Christmas is coming; in fact, it's always coming. Get in the spirit with a festive animated 3D screensaver that also counts down the days until Christmas with 3D Magic Christmas Toy Shop, which turns your desktop into a window on Santa's workshop. It plays music to a variety of animated activities, including a toy train, an elf on a rocking horse, a glittering Christmas tree, and a snowman dancing outside in the cold. You can easily alter the color balance to give, for example, a reddish or greenish glow, and change what falls from the sky. It displays … Read more
Workers in Japan have built a 60-foot statue of famous cartoon robot Gigantor in the city of Kobe. The statue is an actual-size replica of the hulking robot depicted in numerous manga and anime. It's known as Tetsujin 28 in Japan.
Towering over Kobe's Wakamatsu Park, the statue weighs 50 tons and cost some 135 million yen ($1.5 million) to build. It took about six weeks to erect.
Gigantor follows the construction of another 60-foot robot statue in Japan. An incredibly detailed, life-size replica of the fictional Gundam robot was built in a park in Tokyo in June, and it could shoot light from its body.
Designed as a permanent tourist attraction, the Gigantor monument was organized under the NPO Kobe Tetsujin Project to honor the work of the late cartoonist Mitsuteru Yokoyama, a Kobe native and the genius behind such manga classics as Sally the Witch and Giant Robo.
Gigantor is also a symbol of the rebirth of Kobe after it was devastated by the 1995 earthquake that killed more than 6,000 people. January 2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the tragedy. … Read more
Today's guest on The 404 Podcast is The Paper Raincoat, a local band of the "experimental rock ambition" genre, as Jeff calls it. Amber Rubarth and Alex Wong have both garnered musical recognition for their individual acts, but only recently came together to form The Paper Raincoat. The release of their first EP, Safe in the Sound, ushered in an international fan following and an impressive list of accomplishments, including the iTunes Indie Artist Spotlight. We're very excited to have them in the studio with us today, and they come bearing instruments for a live acoustic show!
As we talk to more bands, we're starting to understand the long process of dreaming, writing, playing, and touring with your music in the current music business scene. With outlets like Facebook, Myspace, Last.FM, and many more, artists can easily cast a wide net over an audience that would normally require a major label contract to reach. We talk with The Paper Raincoat about the naming of the band, their recording process, their fantastic DIY album art, and their upcoming tour.
In case you haven't figured it out by now, there are a million places to stream their music live, but the best thing you can do to show your support is to preorder a CD. One-hundred percent of the preorder money will go to printing the record, and you can pick between three packages, the highest of which lands you a limited edition CD, two signed posters, a T-shirt, and a custom USB wristband drive with a personalized video "thank you" and exclusive video content from the band. In the meantime, you can also follow the band on Twitter, attend their CD release party at Joe's Pub in NYC, and download their brand new song, "Right Angles."EPISODE 434 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Note: Gifsoup, as it turns out, is a violation of YouTube's terms of service, which state that user-submitted videos cannot be downloaded unless the author has allowed it and the download is taking place on YouTube.com, and not via its API.
In my book, animated GIFs are one step above glitter graphics in terms of junk trends of the Internet, but I'm a big fan of any tool that makes creating them easy and fun. Gifsoup is no exception--you just point it towards any YouTube video and it turns it into an animated GIF.
To do this, … Read more
While Skeleton Adventures is technically a screensaver, it could more accurately be described as a minimovie. It tells the story of Sly Slim, a mischievous skeleton, in a series of 13 scenes. A series of different endings keeps users guessing after repeated viewings, making this way more entertaining than the average screensaver. The quality of Skeleton Adventures makes it far and away the best screensaver we've ever seen.
The program's graphics are quite impressive, with high-quality 3D renderings. Users are transported into the spooky cemetery where Sly Slim lives (or should we say, "resides"), and just … Read more
3D Rain Forest Adventure turns a computer desktop into a lush Amazon scene. With beautiful visuals, realistic sounds and a surprising feature, this program will make nature lovers happy.
The program's interface is exclusively through Windows' screensaver menu and was a breeze for us to access and navigate. We enjoyed watching the screensaver's animated, but lifelike, scene operate. A white, splashing waterfall crashed down among dense green ferns, vines, and trees that swayed in the breeze. Brightly colored birds swooped in and out of the frame while all this happened. We found the sound effects to be subtle … Read more
Amazing Photo Editor provides users with the tools to make either sweeping or subtle changes to their pictures. While there are a lot of things to love, there are a few annoying spots that make this program less-than-perfect.
The program's interface is best described as cluttered, but manageable. Combining several small screens and a long string of command icons, users will want to look over the Help file before getting started. We were frustrated that simply scrolling our cursor over a specific icon didn't tell us either its title or what function the button provided. The only way … Read more
Any Logo Screensaver Creator is a very basic screensaver creation program. Although it works fine, some users may be frustrated by the program's lack of features.
The thing that users need to understand is that this program has a very specific purpose; it's meant to be used with a logo or other standalone image. Users cannot include multiple images or create slideshows as many other screensaver programs allow you to do, and there's no way to include sounds or music. All this program is really meant to do is create a screensaver with a single image that … Read more
Christmas Card provides users with a way to send warm wishes to others with an animated, multithemed card. Its smooth animation and fun images are sure to please family and friends.
The program's interface is not really an issue. There is no way to customize it, and there is no Help file. Users simply open it and it runs through its cycle. The card itself begins with a twinkling animated Christmas tree framed within a border and surrounded by colorful gifts. Smaller windows float by, one with a red candle that says "Merry Christmas," and another with … Read more
Dream Wallpaper is a wallpaper changer that allows users to select from both wallpapers that come with the program and that can be downloaded from the publisher's Web site. Although the interface and wallpapers are nice, this program is missing some basic features that users may expect of a wallpaper changer.
The program's interface is sleek and very attractive; it integrates well with later versions of Windows. Users have access to a handful of sample wallpapers in both normal and wide-screen formats that are arranged in themes (nature, holidays, etc.), and many more are available for download. Downloading … Read more