Boing Boing 

Apps bring new possibilities to board games

Matt M. Casey on Golem Arcana, one of the new offerings whose gameplay leaps from tabletop to tablet. Read the rest

Reddit AMA now in app form

redama

Reddit launched its official Ask Me Anything mobile app for iOS and Android.

Geometry Dash: jump, fly and flip your way through dangerous passages

This episode of Apps for Kids is brought to you by Shoparoo - start earning for your school today.Read the rest

How to recreate the sounds of "Forbidden Planet"

In each episode of the Gadgets podcast we recommend technology we love and use. Xeni, Jason, and Mark check out a pro-quality food dehydrator, a camera lens and eyeglass cleaning brush, a cool synthesizer kit, and more!Read the rest

Funny videos for new Toca Town app

Here are a couple of videos [one | two] that poke fun at parents who get irritated with activities that make kids happy, like making rude noises with a ketchup bottle and having a pillow fight. It's to promote Toca Boca's newest app for kids, Toca Town.

A Talk with Threes App Designer Greg Wohlwend (New Disruptors 74)

Greg Wohlwend co-created the popular game Threes. He talks with host Glenn Fleishman about the joy of success, the burden of being independent, and the problems with parasites.Read the rest

Gweek podcast 144: Black Terror vs. Killer Robot

jared

In each episode of Gweek, Dean Putney and I invite a guest to join us in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. This time our guest was Jared Zichek, owner of Golden Age Figurines, which produces limited edition hand painted resin figurines of selected superhero, science fiction, and horror characters from the Golden Age of Comics.

harrysThis episode is brought to you by Harry’s quality men’s shaving products. Go to Harrys.com and use the promo code BOINGBOING to save $5 off your first purchase.

Jared's picks:

Flesh & Steel: The Art of Russ Heath

Ultra Q: The Complete Series

MeshFusion modeling plugin for Modo 701.

Dean's picks:

New album release from George and Jonathan with a cool visualization of all the notes.

govtrack.us, a website for tracking US Congress bills, congresspeople, voting records and committees. Email notification system. I found it while looking up H.R. 1852: Email Privacy Act

Giggle Blossom, the Fiverr Clown. A very sweet clown that will record a video of any message you like.

Mark's picks:

Boing Boing has a new podcast! Futility Closet is a celebration of the quirky and the curious, the thought-provoking and the simply amusing. This podcast is an audio companion to the popular website that catalogs more than 7,000 curiosities in history, language, mathematics, literature, philosophy, and art.

New books at Wink

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Gweek podcast 143: The World's Greatest Neurozine!

In most episodes of Gweek, Dean Putney and I invite a guest to join us in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. This time we didn't have a guest. Dean and I talked mainly about the origins of Boing Boing and Make.

This episode is brought to you by:

NatureBox, makers of delicious, wholesome snacks delivered to your door. Go to NatureBox.com/gweek to get 50% OFF your your first box.

iFixit, the world’s free online repair manual for everything.. Use coupon code GWEEK at checkout and get $10 off your order of $50 or more.

Dean's picks:

Wizard People Dear Reader

Mark's picks:

Blinkist book summaries. 15 minute versions of popular non-fictions books - $3/month for all you can read

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Gweek podcast 142: the funniest living American

In each episode of Gweek, Dean Putney and I invite a guest to join us in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. Our guests this week are:

Ruben Bolling, author of the weekly comic strip Tom the Dancing Bug, which premieres each week on Boing Boing, and pre-premiers for members of his Inner Hive, which you can join by going to tomthedancingbug.com.

Nick Carr is a New York City movie location scout. On his blog, Scouting New York, Nick says he’s been pretty much everywhere, from the highest rooftops to the deepest subway tunnels, from abandoned ruins to zillion-dollar luxury penthouse apartments.

This episode is brought to you by:

NatureBox, makers of delicious, wholesome snacks delivered to your door. Go to NatureBox.com/gweek to get 50% OFF your your first box.

iFixit, the world’s free online repair manual for everything.. Use coupon code GWEEK at checkout and get $10 off your order of $50 or more.

The Boondocks. Season 4 starts on Monday April 21 on Adult Swim.

Nick's picks:

Best Bathroom - Highly recommended app for anyone coming to NYC

K2 - Great board game from Poland I’ve been playing recently

Ruben's picks:

Paul has a Summer Job, by Michel Rabagliati

Henry Speaks for Himself, by John Liney

Dean's pick:

Love and a Sandwich -- stuffed animal monsters

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Apps for Kids 055: Badland

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Apps for Kids is Boing Boing's podcast about cool smartphone apps for kids and parents. My co-host is my 10-year-old daughter, Jane.

In this episode, we reviewed a side-scrolling action/adventure game with fun physics, called Badland. It's $3.99 for iOS and Android.

And, we present a new "Would you rather?" question:

Apps for Kids is sponsored by Fracture. Fracture prints your photos in vivid color, directly on glass. It's picture, frame and mount, all in one. Use the code APPSFORKIDS and get 20% off your order!

Read the rest

Gweek podcast 125: Make Me a Woman


In each episode of Gweek, I invite a guest or two to join me in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. This time, I was joined by Ruben Bolling, the author of the weekly comic strip Tom the Dancing Bug, which premieres each week on Boing Boing, and pre-premiers for members of his Inner Hive, which you can join by going to tomthedancingbug.com. I was also joined by Vanessa Davis, a cartoonist and illustrator living in Los Angeles. She is the author of Spaniel Rage and Make Me a Woman. See what she's up to at Spaniel Rage. Shownotes: Korak, Son of Tarzan, Volume One, a Gold Key comic book from 1964 by Gaylord DuBois and Russ Manning. QuizUp, an addictive iPhone trivia game. The Rockford Files on Netflix. Ski Tracks iPhone app, for tracking your day of skiing. When You Reach Me a middle school novel by Rebecca Stead. The Dan Clowes comic book story that Shia LeBeouf plagiarized, available in The Daniel Clowes Reader.

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This episode of Gweek is sponsored by Warby Parker. Try out 5 pairs of prescription eyeglasses for free and get three-day shipping with the offer code GWEEK.

Phone app helps visualize sea level rise

Looking Glass is a prototype phone application that allows you to see the future of sea level rise right in front of your face. There have been some other programs aimed at visualizing sea level rise recently — Drown Your Town, which adds rising water levels to Google Earth, is the most famous example. Looking Glass is a little bit different in that it moves the sea level rise to a first-person point of view. So you can drown not just the town, but your living room, or the people standing directly in front of you.

Right now, Looking Glass is a prototype that only works for the town of Wickford, Rhode Island. But it's a cool concept that could be expanded to a larger number of cities, later on. The goal, says creator Eli Kintisch is to make the invisible visible — to take things that we can only read about in dry scientific papers and show us what they'd really be like to live with.

Spotify's free mobile service

I use the ad-supported version of the Spotify digital music service on my desktop computer. The mobile app cost $10 a month, which isn't bad, but between Pandora and WFMU's app, I am able to live without it and save a bit of money.

Today, Spotify announced a free mobile service that allows you to shuffle play your playlists, other playlists, or any artist in Spotify's large catalog. You are limited to 6 skip forwards per hour (I think Pandora has the same limit). In any case, I'm in!

Spotify: App Store and Google Play.

Square Cash: email money to other people without a fee

Square Cash, released today in the United States, lets you send cash to anyone with an email address, simply CC the message to "cash@square.com," and the recipient will receive the money in two business days or less.

Send money to anyone with an email address. It's fast, safe, and free!

No account needed. Just securely link your debit card to start sending money. It's free to send, and free to receive money directly to your U.S. bank account.

Secure. Your financial information is entered through a secure connection and kept private. You can confirm or reject any transfer.

Fast. Money automatically deposits to your bank account within 1-2 business days.

Square Cash for iPhone

How to fool benchmarking apps

Anand Lai Shimpi and Brian Klug trace the tricks used by electronics giants to bamboozle benchmarking apps--a practice widely associated with Samsung, but also used by at least some of its competitors. At The Observer, Charles Arthur suggests that it's time to stop trusting benchmarking apps altogether.

Lulu - an app for girls to anonymously rate boys

My 16-year-old daughter came home yesterday and showed me an app called Lulu that all of her friends are using. It's purpose is to anonymously rate your male Facebook friends. Each boy is displayed alongside a number from 1 - 10, which represents an average rating for the guy. Users can rate the boys on a number of attributes, such as physical attractiveness, kissing skill, and commitment level.

I predict Apple will pull this from the iPhone store very soon.

I asked Sarina to tell me more about Lulu:

Read the rest

Glitché

Glitché is the evil twin of all those old-film, toy-lens, Instagram-style apps. Pick a photo, then glitch it all to Hell with broken NTSC emulation, weird 3D pixelation and heightmap extrusion effects, and delicious MPEG-style compression errors. For a $1 upgrade, the free app lets you save animated GIFs, too. [via Joel Johnson, below]

Read the rest

Shadow, a "dream-recording" app

Anything marketed with Alan Watts -- "Let's have a surprise. Let's have a dream that isn't under control" -- gets my click. Wired's Liz Stinson reports on Shadow, a novel alarm clock for your phone.

Created by designers Hunter Lee Soik and Jason Carvalho, Shadow is an app that makes recording and remembering your dreams extremely simple. On its most basic level, Shadow is an alarm clock/digital dream journal, but the designers ultimately hope to create the largest dream database in the world. Users set the clock before they go to sleep at night, and in the morning, gradually escalating volume and vibration gently rouses you awake. Most of the time, alarm clocks abruptly blast through your consciousness, ripping you from the depths of sleep. In contrast, Shadow’s alarm system gradually transitions users through their hypnopompic state, that not-quite-asleep, not-quite-awake phase, which has be proven to help you better remember your dreams.

Shadow: A Beautiful App That Tracks Your Dreams [Wired]

Sen. John McCain played 'VIP Poker' on his iPhone as colleagues debate bombing Syria

Making the media rounds as America formalizes a decision to go to war against Syria, this photo by Melina Mara at The Washington Post:
Senator John McCain plays poker on his IPhone during a U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing where Secretary of State JohnKerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey testify concerning the use of force in Syria, on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, Tuesday, September 3, 2013.

Read the rest

Heard: an app that records what you heard 5 minutes ago

Heard is a useful app for settling those "but *I* said and then *you* said" arguments with your kids.

When you activate the app, it begins recording everything around you on a 12-second buffer (extend it to five minutes for $1.99). Any time you want, click the “Push to save” button to save the current clip. Do nothing, and the self-destructing buffer lets the audio slip into the ether.

Why would anyone not in the NSA want an app like this? With Heard, you can capture anything from your baby’s first words to a key point in a lecture without hovering your thumb over the record button all day.

Heard reviewed on Netted

Vesper, an elegant note-taking app

Vesper is a simple note-taking iOS app named after a Bond cocktail. Unlike most such apps, it's well-designed and pleasing to look at, though you do have to cough up a fiver for the privilege. Moreover, it's for people who do everything on their phones: there's no sync feature, a drawback for which Federico Viticci knocks it in his otherwise very positive review. I'm gonna give it a whirl.

Fascinating iOS apps for music making

NewImage

Over at our sponsor Intel's LifeScoop site, I wrote about several fascinating iOS apps for music creation that employ non-traditional and intuitive interfaces. My favorite is SoundPrism:

Created by Audanika in Germany, SoundPrism is a stunning interface that immerses the user in a relaxing, meditative music making experience. . The iOS app, most impressive on iPad, is incredibly intuitive, generating an alluring grid of glowing tiles whose colors represent pitch. But while it’s easy for total non-musicians to make stunning melodies, the interface design is steeped in some deep musical theory. The SoundPrism tiles are arranged in a Circle of Thirds, a symmetric model that the app’s musician developers believe is a fantastic method for teaching basic harmonic theory. In fact, if you’re a music theory geek, Audanika created a harmony theory blog to explore the “symmetry model” embodied by their app.
Experiments in Mobile Music Apps

Generative music apps

NewImage

At our sponsor Intel's LifeScoop site, I posted about "Music That Writes Itself":

In ambient music pioneer Brian Eno’s 1996 book A Year with Swollen Appendices, the composer wrote, “I really think it is possible that our grandchildren will look at us in wonder and say: ‘you mean you used to listen to exactly the same thing over and over again?’” Eno was talking about generative music, a process by which a computer creates unique works from fixed parameters set by the artist. In its simplest form, you twist a few knobs (virtual or otherwise) and the computer takes it from there, creating music that can be credited to the system itself. The term generative art is most likely derived from “generative grammar,” a linguistic theory Noam Chomsky first proposed in his book Syntactic Structures (1965) to refer to deep-seated rules that describe any language. Steven Holtzman, author of Digital Mosaics (1997), traces the art form to the dawn of the information age in the 1960s, when musicians like Gottfried Michael Koenig and Iannis Xenakis pioneered computer composition. Decades later, a number of generative music apps are bringing Eno’s vision to our smartphones.
"Music That Writes Itself"

The Exploratorium's Sound Uncovered: A science museum in your hand (for free)

This review also appears on Download the Universe, a group blog reviewing the best (and worst, and just "meh") in science-related ebooks and apps.

When I go to science museums, I like to press the buttons. I'm convinced this is a special joy that you just do not grow out of. Hit the button. See something cool happen. Feel the little reward centers of your brain dance the watusi.

But, as a curmudgeonly grown-up, I also often feel like there is something missing from this experience. There have definitely been times when I've had my button-pushing fun and gotten a few yards away from the exhibit before I've had to stop and think, "Wait, did I just learn anything?"

Science museums are chaotic. They're loud. They're usually full of small children. Your brain is pulled in multiple directions by sights, sounds, and the knowledge that there are about 15 people behind you, all waiting for their turn to press the button, too. In fact, research has shown that adults often avoid science museums (and assume those places aren't "for them") precisely because of those factors. Sound Uncovered is an interactive ebook published by The Exploratorium, the granddaddy of modern science museums. Really more of an app, it's a series of 12 modules that allow you to play with auditory illusions and unfamiliar sounds as you learn about how the human brain interprets what it hears, and how those ear-brain interactions are used for everything from selling cars to making music.

Read the rest

Rob Walker on the cult of Evernote

Count me among the members of the cult of Evernote, a web service (with 50,000,000 users) that stores digital documents and makes them easy to find. I use it with my Fujitsu ScanSnap document scanner (here's my review) and would have a very hard time without them. The current issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek has our friend Rob Walker's excellent story about ardently devoted Evernote users.

“What you put in Facebook isn’t who you are,” says [Evernote CEO] Phil Libin. “It’s what you want some people to see. And what you put in LinkedIn is certainly not who you are; it’s what you want the professional world to see.” Libin suggests that the addiction to a particular strain of “viral” growth has led to a drastic overemphasis on digital design for extroversion. As a guy who describes himself as too introverted to win over his high school chess team, Libin says that’s an oversight. “What you put in Evernote is who you are,” he continues. “We used to say in the beginning that Evernote is not social. In fact, it’s antisocial; we don’t care about your friends.”
As Evernote's Cult Grows, the Business Market Beckons

Twitter launches video sharing app

Twitter's just released Vine, a video sharing app designed to make it easy to create and embed short snippets of high-quality, low-bandwidth video on the web. The shortcomings of animated GIFs, and the bloatedness of most web video, leave a poorly-served middle-ground that it intends to fill—but only, for the time being, if you have an iPhone or iPod touch.

Hundreds is a stylish iOS puzzler

Hundreds is a minimalist puzzle game from Semi Secret Software, the makers of Canabalt. Each of its 100 levels is filled with one or more floating circles. When you press down on a circle, its numerical value and size increases. Your goal is to enlarge the circles until their combined values add up to 100. But as a circle grows, it turns red, and if anything touches a red circle, it’s game over.

Read the rest

KaomojiApp makes crazy text emoticons easy \(☆o◎)/

KaomojiApp adds a menu item to your Mac with a huge collection of Unicode emoticons that you can easily select and insert in any text area. The free version has a few basic samples in each emotion category, and you can unlock hundreds more for just $3.

Yay! ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆

KaomojiApp.com

Tyra Banks has an app that teaches people how to "smize"

John Koetsier of VentureBeat: "Tyra Banks has released a new iPhone app to help other women -- and men -- learn the secret that she teaches America’s Next Top Models: how to take sizzling hot self-portraits by “smizing.” Smizing, as I learned today, is the art of smiling with your eyes."

Smizing with Tyra Banks

Small world, tracker music edition

I love to hang out with online pal Cabel Sasser, founder of Portland software company Panic, whenever our paths cross in real life. But I only just realized that he was an early 90s tracker musician whose work I listened to in England as a kid, on my Commodore Amiga, decades before we met.

Read the rest