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Star Apps: The Madden Brothers
Maryland-born brothers Benji and Joel Madden always dreamed of making it in California. After 14 years of pop-punk success in Good Charlotte and 10 years as California residents, the two are now performing as The Madden Brothers, and they're sending fans a postcard that reads "We made it!" in the form of new album "Greetings From California." I chatted with Benji Madden, who will soon tour with his brother.
You shocked a lot of people recently when you pulled the plug on Good Charlotte. It freaked a lot of people out when we said we didn't want to do Good Charlotte anymore, 'cause it's not the safe thing. This could fail miserably, and luckily it hasn't. People are actually hearing it in the way we wanted them to, which I don't think happened on the later Good Charlotte records, where we were reaching for different perspectives and trying different styles, and I don't know if it was ever quite heard the way we wanted it to be. So when people do hear it the way we wanted them to, it's like, "Oh s---, someone actually noticed." It's an awesome trip and makes the risk and gamble so worth it, to be able to be an artist and have... [Read more]
9 apps that enhance iOS 8's camera
iOS 8 gave the iPhone's camera app a major upgrade: automatic straightening and cropping, one-touch light and color adjustments, built-in filters and editing tools, time-lapse videos, and the iCloud Photo Library, among other improvements. But for iPhotographers who want more manual control over their photos, sharing options, and storage, here are our nine picks for photo apps that play well with iOS 8.
More features for control freaks
When you're out and about, you don't want miss an important shot because you're searching through a cluttered app. VSCO Cam has a streamlined, minimal interface for easy access to its wide array of shooting and editing tools and beautiful, professional filters (which you can customize via a built-in precision slider). Compare your original image with the edited version by holding down on the image in Edit view. Share directly to Instagram with just one tap. To share photos with snappers outside of your social network, or to get inspired, check out Grid, a curated, browsable list of photos shot by other users.
Star Apps: Women of 'The Wonder Years'
In the late '80s, "The Wonder Years" broke ground as a single-camera comedy with no laugh track, but the show endures because of its warm, human storylines. Fans can now rewatch the series in "The Wonder Years: Complete Series" box set, a metal locker that includes bonus DVD features and a yearbook with behind-the-scenes photos signed by the cast. I chatted with Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper), Olivia d'Abo (Karen Arnold), and Alley Mills (Norma Arnold) about why the iconic series still instills wonder.
Alley, since the series was set in the '60s, when you were in high school, did you have to get Olivia and Danica up to speed on the time period?
Alley Mills: I had the great honor of teaching all of it to Olivia. I gathered all these CDs of the music and told her everything. Even though her father was a rock 'n' roll guy, she didn't really know the joy and the hope and the incredible energy behind the movement in the '60s. I think the whole point of the period was this was the beginning of the end of wonder. The series began with the introduction of the ... [Read more]
7 must-have apps for iPad
Just one month after announcing new iPhones and watches, Apple will unveil another set of new products on Thursday. While nothing is official yet, we're anticipating next-generation iPads and Macs, the final release of Yosemite OS, and perhaps an Apple TV update. For the iPad, there are rumors of fingerprint sensors and a new color. Whether or not you're ready for a upgrade, our seven app picks will enhance your iPad experience.
Star Apps: Callan McAuliffe
"Kite" is an anime turned live-action movie about Sawa (India Eisley), a young prostitute who becomes an assassin to avenge her parents' murders. You might think it's another formulaic vigilante movie. However, bolstered by an engrossing revenge story, an expert performance by lead actor Callan McAuliffe ("The Great Gatsby," "I Am Number Four") as Sawa's sidekick, Oburi, and thrilling action sequences, "Kite" soars.
Have you seen the original Japanese film? Yes, I saw it shortly after being cast in the film. It's supremely violent and very, very sexual, and these are the things that don't necessarily translate well into live action. They can sometimes, but with the superfluous level in the anime, it might not have been well received. We endeavored to keep the feel and intensity. But I thought the original was great fun, because the whole point was to distance yourself from reality, which is why I love watching movies.
Does "Kite" have a message? I would be hard-pressed to put a message to it. It speaks of family, and it speaks of friendship, and what gets the heroine through is surrounding herself with people with a good nature, as she's struggling against people who just want something out of her. But that's beating around the bush, to be h... [Read more]
Star Apps: Michael Cuesta
When Michael Cuesta ("L.I.E.," "12 and Holding," "Homeland") signed on as director of "Kill the Messenger," starring Jeremy Renner as Pulitzer Prize-winning San Jose Mercury News journalist Gary Webb, he was already familiar with Webb's controversial story. What he didn't yet know was how much he had in common with the late investigative reporter, who exposed the CIA for engaging in cocaine smuggling to fund Nicaraguan Contra militias. "Gary Webb wasn't what people imagine journalists to be, like snobby intellectuals," he said. "He loved The Who and Mott the Hoople, was a hockey player and a motorhead."
This is your second time directing Jeremy Renner, with the first instance being "12 and Holding." What's it like working with him? He's just a fantastic actor. He's instinctual. I think he communicates so much with no words. Being a photographer, which I was originally, I just love to capture that face, which communicated so much of an inner life. And the trust that you feel when working with another artist -- I knew he trusted me, and I trusted him. So when we worked together, I knew that it was going to be a seamless collaboration. We have a similar sensibility about movies and about how to approach something in the most honest way.<... [Read more]
Star Apps: Paul Budnitz
A year ago, Ello founder Paul Budnitz was frustrated with all the ad-driven, privacy-compromising social networks, so the established entrepreneur (Budnitz Bicycles, Kidrobot) decided to form his own. For a year, the site was limited to Budnitz and his 100 closest friends, but as demand to join increased, he opened it up to the public. Initially Ello saw a healthy 10 to 15 percent growth rate -- until a combination of dissatisfaction with Facebook's name policy, media attention, and word of mouth thrust Ello into the spotlight. I chatted with Paul Budnitz about Ello's explosive growth, what it offers that competing networks don't, and when the much-anticipated app will arrive.
What do you attribute all the recent excitement around Ello to? I think there's a lot of discontent with the ad-driven networks and advertising in general and what that leads to. It makes social networking not so fun when you feel that there are ulterior motives going on that are not in your best interest. We also just designed something that's really cool and fun to use. I think there's also been some specific events that have happened with a lot of really positive stuff from the queer community co... [Read more]
8 keyboard apps for iOS 8
Before iOS 8, those who didn't like iPhone's bare-bones keyboard had no alternative. Apple has expanded iPhone's default keyboard to include hundreds of emoji, but now it also supports keyboard apps from other companies, meaning more ways to make your thumbs happy. Whether you hate your default keyboard or just want to try something new, tap into our picks for iOS keyboard apps. Then read CNET's step-by-step guide to installing custom keyboards in iOS 8.
Swiping, not typing
If you find typing tedious, SwiftKey's predictive texting saves you time by incorporating your common words and phrases. This most-downloaded smart keyboard also features excellent autocorrect, space insertion, bilingual typing, and -- for added swiftness -- swiping.
Why tap when you can swipe? With TouchPal you can swipe from letter to letter without worrying about hitting the wrong key, since this software predicts subsequent words with great accuracy. The emoji keyboard is an added benefit -- it pulls up symbols in an accessible, scrollable list.
Swype is the gold st... [Read more]
Star Apps: Suzi Quatro
When rock icon Suzi Quatro picked up her first guitar in the '50s, she had no women role models, so she turned to Elvis. "I had an epiphany that I knew that I wanted to be just like him -- at that age," she said. "It's crazy that it happened that young. But I have always been aware of my path." Over the course of a 50-year career, Quatro has won legions of fans for singles such as "Can the Can," "If You Can't Give Me Love," "Stumblin' In" (with Chris Norman), and "She's in Love With You," as well as for playing Leather Tuscadero on "Happy Days." Quatro is marking her gold anniversary with a retrospective box set called "The Girl From Detroit City."
What can you tell us about the forthcoming box set? I'm very proud of it. I took a lot of trouble to make sure it was entirely representative of my entire 50-year career. So it has my first song from when I was 14, all the way to the new one, "The Girl From Detroit City."
Like Iggy Pop, Madonna, and Ted Nugent, you're a butt-kicker from Michigan. What makes musicians from that particular state so tough? My own personal opinion is that there's a des... [Read more]
Star Apps: Colbie Caillat
When Colbie Caillat began work on her fourth album, the uptempo "Gypsy Heart," the Grammy-winning, multiplatinum singer was at a career crossroads. The record label wanted her to capitalize on the recent success of Miley Cyrus' "Bangerz" with a sexier release, but Caillat was unsure. A fortunate intervention from producer Babyface kept the singer true to herself and resulted in anthemic single "Try," which admonishes women to embrace their truest beauty. The accompanying video has garnered 25 million views on YouTube and Vevo. Colbie Caillat opened up to me about rediscovering her authentic self, soul-saving advice from Babyface and Jason Mraz, overcoming stage fright, the importance of family and friends, and her favorite apps.(Credit: Republic Records)
Your lead single "Try," which tells women that they don't have to change a single thing to please those around them, is very inspiring. Why was it important to you to spread this message? I'm from Southern California and go to Hawaii all the time and always love wearing no makeup. I shower last minute, and my hair is wet throughout the day. T... [Read more]