Review of “Dead End Fix”


“Dead End Fix” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by T. E. Woods (http://tewoodswrites.com/). Ms. Woods has published six novels all in her “Justice” series. 

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence And Mature Language. Like the others before it, this novel is set Seattle. 

The primary characters are a little different this time with Mort Grant Chief of Detectives, Lydia “The Fixer” Corriger the Psychologist, and Kashawn Meadows a homeless teen with dreams of gang membership. 

A young black boy is killed and Grant and the other detectives are on the hunt. It is complicated because the shooting is thought to be gang related since the victim is the younger brother of one of the local gang leaders. Meadows sees the shooting, and sees his chance to be accepted into one of the most powerful gang by tearing the gang colors from the body. 

Grant’s attention is split between the murder and the concern for one of his granddaughters. She had been kidnapped by his daughter, Allie Grant, at the end of the prior novel. Allie had taken a path of crime and was now head of a Russian mob. She has the wealth to make finding her and niece Hadley very difficult. 

Corriger begins her quiet search for Allie and thinks she has tracked them down. The shooting of the young boy starts a gang war leaving multiple victims in Seattle. It becomes a question of whether Grant will have his family together again and will they remain safe. The city of Seattle is on edge, the populace not knowing if and when they may encounter gang violence. 

I enjoyed this novel as I have the previous volumes in the series. The 4+ hours spend on this 290 page Mystery Thriller were well spent, though I was surprised a little at the plot. This novel spent a great deal of time with young Meadows and the other gang members. It was certainly connected to Grant’s investigation, but it was a story within the story. The overall story had a good pace to it, keeping me interested throughout. The cover is a little plain, but it is consistent with the others in the series. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.  

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

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Free iOS, tvOS and macOS Software 08/2016

software

I have been maintaining a list of free software for iOS, tvOS and OS X. You may find some of these programs of interest. I have also attempted to mark which Apple OS the title is targeted at (iOS, OS X, tvOS) as well as the category of the App.

This is NOT a curated list. All I know about these titles is what you see below. None have been tried or tested by me.

August 2016

  1. iOS/Games – Lilith Games is proud to announce the release of Heroes Tactics 1.5.2, the important update to their Turn-Based Strategy Action RPG for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android, and Windows Phone devices. PvP mode looks to establish Heroes Tactics as a mobile eSports presence that expands the game’s reach and appeal to an even broader audience, while the new Bonus Stages mode offers fresh challenges to the game’s current fan base. Heroes Tactics is currently available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices, and was previously featured on the App Store and Google Play as a “Best Update” selection. Heroes Tactics 1.5.2 is free, and is available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category.  Download from iTunes
  2. iOS/Productivity – Scala Web Ltd is proud to announce the availability of NO.Tify.ME 1.4, their task manager app for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices. NO.Tify.ME is an app that has been designed with the sole purpose of making sure that you don’t end up missing a deadline or overlook a task to be completed in the course of your too-bust schedule! As the name suggests, the app will send you notifications and reminders until you complete your work – you’re never again going to forget a deadline or a due date.  NO.Tify.ME 1.4 is free, and is available worldwide through the App Store in the Productivity category.  Download from iTunes
  3. iOS/Social Networking – Pokemon Go, the social game that took the world by storm has paved the way for many other companies to follow. Dine, the dating app that isn’t about superficial love at first sight, but an opportunity to experience someone’s company and a new culinary adventure has hopped on the Pokemon Go mania bandwagon just this week by adding a “Let’s catch Pokemon” feature. This new feature allows Dine users to notify potential matches that catching Pokemon as an idea for a first date is an option. In other words, how about meeting up for a Poke Date? Dine 1.1.0 is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Social Networking category. Download from iTunes
  4. iOS/Games – Vichitra Games brings you the never seen before concept of Road Juliet. Romi and Road Juliet 1.2 is a platformer adventure game for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. We’ve witnessed a lot of Road Romeos, but have you seen Road Juliet yet? In this game, Road Juliet has madly fallen in love with Romi. User’s task is to keep Romi safe from the Road Juliet. Don’t let Romi fall in love with her. Romi and Road Juliet 1.2 is free, and is available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category.  Download from iTunes
  5. iOS/Health and fitness – PeqApps today announces X Factor 3.9 for iOS devices, almost certainly the best weight management app in the world. If you’re serious about managing your weight, you know that being mindful of what you eat and how much you move is the key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Ultimately, this boils down to your daily calorie balance: how many calories you consume versus how many calories you expend. X Factor is designed to quickly and easily track your daily calorie balance. With X Factor, it takes only a few seconds to record weight, calories eaten, and activity calories. And with an Apple Watch and Health Integration enabled, activity calories are updated automatically. X Factor 3.9 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Health & Fitness category. Download from iTunes
  6. iOS/Games – Digital World Studio today is proud to announce the release of Army Antz(TM) 2.0, the most ultimate realtime strategic game for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. Inspired by the 90’s classic General Chaos by Electronic Arts, Army Antz brings you the classic gaming memories to mobile. The game comprises high definition graphics and a super engaging gameplay providing hours of fun for both hardcore and casual gamers. Army Antz(TM) 2.0 is available for free (with in-app purchases) worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. Download from iTunes
  7. iOS/News – Fairwinds Software is proud to announce the initial public release of myPolitics 1.2, their new political and social issues opinion app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. myPolitics offers users the opportunity to express their opinions about the issues of the day via an easy-to-use polling system. Anyone can express their opinions on such subjects as politics, gun control, healthcare, taxes, abortion and hundreds more.  myPolitics 1.2 is free, and is available in the United States exclusively through the App Store in the News category. Download from iTunes
  8. iOS/Travel – Anawiki Games is expanding its horizons with the release of a new app that’s part game, part travel companion. World Uncovered aims to take users to places they’ve never been, all while encouraging them to examine their daily routines. World Uncovered 1.0 is free to download and use for the first 270 miles/500 kilometers of travel and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Travel category. Unlimited use is a one-time unlock for $1.99 (USD) during launch promotion period. Download from iTunes
  9. iOS/Sports – Fuzzies LLC today is proud to announce the release and immediate availability of Smashbook Tennis Tracker 1.2, an important update to their tennis statistics tracking app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Smashbook is a data-driven social cloud app that offers a convenient way for tennis players to track live or completed tennis matches, (including singles and doubles matches). The app allows players to view professional-level statistics collected over time. Users can also connect to other players to discover possible future tennis partners or opponents. Smashbook Tennis Tracker 1.2 is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Sports category.  Download from iTunes
  10. iOS/Education – Bluewave Solutions today is proud to announce the release of Educatia 1.0, the company’s new education app developed exclusively for iPad devices. Educatia 1.0 aims to be the new digital platform for Education, cutting all obstacles for learning. Educatia 1.0 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category. Download from iTunes
  11. iOS/Social Networking – Country by country, Pokemon Go is taking over the mobile gaming world – and crashing more than a few overloaded servers along the way! And now, the clever minds at afewguys Apps have launched PokeChat 1.2.1, an outstanding new app that is taking the frenzy and fun to a whole new level. Available at no-cost, PokeChat adds a trio of much-needed social and discovery features to Pokemon Go: chat, lure and find. PokeChat 1.2.1 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Social Networking category. Download from iTunes
  12. iOS/Games – Neon Play, developers of hits like Traffic Panic London and Paper Glider, introduce Tip Tap Rio 1.1 for iOS and Android. Join over 250,000 players enjoying Tip Tap games! Can you become the next Tip Tap tycoon? Starting with a small athletics track in the middle of Rio, you are set to host the biggest summer sports event and make as much money as you possibly can. Tap, tap, tap to start earning cash from visiting fans. Tip Tap Rio 1.1 is free and available worldwide in the Games category on the App Store.  Tip Tap Rio 1.1
  13. iOS/Social Networking – Spontime, a new app changing how millennials interact, has officially been picked up for usage in 82 countries only one month after its official launch. Spontime is aimed at sparking real-life interactions and is the first startup in history that has created a global community of National Representatives from 75 different countries. Spontime 1.09 is Free and available worldwide through the App Store in the Social Networking category.  Download from iTunes
  14. iOS/Games – iVoxBytes is proud to announce the release of Air Adventure 2.0: Go on an adventure journey to save Sherly from evil on a plane, a new update on their easy, addictive tap and dodge game for iOS devices. The evil Dr. Loon has kidnapped Sherly. Fight your way to Dr. Loon’s lab and face off against his evil mercenaries that will go all their way out to stop you. Air Adventure 2.0: Go on an adventure journey to save Sherly from evil on a plane is free with the optional of In-App Purchases of $0.99 (USD) to unlock Spooky City at Stage 2. Air Adventure 2.0 available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Air Adventure 2.0
  15. iOS/Games – The newly launched ultimate cross-platform artillery and strategy game Martial Towers is noted by industry insiders as a winner-takes-all trek poised to make its players “king.” This cartoon-style physics shooter crosses platforms for realfr-time play on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Marital Towers 1.4 is Free and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category.  Download from iTunes
  16. iOS/Games – Gamification of Twitter has worked successfully! Spain based developer, Zen Brains Studio is pleased to announce the release of Trending Topic 1.0, the first Twitter game developed for iOS devices. The developers are happy to have created an app, which turns the access of the information into a facilitating and enjoyable process and gives the possibility to keep up with the latest social media trends. Trending Topic 1.0 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Trending Topic 1.0
  17. iOS/Games – Michael Cozzolino, DBA Big Monk Games, today is very proud to announce the release of TNT Fred 1.0, his new game title for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. You are in control of Fred, a mechanic who got caught up in some sick game show where he is locked in an arena filled with turrets that are trying to shoot him. The longer you survive, the better your score. Not exactly a good outcome in the end for Fred, but at least you can have fun keeping him around as long as possible. TNT Fred 1.0 is Free (no in-app purchases) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games/Arcade/Racing categories. Download from iTunes
  18. iOS/Health & Fitness – Introducing the new Mevo – Weight Loss and Fitness app, that lets you boost your health and fitness all in one place while rewarding you as you progress, and aspires you to do more. Mevo offers a comprehensive approach to fitness that helps users achieve their nutrition, exercise and health goals with a holistic unity that other medtech products simply aren’t designed to do. It’s that smart design that makes a real difference for Mevo users, who are delighted with its integrated features – and with their results! Mevo 1.1 is Free (with in-app purchases) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Health & Fitness category.  Download from iTunes
  19. iOS/Education – lurnanet today is pleased to announce the release of their debut product, Blessed – Learn to be more grateful 1.0.2 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Blessed helps you learn to be more grateful. It makes thinking pleasant thoughts of gratitude everyday as easy as possible to make you feel happier by providing an interface to create ‘blessings’ (things to be grateful for) paired with images. Blessed is designed to promote habit-formation by recording people’s daily activity and rewarding the user with awards. Blessed – Learn to be more grateful 1.0.2 is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category. Download from iTunes
  20. iOS/Games – Full Fat, a leading games developer for mobile devices, today is pleased to announce the worldwide release of Flick Soccer 17 v1.0, a flick sports game for iOS and Android. Featuring five game modes including nail-biting free kicks, arcade style target practice and crossbar challenge, the game has innovative controls and realistic ball physics. Flick Soccer 17 (v1.0) is free to play, available worldwide on the App Store in the both Games and Arcade categories Download from iTunes
  21. iOS/Utilities – Design Luscinia is pleased to announce the release of Fonteer 1.2.0, their font utility app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. A new feature in the recent update of Fonteer allows users to install fonts without having to send an email to themselves. More than a useful improvement, over 80% of customer support cases were caused by issues with email, this feature is now available for download on any device supporting iOS 8 or higher. Fonteer gives users the option to use any font in a growing list of apps including Keynote, Pages, Numbers, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Pixelmator, Autodesk Graphic, Cute CUT, Sign It!, Phoetic and Word Dance.Fonteer 1.2.0 is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Utilities category. The free version is full functional, with the limitation of only allowing three font installs. A premium version of the app is available for $1.99 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) in the App Store. Download from iTunes
  22. iOS/Reference – Hi-Voltage is today proud to announce the release of Random-Apps 1.0, their app discovery solution for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Random-Apps makes it easy for iOS users to discover cool and exciting apps that they might normally not encounter via the App Store. The app presents a random listing of quality 4 and 5-star apps directly from the App Store, and because the apps are presented randomly, there’s no bias towards displaying apps from developers that have the deepest pockets. Random-Apps 1.0 is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Reference category. Download from iTunes
  23. iOS/Social Networking – Isarti Obaida is proud to announce the release of TimeShare 1.7 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Whether you are a social butterfly who enjoys meeting new people or you just do not like attending an event alone, TimeShare is a brilliant app for you to make new friends just based on your location, hobbies and activities. An app that has been designed exclusively as a platform for people to meet other people, this is where you can come across like-minded individuals who will accompany you to wherever you want to go.  TimeShare 1.7 is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Social Networking category. Download from iTunes
  24. iOS/Games – Flowmotion Entertainment, one of the world’s leading producers and publishers of time management cooking games, is proud to announce the availability of its latest game, Cooking Scramble: BBQ! 2 – Version 1.0, their restaurant simulation game for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices. This new game is incredibly interactive and offers the best BBQ cooking experience. Cook vegetable, chicken, beef and much more on the barbecue grill. The rules of the game is simple and straightforward: cook the correct order, serve customers fast and earn as much money as you can before the timer runs out!  Cooking Scramble: BBQ! 2 – Version 1.0 is free, and is available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. Download from iTunes
  25. macOS, iOS/Utilities – Independent development house Rayner Software is proud to announce the release and immediate availability of KeyShade 1.0, an important new entry in the field of personal password and information managers. KeyShade is a free app, with optional KeyShade Sync service for $19/year (USD). KeyShade Sync includes a 30 day free trial. After the trial expires, the sync subscription is optional. KeyShade will never lock a user out of their password database because of an expired subscription. Download (Mac)
  26. iOS/Games – Neon Play, developers of hits like Traffic Panic London and Paper Glider, is pleased to announce the release of Tip Tap Rio 1.2 for iOS and Android. Rio’s summer of sport is in full swing and we’ve found the perfect game to go with it. Tip Tap Rio isn’t just the prettiest game in Rio, it also brings an exciting twist to its genre. Tap, tap, tap to earn big bucks from fans visiting your stadium. Invest your cash in bigger and better stadiums. You can even upgrade the famous green pool! Tip Tap Rio 1.2 is Free (with in-app purchases) and available worldwide through the App Store, Google Play and Amazon in the Games category.Tip Tap Rio 1.2
  27. macOS/Utilities – Feingeist Software is thrilled to announce the release of a new addition to MailButler, the add-on for Apple Mail for macOS. Among the various functionalities of MailButler 6407 is now the new time-saving, productivity-boosting feature Unsubscribe.  MailButler (v6407) is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the Feingeist Software website. Two service plans are offered. The Free Plan allows access to all features for one user, 30+ Actions per month, and 1 email avatar. The Professional Plan is $8.95 (USD) per month, allowing access to all features for one user, unlimited Actions, and 3 email avatars. (An “action” is defined as whenever a user makes use of one of MailButler’s convenient features.) For more information, visit the Feingeist Software website. Download MailButler
  28. iOS/Games – Rasterzone Entertainment, LLC today announced the release of Gallery Hero(TM) for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. In the game, something has taken over the art gallery, and all the paintings have mysteriously disappeared from their frames. In their place is a series of puzzles that must be solved in order to recover the artwork. Gallery Hero features 60 puzzles, six paintings to rescue, and an eclectic soundtrack to play along to. Gallery Hero 1.02 is now available in the App Store for iPhone and iPad, and in Google Play for Android phones and tablets. There are no ads in the game. The first 20 levels are completely free, and the full 60-level game can be purchased from within the app. The full game is on sale for $0.99 during the game’s initial launch, which will last through August 24th. After that, the normal price will be $2.99. Download from iTunes
  29. iOS, macOS/Utilities – Coradine Aviation Systems announced today the launch of LogTen Pro X 7.3.3 Bandeirante, the latest version of the world’s most advanced electronic pilot logbook including hundreds of updates, performance improvements and new features. LogTen Pro X Pilot Logbook 7.3.3 is Free (with in-app purchases) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Utilities category. LogTen Pro X is also available for Mac OS X.  Download from iTunes
  30. iOS/Productivity – Badger Maps, Inc. is proud to announce the release of Badger Maps 2.1, an update of their sales routing tool for the iPhone and iPad. Badger’s Lasso tool was previously only available on the desktop version of their application, now the users can use it on the iPhone and iPad as well. This tool lets them build or adjust their route in a matter of seconds and get insights into their customers directly on their mobile device. Badger has gotten very positive feedback from its customers regarding the lasso tool, it saves users a considerable amount of time – especially when large numbers of accounts are involved. It helps them group locations, optimize routes, or mass update customer details on the go. Badger Maps 2.1 is free, and is available worldwide through the App Store in the Productivity category.  Download from iTunes
  31. iOS/Games – Conceptis today introduces Conceptis Sym-a-Pix 1.0 for iOS, a new symmetry puzzle game that lets you reveal hidden pixel-art pictures by pure logic deduction. Sym-a-Pix, also known as Tentai Show, Galaxies and Artist Block, is a fun and addictive rotational symmetry puzzle from Japan. Each puzzle consists of a grid containing dots in various places. The object is to reveal a hidden picture by drawing a block around each dot according to the rules. Find the symmetry, discover the picture! Conceptis Sym-a-Pix 1.0 is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category.  Download from iTunes
  32. iOS/Productivity – Gstarsoft is proud to announce the release of DWG FastView 2.2 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices, the important upgrade to their app designed for CAD users to view, edit, and save DWG drawings on mobile devices. It’s no doubt a good choice for industries like engineering, construction, building, mechanical, manufacturing, surveying and mapping etc, in which working environment is always changing.  DWG FastView 2.2 is free, and is available worldwide through the App Store in the Productivity category.  Download from iTunes
  33. iOS/Photo and Video – Lakehorn AG is pleased to announce the new release of PixCompare for iOS version 1.1.2. With PixCompare, users can easily search for duplicate and similar photos on their iPhones and iPads. Photos can then be selected for batch deletion. PixCompare will save actual space on the user’s device. PixCompare 1.1.2 is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Photo and Video category. There is only a one-time in-app purchase of $0.99 to activate the delete function. Download from iTunes
  34. iOS/Travel – NIX Solutions is proud to announce the release of uPackingList free 4.0.1, the important update of their packing organization app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Everyone has gone through this: you need to quickly get ready for that unexpected business trip, that last-minute weekend getaway or that long-awaited grand vacation. There are so many things you need to bring and chores you need to do that you try to juggle these lists in your head. You get mad, irritated and tired. Fortunately, the uPackingList application from NIX Solutions can help you through it all. uPackingList free 4.0.1 is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Travel category. Download from iTunes
  35. macOS/Photography – VeprIT today is very pleased to announce the release of Photo Sense 2.0.0 for Mac, a major upgrade of its flagship product. Photo Sense is an easy and efficient batch photo enhancement tool for Mac and iOS devices. Photo Sense 2.0.0 is Free (with in-app purchases) on the Mac App Store, available worldwide in the Photography category. Advanced features can be enabled with in-app purchases. Licenses including all features may be purchased on the VeprIT website for $24.99 (USD). A free full-feature trial version (which adds a watermark to exported images) is available on the website. Download from Mac App Store
  36. iOS/Games – When Angularis was released in 2014, the one-of-a-kind game was an instant smash hit that earned glowing reviews worldwide, including some professional reviewers who compared it to Tetris. Well, fast-forward a couple of years, and the magicians at Owleet Entertainment have managed to raise the bar and make a phenomenal app even more fun, visually appealing and insanely addictive with the release of Angularis 2. Angularis 2 (v2.9.3) is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Download from iTunes
  37. iOS/Games – Zach DeStefano, a senior at Malvern Prep in Malvern, Pennsylvania and Founder of Z-Licious Games, LLC recently sold the title rights to his mobile game, Tiny Miner, to Serbian design and development studio, Qube 3D. The deal is a combination cash and advertising partnership and is the first of its kind for Z-Licious Games. Tiny Miner was originally created and released by DeStefano in 2014 and was his first experience incorporating in-app purchases and advertising into mobile games. Since its release, Tiny Miner and has been downloaded over 50,000 times in more than 100 countries across Android and iOS platforms.  Retro Miner 1.2 is free, and is available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category.  Download from iTunes
  38. iOS/Health & fitness – Dr. Anna Cabeca is proud to announce the release of Keto pH 1.1.2 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, an app which helps you record your urine Ketones and pH to become Keto Alkaline! This will give you an easy interface to record your daily Ketones and pH level. It provides easy to understand line graphs that help taking appropriate measures to become Keto Alkaline.  Kept pH 1.1.2 is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Health & Fitness category. Download from iTunes
  39. iOS/Games – When Ovilex Soft launches a new 3D driving simulation app, it is literally a global event – just ask the company’s nearly 450,000 Facebook fans who’ve come to expect something impressive with each release. Well, their high expectations certainly won’t be disappointed when they get behind the virtual wheel of Taxi Sim 2016. Taxi Sim 2016 (v1.2.0) is Free (with in-app purchases) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category.  Download from iTunes
  40. iOS/Games – Dreamr today is pleased to announce the release of Word Planet 1.1.2, an update to their additive and enjoyable word game for iOS and Android devices. A refreshingly simple idea, Word Planet is one of those games which can be played one-handed whilst eating lunch, leaning out of the shower, or on the train into work. It’s no less an addiction than the current Pokemon Go phenomenon but it’s a deceptively gentle addiction – more like a soothing cup of tea than a can of energy drink. Word Planet 1.1.2 is Free (with optional in-app purchases) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category.  Download from iTunes
  41. iOS/Social Networking – Bubbl is proud to announce the launch of its local event discovery app for iPhone. Bubbl is a fresh take on local event discovery that’s built for the spontaneous and the ephemeral. It’s a live local activity map with crowd-sourced events to address the problem of “what do I do now?” The app is focusing on San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area for the time being and plans to expand to other cities, soon providing access to difficult-to-discover happenings worldwide. Bubbl will begin displaying UC San Diego events this Fall as it aims to resonate with the ephemeral generation.  Bubbl 1.0 is Free and available exclusively through the App Store in the Social Networking category. Download from iTunes
  42. iOS/Games – Mobile game developer and publisher, Solverlabs today is proud to announce the release of the new version v3.1 of the highly popular multi-platform game “Planet Of Cubes” with the ability to play Minecraft style Survival Massive Multiplayer mode with thousands of other players online globally. Planet Of Cubes is the first Massive Multiplayer Survival and Creative block-building game to feature one global infinite world. The entire game environment is cube-based and shared among players within the world. Planet of Cubes 3.1 is Free (with in-app purchases) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. Planet of Cubes 3.1
  43. iOS/Social Networking – Social media makes connections matter all over the world, but the new Graffitier app takes that social sharing to a new, more precise level for travelers exploring the same location. With Graffitier, whether you’re in Bangkok or Berlin, you’ll find a community of trailblazers whose posts are specific to your location – and you add your own photos, video and text with a simple tap and a tag! Graffitier 1.1 is Free and available worldwide through the App Store in the Social Networking category. Download on iTunes
  44. iOS/Lifestyle – Hashs Technolgies IVS is proud to announce the release and immediate availability of Hashs 1.2 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. The app helps people understand each other through simple words called hashs. A user signs up through their Facebook login and invites friends to hashtag their profile. Invited friends who download hashs app start appearing in user’s dashboard. Friends can hashtag user using pre­defined words or write any word of own choice including emoji. If a lot of friends hashtag user with the same word, they get silver tags followed by golden. Hashs 1.2 is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Lifestyle category. Download from iTunes
  45. macOS/Photos & Video – MacDaddy is pleased to announce the beta release of Style 1.0, their new app for Mac OS X machines that can take any image or video file and create an artistic interpretation of the original. Style offers nine different styling models to choose from, each creating a decidedly different version of the original file, rendered in a creatively produced final image. Style 1.0 is free during its beta testing phase, and is available worldwide exclusively through the MacDaddy website. Style 1.0 Beta
  46. iOS/Education – ATi Studios, creator of Mondly, a popular free language-learning app with over 10 million downloads, has today released a new version of their flagship mobile app “Learn languages Free – Mondly.” Mondly helps anyone practice speaking and writing while learning a new language by focusing on full sentence communication rather than isolated words. This helps users communicate faster. The new version features a language-learning Conversational Chatbot to help users practice speaking and writing while learning a new language, the first of its kind. Mondly 5.0 is Free and available worldwide through the App Store in the Education category. Download from iTunes
  47. iOS/Games – Full Fat, a leading games developer for mobile devices, today is pleased to announce the worldwide release of Blocky Football v2.0, an update to their popular sports arcade game for iOS and Android devices. Grab your cleats and run like a beast in a fresh, fun football runner! Blocky Football is a fresh new take on football, with an innovative multi-stage arcade game incorporating elements of endless runner and traditional arcade genres. Dodge the D, score a TD, kick the PAT. How high can you score? Blocky Football 2.0 is free to play, available worldwide on the App Store in the both Games and Arcade categories. Download from iTunes
  48. macOS/Utilities – MacDaddy is pleased to announce the release of File Extractor 1.0, their powerful file extraction utility for Mac OS X. File Extractor can scan any selected file, folder, or browser cache, and find and extract the files that are contained in them. The app can extract text, graphics, video, and other types of files with just a few clicks of the mouse. File Extractor 1.1 is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Utilities category. A convenient in-app purchase is available for $0.99 USD, (or an equivalent amount in other currencies), that enables recovery of discovered files. Download from Mac App Store
  49. iPS/Games – Candy Crush killer wannabe Tiny Bombs Boom takes Match-3 to a whole new level of game play madness on iOS. Fusing action and match-3 puzzle elements with mini-games, Tiny Bombs Boom aims for a more edge-of-your-seat style game play. With 10 great mini-games thrown into the mix, Tiny Bombs Boom offers the player amazing replay value. Tiny Bombs Boom! 1.0.2 is Free and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category.  Download from iTunes

Review of “Venom Squadron”

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“Venom Squadron” eBook was publlished in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1984) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson published over 50 books.This is the 10th of his “Sergeant Yeoman” series novels.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set mostly in the Middle East and Cypress. It is 1956 and the British and French are in deep conflict with Egypt over the Suez Canal.

A tiny oil rich Arab state, Muramshir, asks for help from the British. Wing Commander George Yeoman is sent with Venom fighter bombers as well as some British SAS soldiers to support Muramshir.

Things do not go as planned. A neighboring country’s threats become hostilities when they invade Muramshir’s oil field. Yeoman must lead his men in defending against the invaders, while trying not to let events spiral out of control. Russian ‘advisors’ are at hand ready to step in and establish a presence in the middle east.

This was a pretty good 5.5 hour Military Thriller of 176 pages. This story pits the West against the scourge of Communism. There is plenty of action with Yeoman finding himself in one fix after another. The cover is a little plain but it is consistent with all the books of this series. I have read several of the “Sergeant Yeoman” series books and they are all pretty good, though dated. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Dark Run”

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“Dark Run” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Mike Brooks (http://www.mikebrooks.co.uk). Mr. Brooks has published two novels, both in his “Keiko” series.

I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and mature Situations. The story is set in a far future where humanity has spread to the stars. The primary character is Ichabod Drift, captain of the starship Keiko.

Drift and his odd assortment of 6 other crew members walk the fine line, or at least close to it, separating legal and illegal. Drift is approached by an old employer and forced to take a job smuggling a cargo into old Amsterdam on Earth.

As you might expect, the smuggling job falls apart leaving Drift and his crew being sought by the Europan government. The crew can either run and try to hide, or go after the man who set them up.

I thought that this was a great 13+ hour read of 434 pages! The book was fast paced with plenty of action. It reminded me a lot of “Firefly”, but yet was different enough not to be a clone. This has been one of the better Science Fiction novels I have read and I am looking forward to reading sequels. The cover is a little plain and you would not know that it depicts the starship Keiko unless you begin to read the story. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Ethics for PE

Last night I attended an “Engineering Ethics” program put on by the Austin Chapter of the joint IEEE Power Electronics, Power & Energy, Industry Applications, and Industrial Electronics Societies. Those of us who are Registered Professional Engineers in Texas must complete 15 hours of continuing education each year, including a 1 hour session on engineering ethics.

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The program was presented by George Hartmann PE from the Texas Board of Professional Engineers. Changes in the laws governing engineers in Texas as well as some case studies were reviewed.

All 50 US states and territories now license engineers. The first state to license engineers was Wyoming in 1907. Texas began licensing engineers in 1937 after the New London School  explosion.  A century ago anyone could start an engineering company and then bid on work constructing bridges, building and other municipal works. Now registered Professional Engineers are required for projects that may impact public safety.

Review of “Hunter Squadron”

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“Hunter Squadron” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1984) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson published over 50 books.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set mostly in the Congolese Republic in 1960. The primary character is RAF Group Captain George Yeoman. Yeoman is now in command of a squadron of Hawker Hunter jet fighters (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Hunter) and he is sent to Africa.

The small state of Warambe is the home to uranium mines that supply the British. A local politician in an adjoining country, Nkrombe, is stirring up trouble and has assembled a small mercenary army including F-86 Sabre jet fighters (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_F-86_Sabre). Yeoman’s mission is to prevent disruption of Warambe mining.

This is not a long read at less than 6 hours for this 160 page novel. It was an interesting read, I have read several of Jackson’s “Yeoman” books now. This was a pretty good Thriller, though it is certainly dated. It was not filled with action, but the pace was good and kept my interest. I think that part of the reason I liked it was that it continues the story of a character I have come to know. The book cover is ‘OK’, though not very exciting. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Automation Thought to Put Jobs at Risk

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Yet another study has been published (this time by Oxford University published in 2013) that predicts that between now and 2035 up to 47% of US jobs are at risk of becoming obsolete. Their expectation is that the impact will be broad, impacting clerical and high-skilled jobs as well as the expected blue-collar factory positions.

Nicole Lee of Engadget in her article “How will you survive when the robots take your job?” coupled the job impacts of this report along with serious discussion of how job loss due to automation may one day lead to a Universal Basic Income (i.e. everyone is paid a flat fee each month).

This is not a new idea. Switzerland just earlier this year (2016) held a referendum for a Basic Income. In that case it failed with 77% of the voter opposing it.

Depending on which futurists you listen to, we may or may not find a future without enough employment. If there is going to be a need though for a Universal Basic Income we all better start thinking about it now.

MailButler for macOS

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Feingeist Software announced the availability of MailButler (version 6407) for Mac Mail under macOS. The app offers the ability to schedule emails, undo emails, track emails, convert emails to notes, upload email attachments regardless of size, create beautiful signatures, and more. The most notable addition in this release is the Unsubscribe feature. This will allow a user of MailButler to unsubscribe from a email newsletter without having to find the button buried somewhere in the newsletter.

Features of MailButler include:

  • Snooze – Allows users to temporarily make an email disappear from their inbox
  • Follow-Up – Get a follow-up reminder when there isn’t a response to a selected email
  • Tracking – Get notified when a recipient has opened their email
  • Scheduling – Schedule emails to be sent at a particular date and time
  • Cloud Upload – Send attachments of any size, attachment sizes are not restrained by mail provider limits
  • Signatures – Create beautiful email signatures by selecting from MailButler’s various templates
  • Undo Send – MailButler keeps an email in the outbox for a user specified safety period of time before sending
  • Attachment Reminder – Intelligently reminds you about possibly omitted email attachments
  • Notes – MailButler allows users to easily convert emails from Apple’s Mail application into convenient notes
  • Emoji, and much more

MailButler is free, and is available worldwide exclusively through the Feingeist Software website. Two service plans are offered:

  • The Free Plan allows access to all features for one user, 30+ Actions per month, and 1 email avatar.
  • The Professional Plan is $8.95 (USD) per month, allowing access to all features for one user, unlimited Actions, and 3 email avatars.
  • An “action” is defined as whenever a user makes use of one of MailButler’s convenient features.
  • An Email Avatar is an image that represents you as an email sender in Apple Mail. It is visible to other MailButler users.

Review of “Storm Over Leyte”

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“Storm Over Leyte” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by John Prados (http://johnprados.com/). Mr. Prados has published more than a dozen books.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. This is the non-fiction account of the battle between Japan and the United States in the Leyte Gulf. This naval conflict occurred in the fall of 1944 and is considered to be one of the most significant naval battles in history.

This account is full of the details – names, dates and numbers – that you would expect in a history. It also includes many small stories relating personal events to personnel on both sides of the conflict. The use of intelligence and declassified military documents gives a greater scope in this story, providing insight to both sides in the conflict.

I enjoyed the nearly 13 hours I spent reading this 397 page book. I have read other accounts of this battle, but this is by far the most detailed. It is interesting to see how both sides had their failures and their triumphs. As often the case for a non-fiction book, this was not the most exciting read, though the description of the battle was engaging and read well. The internal politics of both militaries certainly affected the outcome of the battle, though I do think that the Japanese had more of an issue with this. While the cover is not bad, I think something more interesting could have been chosen. I give this book a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

TextSoap 8.1

Product Announcement

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TextSoap 8.1 for macOS was recently released by Unmarked Software. This is an update to their TextSoap text processing tool. New with this release are user interface improvements  as well as some user requested features.

This is the ideal tool for ‘cleaning’ text documents. It provides an automated way of removing unwanted characters, fixing carriage returns, and many more tedious editing actions. Among the added features are the following new cleaners:

  • Fix up macOS name to rename “Mac OS X”, “OS X” to “macOS”
  • Reverse Line Order
  • Remove All Spaces
  • Remove All Whitespace

The new search history feature gives users access to the last 25 searches, making it straightforward to convert interactive searches into custom cleaner find and replace actions.

QuickClean provides a quick way to associate shortcuts to a collection of cleaners. Users can select a custom or built-in group to have the shortcuts (cmd-1 thru cmd-9) associated with the first 9 cleaners.

TextSoap requires macOS 10.10 or later. The 8.1 update is free to all TextSoap 8 customers. Retail price for TextSoap 8.1 is $44.99 (USD) and can be purchased directly from Unmarked Software.