Today Apple announced the latest iteration(s) of the iPhone - an embiggened iPhone 6 and the positively titanic iPhone 6 Plus, as well as the long-rumored Apple Watch. But perhaps the biggest news went under the radar - the company's iconic iPod (lately rebranded the iPod Classic), which famously reversed the company's years of decline and launched the era of digital music, has finally been put out to pasture.
Godville is a text-based "massively-multiplayer zero-player game" in which you play a god with rather tenuous control over a hero. Changes to the game, including quests and items, are crowd-sourced and voted on by the community The game is playable in browser and via Android and iOS apps. Official game wiki.
The iEconomy: Apple and Technology Manufacturing. Since January, the New York Times has been running a series of articles "examining the challenges posed by increasingly globalized high-tech industries," with a focus on Apple's business practices. The seventh article in the series was published today: In Technology Wars, Using the Patent as a Sword. Related: For Software, Cracks in the Patent System and Fighters in the Patent War. [more inside]
Sixth grader codes iOS apps, gives TED talks, and - generally - makes me feel like I've been lazy my entire life.
Walter Isaacson, author of a just-released authorized biography of Steve Jobs, talks to Steve Croft of 60 Minutes [single-page view] about his brilliant, mercurial, often difficult subject.
You are in a warm, dark, comfortable place. This has been your place since you became aware that you are alive. It's almost time to enter a different world now. In 1986, Activision published a roleplaying computer game called Alter Ego. Unlike the action and fantasy titles that ruled the day, this game simulated the course of a single ordinary life. Beginning at birth, players navigated a series of vignettes: learning to crawl, reacting to strangers, getting a first haircut. The outcome of each scenario subtly influenced one's path, and with every choice players slowly progressed through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Graphically minimalist -- one's lifestream is represented by simple icons, and the scenarios are all text -- the game was nevertheless engaging, describing the world in a playful, good-natured tone tinged by darkness and melancholy. And it had quite a pedigree; developer and psychology PhD Peter Favaro interviewed hundreds of people on their most memorable life experiences to generate the game's 1,200 pages of material. Unfortunately for Dr. Favaro, the game didn't sell very well. But it lives on through the web -- PlayAlterEgo.com offers a full copy of the game free to play in your browser, and the same port is available as a $5 app for iPhone and Android. More: Port discussion group - Wishlist - Vintage review - Original game manual (text or scans)
A movie theater experience absolutely anywhere! Take it on a long commute, on the plane, or even on a camping trip.
What if our beloved modern devices had been invented in the past? Say around 1977? Introducing the Pocket Hi-Fi, The Laptron 64, MobileVoxx, and the Microcode 3000!
Amazon's Kindle 2 was debuted on Monday at the Morgan Library (as speculated), where Stephen King read (and read) from his kindle-exclusive story. If you couldn't be there, read some live-blogging accounts. The interface and refresh rate is improved, now features text-to-speach (which upse the Author's Guild, who claim this feature is "an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.") But Kindle isn't the only the only e-book device. Going farther from the more book-shaped e-readers, you can read ebooks on iPhones or iPods (the latter has a DIY option), Gameboy Advances, or even the Mattel's Juice Box.
Bob Lefsetz has been sharing his opinions on the music industry for years. In last night's newsletter, he announces, "Let the games begin!" - and indeed, let them. Universal Music has declined to re-sign to a long term deal with Apple, essentially leaving them open to exclusive deals with other services. The fact that Doug Morris (chairman of UMG) and Zach Horowitz (President of Universal's parent company, Vivendi) have been gearing up to loosen the stranglehold that iTunes has on online distribution is not exactly news. They've used similar tactics against Microsoft's Zune and YouTube. But with the release of the iPhone and following his well-timed decision to openly "share his thoughts" on DRM, not to mention his landmark deal with (perennial "armpit of the industry") EMI to sell their music DRM-free and at a higher cost - the real question is: is Steve Jobs ready to play hardball?
"The difference between BJ and AJ, Before and After Jobs, is not the process," [Don Norman] continues. "It is the person. Never before did Apple have such focus and dedication. Apple used to wobble, moving this way and that. No more."