Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Little Braggery

So, those of you who have read this blog for a long time (I know there's a couple of you) or at least gone spelunking through the archives knows that I love crosswords. Recently, a company introduced an iPhone app that provides the NY Times crossword for $10 a year. The regular web version costs $40 a year. I know a good deal when I see one, so I snapped it up. Now, it's not the best interface for solving, so my times aren't as good as when I do them by hand or online, but I'm still a pretty fast solver. In fact...
Oh yeah, I should mention that I'm SilentDante (it's an old video game handle that's stuck with me since high school). And that's a list of top solvers since the app was released. So, yeah, I'm pretty proud of that.

Speaking of my iPhone, the new OS version 3.0 was released yesterday and I love it. My phone seems to respond faster, I love the new search function as an app launcher, and I can't wait to see what programs developers come up with for the new features (I'm especially anxious for a good GPS software...hopefully not too expensively).

One app that already is using the new stuff is At Bat, which was pretty much my favorite app already. It allows you to follow any baseball game live with Game Tracker, plus listen to either the Home or Away team's live radio broadcast. Pretty sweet, right? Well, starting yesterday, they're also streaming live VIDEO of two games every day. I tried it at lunch, and these are real screenshots of the Cubs' thrilling come from behind victory:
That's insane! Those are from a video on my phone! Granted, I was on a Wifi connection, but over the 3G cell network it was still quite watchable. I'm telling you, we're just a flying car away from living in the future.

Before I go, I also want to bring up Peggle. This is a (seemingly) simple little puzzle game where you shoot a ball at colored pegs to make them disappear. I had heard for a long time that this was an addictive game (gamers liken it to crack), so when the iPhone version was on sale for $0.99 I picked it up. It's fantastic. The cheesy animal "Peggle Masters," the graphics, the Ode to Joy when you clear a level...hard to put down. It makes time pass on the bus more quickly than anything else I've tried. It's basically available for every computer known to man, so check it out.


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