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Release Date: August 05, 2009
Genre: Games
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Release Date: March 27, 2009
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iTunes New Music Releases

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: September 20, 2009
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Release Date: August 25, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: August 25, 2009

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Release Date: April 22, 2009
StickWars $0.99
Release Date: March 31, 2009
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Release Date: April 05, 2009
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Discover New Music

  • Rift

    • 8 out of 10
    • Phish
    • This quasi-concept album (the only of its kind) from these Vermonters finally showcased their ability to convey a message with a studio album, whereas previously they only succeeded in doing so live.
  • Stadium Arcadium

    • 8 out of 10
    • Red Hot Chili Peppers
    • What? Only four stars, you stingy bastard? I'm asking myself the same question, so let me explain myself to myself... If I compare the new

  • Never Let Me Down [ECD]

    • 4 out of 10
    • David Bowie
    • It must be a lonely place to be considered David Bowie's worst album by just about everyone, including the artist himself. As the last album before Bowie "rebooted" and formed the band Tin Machine, "N
  • Billy Miles

    • 10 out of 10
    • Billy Miles
    • Take the voice of a young Billie Holiday and stuff it into a svelte, petite body with the face of an angel, and you have some idea of what it's like to experience the music of Billy Miles in her self-
  • Abnormal Anonymous

    • 8 out of 10
    • Congo Norvell
    • Very few albums manage to capture snapshots of a quality of life in the manner that Congo Norvell's sophomore record, "Abnormals Anonymous," does.

      Comparisons to the Velvet Underground are

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Time Jumpers, The Colony, textPlus and More

I must start off this week's column by offering you an apology.

Last week Apple had the pilot episode of Warehouse 13 for free on the iTunes Store. While I did include it in the "More Free Stuff" section of my column I should have told you about it. Now the pilot is US$2.99.

My bad and I apologize.

Warehouse 13, if the pilot is any indication, is not a bad series and it has a lot of potential. If you've seen movies or shows or read books where a person with "special talents" is recruited by a secret organization to help round up or neutralize errant supernatural "things" then you have the gist of the show. Think X-Files meets The Mummy.

Catch it on SyFy or online someplace to see if it's to your liking.

Anyway, I need to be sure to point stuff like that out to you. And to that end I'd like to start off this week's column with another freebie show.

Well... show is stretching it a bit.

Stan Lee's Time Jumpers is a motion comic based on the premise of a reluctant time traveler forced to police history. If you've seen Quantum Leap then you get the basic idea here. The twist, if you can call it that, is that the young protagonist, Terry Dixon, is the only person who can use his father's time traveling device. This twist falls apart in due course, but the show has potential. A seasons pass is only US $7.99.

If you are a fan of comics and graphic novels then you'll get a mild kick out of this, others may not get the motion-enhanced still frames. Even so, the Free Ride episode of Time Jumpers is free, so take a free ride.

I'm not a fan of reality shows in general, but I do like to watch shows where people are pitted against nature in real environments and circumstances, not some contrived effort where failing gets you "voted off". You don't get voted off of life, you deal with the consequences, whatever they may be. Ice Road Truckers, Deadliest Catch and others of their kind make the attempt to show what extreme living is really like. People do get hurt, property does get lost, and real emotions run high. If I have to watch a reality show I'll watch one where people take their licks and keep on going.

There's a new show on The Discovery Channel called The Colony that has piqued my interest, and if you enjoy reality shows or are like me and can take of leave them, I think you might find this one worth watching.

The premise is interesting: Take a group of 10 people, isolate them in a large warehouse, tell them the world has gone to Hell in a hand basket and that they must survive for 10 weeks.

OK, it's a little bit contrived, but this is looked at like an experiment and the participants are taking the whole thing seriously.

The pilot episode, which is free on the iTunes Store, introduces the show and the participants. Each has a skill that the group needs to survive.

I can see this being the next wave in reality shows, and it's something that I can watch with out feeling dirty.

Grab the pilot episode of The Colony and see what you think.

OK, now that we all have iPhone OS 3.0 loaded up on our iPhones we can now enjoy texting as it was meant to be enjoyed, in landscape mode. The problem is, as it always has been, that texting cost money. Lots of money.

I don't mind that cellphone carriers are trying to make a buck, I just want a fair price for a product and US$20 a month for unlimited texting is not a fair price, especially when you consider that we pay for incoming calls and all of those silly add-on charges that no one but the phone company knows what they are for.

Of course, I could use AOL IM and save myself some cash, and I do. I can IM others on AOL IM AND send an IM that appears as a SMS text message to any phone that is SMS capable. The receiver of the message gets charged for receiving and replying, but I don't get charged a cent.

The problem is that the free version of AOL IM does not yet support landscape mode and that sucks. I could pay US$2.99 for the ad-free version of AOL IM which does support landscape mode, or I could get textPlus, a nice little freebie app that lets me text all day long, in landscape or portrait view, at no charge.

Truth be told textPlus is a lot like AOL IM, but without AOL, which can be a good thing. But the real hook in textPlus is its ability to let you host group conversations where messages from anyone in the group is seen by all in the group, which can be pretty cool.

Be careful how you set this or any text surrogate app up as there may be charges incurred if it is not configured properly. And you should warn anyone receiving your text via SMS that they will be charged their normal rate for getting and replying to your messages.

Texting for free is good. A free app that lets you text for free is better. A free app that lets you text for free in landscape mode is near nirvana. Get textPlus and experience near bliss.

That's a wrap for this week.

BTW, David Pogue over at the New York Times is calling on all cellphone users to let their carriers know how displeased they are about those silly 15 second voicemail intros every carrier has. Dave says it's a money grab by the phone companies, forcing you to waste 15 seconds of your precious airtime anytime you have to leave a voice message.

I agree. These silly instructions are often not needed and at the very least should be offered as an option. I would like to hear a voice message greeting the says, "Leave a message at the beep or press 1 now for more options. BEEP!"

Quick, simple, and said in less than 5 seconds.

Anyway, check here to Take Back The Beep.

More free stuff at the iTunes Store below with direct links.

Vern Seward is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He’s been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

1 comments from the community.

You can post your own below.

Guy Montag said:

textplus is the best! its changed the way i use my iphone


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