iPhone 4 Goes To Space

Old news for some but still awesome news nonetheless.

As part of its last mission to space, US space shuttle Atlantis took with it two iPhone 4’s, loaded with apps to allow the astronauts to undergo several experiments.

One of the apps in question is called Spacelab for iOS, which you can download from the iTunes store here. It will allow the astronauts to take pictures of Earth and estimate latitudes, do calibrations using the iPhone’s gyroscope and accelerometer which were proven to function with high accuracy in space. The sensory calibrations along with the pictures taken will allow the aircraft to locate itself, in addition to extensive data collection.

Interestingly, the iPhone 4’s gyroscope and accelerometer are both being considered to replace more expensive equipment because of their high-accuracy function in zero gravity.

After all experiments take place, the iPhones will be returned to have their data collected and analyzed.

Talk about multi-use, right?

Hair (Single Review) – Lady Gaga

As a follow up to her Edge Of Glory iTunes promotional release and leading up to her album release next Monday, Lady Gaga has released a new song off her album, titled “Hair”. However, unlike Edge Of Glory, I don’t see pop radio jumping on this one and having it labeled as her next single, after Judas failed to do well on radio.

Produced by RedOne, the person responsible for Poker Face, this is basically a song that brings back Lady Gaga to her dance music self. However, and I don’t want to sound like a broken record with this, is it really as good as her previous dance-music songs? Is this as good as Just Dance and Poker Face?

The answer is a succint no.

The message behind the lyrics is quite simple. Girls can definitely relate more to the comparison she draws in the song but she’s basically inviting people to be as free as their hair, which I’m assuming is when your hair flies in the air, not caring the direction it goes in.

Now, the message itself is empowering: be whatever you want, don’t care about what other people think, etc… and it fits with the “Born This Way” brand she’s been trying to sell with this album. However, I just felt the whole comparison of freedom to hair, although it gets the message across, to be simply ridiculous. Wasn’t there something else she could compare having a free opinion to?

Moreover, I do not really feel the beat of the song. I think it takes away from the lyrics, regardless of how corny those lyrics might be. Lady Gaga even sounds a little drowned out at some points. And I believe the track was overproduced at certain points, especially with the overuse of beats and auto-tune.

The strength of “Hair” is that it’s a relatable song. We’ve all been through events where we wanted to make our decisions freely and had people breathing down our necks to go one way or another. “Hair” fails, however, in being more than a song getting this message across. And there are plenty of songs out there that have a similar theme. So you’d expect that, when you want to rehash a topic, to make your work stand out and offer new things to the table. The Edge Of Glory had great lyrics and an awesome saxophone breakdown. This, however, doesn’t have anything that could make me want to play it willfully. I just hope the album has better songs where Lady Gaga doesn’t want to “lots of friends inviting her to their parties”.

Listen to Hair here:

Edge Of Glory (Single Review) – Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga has been what you would call pretentious in her “Born This Way” era so far. In what way? well, she calls people to embrace who they are and yet, her image is fake, her covers are filled with prosthetic additions to her face  that make you cringe and her songs are anything but a simple manifestation of artistry.

More often than not, she writes songs that serve as a vehicle for her shock value entertainment, follows them up with a video that has nothing to do with the song, extends the video to about ten minutes and people go gaga over it. And it has been working for her except Judas isn’t doing as well as they thought it would, especially on pop radio.

Now, as part of an iTunes countdown to her album, Lady Gaga has released Edge Of Glory. I have mixed feelings about this. While I like the departure from the “religiously-controversial” and “born this way” themes to much less controversial stuff (such as love), I feel the song is simply deja vu.

Has Lady Gaga lost her touch? This is a song that doesn’t rely on techno music and electronic beats as much as it relies on simple pop music and it’s simply not as strong a tune that you would expect from someone who has given the masses hit after hit, some of which are quite good quality-wise.

Now, I’m not the best person to consider when it comes to Lady Gaga. I have yet to immediately get hooked on her songs. They usually get “stuck” so to speak due to radio overplaying them. But that’s not to say that “Edge Of Glory” isn’t catchy. After all, Lady Gaga knows how to write a crafty hook. And I especially like how the saxophone goes into play there. But I think when Lady Gaga tackles the issue of love for the first time in a single, I thought it would be more like this song (Captivated) before she went all gaga:

Regardless of what I think, her fans will eat this up. Watch it become #1 on iTunes in a few hours and debut high atop the Billboard Hot 100 next week. But selling truckloads of singles isn’t always a sign of quality. And I think Lady Gaga has become too indulgent.

Listen to Edge Of Glory here:

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Beyonce’s New Song…. What Is She Thinking?

Beyonce has released her new single, a song titled: Who Run The World (Girls).

And while the cover is hot, that’s pretty much the only thing going on for the song.

The song is so bad that I have yet to listen to it in its entirety. Yes, it’s one of those four minute songs that keep you thinking for the first half of it what the artist was thinking when they:

1) recorded this.

2) had the idea of releasing it cross their minds.

3) Actually decided to release it as their debut single from an anticipated album.

4) Film a video for it.

And then you press the stop button.

I understand Beyonce wanted to challenge the current norm on pop radio of electronic music ruling everything but you cannot do so with a bad song. Look at Adele. She is today’s prime exhibit of not going with the flow when it comes to music. Her song, Rolling In The Deep, is currently #1 on iTunes and growing exponentially on pop radio.

Dear Beyonce, out-of-the-box is not always out-of-this-world good. Maybe you should have released a better song so more people could care about your upcoming release and then went on them with a bad song all empowering for the women.

Besides, talk about a topic rehash, it’s not the first time Beyonce tries to empower women in song. If I Were A Boy, Irreplaceable, Single Ladies ring a bell?

I am not the biggest Beyonce fan. But I appreciate her better songs (Halo, for example). This one, however, isn’t even close to being a good song – let alone one of her better songs.

Check out the song:

Born This Way – Lady Gaga


Listen to Lady Gaga’s new single here:

Lady Gaga – Born This Way by gagadaily

Get the song on iTunes now.

My thoughts on the song:

After a few listens, it catches on. But that’s how it’s always been with me and Gaga’s songs. The only instantaneous ones were “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance”.

The lyrics are pretty great. I do not agree with those saying that this is a gay anthem. Sure, some parts of the lyrics can be interpreted that way but they can also symbolize any struggling person. The song is an empowering anthem to everyone who has ever felt teased or bullied, regardless of race or sexual orientation.

I understand that Lady Gaga is considered an icon for the gay community. But this doesn’t mean that a song about embracing who you are is directed at that community, exclusively. Many people struggle with their identity in this world where the media paints a certain identity that we should all follow. This song tells us that whoever we are is just enough because that’s the way God made us. The beauty of music in general is that it transcends cultural boundaries. I am Lebanese and find that the part where she references me describes what my country and I go through on almost daily basis.

Now, leaving the philosophical interpretations alone, I have to say that I actually felt that a slower tempo would have given the song more justice. After reading the lyrics, and regardless of what had been said that this would be an uptempo, I thought the best way to represent those lyrics would be on a piano. Lady Gaga does very good renditions of her songs acoustically so maybe she’ll start off her Grammy performance like that on Sunday?

Regardless of what I personally think of the song, it has already hit #1 in the iTunes store of 23 countries. It has broken Britney Spears’ record for first-day radio spins in the United States. The only thing that’s sure is that Lady Gaga is nowhere near done. You might like it, you might hate it… either way, you are living with it.