AltConf makes WWDC look like a stuffy college lecture

Jeff Kelley AltConf 2014
There really is a good reason that AltConf 2014 looked like Jurassic Park.
Photo: AltConf

You’ve probably heard — repeatedly, from us — that Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is happening in San Francisco next week. But that’s not the only show in town. The Alternative Developer Conference, aka AltConf, is running at the same time, right around the corner from the Moscone Center at the AMC Metreon.

It’s a more open and accessible convention than Apple’s, and that’s not just because it’s free.

“Alt has great information, but it has a lot more community feel where it’s not getting talked down to from the lectern and Apple, you’re getting talked to by your peers,” Jeff Kelley, iOS developer for Detroit Labs and author of Developing for Apple Watch, told Cult of Mac. “And everybody there is kind of on the same foot. Especially because it’s free. You can pay to get a reserved ticket this year, but you don’t have to pay to get in. Everybody is there because they love this stuff.”

How Alto’s Adventure became your next favorite iPhone game

By

Photo: Snowman
Photo: Snowman

One of Ryan Cash’s favorite games growing up was GoldenEye on the N64. “One thing I remember so clearly is that the game was hard,” he recalled. “You couldn’t just beat the game on its toughest setting if you weren’t amazing.”

Luckily for Cash, his friend Bruno was a master at GoldenEye, and he would come over to unlock cheats. “He was the guy,” Cash remembered.

Most of us probably had a Bruno growing up. Back when you couldn’t pay $1.99 with Touch ID to unlock more gems or coins. Back when games were just as fun as mobile games are now, but also challenging and dependent on skill.

With Alto’s Adventure, out today in the App Store for $1.99, Cash and the rest of his team drew from the games they love to make something unique. They’ve created a game that’s not only really fun to play, but beautiful to behold. And unlike GoldenEye, there are no cheat codes to help you get ahead.

Cleaning Up Your Messy iTunes Playlists Can Boost Your Brain Power [Interview]

By

PLAYLIST-FINAL-BOOK-COVER-PHOTO-300DPI-fix

You might have suspected that the right music – whether it’s thrash metal or Mozart – keeps you more focused or relaxed.

Now a trio of brain researchers have studied the effects of playlists on the brain, resulting in a nifty little book called  Your Playlist Can Change Your Life. In the book’s 200-or so pages, they explain how to use specific playlists to alleviate anxiety, promote concentration, get happy or move into a flow state thanks to Brain Music Treatment or BMT.

If you can’t make it to New York for BMT therapy, for $9.99, you can also download a Common BMT File. Created from more than 2,000 people’s brain waves with the help of evidence-based BMT tech, they say it acts as a kind of aural “first-aid” before you get your own playlists together.

Intrigued (my current nightstand read is Mark Changizi’s excellent Harnessed about music and the brain), I talked to author Dr. Galina Mindlin about what playlists have the most impact, cleaning up your music collection and her current heavy rotations.

 

How To Make iPhone Videos That Don’t Suck [Macworld / iWorld 2012]

By

iphone_video

SAN FRANCISCO, MACWORLD/IWORLD 2012 — If your iPhone videos are so lame that even your loved ones won’t watch them anymore, we’ve got some advice for you.

Cult of Mac talked to Matt Dessner, co-founder of the Original iPhone Film Festival (OIFF),  about choosing a subject, keeping it steady, getting enough b-roll and what he calls the Golden Tip of Editing.

The OIFF is about to announce 2012 winners here; with a little practice you might win next year’s competition and a MacBook Air.

Mark Zuckerberg Says Steve Jobs Helped Him Build Facebook

By

fbjobs

One of the few contemporaries in tech that Steve Jobs openly admired was Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. In Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, the Apple founder said that he admired Zuckerberg “for not selling out, for wanting to make a company.” In other words, Jobs saw a lot of himself in Zuckerberg: a young kid out to change the world.

Well, it turns out the respect was mutual. In an interview with Charlie Rose that will air later today, Zuckerberg says that Jobs’s help was formative in building Facebook.