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3
Jul

Rejuvenate your math skills today with Sum


Every now and then your brain needs sum good challenges. The Alzheimer’s Association says:

Mental decline as you age appears to be largely due to altered connections among brain cells. But research has found that keeping the brain active seems to increase its vitality and may build its reserves of brain cells and connections. You could even generate new brain cells.

Sum isn’t the definitive end all of brain games, but it’s a great game to stretch sum of those cerebral synapses with.

The premise is fairly simple. There are 5 tokens with numbers on them. You must find 3 tokens. The first token is the one that the numbers add up to. The second and third tokens are the numbers that add up to the first token. From there it is pretty simple. You have 3 game modes that each has five levels of difficulty.

Sum Overview:

There are 3 game modes in Sum.

Classic: This mode gives you 90 seconds on the clock to score as high as possible. For each correct answer, you get 3 seconds added to the remaining time and points. The faster you answer the problem correctly, the more points you receive. If you answer a problem incorrectly, five seconds are deducted from the remaining time. You also only get 3 chances to correctly answer a problem.

Rush: This is very similar to the classic mode, except you get a flat 90 seconds on the clock without and deductions or additions to the clock.

Infinity: This mode has no clock period and will allow you to learn the mechanics of the game without the pressure of the time clock.

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Sum setup

The game is very to easy to install. Just download it from Google Play and follow the prompts. You can sign in to Play Games as well, but it is not necessary to play the game. The developer Cyber Sky made sure to incorporate all the material design elements found in Lollipop. That ends up translating into a super easy to navigate app. They even added an extensive tutorial to help you understand how to play the game. I personally recommend that you take the time to read the tutorial. The concept of selecting the sum first can take a little getting used to.

Who will enjoy Sum

I’m not sure if I personally would call this game fun, at least not in the traditional sense. It’s more of a challenge than anything. The game features leader-boards, achievements, and Google’s Play Games integration. This is where the fun enters in a non-traditional sense. You can compare your scores against your friends that use the app and sign into Google. Good old competition can make any game fun. So if you enjoy competing with your friends, or just a good old challenge, then this game is for you.

What we liked

  • The mental challenge
  • Material Design
  • Play Games integration

Room for improvement

  • A leveling up system would make it more interesting

Overall

This is an enjoyable app and its totally worth the price, but you’ll want to invite your friends to play along with you or you might lose interest.

The post Rejuvenate your math skills today with Sum appeared first on AndroidGuys.

3
Jul

First alleged image of Android-powered BlackBerry Venice surfaces


Could BlackBerry be making the Android device we’ve all been waiting for?

With a 5.4-inch screen, Snapdragon 808 SoC, 3GB of RAM, Adreno 418 GPU, and a slide-out PHYSICAL KEYBOARD, could the BlackBerry Venice finally be the device that sees the company resurrect themselves in the market?

The device will be available by this November and will offer a feature that BlackBerry are renowned for (their keyboard) on an operating system that has the developers, community, and adoption that BlackBerry so longed for with their previous operating system.

However, BlackBerry have been dabbling in Android virtualisation for a while. so it could be possible that the message has been lost in translation and it will still run BlackBerry’s own OS, but capable of hooking into Android apps, which would be disappointing. If the BlackBerry Venice truely is the companys’ first true Android device, then we’re looking at a device that, if executed correctly, could help BlackBerry back to the winning ways.

The post First alleged image of Android-powered BlackBerry Venice surfaces appeared first on AndroidGuys.

3
Jul

Waterfield ‘Dash MacBook Sleeve’ Review: Slim With Adequate Protection for 12-Inch MacBook [Mac Blog]


Since its debut in April, the new 12-inch Retina MacBook hasn’t seen that much in the way of functional, protective travel cases showing up either online or in brick-and-mortar stores. Fortunately, San Francisco-based accessory manufacturer Waterfield has released not just a single travel sleeve for Apple’s newest MacBook, but an entire line of bags and cases for early adopters of the device.

Waterfield Review 2
Waterfield sent me the “Dash MacBook Sleeve” to review, and the case is covered in a black ballistic nylon outer shell but houses a plush, smooth inner liner to ensure your brand-new MacBook won’t scratch or scuff while resting inside the case. The Dash’s backside comes packed with a mesh netting that will hold accessories like cables and headphones, and to ensure your MacBook doesn’t tumble out, there’s a single elastic band attached on top.

Waterfield Review 1
After a few days taking my MacBook around with the Dash sleeve, I barely have any big quibbles with the case. While certainly a downside for some, I found Waterfield’s decision to stick to stark, bare-bones color options — all-black or with a copper trim — refreshing over some of the more out-there case options on the market. Notable as well, the case barely gains any thickness while housing the Retina device, retaining the 12-inch MacBook’s sense of lightness even in a protected environment.
Read more »

3
Jul

How to Troubleshoot Apps Overusing Energy in OS X [Mac Blog]


Even though most developers work their hardest to ensure that the programs you download onto your Mac run smoothly, sometimes, things go wrong. One issue that may arise is an app using an exorbitant amount of energy or memory, causing your Mac to overheat or suffer severe battery drain.

Sometimes, simply closing an app doesn’t do the trick. For example, if a program includes a helper tool, that tool may be the culprit. Closing the program may not solve the problem.

We’ve got a troubleshooting guide for finding out which apps are using the most percentage of processes on your computer.

Check Energy Consuming Apps

If you experience a fast drain on your MacBook’s battery, it may be caused by certain programs running in the background. While you may have intended to run something like Spotify, it is possible that you have a program open that you didn’t know about.

Apps using significant energy
You can quickly check to see which apps are using a significant amount of energy by left clicking on the battery icon in the upper right corner of your laptop’s tool bar. From the dropdown list, wait a few seconds until your Mac finishes collecting power usage information. Any apps that are using a lot of energy will be listed.

You can then find the app by searching in Finder and quit the program. Or, you can right click on the app to open Activity Monitor.
Read more »

3
Jul

Kindle Paperwhite review (2015): our favorite e-reader gets even better


Kindle Paperwhite review (2015): our favorite e-reader gets even better

When Amazon’s Kindle Voyage launched last year, I more or less fell in love with it right out of the gate. Sure, a handful of competitors came out with similar displays before Amazon did, but man — with that high-resolution screen and its sleek new looks, the Voyage was the first Kindle that ever felt really high-end. I didn’t stand a chance. Now, thanks to some trickle-down gadget economics, the new Kindle Paperwhite ($119 with ads, $139 without) just got a huge bump in screen resolution too. It was really only a matter of time, but now we’re left with a question to ponder: Is a new screen enough to catapult an already-very-good reader into the realm of greatness? Spoiler alert: I think it is.

Hardware

It’s been years since Amazon’s first Paperwhite Kindle hit the scene, and it’s a bit surprising how little has changed since then. In fact, if I pulled out this latest one and showed it to you with the screen off, you’d be hard-pressed to spot any differences. That curvy, soft-to-the-touch plastic body? The placement of the micro-USB port, power button and status light? How recessed the touchscreen is? All of these physical particulars have remained the same. In fact, the only differences of note between the 2015 Paperwhite and the original are the logos embossed on the back (they now say “Amazon” instead of “Kindle”) and the color of the Kindle logo right beneath the screen. The 2015 Paperwhite’s look is a classic case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and even a design snob like me is willing to give it a pass since it’s still lightweight and nestles nicely into the hand.

Of course, none of that means the Paperwhite’s design is perfect. I’m still a little miffed that Amazon didn’t enlarge the power button and slap it onto the back of the reader like it did with the Voyage. Instead, you’ve got to grope around for a tiny nub on the Paperwhite’s bottom edge, which gets old surprisingly quickly. The screen is also still recessed into the surface of the Paperwhite’s body, which can make flipping through pages ever so slightly jarring — your finger often smacks right into the edge of that plastic bezel. Yes, I know: I’m picking nits here, but Amazon really nailed the Kindle design with the Voyage. How long until that stuff trickles down too?

Anyway, before your eyes take all that minutiae in, they’ll probably settle on the 6-inch E Ink screen. This year, Amazon pumped the resolution of the Paperwhite’s screen up to 300 pixels per inch, which makes for the same super-crisp text and visuals I gushed over when the high-falutin’ Kindle Voyage debuted last year. It was only a matter of time, really, but that shouldn’t diminish the quality of what we’ve got here; the thing looks great. There have been some under-the-hood improvements too, although they’re tougher to spot unless you put a slew of Kindles side by side (we’ll get to that shortly). Meanwhile, you’ve still got 4GB of storage for your digital library, and you can opt for a model with a built-in 3G radio for $70 extra.

Display and performance

It always feels weird to lump the display and performance categories together, but with gadgets like this one, they’re inextricably linked. Since the new Paperwhite’s 300ppi screen is just as packed with pixels as the Voyage is, you might be tempted to gloss over this section — don’t. Yes, both Kindles offer crisp, highly readable text even when you dial down the text size, line spacing and margins. Try as I might, I couldn’t make out any difference in how finely text was rendered or how quickly pages refreshed. This meant lots of gushing over the Voyage out of me last year, and just about all of it applies here too. But are they identical? No way.

The Voyage’s display is a little more high-contrast, for one. It’s nigh impossible to tell when you’re just plowing through a novel, but the difference is more prominent if your books contain the occasional photo (or, if you’re brave enough to read manga on these things). No matter what image I pulled up, the Paperwhite always came away looking less nuanced and slightly washed out compared to its more expensive cousin. This certainly isn’t a dealbreaker, though, and it doesn’t impact performance outdoors; it’s just a reminder that Amazon had to keep costs down somehow.

For better or worse, the Paperwhite’s front-lighting system isn’t as bright as the Voyage’s either. That might sound like a pretty clear ding in the Paperwhite’s con column, but hear me out: I actually sort of like the fact that the screen’s a little dimmer. I can’t remember the last time I cranked up Voyage’s backlight all the way; it’s way too bright for reading in the wee, dark hours of the morning and it gave the screen a distinctly bluish tinge. I’m getting into persnickety Kindle purist territory here, but it just seemed like overkill. The restraint Amazon exercised this time around means that, even at maximum brightness, the Paperwhite’s pages look a little more like actual paper. (Whether or not companies like Amazon should slavishly attempt to recreate the look of mashed tree pulp is another argument entirely, but whatever; the screen is just peachy.)

Amazon seems to hate talking about the silicon that powers its Kindles, but I’m guessing the Paperwhite has the same processor and RAM as the Voyage since they’re more or less identically quick. Page flips (even fast and frenzied ones) never choked up the Paperwhite, nor did sifting through Amazon’s menus and book listings. It’s still not completely friction-free, but we’re getting very close. Naturally, none of this would mean much if it took a toll on the Paperwhite’s battery, but you can cast those worries aside — I’ve only topped up on juice once in the week and a half I’ve been testing it, and that’s only because the Kindle shipped half-charged.

Software

Honestly, this part’s going to be a little sparse. Amazon’s more a fan of occasional, over-the-air software updates so there’s not a whole lot here that we haven’t already seen. This year’s Paperwhite is the first Kindle to get the new “Bookerly” typeface (others will get it via software update soon), which is a sleeker, more spacious alternative to the default “Caecilia.” Oh, and when you first fire up the Paperwhite, it asks you if you want to turn on Word Wise, a feature that displays brief definitions above potentially tricky words. It’s a neat little thing that comes in handy if you’re trying to pick up English or plan on giving the Kindle to a kid, but it throws your line-spacing preferences out of whack.

The competition

This year’s Kindle Paperwhite is a fine blend of price and page-flipping performance, but keep a few other options in mind if you’re not sold just yet. The Amazon-averse out there will want to consider the Kobo Glo HD, which also sports 4GB of memory and the same 6-inch, 300ppi Carta screen as the Paperwhite for $130. Yes, that’s just a touch more than the most basic Paperwhite, but you’re getting a reader that comes free of ads and isn’t tied into Amazon’s tentacular e-commerce operation. Then there’s the other Kindle in Amazon’s lineup with a high-res screen: the Voyage. Even if its screen and backlighting system work a little differently than the Voyage, the Paperwhite just made its cousin irrelevant to all but the nerdiest e-paper buffs. Let’s run through the physical niceties that premium gets you: touch-sensitive buttons to turn pages, a much nicer design, an ambient light sensor and some chemically etched glass to cut down on that pesky glare. Really, though, it’s the screen that people will flock to, and the gap in performance is so small that you shouldn’t feel bad going Paperwhite over Voyage.

Wrap-up

This is the third Kindle Paperwhite in as many years, and it’s the first to bring a dramatic upgrade — that mostly lovely screen — into the fold. While the total package isn’t as whiz-bang impressive as its cousin the Voyage, it’s still easily the best bang for your Kindle-buying buck. If you’re cool with surrendering yourself to Amazon’s e-commerce empire and you’re not a raging e-book nerd like me, this decision is a no-brainer: Skip the basic Kindle and the Voyage. The Paperwhite works well, looks great and will make for a lovely summer reading buddy.

Filed under: Amazon

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3
Jul

This is the Nintendo PlayStation that almost was


It might seem crazy today, but in the early ’90s Nintendo and Sony were working together on a video game accessory that’d add CD capabilities to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. There would also be a separate Sony console that’d play SNES cartridge games and titles for the SNES CD system dubbed the PlayStation. As legend tells it, the deal went sour when Nintendo instead announced a partnership with Sony’s competitor Philips for the optical add-on at the same CES that Sony unveiled its Nintendo-centric PlayStation. The rest is history. What you see above might as well be a unicorn, then.

Reddit user Analogueboy recently posted pictures of what looks like a prototype of the original PlayStation, saying that it was in a box of his dad’s junk. Apparently his pops had worked with someone named Olaf who was employed by the Mario company, who then left the console behind in a box of rummage.

As many have reported, this Olaf could possibly be the founder of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson. That may or may not be true, but as far as we can tell this device isn’t a fake. There’s video evidence below and many more photos at the source link if you want to play detective for yourself.

Filed under: Gaming, Home Entertainment, HD, Sony, Nintendo

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Via: Reddit

Source: Assembler Games

3
Jul

Alleged OnePlus 2 render surfaces, shows off all-metal body


oneplus-one-unboxing-10-of-29

There’s certainly no shortage of OnePlus 2 rumors floating around the internet, especially because the official unveiling of the device is only a few short weeks away. It’s already been confirmed that the new smartphone will come with a fingerprint scanner, a Snapdragon 810 v2.1 processor and a USB Type-C port, though we have yet to hear any official word of the device’s chassis.

Just yesterday, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau teased on his Weibo account that the OnePlus 2 may in fact come with an all-metal design, though speculation beyond that teaser has been pretty scarce so far. Today, it looks like we’re getting another piece of information that may back up that rumor, thanks to an alleged leaked render of the new smartphone on Weibo:

OnePlus 2 render

Taking a look at the render, we can see that the device closely resembles the HTC One M8 and M9 with its all-metal chassis. Aside from the materials, though, we’re not seeing too much that stands out – a rear-facing camera, a volume rocker on the right-hand side, as well as a standard 3.5mm headphone jack up top. Although the render isn’t the best quality leak we’ve ever seen, it still may give us a glimpse of what’s to come with OnePlus’ next flagship.

It should be noted that we can’t vouch for the validity of this leak in any way, so we need to be sure to take this with a grain of salt. There’s a possibility that this could actually be the real deal, but it also may be a fan-made concept image. There’s no way of knowing for sure, so all we can do right now is speculate.

Keeping in mind the confirmed specifications of the device, do you think you’d be interested in the OnePlus 2 if it came with an all-metal build, similar to what we’ve seen on HTC’s flagship devices? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

3
Jul

[Deal] Spigen hosting sitewide sale for Independence Day this weekend


spigen_independence_day_sale_2015

Take a moment away from the Independence Day fun this weekend to take a look at Spigen’s massive amount of products. The accessories maker is hosting a sitewide sale that starts today and runs through Sunday. This means that you will be saving on cases, covers, bags, screen protectors, and more.

Only clearance items are excluded from the sale that requires promo code FREEDOM25.

[Spigen]

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3
Jul

The best Lightning cable


This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read the full article below at TheWirecutter.com

After measuring the charging speed of nearly 50 Lightning cables and sending the top 11 to our electrical engineer for teardown analysis, the $9 Anker Lightning to USB Cable is the one we’d buy. Its Lightning-connector plug will work with almost any case, and it costs less than half of what you’d pay for Apple’s cables. Plus, it’s built with a stress-relief collar that’s molded with the plastic plug housing, meaning it should be sturdier than the competition.

How we tested

Testing the charge rate of each Lightning cable.

After combing through thousands of cables, we tested the cables’ charge rates by plugging them into a USB power monitor connected to a 12-watt adapter, which told us whether or not both iPads and iPhones would be charged at full speed from each cable. Next, we tested to see if the Lightning plug would fit in Lifeproof’s Fré, a case with notoriously small port openings. Our electrical engineering consultant, Sam Gordon, then evaluated the internal structures of each cable for components such as braided wires and electromagnetic shielding.

Our pick

Anker’s Lightning to USB Cable is inexpensive, well-built from the cord to the stress-relief collar, which protects the cable from damage caused by bending near the connector port. Apple’s cables are notorious for breaking in this way. In our power draw tests, Anker’s cable consistently carried a charge of 2.4 amps to an iPad Air. While some cables performed as well in this regard, none did any better. This high speed ensures any iPhone, iPod, or iPad will charge as quickly as it can, as long as it’s plugged in to a high-voltage power source.

The one drawback of the Anker is the size of its Lightning-connector housing, which is about 1mm thicker than Apple’s cable and 0.7mm wider. For most cases, this won’t matter, but we did find it too large for the tiny opening on the Lifeproof Fré.

The runner-up

Testing with Lifeproof Frē and iPhone 5.

The Dynex’s 3 Charge/Sync Cable with Lightning Connector ($13) is an acceptable runner-up if the Anker is unavailable. It charges just as quickly as the Anker cable and feels just as durable, but it’s more expensive to ship. It’s a great option if you need something quick from a brick-and-mortar store.

A shorter option

Top to bottom: short cables from Monoprice and Insignia.

If you’d rather have something short and stubby that’ll easily fit in a bag without having to be wound up, go with Insignia’s 6 Lightning Charge-and-Sync Cable. If it’s not available, Monoprice’s 4-inch MFi Certified Lightning to USB Charge/ Sync Cable is another decent option. Even though they’re shorter than the standard cables, they cost the same or more; you’re paying for convenience.

A longer option

Aduro’s 10′ cable is great when you’re not right next to a plug.

Long cables are the most troublesome of the bunch, as they tend to fail more quickly, and they need to be thicker to carry a fast charge. Teardowns reveal this is likely due to the fact that the wires inside are unbraided (and sometimes thinner) so they can keep costs down. That being said, of those we tested, Aduro’s 10′ Sync and Charge Lightning Cable ($15) was the most impressive.

Wrapping it up

The $9 Anker Lightning to USB Cable is the Lightning cable we’d buy. It’s much cheaper than Apple’s official cable, is built to last with high quality internals, and its Lightning connector plug is small enough to fit most cases.

This guide may have been updated. To see the current recommendation please go to TheWirecutter.com

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3
Jul

Sony has a new facial expressions selfie technology


sony-selfie-patentSony has just filed a patent for a new selfie technology that can take contentious selfies and pick out the best one for you.

The new technology patent seems pretty weird as it will allow a phone, camera, or Google Glass type device to take many photos throughout the day and night. The pictures are then sent over a secure network to a server that will then process them. The software will detect emotional states being displayed in each photo and apply the appropriate tags.

Users can search for all the happy times during the day or sad ones, etc. All the blank expressions can be deleted. You could also create a timeline of different emotions.

It will even take photos of you during your sleep which could be used to track sleep patterns for better sleep quality, but is also super weird. I really hope sleeping selfies don’t become a thing.

Obviously privacy concerns could be a problem, especially with every photo being sent over the internet to a private server. What do you think of this patent, are you excited or creeped out?

Source: Venturebeat

 

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