A child born on the day the original StarCraft was released is now a gawky, braces-wearin’, growth-spurtin’ 12-year-old. While that’s a sobering thought for us older gamers, and a ridiculous time to wait between for a sequel, the fact remains that StarCraft and its Brood War expansion pack helped define the real-time strategy genre, and the long-anticipated StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is absolutely worth the wait.
Cocoon’s Gramercy bag tries to make carrying your iPad into a fashion statement of its own. And hey, why not? The iPad is sleek, sexy, and undeniably cool--shouldn’t it have a case to match? As if in answer to that question, this bag nicks its name from the crazy-fashionable Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan, but its overall stylishness is more plain and pedestrian. It’s available in black, grey, or red, and provides just enough space to schlep an iPad and the included Grid-It accessory organizer.
Videogame classics never really die. But they do come out of retirement, receive full audio and graphical overhauls, and appear on computer platforms they’ve never been on before--which is definitely a good thing.
Enter The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, a recrafted version of the 1990 LucasArts puzzle classic, not to be confused with the newer Tales of Monkey Island episodic adventures by Telltale Games.
Kids can run around the backyard without costumes or sets, imagining they’re pirates on rolling seas. Adults playing in an empty black-box theater call this improvising, telling a collaborative story. Sleep Is Death tries to distill this spirit into a computer game. And it’s not fair to call it a game; it’s so much more and less.
With the ongoing battle between Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iBooks, e-books have been in the spotlight plenty. But audiobooks are still the easiest way for many readers to get a quick fix on the go. They can be enjoyed hands-free almost anywhere, and--thanks to Audible and iTunes--they’re as easy to buy as their e-book counterparts. Unfortunately, with that convenience comes digital rights management (DRM) that restricts how you can listen to your books. Enter Simply Audiobooks, a would-be Audible-alike website offering downloadable audiobooks--at least some of which are free of meddlesome DRM. Despite that advantage, this upstart bookstore can’t begin to compare to its better, more established competition.
It seems like only yesterday when The Wall Street Journal’s own Walt Mossberg was praising the iPhone 4 just prior to its release, calling it “the best device in its class.” A lot has happened since then but one thing remains the same: Mossberg still “hearts” his iPhone 4 -- most of the time.
Considering how wired we are, the simple act of sharing a file with a coworker is way more complicated than it needs to be. If I ask Susie to grab a screenshot for a review, we always have to pause to figure out how she should send it. Should she email it to me, IM the file over, or put it up on the server? Where on the server should she put it? It’s a huge waste of time when you consider that all we’re trying to do is share a file. CloudApp aims to simplify the process of quickly sharing files and web links, either with your coworkers, or with friends on social networks like Twitter or Facebook.
Apple’s been pouring its design magic into handhelds lately, but now the lowly Mac mini joins the ranks of unibody hotness, complete with a glossy, almost liquid-looking black Apple logo on top. The smooth aluminum brick has zero screws or visible seams, just a round black hatch on the bottom that pops off with a twist, letting you upgrade the included 2GB of DDR3 memory to a maximum of 8GB. Gone and not missed is the sweaty pleasure of prying open a previous-generation mini with a putty knife.
We’ve seen some fairly ridiculous iPhone and iPod accessories in our day, so it’s extra refreshing when we find one as useful, well designed, and...well, sane as the P-Flip. It ably fills three roles: a dock for charging and syncing to your Mac, a travel stand that works in landscape or portrait, and a powerful external battery.