Speak Scrabblish and 'thwack your amis' at Scrabble (Q&A)

If you're one of the millions of people who play Scrabble regularly, you surely know that you can't use proper nouns in the hit game. So how is it that words like "Alaska," "Berlin," "Bolivia," and even "Jane" are legal moves?

Anyone who has spent any time reading the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD) knows that each of those words has an alternate meaning that satisfies the game's rules. And it was just that kind of information that author David Bukszpan was after when he began working on "… Read more

The Oree keyboard is a wireless wooden wonder

The aesthetics of the modern keyboard reminds me of the U.S. car industry several years ago: uninspired.

Enter the Orée wooden keyboard, nearly made in full out of Mother Nature's greatest asset. French entrepreneur Julien Salanave came up with Orée and works in collaboration with a small design team in southern France to produce the wooden Bluetooth 3.0 wireless keyboard. … Read more

Top games to play with friends on smartphones

There are several games on both of my iOS devices at any given time from just about every genre. But there are only a few games I go back to on an almost daily basis and that's because they are fun, addictive, and a great way to keep in touch with friends and family.

These "casual" games are turn-based and require you to connect with a friend to start playing -- there is no single-player option with this collection. They have also been around for a while, but that's kind of the point: these are the games I continue to play because it only requires a couple of minutes to take my turn and send it to a friend. While it is sometimes a pain to go in and complete my turns (especially when life gets busy), the overall experience of competing with your friends and family is a good one and acts as a way to stay connected, even in our busy everyday lives.… Read more

Five Foursquare Connected Apps you should start using today

A while back Foursquare launched its Connected Apps platform, which expanded on how you can interact with a check-in after the fact. At first, the release was small with a few developers getting access to the API, but more developers have started making Connected Apps. There are some real gems available now.

Here is a list of five Connected Apps you should connect to your Foursquare account today.

#Mom We originally told you about Hash tag Mom earlier this year, well before Connected Apps were announced. Just this week, it was updated to make it a Connected App as well. … Read more

Zynga's new Gems With Friends puts spotlight on mobile

Zynga's latest game, Gems With Friends, launches today and it may give some hope for the game-creator's mobile future.

As the series' first arcade-style and first non-word game, Gems -- available in Canada with a worldwide rollout to follow in the coming weeks -- features gemstones of different colors and numbers that can be combined to score points.

"They combine and they create these epic combos," said Paul Bettner, vice president and general manager at Zynga. "It's a thrilling game and very, very addictive."

Zynga is introducing this mobile-only game amid criticism of … Read more

Google+ for iOS

Google+ for iOS is a clean and intuitive mobile app that has all of the powers of its desktop counterpart, save for the games and a few other minor features. The latest version brings Events and Hangouts to the iPhone, while the iPad gets Hangouts as well as a stunning, tiled Home screen that's optimized for the larger screen.

Home What used to be called Stream is now simply your Google+ Home screen. This is the lifeblood of Google+. With the little drop-down at the top, you can choose to show feeds from All Circles, Nearby, What's Hot (… Read more

Top 5 lowest-power-consuming IPS monitors

So, how difficult is it to make a low-power-consumption monitor? Well, if this list is any indication, not very. However, among the lowest of low-power-consumption monitors, there's usually one common factor: Twisted Nematic (TN) panels.

Any company can make a low-power-consumption TN-based monitor, though, so a list consisting of only TN monitors would be pretty boring. What would be slightly less boring is a list consisting of In-Plane Switching (IPS) monitors that draw relatively small amounts of power to function. That is a list to get somewhat more excited about. So, I've decided to make that list.

To be clear, the difference you'd pay per year running these things -- using our formula -- is small in the grand scheme of things.

Still, I thought it would be interesting to see just how low IPS monitors can go.… Read more

Google+ is sleeker, optimized for tablets

Gone is the dashboard of icons that once greeted you upon opening Google+ for Android. Now, you can zip around the app with a sliding navigation ribbon on the left of the screen. This gives you easier access to your Stream, Profile, Messenger, Hangout, Photos, and Circles. As a whole, the app is easy to use and just as intuitive as its desktop counterpart.

Home What used to be called Stream is now simply your Google+ Home screen. This is the lifeblood of Google+. With the little drop-down at the top, you can choose to show feeds from All Circles, … Read more

Zynga's Matching with Friends for iOS is likely to be a hit

Matching with Friends (2.99, full version - Free, ad-supported version) is another in a long line of Zynga apps that let you play turn-based games with a friend on mobile devices. But instead of playing word games loosely based on Hangman, Scrabble, or Boggle, this time you'll be strategically placing matching colored blocks on a gameboard, then sending your move to a friend.

Like other Zynga games, Matching with Friends makes getting connected with your friends easy. Upon launch you'll be asked to sign in through either your Facebook or Twitter account. Once logged in, you can search for other players from your friends list or get automatically matched with a random player.… Read more

Photo sharing to tell your life story

Instagram is a free and fairly simple photo enhancement app that requires only a couple of touches to produce great-looking images. But what's really special about Instagram are the sharing capabilities that let you tell the story of your life through photos.

Start by signing up with Instagram with an e-mail address, username, and password. From there you can configure Instagram to autopost to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Posterous, or just choose to share images from within the app or via e-mail. You can also turn any of these options on or off if you don't … Read more