Friday Fun: ‘The Flash’ Cast Sings the Theme Song to ‘Firefly’

jesse l martin the flash firefly singing kickstarterIt’s really fun to see circular fandom between actors and showrunners.

Jesse L Martin is self producing a short film, and fundraising on Kickstarter. Joss Whedon apparently pledged “an outstanding amount” to the project. To thank him, Martin grabbed Flash co-stars Rick Cosnett and Carlos Valdes for a little a capella rendition of the Firefly theme. Take a listen.

We also know that Grant Gustin who plays Barry Allen on the show can carry a tune, so maybe a musical episode might be in our future?

Choices! HTC One M9 on AT&T Shipping March 27 or Samsung Galaxy S6 Pre-Order?

Decisions decisions…

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AT&T announced their plans and pricing for two of the most anticipated Android phones of the year. The HTC One M9 will be available starting tomorrow, March 27th for $0 down on AT&T Next, $199.99 for a two year contract, or $708.99 off contract. HTC’s newest flagship will be available to ship SAME DAY if orders are placed before 1pm Central time.

Or…

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Also on March 27th, you can pre-order the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge. The 32GB GS6 will cost you $22.84 on Next 24, and the Edge will cost a bit more: $27.17 on Next 24. AT&T declined to give two year or off contract pricing in their press releases.

So. Are you going to grab the HTC which will ship tomorrow, or will you be putting your money down on a Samsung which will ship next month?

You can get more info on both phones below.

Continue reading Choices! HTC One M9 on AT&T Shipping March 27 or Samsung Galaxy S6 Pre-Order?

Amazon Cloud Drive Offers Unlimited File Storage for $60 a Year

amazon cloud drive logoThe cloud storage wars rage on.

Amazon quietly announced today a new tier of storage which might interest folks out there with a LOT of data to back up. For $59.99 a year you can now have unlimited file storage through Cloud Drive. This joins their current unlimited photo plan which costs $11.99 per year.

It’s a hot strategy right now, priced competitively against DropBox’s 1TB for $9.99 a month plan, and Microsoft hasn’t fully activated unlimited cloud storage for their One Drive service yet, which is paired with an Office 365 subscription for $99 a year, but many users (myself included) have access to a 10TB bucket to back up our files there. For folks who might not need all the benefits of Office 365, Amazon’s solution looks like it could be a solid alternative.

More info on Amazon’s Cloud Drive page.

T-Mobile Offering One Year of Netflix with Samsung Galaxy S6 Pre-Order

t-mobile free netflix samsung galaxy s6 somegadgetguyAnnounced yesterday via his Twitter account, rambunctious T-Mobile CEO John Legere took the wraps off of a pretty sweet “value add on”, getting a one year subscription to Netflix when you pre-order a Galaxy S6 on Lil’ Magenta.

There’s quite a bit of fine print to this offer though. While it’s good from March 27 through April 12th, it seems that there might be a limited number of subscriptions to be had, as the offer details stipulate 92,000 available. If you were already planning on a GS6, does this motivate you to put your cash down on a pre-order?

(via T-Mobile)

Cranky Geek Rant: Beats Headphones Don’t “Cost $14″ to Make…

studio-black-quarterAnother round of bloggers are latching on to this story, posted a year ago on The New York Times, so I’m not sure why it’s news again, but we’re looking at some fresh outrage over claims that Beats headphones “cost as little as $14″ to manufacture.

The frustrating thing about stories like these is that they force me to defend a company I don’t like. $14 sounds about right for an entry level pair of ear buds and a fashion mark up to $99, but these articles always compare that $14 figure against the price tag of the most expensive pair of headphones the company offers, which are definitely not being built for $14. From the original Times article:

And even at prices of up to $450 apiece, they quickly became fashion statements. The company’s headphones have fat profit margins. Headphone designers estimate the cost of making a fancy headset is as low as $14.

urbeats-red-quarter-905x700Notice how I used a pair of cans as the top picture? Your brain is linking that $14 figure to a pair of expensive headphones. That $14 figure instead should be linked to a pair of earbuds like these pictured to the right, but that’s not as salacious a “gotcha” story.

And we all know the parts list and manufacturing costs don’t represent the total investment of how a gadget gets built. That would discount the work done by designers, any tech that might need to be licensed, and the marketing costs which all get rolled into the price of the product.

I think there are plenty of companies producing high quality and fashionable headphones that offer up better bang for buck, like Sennheiser and V-Moda, but just as Apple is becoming less a tech company and more a “Lifestyle Brand”, Beats Headphones are a similar fashion statement.

But damn these articles. Damn them for making me defend Beats…

Twitch Encouraging Users to Change Passwords After “Unauthorized Activity” Detected

twitch logoNot a lot of info on this one just yet, as the story is just breaking, but if you use the game streaming service Twitch, you might want to switch out your password.

A very brief announcement on the Twitch Blog, describes some “unauthorized activity” was discovered, and as a safety precaution, they’ve disabled accounts and sync to Twitter  and Youtube. You can read the full press release below.

Continue reading Twitch Encouraging Users to Change Passwords After “Unauthorized Activity” Detected

Kodak Updates Pixpro SP360 Software for Better Youtube 360 Degree Video Support

kodak pixpro beta software sp360 youtube 360 degree video support somegadgetguyKodak’s Pixpro SP360 is one of the first consumer accessible cameras to properly support Youtube’s new 360 video feature, but the way Kodak produced panoramic video didn’t work very well with how Youtube implemented the feature.

Over the weekend, the Pixpro team released BETA desktop software which provides a new Youtube Compatible format, and the results are night and day better.

Previously, you had to convert the video into a thin strip panorama for Youtube to recognize it, which would distort the vertical axis. Here’s our first 360 degree test with the SP360.

Now re-uploading the same video after rendering through the new Youtube mode!

It’s an exciting new feature, allowing people to shoot immersive and interactive content, and it’s always a good sign to see companies updating and improving their products to support new features!

Tesla Returns to New Jersey After Year-Long Ban

Almost exactly one year ago, Governor Christie’s administration, working with the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, put forth a proposal which prevented direct auto sales to consumers. Instead of addressing this issue in a public forum or through New Jersey’s legislature, the proposal was approved behind closed doors with almost no opportunity for public discourse.

Now, one year later, Governor Christie is rolling back that proposal, signing a bill which would allow Tesla to resume retail operations in the Garden State. This new law will allow manufacturers of zero emissions vehicles to construct up to four direct sale dealerships, so long as they also operate one dedicated service location, which Tesla already runs in Paramus.

The law goes into effect immediately and benefits not only Tesla, but any company working on EV’s and zero emission vehicles. Conceivably, Nissan could open up a quartet of showrooms specifically built around the Leaf to also sell directly to consumers in New Jersey.

This is a significant PR victory for Tesla, as the company continues to fight similar direct sales bans around the country.

You can read the details of New Jersey State Assembly Bill A3216 here.

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