RedLaser is on Windows Phone!

We’ve all done it. It’s a blessing of our generation, and a curse to retailers everywhere. You pick up a product in the store, and pause. You realize, you can probably get a better deal online. Want to be sure? Use RedLaser.

I think most people have heard of it by now, but I was excited when RedLaser came to Windows Phone. Simply launch the app, scan a barcade, and find the item at outlets all around the internet. It searches ebay first, as RedLaser is an eBay company, but then it checks Google Product search and lists onlne retailers and other shopping sites.

Just scan, hear the beep, and do your comparison shopping in a matter of seconds. RedLaser even has the ability to pull up retail chains around you – maybe you don’t want to wait to ship something from Amazon, but you want to know if you can get a better deal at Target, Wal-Mart, or Best Buy. Well, simply swipe over to the “local” page and find out! And if you’re not even worried about the price, but you want to know more about the product, you can check for reviews and see if the product you’re looking at will live up to your expectations!

RedLaser has simplified the whole process. Now that it’s on Windows Phone Marketplace, everybody finally has access to it.

Where are my regular Desktop programs Windows 8?

So you’re in the Windows 8 “Desktop Mode” – because the Start Screen just doesn’t feel right. You installed a few programs, but with no Start Menu – you can’t find them! Sure you can try to browse using Windows Explorer and find you way in to program files, but that’s just not what you want to do. So where are the desktop programs?

Well, good and bad news. The good news is they’re easy to find – the bad news? They’re in the new Start Screen. Go ahead, put your mouse down in the lower left-hand corner of the screen, or press the “Windows Key” on your keyboard, and scroll all the way to the right. There are probably several small, not exciting icons. Those are your Windows desktop applications. “Apps” you install from the Windows 8 App Store get live tiles, and are different sizes and more bright and vibrant. Most normal applications that would put a shortcut in the Start Menu are going to also create an icon here. If it doesn’t? You’re not out of luck.

If you have the Start Screen open, just start typing the name of the program! You can also move the mouse to the right side of the screen or press “Windows Key + C” to bring up the “Charms” bar and begin searching. As you can see in my screenshot above, I installed a program called Handbrake – and in order to find it in the Start Screen, I just started to type – and sure enough it showed up in my list of “Apps.” The same goes for my installation of Office 2010 programs, and other applications like Steam and games installed like Half-Life!

If you’re looking for something like how to pick and choose your Windows Updates, you can search for Windows Update, then click Settings on the right side of the screen and then click on the icon to Install Optional Updates.

Indie Music You Haven't Heard, yet: Younger Me, Slim & Red

Today: Indie Music. I’ve met some talented people in my lifetime, and today I wanted to share a few more of them with you. First out, I met two of the three members of this band back in 2008, long before the band ever formed the trio known as Younger Me, from Red Lion, Pennsylvania. Great vocals and keyboard playing that gets in your ear and doesn’t want to leave. If you admitted to yourself that you actually enjoyed Vampire Weekend, then listen to the track Sleepwalk Home on their Bandcamp site and try to resist the urge to tap your foot. I dare you.

Next up, a local duo from my hometown, going by the name Slim and Red. Mike and Laura might cover songs here and there, but their originals bring out their fans. I can honestly remember being in high school chorus class with Laura, and I feel like my home town is lucky to have someone of her talent still spending time there. Her vocals can haunt you with their force, and the honesty in their lyrics is so very refreshing. If you don’t believe me, you can listen to their samples, and I would suggest listening to This Skin and seeing if her voice doesn’t get stuck in your head.

Retro City Rampage – first impressions

I’ve only played a little so far, and I hope to do more over the weekend. So far, Retro City Rampage is an awesome trip down memory lane. There are a ton of “in-jokes” that players not over the age of 25 just won’t get, unless they’ve done their homework. I bought the game without even downloading the demo, because I wanted to support the developer of this one. But my rose tinted glasses are already starting to let in a harsh reality that I may have jumped too soon.

The plot, so far, anyway, is vague and muddled. Not in a classic 1980’s “PRESS START AND GO RIGHT” sort of way, but in a “we’re so busy trying to cram references you’ll get down your throat, that we’re going to make sure none of them make sense.” You want nothing more than to go on a rampage… because you’re an antihero… who obeys every word his mob boss says… and suddenly finds a time machine. Which, based on the screenshots I’ve seen, is going to take me to other levels that play like other games from the past.

Alright, I’m clearly into retro, but some things get taken too far. References are great, but when literally every line has more to do with a joke than helping me understand what I’m supposed to be doing you’re trying too hard. Make the game enjoyable, don’t just slap me in the face with YOU REMEMBER WHEN THIS WAS COOL, DON’CHA? I’m hoping that maybe I’m still in a bit of a tutorial phase and the game will slow down, but so far the mechanics change, the plot seems extremely restrictive, and the game went from “Retro” and “Nostalgic” to something akin to the Home Shopping Network trying to get you to buy a Chia Pet.