Review: Chicken Factory Free is a fun and challenging reflex game

Chicken Factory Free offers very straightforward gameplay that can be addictive in its ease of use, but ultimately lacks the depth needed to be a long term iOS game. The idea is that yellow and orange chicks will roll down the conveyor belt and must be sorted into one of two boxes. As the game progresses, the conveyor belt speeds up and you have to move faster. If you miss three of them or they fall off the conveyor belt, you lose -- though there are ways to pick up new lives along the way.

The game's premise is … Read more

Going behind the scenes at the Bowers & Wilkins factory

The town of Worthing is perhaps not where you'd expect to find a world-class speaker company. A typically British seaside town, the parks and beaches are surrounded by squat brick houses sprinkled with Tudors and people driving on the left.

Just away from the water is the headquarters of Bowers & Wilkins, a storied audio brand with a wide range of audio products, including $180 headphones, $600 iPod docks, and speakers ranging a few hundred a pair to many tens of thousands each. Its speakers are found in homes and home theaters around the world, and even in the one of the greatest recording studios.

On a recent trip to the UK, I had a chance to take a tour of its factory. I took lots of pictures. … Read more

Review: CollageFactory Express for Mac creates photo layouts for e-greeting cards

As a basic application for creating photo displays quickly, CollageFactory Express for Mac performs well and includes a number of useful templates. The application's menus are easy to navigate and its features are well-labeled for ease of use.

The main menu first allows the user to select the layout of the collage from a number of templates. These are divided into categories that include nearly all of the major events and holidays. After selecting a layout, CollageFactory Express for Mac goes to a second menu, with a left sidebar for selecting photographs. Users can import a large number of … Read more

Review: PBS KIDS Photo Factory creates kid-friendly photo decorations

Inspired by the shows that air on PBS Kids, PBS KIDS Photo Factory offers a very polished and well-crafted way to make your child's photos into a work of art. This nifty sticker app even features many children's favorite characters, but it won't amuse the older kids.

This app mixes about a dozen different photo frames with some of the most popular characters from PBS Kids. Sesame Street, Clifford, Super WHY, and more can all be pasted to your child's photo. There isn't a built-in camera, but you can snap photos using your phone's … Read more

The 404 1,249: Where we get the senior discount (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Ever wondered how Apple employees travel around the Cupertino campus?

- Taking New York's upcoming Citi Bike Share plan for a test ride.

- Why don't cell phones have a dial tone?

- Forget following teens, your new favorite Tweeter is 94 years old.

- Speaking of old people, here's Jeff's dear, old granny with a 404 sticker on her walker.

- Speaking of speaking of old people, here's a soul-cuddling video of an older landlady lip-syncing her favorite song from the 1930s.… Read more

Intel factories signal Windows 8, PC doldrums

Intel isn't churning out chips at the usual rate, reflecting the PC market's downturn and the slow uptake of Windows 8, according to an analyst.

Intel's factory utilization is down around 60 percent, well below normal, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst for Phoenix based Tirias Research, in a phone interview. The news was first reported at ITWorld.

"A lot of this started in September when holiday shipments of PCs didn't go the way they expected," McGregor said. "That [60 percent utilization rate] is increasing as they burn off inventory. But they're still … Read more

Create cards and photo layouts with CollageFactory Pro for Mac

Basic photo editors are sometimes insufficient for some users' needs. CollageFactory Pro for Mac provides some specialized features for those working with photos, but at a price.

CollageFactory Pro for Mac can be used for free but it will place a watermark on all printed documents if you do so. The full version without restrictions may be purchased for $29.99. The program is sizable at more than 200MB, but downloaded and installed smoothly after we accepted a lengthy user agreement. The design works well and has a menu bar on the left side where you can click to load … Read more

The 404 1,219: Where it's all play and no work (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Just say no: Polaroid returns with an instant camera shaped like...the Instagram icon.

- "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme song prompts school lockdown.

- You should watch "Room 237," a fan theory documentary about "The Shining."

- 50 fan theories that will blow your mind, and the Subreddit that goes with it.… Read more

Apple's Chinese suppliers still exploiting workers, says report

Apple has so far failed in its responsibility to monitor its Chinese suppliers for worker violations, claims a labor watchdog group.

In a report released yesterday, Student & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) accused three of Apple's Chinese suppliers of inhumane worker conditions. The three suppliers -- Foxlink, Pegatron, and Wintek -- fail to provide for basic human needs and continue to use student workers, according to SACOM.

Over the past few years, Apple has increased its audits of Chinese factories and taken action against those that violate its supplier code of conduct. Regardless, SACOM's report asserts that … Read more

What Mac to be 'Made in USA'? Maybe Mini, perhaps Pro?

Watchers of Apple and the industry no doubt recall Tim Cook's comments in a recent interview about bringing some Mac production back to the U.S. in the coming year. But which Mac might the Apple CEO be talking about?

DigiTimes thinks it knows. A new report from the Asia-based blog cites "sources from the upstream supply chain" as saying that it'll be the Mac Mini. Keep in mind, however, that DigiTimes' reports aren't always reliable. And then there's this: Earlier in the month, Fortune's Philip Elmer-Dewitt laid out several reasons why he … Read more