Podcasts is now available for iOS devices

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The “podcasting app” from Apple was released yesterday. Conveniently named “Podcasts,” the app is designed to help you find new podcasts, manage subscriptions to current podcasts, and really just make the podcast listening and sorting experience a much more natural thing. Rather than digging and sorting through all of iTunes, Podcasts makes it easy for you to look through your existing podcast library, and find something new to listen to.

You can find Podcasts in the app store, as Podcasts!

How to check your hard drive for errors in Windows 7

Sometimes you might get a little worried that the data on your hard drive are getting corrupted. Occasionally, you might be compelled to run a “chkdsk” or “Check Disk” process (or, in Windows 9x terms, a scan disk!). The process is fairly simple. Here is how you do it in Windows 7, and the steps are nearly identical for Windows XP.

  1. Open up Computer (or My Computer) either from the Desktop or the Start Menu.
  2. Right Click on the drive you want to scan.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Click the Tools tab.
  5. Click the Check now… button.
  6. Check both boxes (if you want to scan the drive itself for defects, rather than just search for corrupt files).
  7. Click Start.
  8. Click Schedule Disk Check.
  9. Click OK, then Reboot!

During the startup process, the screen will have a 10 second count down that you can interrupt if you need to – but after the count down completes the scan process will start. It takes, on average, about an hour. The screen should say that it is on Phase 1 of 5 if you are doing the full surface scan.

2011 – Shael Riley & The Double Ice Backfire – Ultimate Songs from the Pit

Shael Riley and The Double Ice Backfire did a Kickstarter fundraiser in late 2010… and even though my discs may have gotten lost in the mail somewhere along the line, Shael Riley does right by his fans and he was kind enough to toss me a download code to get the album from Bandcamp. And am I ever glad he did.

You may remember Shael Riley from the chiptune band The Grammar Club. One of Shael’s other projects has been the Double Ice Backfire, which is clearly an homage to all things Mortal Kombat, even musically. The band performed a cover of the song Sub-Zero (Chinese Ninja Warrior) (which was from an old album released when the very first Mortal Kombat game was released). The album title references The Pit (a famous level in the Mortal Kombat series) and there is even a song en titled “tip eht fo mottob” – which is a clever reference to a screen in the original arcade version of Mortal Kombat which the hint “tip eht fo mottob” – a clue to a way that you can fight the hidden character, Reptile. The song is a fun trip through the Mortal Kombat universe from Reptile’s perspective.

Not every song was equally geeky. Album opener, How to Fire a Gun is quite sincere and contains much more thought provoking lyrics: “do you believe she’ll never leave you, do you have someone to read to, do you hope you’ll never need to fire a gun?” But don’t worry, if that’s not your scene, then you can rely on songs like Hipster Hoax to bring you back to the world you’re familiar with, of pirates, ninjas, and cats.

While people waited for the album to finish, the band released several covers (many of which were commissioned by Kickstarter contributors), including Here Comes the Hot Stepper (you’d remember Ini Kamoze if your heard it!), Creep from Radio Head, Cake’s The Distance, and even Melanie by “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Head to ShaelRiley.com to listen to the covers for free, and you can head to Bandcampto buy the album for $10.

Xbox Live Gold vs Silver? Gold has its benefits!

I think by now a lot of people still know the benefits of Xbox Live Gold over Silver accounts… the biggest of which involves actually playing games online! But what are some others? Here’s a quick run down of some of the features you only get by going gold:

  • Unlimited online multiplayer
  • Access to Instant Watch apps like Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, UFC, and ESPN
  • Exclusive deal-priced downloads of Games on Demand, Xbox Live Arcade, DLC, and even movies and music
  • Early and exclusive access to game previews and demos
  • Access to music apps like Last.FM and iHeartRadio
  • Voice and video chat with Xbox Live Vision Camera or Kinect


There are loads of other benefits to going gold, so why don’t you follow the steps in the video above to sign up for Gold? If, for some reason the video changes down the road or doesn’t want to play, I won’t leave you hanging! You can always upgrade your silver account to a Gold account by visiting the Xbox.com Manage Subscription page.