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“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” 3D Collector’s Edition Releases this November

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Disney announced today that the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” 3D Collector’s Edition will arrive in the United States and Canada on Nov 15, 2016. The release will be in special collectible packaging and include four-discs. The 3D Collector’s Edition will contain the original theatrical release on Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™, Digital HD and DVD, along with originally released bonus features and brand-new bonus material, including additional deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes conversations with cast and crew and a never-before-released audio commentary by director J.J. Abrams. It was noted in the press release that the Collector’s Edition configuration may vary by territory.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has earned over $936 million domestically and $2 billion worldwide. The film has also been nominated for five Academy Awards® and took home the BAFTA Award for Special Visual Effects. The first in a series of standalone Star Wars films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” premieres on Dec. 16, 2016.

3D COLLECTOR’S EDITION BONUS FEATURES:

Audio Commentary with J.J. Abrams – Enter the mind of visionary director J.J. Abrams as he reveals the creative and complex choices made while developing the first film in the new Star Wars trilogy.

Foley: A Sonic Tale – Foley artists, consisting of old pros and new talent, unite to bring the world of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” alive through the matching of sound to action.

Sounds of the Resistance – Hear how the epic sound design of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” moves the Star Wars legacy forward.

Deleted Scenes – View never-before-shared scenes that didn’t make the film’s final cut.

Dressing the Galaxy – Costume Designer Michael Kaplan reveals how the costumes of the original Star Wars movies were re-envisioned for a new generation.

The Scavenger and the Stormtrooper: A Conversation with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega – The two new stars share the thrill of working together on the adventure of a lifetime and becoming part of the Star Wars legacy.

Inside the Armory – Take a fascinating tour through the design and creation of the weaponry in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Classic Bonus Features  These offerings from the April release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” include the complete story behind the making of the film, an unforgettable cast table read, insights from legendary composer John Williams and deleted scenes, as well as features that dig deeper into the creation of new characters such as BB-8, the design of the climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren, the film’s remarkable digital artistry and the Star Wars: Force for Change global aid initiative.

Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer. New bonus content is available in the 3D Collector’s Edition package only.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” 3D Collector’s Edition global release dates include:

Holland & Sweden on October 31.
Italy & Spain November 2.
Australia on November 9.
U.S. & Canada on November 15.
Brazil on November 16.
Germany on November 24.

DISC SPECIFICATIONS:

FEATURE RUN TIME: Approximately 136 min.

RATING: PG-13 in U.S.; PG in CE; G in CF

ASPECT RATIO: Blu-ray Feature Film = 2.40:1
DVD Feature Film = 2.40:1

AUDIO: Blu-ray = English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks
DVD = English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio Language Tracks

LANGUAGES: English, French & Spanish

SUBTITLES: English SDH, French & Spanish

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Budweiser’s Bud & Burgers is in Chicago This Week

I got a sneak peak at Budweiser’s Bud & Burgers in Chicago. It’s in town this week for a three-day, burger and beer-centric restaurant event. This pop-up concept invites diners to pair Budweiser with a rotating menu of creative burgers created by some of Chicago’s own chefs including Graham Elliot and Art Smith. You can find the ticketed event at 151 W. Erie St. at North LaSalle Street. It’s being held in the space that Tavernita used to be located on Tuesday, July 26 through Thursday, July 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

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Bud & Burgers has partnered with the Folds of Honor Foundation to provide one hundred percent of the event’s proceeds to its mission to honor veterans through future education. Folds of Honor is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to families of military men and women who have fallen or been disabled while on active duty in the United States armed forces. Their educational scholarships support private education tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance for spouses and dependents. Founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard who served three tours of duty in Iraq, Folds of Honor is proud to have awarded more than 10,000 scholarships in all 50 states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, including more than 2,500 in 2015 alone. For more information a Folds of Honor scholarship, visit FoldsOfHonor.org.

 

#BudAndBurgers media preview in #Chicago. @Budweiser @redeyechicago @chicagotribune

A photo posted by Brewery Finder (@breweryfinder) on

 

Inventive variations on burgers and French fries will be the starring attraction, while vegetarian options will provide tasty choices for everyone. Live DJs, bags games and cooking demos will add to the overall upbeat experience, offering guests an opportunity to spice up their lunch routines.

There is no cost to attend the pop-up, however registration at the event is required and will include a ticket fee of $4.50, which will benefit Folds of Honor, as well as a $1.50 processing fee. Bud & Burgers is sponsored by Budweiser, Redeye, Chicago Tribune and Metromix Chicago.

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“Voltron: Legendary Defender” Season 2 Hits Netflix Fall 2016

Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix #StreamTeam and have been compensated for writing this post.

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I visited DreamWorks Animation Studios in Burbank, CA this past May and was able to see the first three episodes of DreamWorks Voltron: Legendary Defender season 1 along side Joaquim Dos Santos (Executive Producer) and Lauren Montgomery (Co-Executive Producer). Audio from a group interview I participated in with cast members that same day included:  Kimberly Brooks (Princess Allura), Josh Keaton (Shiro, Black Lion), Rhys Darby (Coran), and Tyler Labine (Hunk, Yellow Lion).

News from the DreamWorks Voltron: Legendary Defender panel at San Diego Comic-Con panel yesterday (Thursday, July 21) confirmed a second season of the show will hit Netflix this fall. Executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos, co-executive producer Lauren Montgomery and writer Tim Hedrick were on hand to share the news with fans and media representatives.

Steven Yeun, voice of Keith (pilot of the red lion), and members of the show’s creative team shared some behind-the-scenes stories, the filmmakers’ favorite scenes from season 1 and a sneak peek of what promises to be an epic second season. Season two will pick up moments after the season one finale cliffhanger and premiere exclusively on Netflix in late 2016. DreamWorks also announced the season 1 soundtrack featuring 11 tracks from series is now available on iTunes.

Season two of DreamWorks Voltron: Legendary Defender looks like it will be pretty amazing and I can’t wait to see it hit Netflix this fall.

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Five Remote Job Sites You Should Be On Right Now

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Looking for a Remote Position? Here are the websites to focus on when searching for that perfect remote employment.

There are hundreds of job sites out there for everything under the sun (and a few up in space). I’ve spent far too many hours jumping from site to site without finding exactly what I’m looking to do. That changed when I started spending some time on the sites listed below. Sign-up, apply and find a new gig today. Just remember to move fast. Some of these jobs won’t last long:

Remotive.io

Remotive.io is a newsletter on remote tips & jobs sent every two weeks to 20,000+ remote workers. They also regularly update a list of 200+ startups that are currently hiring remotely. They have a jobs board [free] and a Slack community [paid.]

We Work Remotely

We Work Remotely is the “best place to find and list jobs that aren’t restricted by commutes or a particular geographic area.” They have RSS feeds for each remote job listing category that you can use with your favorite RSS reader or IFTTT to send you an email if you don’t want to remember to visit the page every day.

Angel.co

Angel.co is the place to connect with startups around the world. They have both remote and in person positions so remember to have the “Remote” filter on when searching. You can use the site to apply to jobs privately. Only the companies you apply to will see you’re looking for a job. Salary and equity options in the company are displayed before you apply. There is also a useful startup salary tool. Angel.co is great too because there are no recruiters to deal with when applying. Your application goes straight to the startup’s founders.

RemoteOK has over 500,000 user visits each month searching for remote jobs listed from companies all over the globe. They also offer a daily/weekly/monthly email list featuring all of the new jobs added to the site. It can be a bit tricky to navigate, but the jobs listed make it worth it.

Velvet Jobs

Velvet Jobs covers all sorts of positions, but has a listing of currently over 1,300 jobs classified as remote. The service is free when creating your profile and searching. It does push a subscription fee in order to apply for jobs, but I have been able to search Google with keywords in job listings on Velvet Jobs that I like and apply directly to the company for free.

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Joel’s Interstitial Plugin for YOURLs

I use YOURLs as a way to help keep my brands intact on various links and stories I use on a regular basis from my professional blog, dad blog and beer directory. I approached Ozh, lead developer on YOURLs, about creating a plugin to display an interstitial ad between users clicking on a shortlink and visiting the target site. He developed it for me and I’ve been using it for a couple years now.

There are added featured I’d like to see made on the project, but Ozh has expressed to me that he is no longer interested in developing it. I’m releasing the code now via GitHub in hopes that other YOURLs user can help implement these (and other) upgrade to make the plugin even more useful.

Included Features:

  • Ad is displayed between a user clicking on a shortlink and being redirected to the target URL

Features for Future Releases:

  • Image previews when sharing on social media
  • Improved ad blocking avoidance

If you find it useful I’d love for you to buy me a beer as a thank you. Thanks for your interest in the free plugin. Download it or help improve it today at: https://github.com/joelgratcyk/yourls-interstitial-plugin

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SNICKERS® Hungerithm Australian Ad Campaign

SNICKERS® Australia has come up with one of the coolest applications of smartphone and Internet team ups I’ve seen in a long time. Local 7/11 stores in Australia offer Snickers bars at reduced prices based on how angry the internet is at any given time. Check out the SNICKERS® Hungerithm video below, it’s opening line is brilliant: “The Internet is an angry place. But, what if that’s just because were hungry?”

This deal is only valid in Australia at the moment. I’d love to see this work in the U.S. as well, but let’s face it. It’s not exactly like we need more sugar in our diets.

How To Get That ZIP of MP3s, WAVs or Other Audio Files Onto Your iOS Device

Let’s say you just downloaded that rad new album from your favorite indie band. They are likely distributing their music on their own through a service like Shopify or PulleyApp and have given you a ZIP file in exchange for your hard earned money. Here is how to take that ZIP file (assuming it has audio files and an album cover in it) and get those new tunes onto your iPhone or iPad. Let’s face it, its not as easy as iTunes store but it does help support your local music makers.

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1.) Download the ZIP file

The first thing you’re going to do is download that ZIP file. This most often happens with an email sent from the band’s store with a download link in it. Click on that link and let the file download to your Mac or PC. Remember where your browser saves files so you don’t have to go hunting for it. Usually its just in a “Downloads” folder, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.

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2.) Unzip the ZIP Folder

If you have a modern computer this process may have already happened. You’ll know if you see a folder with the same name as the ZIP file. If not, just double click on the zip and it will automatically expand.

Still not working? Try downloading the free StuffIt Expander for either Mac or Windows. Install. Drag. Drop. Done.

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3.) Import the Files Into iTunes

Open iTunes. Click on “File” and then “Add to Library…” From there you’ll select the file(s) you want imported and then “Okay.” Wait a few seconds for the files to import into your library and you’ll be on to step 4.

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4.) Make Sure the Album Information and Cover is Correct

Sometimes you’ll get music without a cover or correct ID tags. Hey, it happens. You can fix this by selecting the song(s) you want to update, right-clicking on them and selecting “Get Info.” Update any fields you’d like to change. You can go to the “Artwork” tab and upload any JPG you’d like to assign as an album cover if one wasn’t provided in your download. Click “Okay.”

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5.) Sync the New Music to Your iOS Device

Now that the music is in your iTunes library all you have to do is sync them to your iOS device. Make sure that the “Sync Music” check box is selected. If you have “Entire music library” selected then you’re good to go. Just select “Apply” and you’re set. If you have “Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres” selected you’ll want to make sure to go to the Artist and/or Album area and select the music you want synced first. Then you’ll want to hit “Apply.”

If you don’t see the “Sync Music” option at all, but instead see “iCloud Music Library is On” you’re basically set. Make sure you’re signed into your Apple ID on both iTunes and your iOS device. The songs will show up shortly thereafter.

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Star Trek: Beyond’s First Trailer

The day started with a leaked trailer in German and then the same trailer being released officially in English. I’ve watched it at least a dozen times and have to say that its growing on me. I’ll obviously reserve final judgement on the movie until I see the finished film. I am, however, seeing more of a sci-fi action movie in this first trailer than a classic intellectual exercise in classic Star Trek story-telling fashion.

What do you think? Will it rock or be a flop?