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Archive for January 11, 2012

New Apps for the Kindle – Ease into 5K, Brick Arcade, and More Active Fiction Series!

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Here’s more new apps for the Kindle !

Ease into 5K ($0.99 For a Limited Time)‘ by Bluefin Software is available on the Amazon Kindle site for $0.99 (for a limited time)! Just click here to download!

Game Description

Ease into 5K will have you follow a popular walk/run training method that will get you running 30 minutes straight and complete a 5K (3.1 miles) race in only 8 weeks. It’s ideal for new runners and people getting back into running after a long break. You will run three times a week each workout lasting between 30 and 40 minutes. As the weeks progress you will walk less and run more until you can run for 30 minutes straight. You can select your workout and see the descriptions for each day on the main screen, skipping ahead or repeating workouts as needed. The Workout Screen displays a timer and alerts you when you need to switch from running to walking. You will see the total run time and the run time left in each interval. Once you have completed your workout you can enter your stats from the treadmill into the Workout Journal. On the journal screen you can add your weight, pace, and distance covered.

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Check out the other new Kindle apps after the jump!

Read more…

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Categories: Games Tags: ,

Book Review – Micro: A Novel by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

January 11, 2012 1 comment

Book Description:

In Jurassic Park, he created a terrifying new world. Now, in Micro, Michael Crichton reveals a universe too small to see and too dangerous to ignore.

In a locked Honolulu office building, three men are found dead with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye.

In the lush forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Trillions of microorganisms, tens of thousands of bacteria species, are being discovered; they are feeding a search for priceless drugs and applications on a scale beyond anything previously imagined.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, seven graduate students at the forefront of their fields are recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up. Nanigen MicroTechnologies dispatches the group to a mysterious lab in Hawaii, where they are promised access to tools that will open a whole new scientific frontier.

But once in the Oahu rain forest, the scientists are thrust into a hostile wilderness that reveals profound and surprising dangers at every turn. Armed only with their knowledge of the natural world, they find themselves prey to a technology of radical and unbridled power. To survive, they must harness the inherent forces of nature itself.

An instant classic, Micro pits nature against technology in vintage Crichton fashion. Completed by visionary science writer Richard Preston, this boundary-pushing thriller melds scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction to create yet another masterpiece of sophisticated, cutting-edge entertainment.

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Wow, looks like the Robert Jordan estate really lucked out with the excellent Brandon Sanderson when they chose him to finish the Wheel of Time series (at least, fans have been happy so far). In contrast, Micro: A Novel, a posthumously published novel from Michael Crichton (two-thirds of which was actually completed by co-author Richard Preston based on Crichton’s outline and notes) reads like a half-finished first draft. This is NOT a good addition to the Crichton library and I’m guessing I’m not the only Crichton fan super-disappointed with this new book. And I was so ready to like this one too – I really love the concept of shrinking people down to insect size or even smaller (one of my fave movies is Fantastic Voyage) and having to fight for their lives while lost in a rain forest.  But seriously, the awful execution of the plot (particularly the unrealistic beginning [minus the pretty intriguing prologue], and the predictable ending!) plus the weak characterization just spoiled it for me.

Characterization has never really been Crichton’s strong suit, and looks like Mr Preston has done nothing to improve on that with Micro. In fact, it’s even worse! The villains here are idiotically ruthless cartoon caricatures, and the heroes (i.e. the seven graduate students) are one-dimensional personality-challenged blank slates who need labels so you can tell them apart (i.e. the leader, the fighter, the whiny one, the cynic, the nerd, and so forth). Plus, they love to engage in lengthy discourses when their lives are hanging in the balance?! But I’ve always been able to overlook Crichton’s weaknesses since his strong suit for me was how he was able to present cutting-edge science/medicine/technology in his books as something plausible within the framework of an adventure story (like recreating extinct dinosaurs by extracting their DNA from amber for a theme park!). In Micro, the shrinking technology is very Honey, I Shrunk the Kids lite – flimsy science with the explanations glossed over (It’s done with super magnet technology! Don’t ask how! Since we don’t know either!).

The best parts of Micro are when our half-inch sized heroes are interacting with the terrible wonderland that is the micro world around them (around Part II of the book) – it can be as peaceful as playing with a snowfall of pollen or drinking nectar straight from a flower, or as violent as being dismembered by a soldier ant or as awful as having parasitic baby wasps hatching in one’s arm. Those parts are where the book shines – it’s realistic, scary, even educational, and most of all, just sheer entertainment (for the reader, at least!)

Micro: A Novel by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston (Harper) is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition, Hardcover, Paperback Large Print and Audiobook. *also available at Amazon UK.

The ebook is also available at B&N, Kobo books, iTunes, and Sony.

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Free iTunes app Download – SUDOKU By Electronic Arts

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Whoa! Free for one day only – SUDOKU By Electronic Arts.

CHALLENGING & HIGHLY ADDICTIVE! It’s the popular brain game that’s become a worldwide phenomenon. Challenge yourself to a wide selection of puzzles, thousands of grid designs, and 5 levels of difficulty…from Easy to Insane!

IMPRESSIVE LOOK & FEEL
Sudoku has been polished to perfection and boasts an intuitive, touchscreen game board that’s easy to navigate and fun to play!

INTELLIGENT FEATURES
Take advantage of Automatic Annotation for effortless calculations of your achievements.

SMART MOVES
Track your patterns with helpful stats and improve your game as you progress.

STUMPED?
Never let them see you sweat with the help of error-checking tools and friendly cell hints.

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Enjoy the free app!

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