Ranting actor partners with "Funny or Die" comedy site on spoof show featuring his "winning recipes".
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18 minutes ago by TMZ Staff
Charlie Sheen is so winning that he didn’t just file a lawsuit for $US100 million against Warner Bros, which makes Two and a Half Men, but he did it for himself and the entire cast and crew. Oh, that Charlie. He’s so generous!
He doesn’t think he got fired because of his very public meltdown, but because the show’s creator, Chuck Lorre, is out to get him. Here’s how the opening of his lawsuit reads:
Chuck Lorre, one of the richest men in television who is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, believes himself to be so wealthy and powerful that he can unilaterally decide to take money away from the dedicated cast and crew of the popular television series Two and a Half Men in order to serve his own ego and self-interest and make the star of the series the scapegoat. Charlie Sheen is not only seeking payment for his own compensation for the series, but he is also pursuing claims for the benefit of the entire cast and crew to get paid the balance of the season’s 24 episodes.
The suit goes on to claim that Lorre has been publicly ridiculing Sheen for years and alleges he has some sort of vendetta against the star, which is the real reason behind his (he claims) wrongfully termination. All this needs is for Sheen to serve as his own attorney and it sounds like the plot of one of CBS’ more wacky procedurals. With all things Sheen these days, we’re sure the best is yet to come.
(AFP) – Há 1 hora
LOS ANGELES — O ator Charlie Sheen apresentou nesta quinta-feira uma ação judicial na qual pede mais de 100 milhões de dólares à Warner Brothers e aos produtores de "Two and a Half Men" por terem demitido o astro da popular série de televisão americana.
Os advogados do protagonista do milionário programa afirmam que os produtores violaram o contrato de Sheen ao demiti-lo nesta semana. A demissão deveu-se a uma série de episódios na imprensa, nos quais o polêmico ator atacou verbalmente o produtor Chuck Lorre.
Sheen também quer compensação para o restante do elenco e o pessoal que trabalha na série, cujo futuro é uma incógnita depois da saída de sua estrela, que interpreta o personagem de Charlie Harper.
"Com essa ação, Charlie Sheen não busca apenas o pagamento de sua própria indenização", afirma o texto, cuja cópia foi publicada pelo site de celebridades TMZ.
"Também exige (indenização) para todo o elenco e o pessoal, a fim de que recebam o pagamento correspondente aos 24 episódios da temporada", afirma o documento apresentado no tribunal de Los Angeles e impetrado nesta quinta-feira.
Essa ação legal ocorre dois dias depois de a Warner Brothers despedir Sheen, citando a "conduta perigosamente autodestrutiva" do ator de 45 anos.
"Two and a Half Men", no qual Sheen faz o papel de um hedonista mulherengo, já tinha sido cancelada pelo restante da temporada depois dos repetidos ataques verbais a Lorre, há duas semanas.
Sheen foi acusado de antisemitismo por se referir a Lorre mencionando seu nome em hebraico, mas isso não o levou a suspender suas críticas em uma colérica rodada de entrevistas dadas a diversos programas na semana passada. Seu representante decidiu renunciar nesse momento.
A estrela abriu então uma conta no Twitter e se tornou sensação na internet; lançou um programa online, intitulado "Sheen's Korner" (a esquina de Sheen), e conseguiu uma enorme quantidade de seguidores.
Na ação de 30 páginas, o advogado de Sheen, Marty Singer, afirma que a decisão de suspender a produção de "Two and a Half Men" tinha sido tomada antes de suas críticas a Lorre.
Charlie Sheen made it official Thursday, suing Warner Bros. and the executive producer of "Two and a Half Men" for $100 million, seeking to recoup his salary and wages for the show's crew. No word on whether the suit was printed in tiger blood. The breach of contract lawsuit alleges production was halted on the CBS sitcom in part to punish Sheen for recent behavior that has included two hospitalizations and, in recent weeks, a series of interviews in which he has attacked executive producer Chuck Lorre. The filing comes four days after Sheen was terminated from "Two and a Half Men," leaving the top-rated sitcom's future in doubt. Sheen's lawsuit cites a termination letter mentioning concerns about Sheen's health. His lawyer Marty Singer said it would be illegal for the studio to fire the actor if he had the physical and mental issues described in the letter. Which may or may not have included ingesting dump trucks full of cocaine. "We're saying he was ready, willing and able to work and he could have worked," Singer said. Singer said the actor is attempting to get reimbursement for all members of the show who lost money because of the actions of Warner Bros. and Lorre. The studio declined to comment on the suit. Lorre's attorney, Howard Weitzman, did not immediately return a phone message. The 45-year-old actor took to Twitter soon after the lawsuit's filing, writing, "Fastball: Torpedo away ... You The suit states Sheen's most recent contract, executed in May, entitles him to be paid whether the series films for up to 24 episodes per season through late 2011, and that Sheen tried returning in mid-February, but was told Lorre had not prepared scripts for the season's remaining episodes. Sheen has acknowledged use of illegal drugs, although he says he's currently clean. In a series of interviews, Sheen boasted about his "epic" partying, said he's fueled by "violent hatred" of his bosses and claimed to have kicked drugs at home in his "Sober Valley Lodge." He glorified himself as a "rock star from Mars" with "fire breathing fists" and "Adonis DNA" and talked about his home life with two women. AND IN NEWS ABOUT PEOPLE ACTING MORE RATIONALLY THAN CHARLIE SHEEN: Lindsay Lohan rejected a plea agreement Thursday that included a return to jail in a case involving the theft of a $2,500 necklace. The "Mean Girls" actress told a judge she agreed to delaying her case until an April 22 preliminary hearing, when prosecutors will present evidence against her. Her decision came after Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz offered the actress another opportunity to resolve the case. He said Thursday he laid out to Lohan's lawyer how he would sentence Lohan if she pleaded guilty or no contest to the theft of the necklace, and she could accept his offer at a hearing March 25. The exact terms of the proposed plea deal by prosecutors and the judge's offer were not disclosed. Schwartz previously told Lohan he would sentence her to jail if she accepted the government's plea deal but did not indicated how much time he would impose. If eventually convicted, the actress could be sentenced to up to three years in state prison. Lohan, 24, who has pleaded not guilty, was on probation in January when a Venice jewelry store accused her of taking the necklace that a security video showed she was wearing when she left the shop. The preliminary hearing would have a dual purpose, with another judge determining if there is enough evidence for Lohan to stand trial on the grand theft charge and whether she violated the terms of her probation in a 2007 drunken driving case. If the judge decides she was in violation of probation, Lohan could be immediately sent to jail. In the past 10 months, Lohan has been jailed twice and sent to rehab twice for probation violations.
People: Charlie Sheen sues Warner Bros. for $100 million
Today is Friday, March 11, the 70th day of 2011. There are 295 days left in the year.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch (80), ABC News correspondent Sam Donaldson (77), Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (75), singer Bobby McFerrin (61), movie director Jerry Zucker (61), singer Nina Hagen (56), country singer Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers (56), singer Cheryl Lynn (54), singer Lisa Loeb (43), actor Terrence Howard (42), actor Johnny Knoxville (40), rock singer-musicians Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte (32), singer LeToya (30), actress Thora Birch (29).
-- Associated Press
Charlie Sheen made it official Thursday, suing Warner Bros. and the executive producer of "Two and a Half Men" for $100 million, seeking to recoup his salary and wages for the show's crew.
No word on whether the suit was printed in tiger blood.
The breach of contract lawsuit alleges production was halted on the CBS sitcom in part to punish Sheen for recent behavior that has included two hospitalizations and, in recent weeks, a series of interviews in which he has attacked executive producer Chuck Lorre.
The filing comes four days after Sheen was terminated from "Two and a Half Men," leaving the top-rated sitcom's future in doubt.
Sheen's lawsuit cites a termination letter mentioning concerns about Sheen's health. His lawyer Marty Singer said it would be illegal for the studio to fire the actor if he had the physical and mental issues described in the letter. Which may or may not have included ingesting dump trucks full of cocaine.
"We're saying he was ready, willing and able to work and he could have worked," Singer said.
Singer said the actor is attempting to get reimbursement for all members of the show who lost money because of the actions of Warner Bros. and Lorre. The studio declined to comment on the suit. Lorre's attorney, Howard Weitzman, did not immediately return a phone message.
The 45-year-old actor took to Twitter soon after the lawsuit's filing, writing, "Fastball: Torpedo away ... You
The suit states Sheen's most recent contract, executed in May, entitles him to be paid whether the series films for up to 24 episodes per season through late 2011, and that Sheen tried returning in mid-February, but was told Lorre had not prepared scripts for the season's remaining episodes.
Sheen has acknowledged use of illegal drugs, although he says he's currently clean. In a series of interviews, Sheen boasted about his "epic" partying, said he's fueled by "violent hatred" of his bosses and claimed to have kicked drugs at home in his "Sober Valley Lodge." He glorified himself as a "rock star from Mars" with "fire breathing fists" and "Adonis DNA" and talked about his home life with two women.
AND IN NEWS ABOUT PEOPLE ACTING MORE RATIONALLY THAN CHARLIE SHEEN: Lindsay Lohan rejected a plea agreement Thursday that included a return to jail in a case involving the theft of a $2,500 necklace.
The "Mean Girls" actress told a judge she agreed to delaying her case until an April 22 preliminary hearing, when prosecutors will present evidence against her.
Her decision came after Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz offered the actress another opportunity to resolve the case. He said Thursday he laid out to Lohan's lawyer how he would sentence Lohan if she pleaded guilty or no contest to the theft of the necklace, and she could accept his offer at a hearing March 25.
The exact terms of the proposed plea deal by prosecutors and the judge's offer were not disclosed.
Schwartz previously told Lohan he would sentence her to jail if she accepted the government's plea deal but did not indicated how much time he would impose.
If eventually convicted, the actress could be sentenced to up to three years in state prison. Lohan, 24, who has pleaded not guilty, was on probation in January when a Venice jewelry store accused her of taking the necklace that a security video showed she was wearing when she left the shop.
The preliminary hearing would have a dual purpose, with another judge determining if there is enough evidence for Lohan to stand trial on the grand theft charge and whether she violated the terms of her probation in a 2007 drunken driving case. If the judge decides she was in violation of probation, Lohan could be immediately sent to jail.
In the past 10 months, Lohan has been jailed twice and sent to rehab twice for probation violations.
Chuck Lorre's lawyer is responding to the $100 million lawsuit filed Thursday morning by Charlie Sheen against Lorre and Warner Bros. over the shutdown of Two and a Half Men.
"The allegations in the complaint against Mr. Lorre are as recklessly false and unwarranted as Mr. Sheen's rantings in the media," Lorre's attorney Howard Weitzman tells The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. "The accusations are simply imaginary."
Weitzman goes on to suggest Sheen's motivation for the suit is simply about money.
"This lawsuit is about a fantasy 'lottery' pay-day for Charlie Sheen," he says. "Chuck Lorre's concern has been and continues to be about Mr. Sheen's health."
"I'm here to collect," ... "They're going to lose in a courtroom. So I would recommend that they do an out-of-court settlement, and fix this whole thing, and pay the crew and get Season 9 back on board."
Um pedreiro está preso em Belo Horizonte (MG) acusado de extorsão mediante sequestro e suspeito de ter "roubado" a identidade de seu patrão, o empreiteiro Sebastião Maximílio dos Santos, de 52 anos. A família de Santos encontrou o pedreiro morando na casa do empreiteiro, que está desaparecido há aproximadamente 45 dias.
O suspeito, que não teve o nome revelado e estava vivendo na casa com sua família, ainda estava com o talão de cheques e cartões bancários e de crédito do patrão. De acordo com a polícia, o acusado também confessou que fez um saque de R$ 15 mil na conta do empreiteiro. Aos vizinhos, o acusado teria dito que comprou a residência.
Além do pedreiro, um delegado aposentado da Polícia Civil mineira também é investigado por suspeita de envolvimento no desaparecimento de Santos. O carro do ex-policial, que também teve o nome mantido em sigilo, foi encontrado na garagem da casa do empreiteiro.Segundo o chefe do Departamento de Investigações de Homicídios e Proteção à Pessoa (DIHPP) da Polícia Civil mineira, delegado Edson Moreira, a hipótese mais provável para o desaparecimento é uma tentativa de extorsão mediante sequestro seguida do assassinato da vítima. A polícia não descarta a possibilidade de pedir a prisão do delegado aposentado. "Seja quem for, vai ser indiciado e mandado para a Justiça", afirmou Moreira.
Uma freira, responsável pela área financeira numa universidade de Nova Iorque, confessou ter desviado 850 mil dólares (quase 615 mil euros), estando sujeita a uma pena de prisão até dez anos, informaram hoje fontes judiciais.
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Segundo as autoridades, citadas pela agência de notícias espanhola Efe, Marie Thornton, que exercia a vice-presidência do departamento financeiro da Universidade de Iona de New Rochelle, reconheceu diante de um juiz de Manhattan que durante dez anos desviou ilicitamente 850 mil dólares.
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Ti-ti-ti está na reta final, mas ainda guarda muitas surpresas. E Fábio Assunção é uma delas. O ator, que é fã da novela desde a primeira versão, chegou para gravar nesta quinta-feira, 10.
"Assistia à primeira versão e era fã mesmo. Agora, vou fazer uma participação nessa trama, que está ótima", revelou. Fábio também aproveitou para elogiar o trabalho de seus colegas: "Alexandre Borges e Murilo Benício estão fazendo um trabalho muito bom como os estilistas arquirrivais".
Maria Adelaide Amaral, autora da novela, falou sobre o convite que fez ao ator: “Fábio é meu queridíssimo amigo, adora Ti-ti-ti e o Jorginho (Jorge Fernando, diretor da novela) sugeriu que o convidássemos para uma participação muito especial no último capítulo e ele adorou a ideia de imediato."
O ator vai interpretar um autor de novela chamado Fernando Flores, mas o que será que o personagem vai aprontar na reta final da novela? Está curioso? Então fique ligado e não perca os últimos capítulos de Ti-ti-ti.
|Autor(es): Fausto Macedo|
|O Estado de S. Paulo - 09/03/2011|
Três meses antes de firmarem declaração de intenção de venda da Fazenda Ceres à Associação de Agricultores Familiares Força da Terra de Piraju pelo preço de R$ 2,3 milhões - R$ 7,51 mil o alqueire -, os donos do imóvel ofereceram parte da gleba a R$ 3 mil o alqueire, segundo o Ministério Público Federal.
Segundo a Procuradoria da República, em agosto de 2000 a Força e a Associação dos Municípios do Vale do Paranapanema elaboraram o Programa de Reordenação Fundiária para assentar 200 famílias em área que abrangia 15 cidades e previa investimento global de R$ 4 milhões do Tesouro. Quatro meses depois foi criada a Associação Força da Terra de Piraju. Paulinho visitou a Fazenda Ceres.
A procuradoria afirma que R$ 2,85 milhões em recursos do Ministério do Desenvolvimento Agrário foram canalizados para "um projeto de reforma agrária inviável técnica e economicamente". A ação aponta o uso de R$ 2,3 milhões na compra da fazenda; R$ 500 mil teriam de ser aplicados em infraestrutura. Os réus sabiam que quase de 50% dos 302 alqueires eram de preservação permanente.
Em 8 de janeiro de 2001, "confiantes e satisfeitos com o desfecho da negociação", Affonso Fernandes Suniga e Joaquim Fernandes Zuniga, então donos do imóvel, em acordo com o ex-proprietário, subscreveram escritura pública de retificação de área no 2.º Tabelionato de Notas de Piraju, "sem passar pelo crivo judicial", reduzindo o total de 373,9 alqueires para 306,03 alqueires - o tamanho real era de 302 alqueires.
|Autor(es): Ana Maria Campos|
|Correio Braziliense - 10/03/2011|
Por causa da delação premiada, Durval Barbosa vive hoje um inferno familiar. Ele está em guerra com a ex-mulher, Fabiani Barbosa, desde que detalhou em diversos depoimentos prestados durante os desdobramentos da Operação Caixa de Pandora como o dinheiro da corrupção custeou a vida privada do casal. As denúncias envolvem inclusive os negócios de Fabiani, dona da Dot Paper, uma papelaria de luxo frequentada pela elite da capital do país, no Centro Comercial Gilberto Salomão.
|Autor(es): Renato Alves|
|Correio Braziliense - 10/03/2011|
Carnaval em Brasília é sinônimo de ruas e prédios públicos desertos. Mas a Câmara Legislativa (sempre ela) decidiu quebrar a tradição. Ao menos se levarmos em conta a quantidade de luzes acesas nas quatro noites de folia. Andares inteiros permaneceram com todos os cômodos iluminados, mesmo com os 24 nobres deputados distritais de folga.
|JIRAU NEGOCIA ADITIVO CONTRATUAL DE R$ 900 MILHÕES COM CAMARGO|
|Autor(es): Josette Goulart | De São Paulo|
|Valor Econômico - 10/03/2011|
Desafios continuam rondando a usina hidrelétrica de Jirau em seu terceiro ano de construção. O volume de escavação da obra foi muito maior que o previsto, o que fez a construtora Camargo Corrêa pedir um valor adicional de R$ 900 milhões no contrato de obras civis. O pedido eleva mais uma vez o investimento, que hoje chega perto dos R$ 13 bilhões, ante os R$ 9 bilhões previstos.
A usina hidrelétrica de Jirau entra em seu terceiro ano de construção com desafios ainda maiores do que os vislumbrados no leilão da usina pelos vencedores da acirrada disputa, liderados pela GDF Suez. Os fornecedores já começam a ser procurados para postergar a entrega de equipamentos e o volume de escavação na obra está muito além do previsto, o que levou a construtora Camargo Corrêa a pedir um adicional ao contrato de obras civis de R$ 900 milhões.
Com um investimento caminhando para um acréscimo de 50% além dos R$ 9 bilhões cotados inicialmente, nem mesmo a energia destinada ao mercado livre ainda encontrou quem pagasse o preço de R$ 130 o MWh, que garante retornos mínimos ao empreendimento para compensar a tarifa de R$ 72 do leilão. As linhas de transmissão, que vão ligar Porto Velho à Araraquara, estão atrasadas e não devem ficar prontas antes do cronograma oficial, impedindo antecipações de venda de energia. A licença ambiental para a construção de outra linha, a que liga a usina ao Sistema Interligado, só foi obtida na semana passada. Além disso, a concessionária enfrenta uma disputa com a usina de Santo Antônio em torno da operação dos reservatórios, que está dificultando as pretensões de Jirau em aumentar sua capacidade de geração e, com isso, potencializar retornos.
Com tantos transtornos, a posição da concessionária Energia Sustentável do Brasil tem sido o silêncio. O presidente da empresa, Victor Paranhos, não quis dar entrevistas ao Valor ou fazer qualquer comentário sobre esses diversos assuntos, entre eles, o ajuste da Camargo Corrêa que ajuda a elevar o investimento a R$ 13 bilhões. O acionista majoritário, a GDF Suez, tampouco quis falar oficialmente sobre o tema. A assessoria de imprensa da Camargo Corrêa, que é construtora e sócia do empreendimento, não deu retorno para comentar o aditivo contratual que negocia como construtora.
O grande problema de Jirau tem sido equacionar seu retorno ao investimento. Esse inclusive é apontado como o grande entrave que tem feito os controladores da GDF Suez a barrar a participação da empresa em novos leilões no Brasil. Em Teles Pires, o grupo chegou a se associar à Eletronorte (empresa do grupo Eletrobras mais preparada para o leilão) e sequer deu lance. Os executivos da GDF Suez dizem que o projeto estava com a tarifa muito apertada pelos desafios da construção da usina. Os vencedores liderados pela Neoenergia, deram um deságio de 33%.
Alguns analistas de bancos que acompanham as ações da Tractebel, que vai herdar a participação da Suez em Jirau, fizeram as contas e o retorno para a usina do Madeira, entre 8% e 9%, só seria garantido com algumas condições: um bom preço para a energia que será vendida ao mercado livre, adicional de financiamento do BNDES em função do volume maior de investimentos e a antecipação da geração. Dois pontos causam preocupação, já que os consumidores livres não estão dispostos a pagar os R$ 130 o MWh e a antecipação do início da geração está comprometida. Os executivos da Suez, entretanto, mostram confiança em reuniões com analistas e dizem que é possível no longo prazo vender a energia ao preço desejado e potencializar os retornos. Pelo financiamento com o BNDES, a energia deveria estar vendida até maio, mas o prazo foi postergado até o fim do ano.
Já a antecipação do cronograma de operação está cada vez mais comprometido e a usina caminha para operar nos prazos incluídos no leilão, previsto para 2013. Os sócios de Jirau chegaram a aprovar a antecipação do investimento para que todas as turbinas necessárias para gerar os quase 2.000 MW de energia entrassem em operação em 2012.
Os fornecedores de equipamentos de Jirau, entretanto, têm sido procurados para negociarem uma postergação de pelo menos três meses para a entrega do maquinário à usina. Isso afetará diretamente o cronograma empresarial do projeto, que previa o início de operação para o primeiro semestre de 2012. Nas negociações, o presidente do empreendimento, entretanto, já sinaliza uma postergação ainda maior, que levaria Jirau a operar somente em 2013.
Alguns sócios dizem que essa postergação seria uma forma de adequar o cronograma de pagamento ao atraso que já se vislumbra da entrada em operação dos linhões de transmissão do Madeira. Os linhões ainda não têm o licenciamento do Ibama e é difícil que antecipem a operação. Pelo edital, o primeiro deles precisa estar funcionando somente em 2013.
|Autor(es): Igor Silveira e Renato Alves|
|Correio Braziliense - 10/03/2011|
Pintor que teve obra roubada da representação diplomática brasileira em Paris reclama do descaso com o acervo exposto no exterior
O mistério sobre o sumiço de obras de arte na embaixada do Brasil em Paris continua. Mais de duas semanas após o Correio mostrar com exclusividade que pelo menos 18 peças doadas por autoridades e artistas haviam desaparecido do prédio, o Ministério das Relações Exteriores (MRE) mantém o silêncio sobre o assunto. A falta de respostas levou o artista plástico Gervásio Teixeira — autor de um dos quadros levados — a escrever uma carta ao embaixador José Mauricio Bustani, titular do cargo na França, cobrando mais atenção do Itamaraty com o patrimônio artístico exposto nas embaixadas pelo mundo e pediu para ser informado dos desdobramentos da sindicância aberta pelo governo brasileiro.
|Autor(es): Agência o globo:|
|O Globo - 10/03/2011|
Vamos imaginar duas situações:
A year ago, nobody had an iPad. Then Apple sold 15 million of them in just nine months, creating a whole new category of technology product. The iPad may have become, in the words of Steve Jobs, "the most successful consumer product ever launched."
It turns out that a lot of people saw the iPad's appeal: it's a supremely portable device that's well suited for checking your e-mail, surfing the Web, playing games, reading books and other stuff you get off the Internet, and even for getting work done. Kids and the elderly have embraced it.
It's awfully hard to follow such a massive success, but that's the task set out for Apple's new iPad 2, which goes on sale Friday. At least the iPad 2 has this going for it: the original model caught the technology industry so flat-footed that only now are true competitors beginning to appear.
Those competitors will now face a new iteration of the iPad, one that's faster, smaller, and lighter than the model introduced a year ago-all while retaining the $499 entry price that has proven all but impossible for Apple's competitors to match. It's almost unfair.
A game of inches (and ounces)
Call it Jobs's Law if you like: The latest version of any Apple product is likely to be thinner and lighter than its predecessor. And so it is with the iPad 2. The size difference between the original iPad and the iPad 2 may seem slight, but that's only because we're dealing with such small products to begin with. But for products this small, every ounce and fraction of an inch counts.
The iPad 2 measures 7.31 by 9.5 by 0.34 inches, and weighs in at 1.33 pounds (in the case of the Wi-Fi-only version, that is-the AT&T and Verizon 3G versions are .01 and .02 pound heavier). That means Apple shaved .17 pound off the Wi-Fi version and .26 to .27 pound off the 3G version. The iPad 2 is also .16 inch narrower, .06 inch shorter, and .16 inch thinner than the original iPad.
A matter of small degrees, to be sure, until you consider the percentage change: the iPad 2 is roughly two-thirds the thickness of the original iPad, and 88 percent of its weight (83 percent when comparing 3G models). Pick up an iPad 2 after handling an original iPad, and you'll notice the difference right away. This is a lighter, thinner device.
In order to shave off that .16 inch of thickness, Apple has transformed the anodized aluminum back panel of the iPad. The original model's back panel was a frame with four flat edges and a gently curved back surface. The iPad 2 eschews the frame, opting for a single surface that much more rapidly transitions from curve to flat. (This has the effect of making the iPad 2 much less wobbly than the original when laid on a flat surface.)
Without those edges, the iPad 2's ports and buttons are now positioned on a curving portion of the back panel, rather than on its side. The feel is quite different, a bit like reverting the flat surfaces of the iPhone 4 to the curved back of an iPhone 3G. A few times I found myself struggling to insert cables into the iPad 2's dock connector at the proper angle because I was confused by the curve of the back panel.
The end result of all this slimming down is that the iPad 2 is easier to handle than the original model. In my review of the original iPad, I said it was "heavy enough and slippery enough that I found it difficult to hold in one hand." In fact, the original iPad turned out to be a product that really demanded a case of some sort, just to make it easier to handle.
The iPad 2 is easier to carry with one hand, and the decreased weight makes it easier to hold for longer periods of time. But if you're planning on using the iPad 2 to read a lot, you'll still find yourself propping it against your chest or setting it on a table-the tablet is still not light enough to hold in one hand for extended periods of time. (For that, you'll need something more on the scale of the Amazon Kindle 3, which is less than half the weight of the iPad 2.)
Eighteen variations on a theme
The original iPad came in six different variations-Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi/3G versions, each available with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of storage. The product was such a hit that Apple apparently decided that even more variations would be better-as a result, there are 18 different versions of the iPad 2. It's a little crazy.
The storage variation remains: every model is available in 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB capacities. You can also choose an iPad with either a traditional black bezel or a new white bezel-which Apple insists will be available on day one, despite the company's failure in ever shipping the promised white version of the iPhone 4. That's six variations right there. Now multiply them by three, since the iPad 2 comes in a Wi-Fi-only version as well as two separate Wi-Fi/3G versions: one compatible with AT&T's GSM-based cellular network, and a different one compatible with Verizon's CDMA-based network. (Apple seems to be differentiating between the two by referring to the AT&T model as "3G with Micro-SIM card.")
The good news is that the iPad 2 costs just what the original iPad did. The base-model Wi-Fi editions cost $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB), and $699 (64GB). Both sets of Wi-Fi/3G models cost $130 more than their Wi-Fi counterparts. There's no price difference for white or black models.
What hasn't changed
Though it's thinner and lighter, the iPad 2, at a glance, looks very much like the original iPad. Its front is a sheet of glass over a bright 1024-by-768-pixel display surrounded by a bezel (again, now available in black or white) that's going to be necessary so long as humans grasp with opposable thumbs. The aluminum frame around the outside of the bezel of the original iPad has been reduced to a thin edge, almost entirely invisible, in the iPad 2.
The position of the iPad 2's buttons and ports are, likewise, more or less undisturbed. There's a sleep/wake button at the top right edge, a standard headphone jack at top left, a volume rocker and a sliding switch (configurable to lock screen orientation or mute alert sounds via the Settings app) at the top of the right side, a 30-pin dock connector port at the bottom, and a home button at the bottom of the front face. The iPad 2's built-in microphone is dead center at the top edge of the device-it was next to the headphone jack on the original iPad. Both 3G models feature a black plastic cutout along the top rear face in order to improve cellular reception; the AT&T 3G model also has a micro-SIM card slot along the top left edge.
The iPad 2 uses a new Apple-designed processor called the A5, which is making its first appearance on the scene. Apple is generally cagey about tech specs for products like the iPhone and iPad, but by all accounts, the A5 is a dual-core version of the 1GHz A4 chip that powers the iPhone 4 and the original iPad. The iPad 2 also has 512MB of RAM-twice that of the original iPad-and a 200MHz bus speed, likewise twice that of the original.
Because the A5 is a dual-core processor, Apple claims the iPad 2 can run at speeds up to double that of the original iPad. As with any dual-core processor, the key about "up to double" is that software must be optimized to take advantage of multiple processor cores, or that speed goes to waste. This is the first dual-core processor to appear on an iOS device, and it'll be interesting to see under what circumstances the A5 is noticeably faster than the A4, and when it's not.
But processor speed isn't the only part of the system that determines how it performs. Graphics performance has become a major component in determining how fast a computing device feels. And Apple says that the graphics performance on the iPad 2 is as much as nine times faster than on the original iPad.
So does the iPad 2 measure up to Apple's claims? Absolutely, though it's hard to determine whether the dual-core processor or the improved graphics performance deserve the credit. (Maybe the question is moot.) From the moment I started using the iPad 2 with familiar apps from my original iPad, I could tell that the system was faster. I thought scrolling through tweets in Twitterrific on my iPad was smooth as can be … until I scrolled through the tweet list on the iPad 2. Everything felt smoother, and items loaded faster.
In short, the iPad 2 is the fastest iOS device ever made, by a long shot. And it's not just an academic distinction: you can sense the speed when you use it, because everything's faster and smoother than it was on the original iPad.
Despite the boosts in processing power, Apple claims that the iPad 2 has the same ten-hour battery life as the original model. In nearly a week of use, I never saw a reason to disbelieve the claims. The iPad's all-day battery life, perhaps its killer feature, remains intact.
Cameras and FaceTime
The original iPad debuted just before Apple embraced video chat with its FaceTime software and added a front-facing camera to the iPhone. (It subsequently added both front- and rear-facing cameras to the iPod touch.) With the iPad 2, the company has brought two cameras to all of its mobile iOS devices.
The cameras in the iPad 2 are essentially the same as those in the fourth-generation iPod touch: it's nice that they're there, but they're not particularly impressive in terms of quality. The front-facing camera is the same one used in the iPhone 4 and the iPod touch, offering only VGA resolution (640 by 480 pixels). It's grainy in low-light settings, but is perfectly serviceable for its intended purpose, which is video chat.
FaceTime works on the iPad 2 much like it works on the iPod touch; in the Settings app you log in with an Apple ID and set an e-mail address to use as your FaceTime "number," so people can call you. From the FaceTime app, you can call people in your contacts list and set favorites. (FaceTime on the iPad is, like FaceTime on the iPhone 4, supported only over Wi-Fi connections.)
Once you've connected, the iPad's larger screen definitely exposes the low quality of FaceTime video (whether it's caused by the low-quality camera or the intense bandwidth required by a live video chat, or both, is debatable). Still, the video is good enough to be usable. The iPad's size, however, makes it a bit ungainly as a FaceTime device. It's hard to have a long conversation while holding the iPad in your hand. Propping the tablet on a tabletop or in your lap works better; propping it up with Apple's Smart Cover in typing position gave my interlocutor a nice view of my ceiling fan, while putting it in the Smart Cover's movie-viewing position made me hunch down in order to get in the frame.
The rear camera on the iPad 2 appears to be identical to the one found on the iPod touch. (It's positioned just beneath the sleep button on the back side of the device, creating a challenge for iPad casemakers everywhere.) Apple touts this camera as being "for video," and there's a reason: as a still camera it's about seven-tenths of a megapixel, with poor performance in low-light conditions. But it's capable of shooting 720p HD video and, in well-lit environments, the quality is decent.
I'm not sure I'm ever going to hold up the iPad 2 and use it as a video camera, but it does work-and most important, you can use that camera from within FaceTime, so you can shoot video of your kids crazily running around and send it all back to grandma.
Pick your 3G network
Apple's relationship with Verizon Wireless in the United States continues to deepen. The first sign of an alliance was when Verizon began selling iPads in its stores, bundled with a MiFi wireless router. Then came the Verizon iPhone 4.
Now, at last, there's an iPad that can use Verizon's cellular data network without needing to tote around some other piece of tech. This means that iPad 2 owners can choose between AT&T's (generally faster) 3G network and Verizon's (generally more reliable) 3G network. That's the good news. The bad news is, iPad 2 buyers will need to decide up front which network they want to use-there are separate models for each network, so once you've bought a Verizon iPad 2, there's no way to switch it to use AT&T's network (or vice versa).
The iPad 2's connection to AT&T's network has been upgraded from the original iPad models. Like the iPhone 4, the iPad 2 supports AT&T's HSUPA/HSDPA system, which will result in faster 3G transfer in areas where that protocol is available. I managed a 2.2-mbps upload rate and a 1.1-mbps download rate from my house, comparable to the speeds I saw from the iPhone 4 on AT&T's network. (Apple didn't provide us with a Verizon-compatible version of the iPad 2 for review, but its transfer rates will likely be similar to those on the Verizon-compatible iPhone 4-generally slower than AT&T's.)
If you live in a place where both carriers offer good coverage, then deciding which model to buy will prove to be an interesting challenge. The data plans offered by the two companies differ, though they're generally competitive with one another. If you don't use much data, AT&T has an advantage with its $15-a-month plan for 250MB of data. If you use more than 3GB per month, Verizon becomes the better deal. In between, it's a toss-up. (AT&T also offers a post-paid plan that can be added to your phone bill and offers better overage rates.)
If you travel internationally, the AT&T iPad is a better deal, since it uses the GSM standard that's more widely in use internationally. And since the iPad is an unlocked cellular device, you can buy a foreign micro-SIM card and save a bunch on data rates by not paying AT&T's expensive roaming charges.
Then there's the question of whether you need to buy an iPad 2 with 3G at all. Many smartphones-including the iPhone 4-have a Wi-Fi-based hotspot feature that lets them share their Internet connections with other devices. Verizon and AT&T charge $20 a month for the feature, which comes with 2GB of data. (AT&T's plan requires a user to also be on the $25 a month Data Pro plan.) Two gigabytes for $20 is a pretty good deal when compared to the iPad 3G plans (other than AT&T's ultracheap 250MB plan). So if you, your iPad, and your iPhone (or other smartphone with a personal-hotspot feature) are seldom parted, you might be better off saving the $130 and buying a Wi-Fi-only model.
There are a lot of variables here, clearly. But once you've chosen your iPad 2, you're locked in, so it's wise to consider your options before you buy. The good news is, if you spend $130 for a 3G model, there's no contract to sign and you're not required to buy a data plan-so the extra cost of the 3G-equipped iPad might not be too much to spend if you aren't sure and want to keep your options open. You'll still have to pick between Verizon and AT&T, however.
One final wrinkle to the 3G buying decision: Only 3G iPad models come with GPS capabilities. There's a good reason for this-iOS devices use something called assisted GPS to dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes for the devices to determine their location. (Despite the name, this is not some sort of phony GPS-the assisted just means that the devices look for nearby cellular towers to get a general fix on their location, which prevents a minutes-long GPS scan that would be required on a GPS device without the cellular assist.) In any event, if you dream of using your iPad as a jumbo GPS navigation console, you'll absolutely need a 3G model.
Smart accessories abound
With the release of the iPad 2, Apple is also releasing several accessories related to the iPad 2.
Most notable is the Smart Cover, available in either leather ($69) or polyurethane ($39). A Smart Cover magnetically adheres to the side of the iPad 2 and protects the front, locking and unlocking the iPad when you open and close the cover. It's pretty nifty, and it sets the bar pretty high for all future iPad 2 accessories. To read a whole lot more about it, be sure to read my iPad 2 Smart Cover review.
But there are other accessories: the $39 Apple Digital AV adapter finally lets capable iOS devices display HD video on HDTVs, and even lets the iPad 2 mirror its own screen on an external display. (Read on for details, or see our full review.)
There's also a new $29 iPad 2 Dock, which I wasn't able to test. Like the original iPad Dock, it allows you to set your iPad upright in portrait orientation and charge, sync, or even play audio- or video-out. Now the bad news: The iPad 2 and the original iPad's dock connector are different enough that accessories that tightly fit to the hardware won't be compatible with the new model, so you probably won't be able to reuse many of your iPad accessories if you buy an iPad 2. Apple also seems to have discontinued the iPad Keyboard Dock entirely. (No great loss, in my opinion-you'd be better off with a dock or a case and the excellent $69 Apple Wireless Keyboard, a combination that allows you type in either portrait or landscape orientation, rather than the forced portrait orientation of the Keyboard Dock.)
A video breakthrough
One of the most pleasantly surprising features of the iPad 2 is its improved support for HDTVs and HD video. A combination of iPad 2 hardware upgrades, a new adapter from Apple, and updates to the iOS share the credit, but the end result is great news for both entertainment and education.
On the entertainment side, the new Apple Digital AV Adapter lets the iPad 2 spread its wings. With this adapter, the iPad 2 can output high-definition video at resolutions up to 1080p, as well as Dolby Digital surround sound, all served via a standard HDMI cable that the owner of any HDTV will be familiar with.
I played back several HD video files on several different HDTVs via the iPad 2 and the HDMI adapter, and the video quality was excellent. The inability to output HD video has been a sore spot on the iOS since the release of the original iPad, but now that it's here, it looks (and sounds) great.
Exclusive to the iPad 2 that will be hailed by educators, presenters, and anyone else who has ever wanted to show off their iPad's screen to a large crowd: video mirroring. When connected to the HDMI adapter, the iPad 2 will display a duplicate version of the contents of its screen on an external monitor. Want to demo an education app via a projector or HDTV for a classroom full of kids? The iPad 2 makes it possible.
In mirroring mode, the iPad's interface is crystal clear. It looks great. Because the iPad's video interface is a 4:3 aspect ratio, you'll find black bars on the sides of the TV when in mirroring mode. The bars grow even wider if you put the iPad in portrait orientation, but the image of an iPad 2 in portrait mode still looks good-albeit smaller-on an HDTV.
On a few TVs I tried, however, I needed to adjust the video settings in order to display the entire picture. It depends on how your TV set frames HD content; my advice is to fiddle with the video settings until you get a picture that pleases you.
For the record, the iPad 2's mirroring mode and its video-out mode don't fight with each other. If an app supports direct video output to an external display, the iPad stops mirroring and switches to that mode. In addition to the Video app, there are lots of other examples: Keynote uses the external display as a presentation screen, for instance.
The software story
The iPad 2 arrives with a new version of the operating system that powers the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This version, iOS 4.3, is hardly earth-shattering, but does offers a few nice new features.
Third-party apps can now take advantage of streaming video via AirPlay, the system that lets iOS devices stream audio and video to various devices, most notably the second-generation Apple TV. The Videos and iPod apps can now connect to Macs or PCs running iTunes via the Home Sharing system, meaning-at long last!-you can stream music or videos from any Mac or PC in your house to your iOS device, elsewhere on your local network.
In iOS 4.3, the slide switch on the iPad can be put to use in one of two ways: It can either function as an orientation-lock switch, as it did when the iPad was first released; or it can function as a mute switch for alert sounds, as it did upon the release of iOS 4.2. In iOS 4.3, users can choose either behavior via the Settings app. Now can't we all just get along?
There are a bunch of other additions to iOS 4.3; stay tuned to Macworld.com for our full report on iOS 4.3, which is forthcoming.
Along with the new version of the operating system, Apple is introducing two apps as a part of the iPad 2 launch. One, iMovie, is an update to the existing version of iMovie that runs on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch. The other, GarageBand, is an all-new app for the iPad. Both apps are excellent, showing off the power of the iPad, the iOS, and, specifically, the iPad 2.
It's interesting that for the original iPad launch, Apple showcased three $10 iWork apps: Keynote, Numbers, and Pages. It sent a message that the iPad could be used for productivity, not just for consumption. And in the intervening 11 months, we've seen all sorts of interesting productivity applications released for the iPad. (Along with lots of games.) The iPad app ecosystem launched strong and has continued to grow, making it one of the iPad's biggest advantages over competing tablets.
This time out, Apple has launched its new iPad with a pair of $5 creativity apps. What's the message? In the case of iMovie, it's clearly tied to the existence of the iPad's cameras. Now you can shoot video with the iPad (ideally the HD-capable rear-facing one) and then edit it right within iMovie. Apple's also enabled a video workflow that starts with video shot on an iPhone 4, and then ends up being transferred to an iPad 2 for editing. For more of my impressions after spending a few days with iMovie, check out my hands-on with iMovie for iPad.
GarageBand for iPad is an almost breathtaking achievement. At times it feels more responsive than GarageBand running on the late-model iMac on my desk at work. Strumming its "smart guitars" made me almost feel musical, and I was able to create a (terrible) cover version of Fountains of Wayne's "Hey Julie" in about 30 minutes, complete with vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and organ. My nine-year-old daughter was entranced with the app as well.
GarageBand for iPad isn't as full-featured as the Mac version, but neither does it feel like a toy version. It's a real app with a lot of real power, and I'd imagine that it will become madly popular in schools and garages everywhere. For more information, check out my first look at GarageBand for iPad.
Both apps do suffer from one of the great failings of the iOS: difficulty in getting files in and out and moving them around. To move an iMovie project from the iPhone to the iPad, for example, you've got to (1) export the file on the iPhone, (2) connect it to a Mac, (3) go to iTunes, (4) click the Apps tab, (5) scroll down, (6) click on iMovie, (7) click on your project, (8) click Save to put it on your hard drive; and then you have to (9) detach your iPhone, (10) attach your iPad, (11) click on it in iTunes, (12) click on the Apps tab, (13) scroll down, (14) click on iMovie, and then (15) drag your project back into iTunes.
Apple, there's got to be a better way. Maybe in iOS 5?
Should you upgrade?
Let's say you are one of those 15 million people who bought an iPad last year. Now there's a new iPad. Should you dump your old one and get a new one?
Though the iPad 2 is an improvement on the original iPad in numerous ways, it's still an evolutionary product, not a revolutionary one. If you're happy with your current iPad, there's no reason to dump it just because there's a shinier, newer one. (This is not to say that millions of people won't do just that. I mean: shiny!) If you've invested in iPad accessories such as a dock or case, keep in mind that you probably won't be able to use them with the new iPad.
Of course, if there's someone in your family who has been clamoring for an iPad, now might be the time to buy an iPad 2 and hand down the old model to them-or, if you're really nice, give them the new iPad while you soldier on with the classic model.
If you've become a major user of FaceTime or other video-chat apps on your iPhone or iPod touch, upgrading to an iPad 2 makes more sense, thanks to the integrated cameras. People who want to bestow an iPad on an older friend or relative who is a bit reluctant to use technology can now add video chat to the mix of features that make the iPad a compelling device for the older set.
Anyone who gives demonstrations of iPad apps-in seminars, classrooms, or boardrooms-will want to get an iPad 2 immediately just for the video-mirroring feature. If you're an iPad-toting presenter, it'll be worth the investment.
Finally, if you live somewhere with great Verizon reception and you're stuck with an AT&T iPad, trading up the Verizon model is worth considering … but you might want to also consider adding a tethering plan to a Verizon smartphone and deactivating your existing iPad's monthly service.
Macworld's buying advice
The iPad was a huge hit, vastly surpassing anyone's expectations for it. (In my review last year, I set a ceiling for success at 10 million, meaning my most optimistic estimate was still five million iPads short.)
It's hard to bet against Apple these days. The company is on a roll, not only in terms of sales but in terms of product design. Less than a year on from the original iPad, the iPad 2 is an improvement that doesn't divert any of the iPad's powerful momentum. It's the original iPad, only more so-even smaller, even thinner, even faster than before.
If you're one of those people who practices remarkable feats of self-discipline when it comes to buying first-generation hardware products, it's time to celebrate: the second iPad is here, and you can finally slake your thirst. By waiting, you'll end up with a faster, lighter product with the same great price and battery life-and with two video cameras and video-mirroring capabilities, to boot.
For Apple's competitors in the tablet-device market, the iPad 2 is a bucket of water to the face. After more than a year of struggling to catch up to the original iPad, here's a new model that addresses many of the iPad's deficiencies, dramatically improves its speed, and doesn't cede any ground on price, features, or battery life. The iPad 2 raises the bar Apple set a year ago-and it's time for the rest of the industry to scramble again to catch up.
For everyone else, the iPad 2 is a triumph, an iPad that's even more iPad than the original. And the original one was really good. The first iPad was a bolt from the blue, a device that defined an entire category, and a tough act to follow. The iPad 2 follows it with aplomb.
For more Macintosh computing news, visit Macworld. Story copyright © 2011 Mac Publishing LLC. All rights reserved.