Sunday, March 31, 2013

iMore Editors' Choice: Magicka, Pok�mon TV, Llumino, and more

iMore Editors' Choice: Magicka, Pok�mon TV, Llumino, and more

Every week, the editors and writers at iMore carefully select some of our favorite, most useful, most extraordinary apps, accessories, gadgets, and websites. This week's selections include a few games, a Mac app for developers, a companion app for Apple TV, a calculator, and an app for Pok�mon fans.

Kami Retro - Chris Oldroyd

This week, as it?s my final ever Pick of the Week, I have gone for a fun retro game. Kami Retro is a hugely entertaining platform game with vivid colors awesome music and fun game play.

The game combines the normal platform type running and jumping with a line drawing strategy that keeps the game interesting as well as challenging. The game reminds me a bit of Mario but it is also very different too.

If you fancy a game with 8 bit graphics mixed in with some classic platform type entertainment then Kami Reto may be right up your street. For the forty something audience among us, this game is sure to hit the spot and bring that old school gaming feel to your iPhone.

Magicka - Joseph Keller

Magicka is fun fantasy-action game with a sense of humor. The game sees you take control of a Master Wizard battling against monsters out of Norse mythology. This take on the original Magicka, released for PC in 2011, keeps the spellcasting and four-player co-op of the original. Gameplay consists of casting spells of various type, such as fire, lightning, water, and ice. These spells can be combined to form more powerful spells. For instance, hitting fire once, then lightning twice, then fire once again produces a very powerful thunderbolt. You can buy a new staff or robe for your wizard using coins that you earn from completing levels. You can enter multiplayer mode with three other players through Paradox?s own multiplayer system, rather than Game Center. If you?re looking for a solid action game with a sense of humor, check Magicka for iPad out.

Deploymate for Xcode - Rene Ritchie

Allow me to hand this pick of the week over to Luc Vandal of Edovia for a moment:

Any developer serious about his work is using Deploymate.

And now a word from Jury, former developer evangelist at Apple:

At $19.99, Deploymate is an absolute steal. It would be money well spent at 5 times that price. Think about it. Is $20, $40, or even $100 worth it to you to avoid a failed launch or being at the mercy of an expedited app review? I'm pretty sure it is.

Here's why: There are multiple generations of iOS devices out there, not all of which are compatible with the latest version of iOS. Instead of accidentally using a new API when targeting an older device or OS version, and risking bugs, crashes, or rejection by Apple, Deploymate will ingest your code and spit out warning flags for anything problematic. You fix it in Xcode, run it through Deploymate again, repeat until clean, and then submit to the App Store.

There's even a free demo.

Remote - Ally Kazmucha

If there is one product that Apple released that I absolutely detest, it's the stupid little silver remotes that came with Macs for the longest time and that still come standard with Apple TV. They get lost easily in couch cushions, underneath beds, and anywhere else they make their way to. I can't tell you how many times while watching the Apple TV in bed, it's gotten tangled in sheets or under blankets making it impossible to find without ripping apart the entire bed, even for a ninja.

That being said, there are numerous times that if I don't see that stupid little remote immediately, I reach for my iPhone or iPad and launch the remote app. Not only can it control one Apple TV, but all the ones we own in our home. I can change tracks on the living room TV from any room, anytime. Not to mention entering text with the physical remote is painful. The virtual Remote app makes it a breeze when searching for media and browsing YouTube or Hulu.

If you own an Apple TV, it's a must have.

Pok�mon TV - Chris Parsons

If you happened to grow up in the 90's then you no doubt have heard of Pok�mon. Many years after their first appearance in 1996, people are still crazy over Pok�mon and that's moved through several generations now as new fans are tuned into Pok�mon. My 9-year-old son loves the cartoons and that brings me to my choice for this week. Pok�mon TV is free to download, powered by the Cartoon Network and it allows you to view full length Pok�mon episodes plus, it also contains some video content not found elsewhere. If you're a Pok�mon fan or have kids who enjoy Pok�mon, this is a simple pick.

Llumino - Leanna Lofte

I'm a mathematician and love bright, colorful things, so it's only natural that I adore the new iPhone calculator Llumino. This gorgeous piece of software is basic calculator with style. It features 6 button effects and three color schemes that make your eyes dance when making simple calculations. You can also create your own color schemes to make this calculator fit you and your style.

Not only are the button effects and colors a lot of fun, but so are the subtle movements in the display. As you make calculations, the digits slide into place, fade out of view, and just emanate elegance and style. For example, when hitting the percent button, the decimal point stays visible as it slides two places to the left.

Llumino may not be a full-feature scientific or graphing calculator, but since most of the calculations I need to do in everyday life are basic, Llumino is the prefect replacement for Apple's built-in Calculator.

Your choice?

Now that we've chosen our favorites for the week, we want to hear yours! Did you pick up a killer app, accessory, or game this week? Let us know in the comments below!



Unexploded Cow by James Ernest and Paul Peterson

Unexploded Cow by James Ernest and Paul Peterson
Mad cow disease in Britain and old bombs in French fields? What to do? What to do? Oh, I know!



Google Introduces ?Gmail Blue? - It's Completely Blue, Because Brown Was a ?Disaster?

Screenshot_3_31_13_7_39_PMThe Google April Fool’s train continues with the announcement of “Gmail Blue.” Yes, it’s a version of Google’s email service where everything is the color blue. The YouTube one from earlier was OK, and the Nose one was just so-so, but I’d actually use this product if it existed, especially since it took six years to “develop the technology.” Can you imagine something like this actually happening? Some people flipped out about the new compose screen becoming the default, so they’d lose their mind if Google changed all of the colors in the email service. The video is pretty damn hilarious and worth checking out: I can’t help but wonder if this is a not-so-subtle poke at Facebook, which of course is well-known for having the color blue all over the place within its apps and site. Regardless, hearing Googlers make fun of themselves and their “moonshots” was enjoyable. Get ready for more April 1st funnery, and the rest of the Internet, tomorrow.



Gadgets Week In Review: Parts

1402Here are some stories from the past week on TechCrunch Gadgets: Okay HP, Let?s Make Some Lemonade Review: Brite-Strike Rugged Flashlights The Vibram Trek LS And Bormio: Ugly, Crazy Monkey Shoes Get Even Crazier Giant Gundam Robot Statue Returns To Tokyo ? In Parts Kickstarter Project Empowers Students, Plays The Mario Theme With Plasma



Survey: Drivers Texting Like Crazy

Nearly half of the commuters surveyed in a poll released Thursday admitted to texting or emailing while driving. Forty-nine percent of commuters reported engaging in unsafe distracted driving activities in a survey funded by AT&T and conducted by ResearchNow. "These studies do raise awareness, so no one forgets this is an issue," said Roger Lanctot, an associate director at Strategy Analytics.



GeekDad Exclusive! | Apocalypto ? Excerpt From Douglas Rushkoff?s Present Shock

GeekDad Exclusive! | Apocalypto ? Excerpt From Douglas Rushkoff’s Present Shock
Last week, I reviewed Douglas Rushkoff's excellent new book Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. This week, GeekDad is excited to present 5 exclusive excerpts from the book.



Balance is a challenging mouse-based physics game

Years of computer use have taught us that the mouse cursor is "above" the windows. It doesn't push anything around; at least not without you clicking anything.

Balance takes that ingrained bit of knowledge and cancels it out. Suddenly your cursor (a blue dot) is solid - and if it touches the blue block, it pushes it around.

Your job is to use your cursor to nudge the blue block over to the orange block. You will have to push it, lift it and even flip it on its side, and then balance it. It's a very tricky game - one I wouldn't recommend tackling with a laptop trackpad.

Still, if you have a mouse and a hankering for a little physics gameplay, this is a cute little game. I like how the blue block never stops smiling, it makes me feel better about the world.

Balance is a challenging mouse-based physics game originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 10 Mar 2011 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Let it Slide is an engaging, difficult puzzle game

I have a thing for physics games, and I've been known to post the occasional platformer or action game here and there. But Let it Slide is one of the brainiest games I've posted to date.

The idea is very simple, and far from original: You get a board with pieces arranged in a particular pattern; you have to slide those around until you get the special piece into its target location.

It's not even about finding out where the target location is - you can just hover over "dim tiles" and instantly see where you're supposed to bring the special piece. But getting it there is a whole different story.

There are five tutorial levels, which I strongly recommend you do. Then there are twenty "beginner" levels, but that's really a misnomer. If those are the beginner levels, I don't want to know what the intermediate and advanced levels look like!

Every time you finish a level you get a score based on how many clicks it took you - each level has a "par" (the minimum number of clicks it could be completed in), and your performance is compared to that gold standard. Because it's such a brainy game, getting it right is quite satisfying. I was downright proud of myself when I managed to finish a few levels. All in all, quite recommended, especially if you've got a few minutes of quiet. It might actually help you focus better later on.

Let it Slide is an engaging, difficult puzzle game originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 23 Feb 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Video Game Circle Game: What's Old Must Be New Again

The video game industry has been suffering one of its most notable slumps in recent years. Sales in February were down compared with the same period a year ago. March's numbers have yet to be released, but they will likely reflect some improvement, as a handful of high-profile titles have arrived. These potential blockbusters don't seem all that different but they could offer enough of a twist to get gamers interested.



PBS shows how hacking is reclaiming its good name after a bad rap (video)

PBS explains how hacking got a bad rap and is reclaiming its good name video

Hacking is still a loaded concept for many, often conjuring negative images of corporate espionage, fraudsters and prank-minded script kiddies. PBS' Off Book wants to remind us that hacking wasn't always seen this way -- and, thanks to modern developments, is mending its reputation. Its latest episode shows that hacking began simply as a desire to advance devices and software beyond their original roles, but was co-opted by a sometimes misunderstanding press that associated the word only with malicious intrusions. Today, hacking has regained more of its original meaning: hackathons, a resurgence of DIY culture and digital protests prove that hacks can improve our gadgets, our security and even our political landscape. We still have a long way to go before we completely escape movie stereotypes, but the mini-documentary may offer food for thought the next time you're installing a custom ROM or building your own VR helmet.

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Flaw leaves servers vulnerable to denial-of-service attacks

A flaw in the widely used BIND DNS (Domain Name System) software can be exploited by remote attackers to crash DNS servers and affect the operation of other programs running on the same machines.

The flaw stems from the way regular expressions are processed by the libdns library that's part of the BIND software distribution. BIND versions 9.7.x, 9.8.0 up to 9.8.5b1 and 9.9.0 up to 9.9.3b1 for UNIX-like systems are vulnerable, according to a security advisory published Tuesday by the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC), a nonprofit corporation that develops and maintains the software. The Windows versions of BIND are not affected.

BIND is by far the most widely used DNS server software on the Internet. It is the de facto standard DNS software for many UNIX-like systems, including Linux, Solaris, various BSD variants and Mac OS X.

Attack can crash servers

The vulnerability can be exploited by sending specifically crafted requests to vulnerable installations of BIND that would cause the DNS server process?the name daemon, known as "named"?to consume excessive memory resources. This can result in the DNS server process crashing and the operation of other programs being severely affected.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here



Developer Freedom At Stake As Oracle Clings To Java API Copyrights In Google Fight

Java_logoEditor's note: Sacha�Labourey is CEO and Steven G. Harris is senior vice president of products for CloudBees. APIs exist for a reason: They act as the communication channel, the lingua franca, the boundary, between the provider of the implementation and users of that implementation -- developers. Will our economy thrive and be more competitive because companies can easily switch from one service provider to the other by leveraging identical APIs?



Firefox 4 rockets to 5% global usage share, IE9 wallows at 1.5%

Firefox 4 usage share graph
Using some early numbers from both StatCounter and Net Applications, Mozilla's noisiest hominid, Asa Dotzler, has illustrated Firefox 4's meteoric rise to around 5% of Web browser global usage share. Internet Explorer 9, which launched two weeks ago, seems to be enjoying a much more casual stroll in the park with just 1.5% of the global Web usage share.

Interestingly, we can see IE9 dipping between March 20 and 21, just before the 'Important' Windows Update rolled out. It's hard to say whether IE9 is only growing because of the installed-by-default Windows Update, but that small dip definitely sticks out -- did excitement peter out? Did people download IE9, try it out, and summarily uninstall it? Perhaps, given their close proximity, the stats show an attention shift from Microsoft to Mozilla?

Numbers-wise, if the bottom left corner of the graph shows 2.3 million downloads for IE9, we can guesstimate that that it has now been downloaded 5 million times. Firefox is clocking in at 37 million downloads after five days of public availability.

We wonder whether Microsoft knew its release schedule would coincide so closely with Firefox 4. Internet Explorer 9 -- a great browser by almost every metric -- was never going to do well against anything emanating from the maws of Mozilla. The main thing, though, is that Microsoft has now shown that it's serious when it comes to the Open Web. If Internet Explorer 10 is good, and 11 and 12, then we might finally see it compete with the zealous Mozillan horde.

Firefox 4 rockets to 5% global usage share, IE9 wallows at 1.5% originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 28 Mar 2011 05:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nextdoor Hits 10K Neighborhoods, Gets Me To Stop Running At Night

lost catAfter I had been running at night for more than a decade, a relatively under-the-radar startup called Nextdoor got me to start running during the day. Almost nobody likes to exercise, and for many, overcoming the motivational hump of putting on your shoes and gym clothes can be trying on even the best of days. One evening late in January I had finally overcome this initial barrier to entry, and was just about to stop blogging to do my usual 30-minute nightly sprint when I got the email. “Woman robbed at gunpoint in Dogpatch, San Francisco” the subject line screamed. Unlike many of the emails I constantly receive, this was highly relevant to me, especially because, upon further inspection, the robbery had happened one block from my house. Until this email, I hadn’t given too much thought to Nextdoor , a service that I signed up for at the Allen & Co conference last summer, where co-founder Nirav Tolia had given a talk about the local social network. The company started out as Fanbase in 2009, and was an attempt to create a user-generated content version of ESPN. Founders Tolia and Sarah Leary decided to pivot around May of 2010, and spent the next four to five months testing out different ideas. Fanbase officially pivoted to Nextdoor in September of 2010, starting out its pilot in Lorelei, a neighborhood in Menlo Park. Now a Facebook for your neighborhood, about half the Fanbase funding ended up carrying over, and Tolia and Leary ended up raising an additional $40.2 million for the new Nextdoor product. Initially enthusiastic, I had also invited my neighbors to use the platform, which had resulted in a de facto neighborhood support group (including the services of a pet psychic) when their adventurous cat Kiki went missing. I wrote a post about it for TechCrunch and then sort of forgot about it, rarely logging on to peruse the listings of free stuff and garage sales. Well I was certainly giving the service some thought now: “What if I had been that woman who was robbed?”"What if I had ventured out of my house just 15 minutes earlier?” I was still in my gym clothes, after so much effort, and feeling antsy from my day of work. Worse, I was now worried about a random stranger I had only heard about through the Internet, and I still needed a



Deadwood Studios Kickstarter Ends Next Week

The Deadwood Studios USA Kickstarter campaign wraps up next week and James Ernest has an offer for his backers to help him meet his stretch goals.



Strategies For VCs To Increase Startup Success Odds

TetenEditor?s note: David Teten is a partner with�ff Venture Capital�and founder and chairman of�Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York.. Lots of venture capitalists claim to add value to the companies in which they invest. But how do they do it?� And does it really produce better returns for their investors? We recently wrapped up a study on best practices of venture capitalists in creating portfolio company value through operational support, exploring exactly these questions.



Google applies for patent to tie weather and location data to camera settings

Patent application

Could Google use your location data to make you a better photographer? This patent application shows someone in Mountain View thinks so.

Google has filed for a patent that would adjust camera settings for optimal performance based on GPS coordinates and the current weather conditions.  Depending on where you are, and what the weather might be like if it's determined that you're outdoors, settings like white balance, ISO, exposure value and all those other camera settings most people never touch can be tweaked using the data collected. This means that the settings of the camera can be adjusted on-the-fly for the perfect shot.

We have no idea if Google will ever use this one, or if it's even a worthwhile feature, but Senior VP of engineering Vic Gundotra did promise making Nexus phones with "insanely great cameras".  And while we're over patents and the never-ending war that seems to go along with them, this one was too cool to not talk about.

Source: USPTO; via Engadget



Street View Creeps Through Post-Tsunami Japanese Ghost Town

Google Street View has had its share of intrepid adventures -- Antarctica, say, or Everest Base Camp. However, the Google Maps service has a sober side, too. Street View just unveiled startling images of Namie, a Japanese town firmly planted inside the evacuation zone described in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.



Google Chrome and Chromium add protection against malicious downloads

google chrome malicious download
Google Chrome already sports a number of security-minded features, from Incognito mode to a software sandbox which makes exploiting the browser a Herculean task. Now, Google has announced additional protection for Chromium and Chrome users.

Built upon the Safe Browsing API, the new feature introduces protection against malicious downloads. If a download link appears in the Safe Browsing blacklist, Chrome and Chromium will warn users against downloading -- a save button is still presented, of course, in case you're convinced a file is perfectly safe to download.

We'd like to see something a bit more eye-catching than the red warning icon -- like perhaps painting the entire bar red. Many of the people a feature like this aims to protect probably won't notice the icon or change in wording as they'll be focused on clicking the save button.

Google is initially making download protection available to Chrome dev channel users, and you'll likely see it in Canary and Chromium snapshot builds as well. After thorough testing, beta and stable users will be next in line.

Google Chrome and Chromium add protection against malicious downloads originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Panasonic explains how its color splitter sensor works in a vividly detailed video

Video explains how Panasonic's color splitter sensor works in microscopic detail

You'd be forgiven if you weren't entirely on the same page with Panasonic regarding its micro color splitter sensor: it's a big break from the traditional Bayer filter approach on digital cameras, and the deluge of text doesn't do much to simplify the concept. Much to our relief, DigInfo TV has grilled Panasonic in a video that provides a more easily digestible (if still deep) interpretation. As the technology's creator says, it's all about the math. To let in so much light through the splitters requires processing the light in four mixed colors, and that processing requires studying the light's behavior in 3D. Panasonic's new method (Babinet-BPM) makes that feasible by finishing tasks 325 times faster than usual, all while chewing up just a 16th of the memory. The company isn't much closer to having production examples, but it's clarifying that future development will be specialized -- it wants to fine-tune the splitter behavior for everything from smartphone cameras through to security systems. Catch the full outline after the break.

Filed under:


Via: GSM Arena

Source: DigInfo TV



8 Random Celebrities Who Are Getting Google Glass

When Google started its Glass-giving spree, it picked out some odd picks. It got so bad that some of those offers got pulled. But you can bet these celebrity winners will get their copies. More »



Gladinet maps Amazon Cloud Drive to your Windows desktop

amazon cloud drive
Amazon's recently-introduced Cloud Drive is a great place to store your files online. It offers 5 gigs of totally free space, and U.S. users also get access to the handy Cloud Player app (for Web and Android!) which streams music you upload to your Cloud Drive.

The service could be a little easier to use, however. Until Amazon releases a desktop client, Windows users might want to take another look at Gladinet. The multi-service cloud connector has now added Amazon Cloud Drive support and will let you map a network drive letter to your account with minimal fuss.

Once you've added your credentials to Gladinet, just pick the letter you want to assign to the drive and you're good to go. You can then copy files to and from your Cloud Drive, rename items, and manage folders like you would any local hard drive in your system.

The only downside is that the free version of Gladinet gives you a limited number of cloud interactions. Once you use those up, you'll need to upgrade to the paid version, which costs $49.99. If you work with a number of cloud-based storage providers, however, it could be well worth the price tag.

Gladinet maps Amazon Cloud Drive to your Windows desktop originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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8 Random Celebrities Who Are Getting Google Glass

When Google started its Glass-giving spree, it picked out some odd picks. It got so bad that some of those offers got pulled. But you can bet these celebrity winners will get their copies. More »



Saturday, March 30, 2013

IE9 and Firefox 4 post top marks in Web browser power use comparison

Over on the Internet Explorer Blog, Microsoft has posted results from an extensive comparison of the top five Web browsers. The goal: to determine whether Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 4, Chrome 10, Safari 5, or Opera 11 is able to squeeze the most life out of your laptop's battery.

A baseline was determined with test systems sitting idle, and then browsers were pointed at about:blank, a news site, the HTML5 Galactic demo, and the IE9 fish tank demo. Perhaps unsurprisingly, IE9 came out on top -- though Firefox 4 was a very close second on nearly every test. As you can see, the other browsers didn't necessarily fare quite as well, with Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera all posting significantly worse scores. In Opera 11's case, a laptop battery would last over one hour more with Internet Explorer 9 installed.

But what we'd really like to know is where did Microsoft find the dilithium crystals required to run a Galactic Total Power Consumption test...

IE9 and Firefox 4 post top marks in Web browser power use comparison originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 07:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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This Week's Top Comedy Video: Chris Brown's Publicist

The life of a hotshot Hollywood publicist isn't one you'd envy under the best of circumstances. But the guy who has to cover Chris Brown's back? That's some kind of martyr. More »



Big Data Could Cripple Facebook

kredstreetSo there's this startup called SmogFarm, which does big-data sentiment analysis, "pulse of the planet" stuff. I spotted them last year, and now they've got an actual product with an actual business model up and running in private beta: KredStreet, "The Social Stock Trader Rankings," which performs sentiment analysis on StockTwits data and a sampling of the Twitter firehose to determine traders' overall bullish/bearish feeling. They also compare reality against past sentiment to score and rank traders based on their accuracy, which is more interesting. It's a first iteration, but it looks pretty nifty, and I like the idea of a ranking system wherein unknowns can leave high-profile loudmouths in their dust by virtue of simply being right more often. Even if I feel slightly uneasy when I imagine such a system being applied to, say, tech bloggers. Actually being held accountable for what I've written in the past? Doesn't that just seem terribly wrong?



Gillmor Gang: Spring Training

gillmor-gang-test-pattern_excerptThe Gillmor Gang ? Doc Searls, Robert Scoble, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor ? takes turns sizing up the new season. With Steve Ballmer running out of room and close to the warning track, we talk about who might be called up from the minors. Dave Winer is back with a nifty pivot on Google Reader's trip to the showers. More than anything, Winer made the hard stuff look easy and gave the tech generation a voice.