January 19, 2015

Apple reportedly blocks app developers in Crimea following government sanctions

Adhering to government sanctions issued by the United States and European Commission in December, TechCrunch reports that Apple has started emailing notice of termination letters to registered developers in the Crimea region of Ukraine. Effective immediately, developers in the region cannot create or publish apps on the App Store and will be unable to access the developer portal, according to the reports.

We all have a ton of gadgets these days that are charged by USB, from iPhones and iPads to things as diverse as cameras, scanners and GPS units. The challenge can be finding enough USB ports to keep up, which is why I resort to a powered USB hub. It’s plastic and not exactly pretty, hence my interest in a rather beautiful-looking product from Truffol–the company behind the reversible USB cable we looked at last year.

The Truffol Station 5 is not a USB hub: there’s no socket to connect it to a Mac. It’s designed for one purpose only, and that’s to charge up to five USB devices at once. It differs from most other such devices in two ways: form and function …  expand full story

Sid Meier’s Starships, a new interstellar strategy game, heads to Mac & iPad early this year

2K and developer Firaxis today announced Sid Meier’s Starships, a new interstellar strategy game arriving early this year on Mac, iPad and PC. The game extends the sci-fi universe introduced last year in Civilization: Beyond Earth, the latest title in Sid Meier’s Civilization series.

The Starships press release describes gameplay as taking “the role of a fleet commander after the age of the Seeding, and tasking them to lead their starships across the universe to defend planets against various enemies, grow their empire, and usher in a new age of peace in the galaxy.” That includes turn-based combat with customizable starships and dynamically generated missions.

Not only will Starships borrow from the universe of Civilization: Beyond Earth, but players with both games will also find integration between the two that 2K says “will enhance and expand the depth of both game experiences.”

“When designing Starships, I was intrigued by the idea of exploring the next chapter in the story of Civilization: Beyond Earth. What happens after we colonize our new home and eventually build starships to take to the stars? What has become of our long-lost brothers and sisters from the planet Earth?” said Sid Meier, director of creative development at Firaxis Games. “My goal was to create an experience that focuses on starship design and combat within a universe filled with interstellar adventure, diplomacy, and exploration.”

2K says the game will arrive sometime in early 2015 for Mac, PC and iPad. Screenshots are below:

If you write iOS apps and wonder how your earnings compare against those of other developers – or you have an idea for an app, and are wondering whether it’s worth pursuing – it can be tough to find any hard information. We hear occasional stories about hugely successful apps like Flappy Bird making hundreds of thousands of dollars per day, and we know there are some apps with literally zero downloads to their name, but what about the middle ground?

Jared Sinclair, developer of the RSS reader Unread, decided last year to share both his earnings from the app, and the lessons he’d learned along the way. It’s taken six months, but several other developers started the new year by following his example, with numbers and lessons shared for podcast player Overcast, graphical game Monument Valley and developer aid Dash …  expand full story

Apple has updated its homepage today in commemoration of Martin Luther King, which Apple CEO Tim Cook has often noted as an inspiration for his work. Cook says he has pictures of Martin Luther King on his desk. However, this is the first time Apple has recognised Martin Luther King day (which happens on the third Monday of every January) so openly on its website. expand full story

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