Review: MacPool for Mac has good game mechanics -- not an active online community

Featuring realistic physics, MacPool for Mac lets you enjoy the popular pool games 9-Ball, 8-Ball, 3 Balls, 14:1, and Snooker. However, while handling pass-and-play and online modes well, it lacks a single-player option. This paid app comes with a free version that shows ads in a creative way: It embeds logos into the pool table.

When launched, MacPool quickly checks for and installs software updates, if any, after which you're ready to play. Regardless of what game you play, you'll be limited to a 2D view, looking over the table. The graphical ads, embedded in the table'… Read more

Review: Challenge yourself as well as your friends in addictive 8 Ball Pool

8 Ball Pool isn't the most complex pool simulator, but its style and low barrier to entry make it one of the best. It seems basic enough on the surface, but the challenging group of players and ample rewards add some depth. It's a fine time-waster no matter what your level of skill is and can help you improve your game in real life.

If you've ever played 8 Ball, you'll jump right into this game without much difficulty. New players are greeted with a basic tutorial just in case they're new to the stripes-and-solids … Read more

Would you swim in New York's East River? Try this floating pool

Although New York is right by the sea, you're unlikely to go for a dip in the local waterways unless you're swimming with the fishes. But what if you could cool off in a floating swimming pool with real river water?

That's the idea behind Plus Pool, a large, cross-shaped pool that you could practice your backstroke in from just above the waves of the East River.

Two years ago, the notion branded as "+ POOL" raised more than $40,000 on Kickstarter, and now it's about to wrap up a second, bigger campaign that could add $250,000 to the dream of river swimming in the Big Apple. … Read more

Review: 8 Ball Pool brings your favorite barroom game to your iPad

Mini Clip's 8 Ball Pool combines the pick up and play mechanics of many of the App Store's most compelling and addictive games with the physics of a realistic pool game to create a very engaging, online-enabled game with dozens of features that are perfect for a quick game of pool or for perfecting your touch screen technique.

When you first start 8 Ball Pool, you can choose to create an account using Facebook or Mini Clip or just play as a guest. The account feature is solely for online play and is optional, so don't feel … Read more

8 Ball Pool for iOS lets you rule the pool halls

8 Ball Pool is an addictive billiards app for iOS featuring colorful graphics and a robust online community. Developed by Miniclip and optimized for the iPhone 5, this billiards game lets you play with friends from both the Miniclip and Facebook communities.

I have to admit that before I started playing 8 Ball Pool, I was a bit worried I wouldn't have much luck against the other players. I play the game in real life about as often as I go to the dentist, not because I don't like it, but because the opportunity rarely arises.

Fortunately, I … Read more

Organize your March Madness pool with Office Pool 2013 for Mac

During the time leading up to March Madness, many offices across the country organize their own pools. With OfficePool 2013 for Mac, users can set up tournaments and make their picks, but with functions below those available with similar Web-based services.

OfficePool 2013 is available as a free trial version with a time limit; the full program is available for $12.00. There was no native installer, but the program downloaded and installed quickly. While OfficePool 2013 for Mac came with no instructions, setup is fairly intuitive for those who have used similar Web-based applications. Support exists for downloading current … Read more

AR setup shoots to improve your pool game

Want to learn how to win at pool and have your friends owe you pitchers of beer? Luis Sousa, Ricardo Alves, and JMF Rodrigues from the University of Algarve in Portugal have designed a solution that could have you sharking before you flash your toothy grin.

PoolLiveAid employs a ceiling-mounted camera hanging above the pool table that reads several different factors that will affect the angle of the shot: the position of the player, pool cue, table, and balls. It then calculates where your shot is likely to end up, mapping it onto the table with lasers. … Read more

65,000 ping-pong balls turn pool party into cool party

Pools aren't just for swimming, you know. Brooklyn art studio Red Paper Heart made some pretty nifty art with a swimming hole and 65,000 ping-pong balls. Before you dismiss that as an exercise in lunacy, take a look at a clever interactive pool party experience for yourself in the video below.

Red Paper Heart created the mesmerizing show in conjunction with city guide Web site UrbanDaddy, all for a tequila promotional event in Hamptons, N.Y.. The art studio programmed some software (using C++) to control the projector-driven light show that reacts to music. To enhance the visuals, the group enlisted a team of synchronized swimmers and some tuxedo-clad scuba divers to class up the joint.… Read more

What to do with the gifts you hate

Every year there's always one or two gifts that prompt you to ask yourself "what were they thinking?" You know it's something you'll never use, and you're left with the question of what to do with it. This year, don't let it sit in your closet collecting dust, and most certainly don't throw it away. Turn that unwanted gift into something you do want, be it cash, a gift card, or another item you'll actually use. Here's a few different ways you can deal with the gift you loathe.

Sell … Read more

AT&T, Clearwire, HP, and others join LTE patent pool

A group of wireless-industry companies -- including AT&T, Clearwire, and HP -- have agreed to a patent pool that could mean fewer lawsuits over the use of LTE technology, Via Licensing Corporation announced today.

The technology-licensing company said it hopes more companies will join the program. In addition to AT&T, Clearwire, and HP, the initial companies contributing their patents to the pool are DTVG Licensing, KDDI, NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, and ZTE.

The LTE patents are so-called "frand," or standard-essential patents, which are technologies required to be licensed on "fair, … Read more