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  • Treo 755p vs. BlackBerry Storm Comparison Review

    Posted on December 23rd, 2008 Shawn No comments

    You know I’m a Palm fanboy, gone Storm. My old favorite site,, has posted a comparison that I whole-hartedly agree with. So, instead of writing my own, I’ll cheap out and link away to it:
    Treo 755p vs BlackBerry Storm Comparison @

  • YouTube for BlackBerry Storm

    Posted on December 22nd, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Just when I thought it would be a quiet day on the new BlackBerry software front, I read that Google has released a “Storm-friendly” version of their YouTube client. Being the obsessed guy that I am, in between meetings I headed over to and installed the client. (thanks CrackBerry)

    With the 5 minutes I have to play with this client so far, all I can say is…GET IT NOW!
    The interface is clean, and easy. If you have a Gmail or YouTube account, you can log into the YouTube client to see all your Favorites, Playlists, Subscriptions, and Videos.

    It fully supports touchscreen, and has a very cool finger-swipe capability. Think of it as the iTunes/iPhone cover-flow feature. Works and looks great.

    The Home screen shows one featured video and links to Search, Popular Videos, and My Account/Login. If you use Search, it retains your searches for future use. Playback of videos allows small-screen and full screen playback. Of course, video quality is limited to the quality of the original upload. I’ve realized that the high resolution of the Storm display makes most videos look like crap, since they are generally uploaded with low resolution to reduce file size.

    The player has a rewind, pause/play, fast forward, and mute buttons. There’s also a playback slider which slides as you touch the screen and selects when you click. Speed of downloads is excellent (reception quality is important of course). The entire client is only working in landscape mode and does not take advantage of the accelerometer, as far  as I can see. (That’s the only downside that I have found, so far).

    So get it, it’s free. Let me know what you think. If you are daring, you can see some videos of my college band…from a long time ago.  Search for AppleTrak (I’m the drummer). Also, if you are a New England sports fan (or hater), check out my subscription to Fitzy01821.

    Compare this to your iPhone friends YouTube client. Let me know how it compares in comments.  Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer.

  • New Storm Update in the wild

    Posted on December 19th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    BlackBerry Storm 12/15

    Great news BlackBerry Storm enthusiasts. There has been an updated 4.7 OS for the Storm spotted, downloaded, and tested in the wild.
    It’s listed as:

    Early reports suggest, camera and video player improvements, more usable memory, faster media player, smoother scrolling and typing, better media/phone integration, better web browsing, and more. Some downsides have been detected too, such as bluetooth not working with video player, changed mute button functionality, and resyncing with Desktop Manager. Some are stating the apps are not all restored (like BB Maps) after the upgrade.

    I look at this as…Christmas has come early to my household. I’ve got the file and plan to install it later today. I’ll keep y’all posted. I feel like one of the iPhone kids every time they get a new update announcement from Apple.

    Word on the street is Verizon is getting ready to release this officially on Monday, with another update scheduled for mid-January.

    Do you want to get a copy and try for yourself? Here you go:

    If you install, please leave comments below of your experience.

    WARNING: This is not a santioned Verizon or RIM release….yet.  Install at your own risk.

  • Rockin’ Around the Hanukkah Bush (or Christmas Tree)

    Posted on December 18th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Rock Band DLC Updatefrom HMXSEAN on the Rock Band forums:

    Hey everybody,

    Next week we will be dropping the Rockin’ the Holidays 2008 pack for DLC. This pack will come out on Xbox 360 and PS3 on Tuesday, December 23rd. Come back Friday for more news on next week’s DLC.

    Barenaked Ladies – “Hanukkah Blessings”
    Billy Squier – “Christmas is the Time To Say I Love You”
    The Pretenders – “Blue Christmas”

    Holiday tracks will be available for $.99 (80 Microsoft Points for Xbox 360) each or for $2.99 (240 Microsoft Points) for the 3-pack.

    For all DLC song credits please go here.

    And, as always, for awesome background information on our DLC and other articles please visit the Rock Band ‘Zine

    I am excited for this.  It will be fun to play with the family.  What about you?

  • BlackBerry Storm not for Traditional BlackBerry Users

    Posted on December 18th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    BlackBerry Storm 12/15I’m new to BlackBerry, though not new to smartphones or touchscreens. After one month of Storm use, I have determined the Storm is not for current BlackBerry users. In fact, most (if not all) happy users of the BlackBerry 7000 or 8000 series will be quite disappointed with the Storm. This is not to say the Storm is bad, it is just very different and not at all “classic” BlackBerry. The Storm is not your dad’s bosses BlackBerry.

    So, if the Storm is not an upgrade for any current BlackBerry user, then who the heck is this thing for? It is for a new crowd of future CrackBerry addicts.
    * It’s for the people who want an iPhone, but are required/forced/happy to use Verizon as a carrier. If you have great Verizon coverage, you’d probably want to stick with Verizon. The first rule to choosing a mobile phone is carrier. You need good coverage, otherwise your great device won’t work for you.
    * It’s for people who want a cool gadget (i.e. iPhone, Google G1) but their employer will only allow BlackBerry devices to connect to corporate resources (i.e. email, calendar, etc). Many employers have large BlackBerry implementations, and for security and management purposes, will only allow BB devices to connect. So, iPhone, Palm, Windows Mobile, Android, etc are left in the cold.
    * It’s for someone who has been considering moving to a smartphone from a standard cell phone. I’ve seen a few people retire their LG and Motorola flip-phones for Storms. It will be a big learning curve, but the Storm will open up things they have never seen/used before.
    * It’s for the mobile media junky. Granted, iPhone is the mobile media king…but Storm may be coming in at a close second. With 9GB of storage (1GB on-board + 8GB included microSD), and supports 17GB of storage, the Storm has all the space needed for music, movies, TV shows, recorded videos, and photos. With a 3mp camera, the photo and video quality is quite good. The built-in flash allows the Storm to grab those must have photos/videos with quite good quality for a phone. The media player combined with the big/beautiful screen is great for watching shows and displaying album art.
    * I can’t say the Storm is for the email/texting junky though. Like the iPhone and other touchscreen only phones, typing isn’t the strongest part of the phone. This is the big part of why previous BB users will be turned off. I’m coming from a Treo with full QWERTY keyboard, and the transition is tough. I’m now at the point where I can type email fairly quickly. Thanks to the Storm’s learning capabilities and SureType, I’m getting to the point where I can use it for occasional email. Though, it will not likely be as comfortable as the Treo (or traditional BlackBerry) keyboard, ever.

  • TWIRB: Country, Pearl Jam, Guns N’ Roses, and Lips patch (and some Guitar Hero Metallica)

    Posted on December 16th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    THIS WEEK IN ROCK BAND! Did you get the cheap Foo Fighters album last week? I did. I’ve only played a couple songs, but it’s good stuff. Foo isn’t in my top ten list of bands, but they are good.

    This week, we are smothered with Rock Band and Guitar Hero news, once again. We get our first taste of country. Pearl Jam 10 album DLC is announced. Guns N’ Roses Chinese Democracy album rumor quoted from Axl Rose. Rock Band 2 patch for Xbox 360, Lips compatibility. We have have to talk about Guitar Hero Metallica…double bass drum!!!

    Today, we got our first taste of Country on Rock Band. Did you, or are you planning on getting it? (Vote in our poll).

    Brad Paisley – “Mud on the Tires”
    Brooks & Dunn – “Hillbilly Deluxe”
    Dierks Bentley – “Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)”
    Dixie Chicks – “Sin Wagon”
    Miranda Lambert“Gunpowder & Lead”
    Each track will be available starting December 16, 2008, for the Xbox360 and December 18, 2008, for PS3. Each individual track will be available for $1.99 (160 Microsoft Points) and $8.49 (680 Microsoft Points) for the 5-pack.

    We don’t know about next week yet, but we do know what’s coming in March…  Pearl Jam’s debut (and greatest, IMO) album 10 comes to RB DLC.  We alreay have Alive, so we will get the remaining…err…10 tracks from 10.  Black is one of the best songs ever.  Once is incredible.  10 was the most played cassette in my car in 1992-1993.  I’m no Pearl Jam fanboy.  I never got excited about anything after 10, though their second albuim Versus did grow on me.  I will get 10 when it drops.
    If you read the earlier breaking rumor, Axl Rose has been quoted as saying, “I think that’s a yes on Rock Band” when asked if Chinese Democracy would be available in its entirety to the Rock Band community.  No date yet, no pricing yet, but it looks like it’s coming.  Where’s Appetite and Use Your Illusion?  C’mon Axl, you will make a killing if you release those albums.  Illusions 1 & 2 is 30 songs….I would go broke buying every track.

    For you Xbox 360 users, did you notice a Rock Band 2 system update earlier this week?  Looks to me like the Lips patch has been rolled in.  So,Guitar Hero World Tour for those of you with the cool wireless mics from the game Lips, you can no sing wire-free on Rock Band 2.  Please let us know how those mics are working.  Is there any latency, or does it just work flawlessly?

    Check back later for an update, once we get word on next week’s DLC.

    But, before we go… a quick word on Guitar Hero.  We learned this week that Guitar Hero Metallica will be coming early in 2009, with a couple dozen Metallica tracks and some of their favorite cover songs.  It will include the actual band members as characters in the game.  Most importantly to the drummers is… Expert+ mode.  Yes, there will be an added kick-drum pedal and Expert+ mode will require a lot of double bass drum work.  I PRAY that Harmonix comes up with a double-kick drum solution before Guitar Hero Metallica drops.  Otherwise, I will be waiting in line to pick this game (and new drum kit) up.

  • Chinese Democracy coming to Rock Band DLC

    Posted on December 16th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    We have been slow to posts over the past week, sorry. I guess “real” jobs, family life, and the holidays are taking their toll. So, let’s see if we can get back to new and interesting stuff…

    Guns N’ Roses (17 year in the making) album Chinese Democracy looks like it will make a DLC entrance on Rock Band soon. Are you shocked? I’m not. Are you excited? So-so for me, though I will buy it day one.

    First, we know that Shackler’s Revenge is on the RB2 disc. We have seen may bands that are on the RB2 disc getting full DLC albums released (Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, etc). I see the trend.
    Since Shackler’s made it’s world debut on RB2, it only makes sense that Axl and company made an exclusive to have the new album entirely made available after the Best Buy exclusive ended…which is likely over now, or soon.

    Also, the album is not selling well. Only 200k copies it’s first week, and peeked at #3 on Billboard….then sharply fell off the radar. So, the world’s most expensive album to make, is not reaping much in the way of rewards right now.

    Thanks to Wired, we get the rumor that the entire album may show up on Rock Band soon.

    Personally (and if Axl wants to make his money back), he needs, NEEDS to get any of the following albums on RB DLC. Appetite for Destruction, Use Your Illusion 1 & 2, GNR Lies. Get them on DLC, charge $2 (hell, charge $3 a song)…people will buy it.

  • Garmin Mobile GPS on BlackBerry Storm…for less than $80

    Posted on December 15th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Get ready to open your wallets kids. Garmin (you know one of the big guys in the portable GPS game), has just released Garmin Mobile 5.4.2 which is fully compatible with Verizon’s (VZW) BlackBerry 9530 Storm.

    For you long-time VZW people, you might be shocked and confused. You see, VZW is the king of crippling good devices. Always known to not allow devices with WiFi, in fear of people not signing up for a data plan; or lock down GPS, so users will have to pay a monthly fee for VZ Navigator, that’s the VZW we all know and love.

    By the way, VZ Navigator is rebranded GPS software from TELENAV, available on many VZW (and other carrier) phones. It’s decent, not incredible, but decent and costs $9.99 a month. That’s where you can start to get upset at VZW, since they lock down GPS so that you can only use it with VZ Navigator. But, hate no longer.

    In the past few months, there have been rumors of a few Windows Mobile devices to have the GPS spell lifted. Just last week, we quietly learned that all BlackBerry devices with GPS (running OS 4.5 or newer) no longer have the curse either. Yup, GPS is fully unlocked. Many people are still finding it hard to believe.

    So, I’m proving it to you now. BB Maps…works perfect. It’s basically RIM’s version of Google Maps for Mobile. If you are cheap or low on cash, the free BB Maps will get the GPS job done. Oh, Google Maps for Mobile, does not work on the Storm yet. We’ve determined by our non-scientific methods that it’s a Google issue, not a RIM or Verizon issue.

    Here’s the best part, I bought Garmin Mobile last night (with a discount code for only $79). I’ve been using it all day for every basic and advanced GPS feature and it works flawlessly.

    Routing, traffic, weather, spoken turn-by-turn directions, utilizing contacts, finds local places of interest, and on and on. It retails for $99 at, but with a link to their discount club site, you can get it for $79.
    Let’s compare this to the stand-alone TomTom ONE 125 that I bought for $99.99 before tax a week ago.

    TomTom = preloaded maps.
    Garmin = Loads maps as you drive with GPS and cellular signal.

    Both have about a 3.5″ screen, with the Storm having a higher resolution.

    TomTom = no
    Garmin = yes

    Fuel location/prices
    TomTom = additional cost
    Garmin = included

    I’ll be honest, I don’t know a lot about the GPS world (yet). But for a free 7-day trial, plus a 30-day money back guarantee…if you are a Storm (or any BB with GPS) user, you have to try Garmin Mobile.

    Here’s the link for the trial download.  Point your BB browser at it, if you are running the 9530 Storm.

    If you want the link for the discount code, leave me a comment and I’ll email it to you.

    Oh, and to wrap up…I’m returning the TomTom ONE 125 unopened.  Not that I have anything against the TomTom, it actually looks great for the money.  I’m all about convergence.  I want it all in one device, and Thanks for VZW, RIM, and Garmin…nirvana (bliss, not the band) is betting closer.

    Need any questions answered about VZW, Storm, or Garmin?  Let me know and I’ll try best to answer.

    UPDATE: Some things I’d like to see improved in updates:
    * Media Player pauses music when turn-by-turn direction is announced, music never resumes.  Need to automatically resume music after directions are spoken.
    * Turn-by-turn directions voice is a bit “electronic sounding”.  Would be nice to have voice options.
    * Battery drain.  I’m finding that I need to fully charge the Storm twice a day.  I guess I’m a “power user”.  Need a bigger battery, or something to help manage battery life.
    * A car mount that holds the Storm in landscape mode.
    * Voice activated contacts, possibly reusing the Storm’s built-in implementation of Nuance’s voice dialing software.

  • TWIRB: Foo Fighters DLC on Sale, No Doubt Album Now Available, Country Strikes Next Week

    Posted on December 9th, 2008 Shawn 2 comments

    THIS WEEK IN ROCK BAND! Just when you thought, No Doubt would be the big news of the week, we get confirmation of some country songs next week…and the big news for me, the Foo Fighters album Colour & the Shape is on sale 25% of regular DLC pricing.

    Foo Fighters:
    Major Nelson has released this weeks Xbox Live Deals, and it focuses around several rhythm games (GHWT, RB, and American Idol). The GHWT and Idol stuff is just for Asian regions. The Rock Band stuff is for the rest of the world. I’m psyched, since I have not picked up the Foo Fighters album yet. I will likely be coughing up some $$ to buy some MS points this week. This deal is too good.

    The following deals of the week are are now on sale:

    DLC Original Price Sale Price Discount Regions
    THE IDOLM@STER Live For You! Song 1200 pts 900 pts 25% Japan
    Guitar Hero – Foo Fighters Track Pack 500 pts 375 pts 25% Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan
    Rock Band: The Colour and the Shape Album 1600 pts 1200 pts 25% All other Xbox LIVE Regions

    Click the title to purchase and add to your Xbox 360 download queue

    No Doubt:

    Just a reminder that No Doubt gets The Singles album today as well.

    No Doubt’s: ‘The Singles 1992-2003’ pack will include 13 master tracks from the band’s 2003 album The Singles 1992-2003, which featured a compilation of hits from No Doubt’s previous albums Tragic Kingdom, Return of Saturn, and Rock Steady. The album sold more than 2.2 million copies in the United States alone. The No Doubt tracks included in the pack are listed below. Pricing will be $1.99 (160 Microsoft Points) per track or $19.99 (1600 Microsoft Points) for the pack. The tracks will be available for download starting December 9, 2008, for the Xbox 360 and December 11, 2008, for the PS3.
    1.”Just a Girl”
    2.”It’s My Life”
    3.”Hey Baby”
    5.”Sunday Morning”
    6.”Hella Good”
    7.”Underneath It All”
    8.”Excuse Me Mr.”
    11.”Simple Kind of Life”
    12.“Don’t Speak”


    Finally, next week, we get some country.  IMO, not the best selection to choose from.  Though, I will still take a listen and see if other friends are picking it up 😉

    Brad Paisley – “Mud on the Tires”
    Brooks & Dunn – “Hillbilly Deluxe”
    Dierks Bentley – “Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)”
    Dixie Chicks – “Sin Wagon”
    Miranda Lambert“Gunpowder & Lead”
    Each track will be available starting December 16, 2008, for the Xbox360 and December 18, 2008, for PS3. Each individual track will be available for $1.99 (160 Microsoft Points) and $8.49 (680 Microsoft Points) for the 5-pack.

  • Rock Band Officially Goes Country Dec 16

    Posted on December 8th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    <a href=””><img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-847″ title=”Rock Band DLC Update” src=”” alt=”” width=”180″ height=”128″ /></a>We talked about the rumors a few days ago.  The announcement is official, Rock Band goes Country Band in a little over a week.  So, will next week be a buy or pass week for you?

    From HMXSean in the Rock Band forums:

    Default DLC Week of 12/17 – Country Pack

    Hey everybody,

    Coming at you with a Monday announcement. As widely reported next week’s pack is of the country variety!

    Brad Paisley – “Mud on the Tires”

    Brooks & Dunn – “Hillbilly Deluxe”

    Dierks Bentley – “Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)”

    Dixie Chicks – “Sin Wagon”

    Miranda Lambert “Gunpowder & Lead”
    Each track will be available starting December 16, 2008, for the Xbox360 and December 18, 2008, for PS3. Each individual track will be available for $1.99 (160 Microsoft Points) and $8.49 (680 Microsoft Points) for the 5-pack.

    To discuss the week’s DLC please visit the official thread in Community’s Greatest Hits.

    For all DLC song credits please go here.

    And, as always, for awesome background information on our DLC and other articles please visit the Rock Band ‘Zine

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