Summly, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Jr. Astronaut
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Summly offers concise edits of news stories from the web. Its software can analyze a lengthy article, pick out the important facts, and re-write the story to fit within 400 words or less. If you give it a list of news topics or keywords that represent your interests, it will package a selection of condensed articles to match.
The original web article appears on the left, Summly's edited version on the right
Created in the United Kingdom by 17 year-old Nick D’Aloisio, Summly’s results are a bit hit-or-miss. Some articles are summarized quite proficiently while others can be butchered beyond recognition. Despite the early bugs, investors think the results impressive for someone still living at home and drawing a monthly allowance, so a group has gathered to invest $1 million in his idea. It may not work enough to replace your current news app, but watch this space it’s going to get interesting.
Need For Speed: Most Wanted
Most Wanted is a reckless, instant-action, arcade racing game. It has fantastic graphics and comfortable controls where you can tilt your phone like a steering wheel or use traditional touchscreen buttons. The emphasis is on driving very expensive cars, very fast, and with great attitude. It’s the joy of being a smart aleck behind the wheel and your behavior will annoy the street racing gangs and police officers as you pass them by.
This leads to chases where there’s a lot of pushing and shoving on the road and eventually someone’s ride gets damaged and left in the dust. There are plenty of racing games that offer finesse and driver skill, this one is a thrill ride made glorious by really impressive graphics.
Jnr. Astronaut: Breaking Through The Space Barrier
Aimed at kids ages 9 – 15, Junior Astronaut is a brilliant activity book for the iPad that demonstrates the basic concepts behind space travel. It mixes wonderful 1950’s-styled illustrations with NASA sound recordings to create fun, virtual experiments in gravity, mass, weight, and force. To learn the basics of rocket design, kids can press their thumbs against a cartoon faucet to see how constricting the nozzle’s flow increases its force or mix jars of sulphur, saltpeter, and charcoal to create gunpowder.
Designed in cooperation with Wired magazine’s Adam Mann, the app was created in Bristol, London, hence the fun, Scottish accent of the narrator. The first half of the book is offered for free before you pay the $5.99 to unlock the rest.