Device 6 review

Device 6 is a story-driven game for iOS that lets players solve a mystery using a gyroscope, parallax images, and clues hidden in text.


Clever use of narrative: Device 6 begins with words and pictures and so plays like a storyboard. The app cleverly uses visual cues in line breaks, images, audio, and even paragraph structures to make you solve puzzles to advance the story. We found ourselves constantly backtracking, rereading paragraphs for clues, and becoming immersed in this novel of a game.

Interactive images and music: Device 6 is best played with headphones, because ambient noise and sound … Read more

Memorable quotes from D6

The witty John Paczkowski has come up with his list of the best quotes from the D6 conference. (See our full coverage here)

Following is a small sample:

"Guys like us avoid monopolies. We like to compete."--Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates

"AOL is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Web. We don't get no respect."--Jeff Bewkes, president and CEO, Time Warner

"I didn't leave business school to go bankrupt."--Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on his first days at Microsoft

"Hollywood is a community that's so inbred, it's a wonder … Read more

Offbeat Guides: Build your own travel books

David Sifry, founder and former CEO of Technorati, has apparently had enough of new media and of blogs. His new venture is attacking a traditional business: printed travel guides. As of this writing, the site is in private beta. (Webware's invitations to beta test this service, mentioned in previous versions of this story, have all been given out.)

Offbeat Guides is a service for printing customized travel books. When you go to the site, it asks you five basic questions: Your name, your destination, your trip's dates, where you live, and where you're staying (if you know). … Read more

Trying to erase the Ghosts of the past

CARLSBAD, Calif.--In the field of start-ups looking to replicate the computer operating system on the Web, Ghost is just one of many.

Like others, it sees an opportunity to not just re-create Windows on the Web, but perhaps to even replace the traditional operating system. I see some interesting notions, but a lot of challenges in these models.

But what struck me most about the company is its unique workforce. Ghost has a few workers in Israel, while most of the company is located in the West Bank town of Ramallah. The idea is to show the world as … Read more

Icahn gets FTC's OK for Yahoo stock buy

The Federal Trade Commission has given its approval to Carl Icahn's efforts to accumulate Yahoo holdings, according to a Reuters report.

In addition to overseeing actual mergers and so forth, the agency also looks at large stock purchases, the news agency noted, saying the approval was listed in an agency report that comes out several times a week.

Of course, of all the people looking to acquire pieces of Yahoo, Icahn is the one least likely to encounter antitrust scrutiny. Google has raised concerns over a Microsoft purchase, while Microsoft has questioned whether Yahoo should be allowed to do … Read more

D6 wrapup: The access panel

CARLSBAD, Calif.--The D6 conference wrapped up on Thursday with a session on broadband access: Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher interviewed Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon Wireless, and Kevin Martin, chairman of the FCC.

Mossberg started by putting a chart up showing how far behind the U.S. is in broadband access, and how expensive our access is. Martin said you need to look at the unique demographics of the U.S., and if you compare some states, like Massachusetts, to Korea, then they'll hold up better. Of course, providing access to less-advantaged areas is still a challenge.

So … Read more

TiVo CEO: Popular TV doesn't mean watched ads

CARLSBAD, Calif.--The idea that just because a TV show is popular that lots of people are watching the accompanying ads is a myth, says Tom Rogers.

And Rogers would know. As TiVo's CEO, Rogers has access to data that shows just how many people watch how many seconds of which commercial. Now, obviously that correlation is greater among non-TiVo customers, who don't have the luxury of skipping over the ads. Rogers was interviewed by Kara Swisher at the D6 conference here Thursday.

Still, Rogers said that television needs to fundamentally transition its ad model to one in … Read more

Addicted to the Web? Walk it off

Here's an idea that only goes half way: Furniture maker and D6 sponsor Steelcase was showing off its Walkstation product. It's a stand-up desk integrated into a treadmill. So now you can take a walk while you're working.

I tried it and it's not as awkward as you might think. You have to get the speed on the treadmill just right, so you can walk without thinking, but once you do it is actually possible to read and type while walking.

The device is thousands of dollars, steep for the average worker. I fully expect the … Read more

Melinda Gates: Giving away billions getting easier

CARLSBAD, Calif.--Melinda Gates said Tuesday that the job of giving away billions used to be a lot harder.

In her early days with Bill Gates, she said the couple would get heart wrenching letters seeking their help and the two would agonize over what to do. But, after recognizing that their real opportunity was addressing society's biggest challenges, she said it has gotten easier to figure out where to put their resources.

Gates said all of the foundation's work is centered around a single purpose--that all lives have equal value. Gates said that her goal is to … Read more