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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lookout Verizon, Sprint Rumored to Retain Unlimited Data Plan with iPhone 5

Poor little Sprint stands to be the biggest loser if AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile is allowed to go through in what some fear would effectively create a duopoly with Verizon and AT&T/T-Mobile controlling the market. But regardless of what happens with that deal, Sprint has an ace up its sleeve: Unlimited data.

Sprint is the only major carrier to still offer a true unlimited data plan, one that's devoid of overage fees, data caps, or throttled service once a user goes over a certain threshold. No other wireless carrier has deemed such a plan to be financially feasible, so surely Sprint will cave in like the rest of them did, right? Maybe not. According to a Bloomberg report, Sprint will retain its unlimited data plan for the upcoming iPhone 5 launch.

Citing "people familiar with the matter," Bloomberg says the device will go on sale in mid-October, and that Sprint will be the only one offering an unlimited data plan for iPhone 5 users. If true, this could be a huge deal for Sprint as it looks to compete with all the major wireless carriers who plan to carry Apple's upcoming flagship device. Even just carrying the iPhone puts Sprint in a better position.

"It's a competitive disadvantage if your two larger competitors have the iPhone and you don't," Matthew Thornton, an analyst at Avian Securities LLC, told Bloomberg in an interview. "Getting the iPhone closes the gap."

None of this is official, of course, and Apple hasn't announced when the iPhone 5 is coming and which carriers will have access to the device. But it's believed the iPhone 5 will end up in everyone's hands (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile). With streaming video (Netflix), FaceTime, cloud-based storage lockers for music, and other data consuming services becoming commonplace, Sprint is setting itself up to be one of the more attractive carriers in the next iPhone round.

Bucky Larson Achieves Monumental 0% Rotten Tomatoes Rating


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At the risk of piling on, today we need to recognize the rare cultural milestone achieved by Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star. No, not its approval from a leader in the porn community, and not its status as one of the biggest mainstream flops in years. Nope. The Adam Sandler-produced, Nick Swardson-starring comedy has managed that ever-rare zero-percent approval rating among the critics of Rotten Tomatoes.

Just when we thought The Undefeated was going to have a nice, long term as the site’s reigning stinker and Waiting For Forever might pull it out as the year’s most roundly loathed narrative film, along comes Bucky to change all that. Its ignominy grew into sharper relief over the weekend, as critics like our own Alison Willmore filed their reactions from public screenings (Sony declined to pre-screen the film) around the country. And wow did people hate this movie:

· “There are movie atrocities, there are I-just-don’t-get-it comedies and then there’s Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star. This god-awful, unfunny, stinkingly putrid sketch-comic movie has exactly one snicker-worthy moment, involving Kevin Nealon and a stolen grape. […] That snicker is the loneliest sound throughout all of Bucky Larson, which stands alone as the most moronic comedy in ages.” — Joe Neumaier, NY Daily News

· “This is cinema only insofar as Taco Bell can be called a healthy snack, cobbled together with broken parts from Hollywood’s junk drawer and enough song cues and big names (Don Johnson, sadly par for the course in his post-Miami Vice career) to create the illusion of entertainment. If you’re of the opinion that Napoleon Dynamite wasn’t cruel enough to its characters, Bucky Larson’s for you. You may or may not laugh, but at least you’ll be closer to death and no better for it.” —Rob Humanick, Slant

· “It occurs to me that Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star may have been made […] to console every actor who has ever been in a movie that is a little less bad than this one. Let me put the matter another way: this may be the worst movie Pauly Shore has ever been in. Think about that. If you dare, go on Netflix and test the hypothesis.” — A.O. Scott, The New York Times

Ouch. At least there’s always a DVD pullquote from Joanna Angel. We did what we could, Sony.

· Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star [Rotten Tomatoes]

The Statue of Liberty Before It Was Green

Did it ever occur to you that the official greeter of New York, the Statue of Liberty, wasn’t always green? Constructed in Paris in the 1880′s, the statue was made with an exterior of untreated copper, which as many know from seeing old neglected pennies, slowly turns green over time through oxidation (not so the ones in your pocket as they are slowly polished through friction). The builders of the statue clearly knew that over time the lady would turn a dull green, but think of how it must have originally appeared as new immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, shining a warm welcome in the New York sun.

The image above, Photoshopped by Shaun Sanders over at Hipmunk, looks something like what the original would have.

Below: The statue under construction in Paris, France. It clearly shows a metallic, copper finish.

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Below: A diorama built by Frenchman Bartholdi in about 1880 depicts the statue under construction in its original color (probably a closer resemblance to the true copper hue).

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Below: Interestingly, the new de Young museum in San Francisco is slowly taking the same path towards a green future. The extremely modern building is sheathed in a copper facade which is already starting to show the signs of age. As planned, the museum will slowly blend in with it’s natural surroundings in Golden Gate Park.

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Below: the walls of the de Young are perforated and textured to replicate the impression made by light filtering through a tree canopy. Here we see the walls transitioning to a black color which will then change to green.

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Seriously Guys, a Point Break Remake?


Leader image for Seriously Guys, a Point Break Remake?

If ever there was a time for a well-placed “Noooooo!” it’s now, upon the news that Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. are planning to remake Kathryn Bigelow’s seminal 1991 surfing themed cop thriller Point Break. What have the producers got planned and what has it got to do with Salt and gun-fu?

To answer the latter question, the Point Break remake will be scripted by Kurt Wimmer, director of such slick, silly actioners as Equilibrium and Ultraviolet and the scribe behind recent films like Salt, Law Abiding Citizen, and the Total Recall remake.

Consider the updated plot, which will be set “in the world of international extreme sports and also involve an FBI agent infiltrating a criminal ring.” Here, Wimmer had better tread carefully: “extreme sports” have evolved in vast and often douchier ways since the days of infiltrating bromantic surfer dudes in Southern California. Can you picture Johnny Utah taking up, say, street luge in the name of catching notorious athlete-robbers?

Of course, any number of extreme sports could pop up in the sequel: Whitewater kayaking! Aggressive inline skating! Whatever it is that James Franco is doing in the desert in 127 Hours! But maybe it won’t matter which extreme sport the Point Break remake hinges on, since what made Point Break great had nothing to do with surfing, per se. It was all in that elemental, tortured man-love between Johnny and his Bodhi, highlighted vividly and poignantly against the muscular backdrop of ’90s action sensibilities. Relive a highlight from the O.G. Point Break below (and here) and cross your fingers that the remake does it some justice.

‘Point Break’ to Be Remade by Alcon and Warner Bros. [THR]