Yahoo!’s badmouthing big boss, Carol Bartz, may or may not be onto something. iAd, she says, “is going to fall apart for [Apple]“. Apple’s mobile advert platform, while locked into the de facto most popular mobile platform (it still is), is just that: locked in. Jobsian, draconian, whatever you want to call it, it’s got its fair share of detractors. At least it is out of the woods regarding antitrust. Google’s AdMob has shown great income potential for certain developers despite Android Marketplace’s rampant problems with porn and piracy. But back to iAd; we won’t know whether or not it is a success for a while. DaringFireball’s John Gruber tends to think we should wait a year.
Talk a out a walk on the old school side. After toggling R TYPE’s icon, I was treated to the most embarrassing flashbacks of bad hairdo’s, rebellious clothes, and Kurt Cobain’s whiny trill. Yep, back when R TYPE was en rage on the SNES, I was a very dedicated teenager. I also happened to sneak my way into friends’ houses to blow things up on screen since I just didn’t have a SNES. Thanks to Electronic Arts, however, R TYPE, the virtual time machine, is hot in the hands of wanna-be teenagers the world over!
Sunrise’s three earbuds are a hit here at TouchMyApps, their inner earphone, the SW-Xcape, is bound to be the one to turn the most heads. Why? Well, it’s an isolating earphone, capable of dulling the sound of crying babies, loud airplane engines, and your snoring spouse. Fortunately, it also sounds very good, augmenting Sunrise’ newly-minted fun, full house sound. If you like a good, full bass and this time, a pretty focused treble, you’ll love the Xcape.
Feel free to discuss the Xcape in our forums.
Photo enthusiasts, when Steve Jobs said the iPhone was “like a beautiful old Leica camera”, the heaven’s shook and water poured from the pores of expectant camera fans. Leica cameras have been sexy for decades, but they are really, really expensive. Thankfully, the precisely designed iPhone 4 shares some shocking similarities with a few Leica cameras and costs thousands less. Thanks to the clever use of seals and iPhone cases, users can enjoy their iPhone 4′s in mock Leica goodness. For the poor in spirit, Nikonjin have unearthed Nikon rangefinder skins as well.
I can see why my wife was completely addicted to this puzzler. With its graffiti graphics and cute music, Slice It! may look like a quick little game, but it ain’t. It’s a cleverly disguised geometric puzzler that can tickle your brain for hours. Your mission? Divide shapes into equal parts in order to pass to the next level. Currently, there are 40 levels with more promised from Com2uS in the near future.
Com2uS Inc., Slice It!, 14.30MB – $0.99
Thanks to the truly rubbish glut of pack-in earphones from Apple, Cowon, Sansa, et al., earbuds have got a bad rep. The truth is that there are many good earbuds. Sennheiser’s MX series has been a low-priced, high-value hit for years, and YUIN’s OK and PK series is even better. Even the Apple iBuds, though not really ergonomic, economic, or well built, can sound good. The newly-minted Sunrise, a Vietnamese company who’ve been OEM manufacturing for years, have debuted the following: AS-Miss (entry level), AS-Feeling (audiophile level), and AS-Charm (high end), which are perfect companions for music lovers who can’t bear the feel of slimy inner earphones, but still want good sound.
Back in the early 90′s, I was in love two things: a cute girl named Christina, and a fathomless role playing game called Ultima 7. But because of my awkward appearance on the one hand, and our horrid computer on the other, I had no luck with either. I got dumped by one, and until I was able to shell out for four more megabytes of RAM, I’d have to play Ultima 7 on a borrowed computer. That was the way of it for a long time ago, but in the intervening years, the ONLY games I’ve come back to are Heroes of Might and Magic (see Palm Heroes) and Ultima 7. Ultima 7 was the pinnacle of computer engineering at the time and even today remains unrivalled for a complete role playing experience. Many today consider it the best computerised RPG ever. Unfortunately, it isn’t truly playable on iOS devices for many reasons. The first is that EA hold the rights to it, and the second is that in order to run playably (in a virtual environment) on iOS devices, it needs a complete overhaul.
If you are stuck on Windows, or enjoying the true freedom Linux offers, you have an unfortunate quandary ahead: how do I watch Apple’s Sept 1 Event? It’s supposed to be OSX/iDevice only! Have no fear. Just download the free VLC player, open a network stream, and paste the following line of text in the open field: http://devimages.apple.com/iphone/samples/bipbop/gear1/prog_index.m3u8. If you want to check if everything is working alright, open this Apple HTTP Live Streaming dev link in iOS/OSX/Safari.
Currently, this workaround playlist file links to a projector calibration screen, but I assume (don’t assume) that as the show starts, you’ll be able to watch. MacRumors reckon that the action may be choppy, but what else can you expect? Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming is merely a proposed open standard. It has been adopted a very few companies at the moment.
This method isn’t foolproof, but it should help a lot of users through a jerky presentation. Remember, if you have Safari and OSX, head to www.apple.com to watch the event in real time.
Any headline from boutique audio house, Final Audio Design, is news at TouchMyApps. Recently, their first balanced armature series headphone, the Final Audio FA-BA-SS hit the market to some good reviews, but with a price around USD 1000$ and sold in very limited numbers, this flagship earphone didn’t have a chance to capture the market before selling out. The two new models, FA-BA-A1 and FA-BA-SB (ostensibly in aluminium and brass), however, are sold at the much more reasonable prices of 300$ and 400$. Final Audio look to be following Monster and Jays’ lead by introducing a flat tangle-free cable for the FA-BA-SB. A more traditional cable will adorn the FA-BA-A1 earphone.
Currently, both models are sold out across Japan, but FAD are accepting pre-orders for the next batch. If you are scared about ordering from Japan, don’t be. There are a couple of reliable options. One is Seyo Shop, an exporter of fine Japanese headphones and camera equipment. Their prices are usually excellent. Currently they don’t carry Final Audio.
Preliminary review impressions of the FA-BA-A1 are up at TMA’s Forums. For more pictures and product spec, jump the gap:
Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming technology isn’t the open standard Apple reckon it is, at least not yet. It is pretty cool though, allowing direct video streaming from HTTP that passes over and under firewalls to bring Quicktime X and iPhone video to you, the rumour-hungry end user. Apple’s Sept 1 event rides on sharp expectations this year. Rumours that the iPod nano will shrink, that the iPod touch will sport FaceTime cameras, and that the TV will be updated, are on the line.