Let's be honest, busy people don't have time to trudge through long books made of mostly filler. Unfortunately, publishers know they can't put a high price on a 40-page book. In the end, authors are stuck building a lavish sea of meaningless words around the simple concepts they want to convey. That's where Blinkist comes in. It's a service that boils popular non-fiction books down to their most formative and salient points.
When it comes to publishers, few names stand out in the technical world like O'Reilly. With literally thousands of books and videos, there are topics ranging from Programming to Business, and Fitness to Photography. Not only does O'Reilly print under its own name, but it also owns several other brands including: Wiley, Packt Publishing, No Starch Press, and more. Almost every developer probably has a small stack of books with the trademark line-drawn animals on the covers.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a new Tin Man game book, a Disney endless runner, a modern take on Space Harrier, and a zombie game that might actually be worth a look.
On Tuesday night, surprisingly ahead of the usual update-all-the-things-Wednesday, Google released a major revision of the Play Books app for Android, updating it from v2 (2.9.21) to v3 (3.0.15). The changelog, which was shockingly present from the get-go (thank you!), confused me a bit but after digging around, I finally figured out what it means. Oh, and I found another fix that wasn't mentioned.
The official changelog is as follows:
- Added the ability to search the text of original-pages books.
Today at Computex 2013, ASUS' Chairman Jonney Shih gave birth to no less than 11 products in a span of less than an hour, a surprising rate of fire we're not used to even at flagship events like MWC or CES, let alone Computex. Not bad at all, ASUS.
Undoubtedly, the most interesting and important announcement was the Transformer Book Trio, "the world’s first three-in-one mobile device." The Trio actually consists of two pieces:
- An 11.6" tablet with a 1920x1080 IPS display and 64GB of internal storage onboard, powered by a mobile-friendly 2GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 chip (32nm Clover Trail+).
In the interest of time, I'll spare you, dear readers, my usual spiel and say simply this: I like official accessories. In theory, anyway. I like the idea of accessories specifically made for specific devices by the device's original manufacturer. I've been delighted by the Nexus 7 pogo dock, and love the Nexus 10 pogo charger (though it isn't actually official yet).
Then there's the official book cover for the Nexus 10.
Autodesk has a fantastic record of powerful, well-built apps. Continuing the pattern, the Pixlr Express makers today released SketchBook Ink, a (you guessed it) sketching and line work app specifically built for tablets 7" and above.
While SketchBook Ink is perhaps not up to handling a professional illustrator's full time workflow, it's a versatile tool with functionality that's suprisingly sophisticated for a mobile app. Ink's got a full screen workspace built on a "new resolution independent engine," with seven preset ink styles, a wonderful color picker (with RGB sliders, a color wheel, and a block for shade selection), layering options, and plenty of options to explore.
Partnered with Steve Jackson, Tin Man Games has brought another Fighting Fantasy title to the digital age with House of Hell. For the uninitiated, Fighting Fantasy is a series of interactive "gamebooks" by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone which began publication in the early 80's. The books each contain their own fantasy adventure, the outcome of which is completely dependent on the reader's choices.
Staying true to the 1980's aesthetic of the original printed works, Tin Man's adaptation of House of Hell has the option to turn off its various visual enhancements to "make the gamebook look like it came off the printing press in the 80s." Many players will want to keep them on though – the visual overlays and colored illustrations add a new dimension to the experience, and are wonderfully executed.