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23
Sep

Fighting game inspired by ‘My Little Pony’ needs cash to become reality


Them’s Fightin’ Herds started life as My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic, a fighting game created by My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fans and starring characters directly from the show. That project was shut down when Hasbro sent the developer, Mane6, a cease-and-desist order in February 2013 — but it was reborn when Friendship is Magic producer Lauren Faust and Skullgirls studio Lab Zero Games hopped on board. Now, Them’s Fightin’ Herds is a serious fighting game starring a cast of original characters designed by Faust and running on Skullgirls‘ engine. This week, Mane6 launched a $436,000 Indiegogo campaign to fund 18 months of full-time development on Them’s Fightin’ Herds, and in two days it’s raised more than $100,000. This time around, it looks like crowdfunding is magic.

Via: Gamesradar+

Source: Indiegogo

23
Sep

Sony’s new A7R II brings more than just a resolution bump


Sony A7R II

Sony’s A7 range of full-frame mirrorless cameras has only been around for just under two years and yet there are already six members in the lineup. The company has wasted no time in filling the series with models tuned for different uses — from low-light performance to high-megapixel applications. The A7R II, with its 42.4-megapixel full-frame sensor, certainly falls in that latter category with specs that place it roughly in the same league as heavy hitters from Canon and Nikon. Still, bullet points on a page are one thing; using it in the field can uncover something entirely different. I spent a month with the expensive shooter ($3,200 for the body) and it turns out Sony’s latest megapixel monster can hold its own among the big boys.Slideshow-322420

Sony A7R II

While the A7R II may seem a bit beefy compared to other mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs), it’s significantly tinier than high-end/prosumer full-frame models from industry stalwarts like Canon and Nikon. The former’s 50.6-megapixel 5DS DSLR is quite a bit larger in all dimensions and weighs in at 32.8 oz. with a battery inside — more than 10 ounces heavier than the A7R II. That’s not an insignificant difference, especially if you’re considering which one you’d rather hang off your shoulder or neck for hours at a time.

That size advantage isn’t without trade-offs, of course. The generous frame on the 5DS, for example, gave Canon room to squeeze in two memory card slots (one CompactFlash, one SD) — a popular feature for photogs who want automatic backups of every shot, or the ability to save RAW files on one card and JPEGs on the other. With the A7R II, however, we’ve got just the single SD card slot to play with. Speaking of the 5DS, there’s also more room for connections, including a faster USB 3.0 port, whereas the A7R II makes do with the more common micro-USB receptacle.

Sony A7R II

Then there’s the battery, which comes in at a relatively tiny 1,020mAh (compared to battery packs from Nikon and Canon that sport capacities of around 1,800 to 1,900mAh). While I made it through several hours of shooting without worry, I do think picking up a spare battery would be a wise investment. You could also opt for Sony’s VG-C2EM vertical grip, which adds a secondary set of controls for use when shooting vertically and support for two power packs at once. While you give up a bit of the A7R II’s size and weight advantage with the grip attached, it may well be worth it if you plan on shooting for long periods of time.

The overall image quality is impressive and those 42.4-megapixel frames result in significant detail even at 100 percent zoom. Sony’s recent announcement that 14-bit RAW support will come via a firmware update further sweetens the deal. It may not be the high-ISO king in the A7 lineup (that title belongs to the newly announced A7S II), but we do have a max ISO of 102,400 on offer here. I’d personally avoid those higher settings though. In fact, I probably wouldn’t venture much beyond about ISO 12,800, which is still impressive.

Sony A7R II

I was very curious about the A7R II’s focus performance, especially considering its high-end specs and high-end price. I’ve been a regular user of Fuji’s X-series mirrorless cameras for the past few years and I’ve been impressed with the steady improvements to autofocus performance — through both firmware updates and brand-new models. Still, they’re a step or three behind the lightning-fast focus speeds you’ll find on modern DSLRs. So, I was anxious to try out the A7R II’s focusing chops, especially its highly touted “Fast Hybrid AF” system and its whopping 399 phase-detection focal points.

An MLS rivalry match between the Seattle Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers proved to be a solid test of the A7R II’s abilities. The match also gave me a chance to try out Sony’s FE 70-200mm f/4 lens — part of a growing lineup of first-party optics. And while performance with adapted third-party lenses from Canon and others continues to improve, a wider variety of Sony-made options can only help the company’s efforts to gain a foothold among the pro ranks.Slideshow-322421

The Fast Hybrid AF mode takes advantage of those 399 phase-detection and 25 contrast-detection autofocus points. I first tried it out in the Wide setting, which tracks focal points over most of the frame. That setup worked well in certain environments, especially when the background was fairly static and my intended subject was the only thing moving. It was almost hypnotizing watching green focus squares light up across the viewfinder as my target scurried around.

In the more frenzied confines of a pro soccer match, however, the Wide mode struggled to keep up, especially with players moving in all directions. After a few shots turned out with the wrong people in focus, I switched back to my standard practice during sporting events: using only focus points in the center of the frame. With just that small zone to worry about, the Fast Hybrid AF mode performed reliably and the vast majority of my shots were in focus — even with continuous bursts of images.

I also tried it out at the Roy Pioneer Rodeo in Roy, Washington. Here, again, setting the AF system to worry about just the center of the frame let me get consistently in-focus shots very quickly. As a sports shooter, then, the A7R II’s overall focus system didn’t leave me wanting for much, which is a testament to how much mirrorless systems have advanced in just a few short years.

Sony A7R II

Slideshow-322424

Its movie modes are also pretty easy to use, and the A7R II’s 4K support gives it a leg up on Canon’s and Nikon’s full-framers. During some quick tests at the rodeo, video quality came out impressively detailed at both 4K and 1080p settings, although I did notice the frame rate of the EVF’s live preview struggling to keep up when recording at the higher setting. It didn’t affect the actual clip, but that does seem to suggest Sony’s internals are just barely able to handle the high-res movie mode.

Despite my overall pleasant experience, it’s obvious that the A7R II was not specifically designed for the sidelines — that relatively slow 5 fps continuous mode should be a dead giveaway. Also, write speeds often got in the way. I frequently ran into a “Please wait” message when trying to review shots after a quick burst of shooting. Granted, 42 megapixels is a lot of data to move, but you can never have too much speed in those situations. That bounty of pixels did come in handy when the action was just too far away for the 70-200mm lens. In fact, I snapped a few pics of a last-second free kick on the other side of CenturyLink Field and the high resolution let me significantly crop the photo while still retaining solid image quality.

Sony A7R II

It wasn’t that long ago that I wouldn’t have bothered trying to use a mirrorless camera in a high-action setting like professional sports, but the A7R II held its own for the most part — despite not really being designed as a pro-level sports cam. I wish write times were peppier and hopefully Sony’s designers find ways to cram a bigger battery and, perhaps, a second memory card slot into this line’s compact frame. But overall, I came away impressed with how far Sony’s come with this line. Both the A7 bodies and first-party lens lineups are steadily improving. And thanks to the company’s rapid pace of deployment (six new models in two years) it seems like we’ve finally reached the point where “pretty damn good for a mirrorless camera” has turned into just “pretty damn good.”

Check out our Flickr page for full-size photos — including shots of the Seattle Sounders FC match and the Roy Pioneer Rodeo.

23
Sep

Firefox’s anti-tracking private browsing is now in beta


Last month, Mozilla released a pre-beta version of its Firefox browser featuring an overhauled Private Browsing mode, designed to block certain web elements (such as analytic tools) that track your online behavior. This experimental build, however, was mostly intended for developers. But now Mozilla is bringing these anti-tracking, privacy-focused features to more users, as it’s making them available through the Firefox Beta browser on the desktop and Android. The company says it also used feedback from pre-beta testers to try a new feature within Private Browsing dubbed Tracking Protection, which will block sites from creating profiles about you across the web based on your data — other mainstream browser’s private modes don’t protect that deep, according to Mozilla.

You can try it out for yourself on Android devices, Mac, Windows and Linux, but do keep in mind some pages may fail to work as a result.

Source: Mozilla

23
Sep

Pebble announces its first round smartwatch, the Pebble Time Round


Pebble Time Round

Pebble has just announced the Pebble Time Round, the company’s foray into the circular smartwatch world.

It’s super light and thin, weighing only 28 grams and measuring just 7.5mm thin, and comes in two different band sizes – 20mm and 14mm. Color options include Black, Silver and a special Rose Gold option that’s only available with the 14mm band size. It still features a colored e-paper display that we first saw the company introduce with the Pebble Time earlier this year, which means the Pebble Time Round’s battery should last longer than comparable smartwatches with LCD displays. Pebble says the Time Round will last “days” on a single charge, though it probably won’t last as long as the Pebble Time or Pebble Time Steel. The good news is, though, the Time Round features quick charging capabilities that can get you a full day of use from just a 15 minute charge.

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The Pebble Time Round is now available for pre-order for $249.99 from Pebble’s website, as well as Best Buy, Target and Amazon. Watches will start shipping and will be available at other U.S. retailers in November. Retail availability will begin later this year in the U.K., followed by EU retailers early next year.

The Pebble team is offering Pebble Time Steel Kickstarter backers a trial period and discount for the Time Round. You’ll need to reserve a Pebble Time Round from Pebble’s website with the same email you used to back the Time Steel on Kickstarter. You’ll get a $50 discount on the watch when it ships. You can then try out both watches for 30 days.

If you’d like to keep both of the watches, the Time Round is yours for the discounted price. If you’d like to return one of them, you’ll get a refund for your Pebble Time Round order. If you’d like any more information regarding the Time Steel Kickstarter promotion or the new Pebble Time Round, follow the source link below for more information.

What are your thoughts on the new Time Round?

23
Sep

Nextbit Robin will play nicely with all four major US carriers, Sprint included


nextbit ifa aa (1 of 8)

Last week we learned that the Nexbit Robin was officially gaining support for Verizon’s network through a special edition of the phone. Now Nextbit has confirmed that the Sprint network will also play nicely with the Robin.

Would-be Robin owners will be able to choose either a GSM (T-Mobile/AT&T) or CDMA (Verizon/Sprint) version of the phone when it is ready to ship. This means the upcoming handset will support all major U.S. carriers. Just as with the GSM version, the CDMA variant will set users back $349 and is available for order from Kickstarter today, though it isn’t expected to ship until February of next year.

Aside from the band changes, the phone offers an identical look and the same specs. As a refresher, that means you get an attractive handset with a 5.2-inch 1080p display and powered by a Snapdragon 808 processor with 3 GB of RAM. Other specs include 32 GB of internal storage, 100 GB of cloud storage, a 13 MP rear camera, a 5 MP front cam, dual front-facing speakers, and a 2680 mAh battery. For more details, check out our first quick look.

We still don’t know the specifics of the partnership with Sprint and Verizon, but we’re assuming some kind of activation agreement has been reaching. Historically, activating unlocked devices to a CDMA network involves going through more hoops, but hopefully that’s not the case here.

Honestly, we are pretty surprised to see a brand new player manage to secure compatibility with all four major U.S. networks and it certainly speaks well of Nextbit’s ambitions. What do you think of the Nextbit Robin, excited or indifferent?

23
Sep

Leaked press renders of the Nexus 5X show the device off in white, black, and the reported mint color


LG-Nexus-5x-press-render-leak-2

Yesterday we reported on images of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P retail packaging along with a high resolution press render of the Nexus 6P. And now today, Android Police got their hands on a press render of the LG Nexus 5X, and it’s definitely much more stylish than the Huawei Nexus 6P with the giant black bar on the back of the device.

As you can see (pictured above) the Nexus 5X has what seems to be two front-facing speakers on the front. Around the back, you can see the rumored fingerprint scanner right above a camera that seems to stick out of the device a bit more than normal.

Android Police was also able to get a press render of the device in it’s three color options as well:

Lg-Nexus-5X-press-render-leak

There’s been many different variations of rumored specs that the Nexus 5X will sport, with Amazon even accidentally leaking some alleged details today, too. One thing’s for sure, heading into Google’s event in San Francisco next week, there aren’t going to be many surprises.

source: Android Police

Come comment on this article: Leaked press renders of the Nexus 5X show the device off in white, black, and the reported mint color

23
Sep

Best apps for reading books [2015]


stack_of_books

One of my favorite things about smartphones and tablets is the ability to take a library of books with you wherever you go. Not only are eBooks cheaper than the physical alternative, but there’s no need to pack five or six books with you when travelings — it’s all on your tablet!

Amazon Kindle

amazon_kindle_app_icon

Most will be familiar with this option largely because almost everyone uses Amazon. However, they’ve put together one of the best apps for reading books. Paired with just the right font, brightness levels, and background or “paper” color, the Kindle app makes electronic reading easy on the eyes.

Amazon is aiming to make electronic reading more convenient than with a physical book, and thus far they’ve done that and far more. While Amazon has designed Kindle with what is the best user interface in the industry, what makes or breaks an e-reader is its availability of books. And with Amazon being a leading retailer in the book industry, there’s no shortage of having access to the latest and greatest or even old classics.

One of the most convenient parts of Amazon’s Kindle reader is its syncing capabilities. If you read a few chapters on an iPhone during lunch break at work, as long as you’re logged into your Amazon account, you can pick up right where you left off on your Android tablet at home. It’s seamless and makes reading a breeze.

It also has your usual features that’re included in an app for reading books: highlighting, bookmarking, a built-in dictionary, brightness, font selections, and a bevy of a text customization.

Play Store Download Link

amazon-kindle-screen-1
amazon-kindle-screen-2
amazon-kindle-screen-3

Aldiko Book Reader

aldiko-book-reader-logo

The Aldiko Book Reader is an excellent second option for those not a fan of Amazon Kindle. Aldiko has a massive library, featuring many of the latest books, classic, and more. Similar to Kindle, it has a great user interface making for easy reading.

But what makes this application particularly unique is its advanced library management system, allowing users to easily import their own EPUB or PDF files to read on the go. Users can also customize their reading experience to the fullest extent — font sizes, font type, font and background colors, margins, line spacing, and much more. This allows each user to adapt Aldiko Book Reader to their individual preferences, truly making it one of a kind.

aldiko-book-reader-screen-2
aldiko-book-reader-screen-3
aldiko-book-reader-screen-1

Play Store Download Link

Google Play Books

google-play-books-logo

Google Play Books was fairly crummy when it first started out, but it’s gone through some major improvements making it a much more optimal reading experience. It has offline reading (which many apps don’t), elegant 3D page turns resembling a physical book, varying reading modes (day, night, sepia), and the usual bevy of text and background customization.

The great thing about Play Books is how seamless it works with textbooks. Physical textbooks can be extremely expensive, however, many are discounted on Google Play Books, allowing you to save yourself quite a penny.

Play Books is particularly enjoyable due to how hard it tries to resemble the experience of holding a physical book in your hand. It’s most certainly one of the better options available with a constantly expanding library!

google-play-books-screen-3
google-play-books-screen-2
google-play-books-screen-1

Play Store Download Link

Universal Book Reader

universal-book-reader-logo

Universal Book Reader is an elegant application thanks to its robust library management. It keeps everything neatly organized through Bookcase, your digital library resembling that of an actual bookshelf. It has an integrated file browser, allowing you to quickly grab and import your EPUB and PDF files into Universal Book Reader.

The app has some of the most seamless and fluid page flipping animations out there. Additionally, the application is very smooth, even after loading almost thirty books into it. On the downside, it’s plagued with ads, which disappear if you purchase the premium version. With the premium version, you get some neat additional features, such as text-to-speech, the ability to create shortcuts to books on your home screen, and more.

Overall, it’s a great free application for book reading although ads can get frustrating quickly.

universal-book-reader-screen-3
universal-book-reader-screen-1
universal-book-reader-screen-2

Play Store Download Link

Audible

audible-logo

Some people aren’t a fan of reading, whether it be an electronic or physical book. Fortunately, Audible is available for those that would rather listen to a good book. Of course, audiobooks are significantly pricier than electronic books, but can be perfect for the morning commute, someone who drives truck, or a person who simply prefers listening to a book!

Audible is owned by Amazon, and they’re sporting a library of over 180,000 audiobooks. And if you own a Kindle, you can easily switch between listening and reading with Audible through Amazon’s Whispersync. Convenience at it’s best!

audible-screen-3
audible-screen-2
audible-screen-1

Play Store Download Link

Wrap Up

These are five of the best reading apps available for Android, all of which give its users an excellent user interface while providing a reading experience resembling that of a physical book. There are plenty of other options on the Play Store, but none that seem betteer than what’s listed here.

What’s your favorite app for reading books? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Come comment on this article: Best apps for reading books [2015]

23
Sep

Huawei Nexus 6P shows up in white, black, silver, and gold


Huawei-Nexus-6P-color-leak
Things have gotten crazy this week with tons of new information surrounding the rumored LG Nexus 5X and Huawei Nexus 6P, which are both expected to be unveiled next week. And now today, there’s been an additional leak outing the colors the Huawei Nexus 6P will be available in.

This new press render comes by way of Android Police, not long after leaking the full image of the device yesterday.

The devices will be available in white, black, silver, and gold, according to the press render pictured above. The image above is interested–there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between the white and silver option, and what is supposed to be gold takes on more of what seems to be a brown-ish hue. Of course, they’ll no doubt look a lot different in real life as opposed to images on the screen.

I’ll be honest, that black bar on the Nexus 6P looked quite ugly at first, but it doesn’t look too bad on the black and gold variants. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

source: Android Police

Come comment on this article: Huawei Nexus 6P shows up in white, black, silver, and gold

23
Sep

Best apps for reading books [2015]


stack_of_books

One of my favorite things about smartphones and tablets is the ability to take a library of books with you wherever you go. Not only are eBooks cheaper than the physical alternative, but there’s no need to pack five or six books with you when travelings — it’s all on your tablet!

Amazon Kindle

amazon_kindle_app_icon

Most will be familiar with this option largely because almost everyone uses Amazon. However, they’ve put together one of the best apps for reading books. Paired with just the right font, brightness levels, and background or “paper” color, the Kindle app makes electronic reading easy on the eyes.

Amazon is aiming to make electronic reading more convenient than with a physical book, and thus far they’ve done that and far more. While Amazon has designed Kindle with what is the best user interface in the industry, what makes or breaks an e-reader is its availability of books. And with Amazon being a leading retailer in the book industry, there’s no shortage of having access to the latest and greatest or even old classics.

One of the most convenient parts of Amazon’s Kindle reader is its syncing capabilities. If you read a few chapters on an iPhone during lunch break at work, as long as you’re logged into your Amazon account, you can pick up right where you left off on your Android tablet at home. It’s seamless and makes reading a breeze.

It also has your usual features that’re included in an app for reading books: highlighting, bookmarking, a built-in dictionary, brightness, font selections, and a bevy of a text customization.

Play Store Download Link

amazon-kindle-screen-1
amazon-kindle-screen-2
amazon-kindle-screen-3

Aldiko Book Reader

aldiko-book-reader-logo

The Aldiko Book Reader is an excellent second option for those not a fan of Amazon Kindle. Aldiko has a massive library, featuring many of the latest books, classic, and more. Similar to Kindle, it has a great user interface making for easy reading.

But what makes this application particularly unique is its advanced library management system, allowing users to easily import their own EPUB or PDF files to read on the go. Users can also customize their reading experience to the fullest extent — font sizes, font type, font and background colors, margins, line spacing, and much more. This allows each user to adapt Aldiko Book Reader to their individual preferences, truly making it one of a kind.

aldiko-book-reader-screen-2
aldiko-book-reader-screen-3
aldiko-book-reader-screen-1

Play Store Download Link

Google Play Books

google-play-books-logo

Google Play Books was fairly crummy when it first started out, but it’s gone through some major improvements making it a much more optimal reading experience. It has offline reading (which many apps don’t), elegant 3D page turns resembling a physical book, varying reading modes (day, night, sepia), and the usual bevy of text and background customization.

The great thing about Play Books is how seamless it works with textbooks. Physical textbooks can be extremely expensive, however, many are discounted on Google Play Books, allowing you to save yourself quite a penny.

Play Books is particularly enjoyable due to how hard it tries to resemble the experience of holding a physical book in your hand. It’s most certainly one of the better options available with a constantly expanding library!

google-play-books-screen-3
google-play-books-screen-2
google-play-books-screen-1

Play Store Download Link

Universal Book Reader

universal-book-reader-logo

Universal Book Reader is an elegant application thanks to its robust library management. It keeps everything neatly organized through Bookcase, your digital library resembling that of an actual bookshelf. It has an integrated file browser, allowing you to quickly grab and import your EPUB and PDF files into Universal Book Reader.

The app has some of the most seamless and fluid page flipping animations out there. Additionally, the application is very smooth, even after loading almost thirty books into it. On the downside, it’s plagued with ads, which disappear if you purchase the premium version. With the premium version, you get some neat additional features, such as text-to-speech, the ability to create shortcuts to books on your home screen, and more.

Overall, it’s a great free application for book reading although ads can get frustrating quickly.

universal-book-reader-screen-3
universal-book-reader-screen-1
universal-book-reader-screen-2

Play Store Download Link

Audible

audible-logo

Some people aren’t a fan of reading, whether it be an electronic or physical book. Fortunately, Audible is available for those that would rather listen to a good book. Of course, audiobooks are significantly pricier than electronic books, but can be perfect for the morning commute, someone who drives truck, or a person who simply prefers listening to a book!

Audible is owned by Amazon, and they’re sporting a library of over 180,000 audiobooks. And if you own a Kindle, you can easily switch between listening and reading with Audible through Amazon’s Whispersync. Convenience at it’s best!

audible-screen-3
audible-screen-2
audible-screen-1

Play Store Download Link

Wrap Up

These are five of the best reading apps available for Android, all of which give its users an excellent user interface while providing a reading experience resembling that of a physical book. There are plenty of other options on the Play Store, but none that seem betteer than what’s listed here.

What’s your favorite app for reading books? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Come comment on this article: Best apps for reading books [2015]

23
Sep

Pebble launches the world’s thinnest and lightest smartwatch, the Time Round


pebbletimeround_5_092315

Pebble announced today the launch of its first fully circular smartwatch, the Pebble Time Round. At just 7.5mm thick and weighing only 28 grams, the Pebble Time Round is the world’s thinnest and lightest smartwatch. The watch has an all-metal construction, with a 38.5mm face and comes with many customization options.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The watch’s circular display does have a thick bezel, however having a smaller display does allow to increase battery life, something Pebble has been prioritizing throughout their product line. Despite that effort, Pebble has sacrificed battery life for design with the Time Round as its thinner form-factor means a slimmer battery. In fact the watch can go for two days before needing a full charge, in contrast to a week for previous models. To compensate, Pebble claims that the watch can charge very quickly, and can operate for 24 hours with a 15-minute charge. The Pebble Time Round has an always-on 64-color e-paper display with backlight.

The watch is splash resistant, or IPX7 certified (unlike other Pebble watches that are water resistant), so you can still wear the watch while washing your hands however you will not be able to submerge it in water. Finally, just like the Pebble Time, the Pebble Time Round has a built-in microphone and now has 4 buttons positioned around the sides for navigation and control.

To please a wider range of customer, Pebble focused on customization with their new watch. The Pebble Time Round comes in one-size-fits-all, however has a 20mm strap option for men, and 14mm strap option for women. The watch also comes in three different colors; Black, Silver and a special-edition Rose Gold for the 14mm strap size. Finally you can download new watch faces to further personalize the watch.

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Although battery life has been compromised on the new Pebble Time Round, its new design will definitely attract new customers as the trend for circular smartwatches, or smartwatches that look more like real watches seems to be growing in popularity. In addition, according to Pebble, the watch is “So light and thin, it’s pretty easy to mistake Pebble Time Round for any other watch.” The Pebble Time Round starts at $249, and can be reserved at Pebble.com Best Buy, Target, and Amazon. The Time Round will start shipping and will be available at US retailers in early November.

Source: Pebble

 

Come comment on this article: Pebble launches the world’s thinnest and lightest smartwatch, the Time Round

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