Monday, October 7, 2013

Broadway Idiot! From a great idea to the Great White Way!

I'm very lucky, in my life I have met, worked with many people who are far more talented than me. I'm not putting myself down here, it's a truth, sometimes there are people who just make you go wow!

One of these "wow" people is Michael Mayer. Michael is a renowned TV/Film and Stage director.  He brought "Spring Awakening" to life on Broadway, on screen "A Home At The End Of The World", with Colin Farrell, and on TV, too many shows to mention, ohhh and took over The Met Opera to direct Rigoletto last year.  One day Michael was listening to one of his favorite bands Green Day, and their album "American Idiot".  As only Michael can, he started to construct a story from song to song.  The idea captured him and he continued to develop it and when it got to a point that he really thought it could be something he contacted Billy Joe Armstrong from the band, (because Icsuppose when you're Michael you can do things like that).  It was two worlds colliding, literally, theater and punk, a glorious mess of grease paint and eye liner, how could that fail? It didn't!

American Idiot bowed at the St. James Theater on broadway in 2010. Mayer and Billy Joe had approached his producing partners from Spring Awakening Tom Hulce and Ira Pittleman (a double wow), and another ground breaking show hit Broadway,  (if you didn't see Spring Awakening, your loss, you missed the most amazing show that launched the careers of Glee's Lea Michele, The Newsroom's John Gallagher Jnr, and a host of others who were baptized on Broadway and now attend service in Hollywood).  This team had a lot to live up to; three Tonys, three Drama Desk awards, an Olivier award and a Grammy to mention just a few of the gongs awarded to the collective creative force behind Spring Awakening.  It's like stepping out at Yankee Stadium on your first match and getting 10 home runs, what the hell do you do the next game?  So when American Idiot bowed how many home runs could it get?

Grand Slam!

It was and is a spectacular show. Visually stunning, the music...well you know the music, and the cast again amazing. This time though something was happening from near inception that was unique.  Another "wow" friend of mine Doug Hamilton was making a documentary about the whole process.  It covers everything you might never have thought would happen to get a show on the Great White Way, it is a masterful piece of work and truly fascinating.

Check out more information here: Broadway Idiot

The documentary launches this weekend.  PLEASE, if this subject is something that interests you, go see this documentary, support this film.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Apple may be acting illegally, if you've downloaded iOS7 you need to read this!!!

I like iOS7...I know a lot of people have been complaining about it, but I like it and find it elegant.  What I don't find elegant is what happened to me this weekend.  It appears that when you download iOS7 from Apple, it automatically has the back up to the cloud turned on.

This might seem to be a convenient option and provide a useful back up service, but in reality, it's a ploy for you to spend  more money with Apple. You see, with the iCloud you get 5 gigs of space for free.  Five gigs you say, I remember when one gig used to be the size of one of Elton John's wardrobe's, 5 GIGS! that's a HUGE amount of space...well no, not if you have a 64G iPhone.  Your first back up to the cloud, immediately fills the 5 gigs, in fact mine immediately went to 21 gigs!  so here's what happens:

Dear Malcolm Bird,
Your iCloud storage is full. As a result, you can no longer send or receive messages with your iCloud email address, ***, your devices will no longer back up to iCloud, and iCloud-enabled apps will not update documents and data between your devices.
To resume using these iCloud features, you can purchase additional storage on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:
1.Go to Settings and tap iCloud.
2.Tap Storage & Backup.
3.Tap Change Storage Plan and choose an upgrade.
Or you can reduce the amount of iCloud storage you’re using. Learn how to manage your iCloud storage >
The iCloud Team
Firstly they uploaded my phone details to the cloud without my consent, this filled up my iCloud space and now the email associated with Apple, will not work.  I like / liked iCloud for the simple fact that it synched my schedule, photos and contacts with my other devices.  The rest of iCloud is pretty dismal and fails at many levels, (like being unable to use it to publish work from iWeb which you used to be able to do from MobileMe).  The synch ability is really the only reason I keep the iCloud account, I have never backed up my phone or computer to the cloud, I just don't trust apple to deliver on that type of service.  The fact that they would shut off an email account is just terrible; on top of that the fact that it seems from the email the only solution is to upgrade, means that they are in effect holding your email operations to ransom unless you pay more money.

There is though a solution that I found via a very polite and helpful Apple service person who seemed appalled at what had happened.  If you want to back up your phone to the web then it will happen and I hope you bought enough space.  If you don't follow these steps:

1. Go to Settings
2. Tap on iCloud
3. Down at the bottom of that page tap on "Storage & backup"
4. Slide the "iCloud Backup" switch to the off position
5. Tap on "Manage Storage"
6. If your phone has been backed up you will see a dated inventory of those back ups, tap to delete these and it will free up the space in your account.
7. Scream the following words at the top of your lungs, "Apple you Moth$#&*^g Douches", (that doesn't do anything but make you feel better).

You notice the email Apple sent didn't tell you this, I was not given this option, just that if I wanted to use my @me email I would have to upgrade.  To find this out I would have had to click on their link at the bottom of the email, then three more links to get to the relevant page with this information. My main gripe apart form the up-sell of more space is holding an email address ransom.  If not illegal, (and I suspect it might be), it is certainly immoral, but hey that's Apple, the #1 brand in the world... anyone want a can of Coke?