Christmas may actually be 11 days away but nerds are getting their gifts early today.
Last night, Google released their popular (and relatively danger-free) Google Maps app on the Apple App Store. The wonky and much ridiculed Apple version is still the default but having a built-in Google Maps will have its advantages -- it's already the top downloaded free app. And later tonight, the first installment of "The Hobbit" will be released in theaters. The reviews are in and while they aren't ecstatic, they are encouraging. Mostly it's going to be hard to live up the "Lord of the Rings"trilogy, which has better source material and a lot fewer dwarves.
Meanwhile, last night's 12 12 12 Concert is riding high on Google and Twitter. A baby boomer's delight, the concert was crammed with the soon-to-be-in-assisted living like Paul McCartney, The Who, Billy Joel, the Boss and Mick Jagger. Alicia Keys seem to be the only person under 60 who performed. But Chris Christie was happier than that time the Golden Corral stayed open extra late.
Finally, the Golden Globes nominations are out, leading to lots of prognosticating about the Oscars. The weepy, expensive musical "Les Miserables" is among the films getting the most honors. The other award season front-runner "Zero Dark Thirty" was also well represented.
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#121212Concert (Paul McCartney, The Who, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel) Trending on: Google Trends, Google Plus, National Twitter, Baltimore Twitter Why: A heavyweight lineup of marquee acts crammed New York's Madison Square Garden for a relief concert to benefit areas devastated by October's Superstorm Sandy. [The Baltimore Sun]
GoogleMaps (iPhone) Trending on: National Twitter, Why: Google Maps didn't take long to capture the top spot among free iPhone apps. Driving back into iTunes earlier today, the app had already reached first place after the first several hours. It's also garnered close to 8,000 reviews at this point, almost all of them earning five stars. [CNET]
Golden Globes Trending on: National Twitter, Baltimore Twitter Why: "Les Miserables" earned multiple nominations, including Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. "Argo" was another Golden Globes favorite, earning nominations for Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Director (Ben Affleck) and Best Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin). Other big 2013 honorees included "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Django Unchained." [Huffington Post]
The Hobbit Trending on: National Twitter Why: The reviews are in and Kenneth Turan writes that the Hobbit is a film that is solid and acceptable instead of soaring and exceptional, one unnecessarily hampered in its quest to reach the magical heights of the previous trilogy. [The Los Angeles Times]
Mick Jagger Trending on: Google Trends Why: Ten passionate letters sent by Mick Jagger to his secret lover in the summer of 1969 have sold for £187,250. The price was more than double the pre-sale estimate of £70,000 to £100,000. They were purchased by a private collector, bidding over the telephone. [The Guardian]
Pacific Rim Trending on: National Twitter Why: The "Hellboy" and "Pan's Labyrinth" filmmaker returns to the director's chair for the first time since 2008 with next summer's "Pacific Rim," an all-new concept taking place in a world overrun by giant monsters called Kaiju. A new trailer was released yesterday. [MTV]