Monday, May 31, 2010

Pink's Incredible, Non-Drinking, High Flying Tour Kicks Off! (PHOTOS)

Pink's Incredible, Non-Drinking, High Flying Tour Kicks Off! (PHOTOS): " Posted by: The Connector

Pink knows how to put on a live show.  Her tour kicked off over the weekend in Cologne, Germany and we had to share these pictures with you, as these are some of the coolest tour shots we have seen all year.

There are some amazing tours out right now, with some incredible costumes and sets, including Rihanna, Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, just to name a few.  Now we definitely can add Pink to that list. 

Because of the acrobatics and dangerous stunts that Pink does in the show, she has put a self-imposed alcohol ban.

'Im not allowed to drink on tour. I wish I did as Im so nervous about tonight. Ive only practised it once!'  But when she does drink, she admits 'Im no puker.  I just lie in bed and my head spins around.'

Well, we can't wait to see this high flying, acrobatic tour when she hits the states!

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Will Google TV Be a Game-Changer in the Realm of Connected Devices?

Will Google TV Be a Game-Changer in the Realm of Connected Devices?: "

For many of us, the most exciting part of Google I/O today was the announcement of Google TV. Google and its partners are trying to make the connected living room a success and bridge the gap between the computer and the television at long last.

Jolie O’Dell has already given us a run-down of what Google TV is, but what does Google TV mean for existing players in this space and the future of connected devices? How does Google TV impact companies like Apple, Boxee, PopBox and others?


Potential to Bring Connected TV to the Mainstream


In its demonstration — which was notably marred by technical problems — nothing presented by Google really blew us away. That isn’t to say that the ideas and technology behind Google TV aren’t impressive — they are — it’s just that other products have been on the market for years that offer the same capabilities.

For instance, with the exception of the stand-alone web browser, practically every feature displayed in Google TV can also be found in the latest TiVo. Now, TiVo isn’t as sexy as it was a decade ago, and the company and its execution have lots of problems. But when you consider that features like viewing photos, streaming music and searching for upcoming programming were possible on TiVo back in 2003, and that viewing content from Amazon Video-On Demand, YouTube and Netflix has been possible since 2006 or 2007, we kind of wanted to see something that was a bit more impressive.

But maybe impressive isn’t the point. Maybe the point is to finally bring this technology — which until very, very recently existed only in the niches of the consumer electronics industry — to the mainstream. I recognize that just because I invested a summer into meticulously and methodically turning my Mac mini into the ultimate home theater PC doesn’t mean that the average person cares all that much.

Google TV offers up lots of potential for users who want a connected entertainment experience. While I still want to see some technical details on how well Google TV will work alongside set-top boxes from various cable companies (does on-demand work, for instance?), the fact that a box can be integrated into an existing set-up and provide one integrated, controllable experience is pretty compelling.


This Is a Competitive Space


Boxee Beta

Google may have been working on Google TV for two and a half years, but it is entering a very competitive space. It’s great that Sony is on board to bring the Google TV experience to some of its Bravia HDTVs and Blu-ray players, but let’s not forget that Samsung, LG and Panasonic consistently outsell Sony in the LCD TV space and that they all have their own IPTV solutions and partners in the works. LG partnered with DivX earlier this year to bring DivX TV to its Blu-ray players, Samsung and Yahoo have partnered together with Internet@TV, and Panasonic has its Viera Cast system.

Now, this isn’t to say that any of those options are as compelling or complete as Google TV — but if we have learned anything from TiVo, it’s that best features don’t always win, especially if something is included for free.

This is before we even address competing set-top box products like Boxee, PopBox, Roku and others. Boxee, for example, has already established a base of users via its computer and Apple TV platform. When the Boxee Box is released, it has the potential to bring even more users into the fold. While Boxee doesn’t integrate into the live TV experience like Google TV, it does support third-party apps, can do regular web browsing and also seamlessly links to existing media libraries.

And don’t forget about the cable companies! If Google can convince more service providers to follow the Dish Network lead and partner with Google, it could be a tremendous game changer, but cable companies haven’t made their move into connected TV yet. That doesn’t mean they won’t. Again, just as cable company DVRs snuffed out much of TiVo’s fire, it could be a big challenge to any connected TV platform — including Google TV.


Hulu: The Elephant in the Room


Hulu

While Hulu was shown in the Google TV demo, Hulu was not ever mentioned by name, nor was its programming ever accessed. When Ben Parr asked about Hulu support today, Google dodged the question by saying that it was technically feasible but ultimately up to the content provider.

We find it extremely unlikely that Hulu will openly support Google TV. While we do expect Hulu to come to television sets in a supported way, we imagine it will be through its own set-top box or a licensed software it sells to TV manufacturers or cable companies.

The power of Hulu should not be underestimated; as great as the idea of a connected living room is, the reality is that we care less about watching YouTube videos on the big screen than we do with watching the most recent episode of The Simpsons or a classic episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show or NewsRadio.

A lack of Hulu support doesn’t portend disaster for Google TV, but it still leaves an opening — especially in the U.S. — for whichever company can manage to get Hulu onto their connected TV platform first.


Usability and Reliability Will Matter


While some of the technical problems in today’s Google TV demonstration could be blamed on the fact that Wi-Fi in the building wasn’t great and that so many BlueTooth devices were conflicting with the product — a product, we must add, that isn’t complete — the fact that there were so many problems in that demonstration made attendees very nervous.

As one of the Googlers said in the demo, one of the key aspects of television is that it ‘just works.’ For connected TV to work — whether it be from Google or someone else — it has to be reliable, usable and consistent. I can deal with rebooting my computer if it starts acting weird. I don’t feel the same way about my television set. As it stands, I already curse my cable company provided HD-DVR box for being finicky and having performance issues; if I have to reboot my entire entertainment system because an Internet video gets out of control, I’m not going to be very happy. I also have no desire to have to play tech support for my family when the TV stops working.

Not having had any hands-on time with Google TV, I can’t speak for how well it works compared to the competition — but this is an area that Google needs to absolutely have at 100% at launch. Release early and often may work on the web, but users don’t want to have to troubleshoot their devices in the living room.


Learn From Apple and Microsoft’s Mistakes


Both Apple and Microsoft have tried their hand at the connected TV space, with MSN TV (née Web TV) and Apple TV respectively. Both efforts failed. While Apple continues to sell the Apple TV product, the company still says in conference calls that it considers the product ‘a hobby.’ That’s Apple-speak for ‘we don’t sell that many.’

MSN TV was an idea that was too ambitious for its time. Dial-up Internet access over the television just wasn’t fun and digital cable was still emerging, which limited web-to-television interaction. Apple TV’s biggest problem has always been that it is just too closed. While you can make your Apple TV really slick by putting Boxee or XBMC on it, the default set-up is just too limited for most users, especially when practically every Blu-ray player on the market is both wireless and supports Netflix.

Hopefully Google and its partners will learn from Apple and Microsoft’s mistakes by not trying to push the market beyond its own readiness and by not limiting its uses. For the latter, it looks like Google has that under control. Google TV runs on a version of Android and will run on third-party applications. Google is also already encouraging developers to optimize their websites and web apps for Google TV.

Whether it becomes the future of TV or not, the company has the financial power and brand recognition to really help sell connected TV.

What do you think Google TV means for the future of IPTV as a whole? Let us know in the comments.



For more technology coverage, follow Mashable Tech on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook




Reviews: Android, Blu, Bluetooth, Boxee, Facebook, Google, Hulu, Internet, Twitter, XBMC, YouTube

Tags: boxee, connected tv, google tv, internet tv, iptv, popbox, television


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RECAP: Nas & Damian Marley at Highline Ballroom

RECAP: Nas & Damian Marley at Highline Ballroom: " Posted by: Deepa Shah

Dedication.

Dedication is Nas and Damian Marley's Flag Man. As hip-hop legend and reggae royalty took over the Highline Ballroom stage last night in New York City, Flag Man waved the African flag nonstop for over two hours. He must have some killer arms...

Nas and Damian kicked off their set with 'As We Enter' from their collaborative new album Distant Relatives. The album's core political message criticizing dysfunctional governments focused on Africa with songs like 'Tribes At War' and 'Ancient People.' The duo took a break from the new album after performing 'Nah Mean' to a rowdy crowd.

NEXT PAGE: MORE VIDEO AND THOUGHTS FROM LAST NIGHT'S NAS AND DAMIAN MARLEY PERFORMANCE



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The thunderous screams got heavier as Nas graced the audience with some old school joints like 'Represent' and 'Hip Hop Is Dead.' DJ Green Lantern kept the crowd going as Nas went in on 'If I Ruled The World.' Ending his short solo set, Nas gave a shoutout to the great Guru from Gangstarr.


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Damian joined the stage again as he and Nas ran through a few more new tracks all while the crowd bounced along. The swarm of people in front of the stage needed more Reggae and that's exactly what Damian gave them. Performing solo, Damian sped through 'More Justice' and 'Move!' Even dipping into his father's catalogue with 'She's Gone' and 'No More Trouble.'

Damian and Nas served up 'Land Of Promise' from Distant Relatives and 'Welcome to Jamrock.' Keeping their message central, Nas urged everyone to stand up against corrupt governments across the world. Closing out the show, Nas and Damian performed 'Road to Zion' and 'Africa Must Wake Up.' The African flag finally stopped mid-air; it was time for Flag Man to take a well-deserved break.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Diddy And Queen Latifiah Announce 2010 BET Awards Nominees

Diddy And Queen Latifiah Announce 2010 BET Awards Nominees: " Posted by: Flywritergurl

BET is pulling out the red carpet once again for this years BET Awards. The cable network held a press conference today to announce the nominations for the 2010 BET Awards. Announcing the awards were BET President of Music Programing and Special events Stephen G. Hill, Dirty Money, and Queen Latifah who will serve as this years host, taking the reigns from last years MC Jamie Foxx.
'I got to make sure I do my job, and believe me we are going to have an amazing time this year, this year is going to be so incredible.' said Latifiah of her role as host. Latifah refused to give up any surprises she has in store for this years show, but she did state that 'there is no limit to which I will go to make sure that the 2010 BET Awards is the greatest show on earth.'

This years top nominees include Jay-Z who is nominated for five awards, followed by Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Trey Songz, and Melanie Fiona who are all nominated for four awards.



To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the production BET has added a few new categories including Best International Act which features internationally successful artist such as Sade, K'NAAN, and Estelle. They have also introduced the Centric Award where nominees include Monica, Chrisette Michelle and Melanie Fiona and the Young Stars award where Keke Palmer, Williow Smith are Lil JJ are just some of the young starlets nominated.


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A few nomineees that may be a surprise to fans are Justin Bieber who is nominated for Best New artist along with Wale, Young Money, and Melanie Fiona, Selena Gomez who is nominated for the Young Stars Award and Esther Dean who is nominated for Best Female Hip Hop Artist.



It seems as if the 2010 BET Awards is also going to be jam packed with performances. Diddy-Dirty Money, Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj, and Drake are just some of the few artist scheduled to hit the stage.  The network is definitely giving fans something to look forward to. During the announcements  Diddy proclaimed that 'hands down when you look at an awards show from beginning to end the BET awards is the best awards show that's out there right now.' Diddy even stated that the release date for the Dirty Money album entitled 'Last Train To Paris' will be released at midnight after the award show is over. Diddy also announced that he will be hosting the awards after party which will broadcasted live on BET.

The network is also using this years awards to launch their Music Matters initiative which will showcase groundbreaking up and coming music and talent.  These new acts have been deemed by BET to be the next superstar. Music Matters will also highlight some established artist.  This years show is set to air Sunday June 27, 2010 from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Look out for more info.


CHECK OUT THE NOMINEES


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Viewers Choice Nominees:
Beyoncé ‘Sweet Dreams’
Jay-Z ‘Empire State of Mind’
Monica ‘Everything To Me’
Rihanna ‘Hard’
Trey Songz Ft. Drake ‘Say Aah’
Young Money ‘Bedrock’


Best Collaboration:
Beyoncé Ft. Lada Gaga ‘Video Phone’
B.o.B. ‘Nothin’ On You’
Drake Ft. Trey Songz ‘Successful’
Drake Ft. Kanye West, Lil Wayne, & Eminem ‘Forever’
Trey Songz Ft. Drake ‘Say Aah’


Best Female Hip Hop Artist:
Ester Dean
Lil Kim
Nicki Minaj
Rasheeda
Trina


Best Male Hip Hop Artist:
B.o.B.
Drake
Fabolous
Jay-Z
Ludacris


Best New Artist:
Justin Bieber
Melanie Fiona
Nicki Minaj
Wale
Young Money


YoungStars Award:
Selena Gomez
JJ Lewis
Keke Palmer
Willow Smith
Tyler James Williams


Best Movie:
Avatar
Law Abiding Citizen
Michael Jackson: This Is It
Precious
The Blindside


MORE NOMINEES


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Best Female R&B Artist:
Beyonce
Mary J. Blige
Melanie Fiona
Alicia Keys
Rihanna


Best Male R&B Artist:
Chris Brown
Raheem DaVaughn
Maxwell
Trey Songz
Usher


Best Group:
Black Eyed Peas
The Clipse
Diddy & Dirty Money
The New Boyz
Young Money


Video of the Year:
Beyoncé Ft. Lada Gaga ‘Video Phone’
B.o.B. ‘Nothin’ On You’
Melanie Fiona ‘It Kills Me’
Jay-Z ‘Empire State of Mind’
Jay-Z ‘Run This Town’


Best Gospel:


The Anointed Pace Sisters


Kirk Franklin Presents Artists United For Haiti
Tamela Mann
Marvin Sapp
Vickie Winans


Video Director of the Year:
Benny Boom
Gil Green
Anthony Mandler
Chris Robinson
Hype Williams


Best Actress:
Taraji P. Henson
Regina King
Mo’Nique
Zoe Saldana
Gaborey Sidibe


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Best Actor:
Quinton Aaron
Don Cheadle
Idris Elba
Jamie Foxx
Denzel Washington


Subway Sportswoman of the Year:
Tamika Catchings
Vanessa James
Candace Parker
Serena Williams
Venus Williams


Subway Sportsman of the Year:
Carmelo Anthony
Usain Bolt
Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Tiger Woods


Centric Award:
Melanie Fiona
Maxwell
Chrisette Michele
Monica
Sade


Best International Act
Kojo Antwi
Chipmunk
Dizzee Rascal
Estelle
Hip Hop Pantsula
K’NAAN
M.I.
P-Square
Corinne Bailey Rae
Sade

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rumormill: 2012 Nissan GT-R upgraded to over 500 hp

Rumormill: 2012 Nissan GT-R upgraded to over 500 hp: "

Filed under: , , ,

Nissan GT-R - Click above for high-res image gallery


We're beginning to hear the first rumblings about the next round of updates to the Nissan GT-R, and if the rumors are to be believed, Nissan's goal of keeping pace with the refreshed Porsche 911 Turbo (and its S sibling) will continue through the 2012 model year.


As with its German counterpart, the R35 is expected to undergo a host of evolutionary changes, including some reworked aero bits, suspension and brake upgrades, and a retuned 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 that's likely to output over 500 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque.


The exterior updates will likely be limited to a new front splitter, rear diffuser and a revised wing, all in an effort to increase downforce and drop lap times. And about those lap times...


We've heard from our sources on the ground in Germany that the revised GT-R underwent a new round of testing at the Nurburgring last month and that the newly estimated lap times were (of course) below the original GT-R's 7:26 run. How low? We're hoping to find out when it arrives early next year.



Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright (C)2009 Weblogs, Inc.

Rumormill: 2012 Nissan GT-R upgraded to over 500 hp originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 May 2010 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Video: BMW M3 GTS gets wrung out on the 'Ring

Video: BMW M3 GTS gets wrung out on the 'Ring: "

Filed under: , ,


Click above to watch the video after the jump



The BMW M3 GTS is expected to carry some serious track cred. The extremely limited edition Bimmer packs 450 horsepower from a 4.4-liter V8 engine, while weight is cut by 419 lbs compared to a typical M3. Sounds like a dream come true. But if you planned on picking up one of the 90 M3 GTS models costing 115,000 Euro ($145,000 in U.S. funds), youre too late. The most capable E92 M3 is already sold out, but you can at least hit the jump to see video of a bright orange GTS as its takes on the famed Nürburgring.



In the BMW-produced video, M3 test engineer Günter Sillinger takes the GTS for a spin around the Ring, then tells us just how great the high-strung coupe handles. Sillinger may be biased, but since we may never get behind the wheel of one of the select GTS coupes, well have to take his word for it when he says, 'Its the most uncompromising, fastest and thrilling M3 ever.' Follow the jump to watch the 2:19 video for yourself.



[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Video: BMW M3 GTS gets wrung out on the 'Ring

Video: BMW M3 GTS gets wrung out on the 'Ring originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 13 May 2010 12:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Jay Electronica, Public Enemy & More to Rock NYC SummerStage Events

Jay Electronica, Public Enemy & More to Rock NYC SummerStage Events: "


The City Parks Foundation has booked a slew of hip-hop acts—including Jay Electronica, Public Enemy, Brand Nubian and EPMD—to perform for free throughout New York City’s five boroughs as part of SummerStage’s 25th anniversary.


The ‘Exhibit C’ MC will start off the festivities on June 1 in Brooklyn’s Red Hook Park. Other acts playing in BK include ‘The World’s Greatest Entertainer,’ Doug E. Fresh coming on June 3, and hometown hero Big Daddy Kane on June 16, both playing at Von King Park. Rap duo Nice and Smooth will also take the stage at Betsy Head Park on June 9.


Brand Nubian will be headlining a show in the Bronx’s Crotona Park on June 23, as well as the man credited with starting hip-hop, DJ Kool Herc, who will man the wheels of steel on June 30.


EPMD and Pharoahe Monch are set to bless Queensbridge Park on July 15 and July 21, respectively, and old-school Staten Island crew The Force M.D.’s are scheduled to play Shaolin’s Tappen Park on July 13.


Public Enemy are set to bring their renowned live show to Central Park on August 15, bringing up-and-comer Blitz the Ambassador along for the ride.


Several R&B artists will also be on the schedule this year. Ryan Leslie, Raphael Saadiq, Jon B and Chrisette Michele are just some of the crooners set to play free NY shows.


For a more information and a full schedule of events visit www.summerstage.org. —Elan Mancini




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