Matt Rammelkamp's Blog

Personal blog of Matthew Rammelkamp from 2005 - 2009. Blog is now changing sites to

Monday, September 24, 2012

Don?t Miss the Bus, Gus: 7 Public Transit Apps (And One Workaround) for iOS 6

The new iOS 6 Maps app lacks public transportation directions. For all you bus and subway riders who depended on iOS Maps, here are some great alternatives to get around.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Apple Ads: Thumbs, Ears, Physics, and Photo Shoots [Video]

More »



GALAXY Note 10.1 Art and design with Tristan Eaton (Sponsored Video)

Here’s another video showcasing some of the cool stuff you can do with a Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 tablet. This time artist and toy designer Tristan Eaton shows off his mad skills by painting and tableting (is that a word) with the GALAXY Note 10.1. Find out more about this Android Tablet here. What is [...]



Nest home monitoring device pops up at the FCC with ZigBee, greater ambitions

Nest home monitoring device pops up at the FCC with ZigBee, greater ambitions

Thermostat makers aren't exactly known for their rapid update cycles, so we've been wondering just when a company as unusual as Nest would try its encore. If a new FCC filing is any indication, Tony Fadell and company aren't resting on their temperature-controlled laurels. While we don't know if it's a thermostat as such, the "home monitoring device" at the US agency sports Nest's familiar circular shape while tossing in some previously unseen ZigBee wireless -- a clue that there's home automation harmony afoot, either with other Nest units or with third-party devices. It's also apparent that Nest is keeping WiFi and won't venture far from its internet-friendly roots. All of the firm's secrets will be revealed in March, although we'll side with Zatz Not Funny and leave the possibility of an earlier announcement that helps us lower our heating bills.

Filed under:

Nest home monitoring device pops up at the FCC with ZigBee, greater ambitions originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 22 Sep 2012 22:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Zatz Not Funny  |  sourceFCC  | Email this | Comments



Boomshine is a soothing-yet-frustrating time waster

One click; just one single well-aimed click. That's all you get in Boomshine.

That single click triggers a chain reaction; circles start exploding, and other circles colliding with the shockwaves explode as well, creating their own shockwaves, which then catch other circles.

It's been done before, yes, but this one is a great iteration. The soundtrack is mellow, with lots of piano and some nice percussion (not electronic - it sounds like drums).

At each level you need to make a certain number of circles explode to go on to the next level. I got up to level 12, where you get 60 circles and need to make 55 of them explode. And then I kept trying and trying, but simply couldn't get it. I did get to 54 circles a couple of times, but as they say, you don't get points for trying.

There's no time limit, so you can carefully study the pattern of motion and place your click at the exact right place to create the best chain reaction. I've found that clicking near the middle of the screen works quite well, especially if the balls are slowly moving in that direction. By the time the first shockwave dies off, the oncoming balls usually hit it and the chain reaction continues.

What level did you reach? Screenshots please!

Boomshine is a soothing-yet-frustrating time waster originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 16 Feb 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments



Showtime's second screen iPad app hits 2.0, goes from Social to Sync

Showtime's second screen iPad app hits 20, goes from Social to Sync

With its season premieres of Dexter and Homeland (trailers are embedded after the break) on deck for next Sunday evening, Showtime has refashioned its second screen iPad app in version 2.0 and even changed the name to reflect new features. Now dubbed Showtime Sync, it follows other network branded apps (AMC, MTV, NBC and Syfy come to mind) by focusing on pushing relevant content, viewer polls and the like to the tablet while the show plays. It syncs up automatically from the show's audio, which should make things simple when watching via DVR, VOD and even DVD / Blu-ray or streaming (could you have Showtime Anytime streaming on one tablet synced to another one?), while promising lots of photos plus behind the scenes content when the episode ends. Hit the source link to grab the free app, how you come by the episodes you'll have to figure out on your own.

Continue reading Showtime's second screen iPad app hits 2.0, goes from Social to Sync

Filed under: , ,

Showtime's second screen iPad app hits 2.0, goes from Social to Sync originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 23 Sep 2012 15:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceiTunes, Showtime  | Email this | Comments



The best games to show off your new iPhone 5

While a lot of folks were worried that game developers would be gritting their teeth over having to adapt to the iPhone 5's new aspect ratio, many have already updated their apps and will have them ready the second you get your mitts on your shiny new iOS 6 device. We've farmed up some of the best ones right here.

Wild Blood

Wild Blood is Gameloft's first Unreal-powered title, and boy is it a beaut. This action-RPG puts you in the greaves of Sir Lancelot of Arthurian legend, and you're trying to hack your way through hordes of demons to rescue Guinevere. �Wild Blood will make sure you keep slinging arrows, swinging swords, and hurling fireballs no matter where you are, and thanks to the 4-inch display on the iPhone 5, you'll be able to easily defend against flankers.�


If you're looking for something a little less violent, Lili is a promising and unique adventure game that puts players in a whimsical world full of spirits and wobbly wooden robots. There's some twitch-based gameplay as you try to gather flowers off the backs of evasive spirits, and more RPG-style elements with a wide variety of NPC interaction and world exploration. The graphics are fantastic, and will look just as good on your iPad 3 as your shiny new iPhone 5.�

Jetpack Joyride

Jetpack Joyride is a classic endless runner that takes Barry Steakfries on a rampage through the top secret lab where he works (or, presumably, used to work). The simple one-button controls put the gas on Barry's jetpack, though along the way he'll find all sorts of different experimental vehicles to further his mayhem. Throughout gameplay, you'll pick up and earn coins, which can be spent on a wide variety of gadgets that significantly alter your gameplay. Thanks to the extra screen real estate on the iPhone 5, now you'll have just a little bit extra heads-up as those homing missles close in on you. If the iPhone 5 is your first iOS smartphone, be sure to pick this one up.�

Blood & Glory 2: Legend

Glu Mobile's free-to-play gladitorial combat game has been optimized for the iPhone 5. Though it might be a little derivative of Infinity Blade, the graphics are still fantastic, and there's plenty of customizability with a wide array of weapons, armor, and equipment. �The one-on-one combat is full of tactical precision, and if you're willing to toss in a few bucks through in-app purchases, you can speed up your advancement.�

Tiny Tower

Tiny Tower is an adorable 8-bit-style business management simulator, where you have to attract new residents to your tower, employ them, create businesses to meet local needs, and keep those stores stocked with whatever it is they offer. Over time, you collect profits from these businesses, and spend the money to tack on new floors to the top of your tower. There's premium currency available through in-app purchases if you want to speed things up, though you earn those TowerBux through regular gameplay. More casual gamers will definitely enjoy this one.�


If you're looking for something a little low-key, SpellTower is a hugely popular word game that is fully optimized for the iPhone 5. It's probably best described as crossword meets Tetris, with a sharp, minimalistic style. If you've ever played Bookworm, you'll probably be familiar with the idea of tracing through letter tiles in the right order to produce words and eliminate them from the board. There are a variety of game modes, including Bluetooth multiplayer, but no matter which mode you play, you'll have a slightly taller tower to chew through.�

Asphalt 7: Heat

Asphalt 7 has been updated and optimized for the new iPhone, and keeps its white-knuckled racing action and razor-sharp graphics. Players work their way through a wide variety of tournaments, or can opt for online competition for the odd one-off match. Now, Real Racing 3 was showcased during the iPhone 5 announcement, and it should be available soon, but in the meantime, Asphalt 7 will do a great job of handling your racing fix.�

Minecraft: Pocket Edition

Minecraft isn't so much a game as it is a blocky playground. Yeah, there are a few monsters that come out at night, but most of your time is spent gathering blocks of material in a wide open world, and combining them to create all sorts of stuff. You can play online with friends and share your creations, or go at it alone to create your masterpiece. The game is being updated all of the time, with plenty of new items, each with their own behaviors and creation recipies. �Minecraft is a huge cultural phenomenon, and if you're the creative type, you'll easily get sucked into this 8-bit-ish world.�

MetalStorm: Wingman

This free-to-play flight simulator by Z2 Live that has a ton of excellent dogfighting action. Players can work their way through the single-player campaign, gradually improving their plane and decking it out with all sorts of weapon systems, or they can go head-to-head in competitive online play. Those that are a bit friendlier may want to give the co-op mode a shot.�

Temple Run

Temple Run is the classic endless racer where players must race through an ancient ruin and evade angry spirits while making off with their prized artiefact. With lightning fast swipe gestures, you've got to make it as far as you can, rounding sharp turns, leaping across chasms, and sliding beneath traps. Every time you play, you earn coins which can be spent on various upgrades and power-ups that you encounter throughout your race. If this is your first iPhone, Temple Run should definitely be one of your first downloads.�

There are bound to be plenty more games that get optimized for the iPhone 5's new display. Which are your favorite that have been recently updated?



This Re-Stabilized Pure Dollar-Ink Is Literally the Most Beautiful Waste of Money You'll Ever See [Video]

There is really no end to the number of beautiful, expensive objects to buy, about which some might say you're "throwing money down the drain." More »



Scrabble Helper helps you improve your Words With Friends gameplay

If you play Scrabble (or a scrabble-like game) from time to time, you may want to check out Scrabble Helper. This simple website is a godsend when you're at a loss for words. Simply enter whatever letters you have, and the word you'd like to connect with. Scrabble helper comes up with a whole bunch of suggestions sorted by score.

The site lets you select one of five dictionaries - Scrabble International/US, Lexulous International/US, and Words With Friends. Some people might say this constitutes cheating -- I think if the other side knows you're doing it, it's definitely not cheating. And it doesn't take the challenge out of the game, because implementing Scrabble Helper's suggestions and deciding which words you'd like to connect with still takes a fair bit of thought.

Very handy, though perhaps not one for the Scrabble puritans in the crowd.

Scrabble Helper helps you improve your Words With Friends gameplay originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 14 Mar 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments



Google Chrome now uses SPDY HTTP replacement, halves page load time

SPDY in Google Chrome
We're not entirely sure of the time line here, but it looks like Google has now rolled out the SPDY HTTP replacement to its full bevy of Web services, including Gmail, Docs, and YouTube. If you're currently using Google's Chrome browser you're probably already using SPDY.

We originally reported on SPDY way back in November 2009, when Google introduced it as yet another experiment in making the Web faster, like Go, Native Client and speculative pre-connections. Over the last 18 months, though, SPDY support has found its way into the stable build of Chrome.

SPDY is basically a streamlined and more efficient version of HTTP. At its most basic, SPDY introduces parallel, multiplexed streams over a single TCP connection -- but at the same time, SPDY allows for prioritization, so that vital content (HTML) can be sent before periphery content (JavaScript, video). All in all, the SPDY protocol can halve page load times, which is obviously rather significant.

The best bit, though, is that SPDY is an open-source project. HTTP 1.1 is a lumbering beast that needs to be replaced before low-latency real-time computing really becomes a reality, and SPDY is one of the best options currently on the table. To be honest, we're not sure why SPDY hasn't received more coverage -- it's awesome in every way. At the moment, though, the only way to help speed up SPDY's proliferation, is with an experimental Apache mod.

As far as actually 'trying it out,' your best bet is downloading Chrome, hitting up some Google sites, and then checking chrome://net-internals to see your active SPDY sessions. SPDY is a transparent replacement for HTTP, though, and as such it's rather hard to see its effects. Google's sites definitely feel fast in Chrome, but there are more technologies than just SPDY at work.

Google Chrome now uses SPDY HTTP replacement, halves page load time originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments



Developers in India can now register to sell paid apps in Google Play

Android Central

The Google Play Developers portal has received a welcome update, confirming now that developers in India can register to sell paid apps in Google Play. This is potentially huge news for two different reasons. India is one of the most populated nations on the planet, and the smartphone market in India is exploding at a tremendous rate. 

Developers having the facility to be paid for their work is a big deal too. Famously, the lack of paid app support in the UAE became the reason that Carbon will eventually be given away for free. While this nation is still omitted, the addition of India to the list that now reaches 32 is a welcome one. 

Source: Google Play Developers thanks Vishal!