Posts belonging to Category Software



Interview with Jet Set Games, the makers of “Highborn” and “Who’s Buying?” on Tuesday Oct. 12, 2010

The Apptastic iGame Review will be interviewing Jet Set Games on Tuesday Oct. 12, 2010! Jet Set Games are the makers of some very popular titles dominating the Apple App store right now!

Come join Amy Elk, Chris Pope, and Justin Laura as we welcome Jet Set on our show! These guys have also graciously agreed to give away some promo codes while on the show with us! Rade Stojsavljevic and Joseph Hewitt will be hanging with the Apptastic crew for the interview.

Rade Stojsavljevic
Co-founder & President

Joseph Hewitt
Creative Director

You fans of awesome mobile games out there might known them as the makes of one of the be turn based games on the market, “Highborn

Highborn is a casual, turn-based strategy game, perfect for gaming on the go, or for anyone looking for an intelligent, tactical experience without the frenetic play of a traditional real-time strategy game.

Another really fun game published by Jet Set is a game called “Whos Buying?

Who’s Buying™ features three multiplayer games of skill and chance that determine who coughs up the cash to pay for your swingin’ lifestyle.

With a style and soundtrack straight from the South Pacific, Who’s Buying may even inspire a round of Mai Tais or Piña Coladas.


12 iPad apps that mean business

Serious software to make a business run more smoothly

By Brian Nadel – October 4, 2010 06:00 AM ET

Computerworld – So far, Apple has sold more than 3 million of its iconic iPads, making it the best-selling tablet on the market. A runaway success? Absolutely.

But an out-of-the-box iPad can be a disappointment for business tasks. Its rudimentary word processor, e-mail client, contacts directory and calendar are slim pickings, especially for those who want to use the device for work on the road.

Thankfully, Apple’s App Store has a good variety of software designed to help business people get through the day.

I looked at 12 different apps that can make your workday easier and more efficient. Some of these apps do one thing well, like Network Utility, which quickly checks out a company’s networking infrastructure. Others are multifaceted, like Office² HD, which is a one-stop shop for creating and modifying business documents. And then there are those that are indispensable for road warriors, like FlightTrack Pro, which lets you keep an eye on your travel plans and react quickly to cancellations.

In short, these apps can transform an iPad into a Swiss Army knife for cutting through a workday.

PagesNumbers and Keynote

Apple’s iWork suite for the Mac includes applications for word processing (Pages), spreadsheets (Numbers) and presentations (Keynote).

All three apps work well and offer a number of features in common — for example, they can all accommodate eight different languages and let you undo the last 200 changes. They can import the latest Word, Excel and PowerPoint file formats (although you can only save files in the Office 97 format).

However, these programs are available only individually for the iPad. Because of this, the suite has lost the integration that made each of these applications more than the sum of their parts on Mac laptops and other Apple systems. To add prewritten text to a presentation, for instance, you have to click the iPad’s Home button, open Pages and copy the text. Only after hitting the Home button again and opening Keynote can you paste it in place.

Still, anybody who works on the road needs this trio of apps for reading, creating and working with all manner of documents. Despite the hassle of individually paying for, downloading and installing the three programs, it’s worth the effort.

Pages

Pages ($9.99) creates documents of surprising sophistication — documents look great, and there’s a lot of flexibility in how you can present them.

Click to view larger

The app can change formatting options like margins, type and indents, as well as adjust word wrapping around images. There’s a good variety of formatting options, including 16 premade templates, and to make a simple chart or graph, you just tap in your numbers. Pages will automatically fit the document to the width of the iPad display, regardless of whether it’s being held horizontally or vertically. This makes complicated documents easier to work with.

If you’re working with a sophisticated document, be prepared to be patient — it took several seconds for documents to appear when I pulled them up in Pages. Other apps, like Office² HD, don’t have that problem.

Pages works with Word files and does an excellent job of font substitution when necessary. On the other hand, it lacks the ability to use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature for facilitating group work. Documents brought into Pages include comments and notes, but only as plain text without highlighting or any indication of who made them. Pages automatically saves the document every time a change is made (as do Numbers and Keynote).

It’s a snap to import an image, as well as to resize or rotate an image. And don’t worry about using the app with external keyboards; Pages worked well with my wireless Matias Folding Keyboard.

The documents can be shared on Apple’s iWork.com site. The site was still under development at the time of this writing but was stable enough for use. Apple recently added support for its MobileMe synchronization system.

For the rest of the apps, visit Computerworld.com

6 useful Wi-Fi tools for Windows

Free or cheap apps can help troubleshoot your wireless network, turn your laptop into a hot spot and more

By Preston Gralla – September 1, 2010 06:00 AM ET

Computerworld – We live in a mobile world; if you have a laptop (and who doesn’t?), that means constantly connecting to the Internet via Wi-Fi. You most likely use Wi-Fi not just when you’re on the road at cafés, airports or hotels, but to connect to your home network too. You might even connect to a wireless network at the office.

Here’s the problem: Windows doesn’t do a particularly good job of providing Wi-Fi tools. Yes, it will let you search for and connect to nearby networks, but that’s about the extent of it. What if you want to get detailed information about every Wi-Fi network within range, troubleshoot your network, turn your laptop into a portable Wi-Fi hot spot or keep yourself safe at public hot spots? Windows is no help.

That’s why we’ve rounded up these six downloads. They’ll do all these things and more. Five out of the six are free; the other is inexpensive and lets you try it out first.

InSSIDer

MetaGeek’s InSSIDer is a great tool for finding Wi-Fi networks within range of your computer and gathering a great deal of information about each. It’s also useful for troubleshooting problems with your own Wi-Fi network.

For every Wi-Fi network InSSIDer finds, it shows you the MAC address of the router, the router manufacturer (if it can detect it — it usually does), the channel it’s using, the service set identifier (SSID) or public name of the network, what kind of security is in place, the speed of the network and more. In addition, it displays the current signal strength of the network, as well as its signal strength over time.

How would you use the software to troubleshoot your wireless network? If you see that your network uses the same channel as nearby networks with strong signals, you’ll know that you should change the channel your network transmits over and thereby cut down on potential conflicts. (Most routers have a settings screen that lets you do this.)

You can also use the software to detect “dead zones” that don’t get a strong Wi-Fi connection. Walk around your home or office with InSSIDer installed on your laptop to see where signal strength drops. You can either avoid using a computer in those spots or else try repositioning the wireless router to see if it helps with coverage.

Whether you need to troubleshoot a network or find Wi-Fi hot spots to which you want to connect — or you’re just plain curious — this is one app you’ll want to download and try.

Price: Free
Compatible with: Windows XP, Vista and 7 (32- and 64-bit)
Download InSSIDer

For the rest of the apps, visit Computerworld.com

Google makes Chrome devs dig into pockets

By Gregg Keizer at Computerworld – Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:09pm EDT

Computerworld – Google on Thursday announced that it would require new Chrome extension developers to pay a one-time $5 registration fee as a way to stymie malicious add-ons for its browser.

The company also launched a preview of its Chrome Web Store, giving developers a chance to experiment with the online mart before it goes public later this year. Developers can use the store to give away or sell theirbrowser extensions, themes and Web apps.

“[The signup fee] is intended to create better safeguards against fraudulent extensions in the gallery and limit the activity of malicious developer accounts,” said product manager Gregor Hochmuth in a blog post.

The payment must be made using Google Checkout, which links payments to a credit card, thereby creating a paper trail to the developer — or at least to the billing address and phone number recorded by the credit card company.

By charging the fee, “Google gets some more information about the human on the other end [of the developer account],” said Andrew Storms, director of security at nCircle Security. “It adds some legitimacy to the developer.”

A Chrome rival noted the paper trail aspect of the new registration fee, too. “Someone pointed out the $5 registration fee for Chrome Extension Gallery creates a paper trail, which is a good point,” said Mike Beltzner, Mozilla’s director of Firefox development, in a Twitter message on Thursday.

For more on this story, visit ComputerWorld.com

Bulletin: Intel to buy McAfee for $7.68 billion

Chip maker says deal intended to beef up its mobile strategy

By Marc Ferranti – August 19, 2010 09:45 AM ET

IDG News Service – Intel said Thursday it plans to acquire security vendor McAfee in a cash deal valued at about $7.68 billion and aimed at enhancing the chip maker’s mobile strategy.

Both boards of directors have approved the deal, and McAfee is expected to become a subsidiary within Intel’s Software and Services Group.

“Hardware-enhanced security will lead to breakthroughs in effectively countering the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow,” said Renée James, Intel senior vice president, and general manager of the group.

For more, visit Computerworld.com

Critical Adobe Reader hole to be patched Thursday

Elinor Mills CNET News | August 19, 2010 4:52 AM PDT

Adobe will release a patch on Thursday for a critical hole in Reader that was disclosed at the Black Hat conference late last month, the company said on Wednesday.

Adobe had announced on August 5 that the emergency fix was coming this week, in advance of the next quarterly security release, scheduled for October 12.

The security update will resolve an undisclosed number of critical issues in Reader 9.3.3 for Windows, Mac, and Unix; Acrobat 9.3.3 for Windows and Mac; and Reader 8.2.3 and Acrobat 8.2.3 for Windows and Mac, according to Adobe’s advisory.

The flaw, which could be exploited to take control of a computer, is related to the way Adobe’s PDF (portable document format) reader software handles fonts, said Charlie Miller, principal analyst at Independent Security Evaluators who disclosed the hole at the security conference.

Visit cnet.news for the rest of this story.

Apple says it has patch for remote attack on iPhone, iPad

Apple is quietly wrestling with a security conundrum. How the company handles it could dictate the pace at which cybercriminals accelerate attacks on iPhones and iPads. Apple is hustling to issue a patch for a milestone security flaw that makes it possible to remotely hack —or jailbreak — iOS, the operating system for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch.

The patch is completed, Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said in an interview. But Kerris said on Friday that she was not able to give a time frame for its public release. Jailbreaking refers to hacking iOS to download Web apps not approved by Apple. This used to be difficult. This spring, a website came along called JailbreakMe.com that made it trivial to jailbreak your own iPhone or iPad. Last week, a technique for remote jailbreaking appeared on the site. It’s now possible to access the operating system of an iPhone or iPad owned by someone else.

An attacker would get “fairly complete control of affected devices,” says Michael Price, an operations manager for McAfee Labs. No such attacks are known to have happened yet, he says. For the moment, the most visible concern for Apple has been pranksters going into Apple and Best Buy retail stores and jailbreaking display models, according to tech blog Engadget. Yet, the security and privacy issues are serious.

Security experts expect the pattern that has come to dominate the PC world to begin to permeate smartphones. Bad guys continually flush out new security flaws in PCs, then tap into them to launch malicious attacks. Good guys, meanwhile, scramble to patch and block.

Now, cybercriminals are rapidly adapting PC hacking techniques to all smartphone platforms, including Symbian, Google Android, Windows Mobile, RIM BlackBerry and Apple iOS.

“It’s a brand new game with new rules,” says Dror Shalev, chief technology officer of DroidSecurity, which supplies protection for Google Android phones. “We’re seeing rapid growth in threats as a side effect of the mobile Web app revolution.”

IPhones, in particular, have become a pop culture icon in the U.S., and now the iPad has grabbed the spotlight. “The more popular these devices become, the more likely they are to get the attention of attackers,” says Joshua Talbot, intelligence manager at Symantec Security Response.

Apple’s problem is singular. The company has made a big deal about hiding technical details of iOS, allowing only approved Web apps to tie in. This tight control initially made it easier to keep iOS secure. But now Apple may have to share iOS coding with anti-virus firms, says Sorin Mustaca, development manager for anti-virus firm Avira.

Read more here…

Tech Jives is proudly sponsored by the worlds leader in IT certification training, CED Solutions!

Microsoft Launches PC v. Mac Website And Talks Some Serious Smack

By Alex Wilhelm Follow Alex Wilhelm on twitter on August 9th, 2010

It may be long overdue, but Microsoft is finally coming out swinging against the rise of OS X. Apple has long played the underdog against the giant, writing Microsoft off as stodgy, technologically backward, and problematic. Microsoft let them do it, focusing more on promoting their efforts than denigrating Apple’s products.

This stance confused some, why didn’t they bite back? It was on a long past episode of Diggnation that Alex Albrecht summed it up, saying in short that Microsoft didn’t even want to acknowledge Apple as a competitor. Doing that would give Cupertino market credibility. Now it seems that enough is enough, and Microsoft is finally fighting back.

Redmond has launched a website to discuss Mac versus PC that deals some serious blows to Apple, whether or not they are valid is up to you. Roughly broken into large sections, Microsoft says this

Having Fun: Macs Might Spoil Your Fun

Simplicity: Macs Can Take Time To Learn

Working Hard: Macs Dont Work As Well At Work Or At School

Sharing: Macs Don’t Like To Share

Compatibility: Macs Might Not Like Your PC Stuff

Choice: Macs Don’t Let You Choose

Read further here…

Tech Jives is proudly sponsored by CED Solutions!

Game designer legend Al Lowe creator of Leisure Suit Larry and many other hit games will be LIVE on Tech Barbarians TONIGHT 6pm PST / 9pm EST!

Come join Chris Pope and Mark Eoff this Saturday LIVE for what is sure to be an exciting episode of Tech Barbarians!

When? 9PM(Eastern Time) / 6PM (Pacific Time)

Where? http://watch.techjives.net

Prizes? OH HECK YES!!

1. $25 Best Buy Gift Certificate courtesy of the world leading computer certification training company CED Solutions

2. Multiple autographed 5.25 inch original Leisure Suit Larry 5 floppy disks!

3. A signed Sierra On-Line game manual

4. Possibly even more to be announced signed items! (Keep an eye on Chris Pope’s Twitter feed to find out more about prizes!)

Check out this recent interview with Al!

“In-Depth: Al Lowe Talks Early-Days Adventure Genre Challenges In New Book”

Winner of the lifetime Achievement Apple Moofie Awards!

Want to know more about Al Lowe?

“I was born a poor black child in Gumbo, Missouri…” –that’s how Al Lowe usually opens his résumé. And although it is not true (say what?), it’s an excellent introduction for a man whose passion is humour. “The world’s oldest computer games designer” (Lowe on Lowe) not only spent well over a decade writing funny games, he might well have introduced humour to computer games at all — with the creation of Leisure Suit Larry.

Not that Al Lowe wouldn’t have tried to practise an honest profession. He worked as High School Music Teacher for 15 years. During that time, he got his hands on an Apple II, taught himself to program, and figured that it was time for a career change. So a very talented (and yet unspoiled) Al Lowe spent his nights on creating his first programs — educational software for children. When the publisher Sierra bought the rights to these titles in 1982, it took the man as well.

Lowe was employed as to his qualifications, and humour was not yet considered one of them. Instead, Lowe continued to work on edutainment titles. When Sierra acquired a license to some Disney characters, he helped create programs like “Winnie Pooh in the Hundred-Acre Woods,” “Mickey’s Space Adventure” and “Donald Duck’s Playground.” Being something of a jack-of-all-trades, he filled in various positions on various projects: lead programmer (King’s Quest III and IV, Police Quest I), composer (King’s Quest II, Space Quest II), even interface designer on Sierra’s very own database program “HomeWord Filer.” He is also one of the fathers of The Sierra Network (1991). By 1984, Lowe got the chance to write, design and program his own graphic adventure game, “The Black Cauldron.”Target audience: still kids. But that was to change in 1987.

In 1987, Al Lowe gave birth to the most notorious, single-minded game character there is: Larry Laffer. A born loser constantly on the look-out for women, Larry instantly conquered the hearts (and certain other organs) of gamers everywhere. Besides being daringly explicit for its time, “Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards” was also full of humour. These two major innovations–being the first adult graphic adventure and the first comedy game–made LSL 1 a classic and (probably more important for Al) a best-seller. See the trivia section of the game entry for an extensive quote on the development of Leisure Suit Larry.

After that, Al Lowe spent most of his years continuing the saga of Larry Laffer. He created five additional games for a total of six, ending with episode seven. Puzzled? Check out the trivia section for Leisure Suit Larry 5 to unravel the mystery of the missing adventure. Between episodes, he managed to design the western comedy“Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist” (1993) and the parents-plus-children fantasy adventure, “Torin’s Passage” (1995). By 1999, plans were made to send Larry Laffer into his eighth game. Puzzled again? “Larry’s Casino,” a hybrid of Larry’s humour and Hoyle’s games, came out in 1998. But “Leisure Suit Larry 8: Lust in Space” was not meant to be.

As the 90s were nearing their end, so were traditional “flat” adventure games. If there was to be a Leisure Suit Larry 8, it had thus to be in 3D. Games like “Grim Fandango” had already taken the first step into the new dimension. Al Lowe was ready to go, too; however, Sierra was not. The company had just suffered through a year of bad sales. As the costs for each project were growing in the millions, the meagre earnings were far from sufficient to cover the expenses — even for the titles already in production. Without the necessary money, the decision to fund a Larry 8 was delayed several times. Finally, the debts grew too high. The costs had to be cut — severely. In February 1999, Sierra not only closed its Yosemite Studios, it laid off Al Lowe. After 16 years of working for one company, Lowe was ready for retirement.

Al Lowe is since enjoying his private life. Completely unlike his creation, the ever-searching Larry Laffer, Lowe is a family man; he’s living in Seattle with his wife Margaret and his two children, Brian and Megan. He is known to be an excellent saxophonist; he regularly plays in several Seattle jazz bands. For a sample of his skill, listen to the title theme of Leisure Suit Larry 7 (see also Larry 1 trivia on the origin of the song). Lowe is also known to be an enthusiastic golf player. In his free time (i.e. most of the day), he tends to his own website, www.allowe.com, which you should definitely pay a visit if you’re interested in the history of Leisure Suit Larry. Lowe also tries to make the world a happier place by managing the mailing list CyberJoke 3000™. That he’s qualified for this job should be proven by the following excerpt from an interview with “The Armchair Empire,” which I just can’t help to quote:

Q: If you knew you had ten minutes to live, how would you use the time?

A: Borrowing money.

Q: How would you want your obituary to read?

A: “That guy owed everybody!”

Chrome Shows Off Some Fancy HTML5 Tricks

Google’s Chrome browser has a well-established reputation for being not only extremely fast at rendering JavaScript, but also robust in its support of cutting-edge HTML5 technologies.

Both of these capabilities are on display at Chrome Experiments, a site that Google set up to showcase some of the coolest demos on the web for JavaScript apps, intricate CSS layouts and animations done with Canvas.

Chrome Experiments now has over 100 demos on offer, and we picked out some of our favorites for this little gallery.

Interest is exploding in HTML5 and its companion technologies. The hope is that these emerging standards will be widely used to power new web apps, as well as for playing animations, songs and videos in the browser without any plug-ins. Developers and content providers continue to rely on plug-ins like Flash or Silverlight for such multimedia playback tasks for now, but they are increasingly turning to HTML5, JavaScript and other web standards as browser makers continue to build the new capabilities into their latest releases.

We tested all of these experiments in multiple browsers, and almost all of them worked in Safari and Firefox, though they performed much better in the latest beta of Firefox 4 than in the current stable Firefox 3.x builds. Some of them also work splendidly in the latest Microsoft pre-release, Internet Explorer 9 preview 3.

Of course, a few of the Chrome demos on the Experiments site use Webkit-specific technologies and CSS prefixes, so those only work in Chrome and Safari. Some have poo-poohed vendor-specific prefixes, and others see them as a necessary step to force browser makers to adopt the latest behaviors being used in the wild. Regardless of that debate, it’s encouraging to see the different browsers all improving their JavaScript capabilities, which all of these demos exploit.

Sean Christmann's HTML5 demo

In short, you don’t need Chrome to view these, but they will all be more impressive in Chrome than in other browsers.

For the rest of this post, including demos, visit Wired.com’s Webmonkey