Friday, November 30, 2012
Did you catch the story this week about the 20th anniversary of the smartphone?
The idea is very simple, and far from original: You get a board with pieces arranged in a particular pattern; you have to slide those around until you get the special piece into its target location.
It's not even about finding out where the target location is - you can just hover over "dim tiles" and instantly see where you're supposed to bring the special piece. But getting it there is a whole different story.
There are five tutorial levels, which I strongly recommend you do. Then there are twenty "beginner" levels, but that's really a misnomer. If those are the beginner levels, I don't want to know what the intermediate and advanced levels look like!
Every time you finish a level you get a score based on how many clicks it took you - each level has a "par" (the minimum number of clicks it could be completed in), and your performance is compared to that gold standard. Because it's such a brainy game, getting it right is quite satisfying. I was downright proud of myself when I managed to finish a few levels. All in all, quite recommended, especially if you've got a few minutes of quiet. It might actually help you focus better later on.
As you may have guessed from the name, you're a bison (not a burrito, though). In the course of your day-to-day grocery shopping, you're abducted into a bag of gummy bears, and must now fend for yourself.
At the beginning of each round you launch yourself onto the marching gummy (gummi?) bears, while you're being watched by a huge crowd of even more gummy bears. Your goal is to keep bouncing on the bears and earn more and more money while you do it. Every time you hit a gummy bear, you lose some momentum. If you hit the floor, you basically lose all of it.
But don't give up just yet! You have an emergency thrust which you can use to gain some momentum and keep bouncing on those bears. This extra thrust gets refilled as you hit more bears.
There are also special gummy bears that give you extra thrust or extra money. The money comes in handy at the end of each round, when you can shop for cool stuff to make your bison even more effective against those gummy bears.
It's a fun and colorful game that kept my interest for quite some time, and almost sent me running to the closest store to get some gummy bears!
When it comes to which mobile application store to support, developers can factor in that Apple's App Store has the edge in volume, but Google Play -- the combined Android and HTML5 app store -- is on a growth spurt. Revenues from apps sold in the Google Play grew 17.9 percent in October compared to the previous month, while iOS App store sales shrink 0.7 percent in the same period. Compared to a year earlier, Google Play revenues grew 313 percent, while iOS App Store revenues grew 12.9 percent.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Google, which has a history of lobbying for patent law reform, has been the target of many patent litigation suits. Google's relative infancy means that it has a lot less patents in the vault than big-hitters like Microsoft, Oracle and IBM, and buying Nortel's portfolio of 6,000 patents could provide better protection against patent litigation in the future. It's worth noting that both Apple and RIM have showed interested in the portfolio, too.
Mashable speculates that the patents -- which are nearly all telecoms-related -- will be used to defend against Oracle's attacks on Android's use of Java. We reckon that Google is simply looking to cover its future endeavors in the world of networking. In the absence of patent law reform, and continued threats to net neutrality, owning a bunch of telecoms patents sounds like a very sensible move.
That's what you have to deal with in Line Grapefruit. But that's not all - you're also on a time limit. In fact, you have a very limited amount of time to make it through the "path" (for lack of a better word). You need to snake your way through the winding trail without touching anything. The good news is that a grapefruit only kills you if it touches the end of the line - once you've made it past the grapefruit, nothing happens if it crosses the path you've made.
This is not an easy game, but it's quite unique - I can't recall seeing another game quite like it.
EnVy26 asked the Laptops forum about upgrading a portable computer.
You have very few options here. Laptops just aren't that upgradable. While a desktop PC is basically a collection of off-the-shelf parts in a big, easy-to-access box, each laptop model is a unique jigsaw puzzle, with many of the pieces designed for that model, and all tightly-packed to reduce size.
But you may be able to improve your laptop:
First, consider upgrading your RAM. To find out, download and run the Crucial System Scanner. After a few seconds, this little program will bring you to a web page where you can see what kind of memory you have, what upgrades are available, and what will work in your machine.
Chrome for Android has been updated to fix some stability issues, says Google.
This news comes on the back of Google’s announcement last week on their Google+ page that it will bring mobile Chrome version numbers up to speed with desktop versions by early next year. With desktop Chrome at version 23 right now and mobile Chrome at 18, we can expect releases to be streamlined eventually.
For reference, the stable channel for the latest Android Chrome release for ARM devices is 18.0.1025469 and 18.0.1026322 for x86 devices.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!