Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cosplayers go to heroic lengths for great costumes

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Cosplayers go to heroic lengths for great costumes

When an off-the-rack costume just won't cut it, many hobbyists are making their own outfits and becoming their favorite characters in realistic detail. Cosplayers share the secrets of their hobby.

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Source: Pnj

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wallis's world: The Annenberg heir launches Beverly Hills performing arts center with glamorous gala

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October 18, 2013 | 4:55 pm

Posted by Danielle Berrin

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If Wallis Annenberg hadn't become famous for her philanthropy, she'd have become famous anyway for her parties.

The billionaire heiress to father Walter's publishing fortune - who at one point counted TV Guide and Seventeen magazine among his holdings - has none of her father's business ambition but soundly inherited his public beneficence. With an added flair for fashion, art and culture.

With the launch of the latest public work to bear their name - the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, soon to be known as simply, The Wallis - the Annenberg heiress has proven she isn't merely standing on the shoulder of a visionary giant, but has become one herself.

Two city blocks in Beverly Hills were closed last night to make way for a gaggle of glamorous guests out to celebrate the center's grand opening, including Eli Broad, Vanessa and Jacqui Getty, Gia Coppola, Ed Ruscha, Jodie Foster, Charlize Theron and rock-star couple Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale -- to name a few. "This," one prominent Jewish philanthropist and million-dollar donor gushed, "is an A-list party."

But the belle of the ball was really Wallis, who without much fanfare has expanded her father's emphasis on education and media to include the arts, environmental activism, social justice and animal welfare. And in recent years, she has quietly championed a number of public works in Los Angeles that have made it a more admirable city.

In addition to running the family foundation that built the Annenberg Schools for Communication at UPenn and USC, the Annenberg Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City, the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica and countless other communal initiatives, Wallis offered the lead gift to build a swanky, state of the art theater facility at the historic Beverly Hills Post Office, transforming the place that once processed Tennessee Williams's letters into a place that could also stage his plays.

The onetime brick building has been boldly restored in bronze and marble, as glamorous and gleaming as the thousand guests that poured out of luxury cars and into the grand Roman hall, where Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo set up a "pop up" shop where guests could buy architectonic stilettoes and golden clutches as costly as a piece of art.

"They're saying this line is Old Hollywood," one of the sales attendants told me, "but I think it's more Andy Warhol."

Old meets new might have been the theme of the evening, where the Post

Office built in 1933 under FDR now swarmed with stars and celebrities and

ladies tasked with policing party PR. Was that Demi Moore looking over-Ashton beatific in a beaded blue backless? And the young Camilla Belle in a peach chiffon princess dress cozying up to her ex- (Jonas Brother) Joe Jonas? And can you believe Slumdog sensations Dev Patel and Frieda Pinto still seem happily ever after? It's so un-Hollywood! Smile for the cameras, now.

Way back when, Humphrey Bogart mailed his letters here and Fred Astaire

danced in the lobby. On this night, live performers floated above the valet line on springy stilts, dancing in the wind to a show of light and sound. And in the backyard promenade terrace, separating the post office from the new theater (historic building rules prohibit any new construction from touching the old building, nor can the new addition be taller, which set the theater below street level) LA's high society sipped champagne and scotch to the strummings of a mariachi band while women dressed as Spanish-styled eye candy swished through the crowd in canary colored costumes and giant floral headdresses. So many warm bodies and only hors d'oeuvres sat cold; as "Girls" creator Lena Dunham recently tweeted in the words of her designer pal Zac Posen: "If you want to be left alone at a Hollywood party, just stand near the food."

After cocktails, guests were ushered in two shifts to accommodate the large crowd, to the adjacent Goldsmith Theater (named for Jewish Federation machers Elaine and Bram Goldsmith, who, along with Annenberg and the City of Beverly Hills, donated $5 million or more to the center) for an original performance recounting the history of the post office.

Told through the letters of its grand old patrons - Martha Graham to Aaron Copland, Groucho Marx to Woody Allen, Tennessee Williams to Texan stage producer Margo Jones (on the eve of opening her own regional theater), the 30-minute show featured surprise cameos from Kevin Spacey, Diane Lane and John Lithgow, and offered a sneak peak of what's to come, including Broadway musicals, contemporary dance, ballet and orchestral soloists.

But it was the street dancer Lil Buck, who stole the show, dancing to an Ave Maria violin solo the way Michael Jackson might have danced had he known ballet. Call it ballet-hop.

And that was only Act II.

"Are you as fond of being with 1,000 of your closest friends as I am?" one gentleman whispered to another as guests poured out of the theater and into the block-long tent erected on Crescent Drive where Wolfgang Puck served filet mignon and truffled risotto.

Wallis sat at the front, at table 43, with actors Charlize Theron and Tim Robbins and former studio chief Sherry Lansing. Next to her, she kept a vacant seat, where a rotating cast of characters came to charm and celebrate her throughout the evening.

Dinner was followed by a Ferragamo fashion show, featuring a flock of phlegmatic models so thin they looked pre-pubescent. Then, the young Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo, who sounds like Pavarotti but looks like a Michelangelo performed a stunning set of opera ballads that made even the beautiful and talented seem a little dull by comparison.

Wallis promised world-class culture and even before the center's official opening in November, she delivered.

Goodbye Old-guard Annenberg. Hello, Wallis.

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Source: Jewishjournal

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Men Impersonate Cops To Cut Line For GTAV, Immediately Increase Their Wanted Level รข€¹ Hardcore Gamer

Initially reported by Staten Island Live, three men are facing up to a year in jail after their insane scheme to get their hands on some copies of gta 4 cop costume V was foiled. The trio of criminal masterminds showed up to a GameStop in the Staten Island Mall during the midnight release of GTA V dressed as cops, and surprisingly things did not end well for them. One of the three was an actual auxiliary NYPD police officer and another had a fake badge on him. The third was the son of a retired NYPD cop and had his father's shield tattooed on his arm, which was apparently enough to fool everyone at the mall because they assumed nobody would be stupid enough to impersonate a cop to buy a game that was already legal to purchase anyway. They even showed up in a car that had the full lights and sirens package of normal police cars, and after moving their way to the front of the line they bought their games and left.

Their master plan is admittedly very complex, so lets try and break it down so it makes sense to everyone.

Step 1: Buy "exact replica of undercover police car" at a police auction.

Step 2: Impersonate police officers.

Step 3: Play GTA V.

I feel like I'm still missing a step here. Oh wait, here it is.

Step 2.5: Sustain massive head injury and leave it untreated.

Otherwise I don't see why steps 1 and 2 were even necessary to get to step 3. What was with the Ocean's 11 type scam to get a game that nearly everyone else was already getting? They didn't even steal it. They just cosplayed as cops to cut in line. How bad are the lines out in Staten Island that three different people got together and thought this was a good idea?

The craziest thing is that this idea almost worked. They did cut to the front of the line and were allowed to pay before the other customers. The staff even brought them coffee for providing extra security. Unfortunately, when they were leaving their master plan fell apart when they performed an illegal u-turn in front of a real undercover cop. That action put their wanted level at two stars and learning nothing from the game they bought, they reluctantly pulled over and are now all facing up to a year in jail for second degree criminal impersonation. It is a shame they didn't pull the same sort of stunt for Saints Row IV, as I would have loved to hear about the story where three men in hot dog costumes dubsteped their way into a GameStop and flew off with three copies.

Source: Hardcoregamer

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Prong PocketPlug Case Review: Charges iPhone 5s with Plug in Back

The Prong PocketPlug fits the new iPhone 5s iphone cases what animals hibernate and older iPhone 5, and puts the AC wall plug in the back of the case so users don't need to carry around a phone charger. People who own battery cases like the Mophie Juice Pack Plus will get the concept except for one thing: the case doesn't include a battery backup for the iPhone.

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 owners install the Prong PocketPlug ($69.95) on their phone by sliding the phone down into the case. It attaches to the Lightning connector on the phone which routes power from the prongs on back to the phone's connector. A second piece fits over the top part of the phone to protect it with a beefy black case. A white version will ship in November 2013. The textured outer shell gives some grip as the user holds the iPhone.

When the iPhone needs to charge, the user folds out the two AC wall outlet prongs and plugs the case directly into the outlet. This means users don't need to bring a charging cable. This might cause a problem since some people need to use their phone while its charging. The company put a micro-USB port on the bottom corner of the case so users can still hold their phone and use it while charging.

The bottom part of the case covers the stereo port and the speakers. Openings on the front of the PocketPlug lets the audio escape the case and even amplifies it a little. A hole give access to the stereo plug port, but it forces the user to plug their headphones into an extension adapter.

We loved the idea of the Prong PocketPlug, but found a few problems. First, the case adds bulk to the phone, which we expected. However, it doesn't add battery life. The extra size comes from the electronics needed to put the AC plug on the back. Since it's already bigger, why not make it just a little thicker or longer and add some a battery for extra power?

We'd rather carry a charger than use the Prong PocketPlug, so we can't recommend it. It works, so iPhone owners who hate carrying a charger will like the Prong PocketPlug.

Prong sells a model for the iPhone 4 and 4s ($59.95) as will sell one for the Samsung Galaxy S3 soon.

Source: Gottabemobile

How Microsoft Convinced Me to Buy an iPhone 5s

<5s iphone iphone 5s cases otterbox impactp>It wasn't all that long ago that I was a staunch Windows Phone user. After switching from a simple mobile phone, Windows Phone became my life companion, the operating system I turned to when I needed to get anything done - even with a Windows PC right in front of me. So how did Apple convince me to stand in line for an iPhone 5s on launch day? It didn't: Microsoft did.

What have you done for me lately?

Windows Phone isn't that long in the tooth. Having scrapped Windows Mobile, Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 to critical acclaim. Here, finally, was a fresh new concept of what a mobile interface could look like. Unfortunately, Windows Phone's design team seems to have sat on their hands for the next three years.

Windows Phone 8 is still flat, and Live Tiles are still the greatest form of notifications I've seen implemented into a smartphone operating system. However, watching a few videos of the way notifications work in iOS 7 convinced me that Live Tiles and one-time pop-ups should never act as a device's sole source of notifications.

These issues, and Microsoft's inability to get large comprehensive updates in the hands of users in timely fashion, left me with a sour taste in my mouth. There Apple was, shipping a new flat attractive interface, questionable icon philosophies aside, with an operating system that is fully featured. Meanwhile, I was still waiting for an update to enable the radio playback functionality that my Lumia 920 and HTC 8X shipped with a year ago. For the record, I've yet to receive that update, and Microsoft finalized it in early June, reportedly.

Microsoft Anywhere

For all the issues I have with Windows Phone at the moment, I both value and cherish many of the Microsoft's other core products like Xbox Music, SkyDrive, Office 2013 and Bing. Until fairly recently, you'd have had to own a Windows Phone to get such a potent mix of Microsoft products.

Luckily, Microsoft has been more than generous about providing iOS applications for nearly all of its services and products. My iPhone 5s has Xbox Music, Office 2013, Bing, Xbox SmartGlass, OneNote and SkyDrive installed, and you can bet I'm using them over Apple's equivalents.

Should I decide to switch back to Windows Phone, or even Android, I can take all of my information with me, and each application already works with the Windows 8.1-equipped Dell XPS 13 and Microsoft Surface I already have.

Microsoft's other businesses have to embrace other mobile platforms, and it's good business to do so. However, that also means that Live Tiles, its unique interface and first-class SkyDrive syncing are the only thing separating Windows Phone from platforms with a lot more apps and accessories.

Great Devices Where?

I'm a staunch Nokia supporter and have been ever since I took my HTC 8X out of the box and realized how much of an also-ran the device was when compared to the Lumia 920. The company's phones are the real deal, the only thing standing in between Window's Phones complete annihilation at the hands of the iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Nokia's devices are also completely not attractive in any way that I find relevant beyond color. At a time when the world has embraced colored metals and other high-end finishes, Nokia seems hell-bent on shipping heavy, polycarbonate designs. Don't get me wrong. I value, sturdiness. The Lumia 920 can take a beating. But, I don't think it's fair to place a Lumia 1020 or a Lumia 920 next to an iPhone 5s and ask people to choose.

Of course, the company seems to have rectified this issue with the Lumia 925, but that device made it to store shelves in early spring. The Lumia 925 could be replaced in Nokia's line up any day now, and it's not like its specifications placed it in flagship device territory anyway.

So there it is. I purchased an iPhone 5s because Microsoft made the choice easy. I'll likely return to Windows Phone at some point. I adore its interface, and I use more Microsoft products than one person should be allowed to. However, even for Microsoft fans, an iPhone 5s is just a better place for the moment.

Source: Gottabemobile

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Alloy, Break to form 'Defy Media'

<rearp>Alloy Digital and Break Media have reportedly reached a deal to form a new company together called Defy Media. The merger is the latest in a series of deals involving online video talent networks called multichannel networks, or MCNs.

The two companies will combine without any money changing hands and will split control over the new entity evenly, they told the New York Times. Break CEO Keith Richman will be Defy's president, while Alloy's CEO Matthew Diamond will be Defy's chief executive. Some staff cuts could follow the merger, reports indicate.

The deal may be further evidence that online video content creators need scale. Last month, Maker Studios agreed to buy Blip and earlier this year, Awesomeness TV sold itself to DreamWorks Animation.

"This is the beginning of the consolidation," Michael Kassan, MediaLink CEO, told the New York Times.

Commentary : What does the recent wave of media M&A mean for online video

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Source: Fierceonlinevideo

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Apple posts tips and tricks guide for the iPhone 5s and 5c

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Apple today posted new pages to its website highlighting a number iOS 7 tips and tricks for iPhone 5s, 5c, and 4s users. Truthfully, I'm surprised Apple hasn't done something like this before given that there's so much power in iOS that the general public is often unaware of.

While the tips listed by Apple may, on the whole, be familiar to anyone who keeps up with Apple-centric blogs, Apple's new webpages provide a nice resource for users new to iOS and even for seasoned users who haven't yet experienced the full power of iOS.

The new pages put up by Apple are even more timely given the recent release of iOS 7 which, as has been said time and time again, marks the biggest change to iOS since the 2007 release of the original iPhone.

The tips are broken up by categories which include Photography, Swipe Gestures, Maps, Siri, Safari and more. It's well worth checking out.

Speaking of tips, don't forget to check out our series of TUAW video tips for iOS 7.

via MacRumors

Source: Tuaw

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Lunatik TAKTIK cases for iPhone 5s: Extreme peace of mind

Summary: Lunatik has issued updated versions of its ultra-protective, extreme lifestyle 5s iphone cases otterbox camo wedding dresses for the iPhone 5s.

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I am a huge fan of protective cases for mobile devices. Recently, I looked at OtterBox's latest Defender case designs for the iPhone 5s and 5c.

While I still believe that OtterBox is one of the better cases on the market, recent design changes in the product to accommodate the Touch ID sensor in the new iPhone 5s may have reduced the effectiveness of some of its protection.

So if you really want to add a little bit more fudge factor to your active lifestyle and increase your peace of mind when carrying these expensive devices, there's another solution on the market: The Lunatik TAKTIK.

Lunatik has two cases on the market to address active as well as extreme lifestyles. The TAKTIK Strike, for both iPhone 5s and iPhone 5, is a multi-layered, machine screw-sealed and thick "sarcophagus" enclosure for your mobile device.

The bezels are made out of an impact-resistant polymer, which is surrounded by a silicone, 9mm-thick impact truss, accompanied by PVD-coated steel hardware with aluminum port covers. This is a case designed to take the rigors of daily use and abuse and then some.

What I most like about the case is the tight fit from screwing the enclosure shut, as well as the high elevation of the bezel from the screen area, which is critical for protecting the screen from damage if it happens to fall flat towards the display area. At $60 for both the white or black versions, I happen to think the price is right for what you are getting, which is a lot of peace of mind for an otherwise fragile and slippery device.

Unlike the OtterBox Defender, the TAKTIK Strike does not have a permanent screen protector, but I don't think this is a major deficiency in the product's design.

For those of you with "extreme" lifestyles, there is the TAKTIK Extreme for the iPhone 5s and 5, which adds a secondary layer of Corning Gorilla Glass. This doubles the price of the case ($124) and it also, in the case of the 5s, completely covers the Touch ID sensor, leaving it usable as a home button only and thus requiring the traditional pin-code screen unlock and password entry for App Store purchases.

However, my guess is that anyone wanting to use this case on a 5s probably doesn't care about this issue.

Have you pre-ordered your TAKTIK Strike or Extreme for your iPhone 5s? Talk back and let me know.
Source: Zdnet

Unofficial iPhone 5s tracker helps customers find gold

Summary: An inventory tracker was developed by an enterprising Apple developer looking for the fabled gold iPhone 5s iphone cases life leafproof xp.

Remember the rumor that Apple was going to update its Apple Store app to include real-time iPhone inventory status? Well, it never came to pass, at least the way I imagined.

In 2008 a developer built an iPhone 3G tracker by scraping the Apple Store's JSON data feed (Apple quickly pulled the feed). Then in 2009 Apple posted an official iPhone 3GS tracker that was updated hourly and linked to its sales system.

Unfortunately, it's 2013 and the current implementation is incredibly obtuse and difficult to use. There's no simple chart that simply shows where to find an iPhone 5s in stock. It's a huge step backwards from 2009.

To find an iPhone 5s near you, you need to go to Apple's buy page, click on the configuration you want, then click on the tiny blue "check availability" link in the right navigation bar. From there, you can enter your zip code to see availability at five stores at a time, for that configuration. If you want to check another color or configuration, you need to start over.

Enter iPhone-Check by Mordy Tikotzky (@Tikotzky), an Apple Developer from NJ.

Frustrated with not being able to find a gold iPhone 5c for his wife he build a slick iPhone tracker that scrapes for the most up to date iPhone 5s inventory information.

According to Tikotzky iPhone-Check started as a little project running on his local computer and then he decided to share it with the world. Tikotzky wrote it in an hour (using on top of with the support of his employer (@homeandstone) who let him do it on their time. He spent another two hours tweaking it in the evening.

iPhone-Check must be scratching an itch. The site broke 100k unique visitors Wednesday and has topped 1 million page views since it was launched less than a week ago. It's a shame that Apple couldn't offer a proper iPhone tracker, because clearly there's demand.

Now where all these gold iPhones I keep hearing about?

Source: Zdnet