Ski Safari (99 cents) challenges you to swoosh down a powdery mountain to avoid an avalanche, with animal friends and other vehicles along the way to help you with your escape. This distance game quickly became my go-to time-waster on both my iPhone and iPad, so when an update was announced last week, you can bet I was at the App Store immediately. The update adds a new mountain you can choose for your run, a new animal to help you along your way, and added achievements to keep you coming back for more.… Read more
Do you know if your local library lends e-books? If not, you're in good company.
A full 62 percent of people recently polled by Pew Internet admitted they had no idea whether they could borrow electronic books from their library system. Even among active library card holders, 58 percent expressed the same confusion.
Only 22 percent of those polled said they know their library carries e-books, while 14 percent said they know their library has no such program.
Even those who would take advantage of e-book lending are unsure of their library's policy.
More than half (55 percent) … Read more
New details have surfaced in the class-action e-book price-fixing lawsuit against Apple, according to tech news site paidContent. The most notable revelation is an e-mail from Steve Jobs to one of the bookseller's executives that was previously redacted and is now public.
The gist of the case, which was filed in April and now has 29 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico involved, is an allegation that Apple and a group of book publishers illegally fixed e-book prices to "boost profits and force e-book rival Amazon to abandon its pro-consumer discount pricing."
The Department of Justice … Read more
Penguin Group is the latest company to balk at allowing libraries to lend digital copies of its books to patrons.
The book publisher, whose imprints include Viking, Riverhead Books, and Dutton, among others, has suspended authorization for libraries to distribute its books electronically, citing security concerns.
"Due to new concerns about the security of our digital editions, we find it necessary to delay the availability of our new titles in the digital format while we resolve these concerns with our business partners," Penguin spokeswoman Erica Glass said in a statement.
Glass didn't disclose Penguin's specific security … Read more
Live streaming penguins. Need I say more? This article could easily have stopped at those first three words and you would have gotten the idea.
The free Pocket Penguins app from the California Academy of Sciences offers three different live video views on the academy's endangered African penguin exhibit. The app is free and is available for both Android and iPhone.
The sleekly feathered little birdies romp, swim, nest, snooze, and paddle right up to the camera. Choose from the main view, underwater camera, or the biologist's-view Webcam.
The penguins are adorable at any time of the day, but the action really gets hopping during feeding times at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. PT. The live audio presentation, chatter from the penguin feeder, and penguin eating frenzy make for riveting viewing. … Read more
Disney was willing to pay up to $700 million for Club Penguin, but apparently forgot to renew its domain. Parents can't be happy.
If you go to Club Penguin--like my daughter did--you may get an odd-looking Network Solutions page. It's the page you get when you haven't renewed a domain name. The page has been down for a good chunk of the day. CBS News reported that Club Penguin returned about noon, but a lot of folks still can't get to the site. The outage has been widely reported on Club Penguin blogs such as the … Read more
Don't be alarmed, but birds are taking over. Tiny birds, angry birds, and now flightless Antarctic birds. If only Alfred Hitchcock were alive to see this.
The latest fowl to fly to the top of the App Store charts? Penguins--specifically, Air Penguin, which currently holds the No. 1 spot. It's ahead of Cut the Rope, ahead of Tiny Wings, and even ahead of all three Angry Birds games (including the recently updated-for-Easter Angry Birds Seasons).
Why all the fuss? At first I wasn't quite sure. Air Penguin is a pretty straightforward tilt-control game--not unlike Doodle Jump, but putting two axes into play instead of just one. It's your job to guide your bouncing, somersaulting, sliding, occasionally flying penguin from one ice floe to the next, tilting your iDevice left, right, forward, and backward to steer him. One bad landing and you plop into the water; game over.
Along the way you'll encounter increasingly difficult obstacles: smaller ice floes that are harder to land on, floes that are already cracked (and therefore can't be landed on), jumping swordfish, and, of course, sharks (which leap out of the water in a suitably fearsome fashion).… Read more
The 404 Digest for Episode 785Our guest today is MemeMolly, who gives us an update on the latest memes, Internet culture, and why nobody can stand the word "viral." Add Molly on Twitter and follow her Tumblr. Top Dog: one is tough, the other is a dog. Where are they now, featuring Star Wars Kid and Numa Numa Guy? Is Cathymay15 a troll, a genius, or another victim of online bullying? EU proposes right to be forgotten online.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--Ask any hardened PC gamer and they'll tell you there's no better way to control a first-person shooter than a mouse-and-keyboard combination. We completely agree, and with the Eagle Eye 360 from Penguin United, Xbox 360 gamers can do just that.
While the company has already had a PlayStation 3 offering that provides the same functionality, the Xbox 360 version is new for CES. The device can bind all of the Xbox 360 controller commands to mouse and keyboard buttons and store up to two key-mapping schemes.
You'll need a wired Xbox 360 controller for the … Read more
Penguin, the fabled English publisher, is plunging head first into the world of iPad content. Not iPad books, exactly, as these things are not recognizable as books in the normal sense--they are closer to games and full-fledged apps. Even in the case where they are adapting existing print books, there is enough new stuff going on where it diverges significantly from what we normally think of as "book". A Kindle e-book, these are not. Check out the video above for an intriguing peep into what they have planned.
Dan Nosowitz at Fast Company observes:
[P]enguin doesn't … Read more