Chloe M. O'Connor | Layout, Illustration, and Freelance Design

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Picks Of The Week

Obsession of the week: “The Amazing Spider-Man” in theaters

Amazing he is. And when I say he, I mean Andrew Garfield. The man brings a loveable, personal quality to the Peter Parker character, something Tobey Maguire never quite mastered. It also helps that the screenplay allowed the emotional moments to not just exist, but move forward the story.

Emma Stone impresses as usual as Gwen Stacy. Both Stone, 23, and Garfield, 28, pass as high schoolers thanks to some great one-liners that take me back to the years of teenage angst. Their on-screen love story is so real it’s no wonder their relationship blossomed off-screen.

The film was worth seeing in 3-D because of some cool technology used at Oscorp Labs, as well as the high-flying, web-slinging scenes atop New York City’s skyscrapers. The very last shot before the credits was obviously meant just for the goofy glasses-wearing viewers. But friends who saw the 2-D version left the theater feeling just as satisfied, for 3-D does not a good movie make.

Music stream of the week: fun. At The 9:30 Club, NPR concert

This band is one of my new favorites. They are quirky and, well, fun! I can hear the ’80s pop and rock influences, which as anyone can tell you, I love.

I’ll admit I was a bit tired of “We Are Young,” their explosive hit off their second album, “Some Nights.” But as soon as the New York City band released the disc’s title track, I was back to chanting the crowd-ready, anthemic choruses of both songs.

Enjoy this 80-minute performance from May 3, which NPR kindly streamed live and continues to provide access for those who missed it. You don’t need to be at Club 9:30 in D.C. to participate in the dancing Nate Ruess commands near the close of the concert.

Sounds like … of the week: Conor Maynard’s “Can’t Say No” sounds like Jesse McCartney

Remember Jesse McCartney? My middle sister saw him open up for Jordin Sparks once and she bought me a poster, which I still have.

Well usher in the latest teen to sing songs about girls, Conor Maynard, who is 19 and not related to our bachelorette, Emily, at least I don’t think he is. I expect Conor will ride the One Direction train and become quite popular because of his Britishness. Oh yeah, and the fact he can sing pretty.

Compare Maynard’s “Can’t Say No” with McCartney’s “It’s Over” and tell me you don’t hear the similarities.

And to try to prove Maynard is actually talented and not just another cutie with floppy hair from across the pond, here he is covering Katy Perry’s “E.T.” His album drops July 30.

Filed under: Entertainment, Hollywood, Internet, Movies, Music, Tech, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Twittering on the Television?

Twitter has once again stuck its little birdie foot in another unexpected door: the home television.

In today’s Business Day section of The New York Times, an article was printed about companies such as DirecTV and Verizon creating applications, much like the ones offered by Apple for iPods and iPhones.

Verizon’s FiOS (Internet, TV and phone communications package) is trying to catch up with the smart phone capabilities on which Apple has been capitalizing for the last year. Verizon is also trying out app services that can be used while watching TV … on the TV screen. Already, customers can use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

In the first three days of the Twitter service’s release, more than a million FiOS customers were tapped in. People were asking how to Tweet with their remotes, something Verizon hadn’t thought of. Two days later, Verizon made it possible — users could officially Tweet live about Greg Paulus’ throw for a Minnesota interception in overtime, or about how, for goodness’ sake, Casey and Cappie just need to get together on Greek.

These days, users dictate the production of new technologies and the capabilities of those technologies. Companies can either listen, act fast on customer’s demands, and drive successful sales, or they can ignore the consumer and fail at their job.

Apple is successful in part because they capitalize on the wants and needs of their customers. The Genius Bar at Apple stores shows their customers they are available and willing to help. The iTunes store recommends songs to listeners based on previous purchases, and the Genius play list creator encourages the user to purchase more from the same artist while discovering all the other options in the iTunes songbook.

Isn’t it amazing how quickly technology changes? What was it, two years ago, that the iPod touch was released? I can have wireless at my fingertips? Super cool. And then Twitter made us all uber-connected with our friends and favorite celebrities. Now we can completely immerse ourselves in the media world, all with our TV remote and television set.

I’ll be the first to admit I am attached to my iPod touch during commercials of my favorite TV shows, sometimes even during the shows (I’m not Twittering everything that’s going on, but I am checking up on everyone else, reading e-mails, seeing the weather for tomorrow …). I have six browsers open right now, and my iTunes, and Skype, and ooVoo (another web chat program). My phone and iPod are next to me, I’m thinking about watching Greek tonight after I make dinner, which I’ll do with my iPod playing tunes from my Pandora app.

I do not demand new technologies. I wait for them to come to me. But I’m glad others do, that they ask for changes and improvements. That’s how new technologies are created … fast. People who want things when they want them (which is usually right now) are a good thing for the media industry. Those people give feedback on the content they want, and companies make it their job to get that content out there in the most user-friendly way.

Filed under: Tech

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