How to save Nintendo in 3 easy steps

  1. Release the NX this year, and make it a killer mobile/home console hybrid that plays Wii U games as well as a new generation of games. Price it at under $250 and make sure the games do not exceed $30 each.
  2. To fund this new console while having money left over, release lots of virtual console games on iOS and Android app stores. Not new games-make new games exclusive to NX. But old games should be sold on other hardware. If I could buy Pokemon Yellow, Crystal, or Emerald on my iPhone, I’d do it in a heartbeat at any price that’s under $25.
  3. That’s it.

Nintendo executives, take my advice. Don’t be stupid like you have been in the past. Once you get smart, you can all enjoy swimming in your money pond like Scrooge McDuck.

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Podcast: Top 7 Best Idol Moments

Here’s a link to my podcast about the top 7 best Idol performances. Below are links to the 7 performances I talk about, as well as a few honorable mentions.

No. 7: Jessica Sanchez and Jennifer Holiday – And I Am Telling You

No. 6: James Durbin – Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

No. 5: Caleb Johnson – Dream On

No. 4: Nick Fradiani – Beautiful Life

No. 3: Candice Glover – Lovesong

No. 2: Adam Lambert – Mad World

No. 1: David Cook – Billie Jean

Honorable mentions:

Haley Reinhart – Bennie and the Jets

Allison Iraheta – Alone

Crystal Bowersox – Up To The Mountain

Trent Harmon – Chandelier

Kris Allen – Heartless

Thoughts on the American Idol series finale

First, congratulations to Trent Harmon on being the 15th and final (possibly) American Idol. At first, I was disappointed that La’Porsha lost, as she was more consistent than he was. But now that she has made some homophobic comments, I can say I am happy with the result. Trent has an amazing voice, and if he is given the right material he could do really well. His gorgeous cover of “Chandelier” by Sia and his encore of his winning single “Falling” were my two favorite performances of his.

The finale went by really quick-which never happens for me usually. Only when JLo was performing did I ever look at my watch. I’m going to move on from that performance now because it went on 5 minutes too long and it took time away from the Bowie Tribute with the 5 winning White Guys with Guitars (including my favorites David Cook and Nick Fradiani). If THAT performance was longer, it would have been nice.

Regardless, It was amazing to see so many former contestants come back, and it really proved how great Idol has been at making stars. Highlights included Kelly Clarkson’s pretaped medley, Caleb Johnson and James Durbin dominating the rock medley, Jessica Sanchez killing “The Prayer” again in the acoustic medley, Pia Toscano’s solo and Allison Iraheta coming into the spotlight in the pop medley, and Candice Glover and Melinda Doolittle slaying the end of the soul medley. Carrie Underwood’s duet with Keith Urban was also great.

It was nice to see Simon Cowell return to the show and make fun of Paula again. It was great to see Dunkleman make fun of himself a bit. And Ryan’s speech at the end of the show got me pretty emotional, especially the long pause before he said “For now”. Speaking of said sign off, I hope Idol does come back in two or three years, because I will really miss this show.

Thoughts on Hillary Clinton’s Baltimore Rally

I attended Hillary Clinton’s campaign rally in Baltimore today, and it was an interesting experience. The turnout was larger than anticipated but the venue wasn’t that big-my guess is there were 800-1000 people there.

There were two protestors of some kind at the event who the Hillary supporters successfully drowned out. I know they was successful because Hillary and Representative Elijah Cummings (who endorsed her at the event) had no idea why the crowd was chanting so loudly while Rep. Cummings was speaking.

Hillary gave what I presume was her normal stump speech, but with two Baltimore-specific references thrown in. She endorsed building the Red Line in Baltimore (which made me happy to hear), and she referenced the venue as being owned by Under Amour’s CEO who is using the venue to bring innovation back to Baltimore (or something along those lines).

The speech was good, and it was clearly more of a speech aimed at the general election. She took two jabs at Bernie but I wouldn’t call either of them dirty-they were both policy oriented. Hillary was projecting confidence that she will be the nominee, and the odds suggest that will be the case.

Personally, I am still undecided, but I am leaning more towards Hillary today than I was yesterday. My biggest issue in this campaign actually has little to do with 2016. It’s all about 2020. I want the next President to be great at assisting in down-ballot races and getting Democrats elected to state government too, because that is the only way we can fix the districts that have been drawn to so heavily favor Republican representation. Without making the electoral map more fair, it won’t matter what Hillary or Bernie wants to get done. The House Republicans will block anything as long as they are in power, which they will be until 2022 at the earliest.

 

Apple Turns 40

On April 1st 2016, Apple turned 40 years old. And I was thinking about the best way to discuss that on this blog. What I decided was to post videos of the 3 most important product announcements of the last 40 years. Apple’s magic has not just been about their hardware or software, but also how they sell that hardware and software to the general public so effectively. And so here are the 3 most important Apple product announcements:

3: The original iPod – This product changed Apple from a moderately successful computer company into the leading consumer electronics company in the world today. While the iPod is now on its way out (thanks to the number one announcement on this list), it changed the music industry forever and made Apple more than slightly relevant. It made it an industry leader.

2: The Original Mac – Before the Mac, computers were very different. They were pretty elitist. They revolved around command line interfaces. Nobody knew what a mouse was before the first Mac in 1984. The Mac was not the first computer with a mouse, but it was the first one that people could afford. The Mac made computers easy enough to use that all future innovation (including the World Wide Web, desktop video editing, desktop publishing, the list goes on…) would be accessible to everyone, not just the few geeks who could figure things out.

1: The Original iPhone – The iPhone changed everything. Not just for Apple, but for the entire world. Before iPhone, nobody loved their phone. The mobile internet was a joke-totally unusable. Smartphones all had physical keyboards and buttons, and the software wasn’t even close to desktop software. There was no vibrant App community (although that came a year later with iPhone OS 2). Android would not be what it is today without the iPhone. And iPhone changed more than just the tech industry. The video camera on iPhone captured lots of breaking news events that we wouldn’t have known about if someone didn’t record them. Every modern protest movement seemingly revolves around the internet and people using devices like iPhone. So it is easy to say that the iPhone is Apple’s most important announcement yet.

Idol Top 3 Reveal Recap/Rankings

Last week on American Idol was hometown visit week, and we got the usual tears and emotional stuff that comes with the top 4 going home and seeing their friends and family. On top of the homecoming tears, this week was the last time Idol was broadcast from their usual studio, and that alone made me sad and nostalgic. Keith Urban performed his new song (which I didn’t hate), and JLo announced that this season’s winner will have a song featured in the soundtrack for the new Ice Age movie.

As far as the actual competition goes: La’Porsha Renae got thrown under the bus by Mentor Scott to my personal despair. Trent Harmon got pimped to high heaven and will probably win this week. Dalton Rappattoni sounded awful but I can’t truly hate him because I love his personality so much. And my previous prediction to win the entire show, MacKenzie Bourg, went home in fourth place.

Now, here are my thoughts on the remaining finalists ahead of this week’s series finale (just typing that makes me sad already). I’m ordering them based on my predictions for who I think will win, not who I want to win (I want La’Porsha to win this thing badly).

  1. Trent Harmon: Trent had another great night. No performance of his this week beat last week’s performance of Chandelier, but it didn’t matter. He clearly has Scott’s backing, and the judges love him, and he’s a white guy with guitar. It doesn’t hurt that he can actually sing. Song choice has been his biggest problem thus far, and this week he had 3 decent to great choices. His range is great, and his reaction to seeing his family visiting him at the studio probably got him a ton of votes. Trent went from being an afterthought to probably being the last American Idol in just two weeks, and I wouldn’t be totally mad if he won.
  2. La’Porsha Renae: La’Porsha is clearly Mentor Scott’s least favorite contestant. He would have no idea what to do with an R&B diva because he runs a country/pop label. So I can’t say I blame him for not wanting to sign her. But I will say that forcing a victim of domestic abuse to sing a song about begging a horrible guy to stay with her is really low and I was totally on La’Porsha’s side for pointing that out. La’Porsha’s performances of Glory (from Selma) and Hello (by Adele), her adorable baby girl, and her hometown visit VT should ensure that she at least finishes as Runner Up. She deserves to win, but even if she doesn’t win, I hope someone else signs her, because she is way too talented to fade into obscurity.
  3. Dalton Rappatoni: Dalton is probably the least talented vocalist to ever make it this far, and his arrangements aren’t even special enough to make up for that fact. He has an amazing personality and good presence. And his fanbase is pretty rabid, being that he comes from a boyband that was getting popular right when he quit. But the vocal just isn’t good enough. Everybody Wants To Rule The World made me long for David Cook’s version of the song. Dancing In The Dark made me long for Bruce Springsteen’s version. And I’d never heard Calling You before but I probably never need to hear it again. The poor vocals and the performances, coupled with the not-very-enthusiastic critiques from the judges makes me believe that Dalton will (deservedly) go home in 3rd place.

Watch my two favorite performances (both from La’Porsha) below: