No doubt you’ve already heard: Valve Software’s Steam software is now out for the Mac, and the company has also released its own award-winning game, Portal, for free until May 24th.
PC users have had Steam for ages, and now the Mac is that much more viable a platform for “serious gaming”. Steam is sort of an iTunes for games, a distribution and marketing channel through which users can browse offerings from many different developers, both indies and majors. It’s a software storefront, and it has been very, very successful. Expect many more companies to consider producing Mac versions of their games now that there’s a trusted, centralized way to put said products in front of buyers.
When it’s all laid out over three pages like this, the Windows Phone 7 UI looks consistently unattractive to me. The large truncated words leading off the screen, the plainness of the text entry boxes, the use of all-lowercase captions, the occasionally strange leading, and that boldtype software keyboard.
I get that it’s meant to be flat and text-driven, but it just doesn’t work for me. Too much negative space and a complete lack of pictorial cues is not something I want to be navigating on a small mobile device.
Link (Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows)
The request specified “Removal of Flash programming to allow for web site readability on Apple devices.”
The full post isn’t much longer than this, but he concludes with “It has begun.”
WolframTones: A remarkable new project from Wolfram Research Labs (makers of Mathematica and Wolfram Alpha) that intelligently generates semi-random music – I believe the term is procedural generation. It makes musically-sound structures, not just random notes, that fit very well into a range of genres selectable by the user.
Bonus points for using retro 8-bit instrument sounds and letting you export the music as files you can use for ringtones or just about anything else. I’m listening to some surprisingly good jazz bits right now.