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25
May

Feel Flappy Bird-like frustration in Geometry Dash [App of the Day]


geometry dash_featured

I bet most of you have played the infamous Flappy Bird, the most wrote and talked about mobile game in the last year or so, for sure. We’ll hear from Flappy Bird in the forseeable future for sure, until that time I’ve unfortunately stumbled upon a game that gave me more grief than that darn bird.

geometry_dash_prva

Geometry Dash is simple action platformer game that has a similar principle to Flappy Bird, you have to tap the screen at the right time to avoid all kinds of obstacles. Unlike Flappy obstacles here are not all the same, we have all kinds of obstacles though they are mostly spike variations of all sorts. Trust me when I tell you that the levels will feel different when you play the game, it’s definitely not repetitive, you can even customize your character. I can’t say I got far in the game because I’m probably one of the worst players that have ever played it, but it never felt boring, just extremely, extremely annoying… did I say extremely yet?

geometry_dash_druga

There are 2 versions of the game, free lite version and a full version that will set you back about $2. You’ll get lots more fun in the full version though, like building your own levels for example and it will also rid you of ads for example. You can find a full list of features for each version in the links below.

The post Feel Flappy Bird-like frustration in Geometry Dash [App of the Day] appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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25
May

Following Microsoft, Sony’s PlayStation business officially enters China


It’s only been about a month since Microsoft announced that it’ll be bringing the Xbox to China come September, courtesy of the local government lifting its somewhat lax ban on imported video games and consoles. Today, Sony finally confirmed that the PlayStation will indeed be joining Redmond’s console in the Far East. Just like Microsoft’s collaboration with China’s BesTV, Sony’s also be working with a local company called Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development (OPCD in short). As pointed out by Sina Tech, the interesting thing is that both BesTV and OPCD are part of the massive Shanghai Media Group.

Sony and OPCD’s joint venture will form two companies: one to manage the manufacturing and sales of the hardware, and the other to manage the services plus the sales, licensing, distribution and R&D of the software. Sony China will own 70 percent of the newly formed Sony Computer Entertainment (Shanghai) (which presumably handles the non-hardware part), but just 49 percent of the other new company dubbed Shanghai Oriental Pearl Sony Computer Entertainment Culture Development.

As you’d expect, the announcement stresses that the joint venture “will introduce quality, healthy games that are suitable to China’s national conditions and the preferences of domestic players, as according to the relevant government policies.” This means we’ll likely see many censored PlayStation games over there (and also fewer games in general), plus our guess is that the consoles might not even be compatible with games released in other countries. That said, it’s worth remembering that Nintendo’s China joint venture, iQue, never applied this kind of regional restriction onto the DS and 3DS it sold there.

What’s unclear is when and which of the PlayStation products will officially hit the stores in China, but given Sony’s earlier attempts plus its long preparation for this launch, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Japanese company beats Microsoft to the race here.

Filed under: Gaming, Sony

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Via: Engadget Chinese

Source: SSE (Chinese PDF)

25
May

IRL: A few weeks with HTC’s One M8 Harman Kardon Edition


IRL: A few weeks with HTC's One M8 Harman Kardon Edition

When HTC CEO Peter Chou first confirmed the existence of the Harman Kardon edition One M8 at a small press event in New York City, I leaned over to a reporter friend sitting next to me and mouthed a few choice expletives. Wasn’t this Sprint event supposed to be about Spotify? And HD Voice? Where the hell was this coming from? After a few weeks of using the thing, I’m still not entirely sure why this needs to exist… but I’m sort of glad it does.

Let’s back up for a moment first: What’s new about the Harman Kardon edition One? It’s nearly identical to the version we reviewed back in March, albeit with a few twists. There’s the kinda, sorta fetching black-and-champagne trim, for one. It may just be my finicky fingertips, but I can’t shake the notion that the Harman Kardon One’s black finish feels just a little smoother than the gunmetal gray that graces nearly ever other M8 floating around out there. The cosmetics are just a distraction, though — this One’s apparent raison d’être is to knock the socks off audio buffs who just can’t deal with lousy, compressed mobile music quality.

I’ll admit it: I was a skeptic at first. BoomSound did wonders for the original HTC One, but could the company capture some of the same lightning in a new bottle? Further testing revealed that yes, this One’s once-exclusive sound software really does make a difference… even if it’s not always what you were hoping for.

The Harman Kardon One’s musical might shines through thanks to two features you can toggle in the settings. Clari-Fi aims to lift your compressed audio tracks out of the mud, injecting additional oomph and dimension to the gems in your collection. It generally does a good job of it too: The feature manages to help my slew of MP3s sound brighter, more vivid and more alive. Clari-Fi seems to work mostly on mids and highs, so vocals seem crisper and rhythm sections seem bouncier and more percussive… even though thrumming basslines tend to get de-powered a hair. I did notice a dramatic difference as I worked through a spate of low bitrate mp3s, but the effect became more subtle once I started working with higher-quality examples. I’ll be the first to admit that my ears have taken a drubbing from years of loud Japanese rock, so it’s very possible you’d pick up on more nuanced shifts than I did — that said, Clari-Fi does make a difference. While we’re on the subject of high quality files, HTC also talked up this One’s faculty with incredibly high-fidelity 24-bit/192kHz FLAC files… files which I had a hard time finding in the first place. My small suite of FLAC test songs had to suffice, and the HK One rendered them just fine.

LiveStage is a different beast entirely, as it tries to make your music sound (what else?) more live and natural. The cynic would say it just adds more reverb to the mix… and that person wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. If you’re at all familiar with the sort of LiveAudio trickery Jawbone uses in its Jamboxes, you’ll feel right at home with LiveStage. The effect manages to impart your tracks with a little simulated depth, but it just doesn’t jibe with some songs that have been mixed in particular ways — they’ll feel different, and not necessarily right. Perhaps it’s best to think of it as a mixed blessing: LiveStage can make a track sound more lifelike and atmospheric at the cost of losing some of its sheer oomph. Oh, and a minor niggle: When Clari-Fi and LiveStage are enabled, the status bar can get so crowded that the time actually gets pushed off the screen.

All of this hinges on having a solid pair of headphones to work with, and the Harman Kardon AE earbuds that come in the box (boom, you just saved about $80) are no slouch. Despite the crisp mids, jubilant highs, and rumbling basslines these ‘buds bring to the table, they can be a little quirky. Take the clearly marked controls on the in-line mic, to start: the two buttons are emblazoned with plus and minus symbols that would normally correspond to volume controls but they actually change tracks instead. I also found that the included tips just don’t fit right for certain people, and its angular edges can dig into the fleshy cartilage of your ear without remorse.

So, with all that said, should you buy one? If you’re on Sprint and don’t mind a questionable color scheme, the Harman Kardon edition One is probably the way to go — you’re getting the same top-tier smartphone we know and love with a really solid pair of earbuds for an extra $30. Should you find the prospect of a two-toned phone utterly tacky, though, or if you’re handy enough to install all of that supposedly exclusive software on your lonesome, feel free to steer clear and save your money.

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, HTC

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25
May

Apple Forgets to Renew SSL Certificate, Breaking OS X Software Update


Several readers have noted a strange error message appearing when trying to perform software updates from the Mac App Store.

invalid-certificate

An Error has occurred

The certificate for this server is invalid. You might be connecting to a server that is pretending to be “swscan.apple.com” which could put you confidential information at risk.

Swscan.apple.com is one of several servers that Software Update uses to communicate with Apple. The apparent problem is that the security certificate for the server appears to have expired. Originally valid from May 22, 2012 to May 24, 2014. This is a problem that Apple will need to fix on their side. In the meanwhile, users can manually download updates from Apple’s support site.



25
May

Galaxy S5 Active appears on Twitter, posing once again


s5 active_evleaks

We’ve seen a few leaks of Samsung Galaxy S5 Active thus far, interestingly enough most of them happened within a week. First some pictures and videos leaked and not long after that some additional videos appeared.

This time around we have a press image of Galaxy S5 Active for AT&T, courtesy of @evleaks. We have a lot of info regarding this device thanks to numerous leaks in the last few days. Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is expected to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip along with 2GB of RAM, and a 16MP camera, basically a Galaxy S5 with some added ruggedness.

Is this device on your shopping list? Will you get it once it gets released?

SOURCE: @evleaks

The post Galaxy S5 Active appears on Twitter, posing once again appeared first on AndroidGuys.

25
May

Gadget Rewind 2007: Aliph Jawbone


In the years before texting’s domination of smartphones, the mobile-toting masses relied heavily on headsets and earpieces to stay connected. These people would often be seen shouting crazily into the air just so they’d be heard over environmental noise. That’s about the time Aliph arrived with a solution with its first Jawbone earpiece. It sported military-tested noise cancellation and bone-conduction sound tech, as well as clean styling from designer Yves Béhar. The first wired iteration showed up in 2004, offering an alternative to the “business basics” style that was typical of mobile headsets at the time. It wouldn’t be until 2007′s Consumer Electronics Show, however, that Aliph would give consumers a redesigned and colorful wireless option with the release of the Bluetooth-enabled Jawbone.

The Jawbone’s marquee feature was its ability to reduce ambient noise and transmit clear speech through its use of bone conduction. This nub rested against the wearer’s cheek helping to detect speech and assist the device’s noise-cancellation tech in deciding which other sounds to squash. While it reportedly worked like a charm, eliminating traffic, crowd and weed whacker-like machinery noise, some claimed it still fell victim to heavy winds. Many users were also annoyed that the volume buttons served to control other settings, thus complicating the interface. But, overall, it proved to be a comfortable fit and definitely served to enable those who would wear it all day long — even at the dinner table.

Newer versions of the headset continued to be released over the years and in 2010, Aliph branched out from the Bluetooth-enabled earpiece market with the launch of a portable speaker called the Jambox. It was a move that then prompted the company to drop the “Aliph” name altogether and rebrand itself entirely as Jawbone. That shift toward a broader focus on audio was a curious turn of strategy for Jawbone. The company primarily known for its noise-cancellation technology was now in the business of making boomboxes — devices specifically engineered to pump out the stuff its earpieces canceled out.


Did you own an Aliph Jawbone? Add it to your Engadget profile as a device you had (or still have) and join the discussion to reminisce or share photos of your device with other like-minded gadget fans.

Filed under: Mobile

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25
May

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: hybrid Batmobile, self-cleaning fish tank and an anatomical Barbie


Clean tech fans were thrilled this week when Germany proved it’s possible to power the world with greener energy by announcing that 74 percent of its energy was recently met with renewable sources. But if you still have doubts about the future of renewable energy, a new report from the International Energy Agency predicts that solar energy could become the biggest generator of electricity worldwide by 2050 if the right policies are put in place. Meanwhile in Baltimore, they are using solar energy to help tackle pollution. The new solar-powered Water Wheel Trash Interceptor is ready to pull a whopping 50,000 pounds out of the water, which the city hopes will make its harbor swimmable again. In developing countries that lack access to any kind of fossil fuels, this solar-powered pump is helping to produce clean, drinkable water.

In transportation news, Sweden recently proposed adding Water Buses to its residents’ public transportation options — wouldn’t that be an awesome way to commute? Indianapolis recently became home to the country’s largest electric car-sharing program, patterned after the very successful Autolib’ in Paris. Lucky residents of Brooklyn got a chance to test drive the world’s first electric wooden bicycle. Featuring sustainably harvested wood and a powerful electric motor, it’s the most beautiful way to avoid car traffic we’ve ever seen. Speaking of traffic, a city in Sweden recently announced plans to give residents free bikes as a way to help reduce the number of cars on the road. Some people still think electric motors and high performance remain mutually exclusive, but that stereotype won’t last for long with the Lightning LS-218 on the road. With a 200-horsepower electric motor and a top speed of 216 MPH, this superbike is not just the world’s fastest production electric motorcycle, but it also holds the world land speed record as the fastest production motorcycle period. The only thing that might beat it is a hybrid Batmobile.

It’s a busy time of year for the world’s designers. Hundreds converged in New York recently to showcase their innovations, including interesting new developments in energy-efficient lighting, like these incredible pendant lamps and chandeliers made from OLEDs (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes). While some designers experiment with new materials, such as in this lamp grown entirely from mushrooms, others are looking for the perfect lighting technology. This mesmerizing moon lamp from Raw Studio shines a light on new LED technology that is just as warm as the phased-out incandescents. Nature and technology play well together in this self-cleaning fish tank that also grows delicious herbs, and these magnetic ruler blocks from student Carlos Ng are sure to unleash your inner architect. Sometimes it’s the purely conceptual designs that catch our attention — like this creepy, but fascinating, anatomical Barbie that shows what this oddly shaped doll’s anatomy would look like if she were real.

With summer right around the corner, SMS addicts will be excited to learn about the GroupMe app that lets you chat with a whole group of people at a time (for free) and these affordable SmileSolar watches from Q&Q that only need one hour in the sun to pump out three months of battery. Lots of people will be spending more time outdoors and exposing their skin to the sun. This drinkable sunscreen claims to protect your skin from the inside out and these solar-powered sunglasses will alert you if you try to leave them behind. Nice weather means more bike rides, too. Keep your two-wheel steed safe with this solar-powered bike lock of the future while you work on your abs at this free outdoor gym that popped up on the East River Waterfront Esplanade. These mouth-watering vegan BBQ dishes are sure to be a hit at any summer soiree, and California’s State Mascot can show you how to save energy when the weather gets hot. Can’t get outside? These gorgeous beach ball lamps bring summer fun to any space.

Filed under: Misc, Science

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25
May

European HTC One M8 gets a stability update


HTC One M8 Gray Gold

The version of the HTC One M8 dedicated to Europe is starting to see its first major software update release which focuses on a number of stability fixes. The European HTC One M8 handsets are getting the 66MB update bringing it to version 1.54.401.10.

Here’s what that update brings:

  • System improvements
    • Radio stability improvement
  • Application improvements
    • Camera stability
    • Video highlight stability
    • FM Radio stability
    • Weather app barometer update

Everything seems to be under-the-hood improvements as far as the 66MB gets you, but if you notice anything fundamentally different, drop us a comment below.

The post European HTC One M8 gets a stability update appeared first on AndroidGuys.

25
May

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review: Where Xbox One and mobile audio compatibility Meet



Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset ReviewIt’s currently a very lonely place to be a gaming headset for the Xbox One; Microsoft neglected to release any decent audio products with its next gen console, so that responsibility has fallen to third party manufacturers like Turtle Beach to sort out. The Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven gaming headset (along with its smaller brother, the XO Four) was one of the first audio devices released for the Xbox One, and as an added bonus, has been made to be compatible with mobile devices. Let’s see if the XO Seven has decent enough mobile credentials to warrant your time and money.

What’s in the box

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset ReviewAs always, Turtle Beach again makes the case that opening your boxes should be a pantomine event and the XO Seven box does not disappoint. While the XO Seven has less gear in the box than the i60 (read the full review of the i60 here), there’s still a lot of substance to the contents which include the headset, a Xbox One controller adapter and an assortment of cables to suit your chosen mode of gaming, either Xbox One or mobile (or even just listening to music).

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset ReviewYou’ll find your XO Seven headset nestled in the bosom of the moulded packaging and beneath it, you will find the various included cables and adapters. The XO Seven is a solid over-the-ear headphone affair that follows the design methodology of Turtle Beach’s other Seven series headsets, giving it quite a lot of size. To wear, I found the XO Seven extremely comfortable, probably the most comfortable headset I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing this year so far; more on that later.

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset ReviewWith equal parts of black leather and black plastic, the XO Seven looks like a menacing piece of audio hardware, which is only accentuated by the lime green highlights used throughout the headset. This colour scheme extends to the braided cable, which is also extremely tough and well shielded. There’s a fair amount of memory foam both on the earcups and the headband that all add to the comfort of the XO Seven.

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset ReviewIf the all black decor isn’t exactly to your liking, the XO Seven also allows you to remove the faceplates of the earcups and replace them with other ones supplied by Turtle Beach, and typically feature games that Turtle Beach is the official audio provider for, like Titanfall, or just movie deals, like the Avengers.

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review

As for the accessories that you will get with the XO Seven, you’ll get one cable that you can use to connect to mobile devices, one cable to connect to the Xbox One controller adapter, a headset boom microphone that attaches to the headset, and inexplicably, a micro-USB cable, which I can only assume is for use with mobile devices (though only with Android). I’m a bit torn on Turtle Beach’s decision to include a removable mic; while it’s great that the microphone is removable so that it isn’t in the way when you’re using it with mobile devices, it’s a bit of a bother to be removing it and replacing it if you’re using it regularly.

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset ReviewWhile I wasn’t able to give the XO Seven a proper run as a Xbox One headset, in large part due to the fact that I do not yet own a Xbox One, the controller adapter appears to be of solid construction with quite a few buttons mounted on the adapter itself to help make quick changes to both audio and chat volumes during your gaming sessions.

How does it sound

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset ReviewApart from the game and chat options available to the Xbox One adapter, the XO Seven doesn’t have much else in the way of electronic audio smarts. What it does have, however, is passive noise cancellation courtesy of its “noise-isolating memory foam ear cushions” which do an amazing job of blocking out about 80% of the noise that is happening around you; the sound coming out of the 50mm audio drivers will easily take care of the remaining 20%. In fact, more than once, I’ve used the XO Seven to specifically block out extraneous sounds, making it a perfect headset for game immersion or just general audio immersion.


Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming HeadsetDespite the fact that the XO Seven’s are ‘only’ stereo, I found the sound to be extremely impressive. While not on the same level as the i60, the XO Seven still does an impressive job with the full range of sounds. Mids and highs are sharp and crisp, though as a gaming headset, the bass is of course accentuated, though not overwhelmingly so. Overall, I had no issues using the XO Seven to listen to a range of music genres on my mobile device including rock, pop and the occasional classic symphony. I thoroughly enjoyed the audio experience I got from the XO Seven; while there are definitely better headphones for specifically listening to music, the passive noise cancellation of the XO Seven’s makes sure that any disadvantage that they might have had due to noise leakage is minimized.

What I like about the Ear Force XO Seven

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming HeadsetI mentioned earlier that the XO Seven is one of the most comfortable headphones I’ve tried this year, and that’s mostly thanks to the way the headband is designed. While most headphones are designed so that the headband comes straight out of the earcups, the XO Seven headband has a slight forward tilt relative to the earcup orientation. This means that the headband sits slightly further forward than usual, not on the top of your head but rather the front slope of your skull. I’m a huge fan of this layout and I was happy to use the XO Seven for hours at a time with no complaints whatsoever. The fit may have been on the tight side, but the leather cushioning on the earcups and headband stopped any stress points from eventuating.

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming HeadsetThe XO Seven looks like its built to last; every part of the headset looks like it is beefed up so it can take some serious pounding, whether that’s through travelling or angry gamers getting, well, angry. I’m a big fan of chunkier headsets and the XO Seven ticks all the boxes, including a super-wide headband to distribute some of those head stresses.

What I don’t like about the Ear Force XO Seven

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming HeadsetAlthough it is advertised as mobile compatible, just about the only things additional that make the XO Seven “mobile” is the inclusion of the breakaway mobile cable. The connection that joins the cable to the headset contains two notable features, the answer call button and an in line microphone so you don’t have to lug around the boom mic. While that’s definitely better than some allegedly mobile compatible headsets out there, with such a large breakaway connection, I would have expected a few more gizmos and gadgets, like a volume wheel or something similar.

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset ReviewAs I mentioned earlier, the boom mic isn’t the most convenient thing to have to remove and replace every time you want to use it. Naturally, if you’re using it exclusively for Xbox One play, this won’t be an issue at all. However, for those who want to use it interchangeably between Xbox One and mobile devices, it’s a bit of a hindrance.

Final Thoughts

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset ReviewI definitely have a soft spot for the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset; while it might not have the best quality sound of all the headsets available for the Xbox One and it’s not always the most practical headset, it’s incredibly comfortable and is built to survive some serious punishment. Marketed as Turtle Beach’s premium Xbox One option, the XO Seven is priced accordingly at $159.95 USD, compared to the $99.95 XO Four, where all the quality is in the details. If you’re in the market for something for your Xbox One that can be also used for your mobile device, the XO Seven is a hard choice to overlook.

If you’re interested in picking up the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset, be sure to visit its product page here, or to check out Turtle Beach’s range of other gaming products, you can visit their homepage here.

Gallery of photos

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review


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25
May

US considers blocking Chinese nationals from hacking conferences


Following its decision to charge five Chinese officials for allegedly stealing trade secrets, the US is apparently ready take further action. Reuters reports that the US government may impose visa restrictions on Chinese computer experts, stopping them from attending the high-profile Def Con and Black Hat hacking conferences in August. Black Hat currently has three Chinese speakers lined up to present, while Def Con has none on its roster. The move is said to be part of a “broader effort to curb Chinese cyber espionage,” after cybercriminals were said to have infiltrated six American private-sector companies to help give Chinese state-owned firms a competitive advantage. Organizers of both events, which include the founder of Def Con and Black Hat Jeff Moss, were unaware of the government’s plans, but Moss did note on Twitter that such actions would not help build a “positive community.” While an official block has yet to be imposed, stopping Chinese nationals already in the country from attending could prove difficult: Def Con’s privacy-conscious setup requires attendees to pay using only cash and they never have to share their name.

[Image credit: Randomwire, Flickr]

Filed under: Internet

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Via: Ars Technica

Source: Reuters

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