When the Day is Done: Afternoon Links – January 31, 2013

I don’t know how many of you know about Minecraft video game (imagine a world built on a platform of pixelated, blocky 8-bit people and places), but even if you don’t, these cookies are pure awesomeness:

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– Via ‘Life at Khan Academy’s’ Tumblr via Twitter

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App Micro Review: ‘Hundreds’

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Hundreds is a new multi-touch puzzler available for iPhone and iPad. It combines a slick too-cool-for-school minimalist design with true multi-touch-based gameplay, a relative rarity in app gaming.

The objective is simple on the surface. You press on the various gray circles and the numbers within them increase until you release the press. The total(s) must add up to 100 to proceed to next round, hence the game’s name. The challenge is, the circles must never touch each other or any of the various objects that are introduced to foil your quest for 100. Even more notably, you can press four or more circles at once to increase the rate at which you hit 100. But watch out, it’s easy to lose track of your surroundings and get got by a wayward obstacle.

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An Unholy Alliance Might Just Revive Star Wars [Updated]

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Earlier this week, Lucasfilm announced that Star Trek director J.J. Abrams would be helming the next entry in the Star Wars franchise, which is scheduled for release in 2015.

Now I’m no Trekkie or Star Wars über fanboy, but when I first read the announcement I was flabbergasted. Star Trek and Star Wars mixing? It was like the Sharks and Jets joining forces, Coke and Pepsi merging, or a Michigan-Ohio State lovefest. Just unnatural. Utter treason!

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When the Day is Done: Afternoon Links – January 29, 2013

Going to keep this post light, with one major exception.

Ok, so I love me some Locos Tacos from Taco Bell. For those who don’t know, it’s a taco with a classic Nacho Cheese Doritos’ shell. Yum. And guess what? They’re gonna make a Cool Ranch flavored version! – Via BuzzFeed’s Twitter

Sir Paul McCartney, one of my living idols, is such a young soul — I love the way he uses technology. He’s already using Twitter’s Vine video app. See if you can name the song yourself: http://vine.co/v/bJjdTLBnwx1 (Hint: It’s from Band on the Run)

For the ladies: I remember’s 1994’s classic Diet Coke break commercial, and now 18 years later they are reviving it with a twist and it has become a viral sensation. – Via Mashable’s Twitter post

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Apple’s New Civil War: iPad and MacBook Worlds About to Collide

In news that surprised few, earlier today Apple announced (via The Verge) a new 128 GB model of its 4th generation iPad. The new model will be available on February 5 and it will cost $799 (Wi-fi only) and $929 (Wi-fi + LTE).

Let that last number sink in for a moment: $929. The price is not that significant on its own since Apple has never been known as a value brand. No, the real significance lies in another number: $999. That is the price of an entry-level MacBook Air—a full-on premium laptop. Matter of fact, BestBuy and Amazon had that same MacBook Air model on sale for $799 just this last weekend. Apple is not only going after the entire laptop industry with its iPad guns blazing, it’s seemingly turning those same guns on itself.

Let the Civil War Begin

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When the Day is Done: Afternoon Links – January 28, 2013

‘When the Day is Done’ is the title of my daily link-sharing repo, where I will post links from around the web on an array of topics that interest me and hopefully will interest you. Title is lifted directly from the title of one of my favorite Nick Drake songs. Not Drake, people. NICK DRAKE. Just clarifying.

Oldie but goodie from way back on Jan. 16, 2013. Simply one of the best features I’ve read in quite some time: “The Life and Death of the American Arcade.” The article’s layout is ingenious, the video’s production values top notch. Excellent reporting overall. And nostalgic to boot. — Via The Verge.

“Chris Bosh: Photobomb at the White House an Instant Classic.” — Via The Big Lead

Finally! “Boy Scouts May Lift Ban on Gay Members.” — Via New York Times

Amazon still has 12 months of Xbox Live Gold for only $35. That’s 40% off retail. Won’t last long at that price.

Grantland ranked the top 64 Chappelle’s Show sketches and squared them off in a March Madness-type tournament bracket. Here is the article in a single page. I won’t spoil it, but I will share my personal favorite. I mean nothing tops this for me:

And finally, a little quote from legendary film director, Ernst Lubitsch (who directed my favorite actress ever, Greta Garbo, in Ninotchka (1939)). “At least twice a day the most dignified human being is ridiculous.” — Via Criterion’s Tumblr

Apple’s Richer than Ever…Then Why so Glum?

Many of us have read or heard about Apple’s most recent earnings results. Almost 48 million iPhones and 23 million iPads sold. Enough mind-blowing revenue ($54b) and profit ($13b) to feed an entire continent for a decade at least. So then why is the outlook so glum across the Interwebs and on Wall Street amid these record-breaking numbers? Well, I’m no industry insider or respected analyst, but here’s my take.

Apple has lost its edge. Yes, I said it.

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On Apps: Do We Really Care About Our Apps?

So pretty much anyone who knows me knows I’m an Apple enthusiast (OK, fanboi works fine too) and I’m pretty much my family and workplace’s resident Apple evangelist a la John Gruber from Daring Fireball and Guy Kawasaki.

Yet all that Apple love doesn’t necessarily translate to App love. This got me to thinking about what I really think about the dozens of apps I currently have on my 16 GB iPhone 5. So I decided to go page by page and investigate. I think this will also pull double duty as an early Spring App Cleaning exercise, so to keep in that spirit, I will write ‘Keep’ or “Delete’ for each app. So here goes (I will exclude Apple’s ‘undeletable’ apps).

In honor of my film-buffery of yesteryear, the ‘Divisions’ will be named after movies, both known and more obscure.

Page 1 (Untouchables Division)

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1. The Verge – There’s a reason it’s on first page. Easy KEEP.

2. Facebook – We all love to hate it. But let’s face it, we still KEEP.

3. Downcast – Apple’s built-in podcast solution sucks. This rocks. KEEP.

4. Audiogalaxy – My whole, ahem, legal music collection in one app. KEEP.

5. Air Video – My whole, ahem, legal video collection in one app. KEEP.

6. Bejeweled Blitz – 60 sec games. Leaderboards. Family infighting over scores. Definite KEEP.

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Vine vs Cinemagram: A Casual User’s Take (Updated)

Instagram has become something of a cultural sensation. Sure, Facebook paid out an ungodly sum of $1 billion to buy up the craze last Spring. Ah, but can any of those overly-filtered images move? Hmmmmm? I think not. Static images? That’s so 19th century daguerreotype.

Enter Cinemagram and Twitter’s Vine, two iOS apps looking to capture the hearts of moving image enthusiasts. I won’t deep-dive into every feature under their respective hoods, but here are some initial thoughts after some light, casual use.

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