9 Similarities Between Grimm and iZombie

Grimm / iZombie
Grimm / iZombie

After watching the first season of iZombie, I came up with a list of 9 similarities between this series and Grimm.

1. Both lead characters undergo some kind of change that causes them to “see” the world differently.
Grimm: Nick Burkhardt can see creatures know as “Wesen”
iZombie: Olivia “Liv” Moore can see visions of the recently deceased (after eating their brain)

2. Both lead characters are employed by a police department.
Grimm: Nick is a detective for the Portland Police Department
iZombie: Liv is a coroner’s assistant for the King County Medical Examiner’s Office and works closely with the Seattle Police Department

3. Both lead characters work with police detectives who are African-American males.
Grimm: Detective Hank Griffin
iZombie: Detective Clive Babineaux

4. Both shows have another minority character who provides the comic relief.
Grimm: Sergeant Drew Wu
iZombie: Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti

5. Both lead characters have a secret weapon.
Grimm: Grimm journals and weapons
iZombie: Full on zombie rage

6. Both lead characters have a dangerous adversary.
Grimm: Adalind Schade (hexenbiest)
iZombie: Blaine DeBeers (zombie)

7. A comic relief character knows the lead character’s secret.
Grimm: Monroe
iZombie: Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti

8. Both lead characters have a “Batcave”.
Grimm: The trailer and the spice shop
iZombie: The morgue

9. Both shows have an authority figure in the police department who is more than they appear to be.
Grimm: Captain Sean Renard
iZombie: Lieutenant Suzuki

Will Project Ara Change the Game for Smartphones?

What is Project Ara?

Google has a potential mobile technology game changer with its Project Ara.  Project Ara is an endeavor to create a modular smartphone that is developed on an open hardware platform. The concept is simple, let people build their own phones. Empower the consumer by enabling them to select not only their initial mobile phone components, but also when they upgrade and what components they upgrade. If you haven’t seen the Ara smartphone, check out this video, Project Ara: Part of it.

The foundation of the Ara smartphone is the endoskeleton or “endo” and functions as the frame that contains the customizable components. The endo, which consists of eight component slots, is also customizable and will be available in three sizes, so someone could buy more than one endo and rotate modules between them, effectively having multiple phones. The modules or “shells” are held in place on the endo with electro-permanent magnets.

Why I Think it’s Cool

A modular smartphone would provide greater flexibility in selecting hardware features (something that users are accustomed to when it comes to software) and tackles many of the common issues that users encounter during the life of their phone.

You Decide Whether to Upgrade

Hardware always has difficulty keeping up with the software and eventually cannot support newer applications. This results in a decrease in performance, which in turn drives the need to upgrade an entire phone. But if you’re dealing with components of a phone, how much of a necessity is it to upgrade particular components? If you can make do without a front facing camera or new speaker or microphone why upgrade an entire phone for those features.

You Decide What to Upgrade

With an Ara phone, the consumer would not be forced to upgrade an entire phone every two or three years because of such things as the performance of the processor or storage capacity limitations. The fact that version 2.0 of a phone has one or more better features than version 1.0 becomes irrelevant. If you want the updated component, then upgrade. If not, then continue to work with what you’ve got.  This model also provides the ability to decide between standard and premium components. Perhaps one consumer decides to go with the base module camera, while another chooses a pricier Nikon or Canon module.

You Decide When to Upgrade

A modular phone provides the option of upgrading on your own schedule instead of having  this being pretty much mandatory every 2 to 3 years. No more being committed to a new two year plan with a carrier because you upgraded your new phone for free.

No Longer Living In Fear of the Cracked Screen

How many of us fear breaking the phone’s touchscreen? No problem, replace it. And by it, I mean the touchscreen. Just the touchscreen. Slide it out, put the new one in and be back to business as usual. No need to replace the entire phone.

Mobile Distribution of Mobile Devices

I also like the idea of using vehicles as means of distributing the smartphones during the pilot implementation in Puerto Rico. Why wait for consumers to come to a traditional brick and mortar or even a temporary kiosk location. Go to where the consumer is. Once again, an emphasis on convenience.

Now that you’ve seen the quick introduction video and read what I think, check out this video from The Verge for a more detailed look.


Do We Need Public Cell Phone Booths?

@WheresMyCoffee tweet about public cell phone booths


I came across this tweet from Sean Hennessey (@WheresMyCoffee)  about how there should be public cell phone booths and thought to myself, “Yeah, there should be”. Imagine designated areas where someone could step out of the general public and have a private phone conversation. What would these areas look like? The old format of the vertical receptacle box isn’t going to work. The “Communication Booth” would need to be wheelchair accessible and accommodate perhaps an adult and two children. It would need outlets for charging mobile devices and should be transparent (like its phone booth predecessors) to allow users to easily determine if it is vacant. These comm booths would need to dampen sound enough so that an individual could complete a transaction that requires providing a credit card number without having to fear being overheard by passersby or someone in the next comm booth, if several are side by side.

How would comm booth usage be governed? Would there be time limits? Would there be a fee associated with using them? If so, what pricing strategy (by the minute, 5 minute blocks, etc.)? What form of payment would be accepted? Could someone pay using their phone? Would a user’s carrier bill them?

Where would these comm booths be located? Airports, bus stops/terminals, malls, amusement parks, train stations, libraries, restaurants, or stores? Would these booths be located inside, outside, or both? Are sidewalks and street corners still optimal locations or would more spacious areas be required?

If these comm booths are located outdoors, then weather consideration needs to be taken into account for the electrical aspects. How do you prevent rain or snow from damaging electrical outlets? Would charging cables be available or would users need to provide their own? Would these booths also serve as wi-fi hotspots?

Unfortunately the idea of a public cell phone booth would not solve every instance of the social etiquette problem of people having loud phone conversations in public places. Mass transit would still be a problem area. You will still have to suffer on the bus, but maybe the trains can have one designated booth per car. But implemented correctly, having designated spots to talk and charge a mobile device could be very beneficial.

BBC Series Broadchurch Being Remade as Gracepoint in U.S.

Gracepoint TV series

First there was The Killing in 2011, an AMC remake of a Danish television series, that centered around a murder mystery. The first storyline spanned two seasons, and the payoff, at the end of season two, was great. The problem was that many viewers probably didn’t make it through the combined 26 episodes to witness it.

Then. one year after The Killing wrapped up its first murder mystery, came Broadchurch that aired in March of 2013 and August 2013 on BBC America. The 8 episode series was the perfect length to sustain the suspense and maintain decent pacing for the plot. Now, a year later, Fox is remaking Broadchurch as Gracepoint. I’m hoping that increasing the length of the series to 10 episodes doesn’t negatively impact the pacing. American television series are more prone to filler episodes. David Tenant (Doctor Who) returns in the lead role, but with a different name for the character. His Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (Broadchurch) becomes Detective Emmett Carver in the Americanized version. Tenant’s presence might draw in U.S. viewers who have already seen Broadchurh.

Broadchurch is coming back for a second season in 2015. Will Gracepoint be successful enough to return for a second season as well? The first couple of Gracepoint episodes are supposed to basically be clones of Broadchurch, with episodes 3 and 4 being where the deviations begin.

Can this American remake of Broadchurch maintain the same level of quality or will it drop the ball? How far will the series deviate from the original? I guess we’ll find out as Gracepoint begins to unveil over the course of 10 episodes beginning in October.