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29
Jun

1849 Quick Review: A charming, little old Western resource management Game


I miss Railroad Tycoon; the game epitomized resource management more than any other game I have played since then, and there haven’t been many games that have even bothered to explore such mechanics. Thankfully, 1849 intends to somewhat take on that mantle with a charming Western vibe, except without the trains. You join America just as […]

29
Jun

Peter Molyneux says that mobile free-to-play games “confuse their audience” and “monetise Addiction”


One of the most intriguing, and at times eccentric, personalities in the game design business is Peter Molyneux. The current head of the 22 cans indie development studio spoke at the Gamelab conference held in Barcelona and gave his 2 cents on mobile free-to-play games and how the games industry as a whole struggles to innovate. […]

29
Jun

Estonia will hand out digital ID cards to non-residents


Estonia's digital ID card

Digital ID cards are still a rarity in most countries, but they’re a staple of everyday life in Estonia — locals use them for everything from e-voting to buying mass transit tickets. You currently have to live in the country to take advantage of these cards, however, and that’s creating a real problem for non-residents wanting to set up shop. To solve this, Estonia now plans to hand out this identification to non-residents at the end of 2014, making it the first country to have a globally relevant digital ID. So long as applicants can provide the same biometric data and documents (along with a fee of around €30 to €50), they’ll get either a card or a digital-only equivalent they can store on a smartphone’s SIM card.

The UK and other countries have pushed for digital cards before, but they’ve typically been shot down due to high costs, fears about government spying or both — needless to say, those worries have only gotten worse in recent years. It’s doubtful Estonia’s global ID concept will spread to other countries in the near future as a result. With that said, the move is likely to boost not just the country’s own welfare, but those of many people abroad. Getting that identity lets you quickly launch or participate in a business, authenticate on many local web services and even send heavily encrypted email. The nation hopes to have 10 million of these virtual Estonians (nearly eight times its actual population of 1.3 million) by 2025, so it’s clearly counting on a lot of interest in its technology.

Filed under: Misc, Internet

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Via: The Economist

Source: Taavikotka

29
Jun

Be careful what you buy: Australian woman’s death blamed on rip-off USB Charger


We’ve all seen it before: electronics goods being sold for far cheaper than the retail equivalent. Normally we wouldn’t think twice about buying the cheaper alternative, but a woman has been electrocuted to death in North Gosford, Australia this week, and a rip-off USB charger has been determined to be the root cause. Using a charger […]

29
Jun

Download and install Android L’s “Heads up!” notifications on any Android 4.3+ device


heads up notifications___

It’s quite obvious Google I/O is Google’s biggest event of the year and one of the biggest tech events in general. This year Google had lots to say, they announced a bunch of stuff, but Andorid “L” preview was one of the biggest, definitely. Developers are apparently working 24/7 in order to bring some of that “L” preview to users which don’t own a Nexus 5 or 7, in other words those who can’t install Android “L” developers preview or don’t want to bother doing that.

Android “L” keyboard landed in the Google Play Store yesterday and now we get “Heads up!” notifications the same way. This app is brought to you by a developer called “Woodblock without Co.” and was first announced on XDA, where you can still preview it and download it for free. If you don’t want that hastle, you can get it directly via Google Play Store, though it will cost you $1 to get it from there. This is a small price to pay, plus you’d be supporting the developer.

There are lots of options within the app, you can whitelist/blacklist apps and even set the app to show you heads up notification while you’re in fullscreen mode within a certain app. This application is really packed as we said, but don’t take our word for it, if you want some of that Android L goodness, follow the links and see for yourself!

Source & download 1: XDA
Download 2: Google Play Store

The post Download and install Android L’s “Heads up!” notifications on any Android 4.3+ device appeared first on AndroidGuys.

29
Jun

Feedback Loop: It’s Google all the way down!


This week’s edition of Feedback Loop is nearly all Google. We dish on Android “L,” debate whether smartwatches are even useful, wonder if Android TV will save smart televisions, fondly remember our friend Aereo and talk about the games we’ve picked up during Steam’s Summer Sale. Head past the break to talk about all this and more with Engadget readers like you.

Let’s talk about Android ‘L’

Google showed off a preview of its new mobile operating system, Android L. With a new, unified design language, deeper ties into web applications and new ways to manage things like battery life, it’s a pretty exciting time to be an Android user. Have you had a chance to install “L” yet? Head over to the Engadget Forums and share your impressions!

Legitimate uses for smartwatches

One of the big things Google pushed during this year’s Google I/O was its Android Wear initiative, which encompasses everything from fitness trackers to smartwatches. With so many major hardware manufacturers making wearables, this prompted us to ask: What are some legitimate uses for smartwatches?

Will Android TV make smart televisions actually usable?

Nearly every HDTV on the market today has some sort of “smart” feature built in. This includes things like YouTube, Netflix and ESPN apps. The problem? These embedded features are often slow, clunky and never updated. This is why some of us are pretty excited about Android TV. What does Google’s latest attempt at conquering our living room mean for the future of TV?

Aereo deemed illegal by the US Supreme Court

Speaking of television, earlier in the week the United States Supreme Court ruled that Aereo was in violation of the 1976 Copyright Act, forcing the service to shut down. It’s a disappointing decision for those of us who’ve wanted to see a viable competitor to traditional cable television cartels companies. Sadly, this looks like the end of Aereo as we know it. Do you think the Supreme Court made the right decision?

Get anything good during Steam’s Summer Sale?

Steam’s annual Summer Sale wraps up soon. There’s a ridiculous number of great games that can be yours for super cheap! It’s something we find ourselves getting excited about each year. Have you picked up anything good? Or maybe you’re looking to meet some new people to do battle with? Head over to the Engadget forums and share which games you’ve added to your library (but probably won’t play).

Other discussions you may also like:

That’s all this week! Want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!

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29
Jun

No OEM Skins Allowed For Android Wear, Android Auto, or Android TV


Moto-360-and-Lg-G-watch

I’m a big proponent of the stock feel, in terms of the UI of any device I use. On my iPhone i jailbreak to get tweaks, and change little things here or there, but never anything major, because I just don’t like it. With the exception of a couple of manufacturers, most Android devices today have some type of OEM Skin over top of the Android OS. Samsung has TouchWiz (don’t get me started), HTC has Sense, and then you have companies like Kyocera or LG who have unnamed skin overlays. I won’t go on a random tangent about TouchWiz, but just know that I despise it, and I’m kind of loving Sense on my HTC One M8, but have been contemplating throwing a GPE ROM on there just for the stock experience on that device.

Fresh off the heels of Google I/O, where Google presented Android Wear, Android Auto, and reintroduced Android TV to the world, questions began springing up left and right. I saw the same question asked by different people all over social media. The question is, will OEM skins be used on these new platforms that Google has announced. This got me thinking a bit. Will Samsung really try and do something horrific with Android TV? What would happen to an OEM skin in any of the Android Auto participants?

Thankfully, Google has come out and stated that OEM skins will not be allowed for Android Wear, Auto, or TV. This has me, and many others rejoicing. The biggest issue that I have is the same issue that I have with TouchWiz. If I purchase an Android TV, or in the future, Android TV is built into whatever TV I’m purchasing, what is going to happen to the Android UI? How bad will it become? Yes, I know I’m being pessimistic, and someone could come out and build something great to go over the Android UI, but I don’t think it’s necessary, and I wouldn’t want to take the chance.

Google’s engineering director, David Burke, in an interview with Ars Technica, stated the following about Android TV specifically:

“The UI is more part of the product in this case. We want to just have a very consistent user experience, so if you have one TV in one room and another TV in another room and they both say Android TV, we want them to work the same and look the same… The device manufacturers can brand it, and they might have services that they want to include with it, but otherwise it should be the same.”

This right here is EXACTLY how I feel about Android as a whole. Why have two different manufacturers, with two different skins on top of the same base? Nine times out of 10, the devices will not work cohesively, and it will end having a negative impact on the consumer, which is bad for everyone. Another worry that I had was that Samsung was going to try to do too much with their Samsung Gear Live, and make it an unusable experience for someone who wants to get that watch, specifically.

Source: Ars Technica

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The post No OEM Skins Allowed For Android Wear, Android Auto, or Android TV appeared first on AndroidGuys.

29
Jun

These wireless bone-conducting headphones let you listen while you listen


Kickstarter, it’s a funny old place. A weird soup of real ingenuity and beermat ideas. Headbones might initially sound like it’ll fall in the latter camp, but you’d be wrong. Once you know they’re bone conducting headphones, the name reveals its clever twist. Yes, you may have seen bone conducting buds before, but Damson audio (who already makes related products) has added a few neat features that make Headbones worth a look. Headbones (we just like saying it now) are Bluetooth enabled, and have a 3.5mm passthrough, so you can add “wireless” to existing buds too, should you so desire.

A built in microphone means Headbones works as a hands-free for your phone, and it’s estimated you can natter/listen for 10 hours per charge. Damson hopes the sporty crew will like these, and bendy ear hooks and an IPX5 water resistant rating means that they should. As you can see from the photo, we got to check a prototype in person, so we know they’re real (and they work!). The ingenious part? a special soundproofing technology means Headbones can run at higher volume without irritating audio leak — happy you, happy people around you. We’ll say it one last time: Headbones.

Filed under: Home Entertainment, Wearables

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Source: Kickstarter

29
Jun

[Download] Android L ‘Heads Up’ Notifications Now Available for Devices Running Android 4.3+


Android L is storming through the Android Community, and some of you are probably already enjoying it by flashing the Android L Developer Preview onto your Nexus. One key feature Google talked about during the Google I/O keynote, were enhanced notifications. The notification drop-down has been rehashed, as well as they added those notifications to […]

29
Jun

What ‘Ultra High-Definition’ really means


In yet another successful attempt at making the Quad HD / 4K / Ultra HD situation as clear as mud, this week the CEA updated its official… definition of the term “Ultra High-Definition.” The original spec was established in late 2012 just as the first high-res TVs debuted, and now the expanded “updated core characteristics” will let customers know the TV or player they’re buying is actually capable of playing high-res video content. What’s new is that Ultra HD TVs, monitors and projectors have to be able to upscale HD (1080p) video to Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160), decode HEVC, have at least one HDMI input that supports Ultra HD video input at 24, 30 and 60fps and that can decode the HDCP 2.2 DRM that super-sharp video will require. Not up on all of the acronyms and buzzwords? Whether it’s a stream from Netflix or Amazon, a broadcast over cable or satellite or some new version of Blu-ray, if your new TV has the logo this fall, you’ll be ready for it — simple, right?

Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD, Samsung, Sony, LG

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Source: CEA

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