Wednesday, March 30, 2011

P90X Shoulders & Arms | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)

Staying at the Downtown Marriott in Philadelphia for the ACRL 2011 conference this week, decided to head down to the hotel gym to workout. Nice, except... one single pair of 20lb free weights to share among the faithful? Passing weights around from dude to dude was... interesting. Still got in a nice workout, though.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cisco WebEx Meetings links you to the office via your DROID

Platform: Android

RATING
5 out of 5

PRICE
FREE

TASTY
Flawlessly connects users to WebEx meetings over any connection (3G or wi-fi). Look at meeting content full-screen, pinch and zoom to get a closer look, and even integrates free VOIP audio connectivity.

BUMMER
Doesn’t make my slide decks for me prior to my virtual events. Shucks.

COOL
Beyond all the usual online business meeting accoutrements, the WebEx app also delivers on-screen live annotation and collaboration tools.

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.



I’ve attended more WebEx online meetings than I can count. Over the years, I’ve relied on the standard, solid PC/browser software client to run events, attend meetings, and all the rest. That’s why I was overjoyed when the Android version hit the Marketplace recently.

Cisco WebEx Meetings doesn’t disappoint. Just like its iOS and Blackberry counterparts, the free DROID version makes it super-easy to join WebEx webinars viewed in full-screen mode, utilize built-in (free!) VOIP for audio, or have the server call your phone to get you into the meeting.

Once in a meeting, accessing shared documents is a breeze, while viewing slide decks is a slick affair with multi-touch controls for zooming in and out (think pinch and zoom) making your phone’s small screen more than adequate to be a full participant in any event. Beyond all the usual online business meeting accoutrements, the app also delivers on-screen live annotation and collaboration tools.

Meeting leader(s) can also easily see who’s in the meeting, how they joined, and whether they’re logged in using a mobile device or PC. Android-specific tools include the ability to view upcoming meetings in a unique calendar view widget, giving you instant access to meetings from your home screen.

If you’re in charge of a full host account, the app also makes it easier to sign into your events, start, stop, and end your meetings, plus invite colleagues in your Contacts list to join any meeting, and even pass Presenter controls to anyone on a call with a touch of your screen. Of course, kicking attendees is also possible.

This bullet-proof app is a must-have for all professionals who rely on WebEx meeting technology to stay connected to the office anytime, anywhere.
P90X Plyometrics | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)

Headache is still around, but nearly gone. Made it all the way through Plyo without any issues. Sweaty goodness... JUMP! Jump!

Monday, March 28, 2011



P90X Chest & Back | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)

Got about 40 minutes into this awesome routine, maxed out a set of pull-ups, and on the last rep kind of screwed up my face and grunted as I crossed the bar... right into an instantly crazy-bad headache.

Clutched my head, drank a ton of water, put on a cold compress, and let it dissipate. Ate into my total output, no ab ripper, but no reason to push it. First time for everything. Still feeling some dull pain, but otherwise it's passed.

Spent the weekend doing some Cub Scout Leader training outdoors in the very cold Spring at Camp Campbell in Virginia, so not a lot of food or water around for that experience. Taking in tons of water and extra calories to get me back on my fitness track today.

Sunday, March 27, 2011



AirAttack HD shoots its way onto your Android device

Platform: Android

RATING
5 out of 5

PRICE
FREE

TASTY
The iOS top-down air combat shooter blasts its way onto the Android Marketplace in two installments, and not a moment too soon!

BUMMER
Requires OS 2.2. Part 1 offers three missions and two planes.

COOL
Top-quality graphics, destructible terrain, and a 1943 vibe all add up to a crazy-fun air combat arcade title.

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

If you’re new to the AirAttack family of games, then you’re in for a real treat. Fans of old-school titles like 1943 will feel right at home, piloting their plane via an overhead view, auto-firing a hail of ordinance at incoming enemies both on the ground and in the air.

AirAttack HD Parts 1 (free) and 2 ($2) combine everything you like about arcade shooters and WWII-era flight sims and takes it to the next level on your smart phone. Rich graphics, the best soundtrack of any arcade game in my library, combine with super-simple controls to offer up an addictive “use your WW II-era plane to destroy all things Nazi in the air and ground” gaming experience you won’t find anywhere else.

Dodge your enemies and their bullets and grab floating coins, stars, and upgrades to kit out your arsenal. Don’t forget to take down the ground targets to drop bombs, all while looking down on a top-to-bottom scrolling battlefield.

Part 1 will get you hooked, with the $2 to pick up Part 2 a total no-brainer. The game is easy to pick up and play, and very hard to put down. Taken together, the two apps offer up eight missions, a full compliment of 58 baddies to destroy, and tons of upgrades and special weapons that auto-equip when you fly into them along the way.

My favorite part: The eight end-of-level bosses. These crazy airships and ground targets are merciless in their attacks. You’ll need to employ your very best dodge and hide technique honed over the years of playing similar Japanese-designed shooters to survive and thrive. Be sure to try all four control schemes – relative, tilt, touch, and joypad – to get the very best gaming experience tailored to your preferences.

Move the big initial install to your SD card and prepare for an afternoon of aerial combat like you’ve never experienced on your Android device!

Saturday, March 26, 2011



Bubble Bunch for iPad leads the iPad Games of the Week

Ever play Hungry Hungry Hippos? Of course you have. Bubble Bunch for iPad brings the same frenetic, family-friendly action to your tablet, but turns the tables on those hungry mammals.

One to four players grab a corner of the screen and fire bubbles into the center of the screen, gunning for maximum color matches, collecting power-ups, and more. It’s the perfect rainy Spring day app!

Add an 8-bit, adventure game that’s super-unique, a Peggle-inspired romp featuring a flying pig, and a fresh sports title that deftly combines handball with hockey, and you’ve got yourself our set of the top iPad games for the week.

IPAD APPS REVIEWED

Bubble Bunch for iPad
The Bubble Wars will be televised. It’s multicolored bubble shooting fun that’s perfect for the whole family.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
Old school adventure game fans who dig retro 8-bit graphics will have a field day with this 100% unique offering.

Pixel Pig HD Retro Edition
Peggle fans will instantly enjoy this fresh take on removing virtual pegs, while chomping copious amounts of food, and flying through rings before plopping into the lovely mud below.

Speedball 2 Evolution Free
Get a taste of the full version of this mobile sports game, that fuses ice hockey with handball and throws in gobs of violence to keep things interesting.

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

IPAD REVIEWS

Bubble Bunch for iPad ($1.99)


If there’s a board game that’s been made into a iOS app, it’s on my iPad. That’s why my family and I were so excited to give Bubble Bunch for iPad a whirl on a recent rainy afternoon. Within a few minutes, it was clear that the visibly-worn Hungry Hungry Hippos setup would be staying in the closet for the foreseeable future. The basics: Tap your corner of the screen to sign in (or tap a second time to assign an AI player to the spot so you can play solo against the computer), then place your finger just below the colored button sticking out of your bubble gun. Move your finger around to aim, then tap to fire into the center. A mass of bubbles is waiting there. Focus on making the maximum number of color matches you can, collecting and using power-ups, and boosting your sky above your opponents. Pro tip: Bounce your shots off the walls to really stick it to the other players. With three game modes – Aquarium (go for matches), Rogue Drone (a center drone shoots back at you), and Domination (color supremacy is the goal) – Bubble Bunch is truly the perfect, family-friendly rainy Spring day app.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP ($4.99)

As a child of the 1980’s, it wasn’t hard to fall madly in geek love with Superbrothers. Here’s the perfect iPad app confection for old school adventure game fans who dig retro 8-bit graphics. You know you’re in for a treat when the app launches – an honest to goodness vinyl record spins in the center, urging you to scratch and play with the music. Throw in some headphones, and tap the Play button to begin. You’ll quickly learn than the app is masquerading as an “experimental treatment for acute soul-sickness,” challenging you to double-tap the screen to make your way through the 8-bit fantasy landscape. Taking on the role of an adventurer, you’ll meet interesting people along the way, swing your sword, interact with the environment, and become one with this unique offering. There are embedded moments in the game that can only be experienced once, and they’re deep moments to boot. Carve out 20-30 minutes, jump into a comfy chair, and live in the moment. You won’t regret it.

Pixel Pig HD Retro Edition (FREE)

Peggle, how you vex me. And it’s clear the developers of Pixel Pig are obsessed with you as well, and I mean that in a good way! In this unique take on the “peg removal” genre, you’re in control of a portly pixilated pig, whom you can launch into a game grid just as if you’re standing in front of a pinball machine. Pull the plunger, let the pig fly, and watch him work his way through the pegs. Press the Gas button to give him some gaseous green lift to score more points, touch food items to add to your score, fly through the available rings to increase your multiplier, and finally tilt your iPad to control how he lands in the mud below. The better the landing, the more bonus points you’ll earn. Of course, a litany of score goals, achievements, and medals will keep you pig-farting for many days and weeks to come. If you love the app, it’s super-easy to upgrade to the full version, sans-ads.

Speedball 2 Evolution Free (FREE)

Get a free taste of this popular newcomer, which will appeal equally to retro arcade game lovers coming of age in the 1980’s and sports game fanatics alike, with an added layer of cartoony violence and mayhem that will make any adult gamer smile. The game is simple and simply fun. Your team of footballers faces an opponent on an open field. A metallic ball is launched, and it’s your job to tackle the other team members to get it. Once you’re snatched it, head for the goal, making strategic passes and power-up picks along the way, and fling it into the net. Score! The subtle touches of grandstand food sellers shouting out there foodstuffs for sale, and some seriously retro sound effects, and you’ve got yourself a throw-back app that will keep you glued to your tablet for days to come.

Friday, March 25, 2011

P90X Legs & Back + Ab Ripper | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)


Illusia offers the perfect fusion of anime visuals and RPG action

Platform: Android

RATING
4 out of 5

PRICE
$4.99

TASTY
Zenonia fans will feel right at home in this story-rich side scrolling RPG game.

BUMMER
No free demo available. Can’t move 18MB install to SD card. Controls are touchy.

COOL
Add rush mode and mission mode to the standard story, and you’ve got yourself weeks of entertainment for less cash than a movie.

SIMILAR APPS IN THE MARKETPLACE:
Zenonia
Path of a Warrior – Imperial Blood
Dungeon Hunter
Parallel Kingdom

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

Paging all mobile RPG lovers: Illusia has arrived, and the gang at GAMEVIL has raised the bar to new heights. The perfect fusion of anime visuals and side-scrolling RPG action, Zenonia fans will feel right at home in this story-rich side scrolling title.

It’s time to strap on some virtual armor and take on the role of Hero. Aztaran and its seven stages of story mode await you. The game’s anime art style is a treat for the eye, and each battle takes on a decidedly “animated” feel (think cartoons) as you take turns attacking each other.

You’ll start with just two character choices – magic user (ranged attacked) or melee (physical fighter) – but 14 unique sub-categories mean you’ll want to carefully choose your active, buff, and passive skills. While you can’t name your character, and the avatar images are set at the start, you can apply unique armor sets and weaponry along the way.

As you ding and level up, you’ll want to immediately put your XP points into strength, intelligence, and dexterity. Be sure to keep an eye on your xp meter, as you’re likely to level up without noticing it. The quicker you allocate new points to your abilities, the less likely it is that you’ll perish.

While the game itself is a wonder to behold, the installation and initial game play experience can be off-putting. With an initial download of 18MB of content (which can’t be moved to your SD card), and more than 10 minutes of tutorial to play through, that leaves you five short minutes to play the actual game before the Android Marketplace’s refund window shuts on your tender fingers.

Do your research before you plunk down your $5, because there’s no demo to give you a taste before committing to this beast. The touch screen controls are also touchy in intense moments, and here’s hoping GAMEVIL releases a patch soon to clean up this annoyance.

Add in a rush and mission mode, and the game expands well beyond the usual RPG offerings. Zenonia lovers, grab Illusia today. You won’t regret it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011



P90X Yoga | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)



Sports Illustrated Front Row gives you unlimited access to championship sports

Platform: Android

RATING
5 out of 5

PRICE
FREE

TASTY
Just in time for March Madness, this app puts you in the thick of the basketball action with the latest photos, text, and current scores.

BUMMER
Ad supported. Doesn’t include free court-side or 50-yard-line tickets to each event.

COOL
Only care about basketball? Football? Hockey? Olympics? Choose only the photo sets you want and get them auto-streamed to your Android device.

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

Sport fans, no matter which events or leagues you enjoy most, you know Sports Illustrated writers and photographers will be there to capture all the action. The new Sports Illustrated Front Row app gives you unlimited access to this timely content, streamed right to your Android device.

Just in time for March Madness, there’s never been a better time to grab this app and revel in the eye-popping imagery, tap into the latest scores and stat updates, and full text coverage of each and every game.

My favorite navigation feature? Finger-swipe your way through the NCAA brackets, then select a specific matchup from the list. Images and other content immediately appear. It’s a slam dunk.
Once the NCAA champs are done cutting down the net and kissing the trophy, the SI team will roll on to other big sporting events spread out across our sports-loving globe.

The app makes is super-easy to get notifications of upcoming coverage, and lets you choose only those photo sets you wish to get auto-streamed to your device. (Thanks, SI, for helping us keep our Droids clean and clear of clutter.)

Front Row is your free ticket to the NCAA Basketball tourney, The Masters, NBA Playoffs, Wimbledon, U.S. Open Golf, World Series, BCS Championship, NFL Playoffs, and even the 2012 Olympics.

The design of the app is telling: Time Inc. has created a single content container that can be updated with fresh content on an event-by-event basis, obviating the need to develop multiple apps for each event and jumping through the usual hoops getting them into the smart phone marketplaces. Look for this format to drive similar, magazine-linked apps from Time Inc. in the coming months.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011



AR Missile HD turns your iPad 2 into an aperture of destruction in our Games of the Week

When I showed my wife AR Missile HD, her first reaction was: “You mean I could take a picture of an old boyfriend and then blast away at him with missles? That’s awesome!”

Given that we’ve been married for 16 years, I’m thinking she meant “current husband.” That said, this is a fresh iPad 2-only app that turns your shiny-new camera into an aperture of destruction, and it leads our Games of the Week round-up.

Add in an always-fun ragdoll physics puzzler/shooter, a pipeline puzzle app that challenges you to connect things like gasoline sources to thirsty consumers, and a full-on strategy, hex-based board game set in a post apocalyptic/cyberpunk futurescape, and you’ve got yourself a solid set of fresh titles for your Apple tablet.

APPS REVIEWED

AR Missile HD
iPad 2 owners: This augmented reality app allows you to shoot missiles at anything in your camera’s sights, then share the carnage via Twitter.

Nuclear Ragdoll for iPad
Load your cannon with ragdolls and blast away at the targets across 30 challenging levels.

Gas Tycoon 2 HD: Water World
Connect natural resources with consumers in this pipeline-laying puzzler.

Neuroshima Hex Puzzle
Strategy hex puzzler that lets you blast away at raging mutants, bloodthirsty gangs, and evil machines.

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

IPAD REVIEWS

AR Missle HD ($.99)


Smartphone users have been using their built-in cameras to augment reality (AR) for a few years now. AR apps let us find fast food locations, star clusters, live Tweeters and their Tweets, and more, just by pointing our cameras at the space around us.

Now that the iPad 2 sports a pair of cameras, it only makes sense that games would start to emerge to take advantage of AR on our new tablets.

In this instant classic, you can take a picture of anything – oppressive dictators, a broken-down car, your mother-in-law on the 9th day of her visit – and then shoot a hail of virtual missiles at the subject. The app’s AI does an excellent job of rendering “attack points” across your image, smartly locking into things like heads, sharp edges, even small animals in the frame, then letting you tap away to send up to 16 missiles at your target. The icing on the cake? You can take a picture of your most vicious attacks, then post them to your Twitter feed. TAKE THAT!

Nuclear Ragdoll for iPad ($.99)

Boasting 30 levels, an unlimited supply of hand-drawn ragdolls, real-time physics, and absolutely no time limit, Nuclear Ragdoll for iPad will have you shooting hapless, cart-wheeling avatars at various targets for days to come.

At a dollar-menu price, it’s hard to shoot any holes in this fun offering. Load your cannon with a ragdoll, drag your finger to aim and increase the power of your shot, then release to FIRE! Your avatar will hit objects and platforms as it flies across the screen, all in an effort to crash into the very large, shiny, red target. Hit the target, and its on to the next level. Miss, and it’s time to reload and re-think your trajectory. The hand-drawn levels, rendered on top of a crumpled up piece of graph paper, give the game a down-home feel that will keep you coming back for more.

Gas Tycoon 2 HD: Water World (FREE)

Our ocean is filled with any number of natural resources. Lucky for you, a ready-made set of pipeline pieces have been arrayed between each resource and any number of containers, gasoline pumps, etc. Your job is to tap each pipeline piece and container so the resource flows from the ocean floor to all destinations simultaneously.

Sound easy? On paper, sure. In reality, these extra-large play fields (over the other Gas Tycoon titles) can be frustratingly difficult to line up perfectly. But that’s what puzzle fans crave, right? You’ll spend hours working your way through this free set of puzzles, and will likely want to grab the full version to get all 10 skins of this popular series, including: Oil Tycoon, City Tycoon, Bamboo Tubes, Flying Land, RailRoad Tycoon, and more. New animations, bonuses for nailing each puzzle quickly, and the calming under-water theme is sure to please.

Neuroshima Hex Puzzle ($2.99)

It may be the end of the world, but who says you can’t go out with a bang? This strategy hex puzzler lets you blast away at raging mutants, bloodthirsty gangs, and evil machines. If you’re confused by the term “hex puzzler,” don’t worry.

Here’s the jist: You’re presented with a post-apocalyptic game field of approx. 20 hexagonal tiles. Your headquarters takes up one spot, while your enemy fills a second. It’s your job to place attack tiles on the board near your opponent, the rotate their attack points so they inflict damage (reduce the HP or hit points of other tiles.) The winner is the side who’s HQ has more HP than the enemy’s at the end of the battle. As you can imagine, there are any number of special tiles to place in very specific locations across all 100 levels of this monster, and rotating the tiles so their attack points line up perfectly is a real challenge as the levels wear on.

Plan your attacks wisely, and you’ll be the next Mad Max blazing a path beyond the Thunderdome. Take too much damage and you’ll be scavenging for food with the rest what’s left of humanity. Serious strategy puzzle fans will revel in the artwork, game play, and uniqueness of this app.


P90X Shoulders & Arms + Ab Ripper | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)

Maxing these routines this week, looking forward to a crazy-awesome July result!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

P90X Plyometrics | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)

Maxed out this hyper-cardio routine... Wow. Sweaty goodness.

Monday, March 21, 2011


P90X Chest & Back + Ab Ripper X | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)

Sunday, March 20, 2011



We the People: Charlie Chaplin Echo's Today's Headlines



Saturday, March 19, 2011


P90X Legs & Back | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)

Skipped my usual Friday workout (couldn't sleep), so decided to slot the legs and back blaster on this fine Saturday morning. Thanks Tony Horton and Beachbody!

Friday, March 18, 2011



Can Knockdown 2 brings this carnival classic to your phone

Platform: Android

RATING
4 out of 5

PRICE
$.99

TASTY
“BOOM, CAN-SHOT!” Sporting some of the best graphics I’ve seen in any quick pickup Android game, and super-simple controls, Can Knockdown 2 is a quick thrill that surpasses the original.

BUMMER
Owners of older DROIDs will notice stuttering when the action gets intense. My Droid 1 needed a trio of reboots and a thorough cleaning out (Marketplace and Download caches) before the app would install successfully.

COOL
A pair of new timed modes vaults this paid sequel past its first iteration, and even adds explosion effects to your best-aimed shots. Who doesn’t like explosions?

SIMILAR APPS IN THE MARKETPLACE
Can Knockdown

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

Like most things in life, the “keep it simple, stupid” principal is what separates good from great. Can Knockdown 2 takes the simplest carnival game of all time, renders the experience in rich, satisfying graphics, adds two new timed modes to separate it from its no-cost original version, and will end up being your go-to quick pickup game obsession for many weeks to come.

Pick up a virtual ball and hurl it at the cans. A simple finger-swipe is all it takes to get in the game. Gone are the pushy carnival hustlers trying their best to separate you from your walking around money, and there’s nary a Chinese-made plush toy prize in sight.

Instead, the app turns the game into a satisfying arcade experience, serving up never-ending game fields that ramp up considerably in toughness. Be careful with your aim and limit the number of balls needed to take out the cans, and you’ll be rewarded with bonus points. Get reckless and you’ll quickly find yourself back at the main menu with a fully depleted supply of ordinance. It may take a few tries to master each level, but it’s time well spent.

If you’re a fan of the original, you’ll find the controls to be 100% identical. Aim your shot by swiping in any direction. Swipe quickly, and the ball will match your speed. Don’t miss the two new times modes; the first randomly has cans appearing in your field of view, which can be knocked down or exploded with a perfect hit to their midsection (BOOM CAN-SHOT!), while the second has cans shooting into view from a series of tubes at the bottom of the screen. Some are fast, others are slow, so you’ll need to be on your game.

So as we all look forward to heading out to the midway this Summer, get your hands on Can Knockdown 2 for a little practice anywhere, any time. You’ll need it!

Thursday, March 17, 2011



Ninja Dash rushes from fun to boring in 10 minutes flat

Platform: Android

RATING
2 out of 5

PRICE
FREE

TASTY
Ninja fans used to helping their stealthy avatars jump or run ever-higher in similar games will love Ninja Dash, challenging the player to help our hero to fall downwards between platforms.

BUMMER
Gets repetitive and, let’s face it, pretty boring very quickly.

COOL
Power ups help recharge health, protect our avatar from harm, and more. Don’t miss them!

SIMILAR APPS IN THE MARKETPLACE
NinJump
Super Jump
Ninja rush
Fruit Ninja

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

I’ve been helping stealthy martial arts experts climb and jump their way up the sides of my Android’s screen for many months now. Ninjump and Super Jump, I’m looking at you two. That’s why I was excited to give Ninja Dash a whirl.

I mean, who can resist a free, ad-support game that’s deadest on turning the tables on our expectation. Jump and climb higher, avoid obstacles along the way? Been there, done that!

Ninja Dash turns this concept on its head, challenging all comers to help this stealthy avatar fall ever downwards between rising platforms. Stay on any flat surface for too long, and you’ll run into the top of the screen and its spikes of everlasting pain and agony!

As you fall, you’ll want to avoid spiked platforms (pain!), pay attention to surfaces that will propel you left or right very quickly, and pick up falling power ups along the way. These bonus items will stop your bleeding on the inside, protect your little toes from the bad, bad spikes, speed you up for a time, and more. You’ll need as many of these as you can get to get through the toughest parts, trust me.

There’s nothing wrong with the game, per se. The ads aren’t in your face, and tilting your phone from side to side to control your ninja is easy as pie. The trouble is that the whole experience quickly becomes a bit boring. If you love spending tons of time doing repetitive motions to drop ever downward, then Ninja Dash is the game for you.

In my experience, the app succeeded in dashing from pretty fun to pretty boring in less than ten minutes. Results may vary, but it’s worth a try. Stay stealthy, my friends!
P90X Yoga X & Ab Ripper | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)





Japan earthquake's tsunami wave as it rolled into in Tiburon, CA



Where is Tiburon, CA? It's just north of San Francisco over the Gold Gate Bridge. Mapped it here: http://bit.ly/e49cvk. Tweeted Photo: http://plixi.com/p/83945400.



What was it like to watch the Japan tsunami wash into one town, steady video for about 6-10 minutes from start to finish? Watch.



Comment from Brad Hicks, a former WGAL news anchor who commented via Facebook: "This is the most disturbing video (also here) I have seen yet of the tsunami. The wide shots that show entire towns disappearing are awful, but this takes you right into one of those towns. How terrifying it must have been."















Wednesday, March 16, 2011



Turn your iPad into a TV with Time Warner’s TWCable TV app

RATING:
4 out of 5

PRICE:
FREE

TASTY:
Time Warner Cable customers can turn their iPad into an additional TV viewing device, watching a small selection of live content at home over Wi-Fi.

BUMMER:
The app only functions over a strong, stable wireless Internet connection provided by Road Runner at home. (Sorry road warriors!) Limited selection of channels in initial release. No volume control on-screen, and lacks DVR-style controls (fast forward, rewind, pause, etc.) Registering to get the app up and running can be hit or miss; keep trying until you get a username and password! No parental controls.

COOL:
TWCable TV is the perfect companion app to Netflix and Hulu, giving cable subscribers nearly rock-solid access to a set of live TV streams that can be viewed anywhere in your home.

SIMILAR APPS IN THE MARKETPLACE:
Xfinity TV
Netflix
Hulu Plus
CNN App for iPad

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

It’s been a long time coming, but Time Warner Cable came through yesterday with a killer app that finally lets me watch live TV channels on my iPad. While not perfect, it’s an excellent start, and I’m hopeful that we’ll see significant improvements in the coming weeks.

So what does the free TWCable TV app get right? It’s free, comes pre-loaded with a fairly healthy channel lineup, and if you’ve got a solid (read: wireless N) Wi-Fi network in your home being served through the Road Runner service from TW, you’ll be up and running in a few minutes time.

After grabbing the program from the App Store, you’ll need to register at Time Warner’s website in order to verify that you subscribe to their TV service at the appropriate level (Expanded Basic or better), get Road Runner Internet connectivity, and finally, link your iPad to your offical TV account number. (Some users are reporting issues with generating login credentials; keep trying and you’ll get through. Took me a pair of tries.)

Once all of that is set, the app will display a black screen with a very spare menu system. Tap the left side of the screen to force the channel list to appear. Scroll up and down to see what’s playing right now. The initial list of available channels include: A&E, Bravo!, CNBC, CNN, Discovery, E!, Food Network, Fox News Channel, HGTV, CNN Headline News, History Channel, MSNBC, Syfy, TLC, and USA Network.
Just tap your choice to change the channel. A small pause will give the app time to cache a few seconds of video, and then you’ll be off and running. The image is clear, crisp, and fills the top two-thirds of you screen. (Why the channel list wasn’t programmed to appear in the black space at the bottom of the app I’ll never know.)

As you surf between channels, you’ll be able to click the only available control – Channel History – to switch between recent streams.

In terms of what the app is lacking, there’s currently no support for on-the-road (read: outside of your home) access to your channels. (Sorry road warriors!)

While a great start, the channel lineup is currently very limited compared to a standard digital cable TV lineup. There’s also no volume control on-screen, and the app completely lacks any DVR-style controls (fast forward, rewind, pause, etc.) For concerned parents, there are also no parental controls to speak of.

Still, all Time Warner subscribers with TV and Internet service will want to install this app sooner rather than later. Adding another TV viewing device to your family’s home collection is more than enough justification to bring yet another must-have capability to your Apple tablet.
Head in the cloud... computing, powered by WorkXpress

Head in the cloud... computing, powered by WorkXpress

This article originally appeared in today's Harrisburg, PA Patriot News. My brother, Drew, is a co-founder of WorkXpress.

Clients such as auto manufacturers constantly send work-order changes to R.T. Grim Electronics. Before cloud computing, implementing those changes meant calling on a Massachusetts software designer. "Every change took weeks, months - some would even take years," said MikeWentz, business operations manager for the Hampden Twp.-based consumer electronics business. "It was the combination of the complication of the software we had, and we were at the mercy of the person that was doing the software design." When the software designer retired, the company sought flexibility at a reasonable cost. With cloud computing supplied by Harrisburg-based WorkXpress, R.T. Grim embraced a solution that makes software revisions a simple, in-house affair.

Call it a ripple effect of economic development efforts for startups in the midstate. R.T. Grim managed a large contract for Ford Motor Co. and will market its capabilities to new customers because WorkXpress followed the region's support paths for tech startups.

WorkXpress hopes to capture a giant share of the cloud computing market, expected to rocket from $68 billion worldwide in 2010 to $159 billion by 2014, President and CEO Treff LaPlante said.

Cloud computing customizes infrastructure, platform and software to serve businesses' individual needs, LaPlante said. His company specializes in developing the platform that "manages and orchestrates the other two components" and makes software changes as easy as writing a PowerPoint presentation, he said.

"It's a lot more drag and drop," he said.

The software business is "broken," and cloud computing can fix it, LaPlante said. "There's a communications barrier between a programmer and a businessperson," he said. "The programmer doesn't know the businessperson's business. In the end, it doesn't meet anybody's needs." R.T. Grim's cloud solution from WorkXpress cost about one-fourth the price of traditional software, Wentz said. It was running within a 90-day window imposed by Ford after the company won a contract to remanufacture instrument clusters for about half of the nation's Ford dealers, he said.

"We make changes on the fly practically every day," Wentz said. "If there's something that changes in our process or wording on reports or documentation, we're able to very quickly institute them, roll them out overnight, and they're available tomorrow. In some cases, they're even available today." LaPlante, of Middletown, is a 1987 Central Dauphin East High School graduate who developed video games in California during the tech boom and helped to incubate a tech company bought out by eBay. Inspired by businesses' unhappiness with software, he brought his best programmer back to the midstate in 2002 and established WorkXpress in the Murata Business Center, Carlisle, the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp.'s business incubator. Revving up the business required two years of "knocking on doors, trying to find anyone that would help me build this business," LaPlante said. "After a lot of networking, I came to realize there was a significant amount of support," he said, but much of it was disjointed.

Today, the region's economic development specialists say they're strengthening networks to eliminate barriers - and discouragement - for startups.

The state Ben Franklin Technology Partners, an earlyWorkXpress funder, offers seed capital, mentoring, commercialization help and incubator space for startups "that are most likely to create jobs and growth," said John Sider, managing director of statewide initiatives.

The midstate is strong in manufacturing and medical devices, but "this is a very diverse economy here in central Pennsylvania," Sider said.

"Any high-potential company can come to Ben Franklin for seed funding and get a close look at whether they'd qualify for one of our investments and other services," he said. "It's not as though any sector is left out, and that would be an unwise strategy around here, because we have lots and lots of companies coming through." On Feb. 3, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania and CREDC announced creation of TechCelerator, giving Murata tenants access to Ben Franklin's mentoring services.

"There are so many good ideas out there," said PamMartin, regional director for Ben Franklin Technology Partners and TechCelerator's executive director. "There is no lack of good ideas, but what's needed is, how do I get from a great idea sitting in my garage to something that can be implemented and to build value so somebody will buy the great idea?" While Ben Franklin's Transformations Group uses seasoned, upper-level management to mentor new companies such into stability, a new "entrepreneurial immersion group" being planned will create fellowships and groommanagement to take maturing startups to the next level, Martin said.

"Often, there's a piece that says, 'I've got to find somebody else to help me grow this company,'" Martin said. "We're trying to build people to become those candidates to grow those companies. We're trying to build our own ecosystem."

About WorkXpress

WorkXpress moved out of Carlisle's Murata Business Center in February to become the LECG IT Support Services Center's first tenant.WorkXpress will draw student interns and employees from Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, a center partner.

On the Web: workxpress.com.
Phone: 421-1280
Address: 304 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101


Post 1337... very ELITE my friends... is all about the workout! Appropriate? You bet.

One on One with Tony Horton
Road Warrior (With Free Weights!) | Workout

Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)

Took a creative approach to an "on the road" workout, bring very heavy free weights and push up bars to the party.

How will you find new solutions to an old problem today? Here's a brick|Lego patch visual to inspire you...



MLS Matchday 2011 delivers video highlights, scores, and more... BUT...

Platform: Android

RATING
2 out of 5

PRICE
FREE

TASTY
Soccer fans, rejoice! Live scores, play by play coverage, video highlights, and in-depth team information is now just a finger press away on your Android device.

BUMMER
Lacks live match streaming capability. Video isn’t rendered to play perfectly on the Android platform. App requires a large download, and is cannot be moved to your SD card. Some users report crashes in this initial version, requiring multiple reloads.

COOL
The app makes it easy to choose your favorite club so you can jump right to the news, rosters, photos, and scores that matter the most to you. (That is, if it doesn’t crash when you select yours.)

SIMILAR APPS IN THE MARKETPLACE
Soccer Scores – FotMob
Soccer LiveScores
Goal.com Mobile – Football

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

The first release of any app can make early adopters feel as if they’re beta testing an imperfect product. That’s certainly the case with MLS Match Day 2011, which seems to be a quick port of the iOS version with the live match streaming capability removed.

Add in some random crashes when trying to select your favorite team as the default view, video rendered to fit an iPhone and not your DROID, and a huge download that can’t me moved to an SD card, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for some pretty serious footie frustration.

That said, diehard Major League Soccer (MLS) fans will find overcoming these issues to be worth their time. The developer is actively working on fixes to many issues, and has promised that live match viewing (for a fee of course) is coming in a future version.

Today I recommend grabbing the app (after cleaning off some unused apps to make some room internally), and using it in its default view mode. Club news, images, rosters (some fresh, others stale), and scores are easily accessed. No-cost video highlights are available within a few minutes of each match ending, along with complete game roundups. Of course, there’s no missing the fact that live match streaming is missing. For many, that alone will be a deal breaker.

If you can live with poorly formatted video, live scores and textual play by play of every MLS game, and special video channels that sometimes play, and sometimes don’t, then this app will fill a void in your sports-loving world.

Here’s hoping the manifold issues with the app are fixed quickly so soccer lovers can get back to doing what they do best – watching their favorite teams play real football from the comfort of their beloved Android devices!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

P90X Core Synergistics | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Prayers to everyone in Japan...





Land-a Panda will melt your heart in our iPad Games of the Week round-up

Angry Birds. Cut the Rope. Trucks and Skulls. All instant iOS classics, providing a massive set of levels to clear, ramping up the difficulty along the way, but never forgetting the fun factor.

This week’s top new game, Land-a-Panda HD, takes cues from all three, only this time you’ll need to guide Yang Guang, a lovestuck panda, to his dream partner, Tian Tian. Throw in some barrel blasting from Donkey Kong Country, add in some Mario coins, and see how quickly you can clear each level and help this pair get together.

Add in another Japanese-themed stacking game (with sushi!), plus a fun puzzle game sporting 3D, geometric shapes, and a final crazy-fun take on Pong, and you’ve got my list of the top new iPad games for the week.

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

IPAD APPS REVIEWED

Land-a Panda HD
Pandas need all the help they can get in the baby department. Help a lovelorn pair of black and white cuties connect across dozens of levels in this combo puzzle and physics game.

Sushi Stacker HD
How high can you stack the sushi? Here’s a time killer that combines two of my favorite things: sushi rolls and Japanese artwork!

GeoSpin HD
This geometric 3D puzzle game will have you spinning your way through tons of levels across score and time attack modes. (You knew that geometry class would pay off someday!)

Anger Management ‘_’
One part Pong and one part instant cult classic, this crazy (and I mean insane) app challenges you to keep a flaming potato bouncing across your iPad’s screen while the AI randomly messes with you. You’ll manage to like it, if you can cure your anger issues. Trust me.

IPAD GAME REVIEWS

Land-a Panda HD ($1.99)

Pandas: cute, fuzzy, and endangered. Now you can do your part to bring a pair of lovesick pandas together to help propagate this beloved species. Yang Guang needs to find his way across each play field in Land-a Panda HD to reach his dream partner, Tian Tian.

This crazy-cute, fun, and addictive title takes its cues from Angry Birds (level design and stages), Cut the Rope (physics puzzles), Donkey Kong Country (moving barrels), and even Super Mario Brothers (coin collecting), to create a wholly original experience that will keep your glued to your iPad for weeks to come.



You’ll need to grab every love coin, time your mating dance moves perfectly to clear each obstacle, and land on the final hearts with a hero stance to win Tian Tian’s affections. The retina graphics are stunning, the sound effects are spot-on, and the overall game play will appeal to iOS gamers of all ages. Time to get your panda on!

Sushi Stacker HD ($.99)

My son and I have been enjoying Sushi Boy for many weeks now. There’s something about an action-packed “how many sushi pieces can you grab” app to get the blood pumping and the fingers flying.

Sushi Stacker HD takes the same yummy theme, wraps each luscious piece of heaven in a to-go box, and challenges all hunger comers to stack these individual happy meals on top of each other. How high can you go? You’ll need to center each box on top of the last as precisely as you can, taking into account gravity and the occasional breeze that will send your pricey tower crashing to the ground.

The artwork is decidedly Japanese, with a fun musical score to keep you on your game along the way. Keep your eyes focused and your finger poised over the screen to maximize your chances to keep the tower climbing. Add a dash of luck and a ton of fun and you’ve got another sushi-game combo plate that’s sure to please palates young and old.



GeoSpin HD ($.99)

Back in the day, I spent many months playing Tetrisphere on the Nintendo 64 console. It was one of the first 3D puzzle games I’d ever played, and spinning a ball covered in Tetris-shaped pieces and dropping matching layouts on top of them to clear each level made for a fun, addictive challenge.

GeoSpin HD brings a similar experience to our Apple tablets, only this time you’ll be spinning a geometric shape covered in colored bocks, triangles, and other shapes with your finger, then dragging and dropping matching shapes on top. Drop the same shape and (oops!) colored piece on top of another, and they’ll both disappear.

You’ll be spinning your way through tons of levels across score and time attack modes for many weeks to come. Compare your score with others via OpenFient, enjoy the 60 frames per second game play, and watch your fun and matching skills increase exponentially!

Anger Management ‘_’ (FREE)


In today’s gaming world, there’s always room for a healthy dose of originality. Anger Management is probably the most crazy-unique, teen-rated game (for language) that I’ve played in a very long time.

Start by selecting your “anger level” to set the mood: hipsters, teen angst, pink eye, PETA, or baggage fees. Next, the app’s instructions give you a clue of what’s coming next: “1. Use the joypad to play Pong. 2. The computer will mess with you. Deal with it. 3. Control an overwhelming urge to destroy everything.“ Got it?

Once your game of pong begins, you’ll need to keep a flaming spud bouncing across the screen (filled with an image of President Lincoln bobbing his head) while the app inverts your controls, speeds up the little carb-bomb, makes it invisible, slows it down, or abruptly changes its direction.

After a few games, I found myself gritting my teeth through a sincere smile. As one early reviewer wrote: “[Developer Super Boise] invented a game like pong but you don’t have control over the damn thing!” Silly fun!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bejeweled 2 offers flawless Android gaming, if you can get it to work

Platform: Android

RATING
2 out of 5

PRICE
$2.99

TASTY
If matching sparkling gems to make them explode in a colorful shower is your thing, then this new addition to the Bejeweled family is a must-have for your Android device.

BUMMER
Missing popular Blitz mode. Very finicky in terms of which phones it will run on; if you have a new, high-powered Android device, you’re likely set to go. Lacks Facebook posting ability to challenge your friends to reach higher scores. Requires a large content download (25MB) to work properly.

COOL
Offers some of the best-looking graphics (eye candy!) and sounds in any Android game, bar none. Drink it in, gem-clearing fans!

SIMILAR APPS IN THE MARKETPLACE:
Bejeweled
Bejeweled Blitz Live
Gem Spinner
Gem Buster
Papaya Diamond
Dropwords

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.



With four game modes, crystal-clear graphics, and insanely great sound effects, there’s a lot to love in Bejeweled 2 by EA. Unfortunately, there’s a 50-50 chance you may have issues running or even installing the app, so buyer beware.

If you’re luck enough to enjoy a solid purchase process, followed by a full download of 25MB of additional content (moved to your on-board SD card ASAP), and finally a successful launch of the app, then the game will quickly become your go-to gaming experience when you’re on the go.

Most of the best parts of the original Bejeweled are here and ready to rock, challenging all comers to match at least three sparkling gems to make them explode in a colorful shower of gaming goodness. Match four or more and you’ll create a power gem that elevate your score with eye-popping cascades and combos.

The game ships with Classic mode, which offers the usual gameplay. Next is Action, challenging you to beat the clock to get the highest score possible in the allotted time. Puzzles offers a brain-bending extension to the Bejeweled experience, and finally Zen is all about limitless play. (Don’t mess with my Zen thing, OK?)

Missing, however, is Blitz mode, a purchase-killer for many diehard fans of the franchise. (Note that a free knock off of this mode is available in Bejeweled Blitz Live.) The app also lacks Facebook posting ability, which gives players of other versions of the game the opportunity to challenge FB friends to reach higher scores.

With so many issues getting in the way of the fun factor, I recommend that you watch for a future update before installing this finicky, addictive beast. May the gems be with you, and EA, as they work out the kinks!


Need your input: Planting Zoysia lawn this year...

Ok Southerners (NC/SC/GA/FL/TN): I'm considering planting Zoysia seed this year. Lots of open, bare ground, ready for some seed.

Do you have zoysia? Which variety? Best place to buy seed or plugs? How much did you pay?

Tips/tricks/comments? Looks like I'll need about 32-35lbs of seed to cover 15,850 sq. feet of lawn. Considering this source for the seed online.

Leave a comment to this post if you have any insights or tips. I'm listening, and thanks!
P90X Legs & Back | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)



My thoughts and prayers are with the people in Japan after today's 8.9 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami. Video above.

Thursday, March 10, 2011



Charlie Sheen: WINNING Recipes



Be sure NOT to be drinking anything when you fire this up. You will spit it out laughing. Guaranteed.
P90X Yoga X & Ab Ripper | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 199 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Thanks, Shuttle Discovery



...the last few seconds of Discovery flying on it own this morning.

Recap of this amazing vehicle: 39 missions, 365 days in space, 5,830 orbits of the Earth, 148,221,665 miles traveled. It has gone through 39 sets of landing-gear tires since its first flight in 1984.

But what did Discovery accomplish beyond the numbers? Nicole Stott, one of the astronauts on Discovery's final mission, said Discovery is remarkable.

"It is kind of cool that the vehicle named Discovery has this kind of history, the most flights," she said in a preflight interview with ABC News. "I think it really sums up what the space program is about -- it is about discovery."

Discovery flew both return-to-flight missions after its sister ships, Challenger and Columbia, were lost. It launched the Hubble Space Telescope. It carried John Glenn, one of America's first space pioneers, on his sentimental return to space in 1998. It assembled the first components of the International Space Station.

It has flown more times than any other spaceship in history.



"Without Discovery, and the other space shuttles, we would not have built the space station," said Leroy Cain, NASA's deputy space shuttle program manager, who marveled how a 900,000 plus pound orbiting lab was assembled on orbit, thanks to the space shuttle. "Nothing else has the capability to carry up those big modules, and the parts needed to keep it functioning, it is truly a remarkable spacecraft."

Deb, Will, and I got to see STS-133 take off -- truly something we'll never forget!





Townsmen 6 puts you in the role of France’s liberator

Platform: Android

RATING
5 out of 5

PRICE
FREE

TASTY
Townsmen 6 is a real time strategy (RTS) game that sets the standard for all other similar Android games. Do you have what it takes to fend off the King and liberate France in the name of freedom?

BUMMER
Steep learning curve, finicky control scheme that takes time to master. Ad supported.

COOL
Fans of the Civilization franchise will immediately feel at home in Townsmen 6, especially when it comes to empowering your townspeople (think Workers) to do the heavy lifting for you. Build your city, repel attacks, and use propaganda to spread the word. France needs you!

SIMILAR APPS IN THE MARKETPLACE:
Pocket Empires Online
The Settlers
UniWar
A Brief History of Rome
Battle for Mars

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

In Townsmen 6, the French Revolution is raging across your homeland. It’s your job to work with your local residents (townspeople) to expand your village, construct buildings, gather resources, and generally work day and night to take down the nefarious King.

Freeing France from the King’s tyranny is easier said than done. First there’s a complicated control scheme to master. Add in some oddness from time to time, and it will take you a few hours to really get a feel for for game. Once you’re comfortable, Townsmen really shines. Upgrading structures is a must, and repelling attacks from the King’s soliders can be difficult.

Expect to lose some territory along the way, but don’t give up. You’ll need to put your townspeople to work on your behalf, adding in some much-needed, Civilization-style delegation to work to carry the game along. You’ll also need to gather local resources to power your schemes, and don’t forget to use some good, old-fashioned propaganda to work for you to spread your influence whilst training up your troops to eventually stick it to your King.

Add in some crazy weather AI, an overhead map view to keep tabs on your important work, and a truly non-linear campaign (plus an open-ended mode for hardcore players), and Townsmen 6 roars into my personal top 5 for strategy games on the Android platform.

I recently learned that Townsmen 6 was awarded the “Best Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year” award by Pocketgamer magazine at a recent Gaming Developer’s Conference (GDC). In a recent interview Markus Kassulke, CEO of HandyGames, said: “Townsmen 6 is the highest quality for an international audience and offers unlimited entertainment for all fans so it made perfect sense to bring our game to Android as consumers take to the Android platform in droves.”

Thanks Markus, and Viva la France!

And now it's time for something complete different...



Mario Brothers. With realistic sounds. Strange.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Why fund libraries? This is why...



Are you listening, GOP?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Why Dead Space is Insanely Great



Listen to the staffers who made this... digital experience. It was a creative endeavor that went far, far beyond the "usual" development cycle. The story, the themes, the integrated moments.

One of many reasons Dead Space is, today, my favorite "game" franchise spanning several consoles. Bar none.





P90X Chest, Shoulders, Tris + Ab Ripper | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | Insanity/P90X #10 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 197 (Shakeology Snack Added)
Tracking Calories (iPad App)
Working at my Stand Up Desk (plans) (Why you should, too!)

New week, new workouts. Time to bring it people!

Saturday, March 05, 2011



Wisconsin vs. Wall Street... Logic, anyone?



Video putting all of this into nice, neat context. Where's the outrage? Thanks Mr. Stewart.



Big Boss is the big cheese of our iPad Games of the Week

My nine-year-old son is constantly sketching things on every bit of paper he can find. Little monsters, comic characters, and crazy animals are his favorite subjects. So when I showed him Big Boss, it was no surprise that it took more than an hour before I could wrestle our family tablet from his little hands.

This instant classic from Chillingo gives players the ability to create their own “boss” character, tweaking everything from his eyes to his arms, legs, mouth, armor, weapons, and more. And once he’s perfectly unique, it’s time to crush the many kingdoms of Wackylands!

Add in a learning game to help your kids identify the birds returning to your locale as Spring arrives, a family-friendly puzzle game featuring a greedy sponge, and a free, testosterone-boosting wrestling app, and you’ve got yourself an eclectic mix of new iPad games to keep you occupied over the ides of March.

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

IPAD APPS REVIEWED

Big Boss
Fee Fi Fo Fum, who’s the nastiest monster of them all? Make your own towering, custom Bosses and take down local towns in this kid-friendly romp. How dare they block your view from your cave?

What the Bird!? Lite
The birds are returning, so you know Spring is about to… spring? This app offers a fun, educational method for learning all about our fair weather feathered friends.

The Greedy Sponge Free
In the beginning, there was the Greedy Sponge, and he’s a hungry primordial beast! Feed him by solving the puzzles in this relaxing casual game.

Ultimate Arm Wrestling Free
You won’t need crazy huge biceps to take down your opponents in this fun freebie. But you will need to be the quickest finger-tapper around to topple your tabletop opponent.

IPAD GAME REVIEWS

Big Boss ($1.99)

Who hasn’t wanted to be a massive giant, laying cartoony waste to a quiet little medieval kingdom? (Just me? Naa.) In Big Boss, kids and the young at heart can make their own towering, custom Boss who’s looking to take down local towns. Why? Well, the pesky humans have built castles that block your view. It’s time to crush the thoughtless brutes (and their pretty Princesses) to restore your line of sight!

Start by tweaking everything from your Boss’s eyes to his arms, legs, mouth, armor, weapons, and more. And once he’s ready, set off and crush the many kingdoms of Wackylands. Along the way your Boss will pick up new armor, weapons, coins, upgrades, and more. Be sure to visit the menu often to buy and equip the newest, best items. There’s hours of kid-friendly mayhem to be had, a full dozen side-scrolling scenarios to play through, and many “ridiculous” special items to equip. Go forth and maul, Big Boss!

What the Bird!? Lite (FREE)

The birds are returning to their spring and summer homes this month, and there’s no better way to welcome them home then to learn more about them! This fun, ad-supported app combines a hangman-like interface tied to a photo puzzle reveal, complete with audio of bird calls, to bring even the most young and/or amateur bird watchers up to speed in a hurry.

You start with just the sound of a bird. As you begin typing the letters of their proper name into the on-screen keyboard a small portion of their picture is uncovered. Keep typing and eventually the full correct name is filled in, along with the bird’s image. When you complete each hangman puzzle, basic information about the bird appears, along with a link for more information (connects to Wikipedia entries for the breed). You can get up to six letters wrong before the app simply gives you the answer. A super-helpful free app that’s worth an install to get you and your family ready for the new season.

The Greedy Sponge Free (FREE)

“In the beginning… the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…” But under it, who knew there was a voracious, cartoony Greedy Sponge intent on eating every last primordial creature in sight? It’s your job, time traveler, to feed this beast. You’ll need to quickly disconnect the hapless little Sponge food from their clingy hive, and the more you rip away from their warm descending home, the more points you’ll get! (Karma points?)

Keep your eye on the colorful hive and tap on connected clusters of five or more scrumptious swimmers all bearing the same markings. You can also bring the little bon bons closer together by tapping the sides of the screen. In no time the smiling Sponge will gobble up the strays you’ve tapped and your score will multiply. Be sure to work from the bottom up before the little guys swarm the Sponge!

Ultimate Arm Wrestling Free (FREE)

Well, its finally happened. I’ve found the perfect iPad drinking game, and its name is Ultimate Arm Wrestling. The premise is simple. Play against the computer or a friend on the same iPad, tapping the dots on your side of the screen to help your virtual arm wrestler triumph over your opponent. The faster you tap, the more leverage your avatar will have, and the further his arm will move to win the match.

No big biceps are necessary, but a keen eye and a quick tapping finger are a must. Once you get by the in-your-face ads, there’s tons of fun to be had in this bar-friendly app. Here’s hoping my full-tablet case and screen protector will keep the errant beer splashes and deep fried food crumbs from damaging my device.

Must, tap, FASTER!