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Review: MacBook Pro 15" (LED)

We've added some benchmark results charts (with more to come later) in a thorough review of Apple's latest laptop from Robert Mohns, covering technical advances, the overall experience, and an audio quality issue.

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Review: Apple TV

We have updated our in-depth Apple TV review from Robert Mohns, who covers set-up, features, performance, compatibility, omissions, hacking, competition and the overall experience and value, with links to more resources.

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Review: AirPort 802.11n Base Station

We have added a few more notes on Ethernet and Airport Disk performance to our comprehensive examination of Apple's new wireless base station (complete with benchmark test results.

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Vendetta Online Adds Station Conquest

February 1, 2010 6:00 AM

Guild Software has added a new feature for its massively-multiplayer online space strategy game, Vendetta Online. Station Conquest gives groups of players the chance to attack a space station and take control of it. Planned updates for the new feature include holding territory around the station and manufacture of automated drones for mining.

This new gameplay mechanic allows groups of players to coordinate their attacks on a particular station, seizing control of it through the disabling of defense turrets, and taking direct ownership via a new "key" based hierarchical authentication system. Owner keys may then be distributed to other leaders, while various User keys may be generated and given to those needing only more limited types of access. The entire conquest system will be expanded over the coming months to allow surrounding territory to be held for the benefit of the station, while automated drones may be manufactured to mine ores...

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New Star Tennis Now Available

February 1, 2010 6:00 AM

New Star Games has announced the release of New Star Tennis, its newest sport title. The game features a full tennis tour with 66 tournaments, a variety of court styles, training challenges, and a detailed career mode spanning 15 tournaments.

New Star Tennis Features:

  • Exciting Gameplay
    Experience thrilling rallies as you compete against the world's elite. An intuitive control system allows you to put the ball anywhere on the court, but you will need some slick skills to become number one.
  • Intense Training
    To beat the best you will need to train hard and increase your abilities. There are 5 skills to master, Serve, Forehand, Backhand, Volley and Spin. You will also need to work in the gym to build up your Speed and Stamina. Now, get down and give me twenty!
  • The NSG World Tour
    There are 66 tournaments on the NSG World tour in which you can earn points to improve your ranking. You...

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The Flower Shop Released

February 1, 2010 6:00 AM

Winterwolves Software has announced the release of The Flower Shop. The new game, described as a dating and farming simulation, puts players in the role of college student Steve as he works to keep his farm running while pursuing relationship opportunities. The Flower Shop features nine unique endings.

"I wanted to create a story with universal appeal, with strong romantic elements and enchanting artwork. Life, love, and family are something we all deal with, and all the characters are connected. The decisions of player affect not only his or her relationships, but the way the characters interact with each other." - said Celso Riva, game designer/programmer of the game.

The game takes place in Fairbrook, a small farming community in northern California. Steve is a college freshman with relationship troubles. His girlfriend just dumped him, and his father is angry at him for his poor grades. As punishment, Steve is sent to work...

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Two Worlds II Newsletter Features Game Info, Cloak...

February 1, 2010 6:00 AM

TopWare Interactive and Reality Pump recently released a new Two Worlds II newsletter. The thirteenth edition of the newsletter includes information about the game's cave and mine system, a developer Q&A, a description of the Droser monster, and details on a new contest. Two Worlds II will send players to the unexplored land of Eastern Antaloor and will feature detailed graphics, an active combat system, and a complex storyline.

INTO THE DEPTHS ON A CAVE ADVENTURE
A truly first-class RPG has cave systems full of twisting paths, hidden crannies and hair-raising dungeon labyrinths - and TW2 really comes up trumps in this dark world. The games designers describe it as being a very extensive cave and mine system and we AP editors were at last allowed to experience the legendary underworld of Antaloor for ourselves! Reality Pump invited us to visit one of the vast mines near Hatmandor. This is where the mysterious and magical raw...

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Ten New Diablo III Screenshots Unveiled

February 2, 2010 6:00 AM

Blizzard Entertainment recently posted ten new screenshots from Diablo III, the game company's eagerly anticipated return to the action RPG franchise. The game will allow players to revisit the world of Sanctuary where they must once again take up arms against the demonic forces threatening humanity.

Diablo III will pick up the story twenty years after the events of Diablo II. Mephisto, Diablo, and Baal have been defeated, but the Worldstone, which once shielded the inhabitants of the world of Sanctuary from the forces of both the High Heavens and the Burning Hells, has been destroyed, and evil once again stirs in Tristram. Playing as a hero from one of five distinct character classes, players will acquire powerful items, spells, and abilities as they explore new and familiar areas of Sanctuary and battle hordes of demons to safeguard the world from the horrors that have arisen.

Diablo III will feature a custom 3D-graphics...

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Exploring The MMO World Of Onverse

February 2, 2010 6:00 AM

Macworld has posted a new article examining Onverse, a title which fuses social networking with an online virtual world. Onverse allows users to combine 2D features of sites like Facebook and MySpace with the 3D virtual experience of MMOs. The game is free to join, with microtransactions for premium items available from the Onverse store.

Released on November 25th, the latest update added a third world that augments the real estate available to new users. The Hub is Onverses main drag, with a few high-rise apartment buildings, a casino, a nightclub, an amphitheater, and plenty of stores to shop in. Meanwhile, Volcano Island and Ancient Moon are home to themed housing communities as well as a few outdoor sites to spend time in.

All of these worlds are scattered with points that players can collect to use as currency to buy things like furniture, clothing, and tools. For those willing to spend some actual money, Cash Coins can...

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iGame Radio Episode 91 Features Bioshock Review

February 2, 2010 6:00 AM

Episode 91 of Omaha Sternberg's iGame Radio podcast is now available for listening. The podcast features a review of Feral Interactive's Bioshock for Mac as well as reviews of Crush the Castle and Groovin' Blocks for iPhone and iPod Touch.

Episode 91:

  • A review of the long awaited Bioshock, by Feral Interactive, the FPS that pits you against the insane inhabitants of the underwater city of Rapture, and their Little Sisters.
  • Plus, a review of Crush the Castle, a strategy shooter of sorts for the iPhone. See yon castle fair? Now go beat it down with thy trebuchet in tiny bits!
  • Finally, a review of Groovin Blocks, a musical puzzler that brings new life to old Tetris-clones worldwide. Bring em down to the beat, and multiply your score. Because I love my C64. Well, that should have been one of the lyrics to the song, I think.

Check out the podcast at the web page linked below.

...

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Todd Hollenshead Discusses id's Merger With...

February 2, 2010 6:00 AM

Edge Online recently published a brief interview with id Software's Todd Hollenshead. The game developer discussed the company's merger with Bethesda Softworks parent company Zenimax Media.

Of course, everyone looks at it as, Well, id was purchased by Zenimax! but I think its just as true that we acquired an internal publishing capacity, said Todd Hollenshead. Thats really what the relationship is. As much as we have valued our publishing relationships with other thirdparty publishers in the past, there is a difference, because we were separate companies. Although we were trying to work together, ultimately there is an idea that we have divergent goals.

Its actually worked out really well. They value development for its own sake, rather than just trying to put something in a box and relying on marketing for sales, said Hollenshead. They believe in the quality of the product you put in and the value of the entertainment the...

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The Sims 3: High End Loft Stuff Pack Now Available

February 3, 2010 6:00 AM

Electronic Arts has announced the release of The Sims 3: High-End Loft Stuff pack for The Sims 3. The pack adds a variety of new items to the popular sim title including three items returning from the previous two Sims titles: the heart-shaped vibrating bed, the electric guitar, and the aquarium.

Create The Ultimate High-End Loft Lifestyle For Your Sims
Transform your Sims' homes into sleek, edgy apartments with The Sims 3 Design & High-Tech Stuff. There's a host of new items for your most lived-in rooms, including slick gadgets for your high-tech study, a next-gen gaming system for the killer game room and modern furniture for the most contemporary living room. Now your Sims can give their homes an ultra-modern makeover!

Features:

  • Add a sleek, high-end, tech-inspired look to your Sims bedroom, living room, bathroom, office and den.
  • Upgrade your Sims' wardrobes with forward looking apparel, tailored suits...

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Land Air Sea Warfare Coming Soon To Macs

February 3, 2010 6:00 AM

Isotope 244 recently announced work on a Mac version of the recently released Land Air Sea Warfare, a new game from the developers of Machines at War. The strategy war game features 70 new types of units, new technologies, and six "gigantic mega units" for players to control.

After two years of development I have finally completed my next game! It builds on my previous real time strategy game Machines at War and takes it in a different direction. Battles are now a rich mix of different types of units and your headquarters can even be in the sea! There are over 70 new types of units, new technologies, and six gigantic mega units which are awesome in battle! I would list all of the changes, but looking at my work log there are over 800 of them! I will be working on the Mac version next and am still developing the game every day, so if you have any suggestions for the game please let me know. - James Bryant

Land Air Sea Warfare:
...

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World Of Warcraft Version 3.3.2 Released

February 3, 2010 6:00 AM

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the release of the version 3.3.2 update for its popular MMO, World of Warcraft. Among other things the patch gives players a new cinematic once they've defeated the Lich King Arthas as well as a variety of Mac specific bug fixes.

Frostwing Halls, a chilling place containing the final obstacles between your raid and the Lich King himself, is now open. You can expect to uncover disturbing and horrific phenomena taking place against the Green Dragonflight before finding Sindragosa hovering above you. Should you have what it takes to destroy the Lich King's most prized frost wyrm, as well as having already conquered the Plaguewerks and Crimson Hall areas of Icecrown Citadel, you'll have your chance to follow Tirion Fordring to the Frozen Throne, a chilling pedestal atop which the Lich King has reigned unchallenged for years. The time has come, brave adventurers, for him to fall!

Click over to the...

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City Of Heroes Spring Fling Event Celebrates...

February 3, 2010 6:00 AM

Paragon Studios has announced the beginning of the Spring Fling in-game event for its super hero themed MMO, City of Heroes. The event, which began on February 2 and continues through March 2, features a variety of Valentine's Day themed missions and unlockable content.

Ganymede, Scratch, and DJ Zero are once again flinging out the fun and creating seasonal harmony from that jumpin-est of joints, Pocket D. Blue side and Red side have another chance to join forces and Snap some Teeth.

This popular event is back with the potential to earn unlockable costume pieces and badges. Brave the Well of the Furies, find Aphrodite's Girdle, and take down that mischievous Red Cap, Snaptooth. Don't forget the exciting temporary powers available only from this event...confound your enemies with the Nectar of the gods and enemies become allies with the crossover Dimension Drop buff.

Starts: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 8:59 a.m....

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Din's Curse Now Available For Preorder

February 4, 2010 6:00 AM

Soldak Entertainment has announced that its upcoming action RPG title, Din's Curse, is available for pre-order. Those who purchase early will receive full access to the latest beta build, a reduced pre-order price of only $19.99, single player and co-op multiplayer (both LAN and internet), the opportunity to give Soldak feedback on the official forums, and the final game version when it becomes available.

Din's Curse:
Din, champion of the gods, has cursed you into a second life of service because you selfishly squandered your first one while causing misfortune to those around you. To redeem yourself, you must impress Din by building a reputation for helping others. Travel the spacious western plains of Aleria and save desperate towns from the brink of annihilation. Until you're redeemed, you're doomed to wander the earth alone for all eternity.

In Din's Curse, you will explore an extensive underground, slaying dangerous...

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Hive Media Games Formed, Angela's World Released

February 4, 2010 6:00 AM

Hive Media has announced the acquisition of Windmill Games and the creation of Hive Media Games. HMG's first release is Angela's World an action game which challenges players to gather enchanted roses while dodging sparks and other hazards on a small planet.

William Weaver, President and CEO of Hive Media, Inc. stated, I am proud that Hive Media has had the opportunity to form Hive Media Games with Sven Paroth as Senior Programmer. Hive Media is comprised of extremely talented professional artists, audio engineers and programmers. Through our team and a large business network, I am sure that many people will be enjoying our games for years to come.

Sven Paroth, ex-owner of Windmill Games stated, After review, I welcomed the opportunity to become a part of Hive Media and help build Hive Media Games. Working as one entity, we are excited to bring a varied number of qualitative games on multiple platforms in the coming months....

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Apple Games Features Rome: Total War Gold Edition

February 4, 2010 6:00 AM

Apple Games' latest feature article explores the historical combat in Feral Interactive's Rome: Total War Gold Edition for Mac. In the game players take charge of one of three Roman families with the goal of increasing their family's power in Rome through diplomacy, economic skill, and war. Apple's article includes an overview of the game, comments from developer Mike Simpson, a history of the Roman era, and a list of cheat codes.

As your territory grows, youll also need to keep an eye on the home front. Citizens taxed too heavily may threaten to revolt, while poorly-maintained settlements are more susceptible to plague outbreaks that will decimate their population and reduce the amount of Denarii they contribute to your coffers. However, if you capture a settlement located in a province with a World Wonder such as the Great Pyramid of Giza or the Lighthouse of Alexandria youll earn powerful empire-wide benefits.

I split the...

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City Of Heroes Second Mission Architect Contest...

February 4, 2010 6:00 AM

NCSoft and Paragon Studios have announced a second Mission Architect contest for the company's super hero themed MMO, City of Heroes. Contest entrants are asked to write an arc for levels 5 to 10 with a story about a known hero or villain who loses their powers. The contest winner could receive a permanent title on a character of his or her choice, and a Developer's Choice for the mission arc.

Sigh...you know, sometimes it's tough being the creator of so many great products, living the good life in the high tower with all these responsibilities. So many things to juggle...remember when it was easier? When you were still new and didn't have so many things to take care of? Back when you could...could just be yourself? I'm not crying! Ahem...I'm just...aha! Coming up with an idea for the next challenge! That's it...I know EXACTLY what it'll be! I challenge you all to write an arc for levels 5 to 10 with a story about a known hero or villain...

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Rome: Total War Gold Edition Available Today

February 5, 2010 6:00 AM

Feral Interactive is scheduled to release Rome: Total War Gold Edition for Mac today. Originally developed by The Creative Assembly and published by SEGA, the game is released under the Feral Legends label.

In Rome: Total War players take charge of one of three Roman families with the goal of increasing their family's power in Rome through diplomacy, economic skill, and war. The Gold Edition includes the original strategy title as well as the Barbarian Invasion expansion.

The Total War series is one of the most-requested additions to Mac gaming, said Feral Interactives David Stephen. Its a game that is superbly suited to the platform and one that will be available to all Mac owners including those with Intel MacBooks and Mac minis.

"The Creative Assembly is delighted that Mac users will now have the opportunity to experience Rome: Total War and Barbarian Invasion" says Mike Simpson, Creative Director at The Creative...

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Civilization IV Digital Download Now Available

February 5, 2010 6:00 AM

Aspyr Media has announced the release of a digital download version of Civilization IV for Macs. The download is available exclusively from Aspyr's GameAgent store. The company has also opened up preorders for upcoming downloadable versions of the games two expansions: Warlords and Beyond the Sword, as well as Civilization III: Complete.

Sid Meiers Civilization IV comes-to-life like never before in a beautifully detailed, living 3D world that expands the gameplay experience. This latest installment takes the franchise to new heights with the addition of new ways to play and win, new tools to manage and expand your civilization, all-new easy to use mod capabilities and various multiplayer modes and options..

With Sid Meiers Civilization IV, rule throughout time and create your own legacy as you guide your civilization from the dawn of man through the space age and beyond. Implement new technologies, conduct diplomacy or wage...

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Wacky Mini-Golf Update Adds Ghost Ship Theme

February 5, 2010 6:00 AM

DanLabGames has announced the release of an update for its family-friendly hit title, Wacky Mini-Golf. The update brings the game to version 1.1and adds the new "spooky and humorous" Ghost Ship theme to the game. Wacky Mini-Golf features five original themes, 90 holes, 20 animated golf avatars, multiplayer vis hot seat mode.

Wacky Mini-Golf is a best-selling Mac game that puts you on the links in exotic nature locales, now with 5 original themes and a total of 90 holes.

Choose from 20 animated custom golfer avatars or use your iSight camera to edit your own pic into the game. Invite up to four players to take turns in "hot seat" mode and get started: Enjoy the awesome graphics, challenging courses, original soundtrack and family-friendly comic relief.

See how you stack up against other players with the online leaderboard and submit your achievement photos to the online player gallery.

Features:

  • Real...

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Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning Reviewed

February 5, 2010 6:00 AM

Mac|Life has posted a new review of the Mac version of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. The game features Realm vs Realm combat and allows players to enter a grim fantasy world where the armies of Order and Destruction collide to determine the fate of nations. Mac|Life gave Warhammer Online a score of 4 out of 5.

From the review:
Really, the expectation is that youve played this kind of game before and know the implications of your decisions, so anyone unfamiliar with the MMORPG universe will likely stumble through their first 10 levels or so. Fortunately, once you get the hang of it, the experience is rich and rewarding. You can embark on solo quests, start battles alongside other players, fight against other players, join guilds, start guilds, craft items, and explore the enormous (and beautiful) world.

The games main focus is realm-versus-realm and player-versus-player combat, where the two factions square off for...

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The Sims Franchise Turns Ten

February 8, 2010 6:00 AM

The EA Play Label of Electronic Arts recently announced the celebration of the ten year anniversary of The Sims, the popular game that allowed players to create and live a virtual, simulated life on a computer. Since the original The Sims debut on February 4, 2000, the franchise has produced three core games The Sims, The Sims 2, and The Sims 3 supported by dozens of expansion and stuff packs with lifetime unit sales eclipsing 125 million worldwide.

As part of the celebration EA is offering several free items: Let there be Sims!, The Sims Strike Back and In the Dawn of Sims, as well as a 10% discount on all new items sets until February 14.

The future of The Sims is going to be a lot of fun; it is rare for an entertainment franchise to be gaining momentum a decade after release, so this is a particularly pleasant moment for everyone who has worked on the games.

The success of The Sims is something gamers and the gaming...

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Dragon Age: Origins Collectors Edition For Mac...

February 8, 2010 6:00 AM

Macworld has posted a new review of the Mac version of Dragon Age: Origins Collector's Edition. Bioware's latest fantasy role playing epic challenges players to take on the role of a Grey Warden and defend the land of Fereldin from the monstrous Darkspawn. Macworld gave the game a score of 5 out of 5.

From the review:
On my MacBook Pro 2.66GHz running Mac OS 10.6, Dragon Age was stunning. From the fire effects of enemy spells to the gush of blood from a blade, the details were beautiful and realistic. Unlike some RPGs, there isnt a major drop off between cut scenes and combat; the shadows and shading were impressive in both. There are some moments of slow-down, particularly in the bigger environments, but on the whole I was impressed with my machines ability to handle this high-end game.

While chaotic, battles are easy to manage thanks to the pause button and the ability to instantly order your party to change tactics....

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City Of Heroes Secret Admirer Contest

February 8, 2010 6:00 AM

NCSoft and Paragon Studios have announced a new contest for the super hero themed MMO, City of Heroes. Participants in the City of Heroes Secret Admirer contest will compete to offer the best Valentine's Day card to War Witch. Prizes for winning entrants include a Logitech G35 Surround Sound Headset, a Razer Destructor Precision Gaming Surface, Hero and Villain Pins, 5 year anniversary T-shirt, and Projector Pens.

At some point, we've all stood outside of War Witch's apartment and played the role of Secret Admirer. After all, who wouldn't be wild over a talented sorceress who possesses brains, beauty and brawn? We sure are big fans...and we're banking on the fact that you are too!

So in honor of Valentine's Day being just around the corner, we've dreamt up a new way for you to express your love and admiration for this spiritual City of Heroes stunner!

Introducing the City of Heroes Secret Admirer Contest where between Thursday...

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The Rise And Fall Of The Lich King

February 8, 2010 6:00 AM

Blizzard Entertainment has published an Insider interview with World of Warcraft Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer and Lead Systems Designer Greg Street. The developers discussed the Fall of the Lich King content update released with version 3.3 of World of Warcraft.

Can you give us any teasers about the final Lich King encounter from a gameplay standpoint? How difficult will he be? Any insight into how his skills and powers from Warcraft III will carry over into the final Lich King raid event?
Scott Mercer: We're going to keep those cards close to the vest, as players will be toe-to-toe with the Lich King soon enough, but I can say that he will pose the greatest challenge yet found in World of Warcraft. Beyond that, I can only share a few additional details. The battle against the Lich King takes place at the top of Icecrown Citadel where the Frozen Throne protrudes from the citadel's tallest tower. Throughout the fight, players...

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent Reaches Alpha

February 9, 2010 6:00 AM

Frictional Games recently announced that Amnesia: The Dark Descent has reached the alpha stage. The upcoming new adventure horror title from the creators of the Penumbra series is described as a title which will take players on a "thrill-ride through the depths of madness and explore the dark side of human emotions." It follows the tale of a protagonist on the run from a horrifying foe.

So what does this mean? In general terms it means that we now have a large chunk of the game done which we can evaluate and draw conclusions from. More specifically it means:

  • All code for tech, tools and game are done and what is left is basically polish. Note again that this is for all platforms! Sure, the polish is not an easy thing and can include plenty of smaller feature additions, but it is a road map that we can control and plan for.
  • We can now, for the first time in almost three years, test the game and see how it really plays...

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Din's Curse Beta Updated

February 9, 2010 6:00 AM

Soldak Entertainment has released an update for the beta version of its upcoming action RPG, Din's Curse. The beta version is available to testers and those who have pre-ordered the game. In addition to a variety of quests to complete and monsters to slay the final game will feature 6 characters classes with 18 specialties for a total of 141 possible character combinations.

Din, champion of the gods, has cursed you into a second life of service because you selfishly squandered your first one while causing misfortune to those around you. To redeem yourself, you must impress Din by building a reputation for helping others. Travel the spacious western plains of Aleria and save desperate towns from the brink of annihilation. Until you're redeemed, you're doomed to wander the earth alone for all eternity.

In Din's Curse, you will explore an extensive underground, slaying dangerous monsters, solving dynamic quests, dodging deadly...

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BioWare's Greg Zeschuk Discusses RPGs

February 9, 2010 6:00 AM

A.V. Club has posted a new interview with BioWare cofounder Greg Zeschuk. The developer discussed the company's popular role playing game franchises including Baldur's Gate and Dragon Age, covering topics like cinematics, romance, dialog trees, and how the genre is evolving.

AVC: Starting with Baldurs Gate II, your games have also become well-known for the romances that the player forms with other characters in the game. With Dragon Age, the gay sex scene made the news. People are scared that their kids will just all of a sudden end up in this situation in a tent with the bisexual elf, and thats not really at all how it works.
GZ: No, not even remotely. [Laughs.]

AVC: Do you think theres a better way to communicate that theres a whole context and a lengthy relationship leading up to these scenes? Or do you think these controversies just flare up and move on?
GZ: On one hand, at a very high level, demographics are...

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Missions Of The Reliant OS X Version In Development

February 9, 2010 6:00 AM

Orange River Studio's Michael Rubin has informed us that his Classic OS shareware game set in outer space, Missions of the Reliant, will be receiving an OS X version. Reliant fan and Mac Programmer Gwynne Raskind has started work on porting the game and will be offering progress updates on her blog.

From The Monk's Brew:
For those of you who dont know, I did write one other computer game in the past, The Missions of Starship Reliant (aka, Missions of the Reliant). I had always wanted to write and release a game throughout my childhood, but all I knew back in the 80s was BASIC, and that never got me very far. And so, at one point in my mid-twenties, and being a Mac fan and all, I decided to pick up some books and learn Pascal. In 1994, amid great imaginary fanfare and to much fictitious critical acclaim, the first version of Missions was released in all of its $20 shareware glory. (The sequel, Missions II, was released in 1996, but it...

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Warhammer Online: Night Of Murder Event Underway

February 10, 2010 6:00 AM

Mythic Entertainment has announced the beginning of the Night of Murder event for its fantasy themed MMO, Warhammer Online. During the event, which continues through February 16, players have the chance to gain several event specific rewards.

As darkness falls on the Night of Murder, the worshippers of death bathe the land in blood, each intent on proving his or her devotion to the Elf god Kaela Mensha Khaine. It is a time that the forces of Destruction are all too willing to exploit. Assassins infiltrate the cities, while on the battlefield the differences between Good and Evil fade beneath the crimson haze of bloodlust. None are immune to the will of Khaine during this dark holiday.

During the Night of Murder, players will receive event influence by completing daily tome tasks. With the 'Well-Mounted Skull' reward you can mount the heads of your ememies on pikes for all to see! Keep an eye out for members of the enemy...

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Parallels Desktop And VMWare Fusion Compared

February 10, 2010 6:00 AM

MacTech Magazine has posted a new article detailing recent benchmark testing of Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion running on Intel based macs. Comparing performance on MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models the tests covered performance, differences running Windows XP and Windows 7, the impact of multiple processors, and comparisons of 64 vs 32 bit.

Games
One of the most frequent questions that we were asked after our last virtualization benchmarks was "What about games?" The 3DMark06 testing did give us good insight and excellent data, but we also wanted to try some games and see how they worked.

Devil May Cry 4:
Devil May Cry 4 is the fourth in the Devil May Cry series of action games by CAPCOM. In the game, you fight enemies in close combat using firearms, swords, and other weapons. High speed, high action.

We looked at Devil May Cry 4 (from DVD, not Steam) in part because it has some very nicely...

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Diablo III Female Monk Website Update

February 10, 2010 6:00 AM

Blizzard Entertainment has updated its Diablo III website with new information about the Monk class. The additions reveal the female monk with all new artwork and an in-game model. Diablo III will return players to the action RPG world of Sanctuary, once again imperiled by the forces of darkness.

Without rising from his seat, the monk met the first man's lunging slash, grabbing his wrist and tossing him carelessly over his shoulder, throwing him into a table with a loud crash. The suddenness of the monk's attack momentarily stunned the men, and as they stood there, he rose.

That was when chaos broke out.

The monk was a fluid mass of restrained energy, meeting every attack with hardly a moment's distress. He fought with hands and feet in a way I had never seen before. In my days, I have witnessed my share of drunken bar brawls, but this was something else altogether. The sound of bones crunching with each of his...

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Tasty Planet Sequel In The Works

February 10, 2010 6:00 AM

In a blog post from last month Dingo Games revealed that work has begun on a sequel to Tasty Planet. The game put players in the role of a grey glob of experimental bathroom cleaner that rolled over items and slowly increased its size until capable of devouring worlds. The blog update offers a few details about features in the sequel.

Ive been working for a couple weeks on a sequel to Tasty Planet. We havent finalized the story or setting for the new game, but weve picked a general direction and things are moving along. Here are some features that we have in mind:

  • Larger scale in levels. We want the ability to go from really small to really large in a single level instead of spread across multiple levels.
  • Many more levels. Ive been working on tools to speed up our ability to generate content.
  • New physics system. This will make object interactions feel better.
  • 2-Player Cooperative play. Should be super...

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PopCap Celebrates 10 Years Of Bejeweled

February 11, 2010 6:00 AM

PopCap Games has announced that it has begun a 10 month long celebration in honor of its long running Bejeweled franchise, which turns ten this year. The festivities for the popular and often imitated match-3 game will include unveilings of new installments in the series, a Bejeweled Blitz competition, and a variety of other promotional activities.

The company also announced that Bejeweled has now sold more than 50 million units, making it one of the top ten best-selling video games of all time. PopCap continues to sell a copy of Bejeweled every 4.3 seconds.

Bejeweled has obviously succeeded beyond our wildest dreams, said Jason Kapalka, co-creator of the game and co-founder and chief creative officer at PopCap. When Brian Fiete, John Vechey and I built the game ten years ago, we had no grand aspirations for it or PopCap, we were trying to survive as a company during the depths of the dot-com collapse. Little did we know we'd...

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Apple Games Features The Sims 3 High End Loft Stuff

February 11, 2010 6:00 AM

Apple Games has published a new article on High End Loft Stuff, a new item pack for The Sims 3. The pack adds a variety of new items to the popular sim title including three items returning from the previous two Sims titles: the heart-shaped vibrating bed, the electric guitar, and the aquarium.

Nothing beats relaxing in a well-furnished living room after a tough day at the Mad Scientist lab, and no Sim can go wrong with the aptly-named Cradle of Civilization, billed as the most comfortable sofa in the entire world. Thats right, not just in Sunset Valley or in Sim City: the entire world. Dont be surprised if the neighbors start feeling a little jealous.

And you might have to start coming up with excuses for why they cant drop by daily after they see your Sims MedeaMedia wall-mounted flat-screen TV, especially if its connected to a GUGA JoyToy 3 videogame console. Nothing beats an intense game of DeathSaga or Blood Buckets 7 in...

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StarCraft II Beta Test Begins Later This Month

February 11, 2010 6:00 AM

During Activision Blizzard's fourth quarter earnings conference call Mike Morehaime announced that the company plans to begin beta testing StarCraft II later this month. The company also revealed that both StarCraft II and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will be released this year.

Avarius: I know you are all very excited to hear the news about the StarCraft II beta coming soon. In order to help facilitate this discussion, please keep your comments about this announcement consolidated to this thread. Thanks! Emails to those who can participate in the beta will be sent out once it's ready to start.

1. You should be able to download it to your other computer, however, you must be logged into your battle.net account in order to play.

2. They will exist to give beta participants a place to discuss the beta and report any issues they may find. Only participants of the beta will be able to post, but the forums can be read...

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City Of Heroes Issue 17 To Feature Improved Graphics

February 11, 2010 6:00 AM

NCSoft and Paragon Studios have revealed some new information about Issue 17: Dark Mirror, an upcoming update for the company's comic book hero themed MMO, City of Heroes. The patch will include a new Ultra Mode featuring improved graphics for Paragon City and the Rogue Isles, and offering an idea of the new visuals coming in the upcoming Going Rogue expansion.

A while ago, we announced Ultra Mode, a brand spanking new addition to the City of Heroes universe that will bring Paragon City and the Rogue Isles to an even fresher and visually more pleasing level!

Ultra Mode will allow you (as long as your computer can handle it) to experience City of Heroes in a completely different light...literally! You will rediscover places and landmarks in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles as if you'd never seen them before, and best of all, it will be in Issue 17: Dark Mirror, our next free expansion! And it is worth mentioning that once...

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Telltale Releases Tales Of Monkey Island, More...

February 12, 2010 6:00 AM

Telltale Games has officially announced it is bringing its lineup of games to Mac starting with the pirate adventure Tales of Monkey Island, available now to Mac users. Customers will get both Mac and PC versions of the multi-platform games with a single purchase. Any customers that have bought these titles from Telltale in the past can download the Mac version for no additional charge.

"Telltale's built up an outstanding catalog of content over the years, and we're looking forward to getting the games to this community to further enrich the increasingly growing, vibrant and technically outstanding Mac platform," said Telltale CEO Dan Connors. "We're big fans of Apple's technology and devices, and we're looking forward to building further from here."

Which title appears on Apple's platform next is up to the people. Telltale is opening the ballot box at the Telltale Games website, where Mac devotees can cast their vote for one of...

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Din's Curse Rogue Class Unveiled

February 12, 2010 6:00 AM

Soldak Entertainment, known for its Depths of Peril and Kivi's Underworld fantasy games, has released more new information about the upcoming action RPG, Din's Curse. The latest update reveals the game's Rogue class and its associated specialties: Assassin, Trickster, and Thief. This is the fifth revealed class of the six planned for the game.

Rogue:
Living by their own rules, this tricky class excels at stealthy deception, trap evasion, lock picking, and are lethal killing machines.

Specialties: Assassin, Trickster, and Thief.

Assassin
This vanquisher is a lethal killer, racking up huge amounts of damage.

Bonuses: higher attack per dexterity, higher health per vitality, and higher damage per strength
Mana gen: Mana gain on critical hits and kills
Armor: Cloth and Leather
Weapons: Daggers and Swords

  • Rupture - This has extra damage and a high chance of deep wounds. Deep...

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No Macs In First Round StarCraft II Beta Testing

February 12, 2010 6:00 AM

In a post on the official forums a Blizzard Entertainment representative has updated recent beta test reports with the news that Mac users will not be able to participate in the first round of beta testing for the upcoming StarCraft II. The game will return players to the popular RTS franchise with an all new single player storyline and new units and strategies for multiplayer fans to enjoy.

Will Mac users have an equal chance to get into beta as compared to windows users or a chance at all?
Zhydaris: No Mac version, at least not at the beginning of the first phase of Beta, sorry :(

Visit the pages below to read more.

IncGamers: No StarCraft II Beta For Mac Gamers
Blizzard Forums: Mac Starcraft II Beta?
...

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City Of Heroes: Reactivation & Double XP Weekend...

February 12, 2010 6:00 AM

NCSoft has announced a Double XP and Account Reactivation weekend for its super hero themed MMO, City of Heroes . Starting on March 4 and continuing through March 7 both villain and hero characters will receive double the usual experience points for their accomplishments. The company will also allow gamers with inactive accounts to rejoin the game for the duration of the weekend event.

Get excited because one of your favorite times of the year is quickly approaching - Double XP Weekend! All the fun begins on March 4th!

What is a Double Experience Weekend? It's a three day stretch of time during which all participating Hero and Villain characters receive double the XP, Influence, and Infamy for their accomplishments in game. All you have to do is log in and take advantage of this opportunity to level up your favorite characters twice as quickly as normal! And if you pre-purchase Going Rogue, you'll be able to take advantage of...

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Shutter Island Now Available

February 12, 2010 1:24 PM

Macgamestore.com today announced the release of Shutter Island on its web site. Shutter Island is a casual game based on the upcoming feature film Shutter Island by Paramount Pictures. The game is published by Merscom.

From Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese, "Shutter Island" tells the story of two U.S. Marshals, Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule, who are summoned to a remote and barren island off the coast of Massachusetts in 1954 to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from Ashecliffe, the island's fortress-like hospital for the criminally insane.

The Shutter Island game is a hidden objects game where players take on the role of a U.S. Marshal as they attempt to locate patients that have escaped Ashecliffe during a recent hurricane. The game consists of 7 levels and 20 environments. In addition, there are multiple mini-games that move the player through Ashecliffe, creating unique interactions with...

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Galcon Fusion Released

February 15, 2010 6:00 AM

Phil Hassey has announced the release of Galcon Fusion for OS X. The game is a "fast-paced multi-player galactic arcade-strategy game", which now features improved HD graphics, a full soundtrack, a variety of new multi-player modes, achievements, and detailed rankings.

Developer, Phil Hassey, created the original prototype in just two days for the Ludum Dare 48-hour game development competition in 2006. Galcon was such a hit with the Ludum Dare crowd that Phil decided to rework it into a multi-player desktop game. In 2008, Phil ported the game to the iPhone where Galcon distinguished itself as the first multi-player strategy game in the App Store. Galcon went on to win the Independent Game Festival Innovation in Mobile Game Design award in 2009. With the introduction of Fusion, Galcon comes full-circle back to the desktop, with all new graphics, missions, and more!

Game features include:

  • Beautiful new HD graphics...

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Teltale Games' Dan Connors And Mark Darin...

February 15, 2010 6:00 AM

AppleTell has posted a new interview with Telltale Games CEO Dan Connors and designer Mark Darin about the company's venture into Mac Gaming. Telltale recently announced the Mac release of Tales of Monkey Island, as well as plans to bring more of its games to Apple machines.

For us, our audience is always a unique group of people, anyway, Dan explained, and we just want to find them wherever they are. A big part of what Telltale is about is creating interactive experiences that are about storytellingabout great cinematic presentation and artso, in a way, we want to be the next generation of interactive content in general, and we think Mac is where a lot of that innovation is going, so we want to be part of that.

Each game theyre bringing to the Mac is the type that can appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers; theyre easy enough for new gamers to instantly start playing, but offer the deep gaming experience that appeals to...

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SLUDGE 2D Adventure Game Engine Comes To Macs

February 15, 2010 6:00 AM

Rikard Peterson has announced the release of version 2.0 of SLUDGE, a 2D Adventure Game Engine. Originally created for Windows by Tim Furnish, SLUDGE has been modified by Peterson to work on Mac and Linux machines as well. Other updates include OpenGL graphics and support for 32 bit images with alpha channels.

Some of you may be aware of the cross-platform open source adventure game engine called SLUDGE. It used to be Windows-only, but starting with version 2.0 it's available for Windows, Mac and Linux. (The 2.0 development kit is currently Mac-only, but games made with the 1.x dev kit in Windows can be run in the 2.0 engine, and there are plans to bring the new dev kit to all three platforms.) Version 2.0 is currently in beta, but it's reached the point where it's working well, so we want more people to try it to find any bugs that may be remaining.

I have packaged up the game Nathan's Second Chance with the engine, so that...

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Two Worlds II: DEMONS Spell System, Gargoyle, Q&A

February 15, 2010 6:00 AM

TopWare Interactive and Reality Pump recently released a new Two Worlds II newsletter. The fourteenth edition of the newsletter includes information about the game's magic system, details about sacred altars and obelisks, a description of the dangerous Gargoyle, and a brief Q&A. Two Worlds II will send players to the unexplored land of Eastern Antaloor and will feature detailed graphics, an active combat system, and a complex storyline.

krathax: How did you organize the merchants' system in the towns and cities?
RP: We used a much more individual approach than in Part 1, krathax. In the public markets, you'll mostly find conventional booths selling food, less specialized weapons and armor - but the special stores are hidden away in the houses. Each merchant there has his own very special program and will demand (or pay) various different prices. So there is no use in trying to sell ingredients and plants to a blacksmith. You...

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Two Worlds II: New Screenshots, Gameplay Videos

February 16, 2010 6:00 AM

TopWare Interactive and Reality Pump recently added new content to the website for Two Worlds II, the upcoming fantasy RPG. The site change includes several new screenshots and MoveShots, 3 second videos showcasing Two Worlds II gameplay. The game will send players to the unexplored land of Eastern Antaloor and will feature detailed graphics, an active combat system, and a complex storyline.

Despite the massive landscape which spans over 60 square kilometres of rolling grasslands, murky swamps, and sprawling cities, images of the upcoming RPG epic Two Worlds II have only to date only scratched the surface of beautiful world of Antaloorliterally. Deep underground there lie cavernous mines rich with precious Veritas crystals, the ancient twisting catacombs of long forgotten cultures, and shadowy dungeons adorned with remnants of countless tortured prisoners.
Available today at...

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iGame Radio: Telltale Games Interview

February 16, 2010 6:00 AM

iGame Radio has posted a new podcast interview with Telltale Games' Matt Darin, Will Armstrong, and Chris Schmidt about the company's decision to bring its adventure games to Mac users. Telltale recently announced the Mac release of Tales of Monkey Island, as well as plans to bring more of its games to Apple machines.

Whats inside this episode:

  • An exclusive interview with Matt Darin, Will Armstrong, and Chris Schmidt of TellTale Games about Tales of Monkey Island, how the games are being ported to the Mac, and why the decision was made.

Click over to the link below for more information.

iGame Radio: Telltale Games Interview
iGame Radio

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World Of Warcraft Five Years Later

February 16, 2010 6:00 AM

IncGamers recently posted an article examining the history of Blizzard Entertainment's popular MMO, World of Warcraft. The article examines the innovations Blizzard brought to its massively multiplayer role playing game with the initial release of WoW five years ago, as well as with each expansion since then.

Due to Blizzard's work on level 60+ content since the release of TBC, players with new characters tend to rush through WoW's early zones in favour of questing in the more recently added areas, and thanks to all the improvements to levelling speed, many of WoW's original areas are often desolate. Cataclysm, WoW's next expansion which is due to be released later this year, will address this issue head on. Blizzard has stated that almost every zone in Azeroth will be affected as a result of Deathwing's reappearance, the story behind Cataclysm. Some places will change so dramatically that they'll hardly be recognisable, others will have...

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EVE Online: Bug Testing And Dealing With Lag

February 16, 2010 6:00 AM

CCP Games has published a new developer blog offering information about its sci-fi MMO, EVE Online. The article offers a lengthy explanation of the company's approach to improving the game and its features through large scale mass testing.

The cornerstone of our approach is an initiative, dubbed "Mass-Testing." Simply put, we figured that the best way to "simulate hundreds of players all doing many different actions at the same time" was to, well, get a bunch of real players together and run through proper test scenarios. This is such a vital thing because it is the only way we can accurately gauge how the new code behaves under such extreme conditions as fleet fights with several hundred pilots. This is because of various factors which only become apparent in such highly loaded situation, such as diminishing returns, and code scalability.

At its core, Mass-Testing is a very basic framework which allows us to invite hundreds...

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Marvel Action Pack Released

February 17, 2010 6:00 AM

The Marvel Action Pack was recently released. The game is a collection of 10 casual arcade games featuring characters from the Marvel Comics universe. The Marvel Action pack includes Hulk, Wolverine, Captain America, and Iron Man games.

The MARVEL Action Pack! contains 10 arcade style casual games that pull you right into the action alongside your favorite MARVEL Super Heroes. Various games inside feature Hulk, Wolverine, Captain America, and Iron Manproviding hours of MARVEL entertainment all jam-packed into one exciting collection.

Features:

  • Sharpen your skills with "Wolverine MRD" and "Wolverine Search & Destroy"
  • Get green with "Hulk Vs.", "Hulk Bad Altitude", and "Hulk Central Smashdown!"
  • Wield your shield to help Captain America defend his city in "Captain America: Red Skull and Crossbones"
  • Then suit up with Tony Stark in "Iron Man Armored Popper", "Iron Man...

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Max & The Magic Marker Available For Mac

February 17, 2010 6:00 AM

Independent Danish game developer Press Play recently released Max & The Magic Marker for Mac and Windows. Described as a 2D puzzle platformer, the game puts players in the role of Max who must use his newly acquired Magic Marker to put a stop to the monster rampaging through his drawings.

The Game
Max & the Magic Marker is a physics based 2D puzzle platformer, in which the player controls the boy Max and his Magic Marker. While Max enables good old platforming fun, the marker provides the games signature feature: the ability for the player to draw directly inside the game world where everything drawn becomes physical objects. This feature is used to complete levels and overcome challenges but it also provides the player with a unique tool that in itself is fun to play around with.

The Story
Max is a young boy, and like most boys he loves to draw. One day he gets a mysterious marker in the mail. There is no...

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Diablo III Female Barbarian Unveiled

February 17, 2010 6:00 AM

Blizzard Entertainment recently updated the official Diablo III website with new character information. The update offers new concept art and animation for the female barbarian class. Diablo III will return players to the action RPG franchise where they once again must choose a character and face off against the forces of darkness.

Though they were once misunderstood as simple, bloodthirsty invaders, the long and noble history of these proud people is now rightly acknowledged. And therein lies the greater tragedy here, for those of us familiar with the nobility of the barbarians remember too what they call their "vigil", the concept that lay at the very heart of their culture. The barbarians consider it their sworn duty to protect Mount Arreat and the mysterious object within. They believe that if they fail to uphold their duty to the great mount, or are not given a proper burial upon its slopes, they will be denied a true warrior's...

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StarCraft II Beta Test Forums Open

February 17, 2010 6:00 AM

Blizzard Entertainment has opened up a collection of new beta test forums for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. The forums will allow beta testers to provide feedback as they assist Blizzard developers in fine tuning game balance and stability. Only beta testers can post, but the forums are open for anyone to read.

This forum is for discussion based around the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty public beta test. Only participants in the beta test can post here, but the forum can be viewed by everyone. The primary objectives of the public beta are to test the stability of our Battle.net service and to dial in the game balance prior to launch. As a beta participant, you play a big part in ensuring we meet these goals. Please provide your feedback on balance, Battle.net, or any other beta-related topics in our feedback forum.

If you find any bugs, please visit the bug report forum

For answers to some common questions, be...

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Din's Curse Preorders Selling Well, Beta Updated

February 18, 2010 6:00 AM

A new blog post from Soldak Entertainment's Steven Peeler provides an update on the status of Din's Curse, the company's next action RPG. The post covers testing progress and preorder sales. A 4th patch was also recently released for beta testers.

Today, I released our 4th patch. In those four patches, I have made 309 changes. Well over half of those are changes directly from gamer feedback. There are still many changes coming that I haven't gotten to though. Right now my todo list has 241 items on it. One of these days I will get this back down to zero.

A quick sales note, so far this is our fastest selling game ever. I'm really hoping it stays this way. :) If it doesn't, I might start taking some contracting work, which would slow down Soldak development. :( The sales so far is actually interesting to me. On one hand we don't have a finished product, just a beta, and not even a demo yet. Yet the beta is selling quicker than...

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Apple Games Features Tales Of Monkey Island

February 18, 2010 6:00 AM

Apple Games has posted a new article, this one featuring Telltale Games' recently released Tales of Monkey Island. In the adventure game players must help Guybrush Threepwood as he confronts a variety of amusing puzzles in his quest to defeat his arch-nemesis LeChuck. Apple's article includes an overview of the game and a brief history of the Monkey Island series.

And thus begins Guybrushs latest misadventures. During the course of escaping from Flotsam Island, he learns that the only way to reverse the voodoo infestation is to find La Esponja Grande, a voodoo sea sponge that can soak up the pox. He also meets the Marquis de Singe, who believes Guybrushs infected hand is the key to eternal life; Guybrush would prefer to keep as many of his preferably pox-free appendages as possible, thank you very much.

Of course, sailing away from Flotsam Island is simply your first step into the never-before-seen Gulf of Melange, where more...

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PopCap Survey Studies Social Gamers

February 18, 2010 6:00 AM

PopCap Games has released the results of a new survey of gamers who play games on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. The survey of 5,000 respondents found that 24% regularly played social games, and that the average social gamer is a 43 year old woman.

From IndustryGamers:
The survey was conducted for both Americans and Brits; in the U.S., 55 percent of all social gamers are female and 45 percent are male, with the U.K. disparity growing to 58 percent to 42 percent. In age matters, social gamers in the U.S. are on average 48 years old compared to 38 for those based in the U.K. while 46 percent of American social gamers are 50 or older, contrasting to to just 23 percent in the U.K. Social gamers that are age 21 or younger only make up six percent of the total social gamer population.

From Gamasutra:
"While still in its infancy compared to the traditional video game industry, the social games sector...

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The Sims 3 High End Loft Stuff Reviewed

February 18, 2010 6:00 AM

IGN has published a new review of High End Loft Stuff, a new item pack for The Sims 3. The pack adds a variety of new items to the popular sim title including three items returning from the previous two Sims titles: the heart-shaped vibrating bed, the electric guitar, and the aquarium.

The Sims 3: High-End Loft Stuff is the first Stuff Pack for the newest sequel of the franchise, and it makes an impact as far as dcor and objects are concerned. There are a couple dozen new objects on the disc, which, if you bought them a la carte on the Sims Store, would run you a couple bucks EACH. In that, the Stuff Pack is a nice quantity discount at only $20 for the whole package.

As the title may tell you, all the new objects in the Stuff Pack are for the wealthier Sims of your neighborhood. (Nothing says "I'm rich" more than when you contemplate life on a $1200 Flushmaster Hi-Def!) Of course, the downside to this is that most of your...

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Multiwinia Updated

February 19, 2010 6:00 AM

Ambrosia Software has updated its real-time online strategy war game Multiwinia to version 1.3.1. The update includes a variety of bug fixes and enhancements including adjustments to movement controls. Returning to the unique world of Darwinia, the game allows players to choose from six game modes on over 40 maps as they battle for stick figure supremacy.

Multiwinia 1.3.1 includes the following changes/improvements:

  • Movement controls shouldn't "get stuck" anymore
  • Smoother sound in main menu
  • Fixed a number of crashes
  • Fixed hang in main menu on certain machines
  • Minor gameplay and interface fixes
  • Numerous other bug fixes and enhancements

Multiwinia is a multi-player real time strategy war game unlike any other. A chaotic war is raging in a fantastic fractalized world populated by bloodthirsty little stick men with a mission: follow your orders to annihilate their...

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Eschalon Book II Trailer Coming Next Week

February 19, 2010 6:00 AM

Basilisk Games has announced that it will release a trailer next week for Eschalon: Book II, the upcoming second title in its planned "old school" RPG trilogy. The game will include improvements like 1024X768 native resolution, re-rendered tiles, new weather effects, new skills, new monsters, and a larger world to explore.

More about Eschalon Book II:

  • Eschalon: Book II is the sequel to 2007s award winning RPG Eschalon: Book I, although no previous experience is needed to play and enjoy Book II.
  • Book II will be available for Windows, Macintosh (Universal Binary) and Linux-based computers.
  • Play as a male or female character.
  • 1024 x 768 native resolution.
  • Most tiles have been re-rendered to take advantage of the higher engine resolution. Hundreds of new graphic elements, tiles, sound effects and music means Book II is not just a remix of the previous game.
  • New weather effects: snow, rain...

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Din's Curse Q&A

February 19, 2010 6:00 AM

GamersInfo.net has published a new interview with Soldak Entertainment's Steven Peeler. The indie game developer discussed Din's Curse, the company's upcoming action RPG, as well as the difficulties faced by independent developers.

In Din's Curse players take the role of an adventurer cursed to walk the lands in a quest for redemption. The game features 141 possible class combinations, an infinite number of dynamically generated towns, and a game world directly impacted by player choices.

GamersInfo.net: The other feature of Dins Curse that I took note of was the dynamic world and quest system. How does that work, and how did it come about?
Steven Peeler: Instead of starting in the same world each time, in Dins Curse, you start in a new town that has different problems than any other town. It doesnt stop there, though; these quests arent static. If you dont do anything about them, they will cause other trouble. For example,...

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Civilization V Announced For PC

February 19, 2010 6:00 AM

2K Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, has announced that Sid Meiers Civilization V, the newest entry in the popular franchise, is currently in development at Firaxis Games for PC.

Civilization V will update the turn-based strategy franchise with a new engine built from the ground-up for Civilization. Players will be introduced to an entirely new combat system, deeper diplomatic interactions, and a variety of other expanded features.

Sid Meiers Civilization franchise has been recognized as one of the greatest PC game franchises of all time with millions of units sold worldwide, said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. Civilization V takes the franchise further by offering players a more immersive experience with deeper strategies; heightened tactical combat; vast, realistic landscapes to explore, battle over and claim as their own; and an in-game community hub where Civ fans can share content and...

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Amnesia: Teaser, Website, Pre-Order, Mac Status

February 19, 2010 12:07 PM

Frictional Games today announced a first look at in-game footage of the company's new horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, in the form of a teaser video. The game's website has been updated with general information about the game, screenshots, the new teaser video, and details about pre-ordering Amnesia.

A recent email from Frictional Games revealed that the Mac version of the game is already functional and at this stage of development runs on a PPC 1.4Ghz eMac with a 64MB Radeon 9600 card. System requirements have not been finalized yet.

"We recently finished a massive testing session of the game to much success. With that behind us we now know how Amnesia will play like and what it takes to finish it. This means we feel confident in moving forward and sharing more juicy details about the game. This includes crucial things such as availability, pricing and what the game is all about." - Thomas Grip, Co-founder.

Web...

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EVE Online: Tyrannis Announced, Will Include Planet...

February 22, 2010 6:00 AM

CCP Games has announced work on Tyrannis, its next free expansion for the popular sci-fi MMO, EVE Online. The expansion will feature the ability to harvest minerals from planets, updates to its EVE Gate (previously called COSMOS) social networking elements, and a variety of optimizations and improvements.

OMG did you say all of the planets!?
Thats right, you will finally be able to survey for juicy deposits of minerals and other goodies, build infrastructure to harvest them, store them, process them and launch them into space. Build complex networks of facilities and fine tune them for optimal production. All in a very massive single shard sandboxy way as only EVE can provide. And its not just the terran planets. Its ALL OF THEM. The gas giants, the lava planets, the ice worlds, the water worlds and even the elusive plasma planets. Each type with their unique properties. Maintaining facilities on gruesomely hostile planets will be...

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Eschalon Book II Trailer Unveiled

February 22, 2010 6:00 AM

Basilisk Games has announced the release of a trailer for Eschalon: Book II, the upcoming second title in its planned "old school" RPG trilogy. The game will include improvements like re-rendered tiles, new weather effects, new skills, new monsters, and a larger world to explore.

More about Eschalon Book II:

  • Eschalon: Book II is the sequel to 2007s award winning RPG Eschalon: Book I, although no previous experience is needed to play and enjoy Book II.
  • Book II will be available for Windows, Macintosh (Universal Binary) and Linux-based computers.
  • Play as a male or female character.
  • 1024 x 768 native resolution.
  • Most tiles have been re-rendered to take advantage of the higher engine resolution. Hundreds of new graphic elements, tiles, sound effects and music means Book II is not just a remix of the previous game.
  • New weather effects: snow, rain, and thunderstorms. Weather isnt just an...

| Read more »
The Secrets Of Da Vinci Reviewed

February 22, 2010 6:00 AM

Mac|Life has posted a new review of The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript. The adventure title challenges players to discover and delve inside the mysteries surrounding the hidden enigmas of the works of the great genius. Mac|Life gave the game a score of 3 out of 5.

From the review:
Our biggest problem was the camera, which is frustrating because the games 3D environments--a faithful re-creation of the Clos Luc, Leonardos final residence, as it looked in 1522--are so beautiful. Theyre full of rich color and detail, right down to Leonardos paintings and drawings hanging from the walls. And while the simple controls let you move the camera by moving the mouse, we found ourselves getting queasy after an hour or so of playtime on even the slowest setting.

If that doesnt make you flee, youll play as Valdo, searching Leonardos estate for a missing notebook on behalf of a mysterious patron. But your quest keeps you...

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Jeff Vogel Offers Advice On Starting An Indie Game...

February 22, 2010 6:00 AM

In a new post on his Bottom Feeder blog Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel recently offered a few tips to aspiring independent game developers. The veteran RPG developer discussed the importance of having a unique product, acquiring the best software necessary regardless of cost, and avoiding the dangers of working too hard.

1. You Need a Good Idea
This means (and yes, I know this seems obvious but it's amazing how often people forget it) that whatever you are selling has to be pretty darn special. It has to be a good idea, well executed, and not competing against a ton of free competitors. And let me tell you something. That's a hard thing to come up with these days.

2. Professional Work Requires Professional Tools
Another question I get asked from time to time is, "How can I find a free program to do [make art/write programs/whatever]." And my answer is always, "You DON'T!"

I know. You don't have much...

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Din's Curse Priest Class Revealed

February 24, 2010 6:00 AM

Soldak Entertainment, known for its Depths of Peril and Kivi's Underworld fantasy games, has released more new information about the upcoming action RPG, Din's Curse. The latest update reveals the game's Priest class and its associated specialties: Paladin, Healer, and Shaman. This is the sixth and final revealed class of those available in the game.

Priest:
By the light of good, these holy warriors command more than strength and might, but also heal and bless themselves and others.

Specialties: Paladin, Healer, and Shaman.

Paladin:
This guardian totes heavy armor with ease while using the power of the gods to maim the unjust.

Bonuses: higher health per vitality, higher mana per spirit, higher damage per strength, and higher mana regen per spirit
Mana gen: Mana gain on blocks and parries
Armor: Cloth, Leather, and Shields
Weapons: Maces

  • Zeal - An attack with extra...

| Read more »
iGame Radio Episode 92 Features The Movies Superstar...

February 23, 2010 6:00 AM

Episode 92 of Omaha Sternberg's iGame Radio podcast is now available for listening. The podcast features a review of Feral Interactive's The Movies Superstar Edition for Mac as well as reviews of Thor and Phantom Mansion: The Orange Library for iPhone and iPod Touch.

Episode 91:

  • A review of The Movies Superstar Edition by Feral Interaction. This babys got everything for the budding movie mogul. Just hop in and express your creativity.
  • Plus, a review of Thor by Freeverse. This slide-scroll platform game pits a goofy god Thor against giants, the goddess Hel, even a serpent. And Thor just keeps running and running and running and
  • Finally, a review of the Phantom Mansion: The Orange Library, the second episode in the Phantom Mansion series. No, Hector is still stuck in the Mansion. And Omaha is still waiting for more difficult puzzles.

Show Notes:

  • A great conversation with Peter...

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New Subversion Screenshots And Game Details Unveiled

February 23, 2010 6:00 AM

Worthplaying has posted some new screenshots from Introversion Software's upcoming Subversion, as well as more information about the game. Subversion will offer players the chance to control a team of skilled operatives seeking to complete missions in hostile high security buildings. Previous information about the game centered around its procedurally generated cityscapes.

Subversion is going to be set in a modern High Tech environment, with you taking "mission control" over a team of skilled operatives in a hostile High Security building. You will be using Sabotage, Social Engineering and Grifting, custom Electrical and Mechanical devices, Distractions, Hacking, Stealth, Acrobatics, Precision demolitions, Trickery, whatever gets the job done. In the best case scenarios your enemies will never know you were even there. When things go wrong, a well prepared escape plan and well timed precision violence will get you out of a tight spot -...

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Amnesia: Dark Descent Trailer Examined

February 23, 2010 6:00 AM

Frictional Games recently published an in-depth look at the recently released teaser trailer for the company's upcoming horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The blog post covers the creation of the trailer and includes comments on key moments in the footage.

- 2:05
Notice how books just slightly slide along the shelf because of friction and so on. This is all due the nice simulations provided by Newton Game Dynamics. It was quite fun setting everything up on the table so that that some fell off while pushing it, giving the a feel of urgency when trying to barricade the door. The table was also harder to move due to the weight from all the stuff on it, so had to give it an extra push to get into place (using the "throw" button). One never knows what going to happen with physics...

- 2:26
It took a while to remember the best times to open the closer door, in order to get a nice effect. After 50 tries or so, I had...

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Star Wars The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition...

February 24, 2010 6:00 AM

Aspyr Media has announced the digital download release of Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition for Intel Mac owners.

Developed and published in North America by Aspyr, the title combines the original Star Wars The Force Unleashed videogame with three new levels set in iconic Star Wars locales and a host of new costumes and character models. This special edition of the game will show players "the deepest, darkest side of the Force in a story that puts them on a collision course with Luke Skywalker himself."

Experience the Power of the Dark Side
The story and action of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed expands with the release of Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition. A special new version of the game that shows players the deepest, darkest side of the Force in a story that puts them on a collision course with Luke Skywalker himself. The Ultimate Sith Edition includes all of the original...

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Jurassic Realm Released

February 24, 2010 6:00 AM

Independent game developer Enkord has announced the release of Jurassic Realm 1.9, a new action puzzle game for Mac OS X. In the game players uncover the secrets of the ancient Jurassic Realm by solving a variety of puzzles and discovering images of long-lost dinosaurs.

"We continue to bring our classic casual hits which hit top spots on casual portals to Mac platform" said Yaroslav Yanovsky, CEO and founder of Enkord, Ltd. "We feel the Macintosh is a wonderful platform and intend on porting more of our games."

Perfect for casual gamers and pros alike, Jurassic Realm features 2 game modes, includes over 150 striking levels with 19 ancient dinosaurs to uncover. Players become archeologists on a mission with a huge map at their disposal, with great number of roads and pathways to travel. Version 1.9 includes improved collapse, explosive power-ups and exciting brick-breaking.

Feature Highlights:

  • Over 150...

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Land Air Sea Warfare Comes To Macs

February 24, 2010 6:00 AM

Isotope 244 recently announced the release of Land Air Sea Warfare for Macs. The new game from the developers of Machines at War features 70 new types of units, new technologies, and six "gigantic mega units" for players to control.

I have been working non stop on the Mac version the last few weeks and it is done! I have also updated the games webpage with screenshots and the games help manual. After two years of development I have finally completed my next game! It builds on my previous real time strategy game Machines at War and takes it in a different direction. There are over 70 new types of units, new technologies, and six gigantic mega units which are awesome in battle! I will be working on the mobile versions next and am still developing the game every day, so if you have any suggestions for the game please let me know. - James Bryant

Command a force of thousands of units into strategic warfare in this new real time...

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Din's Curse Previewed

February 24, 2010 6:00 AM

Honest Gamers has published a new preview of Soldak Entertainment's Din's Curse, the company's upcoming action RPG. In Din's Curse players take the role of an adventurer cursed to walk the lands in a quest for redemption. The game features 141 possible class combinations, an infinite number of dynamically generated towns, and a game world directly impacted by player choices.

Keeping the multiplayer support introduced in Kivi's Underworld, Din's Curse ditches the pre-generated characters of the previous title to introduce a new class system with over 140 possible combinations. Players can pick from classic templates such as Warrior or Priest, or they can combine two skill trees from any basic class to create a hybrid. Want to relive the glory days of Ultima Online with a platemail-wearing, polearm-wielding warrior-mage? How about rolling up a home-brewed necromantic archer? Din's Curse will let you do that.

The downside of the...

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id Software Celebrates One Year Of Quake Live

February 25, 2010 6:00 AM

id Software has kicked off celebration of Quake Live's first year with a Year One Event continuing through March 9th. During the event players who participate in online matches will receive special Year One awards. id has also released a new level, Fallout Bunker, and plans to add both new maps and old favorites from the community.

One year ago today id Software launched browser-based (and totally free) version of Quake III Arena and since then players have spent over 8.9 million hours in over 60 million ranked matches, earning 8 million awards and 810 million frags.

To celebrate Quake Lives milestone, id Software has launched Quake Lives Year One Event. The event runs from today through March 9th. During that time, anyone that participates in an online match will receive a special Year One award.

To help get the year off to a good start, the team has also uploaded a new level, Fallout Bunker. As the team moves...

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Diablo II Patch 1.13b Enters Public Test Realms

February 25, 2010 6:00 AM

Blizzard Entertainment recently revealed that the long delayed patch for Diablo II has once again entered beta testing on the public test realms. Version 1.13b will introduce a variety of bug fixes and updates as well as respecialization options, and a new mystery to be solved by players of Hell difficulty.

Major Bugs:

  • Fixed an item dupe bug.
  • Video improvements for Intel Mac machines with OS 10.5 or greater.
  • Fixed an issue where some players could kill other players while in town ("TPPK").
  • Fixed an issue where some players could disconnect other players when they had too many active states.
  • Fixed two issues where players could stack auras in an unintended way.

Specific changes/improvements:

  • Respecialization is now possible! Completing the 'Den of Evil' quest will now additionally reward 1 free respec which can be saved. Players who have already completed this...

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New Details Revealed About Spiderweb's Next RPG

February 25, 2010 6:00 AM

The Gamer Studio has released a new interview with Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel about the company's upcoming new RPG title. The as of yet unnamed game will kick off a new series and will mark a departure from Vogel's popular Avernum and Geneforge series. The new game will retain a turn-based, party focused, fantasy role playing format with an all new world and history to explore.

Could you give us a brief summary of the storyline?
The known world is divided into the Pact and the Farlands. The Pact is an alliance of five nations, who have banded together to keep the barbarians and monsters of the Farlands at bay. You are one of the elite warriors of the Pact, given almost limitless authority to hunt enemies inside and out. You get all the best weapons and powerful magic, all the cool toys, but the responsibility and danger are both considerable. And you have a very difficult boss to please. That's where we're at so far.
...

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City Of Heroes Issue 17 Overview Page Unveiled

February 25, 2010 6:00 AM

NCSoft and Paragon Studios have released a new overview page for the upcoming Issue 17: Dark Mirror update for the company's comic book hero themed MMO, City of Heroes. The patch will include a new Ultra Mode featuring improved graphics for Paragon City and the Rogue Isles as well as a variety of other game content.

Features:

Ultra Mode
Ultra Mode includes a superior graphics rendering process for players who have higher-end graphic cards. Each feature can be enabled or disabled in the graphics menu options and will be scalable. Ultra Mode works on both Macs and PCs. In specific, it offers dynamic shadows, screen-space ambient occlusion, and dynamic environment reflections (including planar reflections and environment mapping of reflective surfaces).

Epic Archetypes Unlocked at Level 20
Previously, you had to have at least one character at level 50 to make an epic archetype character. No more! Now you...

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Apple Games Features WarBirds Dogfights

February 26, 2010 6:00 AM

Apple Games has posted a new feature article, this time taking to the dangerous skies of WarBirds Dogfights from iEntertainment Network. In the game players choose from a large variety of historically accurate aircraft and fly in the game's many missions or engage in combat against other players online. The article includes an overview of the game, comments from iEntertainment CEO Bill Stealey, and a short history of flight sims.

When you go online, Stealey explains, first we send you to the Special Training Arena, because we learned that new players get shot down very quickly in the regular arenas. He pauses while getting a bead on an enemy plane; he litters one wing with bullets and a teammate finishes the kill. In the Special Training Arena, all players are on the same side, he adds. His team also created CheckRide and CheckOut training options: the former is aimed at experienced flight simmers who want to work on advanced tactics,...

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More Din's Curse Creatures Unveiled

February 26, 2010 6:00 AM

Soldak Entertainment, developer of Depths of Peril and Kivi's Underworld, has released more new information about the upcoming action RPG, Din's Curse. The latest update features three new additions to the creature list with the unveiling of the Evil Leprechaun, the Scree, and the Plaguebringer.

Evil Leprechaun
A nether creature, this small fiend can smell coins of all kinds and will steal from anyone. When it runs away with new found wealth, it'll rely on other brutish allies to protect it from retribution.

Scree
Chaos rips through the core of the world, a deadly doorway to dimensions beyond. The Scree slipped through into the underworld, cowardly mini-demons ready to mob their enemies when the numbers were on their side.

Click over to the link below for more information.

Din's Curse Monsters
Soldak...

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id Developers Discuss Original Quake Public Beta...

February 26, 2010 6:00 AM

Bethesda Softworks has posted a new blog featuring comments from id Software's John Carmack, Tim Willits, and others about the release of the first public beta of the original Quake 14 years ago. The participants shared their memories of the release of the game and its then innovative features.

John Carmack, Co-founder and Technical Director, id Software:
We were watching a live online chat when the upload went live. When the first person got it, there was a great clamor for reports about what it looked like. Unfortunately, one of the first things reported was There is a turtle in the corner of the screen. I had a check in the code to draw that icon as a sign that you were running at 10 frames a second or less, so you should reduce quality settings to get a more playable experience. Quake was one of the first PC apps where floating point performance was a critical factor, which meant that Intels Pentium processor had a huge lead...

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World Of Warcraft Twitter Q&A Today

February 26, 2010 6:00 AM

Blizzard Entertainment has announced an upcoming Twitter chat for fans interested in talking with the World of Warcraft development team about recently released content for the game. The question and answer session will be focused on Icecrown Citadel and Fall of the Lich King and will be held on Blizzard's Twitter page February 26 at 5 PM PST.

We will be holding our next Developer Chat on Twitter on Friday, February 26, at 5:00 p.m. PST with World of Warcraft's lead content designer and lead systems designer. This chat session will focus on Icecrown Citadel and other Fall of the Lich King content.

Questions will be taken live through Twitter, so be sure to sign up for a Twitter account at https://twitter.com/signup and follow account @Warcraft in order to participate!

To submit a question for the Developer Chat, please tweet using the #...

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HTC Incredible S Gets Pictured in the Wild
Flaw in online boarding passes enable anyone to view...

Dani Grant, the founder of the security research group Hackers of NY, has reported a serious flaw in the way that Delta and potentially other airlines handle online boarding passes, often displayed on smartphone screens to gain entry to flights. Grand discovered that if she shared the URL to her Delta online boarding pass, anybody could download and potentially redeem it. Even more disturbingly, when she changed with the last digit of the seemingly random numbers in the URL, she could view someone else's online boarding pass, which might even be on an entirely different airline....



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Hands On: Movavi Video Editor (OS X, Windows)

Try as you might, you're not going to revolutionize how video is edited: whatever application you're using, the process has been roughly the same since we ditched celluloid and razor blades. Equally, you're not likely to easily replace Apple's iMovie for ease of use, nor Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X for high-end professionals. Movavi Video Editor, an editor for Windows that has just made the jump to OS X, definitely aims at being very simple to use -- but it's also intended for the ever-growing number of us who just want to quickly get video out to people....



...

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Apple's iPhone gains share, will likely topple...

According to new quarterly figures from industry analysts Gartner, enormous growth by Apple's iPhone has eroded worldwide mobile phone share -- including both smartphones and feature phones -- from top seller Samsung and second-place Nokia, with Apple potentially taking the second spot from Nokia after this quarter's expected record-breaking iPhone sales are announced. For the most recent quarter, Apple was within one percentage point of matching Nokia in a market seeing strong overall growth....



...

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Briefly: Instagram filter collection grows, Pebble...

Instagram has updated its famous photo filters, for the first time in two years. The Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden, and Perpetua effects have been added to both the Android and iOS versions of the app, each shifting and softening the photograph's colors in varying ways. The app has also updated how the various effects are displayed, providing a blurred preview of filters, while a "Manage" button will allow users to hide the rarely-used filters from view....



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Pixelmator Mac, iPad apps get significant updates

Pixelmator Team has released updated Mac and iPad versions of its namesake image editor. The Mac update, v3.3.1, now supports pinch-to-zoom gestures on trackpads, fulfilling a popular demand. Resizing and scrolling options have been added to the Shapes, Gradients, and Styles palettes....



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Hands On: Cinematica 2 (OS X)

We all have more videos than iTunes Store ones, we all have more videos than we can ever remember getting. They're from our digital cameras, they're from our iPhones, they're Vimeo files we wish we could remember how to download again. However we got them, we have them now, we can't find them very easily and they are all clogging up our hard drives. Plus, we have to to somehow remember that this movie will play in iTunes but that one needs the extra VLC video player. Cinematica 2 does a smart job of solving this by giving you one place to see everything it possibly can....



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Holiday Gift Guide -- gifts for the Apple gadgeteer

It's not too late, but its getting close. In fact its so close, that any helping hand might be welcome for the Apple-centric device lover in your life. Good news! We see every conceivable gadget all year -- use our knowledge to benefit you! This week, Electronista and MacNN have suggestions for the best gift options for the Apple fan in your life....



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Hands On: Mujjo Refined Touchscreen Gloves

It shouldn't be a secret that normal, cheap knit gloves actually don't contain enough fabric to prevent a persons finger from interacting with a capacitive screen. This means that, yes, normal knit gloves are technically touchscreen gloves but normal cheap knit gloves also don't contain enough fabric to keep a persons hands warm in most cold weather. That's where Refined Touchscreen Gloves by Mujjo come in - promising to let us interact with all our touchscreen devices while keeping our hands toasty....



...

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Apple Canada ordered to turn over documents in...

The Federal Court of Canada has agreed to order Apple's Canadian division to turn over documents to the Competition Bureau, Reuters reports. Apple has already handed over some requested documents, but may not be handing over as much as the Bureau wants or needs. The Chief Justice for the court, Paul Crampton, is due to sign the order later today....



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Apps: Posterino, GraphicConverter, Typinator




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Briefly: Mujjo's gray wallet iPhone case,...

Mujjo has introduced its Leather Wallet Case line-up for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in gray, as part of its Desaturated Collection. The wallet case is designed to hold two to three essential cards without sacrificing a thin profile. The case is available in two styles for iPhone 6 - one with the card slot angled upright and the other with an 80 degree angle pocket - and the 80 degree angle pocket case is available for iPhone 6 Plus. Pricing for the Desaturated Collection begins at $40, and cases can be purchased through Mujjo....



...

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Apple notifies iOS devs about Feb., June deadlines...

Apple has issued a new notice to developers, reminding them of two important deadlines concerning 64-bit support in iOS apps. As was previously announced, those submitting new titles to the App Store must implement 64-bit support -- and use the iOS 8 SDK -- by February 1st. Additionally, the company now says that updates to existing titles must meet the same standards as of June 1st....



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Briefly: Fleksy Keyboard 5.0, Booqpad for iPad Air 2

Customizable iOS keyboard app Fleksy has received a major update introducing new themes and extensions, as well as improvements to existing features. Fleksy allows users to find and send GIFs, and provides autocorrect while typing, and intuitive gestures offer greater typing speed. Version 5.0 of Fleksy offers more themes to choose from, including branded ones. New keyboard extensions can be dragged and dropped as cards to add and remove features. Five extensions are available at the time of launching, including a GIF keyboard, Numbers Row, One-Handed Mode, Cursor Control, and Rainbow Pops. A...



...

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Apple seeds Safari 8.0.3, 7.1.3, and 6.2.3 betas to...

Apple is distributing three new Safari betas to OS X developers. Yosemite users are getting v8.0.3; v7.1.3 is available for Mavericks, while v6.2.3 is the equivalent for Mountain Lion. Some testing focus areas include AutoFill, web notifications, website and extension compatibility, HTML5 video playback on "popular video sites," and debugging sites via Web Inspector. Apple is also concerned with bookmark editing, and the read/unread state of Reading List items....



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Jobs' deposition in Apple-Real trial to remain...

As a postscript to Apple's unanimous win in a lawsuit brought by audio software company Real, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers on Wednesday turned down media requests to make public a videotaped deposition from Steve Jobs, in one of his final filmed appearances, that was presented during the trial. Jobs, who was quite ill at the time and just months from his resignation from Apple and later death, was videotaped answering questions about the case. Yesterday, a jury exonerated the iPhone maker from charges it had conspired to lock out competitors....



...

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Breaking: US reverses, to say North Korea behind...

US government officials now believe North Korea is, in fact, behind the attack of Sony Pictures Entertainment's computer system and subsequent data leaks, according to reports. The government is also said to be preparing to make an official statement about its findings, which may arrive as soon as tomorrow, though apparently there is still some internal debate as to what kind of response to make to the insular country. Previously, the FBI had said it had "no evidence" of a direct North Korean connection, though the country was suspected from the outset....



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Hands On: SuperSync (OS X, Windows)

Apple's iTunes media player has been around since 2001 -- meaning that for many users, it's likely that their library has traversed multiple system upgrades, duplicating and splintering across a variety of drives and mobile devices along the way. For this, there is SuperSync, an app designed to provide access to all your music in one location, allow libraries to be accessed via the Internet, and organize multiple music libraries as to stay organized. Aimed at DJs, avid music collectors, and anyone with multiple libraries, SuperSync aims to get all your tracks in a row. Pricing is organized by...



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Uber announces 'greater investment' in...

In response to the concerns of customers, legal troubles and bans in multiple markets around the world, rideshare/taxi service Uber has begun a study into ways to better screen drivers and improve overall safety. Phillip Cardenas, Uber's head of global safety, outlined the company's plans in a recent blog post today. Cardenas comes from Airbnb where he spearheaded the creation of that company's safety program....



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Hands On: Default Folder X (OS X)

If Apple has its way, then one day we will never save another document -- and we will never think about where it went. It will just be there when we want to open it again. That's nice. Until then, we open and save documents nearly as often as we check Facebook. Which makes it a shame that OS X rather fights us. You can open a document from this folder on that network drive and you can then save it on that folder on this USB stick, but it is a pain. Not much of a pain, let's not get carried away here, but try doing it twice and see how you feel. That's where Default Folder X comes in....



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Review: Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solutions. While consumers often compromise in battery life, design or sound, the sub-$100 market offers a wide array of choices. Computer builder Dell entered into the Bluetooth speaker market with a value model, looking to entice consumers with a long battery life and compact, minimal design. But is the Dell AD211 a good buy for consumers looking to get the most out of their money, or does it fail to meet modest expectations? Find out in our review....



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Tim Cook: Apple World AIDS Day campaign raised $20...

In a memo to all employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced that the recent (Product) RED campaign, which ran through app upgrade purchases, in-store items and online accessories during the run-up to World AIDS Day on December 1 raised over $20 million, which will be seeded to the Global Fund. The group fights HIV/AIDS, malaria and other health threats largely in Africa and other impoverished areas. Cook said that the promotion has thus pushed Apple's total contribution to over $100 million since 2006....



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Reviews: Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solutions. While consumers often compromise in battery life, design or sound, the sub-$100 market offers a wide array of choices. Computer builder Dell entered into the Bluetooth speaker market with a value model, looking to entice consumers with a long battery life and com ......

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Hands On: Mazec – Handwriting Input Method (iOS)

People must really dislike Apple's on-screen keyboard for iPhones and iPads, because the instant we could try alternatives, we got alternatives. Some seem different for the sake of being different. Some, like TextExpander's one, add useful new features -- yet take away some of the usability. But then you get the odd keyboard like Mazec, which tries to offer a true alternative. Rather than typing, you scribble with a stylus -- if you've got one, and haven't lost it -- or with your finger....



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Hands On: Moxie 2 (iOS)

Word games have been around for a very long time. Most people grew up playing Scrabble or Boggle, and many have moved on to similar games like Words with Friends. The one thing most word games have in common is that they require, at minimum, two players. But now there's Moxie 2, by Blue Ox Technologies Ltd, a intuitive single-player word game....



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Apple to charge VAT per-country at European App...

Apple has sent an email to iOS developers, notifying them of a change to the way it handles VAT (value-added taxes) at European App Stores. Currently the company charges a single VAT rate across the European Union; soon, though, it plans to charge on a per-country basis. The change is due to take effect on January 1st....



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UK carriers agree to £5B investment to improve...

A suggestion by the British government has prompted carriers to improve their mobile networks. EE, O2, Vodafone, and Three have all agreed to collectively invest at least £5 billion ($7.8 billion) into a program to improve their mobile networks across the United Kingdom, in order to avoid being forced to implement a proposed "National Roaming" scheme....



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Job listing points to global Apple Pay growth,...

(Updated with Chinese job listing) A new job listing indicates that Apple is actively working on expanding Apple Pay worldwide, beginning with Europe. The company is seeking an Apple Pay intern who will work with a London-based team. The listing states that Apple Pay is "set to expand across Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa," and that the London group will collaborate with "issuers, payment networks and merchants across Europe."...



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Apple Pay: a List of Brick-and-Mortar Stores That...

The number of brick-and-mortar stores that accept Apple pay is growing. Soon, we won't be able to keep track of them all: it'll be a widely accepted standard. But for now, going into the holidays, here's the latest list we have for the U.S.


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Pages: Adding and Formatting Links within Text

If you need to put a link to a webpage or an email address into a document in Pages, there's an easy way to format it so that it looks far more professional than it would if you just pasted the text in. For this Quick Tip, we're going to cover how to do that and also what effect that'll have on exporting the file to other formats.


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Amazon Prime Now offers one-hour deliveries in...

After experimenting with same-day deliveries in a number of cities, Amazon is now increasing the speed of delivery for some customers with the launch of Prime Now. The new service, launching in Manhattan today, will let Prime subscribers place orders for thousands of essential items, and receive the delivery on their doorstep in an hour or less....



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djay Pro for Mac brings four decks, Spotify, high-...

Algoriddim has launched djay Pro, a new Mac edition of its typically iOS-based DJ software. In its new incarnation the app supports up to four simultaneous decks, rather than two, and can draw music not just from a local iTunes library but from Spotify, thanks to a partnership with the streaming music service. It also exploits Retina displays and multi-core 64-bit processors; on a 12-core Mac Pro, the app can handle up to 24 processing threads at once for track analysis....



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iPhone Apps: Drafts, Procreate, FX Photo Studio




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Jimmy Fallon gives out iPad Air 2 to Tonight Show...

On Wednesday's episode of the Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon gave away an iPad Air 2 to every member of the studio audience. The segment (below) was part of a week-long series of giveaways. It wasn't identified which models people were getting, although NBC may have opted to give people 16GB Wi-Fi versions, given the costs involved. Even at that bottom tier, the tablet costs $499....



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Jawbone delays shipping Up3 fitness tracker until...

Jawbone will be missing out on the bump in revenues from holiday sales of its new flagship product entirely, it has been reported. The Up3, launched at the start of November and originally set to ship before the end of the year, will instead be delayed to early next year, thanks to delays caused by a number of manufacturing issues....



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Third iOS 8.2 beta brings back blood glucose tracking

Apple has begun seeding a third beta of iOS 8.2 to developers. Significantly the code restores blood glucose tracking in the Health app, which was temporarily disabled earlier this year due to confusion caused by the app displaying data in mg/dL but accepting data from devices using mmol/L as well. In the new software, users can toggle between mg/dL or mmol/L....



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Hands On: Habits Pro (iOS)

They say it takes 21 days to make a good habit or break a bad one, which seems simple enough. Logically, most people should be able to clear the three week hurdle with little effort. However, most of us can get a little absent-minded, especially when we get busy. That's why Habits Pro, by Track & Share Apps, exists -- to help people stay on task in their quest for self-improvement....



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Apple rejects conclusions of BBC expose showing...

Ahead of the airing of a Panorama documentary on the subject, the BBC has published a web piece revealing the outcomes of its investigation into Apple's supply chain. The network went undercover and charges that promises to protect the rights of workers were "routinely broken." In particular the BBC found violations of standards for work hours, ID cards, dormitories, meetings, and underage labor at Pegatron factories on the outskirts of Shanghai....



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Cook makes 'generous' donation to LGBT...

Apple CEO Tim Cook has made a "generous personal financial investment" in Project One America, an LGBT rights effort run by the Human Rights Campaign, according to an announcement. Project One is concentrated on securing marriage and nondiscrimination rights for LGBT people in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. HRC says it's interested in "tearing down misperceptions and providing concrete protections for those who need it most." The organization also lauds Cook for being the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, calling it a "clear and powerful message" about it being acceptable to...



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Apple Job Posting Suggests Worldwide Expansion of...

Apple Pay has been a huge success in the United States. The mobile payment purchase is supported by credit cards used for 90 percent of purchases. Now, thanks to a job posting that's been spotted, it seems Apple is ready to expand Apple Pay into Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India.


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The Story Behind Apple’s ‘The Song’ Commercial (...

I love Apple's new spot called "The Song." It was released on Sunday, and on Wednesday Apple published a behind-the-scenes video called "The Story Behind 'The Song.'" It explains the concept evident in the commercial-a young woman finds a a record of a love song her grandmother made for her grandfather. She then takes that recording, which was made in a Voice-O-Graph booth , and adds guitar and vocals to turn it into a duet. More interestingly, however, the video also shows how Apple worked with Third Man Records-the label owned by Jack White-to make the video. The actress who played the grandmother in the late 40s recorded the song used in the commercial on a 1947 Voice-O-Graph owned by Third Man Records. That same booth was filmed for the commercial, too. Check it out-it's very cool.

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-18

You can't buy an iPhone in Russia today because Apple isn't cool with the wildly fluctuating ruble. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at Apple's decision and what impact that has on the company and consumers, plus they take a detour into Sony's decision to not release "The Interview," and they touch on Netflix's decision to not offer movies for offline viewing.


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New USB thumb drive-sized device can take over...

A new USB microcontroller -- roughly the size of a small thumb drive -- has been demonstrated as a proof-of-concept device that leverages a serious and unfixable vulnerability in USB easily take over and install malware on any unlocked computer. Though it requires physical access or tricking the user into inserting the controller into a USB port, the device has worrying implications for any computer left unattended for more than a minute -- the time it takes for the device to gain admin access, change network settings, install a backdoor and remove any obvious sign of intrusion....



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Hands On: Supreme Ruler (Steam for OS X, Windows)

War games may have originated from the need to boost military logistics and planning, but they have since become popular with civilian gamers. Risk and Chess are two popular war games most people are familiar with, as are Civilization and Hearts of Iron. How does newcomer Supreme Ruler Ultimate, by Battlegoat Studios, stack up to the classics?...



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White House encourages US telecommunications to...

In a fact sheet released on Wednesday, the White House has outlined some of the ways normalization of relations with Cuba will impact trade and travel. The document covers not only how many cigars Americans can bring home with them from trips to the island nation, but encouraged telecommunications companies to improve the Cuban people's connection to the rest of the world....



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BBC Films ‘Apple’s Broken Promises’ for Worker...

The BBC has published a video (below) showing what it describes as "Apple's broken promises" to improve and protect working conditions in its Chinese factories. The media organization sent undercover reporters in to work at a Pegatron factory making Apple iPhones, where they filmed company-orchestrated cheating on tests, hours that far exceed Apple's requirements, and intimidation tactics used to control workers.


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Save 96% on The World’s Largest iOS 8 + Swift...

80 hours of video training and 24 in-depth courses. This is a massive bundle of iOS 8 developer training courses for Apple's new Swift language. Bought separately, the retail price is US$2,956, but through our deal you can get the whole shebang for $99. Boom! Over the course of the training, you'll build 70 different apps, watch more than 1,000 videos, learn how to upload to the App Store, and learn fundamentals on app design itself. This would make a great gift for someone in your life who wants to learn how to program, too.


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Analysis: Title II regulation, with forbearance, the...

Since President Barack Obama voiced his support for reclassification of ISPs as utilities, there has been much debate back and forth, and back again on the topic of "Title II" regulation of carriers. Would it be the dystopian nightmare anti-government zealots and the carriers proclaim, or would it provide a golden utopia of progress for consumers and American businesses alike?...



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Hands On: Snapselect photo management app (OS X)

Apple's professional photo manager, Aperture, had its advantages over its biggest rival, Adobe Lightroom -- and it is a shame the former been dropped (to be replaced with a new app, Photos for Mac, early next year). One thing Aperture was really good at was adding photos - so much so that we tended to do it over and over. Just not intentionally. One thing it was bad at, by contrast, was helping you find duplicates -- so a big photo library quickly became an unmanageably enormous one. Snapselect intends to fix this for users of Aperture, Lightroom, iPhoto -- and anyone who has tried to handle p...



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Google posts response to leaked Sony 'Project...

In the past weeks, quite a lot has been revealed about Sony's role in ongoing anti-piracy efforts due to the leak of emails as part of the fallout of the North Korean-based GOP attack on the studio. In a post on Thursday on the Google Public Policy Blog, Kent Walker, Google SVP and general counsel, outlined even more leaks that describe a combined and carefully planned effort by Sony and five other studios that began this year to provide funding and legal support for the MPAA's efforts to court State Attorney Generals and target Google directly....



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Hottest Apple products see improved supply for final...

In the past month, shipping times have been variable for some of Apple's most in-demand products. However, ship dates for the two new iPhone models, the 6 and 6 Plus -- along with the recently-introduced Retina 5K iMac -- have dropped just ahead of the final push of gift-buying for the holiday season. Both online ship times and same-day in-store pickup schedules have improved....



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Misfortune Cookie exploit endangers 12 million...

Researchers from Check Point Software Technologies released information on Thursday about an exploit they are calling "Misfortune Cookie." This bug was introduced into "RomPager" software, which is commonly embedded into residential gateway devices such as routers, beginning in 2002. A conservatively-estimated 12 million un-patched devices, connected to the Internet in 189 countries, are at risk....



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Uber agrees with Portland council to suspend service...

Uber is putting a stop to its app-based taxi service in Portland, just two weeks after it launched. The Wall Street Journal reports the company made an agreement with the city to put a hold on the service for a three-month period, while the two parties negotiate and create a regulatory framework that allows ridesharing services to coexist with existing cab companies and other transportation options....



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Samsung shutting down ChatOn cross-platform...

Samsung is shutting down its ChatOn messaging service in the next few months, the manufacturer has announced. The cross-platform messaging service will go dark on February 1 for the majority of users around the world, though apparently users in the United States could have access to the service for a little while longer than everyone else....



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Hands On: Photon Flash Player for iPad (iOS)

Perhaps you don't know it yet, but you are already in one of the two camps over how Apple refuses to allow Flash to work on iPads. If you doubt this because you haven't even heard of the issue, then you're in the half of the population that has simply never noticed the problem. If you do know it and you're reading this because you know it, then you are getting this problem a lot -- and you have been searching forever for a solution. Photon Flash Player for iPad is a solution. It's a web browser, like Safari, but it comes with the ability to play Flash -- and you pay for that, in how its other...



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Watch ABC app for Apple TV gets full episodes for...

Users of the Watch ABC app on the Apple TV can now watch full episodes a week after they air without a subscription, ABC has announced. Previously the app was like most network-based offerings on the Apple TV, limiting that content to people who could authenticate a cable subscription. Watching the latest episodes as soon as they're uploaded (next-day) still requires authentication, as does the live feed available in select cities....



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McDonald’s Supersizes Sales with Apple’s iBeacon Tech

Fast food giant McDonald's has been testing Apple's iBeacon technology in some of its Columbus, Ohio, locations and that's translating into bigger sales. The four-week program say 18,000 redemptions for products features through iBeacon notifications, and a notable increase in sales, too.

The Mac Observer Spin: McDonald's is an excellent test platform for iBeacon because the company already has an efficient system for tracking sales, so any changes are easy to see. It's also a great example of how effective iBeacon can be for retailers and restaurants hoping to find new ways to boost sales and improve customer service.


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Apple's Cook, Williams 'deeply offended...

In a new email memo to the company's UK workforce, Apple's senior VP of Operations, Jeff Williams, claims that he and CEO Tim Cook were "deeply offended" by a BBC Panorama documentary exposing labor abuses in the company's supply chain. Specifically Williams are Cook are said to have been "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way;" Williams charges that "Panorama's report implied that Apple isn't improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth."...



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Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls BS on BBC iPhone Factory...

Following the airing of a BBC show depicting poor working conditions in the Pegatron factory making iPhones Apple CEO Tim Cook said the situation was misrepresented, and that he's "deeply offended." The report showed factory workers forced into extended shifts and ongoing safety issues.

The Mac Observer Spin: It's a safe bet that Apple will have a new report out soon detailing its ongoing efforts to improve working conditions in China, and hopefully Panorama's "Broken Promises" special will help accelerate the process. It's important that Apple is called to task for poor factory conditions at its suppliers, but it's also important other companies using the same facilities get called out, too.


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CalDigit reveals $200 Thunderbolt Station 2

CalDigit has launched the Thunderbolt Station 2, a new Thunderbolt 2 dock. Like some alternatives, the dock includes two Thunderbolt 2 ports, three powered USB 3.0 ports, and connections for HDMI, Ethernet, and audio input/output. Two eSATA 6G ports are also present, supporting storage formats not normally enabled by a Thunderbolt dock....



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Friday Deals: Ultra HD monitor, game console bundles...

There is less than a week until Christmas, and depending on where you live, approximately four days available for deliveries of presents. If there are more presents to get before the big day, you're likely to be spending a lot on quicker deliveries, so why not even out the cost by getting some great Friday Deals? Every Friday afternoon, we search for bargains on hardware, peripherals, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Prices are right at the time of writing, but double-check before purchasing, as prices could change. Also, be sure to return to this po...



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Apps: Mellel, ScreenFlow, BBEdit




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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-19

The BBC says working conditions in factories making iPhones isn't all that great, and Apple says it's doing more than other companies to fix that. John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to talk about factory conditions, Apple's impact on workers in China, and the involvement of other companies in the efforts to address human rights.


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T-Mobile settles FTC 'cramming' lawsuit,...

T-Mobile has settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints the carrier allowed third-party companies to place unauthorized charges to customer bills. As part of the "cramming" settlement, T-Mobile has agreed to pay out at least $90 million in fines and refunds, as well as altering its third-party billing practices....



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Apple hikes prices at Russian App Store

Apple is increasing the prices of both apps and in-app purchases at the Russian App Store, according to a new memo issued to developers. An app that would normally be 99 cents in the US, for example, is now 62 rubles. That indicates that apps have almost doubled in cost in Russia during 2014....



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FBI: North Korea responsible for Sony Pictures hack...

[Updated with comments from President Barack Obama] North Korea is responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced. The statement about the agency's investigation into the intrusion of the movie studio's computer network, and subsequent leaks, comes at the same time as messages supposedly coming from the hackers wanting Sony to do more than halt the release of "The Interview" movie....



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Hands On: Zen Bound 2 (iOS)

Games are supposed to be fun -- there's no denying that. Most games played have some sort of objective, be it shooting bad guys, racing against a clock, or beating other players at obtaining an objective. But some of the best games are the ones that are designed to be fun with no pressure, no competition, and no clocks. One such game that utilizes a touch screen as more than a keyboard analog is Zen Bound 2, by developer Secret Exit....



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Kate Winslet could take 'lead' role in...

Actress Kate Winslet is currently in negotiations for "the female lead" in Universal's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, Variety reports. Winslet is best known for movies like Titanic, The Reader, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's not clear what the role will be, but top female characters in the film are rumored to include Jobs' daughter Lisa, and Katie Cotton, Apple's former PR head....



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DirecTV users get access to Fox Now, FX Now, Nat Geo...

DirecTV has announced a partnership with Fox Networks, giving subscribers access to all the content in the Fox Now, FXNow, and Nat Geo TV apps on multiple platforms. This includes iOS, Apple TV, Android, and Windows devices. In effect the change means that the apps have simply added DirecTV as a service authentication option, joining other TV providers....



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Forums: temp sensors, old iMacs and Yosemite chats

This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss temperature sensor issues, hard drive compatibility and more. After a temperature sensor blew on the logic board of a Xserve that is run by "Waragainstsleep" he turned to the forums hoping someone would have some advice on how to repair this so he doesn't have to replace the whole board. Today Dedicated MacNNer was looking for help with moving addresses from Leopard to Yosemite....



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Report: Apple Pay is Disrupting and Transforming...

"Apple Pay has the ability to significantly transform the mobile payment space." That's the conclusion of an ITG Investment Report published on December 19. A major finding is that Apple Pay has been responsible for one percent of all digital payment dollars. This is a "strong showing" given that Apple customers must have the latest iPhones and the limited list of merchants. John Martellaro summarizes the report.


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Apple Raises Prices in Russian App Store Amidst...

Apple has raised the price of apps in the Russian App Store in the midst of a meltdown in the value of the Russian ruble. The move follows Apple's decision earlier in the week to stop selling iPhones in Russia because of the volatility.


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The Unexpected Ways Apple Watch Will Crush the...

Calling the Apple Watch just a cooler, better smartwatch isn't
the right way to look at this revolutionary device. Apple would hardly settle for that. Instead, the Apple Watch will so change people's lives that no other device on the wrist will do, and that will bring incredible success. John Martellaro makes his case.


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6-Ft MFi-Certified iOS Lightning and micro USB...

If you live in a multi-platform house, we have a deal for you on a 6-foot charging cable that's convertible between microUSB (for Android devices) and Lightning (for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch). Better yet, the converter is actually attached to the cable, eliminating the chance to lose it! That's clever, and I like clever. It retails for $40, but you can get it through our deal for $21.


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Hands On: Airmail 2 (OS X)

Staying on top of emails, especially when there are multiple accounts involved, is unpleasant. Of the many mail clients out there (such as Mail, included with OS X), each tries to offer users its own spin on staying ahead of the curve. Airmail 2.0, released earlier this year, provides a client designed for Yosemite, supporting iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP 3, and more. We got a hold of Airmail 2.0 (which we will simply refer to as "Airmail" going forward) to take a look for ourselves, and see if this email client stands out from the crowd....



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Google, Samsung can’t Top Apple’s Unreleased Apple...

What's the most sought after wearable tech device? That would be the Apple Watch-a device that isn't even scheduled to ship until some time next spring. Apple's unavailable smartwatch beat out Google, Samsung, and Fitbit as the wearable device people most want to buy, according to a study by Ipsos MediaCT.

The Mac Observer Spin: Polls like this are great news for Apple and horrible for their competitors because it shows consumers are more interested in buying a wearable device that has even shipped than products that are already on the market.


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Hands On: Video Converter Pro - All (OS X)

Before we get into this, Video Converter Pro is currently free for a limited time, so go get it on the Mac App Store now. If you read this one minute too late and the price has gone back up, get it anyway because it is more than worth the usual asking price of $15. Or rather, it is if you need to convert videos, because that's what this just does, without fuss....



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Apple Pay already accounting for one percent of all...

A study by research firm ITG suggest that Apple Pay -- introduced only last month -- is already accounting for one percent of all digital payments. The firm also noted that those using Apple Pay increased spending using mobile payments, and tended to use the technology frequently -- resulting in a jump in sales at top merchants that accepted Apple Pay, such as Walgreens, Whole Foods and McDonald's. Each of the three retailers grabbed double-digit shares of the Apple Pay pie....



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Hands On: Letters and Dots (iOS)

There's no shortage of word games on the app store, and for the most part, a lot of them have very similar mechanics. You have your Scrabble, your Boggles, and your Hangmen. But what about games that combine genres of games to create something new and fun? That's why Letters and Dots, by J.D. Shultz, was created - to add a little flair to a fairly narrow genre....



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DPRK demands joint Sony hack investigation; Sony...

North Korea has verbally fired back at allegations that it is behind the Sony Pictures attack. Calling President Obama's words "groundless slander," the country is demanding a joint investigation into the hack, with the country's experts and US law enforcement working side-by-side. If the US should refuse, North Korea's foreign ministry promised "grave consequences," presumably to US interests, if the hack which has caused an estimated $100 million of damage to Sony Pictures, not including less tangible problems, continues to be blamed on the country....



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Hands On: Artboard (OS X)

You take your life in your hands when you ask us to draw something. Look at the screenshots here and tell us you can't tell that we're really writers with clipart. But if we don't spend all day coloring in fantastic illustrations, we do very often need to sketch out images and that's where Artboard shines. It is a fully-fledged illustration application and a full-time artist could work in it full-time -- but it is particularly suited to those of us who occasionally need a powerful tool, and don't want to dole out the cash for a monthly subscription to a software giant....



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Google sues MPAA-driven Attorney General, Hood calls...

Google has launched its own legal effort to stop Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood's effort with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to pin the search engine on the world's piracy problem. Google claims in the court filing in Mississippi's district court that Hood has filed a "burdensome, retaliatory" subpoena against it, which would require a massive financial and labor effort to comply, for no real gain other than extra-judiciary punishment. Hood has responded, and is "calling a time out, so that cooler heads may prevail."...



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Judge completely denies HP's Autonomy buy class...

A US district judge in San Francisco has outright rejected HP's settlement offer to settle the Autonomy acquisition class action suit in the US. Saying that "the shareholders appear to be relinquishing a whole universe of potential claims regarding HP governance and practices" Judge Charles Breyer has kicked the settlement back to the plaintiffs without suggestions for recovery. The matter is now likely to head to trial sometime in the summer of 2015....



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BlackBerry creeping closer to profit with $148...

Cellphone manufacturer BlackBerry has published its most recent quarterly results. While the company is trumpeting a return to profitability, it still incurred a fair value debenture charge, forcing the company to post a $148 million loss on the quarter, or $0.28 per share. Without the debenture, it would have posted a modest profit of $2 million. While it appears that the cost-cutting measures are starting to pay off given the improvement in the loss numbers, the company showed a 34 percent drop in revenue over the year-ago-quarter, suggesting that the road ahead for the company is still chal...



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Briefly: Procreate Pocket illustration app;...

Savage Interactive has released illustration app Procreate Pocket, a scaled-down version of its iPad app Procreate. Intended for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Procreate Pocket is powered by a 64-bit Silica engine, offering a variety of drawing tools and 250 levels of "Undo". Among its features, its 18 layers of Blend Modes allow for versatile composition, and 1080p video recording option can document all stages of the drawing process without interruption. Priced at $3, Procreate Pocket requires iOS 8.1 or later....



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Friday Deals: Ultra HD monitor, Game and console...

[Updated with more deals!] There is less than a week until Christmas, and depending on where you live, approximately four days available for deliveries of presents. If there are more presents to get before the big day, you're likely to be spending a lot on quicker deliveries, so why not even out the cost by getting some great Friday Deals? Every Friday afternoon, we search for bargains on hardware, peripherals, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Prices are right at the time of writing, but double-check before purchasing, as prices could change. Also, b...



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Hands On: Lumy (iOS)

There are two facts of photography that Lumy is built to exploit for you. First, the sun is your friend because there is a time when the sheer quality of daylight helps make your photographs beautiful. The time is known as the "magic hour," or the "golden hour," but the second fact is that you're lucky if it's really 60 minutes. Wouldn't an app to help you pinpoint how much of that limited time you actually have be helpful?...



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Obama: Sony hack not act of war; Anonymous promises...

In an interview recorded on Friday, President Obama clarified his remarks last week regarding the Sony Pictures hack. The president denies swirling discussions about the hack being an act of war, and called it "an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive." Additionally, late Sunday, tweets purport that hacker collective Anonymous is about to wade into the fray against North Korea for its role in the event....



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Weekly Game Replay: Valve's handling of Hatred...

Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN put together a one-stop article for some of the major news in the video game industry in the past week. In this week's edition of the Weekly Game Replay, we look at Valve's handling of Hatred on Steam Greenlight, Mojang and Telltale Games team up for a narrative-based Minecraft game, a judge gives the go-ahead on a Killzone resolution lawsuit, World of Warcraft is exploring in-game purchasable game time tokens, and Majesco Entertainment's receiving an investor cash infusion....



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MGG 532: Blowin’ Up The Spammers!

Yep, another one of Dave's iMacs is having boot problems. It's mayhem! That's OK, he and John talk through possible resolution and also when not to assume you know the answer (hint: always!). Then it's on to maintaining your iTunes accounts, finding (and removing) any adware, and an unpublished solution to Yosemite's incrementing hostname issue. All this and more. Download today and enjoy!


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Get Free Bitcoins with 52 Website Faucets that...

I've gathered 52 different Bitcoin "faucets"-websites that pay out free Bitcoins just for loading up a page full of ads-and tested them to make sure they actually pay out. I started off with eight sites, but this update bumps that list to 51 different Bitcoin faucets that really pay.


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Crowdfunding Critic: Codename Morningstar iOS...

Earlier this month, we had talked about the falling out between Wizards of the Coast and Trapdoor Technologies over DungeonScape (or Codename: Morningstar, depending on the day), which was supposed to be the answer to every dungeon master's prayers. DungeonScape was gearing up to be an application, available for both tablets and computers, and its aim was to help eliminate the lengthy setup times and give users the ability to look up rules and equipment at a glance. Under a month after gaming company Wizards of the Coast killed the partnership, Trapdoor Technologies launched a Kickstarter in h...



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Public gets new beta of OS X 10.10.2

Over the weekend, Apple published a new public beta version of OS X 10.10.2. The code is identified as build 14C81h, and follows the third developer beta of the update, which was build 14C81f. For that Apple asked developers to concentrate testing on areas such as Mail, VoiceOver, and Wi-Fi connections....



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Staples confirms attack on retail system, over 1M...

An intrusion into Staples' point-of-sales systems earlier this year put 1.16 million credit and debit cards at risk, the retailer admitted on Friday. Approximately 115 of the company's 1,400 retail stores across the United States were affected by malware on its systems, though the store apparently managed to eradicate the malware and improve system security in mid-September....



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Holiday Gift Guide -- gifts for gamers

Gamers can be very selective in the types of things they want for the holidays, but Electronista and MacNN are offering some hints on gadgets that should appeal to any gamer on the shopping list. From smaller items that enhance play on consoles and computers to a tablet that allows gamers the ultimate on-the-go experience, out gaming gift guide should prepare shoppers for the upcoming season....



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12-inch MacBook Air entering production early next...

Production of Apple's rumored 12-inch MacBook Air -- along with the Apple Watch -- should enter mass production in the first quarter of 2014, supply chain sources tell Digitimes. Suppliers are allegedly beginning to accelerate work on related components. The new Air is expected to have an Intel Broadwell processor, and an even thinner and lighter design....



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Apple opens up official iTunes page on Tumblr

Apple has expanded its presence in social media with a new Tumblr blog dedicated to iTunes. At the moment the site focuses mainly on Apple's Best of 2014 content, in categories including movies, music, TV, and books. The company has had very little presence on Tumblr so far; it launched a page dedicated to the iPhone 5c in March, but has otherwise ignored the site....



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Apple's Russian online store returns with major...

Apple's Russian online store is back online, following an almost week-long downtime. The store was taken down to review and change prices, and accordingly many products are now substantially more expensive. A 16GB iPhone 6 is 53,990 rubles, or about $988, far higher than the 34,990 rubles ($643) it sold for previously. A Retina iMac starts at 189,990 rubles, or $3,467. The same system is $2,499 in the US....



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Monday Deals: Gigabit routers, Ultra HD television,...

Welcome to Monday Deals, and let's face it, Christmas is upon us, and there's not really enough time to buy gifts online and receive them in time for the big day. Maybe you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, want to use your leftover present-buying cash to get yourself a little or not-so-little something for all that hard work buying for other people. As usual, prices are correct at the time of writing, but may change at a later time, so check before completing orders. Also remember to check back over the next few days, as more deals may be added at a later time....



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Hands On: Calista (iOS)

Everyone's familiar with current trend in photos that keep popping up across the Internet. One part indie-rock and one part Photoshop, their soft colors and multiple filters have become the new cool thing. Originally these images took time, effort, and at least a basic understanding of Photoshop. But now something like Calista, by THINKSUIT, gives users the ability to make these straight from the comfort of a handheld device....



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Apple supplier Pegatron promises to investigate...

Apple supplier Pegatron has issued a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, promising to investigate and fix labor abuses uncovered through a recently-aired BBC documentary. The company states that worker safety is its top priority, and that it runs strict training for both regular workers and management. It also notes the use of external inspectors in audits -- presumably referring to the teams used by Apple -- and says that it offers many ways for workers to submit feedback. During 2014, the company has allegedly resolved 94 percent of complaints within three days....



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Apple issues NTP Security Update for several...

Apple has released what it calls a "critical" patch for OS X, dubbed the NTP Security Update. The code is currently being pushed to users via the Mac App Store, and solves vulnerabilities within the Network Time Protocol. The update is available for Mountain Lion (10.8.x), Mavericks (10.9), and Yosemite (10.10). While no known attack exploits the now-patched vulnerabilities, the discovery appears to be serious enough to merit immediate attention....



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Hands On: Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy (OS X...

Let's start by getting one thing straight: Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy is not designed for the casual gamer. It is an extremely detailed affair, that has been designed to create a fairly accurate replication of war on the Normandy battlefield. Combat Mission is not a game of quick rushes and gathering resources, but instead requires players to thoughtfully plan out their military tactics one step at a time. It is a game of incredible detail, so if you are new to the game (as we were) be prepared to spend a couple hours just learning how to play, before you really get into your first fi...



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VPN Unlimited Premium Plan: 3 Years Of Hacker...

Need access to otherwise restricted web content? Donât trust your WiFi connection? Need to ensure online security? You want to consider a virtual private network (VPN), and boom! We just happen to have a deal for three years of VPN Unlimited's Premium Plan for $19. With this package, your Internet data is encrypted between the VPN and you, greatly limiting your exposure to hackers, and for those who live in countries that block access, it can be the only way to get to some sites. There's a lot more information on our deal site.


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Apple Releases ‘Critical’ OS X NTP Security Update...

Apple released security updates for OS X's NTP (network time protocol) service. The patch notes don't specify the changes, but do characterize the security flaw as "critical."


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Dr. Mac’s Tried and True Apple Holiday Gift Guide...

Hereâs Dr. Mac's final batch of reasonably priced Apple related gadgets (and holders for Apple gadgets), all of which will be much appreciated by the geeks you love.


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Procrastinator’s Guide to Last Minute Holiday Gifts

Last minute shoppers unite in panic! In case you have missed all shipping deadlines for some reason, Kelly has some ideas that can help you whip up instant gifts.


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Tor network servers experience outage after leaked...

Last Friday, the Tor Project blog posted about a possible threat that some of its servers would be seized in an attempt to incapacitate or hijack the Tor network. Over the weekend, a group of "exit node" servers in a Dutch datacenter went down, and then came back online. The service, a volunteer network of relays aiming to provide anonymity and security, says it was warned of suspicious activity that may have been instigated by law enforcement....



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FCC hits pause again on clock for TWC-Comcast merger

In spite of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts' assertions earlier this month that the merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC) is going along smoothly, the FCC has paused the informal 180-day clock on its investigation into the merger, due to a total of roughly 38,000 documents submitted by TWC beyond its deadline, and after the FCC had believed it was finished with that part of its investigation into the merger....



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North Korea refutes US hacking accusations, endures...

North Korea has declared it will strike against the United States, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified the rogue state as the origin of the Sony Pictures hack. However, alongside the sabre-rattling statement provided by the Korean Central News Agency of DPRK (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as it calls itself) are reports that the country's Internet connection has itself been the target of an attack over the weekend, with North Korea effectively being knocked offline....

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Hands On: Writeroom (OS X)

Work-related writing beckons, and yet you can't help but drift over to check your email, fiddle with iTunes or meander to the black hole that is social media. Word processors are among the easiest working windows to stray from -- which is why Hog Bay Software developed Writeroom, a word processor that provides a full-screen, minimalist environment for a distraction-free process. Though Writeroom (priced at $10) last received an update back in 2012, it continues to be an enjoyable, useful tool in letting the words flow....



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Follow up: North Korean Internet back online

North Korea's connection to the rest of the Internet, which had been knocked offline this weekend, has been restored according to a new report. Over the weekend, Internet service in the country dwindled to nothing, after DDoS attacks against its Internet infrastructure increased....



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Developer sneaks NES/SNES emulator into iOS app

Once again, a rogue developer has attempted -- and succeeded, albeit temporarily -- in sneaking an app onto the iOS App Store that actually contains an emulator for a classic game system, forbidden under App Store rules. This time, it is...



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Apple Retail SVP Ahrendts offers holiday message on...

A new post from Apple Retail Senior Vice President (SVP) Dame Angela Ahrendts on her LinkedIn blog offers a simple holiday message and song with a theme of peace, saying her message for the season was simply "let peace begin with me." Ahrendts said she was inspired by a recent re-hearing of a song she used to play on piano, a rendition of "Let There Be Peace on Earth" by B.J. Thomas. The song, originally written by Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller in 1955, offers an inspirational message of unity....



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Hands On: DevonThink (OS X)

This is going to be like reviewing a car by focusing on how great the radio is. DevonThink is a massive application that might as well aim to be your personal Wikipedia. Every thought you have, every note you make, everything you spot on the web, you can throw it all into your personal DevonThink database. So far that sounds very much like Evernote -- and it is indeed similar -- but DevonThink is equally focused on arranging and sorting that material....



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Software Updates via MacUpdate

Duplicate Annihilator 5.7.5 - Find and d...
Duplicate Annihilator takes on the time-consuming task of comparing the images in your iPhoto library using effective algorithms to make sure that no duplicate escapes. Duplicate Annihilator... Read more
BusyContacts 1.0.2 - Fast, efficient con...
BusyContacts is a contact manager for OS X that makes creating, finding, and managing contacts faster and more efficient. It brings to contact management the same power, flexibility, and sharing... Read more
Capture One Pro 8.2.0.82 - RAW workflow...
Capture One Pro 8 is a professional RAW converter offering you ultimate image quality with accurate colors and incredible detail from more than 300 high-end cameras -- straight out of the box. It... Read more
Backblaze 4.0.0.872 - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac.With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Little Snitch 3.5.2 - Alerts you about o...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activity As soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
Monolingual 1.6.4 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. If you use your computer in only one (human) language, you... Read more
CleanApp 5.0 - Application deinstaller a...
CleanApp is an application deinstaller and archiver.... Your hard drive gets fuller day by day, but do you know why? CleanApp 5 provides you with insights how to reclaim disk space. There are... Read more
Fantastical 2.0 - Create calendar events...
Fantastical is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event details... Read more
Cocktail 8.2 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
Direct Mail 4.0.4 - Create and send grea...
Direct Mail is an easy-to-use, fully-featured email marketing app purpose-built for OS X. It lets you create and send great looking email campaigns. Start your newsletter by selecting from a gallery... Read more

These are All the Apple Watch Apps and G...
The Apple Watch is less than a month from hitting store shelves, and once you get your hands on it you're probably going to want some apps and games to install. Fear not! We've compiled a list of all the Apple Watch apps and games we've been able to... | Read more »
Appy to Have Known You - Lee Hamlet Look...
Being at 148Apps these past 2 years has been an awesome experience that has taught me a great deal, and working with such a great team has been a privilege. Thank you to Rob Rich, and to both Rob LeFebvre and Jeff Scott before him, for helping me... | Read more »
Hands-On With Allstar Heroes - A Promisi...
Let’s get this out of the way quickly. Allstar Heroes looks a lot like a certain other recent action RPG release, but it turns out that while it’s not yet available here, Allstar Heroes has been around for much longer than that other title. Now that... | Read more »
Macho Man and Steve Austin Join the Rank...
WWE Immortals, by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and WWE, has gotten a superstar update. You'll now have access to Macho Man Randy Savage and Steve Austin. Both characters have two different versions: Macho Man Randy Savage Renegade or Macho... | Read more »
Fearless Fantasy is Fantastic for the iF...
I actually had my first look at Fearless Fantasy last year at E3, but it was on a PC so there wasn't much for me to talk about. But now that I've been able to play with a pre-release version of the iOS build, there's quite a bit for me to talk... | Read more »
MLB Manager 2015 (Games)
MLB Manager 2015 5.0.14 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 5.0.14 (iTunes) Description: Guide your favorite MLB franchise to glory! MLB Manager 2015, officially licensed by MLB.com and based on the award-... | Read more »
Breath of Light (Games)
Breath of Light 1.0.1421 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1421 (iTunes) Description: Hold a quiet moment. Breath of Light is a meditative and beautiful puzzle game with a hypnotic soundtrack by... | Read more »
WWE WrestleMania Tags into the App Store
Are You ready to rumble? The official WWE WrestleMania app, by World Wrestling Entertainment, is now available. Now you can get all your WrestleMania info in one place before anyone else. The app offers details on superstar signings, interactive... | Read more »
Bio Inc's New Expansion is Infectin...
Bio Inc., by DryGin Studios, is the real time strategy game where you infect a human body with the worst virus your evil brain can design. Recently, the game was updated to add a whole lot of new features. Now you can play the new “Lethal”... | Read more »
The Monocular Minion is Here! Despicable...
Despicable Me: Minion Rush, by Gameloft, is introducing a new runner to the mix in their latest update. Now you can play as Carl, the prankster minion. Carl has a few new abilities to play with, including running at a higher speed from the start.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.... Read more
Save up to $80 on iPad Air 2s, NY tax only, f...
 B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for $80 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $469.99 $30 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $549.99 $50 off - 128GB iPad... Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $205 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $205 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 1.4GHz iMac: $1019 $80 off - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $1189 $110 off - 21″ 2.9GHz... Read more
Färbe Technik Offers iPhone Battery Charge LI...
Färbe Technik, which manufactures and markets of mobile accessories for Apple, Blackberry and Samsung mobile devices, is offering tips on how to keep your iPhone charged while in the field: •... Read more
Electronic Recyclers International CEO Urges...
Citing a recent story on CNBC about concerns some security professionals have about the forthcoming Apple Watch, John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the... Read more
Save up to $380 with Apple refurbished iMacs
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac – $2119 $... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $75 off, starting...
MacMall has Mac minis on sale for up to $75 off MSRP including free shipping. Their prices are the lowest available for these models from any reseller: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $459.99 $40 off - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
College Student Deals: Additional $50 off Mac...
Take an additional $50 off all MacBooks and iMacs at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through April 11, 2015. Anyone with a valid .EDU email address can take advantage... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3719.99... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $100 o...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

DevOps Software Engineer - *Apple* Pay, iOS...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Sr. Technical Services Consultant, *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple Professional Services (APS) has an opening for a senior technical position that contributes to Apple 's efforts for strategic and transactional Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail...
**Job Summary** Job Summary The Lead ASC is an Apple employee who serves as the Apple business manager and influencer in a hyper-business critical Reseller's store Read more
*Apple* Pay - Site Reliability Engineer - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
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