Tag Archives: App Store

Paula’s Picks Presents You Have To Be There From Kristina

If you are lucky enough to live in the Portland, Oregon area, or happen to have an Internet connection (which I suspect you might if you’re reading this) then you had the opportunity on Thursday May, 6th, 2010 to tune into the Paula’s Picks program on KBOO FM during her program and hear her present “You Have To Be There” performed by Helen Sjöholm from the musical “Kristina.” “You Have To Be There” is written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA. Paula Small is a friend of mine that I went to high school with and she moved to Portland and one of the fun things she does out there is host a radio program on the first and third Thursdays of every month for KBOO.

The last time I saw Paula was when she was back in town to visit some family at the end of 2008, so I took Paula to see the Xanadu production at the La Jolla Playhouse, and when I saw her online on Facebook and I said hello using the chat feature of Facebook, we ended up discussing some music. I was so excited about the live album “Kristina At Carnegie Hall” coming out and I’d just gotten it in, I sent her “You Have To Be There” to share my excitement about the show. Paula really liked the song and we both commented about how it starts out similar to “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” but ends up being a much more powerful song. Paula thought it might make a great addition to her show the following night.

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Press Your Luck Comes To The iPhone and iPod Touch

Press Your Luck was one of my favorite game shows from the early 1980’s. As a child I loved all the game shows of the period but one of the ones that always stood out was the short lived Press Your Luck with it’s host Peter Tomarkin. My brother and I used to enjoy the show, probably more for the Whammies than the actual game, as we were kids at the time. We loved to see the contestants hit a Whammy and have their money taken away so we could see one of the animated Whammy graphics come on and make the money disappear. They had so many wonderfully creative ones from ones that blew up a little dynamite detonator, to Whammies dressed like Boy George and the Beatles coming in to sing a little line from a tune before taking the money away. I also loved the sound effect from when the Whammy was hit, it just sounded like a dramatic electronic “Uh-oh.”

The game consisted of a round of questions where three players compete for the right to spin on the big board and earn cash and prizes, then a round of playing the spins followed by one more round of questions and then a final round of spins on the big board. The winner at the end of the game was the player who collected the most money in cash and prizes. Part of the strategy for the big board was to spin a few times to collect enough cash and prizes then to pass on the remaining spins to another player who would have to play those spins in the hope that the passed spins would force that player to hit a Whammy to steal their cash and prizes. It was a fun and high energy show that got quite competitive and a player could hit three whammies and stay in the game. A fourth Whammy eliminated them from the game.

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Playing Scrabble With Words With Friends

My good friend Dan Baggett introduced me to a new iPhone/iPod Application called “Words With Friends” by NewToy, Inc. which is a game very much like Scrabble. It’s a crossword game using tiles except I’m sure to legally not infringe upon Scrabble’s copyright, all the spots for Double and Triple letter scores and Double and Triple word scores are in different spots than a traditional Scrabble board. Also the board doesn’t seem to have as many squares as a regular Scrabble board. I’ve not been a big enthusiast of Scrabble so I don’t know if the number of tiles and point values on the tiles are the same or not.

The game can only be a two player game and allows for two ways to play, it can be played on one iPhone or iPod Touch through “Pass and Play” mode or it can be remotely played with someone on another device in what is described as “asynchronous” online game play or “correspondence” play where the players play the game at their convenience, they do not have to be playing the game at the same time in order to play. There are several options on how to play with someone remotely, you can create a game to play with someone on your contact list (I’m not sure how this one works but I would imagine it sends that person an invitation to download the application.) Next, you can search for specific players by user name, which has been how I’ve played with my friends, you just enter their chosen user name and it establishes a game with that person. Lastly, you can also start a game with a random person as well by allowing the application to find you an opponent.

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You Sank My Battleship On The iPhone

Milton Bradley’s (though now made by Hasbro) classic board game “Battleship” makes it’s way to Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. Battleship was a game my brother and used to play as kids. I enjoyed the game but after having played the Electronic Battleship at a friend’s house I wanted one of those. In the electronic version the positions of the ships had to be programmed in and then when the game was played, you’d enter the grid location you wanted to strike and then pressed a fire button which would play a sound effect of a missile firing and if you actually hit something then you would hea and explosion and see a panel light up with a little red light to indicate a hit.

Many years later when hand held electronics were becoming quite popular, I bought several of the games including, Yahtzee, Connect Four, Battleship, Mastermind, and several game show games. It was handy in the bring with you and play on trips or have handy. Ultimately, the one I ended up carrying around the most was the Yahtzee game, but Battleship was probably my second favorite of the bunch. It could be played as a one player game or a two player game, but also had the fun of the sound effects of the missile launch and the hit which could be turned off if you wanted to play it in a quiet place. But they ended up being bulky to carry around as single application games. So they tend to sit in a box not being played.

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Family Feud Comes To The iPhone App Store

If there’s one thing I could say about my childhood, it’s that I was a Game Show junkie. I loved to watch hours of game shows. I loved the thought of people competing for cash and prizes on the various television shows. I loved nearly all of them from the more luck based ones like “Let’s Make A Deal”, “High Rollers”, and “Card Sharks” to the ones where you actually had to know something, like “Jeopardy!”, “$25,000 Pyramid”, “Super Password.” In high school, I even tried out for a teen tournament version of Jeopardy! Unfortunately, I didn’t make it on.

I also used to get all the home game versions of all my favorite shows, and then eventually bought them as computer games when those started to surface, and then when digital handheld versions became popular, I bought those too. Now the latest incarnations are applications for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. These are probably my favorite versions as I have my iPhone with me all the time and there’s no mess or clean up like the old home game versions. Not to mention, no bulky boxes to store the games when they’re not in use.

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Star Trek Movie Prequel Comics as an iPhone Application

Star Trek PrequelLike many other Star Trek fans, I am anxiously awaiting the relaunch of Star Trek that is set to happen on May 8th, 2009 with the new film by Director J.J. Abrams. The new filmed version, simply called “Star Trek” with no other subtitle or even a number (it’s the 11th Star Trek film for the record.)

The new film features a band new cast of actors playing younger versions of the Original Series cast. Only Leonard Nimoy from the original cast makes an appearance in the film. My best guess so far is that the story somehow involves some time travel allowing both Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto to play the role of Spock in the same film. Oh course, this is speculation on my part, so please don’t read into it that I have any insider knowledge. For the most part I’ve been avoiding press about it as I really want to enjoy it on the big screen and I may even go see the IMAX version as well.

To get ready for the release of the new film, Paramount in association with IDW Publishing and iVerse Media to create an interactive comic book prequel to the film. The prequel comic sets out to bridge the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” universe we last saw in the film “Star Trek: Nemesis” with the new “Star Trek” film by introducing the character of “Nero” who appears to be the Romulan antagonist of the new movie played by Eric Bana.

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Pandora Internet Radio – Best iPhone & iPod Touch Application

Pandora AppOne of my favorite applications that I’ve been using on my iPod Touch has been the Pandora Internet Radio application. Despite having a collection of over 12,000+ songs on my computer to put on my iPod at any time, I sometimes get bored with the music I already have. Perhaps it’s just the knowledge that there’s no chance of hearing anything new which creates the boredom, but in any case, sometimes random play is just not enough.

Well, the folks at Pandora have just the cure for the boredom, it’s their Pandora Internet Radio which is available both online for PCs and Macs to access through Pandora’s Website and the application they have made available for iPhones and iPod Touch. All you need to do is specify an artist or even pick a specific song, and Pandora’s Internet Radio will build a playlist of similar songs from similar sounding artists and you instantly have access to the world’s most perfect radio station, the one custom created just for you and your mood at that moment.

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Skype Debuts On The iPhone and iPod Touch

Skype Application For The iPhone and iPod TouchSkype officially made it’s debut in the iTunes Application Store recently. To say it was a highly anticipated application would be the understatement of the year. Some reports have indicated that the application was downloaded over a million times in the first two days it was available, approximately one download every six seconds to put it in perspective.

What’s so special about Skype? If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service. It’s major claim to fame is it’s ability to allow users to call one another on their computers for free anywhere in the world. Skype can also be used to dial landline phones all over the globe for incredibly cheap phone rates. Calls to mobile phones can be made as well, but outside of the US and Canada, calls to mobile phones elsewhere costs a little more than calling a landline.

Well now that Skype has officially made their debut on the iPhone and iPod Touch, now there’s another avenue for making calls from these devices. In the case of the iPod Touch (2nd Generation only due to the 1st Generation not having microphone support) it brings the ability to make phone calls over a Wi-Fi network to a device not designed to make calls. I decided to pick up one of Apple’s headphones with a built in microphone that’s supports the recording ability the iPod Touch supports and give it a try.

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