Donut County launches tomorrow for iOS, macOS, Steam, and Playstation 4. I’ve had the chance to play it a bit on my Mac, and it’s a fun game. Raccoons have taken over Donut County by using remote-controlled holes that they use to steal trash. The main character is BK, who uses a hole to capture his friends and their homes to win prizes. But he ends up falling into his own hole accidentally, where he is confronted by the residents. It’s a physics-based puzzle game. You can explore peoples’ homes, each with its own environment. You move the hole to swallow their stuff, which keeps getting bigger. You can combine objects inside the hole for special effects, like bunny breeding (yeah a little odd). You can also launch things back out of the hole, to solve puzzles or destroy stuff. Basically, the goal is to swallow up everything in Donut County. Mac App Store: US$12.99. App Store: US$4.99
The devastating floods in Kerala left a million people at least temporarily homeless, and 445 dead with more bodies being discovered. Over 50,000 houses were destroyed, and more than 6,200 miles of roads have been lost. Apple donated US$1 million to the relief fund, and you can help out, too. Apple added Mercy Corps donation buttons to the iTunes Store ranging from US$5 to $200. Like other relief funds Apple has supported, 100% of the money goes to the charity—Apple doesn’t take its usual 30% cut.
Krome Photos is a new app that sets itself apart from other photo editors. It’s a service where you send your photos to trained editors who edit your photo for you. Krome editors can improve color, merge multiple photos, change the background, add a person or create a whole new image. They also offer one free re-edit with every order. There are three order options ranging from US$3 to US$12. Your first design is discounted. Popular edit requests include changing the background and color, skin corrections, adding/removing people, adding props or a logo, combining multiple images (up to 4) into one, and fixing, restoring, and repairing a photo.
The iPhone, iPad, and Mac device management tool Jamf Now just gained two new features: package (.PKG) file deployment for the Mac, and custom iOS app deployment. That’ll be handy for companies needing to push apps that aren’t available through Apple’s own App Stores to devices. Jamf Now also lets you manage device serial numbers and OS versions, settings, and more. The service is free for up to three devices, and US$2 a month for additional devices.
Check out this oldy-but-an-awfully-goody called Resonant Chamber from Animusic. It’s a virtual stringed instrument that’s part Dr. Seuss contraption and part SciFi nightmare of a beautiful, articulated monster coming to get you. Wait, is that just me? In any event, according to the IG post where I saw it this weekend, the music was created for the virtual instrument after the virtual instrument was designed. The whole thing is amazing, delightful, and semi-surreal. It’s also hypnotic to watch, and I find myself isolating which notes I am hearing are matched to which movements I am seeing. Hopefully you think it’s cool, too.
Check out this crazy, this stupidly cool door. It was created by one Warwick Turvey, who is, of course, an Aussie, because [Oz]. And yeah, sure, it has a hole in the door where the handle is, but who cares?!? That’s how cool it is! According to various sources who have mentioned Mr. Turvey’s work, he was inspired by video games. This YouTube incarnation of the video mentions unnamed art as an inspiration, too. All I want to know is how it’s possible that EVERY door doesn’t work this way now that we’ve seen it done!
It’s now possible to download Windows 95 on your Mac right now, as an app. You can run it on macOS, Windows, and Linux. Slack developer Felix Rieseberg has created the electron app, and published the source code and app installers on Github. Apps like Wordpad, MS Pain, and Minesweeper all run just fine, like they would on the actual operating system. However, it seems like Internet Explorer can’t load web pages. The app is 129MB and only uses about 200MB of RAM, even if you’re running it with multiple apps and programs running. If you run into problems, you can reset Windows 95 inside the app and start over.
Twelve South just expanded its PlugBug lineup with the new PlugBug Duo. It’s a replacement for the outlet plug on your MacBook and MacBook Pro MagSafe or USB C charger that includes two USB-A ports for powering up other devices like your iPhone and iPad. The USB ports offer 12 W for charging, and the PlugBug includes five adapters so you can use it in more than 150 countries. The PlugBug Duo is available on the Twelve South website for US$49.99.
Traditional methods to estimate power/energy usage of the processor has always been a cumbersome task that included special purpose tools or instrumentation on the platform along with third party equipment. Intel Power Gadget is supported on Windows and macOS and includes an application, driver, and libraries to monitor and estimate real-time processor package power information in watts using the energy counters in the processor. In version 3.0 there are more features that include estimation of power on multi-socket systems as well as externally callable APIs to extract power information within sections of code.
LEGO just unveiled its Betrayal at Cloud City Master Builder Series kit that looks flat-out awesome. The kit includes 2,812 pieces and 18 mini figures such as Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Lando Calrissian, Darth Vader, and more. The set packs in the lounge and dining rooms, carbon freezing chamber, sensor balcony, interrogation room, garbage processing room, landing platform, and more. It also includes a twin-pod cloud car and Slave 1 with Boba Fett. The Betrayal at Cloud City kit costs US$349.99 and will be available on October 1st.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has donated some 23,215 shares of Apple stock to an unnamed charity, according to an SEC filing uncovered by BusinessInsider. Shares of $AAPL closed at 215.04 on Tuesday, making the value of this donation worth some $4.99 million dollars today. Of course, that value will change over time, and the dividend for those shares will earn the charity $16,947 every quarter. That’s a gift of $67,788 per year that keeps on giving, and it could grow if Apple continues to increase that dividend. In other words, it’s a princely gift from a man who has already promised to give away all his wealth (after providing for the education of his young nephew).
Plugo is an immersive AR STEM gaming system for kids, and right now it’s a Kickstarter project. Plugo comes with four gaming kits: Quest, Count, Link, and Steer. Designed for kids between the ages of 5 and 11 years, each kit comes with many exciting educational games that are conceptualized to make your child learn, play and have fun—all at the same time. The gamepad is compatible with multiple iOS and Android (Samsung) tablets and smartphones, iPad, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and more. No wires, no electronics or additional hardware; the gaming system requires minimum effort to set-up and play. The project has met its goal of US$25,000. Rewards start at US$35 and the estimated delivery is March 2019.
Dark Sky was just updated to version 6.0 and it’s the biggest update in years. It has been in development for over a year, incorporating user suggestions and the developers’ own experience gained over the years. On the blog they share that it’s the first major app version build by their new app team: Todd on iOS and Cailee on Android. The iOS app has been completely rewritten to make it more stable and responsive. The biggest change is the unified timeline. Current conditions and various forecasts are available in a single view, so you can find the forecast you need faster. You can also now save weather locations to see the weather in multiple places. App Store: Dark Sky – US$3.99
Signify just announced two new additions to its Philips Hue smart light family: Philips Play and Philips Signe. Both are light strip-style lamps that add colored accent light to your rooms by trowing light on the walls. The Play sits on tables or TV stands, and the Signe sits on the floor and are designed to look good in places where the Philips Lightstrip isn’t a good fit. The Play will be available in October for US$69.95, or $129.95 for a two-pack. The Signe will be available in September for $169.99 or $269.99 for a two-pack.
In 2005, scientists confirmed that dry spaghetti noodles never break cleanly in half. Instead they tend to split into three or more pieces. If you’ve ever cooked spaghetti you’re probably familiar with having little bits explode all over the kitchen. But it turns out that there is a way to break spaghetti cleanly in half. Famous physicist Richard Feynman once spent a night with a friend snapping pasta to figure out what was happening. He never solved it, but it inspired French researchers to try, which earned them a 2006 igNobel prize. The secret? Twist the noodles hard like you’re wringing out a washcloth. To understand why, they used a high speed camera that recorded the shattering pasta at a million frames per second. The twist prevented the two bent strands flexing back quite as forcefully as an untwisted strand, and the untwisting motion released some of the stored energy in the spaghetti, further reducing the likelihood of a second fracture.
The music world lost a pillar with the passing of Aretha Franklin. She was suffering from pancreatic cancer, as did Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. To commemorate her life Apple has several playlists on Apple Music celebrating her powerful contributions to soul, jazz, R&B, blues, and funk. Aretha’s influence crossed musical genres and that won’t likely change even though she’s gone. You can check out her Apple Music playlists in the Music app on your iPhone or iPad, or under the Browse tab in iTunes music section.
Apple’s new campus is pretty impressive, and even things like opening the cafeteria doors is something worth watching. In this case, it’s because the doors are multi-story tall glass panels that slide out of the way to expose the dining area to nature. Apple CEO Tim Cook shared a GIF on Twitter showing the doors in action. Check it out!
Lunchtime at Apple Park just got a whole lot more exciting 👀 pic.twitter.com/GJFcOsIB4C
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 16, 2018
Last year, YouPorn Foresights used AI to predict what the most popular search terms would be in porn. This year the company did something similar. The data science and machine learning teams trained a recurrent neural network to look at the current most popular performer names, and have now created what science has predicted that the next generation of stars will call themselves. There are 69 names, both male and female, and the results are hilarious. As you would expect from AI, the names sound weird and goofy. My favorite names from the list are Man Master, Al Gorr (obviously my future kid), Summer Sax, and Paris Buttomina. It’s a safe-for-work list that you can check out here.
The iMac is 20 years old, and it’s the computer that started Apple down the path to become the first company with a trillion dollar market cap. Then interim CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the first iMac on stage in May 1998, and the all-in-one computer shipped on August 15th. That computer shipped with a 233 MHz G3 processor, Mac OS 8.1, a 4 GB hard drive, and was the first Mac with USB. Check out Steve unveiling the original Bondi Blue iMac.
This is from 2016, but I just found it. It’s an article at Futurism about a Sony patent for a contact lens than can record video. Think Google Glass, but imperceptible to strangers. Unless the stranger is a Terminator. I don’t recall seeing anything about this since, and, of course, a patent is always easier than profitable mass production. But it does suggest enormous possibilities. I’ll keep an eye on this technology.