Mac Mini refresh finally announced


There’s been rumours of a an upgrade of the Mac Mini for ages. First, back in December we thought it’d come at Macworld. Then, in Feb, we tracked down an image with a surfeit of USB ports and some basic specs. Then, yesterday, we thought the refresh would come at the end of this month.

Well, Apple has confounded all our expectations, and has announced a new Mac Mini, with the following specs:

  • 5x USB
  • 1x FireWire 800
  • 1x mini DVI
  • 1x Display poort
  • Nvidia chipset (like the newest MacBook)
  • starting at Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 Ghz
  • 2 GB DDR3 memory (max 4 GB)
  • 120 GB hard disk (max 320 GB)

Not bad eh? Not face-meltingly good specs, but they’ll do. As with every Apple product announced ever, it’s available now, and costs £XXX.

Apple UK

Kern – the iPhone game for font geeks


Kerning, if you’re unaware, is the process of adjusting the distance between letters in typography, and now someone’s made a game of the process, and published it for the iPhone. It’s called “Kern”.

It works a little like Tetris – you position a letter at the bottom, and a word falls into place around it. The objective is to get it as close as possible to a perfect kern. It’s not easy, unless you have a perfect eye and a very steady finger.

As you can imagine, the design is absolutely impeccable. It’s enormously geeky, too, but that’s not really going to put off hardcore typographers now, is it? Here’s a video of it in action:

Kern (via Technabob)

Gaming as Art – Tag: The Power of Paint

Click play on the video above. You’re watching a walkthrough of an innovative indie game called Tag: The Power of Paint, developed by a group of students from the DigiPen Institute of Technology.

It’s a first-person platformer where you spray your surroundings with different coloured paint to progress. Green paint makes you jump, red paint makes you go faster, and blue paint allows you to climb walls. It’s all cel-shaded, and looks like a wonderful cross between Mirror’s Edge and The Unfinished Swan.

It’s a free 55MB download from here (via Game:Life).

More Games/Art crossover: Counterstrike map based on Van Gogh painting | The Unfinished Swan



Last week’s cricketastic Flash Game Challenge was won by commenter Alan, who hit my score for six with a mighty 127 runs. A polite round of applause for him, please, ladies and gentlemen.

As for this week, well, today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year, so I wanted to pick something to warm your cold little hearts. How about helping some deer cross a forest stream, with rays of light cascading all around? On my first go, I scored a pathetic 9750. The second time, I scored a far more respectable 4991950. Can you beat it? Entries, as ever, in the comments.

The Crossing

Previous FGChallenges: Topspinner | Achievement Unlocked

Lenovo launches new slim, pretty Y-series of laptops


This machine is one of three Y-series laptops announced this morning by Lenovo, and it’s certainly a looker. The Y650, Y550, and Y450 machines (it’s not clear which one is pictured above) only differ in screen size, ranging from 16″ to 14″, via 15″, all at a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Inside, they’re rather attractive, too – boasting upto 4GB of RAM, upto 500GB hard disk space, and an optional NVidia GFX graphics card. The trackpad’s multi-touch, too, which might make it a good candidate to turn into a hackintosh. Can’t wait to get one into my hands, and see if it’s as lovely in person as in that picture above.

Lenovo (via Akihabaranews)

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Relentless releases 'The Rev' visualization

Do you like energy drinks? I’ll admit that I’m not a massive fan – they taste like robot sweat – but some gamers love them, so I thought I’d point out this quite cool iTunes plug-in that Relentless has made for a marketing campaign of some kind. You can see it in action in the video above.

The website is a bit confusing, and you’ll have to register and give up your email address (or *an* email address, wink wink) to download the plugin, but if you’re the sort of person who digs visualizations, then this one’s more attractive than most. Blow it up big screen, and it’s like being friends with an aggressive squid. In a good way.


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This beautiful cloud represents the entirety of music. Every single artist tracked by is marked as a point on the map, and ‘similar’ artists are connected by a grey line. The size of each point reflects the popularity of the artist, and different colours represent different genres.

It’s the creation of Budapest University PhD candidate Nepusz Tamas, who hammered Last.FM’s servers for over a week with a request every five seconds. Unfortunately, the only way to interact with the map is to pinpoint your favourite bands, and you can’t zoom in, but it’s still a beautiful representation of the world’s listening habits.

Reconstructing the structure of the world-wide music scene with (via Listening Post)

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New Macbook Pro pics surface


A few more pictures have surfaced overnight of a next-generation MacBook Pro, complete with shiny glassy screen and a black bezel. Also notable is that the trackpad completely lacks any kind of buttons at all. As someone who always turns off the tap-to-click feature of trackpads, that doesn’t bode well for me. While PCs steadfastly add more and more buttons to mice, Apple is removing its one button…