GRACE NOTES

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 05, 2012 0 comments

The iFrogz Boost is a small, very portable speaker that claims to magically boost the sound from an iPhone, or any smartphone or other device with an external speaker. I have to be skeptical of any product that uses the word "magical" on their packaging - unless it's a "As Seen on TV" product, which everyone knows are all magical.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Dec 20, 2012 0 comments

The Google Play Music Manager has been around for quite a while. Upload and store up to 20,000 songs in the cloud, so you can play them from any connected  Android device or computer, anywhere. The problem was that you had to go through and upload each and every file. However, Google has just launched a new scan and match feature in the U.S.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Aug 02, 2011 0 comments

It's been well over a year since Walmart purchased movie streaming giant VUDU, and until now, the corporate take-over was hardly noticeable. Nothing on VUDU's site mentioned Walmart, and nothing on Walmart's mentioned VUDU.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Nov 05, 2012 0 comments

While it’s easy to imagine that the federal government (in this case, the Copyright Office) is a bunch of Luddites, sticking to making laws about ancient or obsolete technologies and ignoring the new, the opposite is actually true. 

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Feb 02, 2012 0 comments

Super Bowl Sunday, in many people's minds, is a national holiday. And, as with any holiday in this country, that means sales. Big sales.  Now, while you might think instantly that we're gonna talk about TV sales, let's hold off on that for a minute.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jun 21, 2013 0 comments

Suddenly, just when you thought the world was safe, it's full of zombies. They are everywhere – on your game console, your phone, cable TV, and now even on the big screen. Metaphor for the fragility of modern civilization, and just plain fun to shoot at, zombies are cool. So it takes someone even cooler than zombies, namely Brad Pitt, to kick some zombie butt.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jul 03, 2012 0 comments

By any measure, Disney’s enjoyable Mars epic John Carter was a fiscal fiasco, netting only $72 million in the US and $282.4 million total worldwide, barely clearing its $250 million price tag. Ouch.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Aug 09, 2013 0 comments

As with most futuristic films, the earth portrayed in Elysium is overpopulated, crime-ridden, diseased, and has all the bucolic charm of a garbage dump. Awfully bleak. Unless you are a member of the elite, in which case you live in an orbiting, utopian, titular space station. You have access to miraculous health care and views to die for. When an oppressed Matt Damon is poisoned by radiation, he decides to crash the upper-crust party.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Nov 16, 2011 0 comments

Big screen not quite big enough? Don't like company while you watch TV? You can finally place your order for Sony's widely anticipated 3D headset, the HMZ-T1 ($799.) But before we get to the specs, consider the cool factor: The headset looks like something straight out of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Nov 13, 2012 0 comments

Bond is back, and better than ever, in Skyfall (MGM/Eon Productions). The film marks the 50th anniversary of the series that's seen us through the Cold War, with a variety of actors capturing the iconic 007 through 23 films. As with every good anniversary celebration, this one reflects on a glorious past - and imagines an equally glorious future.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Feb 13, 2012 0 comments

The 2012 Grammy Awards — "music’s biggest night" — was certainly a unique evening of entertainment. As Reba (when did she lose her last name?) pointed out, it brought together so many different aspects of the music industry. Where else would you find hip-hop newbies rubbing elbows with old-school crooners?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: May 24, 2013 0 comments

 

The Fast and Furious filmography began in 2001 as a low-budget film based on a magazine article. It now incompasses six feature films and two short films, video games, and it even has its own Guess clothing line. Never aspiring to the same league as franchises such as 007 or Star Trek, FFs are scrappy, popcorn-munching, tremendously profitable testosterone trips. Does the latest installment fire on all cylinders, or run out of gas?

 

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 10, 2011 0 comments

A few weeks ago, the blogosphere was abuzz with commentary on Netflix's impetuous decision to split into two companies: Netflix for streaming TV shows and movies, and Qwikster for home delivery of DVD and Blu-ray movies. Seems that Netflix thought better of it too.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 13, 2012 0 comments

A sound media historian at Indiana University recently made a remarkable discovery. Patrick Feaster was reading an article on early recording studios to help with a study he was doing on early Thomas Edison recordings.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 23, 2011 0 comments

Netflix customers are hopping mad, and the company predicts it will lose a million customers. Its stock price has tanked. Has its CEO, Reed Hastings, lost his mind, or is this merely a speed bump along the path of a much grander strategy?

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