on. As a bonus to today's Beastie-themed CSF, if you didn’t get a chance to see the most adorable video tribute to MCA when it was released two years ago, I give you the pint-size remake of Sabotage.
It is reasonably well known that I am a fan of Neil Patrick Harris. So when I came across Neil’s Puppet Dreams on the Nerdist YouTube channel, I had to watch them all, then watch them again, then start telling people how great they are. Even if you watch all of them it’s still only 39 minutes. Not to mention the guest appearance by Nathan Fillion! At a minimum these tend to be PG videos, and they spend a fair amount of time in PG-13 land, so you might not wanna gather the kids around before you get a chance to screen them yourself. Here’s “To Catch A Puppeteer,” which somehow is both sort of creepy and very funny. I also recommend "Bollywood."
Harper Collins announced last Monday that Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird will (finally) become an e-book, all official like, released this coming July. This announcement coincided with author Harper Lee’s 88th birthday, and the release of the digital edition is timed to the book’s 54th birthday. There will be digital audio as part of the release as well, read by Sissy Spacek. Clearly this calls for that most literary of cocktails, the Tequila Mockingbird. If Catcher in the Rye ever gets an e-book edition, it's Old Fashioneds for everyone! The publisher hasn't yet announced which ebook retailers will carry the title.
One of my favorite holidays is coming. Sunday is Star Wars Day! This is a wonderful holiday for two reasons: First, STAR WARS. Second, it came about from a terrible pun: May the Fourth…be with you. See? Well it’s gotten bigger every year, and this year it was announced that some minor league MLB teams are going to sport themed jerseys in honor of the “holiday.” There are a few deals and specials on Star Wars goodies, and LEGO has already kicked off a weekend of nerdy treats with a sale and some new sets debuting over the weekend. There are rumors of a CollegeHumor video featuring auditions for the Cantina Band (Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes), but I can’t find it just yet.
The L.E.D. Portable Charger is a Kickstarter project, a high-capacity, Lithium-ion 5200 mAh charger for all your smartphones and tablets. It weighs just 154 grams. As a battery charger, it can charge your iPhone several times over with its 5V, 2A output. It also has three levels of low-heat LED illumination. Used that way, is has a 100 hour battery life. Included are two USB charging stations so you can have, say, one at home and one at work. Two microUSB cables are included. Besides having a good battery capacity, the three LED lights could also be used as a signal lantern or close quarters lighting. The Kickstarter project has eight days to go and needs just a few more backers to reach its goal.
LEGO has released a series of Simpsons minifigs in the “blind box” format, where the packaging completely obscures the figure inside and it’s a surprise which figure you actually receive. I think the accessories are a nice touch: Ned’s “I (heart) Southpaws” mug, Grandpa’s newspaper with the headline “Old Man Yells At Cloud,” and Ralph Wiggum’s valentine card are clever references to the show. What I can find about the minifigs says they’ll be available at “all mass toy retailers,” so if you don’t have a LEGO store in your area it shouldn’t prevent you from being able to go squeeze packages looking for Bart’s skateboard or Lisa’s saxophone. If you're excited about the coming LEGO Simpsons episode (trailer below), you'll want to check out the minifigs too.
Audio notifications from your iPhone are handy, but not always appropriate for the situation you’re in. And visual notification is limited to lighting up the flash, which is obnoxious at best. Now there’s a third option: Lunecase. This is a Kickstarter project from Concepter, a Ukranian company, for a really thin shell-style case with two light-up icons on the back: one for a phone call, and one for a text message. Here’s the catch: It’s using existing energy from your iPhone, so it isn’t going to drain your battery or go dead itself. It’s officially funded, but there’s still time to get in at the US $39 level, a discount from the expected retail price of $50. Click through to the Kickstarter project to see it in action.
Launch Center Pro by Contrast is a handy utility for iPhone and iPad that helps automate some basic actions to create one-touch buttons that can string together several actions. For example: Search Yelp for nearby coffeeshops, or quickly launch directly to the camera in Instagram. I’ve tried to set up Launch Center Pro and create some useful actions, but it is really flexible, so it leaves things pretty open to interpretation. You can see some of the supported apps and actions on Contrast’s site. Now you can walk through the process of setting up an action with a lot of help. Courtesy of MacSparky, I found that MacStories has published a comprehensive guide to get started building actions. Let me know what cool uses you find for it in the comments!
I apologize in advance for my lack of coherence. WE HAVE A CAST! Ladies and gentlemen, we officially have a cast for Episode Seven. Here’s the scoop: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker are all returning. They will be joined by John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. We also now officially know that Lawrence Kasdan (who wrote Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) worked on the script with JJ Abrams, and John Williams will be composing the score. Let the plot speculation begin…NOW!
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