Apps on your iPhone and iPad Home Screen – That’s So 2012

If you have always wanted to figure out a way to show your background on your iPhone or iPad, I have a method that has worked well for me over the last year, or so. The better part, it can be done in only a couple easy steps and doesn’t require any scary stuff like jailbreaking.

Step 1Firstly, you need to move all but one of your icons off of the main homepage. In this instance, I left the Google Search app. This app isn’t critical, but if you intend for it to stay on the dock, I would plan for that app to be used here.

Step 2Now that you have the screen relatively clear, hold your finger on the app icon until it starts wiggling, then drag it to the dock at the bottom. Press the home button so that the icons stop wiggling an  d you will notice that nothing from page 2 moved back to page 1.

Step 3If you want to get real fancy, move the app from the dock onto another page and have a completely cleaned up home screen. Remember, this works on both iPhones and iPads. Have fun!

What…No Reed Richards “Graying at the Temples” Look Yet? (Superman Turns 75)

Superman in a WheelchairWow, Supes, you sure look good for a guy that is celebrating his semisesquicentennial anniversary. You sure look younger than…well…every other 75-year-old.

It was 75 years ago that the Man of Steel leaped from the minds of Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster. The two (and their heirs) have fought a bitter battle for the ownership and rights of their creation. Of course, things might have gone much differently if Superman had been created in the form of a bald, telepathic villain as imagined in one of their alternate versions of the character.

A new movie adaptation of Superman is coming to the big screen this summer, and DC has revamped the character (along with others) in their universe reboot, but many of us will have a fondness for the Christopher Reeve flicks and the comic book stories that made him truly iconic (especially his death at the hands of Doomsday – a story that garnered widespread media attention).

In the meantime, there are quite a few homages, little known facts, rankings of his greatest adventures, and parodies to help celebrate his date of origination in style. So put on your Underoos and join in on the fun.

When Real Gaming Meets the Real World – Game Characters in Real Settings

TMNT in Real Life

Like most 35+ year olds, there is a special place in our hearts for the Super NES. It took the best 8-bit home gaming system of the day and injected steroids into it, giving us near arcade-quality gameplay in homes everywhere. By the end of its life, it was a true powerhouse of graphics and audio capability that Sega just couldn’t quite beat. Just the availability of Mortal Kombat II in a living room was an amazing feat!

Well, it’s time to take nostalgia to level 42 with these sets of images by Glauber Tanaka and Victor Sauron. If only these images were screen caps from remakes of these games with the realistic backgrounds! The concept is refreshing and makes you want to break out an emulator just to relive the memories. I have definitely given new considerations to getting a certain item in the near future. Some of their other images are listed after the break, for your perusal.

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Because You Don’t Need to Read Email from the Grave

Google Doodle from Day of the Dead 2012

In a move that will probably make those squeemish about their privacy happy, Google has morbidly announced their afterlife data management called the Inactive Account Manager.

The tool, which is available on your Google Account settings page, will let you determine exactly what to do with all your data in the event you don’t log in for a determined period of time (3 months, 6 months, 9 months, or 1 year). You will have the option to either allow Google to delete all of your data in one fell swoop or transfer ownership of your digital footprint over to a trusted relative, confidante, or total stranger.

The services indicated to take advantage of this transfer/deletion tool are +1s; Blogger; Contacts and Circles; Drive; Gmail; Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams; Picasa Web Albums; Google Voice and YouTube.

For those of you out there who might panic that Google will inadvertently delete all your data because you won a one year, all expenses paid trip around the world, you can set the tool so that it will notify you before it does anything.

Might I suggest that you don’t use your Gmail address for the message?

For Your Eyes Only (and the IRS?)

Breathe while reading your email!

In a blog post by Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney at the ACLU, it looks like Big Brother Government feels they have the right to read your emails without a warrant. How serious is this? Probably pretty serious, since it flies in the face of the Fourth Amendment (as confirmed by the 6th Circuit Appeals Court) and a portion of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The the exclusions are email that has been opened but left on a server more than 180 days (considered to be abandoned) and email that is unopened. These two specific instances do not require a warrant. In the golden days of POP3 email delivery, where a user was expected to download every message, some of this made sense (except the unopened email part). However, in these days of remote mail access and nearly endless on-line data storage, it doesn’t.

This being said, Mr. Wessler admits that the documents don’t explicitly indicate that the IRS can bypass the constitutional requirements for probable cause and judicially sanctioned warrants. Conversely, they don’t say that the IRS can’t either. Before the 6th Circuit Appeals Court’s findings, the IRS’ own Search Warrant Handbook indicated the following:

“the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.”

Folks can say what they want about the ACLU, mostly because of their continued work to maintain the separation between church and state, but I am personally thankful that they are helping to uphold our guaranteed rights.