» Apple must save my snake oil business

I’m not going to link to the TechCrunch piece by the antivirus software maker who — surprise — thinks Apple desperately needs to open up iOS so he can get a free payday (seriously, Techcrunch?). You can read John Gruber or Rene Ritchie’s reactions instead. My favorite, though, is Rich Mogull’s:

I will admit that [desktop] AV is slightly more effective than that Airborne stuff.

Boom.

» Kingdom Rush Origins

The third installment of perhaps my favorite iOS game is as great as ever and more gender-neutral than previous iterations. Available in iPad and iPhone flavors.

Welp, there goes my weekend.

» Turning This Car Around #40: LARPing the Manger

We talk Christmas and Chanukah on this week’s episode of the dadliest dadcast in the land.

» Home for the holidays

Writing for the News Tribune, Rolf Boone covers the decision by The Mac Store, a Pacific Northwest Apple reseller, to close on Thanksgiving despite the threat of being fined by the mall it’s located in.

[The Mac Store’s president and chief executive Kevin] Anderson said he wishes shoppers would think more about the people who have to work on that day rather than simply the money they’re going to save.

“How many people aren’t with their families that day?” Anderson said.

Good for Anderson. The company that owns the mall has relented. It seems ridiculous to me that the whole point of the holiday gets subverted by the idea of lower prices for the subsequent holiday.

The Mac Mall is an interesting story. They were the place to go for Macs in this are long before Apple opened its own retail stores. They closed their Tacoma store in the late 1990s as Apple struggled but have since opened a few new stores in mid-range malls where Apple doesn’t have a presence. I’ve always had a pretty good experience with them, going back to the early 1990s.

» The Uber debacle

Susie Ochs sums up the situation with Uber and suggests deleting the Uber app. I never had it installed, so…

» WatchKit

Start making your apps for that thing that isn’t out yet but will be.

The Visual Guide to Minecraft

They say to write what you know, so I wrote a book about Minecraft. Well, part of a book about Minecraft. Saying you know all of Minecraft is pretty presumptuous.

The Visual Guide to Minecraft by James H. Clark, Cori Dusmann and me is a straightforward, easy-to-digest instruction manual that covers everything from beginning Minecraft — how to get and install the game and survive your first day — to advanced topics like redstone, multiplayer, mods and more. This book has over 200 pages of tips, hints and tricks and early reviews have been nothing but positive (these are actual quotes):

“Wow!” said two of my son’s friends who I gave free copies of the book to.

“Excuse me! I loved that book you co-wrote!” raved a kid whose name I don’t know who goes to my son’s school and must have looked at one of the copies I gave my son’s friends.

Admittedly, those are the only reviews I’ve heard so far, but… pretty good, right? I’m thinking this book would make a great holiday present for kids or adults looking to figure out what the heck this thing is their kids are playing for hours. Unless you don’t love your family or something. I mean, I guess that’s possible. I’ve heard it happens. Sad, really.

Peachpit, the publisher, has a great deal on the book: $21.59 buys you the hardcopy version as well as the ebook in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF formats. It’s also available on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble and Apple iBooks.

If you feel like you don’t need the whole book, each section also comes separately in ebook form. My section is Getting Started With Minecraft. What does it cover? How to get started… with Minecraft. Spoiler alert. The others are the Minecraft Mini-EncyclopediaFantastic Minecraft Structural Designs, Farms, and Furnishings and Minecraft Redstone Essentials and Must-Do Projects (those are the Peachpit links but they’re also available on Kindle, B&N and iBooks).

If you haven’t played Minecraft, it’s a great game for kids and adults and this book is a terrific introduction for all ages.

The Visual Guide to Minecraft by James H. Clark, Cori Dusmann and John Moltz.

» ‘Not cool? Diehards abandon Google Glass’

Reuters:

While Glass may find some specialized, even lucrative, uses in the workplace, its prospects of becoming a consumer hit in the near future are slim, many developers say.

I guess there’s only so much face punching you can take. I think Glass has many terrific applications. I just don’t think social is one of them and if you can’t be up with people while wearing it, it’s not going to catch on.

» The Talk Show #100: People are gay all the time

John Gruber and I talk about my new co-authored book on Minecraft, fun with old Macs, word processing applications, Tim Cook’s announcement that he’s gay and more.

» The Rebound #9: Hey Alexa

Dan Moren, Lex Friedman and I talk about problems with Messages, the latest vulnerabilities, net neutrality and how we’re all getting Amazon Echoes for every room in our homes.