Thursday, March 31, 2011
Interlocked takes that spirit and turns it into a beautiful Flash game. It's a good thing the soundtrack is soothing, because the game itself can get pretty frustrating.
At the start of each level, you're presented with a box built out of blocks in different colors. You can click and drag the mouse to rotate the box any which way. Once you decide you want to shift a part of the box, hit SPACE to switch into "move" mode. You can then click any part of the box and drag it. Of course, you can only move a part as long as nothing is in its way. So it becomes a matter of understanding how the box is built, and what parts you need to move around so you could eventually take the box apart.
It's a tricky, difficult game, but it's a great brain teaser -- and definitely a keeper.
New and updated iPhone and iPad apps for Thursday, March 31 is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.
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You play an 8-bit cowboy whose goal on each level is to get to the door (and thus to the next level), but the door is often locked. To get it to open, you must shoot at one or more targets, and those targets aren't always in your line of sight. For example, on one level the the target is a balloon which is stuck all the way at the other end of the screen. You must first nudge it free, and then watch it float up and try to shoot it before it floats clear off the screen. Your bullets are chunky pixels that have some weight - the have arcing trajectories, so you don't always hit exactly where you aim.
There's another level where you must jump on the balloon as it floats up, use it as a platform to get to the other end of the screen, and then turn to shoot it very quickly before it flies away. Each level is very short, and most of them are quite easy. And not only are the graphics 8-bit blocky, but they're large too. Simply beautiful!
The hole will be plugged on other platforms and browsers by a new version of Flash 10.1 and 10.2 that should've been released by now.
If you've restarted Google Chrome in the last few days, you should now have the updated Flash Player. Otherwise, go ahead and restart your browser now and it will automatically update.
How to: download and change themes for SBSettings [jailbreak] is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.
TiPb - The #1 iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Blog
If you've ever read The Hacker's Diet, this graph should be instantly recognizable. Each point shows the weight for a given day, while the trend line lets you see if you're gaining or losing weight.
When I use my "main" PC, I have a homebrew solution for creating and maintaining this graph. But I've had to find a temporary solution for Android, and Libra is it.
It's a beautifully simple app, very true to the spirit of The Hacker's Diet. You can create a shortcut on your homescreen that brings you right into the data entry screen, so you just tap the shortcut every morning, feed in your weight for the day and hit OK, and then you get to see your progress (or lack thereof) on the graph.
The app remembers the previous day's weigh-in, which makes it easy to enter today's weight (as they're usually not too different). The graph is zoomable and scrollable, and most importantly, you can export the data to CSV so you're not locked into the app.
If you ever need to track your weight using an Android device for any period of time, Libra is one excellent solution.
Moving away from the beta builds, this RC is more of a stability and spit-polish release than anything else. Usability-wise, the release notes point out that there are now 150 add-ons that work with Firefox 4 for Mobile, up from 100 last month -- and there's now a Form Assistant, which should make logging into websites a lot easier, especially if you have Firefox Sync enabled.
Finally, the RC contains a link to Firefox Spark, a new badge-collecting website, which seems to be one of Firefox 4 for Android's 'launch goodies.' As far as we know, Firefox Spark will be a social game, where you share the Firefox for Android download link, collect badges, and level up. We're not sure of the exact details yet, though.
Grab Firefox 4 for Android from the Market or download the Maemo version.
They usually offer one "Deal of the Day", which is a 50% discount code for a book chosen for that one day. But just for for today, they've created a discount code -- DDJPN -- that gives you a 50% discount on their entire catalog, and they give a part of the proceeds to aid Japan relief efforts.
So far they've raised over $60,000, and the day is still young. So if you've been recently hankering after some nerdy book (or three), now would be a great time to grab one.
More preview press releases of the Jerez MotoGP round, this time from Pramac and Repsol Honda:
It gets better, too. If the update situation for Windows Phone 7 wasn't bad enough, the official blog post offers this sad-trombone style news for WP7 users: "If you have a Windows Phone 7 device, don't worry, Windows Phone 7 just announced that it will support HTML5 later this year so these updates will work great at that time."
For a look at how the new Bing mobile works on Android and iOS -- or how it might eventually work on your WP7 device -- take the jump and check out the video.
The update doesn't stop there, however. CCleaner is now better at scanning your registry for unused file extensions, obsolete software references, and invalid browser helper objects (BHOs). Cookie management has been improved with the addition of iTunes support and tweaks to CCleaner's Intelligent cookie keeper.
Application clean-up has gotten a big boost, too -- with added support for Adobe Air, Steam, Xfire, TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, Skype, AIM, Camfrog Video Chat, Miranda, Pidgin, Yahoo Messenger, FrostWire, uTorrent, iMesh, BearShare, and more.
You'll find both the CCleaner 3.05 installer and portable version on Piriform's site.
There's also an improved support process for when you need to submit feedback or bug reports to Skyfire's team of developers. User agent switching has been enhanced as well, allowing you to choose among desktop, iPad, and iPhone views of the websites you browse. Skyfire has added a 'related sites' feature, bringing a nice discovery element to the app, too.
You can find the new version of Skyfire in the App Store -- existing users can simply check for updates, of course.
Accompanying the release is the launch of Spark, a cute social game that's designed to fuel the adoption of Firefox 4 Mobile, much like last week's use of Glow and Twitter Party during Firefox 4 PC's release.
Over the next few days we'll have plenty of tips and tricks for Firefox 4 Mobile, and a list of the best add-ons available for the new browser.
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.
Of course, such a hack isn't illegal as such -- every photo you take with Color is public. With FakeLocation you are simply circumventing Color's very limited location-oriented security mechanism. It does undermine Color's usefulness (and uniqueness), though -- if nefarious types can sit in their bedroom or basement and eavesdrop on classy dinner parties and wild night club soirees, people might be less inclined to share personal photos with those around them.
Fortunately, both for Color and its users, this is an easy security hole to plug -- at least in the short term. The app (or server-side) code simply checks to see if the user has 'teleported' an impossibly large distance, without any intermediate steps in between. In the long term, though, Color's users must be aware that its social graph is completely public. Color's users must realize that every photo they upload is visible by anyone, from any place.
After the break, just to elucidate a little on Color's actual business model and ultimate intention, we have two amazing quotes from Bill Nguyen, Color's founder.
iPhone Live podcast tonight at 9pm EDT, come chat! is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.
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Yes, 13 months after the initial release of Firefox 3.7 alpha 1 and four more alpha builds, a renumbering to 4.0 and 12 beta releases, and finally a release candidate (or two), Firefox 4 has been released into the wild.
Just like every other Firefox release, initial reception for the new browser has been nothing short of insane. 7.1 million downloads were registered in the first 24 hours and the download rate continued to accelerate, clocking in more than 15 million downloads after two days. At the time of writing, three days in, Firefox 4 has been downloaded over 25 million times. In case you're wondering, the United States accounts for 7 million of those downloads, just beating out Germany's Firefox-downloads-per-capita.
But now that you've installed Firefox 4 (you have, right?), what do you do now? Well, obviously, in true Download Squad fashion, it's time to tweak Firefox 4 using add-ons and about:config hacks!
First up is an add-on called Stratiform that lets you change every aspect of the Firefox 4 browser chrome -- including the color of that orange button!
The official press release of the Repsol launch at Repsol's Puertollano plant in central Spain:
Beyond other bug and stability fixes, CrossOver 10.1 finally lets you install World of Warcraft with the Blizzard Downloader, and support for Star Trek Online's launcher has been improved a bit (but the game itself still doesn't perform fantastically).
CrossOver, if you've never heard of it before, is an emulation suite developed by CodeWeavers that lets you run many Windows programs on Mac and Linux computers. The list of supported programs is extensive, including Microsoft Office, and a ton of Windows games, such as Civilization, Fallout, EVE, Left 4 Dead, and so on.
There's a free trial available, but to get a full license of CrossOver Pro will cost you around $70 -- or $40, if you just want the CrossOver Games package. It's worth the money, though, if you don't want to play around with virtual machines and dual-booting.
Hello Expense is one mobile app that gets it right. It's an expense tracker that lets you use your Android-powered phone to quickly log the money you spend and then analyze it and see where it all went.
I recently had the chance to use it in a real-life situation - a road trip that took a few days and involved quite a few expenses. Logging each expense took seconds, and at the end of each day I could get a great overview of how much money I spent on each category so far.
Categories and tags are user-configurable; the app also sports its own number pad to make number entry easy, regardless of what keyboard you're using.
Simply pop open the Sendoid website, and use either the built-in Flash client or download the AIR desktop client to select a file to send. A short URL is generated, which you then send to the recipient. You can put a password on the URL -- but that's it, as far as configuration goes. The recipient can download the file via the website, or via the AIR client.
Being P2P-based, Sendoid has a few great features that set it apart from its central-server cousins. Sendoid has no file size limit, and your download speed is only limited by the sender's upload speed. Then there's the fact that it's a lot more secure: files are sent directly to other users and never touch Sendoid's servers.
Ultimately, though, Sendoid is hampered by peer-to-peer's (P2P) well-known and time-honored issues. If P2P was meant for sending individual files, file dumps like Megaupload and RapidShare, and tools like YouSendIt, wouldn't exist.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
For users who have less powerful phones or want to conserve data, Opera Mini 6 offers a full mobile browsing experience with tremendous bandwidth savings thanks to Opera's compression kung fu. Pinch-to-zoom support has been added, and Opera Mini can now pass YouTube video links to your device's built-in player. There are also better navigation controls.
Download Opera Mobile 11 or Opera Mini 6 for your phone or tablet.
Android users can also find Opera Mobile in the Market. iOS users, fear not: Opera promises an update for your Apple device is coming soon, too!
Gallery: Opera Mobile 11
According to CNET, Google is currently testing the service internally. Unfortunately for the rest of us, until Google works out all the licensing details with the major record labels, there's not really any chance of us being able to set up our own cloud-based music lockers on Google servers.
We know that's what the aim is -- thanks to the sync functionality in the leaked Android Music app -- but without label consent Google Music still has the whiff of vaporware.
It sure would be nice to see things finalized so that we can start synchronizing our iTunes libraries with Google Music in the cloud, though...
If you were one of the many that rushed out to grab a HTC Thunderbolt for yourself, your 14-day return policy is rapidly approaching as you probably know. We have seen some issues arise, along with some fixes, some battery life issues, and some ways to help the battery life, and at the end of the day, the experience seems different for each user. So, our forums members would love to know, will you be keeping your HTC Thunderbolt, or have you decided to wait and see what else will be coming? Be sure to hop in the forums to cast your vote and let us know why!
Thunderbolt owners: Are you keeping it? Or sending it packing? posted originally by Android Central
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