iPhone 4S and iOS5 debut at Apple’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” Event

iPhone 4S and iOS5 debut at Apple’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” Event (photo)

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For almost three hours today, the entire internet ground to a screeching halt as Apple put on its “Let’s Talk iPhone” event – the first one hosted by new CEO Tim Cook. But since your boss probably wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of you taking a few hours away from your spreadsheets to monitor tech site live blogs, we figured we’d go ahead and round up all the interesting bits. Why? Because we like you.

First up is the new iOS 5 for your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It features more than 200 new features – way too many to run down here – but below are some of the highlights:

• The Notifications Center, which is a less grating and obtrusive way for Apps to yell at you than the traditional pop-up notifications. You’ll be able to open it up with a downward swipe.
• iMessage is basically Blackberry Messenger for iDevices, allowing you to send text, photos and videos to other iUsers. Apparently, the only thing that makes this difference from a regular text is that messages get pushed to all of a user’s devices, which sounds well more irritating than pop-up notifications.
• Reminders sounds more or less like an appointment entry in Calendar, which isn’t tied to a specific time. Instead, you can tether reminders to locations so your device tells you to do stop by the bank when you’re nearby.
• Twitter will now be completely integrated into your device, meaning no re-logins and the ability to Tweet from most of your standard Apps. Interesting, but seems like it might be irritating for people who share an iPad.
• There are several upgrades to Safari, including the Reader, which can save stories and pages to read later, which are then synced across device. Most exciting to us, however, is the introduction of tabbed browsing on the iPad.

After going over the new iOS features, the focus moved to hardware, with new versions of the iPod Nano available today in seven colors and two different versions: 8 GB for $129 and 16 GB for $149. The new devices are said to include improved functionality for Fitness, as well as 16 additional clockfaces for people who wear the player as a watch.

Apple’s most popular iPod, however, is the iPod Touch, and with the new iOS 5, it will also experience a price drop. The new iPod Touches will be available on October 12, in 8 GB ($199), 32 GB ($299) and 64 GB ($399) versions.

Of course, what everyone was waiting for was news about a new iPhone. While rumors had swirled around about a massive upgrade in the form of an iPhone 5, Apple is only taking what amounts to a half-step forward, introducing the iPhone 4S. The new device looks exactly like the pre-existing iPhone 4, but has completely new innards which makes it up to seven times as fast as the previous version. Here are some other highlights of the new iPhone:

• The phone has an Apple-designed A5 processor, which allows it to run monstrous Apps, like the all-new “Infinity Blade II,” which will hit the App Store on December 1 of this year.
• The device has two internal antennas, which the system will switch between during calls and regular use to get the best speeds, achieving 4G levels of performance.
• The iPhone’s camera is also experiencing massive upgrades, with 60% more pixels a five element lens (compared to four in the previous version) and more, which results in a 30% sharper image. Just as importantly, the device is also 33% faster at taking pictures than the iPhone 4.
• Video recording is also getting a shot in the arm, as the device can film 1080p HD footage.

By far the biggest news out of the “Let’s Talk iPhone” event, however, was the introduction of Siri, a digital assistant hardwired into the iPhone 4S. To summon Siri, users will hold down the home button, and can then ask the digital assistant to do pretty much anything the phone can do: Tell me the weather, play a particular song, set a new calendar entry, etc. Siri can even read your text messages, recite information it found on the internet and just generally make you feel kind of stupid – so basically Siri is like a new annoying girlfriend who you don’t even get to ogle.

The new iPhone 4S will be available on October 14, with pre-orders beginning this Friday. With a two-year contract, you’ll be able to get a 16 GB for $199, a 32 GB for $299 or a 64 GB for $399. If you’re bargain shopping, however, you’ll soon be able to get an iPhone 4 for $99 with a two-year contract, or even pick up the somewhat dated iPhone 3GS for free with a new two-year contract.

What do you think of the iPhone 4S’s new features? Will you be ordering one this week? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar


IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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