Twitter says it’s ‘suspended over 125,000 accounts’ related to terrorism
Twitter today said it has suspended more than 125,000 accounts that were used to make threats about or promote terrorist activity, especially as it pertains to ISIS. “Like most people around the world, we are horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by extremist groups. We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism and the Twitter […]
BlackBerry has confirmed a MobileSyrup report that the company recently laid off employees at its Canadian headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario. There is a discrepancy, however, concerning the magnitude of the reduced head count. The report, based on anecdotal tips from multiple sources, characterizes the layoffs as “significant”: 35 percent of the location’s workforce, or about 1,000 […]
H1Z1 zombie game splits into two strains — and spreads to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
The thing about a zombie virus is that it spreads so fast you can’t contain it. Now, publisher Daybreak is finding that something similar is true of zombie survival games. H1Z1, Daybreak’s open-world online zombie survival game that is still in development, is splitting up into two discrete games. The original game is now known as […]
Scoring high-value customers: You don’t win the Super Bowl with everyone on offense
SPONSORED: Imagine a Super Bowl coach so fanatical, he invests almost everything in offense. Nobody in their right mind would play the Super Bowl this way and expect to win. But that’s exactly the way most companies budget for Customer Acquisition vs Customer Retention.
Games accounted for 32% of Windows Store downloads in Q4 2015, over 85% of in-app purchases
Every few months, Microsoft shares Windows Store numbers to help developers figure out what is worth investing their time and energy into. Today, the company unveiled the latest numbers, and for the first time disclosed downloads across all Windows devices and operating systems by category. The conclusion? Unsurprisingly, games dominate. Microsoft also shared that over […]
HTC Vive’s user manual details elaborate setup process, including moving your couch
You’re going to need a large area to enjoy the full capabilities of the HTC Vive virtual reality headset. VR watchers have always known this. But now, they’re finally getting the specifics. HTC has uploaded the user guide for its Vive PRE development kit, which is the latest version of the head-mounted display, and one it’s sending […]
Unreal Engine’s latest innovation is about building games while inside virtual reality
Epic Games is unveiling a new virtual reality edition of its Unreal Engine game-development tool today that enables you to create a video game from within VR. The move shows that VR, which is expected to be a $30 billion market by 2020 according to tech advisor Digi-Capital, has the power to transform how we create things. […]
Funding Daily: Notarize launches with $2.4 million to shake up the notary system
Virginia-based startup Notarize, an electronic notarization system, launched today after a $2.4 million seed investment led by Polaris Partners, the startup announced. Notarize said that it takes advantage of a law passed in Virginia in 2011 “allowing appropriately certified Virginia notaries to complete remote notarization via live video call.” Papers notarized by Notarize will have […]
Galaxy S7 could have dramatically improved battery life
No one has ever claimed the Samsung Galaxy S6 gets amazing battery life. In fact, it’s mostly the exact opposite. But according to a rumor from Eldar Murtazin (yes, that Eldar Murtazin), the Galaxy S7 is a huge improvement.
Posting on Twitter, long time mobile industry writer, also known for numerous rumors [...]
Top 10 new Android games this week: Dreii, Space Grunts
Welcome back to Android Gaming Weekly, our weekly recap of new game releases. We still plan to cover upcoming releases and games we’re playing, but this column is dedicated to new games that you can start playing right now. Check out our top picks and let us know in the comments section if you have any [...]
Deal: Newegg offering a $25 gift card with every Honor 5X
The Honor 5X is already a pretty crazy deal at $199. Many are calling it the best budget smartphone on the market, and just days after it officially launched in the U.S., you can score an even better deal through Newegg.
For a limited time only, every Honor 5X purchase through Newegg will [...]
The Best Wine Pairings for Girl Scout Cookies, Tested
‘Tis the season for Girl Scout cookies, and everyone’s buzzing about a new guide from the folks behind the Vivino wine app, suggesting 12 wines to pair with 12 different types of Girl Scout cookies. Really? We were skeptical, so Gizmodo actually drank wine with Thin Mints and Trefoils. For you.
A Meteorite Explodes Over the Mojave in This Incredible Timelapse Video
It sometimes feels like Mars, Pluto, and planets beyond our solar system get all the attention. But let’s be real: Earth is the best goddamn planet period. And in case you’d forgotten it, this brilliant timelapse of the Mojave desert at night ought to remind you.
The Biggest Difference in How Americans Bought Food in 1960 and Today
There were a lot of options the food markets in 1960 didn’t have that we do, like a baffling array of Oreo flavors, or tube-encased yogurts. But there’s one change that’s bigger than the explosion in novelty-food choices.
It can be a pain in the ass to stream live sports, but this year’s Super Bowl 50 will be easy to watch on February 7, even without a cable subscription. This is a fantastic innovation, because it means cordcutters will spend less time agonizing over how to watch the Denver Broncos play the Carolina Panthers and more time crafting delicious cheese-based dips, as God intended.
A Deadly Bee Virus Is Spreading and Only Humans Can Stop It
Across the world, bees are succumbing to a deadly virus, and a new study places the blame squarely on humans. The good news is, there are some common-sense measures we can take right now to start protecting the honeybees we rely on to pollinate our crops.
Taiwan semiconductor firms expected to start restocking inventories
Companies in Taiwan's semiconductor industry supply chain are expected to start restocking their inventories at the end of the first quarter or in early second-quarter 2016, leading to a rebound for the industry, according to industry sources.
HTC will focus marketing on smartphones priced at INR10,000-30,000 (US$147-440) in the India market, aiming at taking a 10% share in the market, according to a Taipei-based Central News Agency (CNA) report, citing company global sales president and CFO Chia-lin Chang.
Inotera announces execution of share swap deal with Micron
Inotera Memories has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to conduct a share swap transaction with Micron Semiconductor Taiwan (MST). After closing of the transaction, Inotera will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Micron Technology, and will delist from the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE).
As any Security Operative will be aware, body armor is a wide-ranging term that covers a number of products, and understanding exactly which is best for you can be difficult. Being aware of the different options available to you allows you to better understand how to keep yourself protected. However, even after you have chosen the correct style and level of protection according to the environments you will find yourself in, it can be difficult to know how best to care for your armor.
Lockheed Martin to separate and combine IT and technical services businesses with Leidos
Top Priority Sector:
Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin
Bethseda, MD, January 26 - Lockheed Martin has entered into a definitive agreement to separate and combine its realigned Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS) business segment with Leidos Holdings, Inc. in a tax-efficient Reverse Morris Trust transaction, unlocking $5 billion in estimated enterprise value for Lockheed Martin stockholders.
10 Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) say passwords are failing and must be augmented or supplanted
Top Priority Sector:
Tenafly, NJ, January 28 - Security Current, an information and collaboration company by CISOs for CISOs, has published a collection of leading Chief Information Security Officer's (CISOs) insights on the future of the password and next generation authentication.
Ten CISOs from across industries weighed in, with most predicting that the days are numbered for the password as the sole authentication method. They see enterprises moving to augment or supplant the traditional password with advanced technologies, such as biometrics.
Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on change of command in Afghanistan
Top Priority Sector:
Gen. John Campbell
Washington DC, January 27 - ‘I want to thank Gen. John Campbell for his extraordinary leadership and dedication in his dual role as commander of United States Forces – Afghanistan, and as commander of the NATO Resolute Support mission. While many challenges remain, we have made gains over the past year that will put Afghanistan on a better path, and much of the credit for that progress rests with Gen. Campbell.
Identity Finder releases industry's first solution to locate and classify unique sensitive data
Top Priority Sector:
New York, NY, January 26 - Identify Finder, the highest-accuracy provider of data discovery and data classification solutions, today announced the release of their Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution, Sensitive Data Manager 9.0. This release adds to the company's current data management and classification capabilities by introducing powerful, custom data discovery capabilities that eliminate the burden of IT Security by allowing organizations to locate their unique sensitive data.
Deal: Get a brand new Nexus 5X for only $280 on eBay
It feels like every week we’re watching the price of the Nexus 5X drop every so slightly, inching every closer to a price we’re starting to feel comfortable with. Today, eBay selling yapper_wireless (who holds a 98.8% positive feedback rating, by the way) is offering a brand new Nexus 5X for only $280.
Mobile Roar 126: Huawei Mate 8 review, LG’s wacky MWC invites, and Microsoft hate
This week we're talking about our review of the Huawei Mate 8. Is incredible hardware enough to overcome bad software? We're also talking about Google being more valuable than Apple, LG's wacky invites to Mobile World Congress, and more.
Well, that didn't take long. Just hours after spotting a change to the Huawei Watch on the Google Store to show speaker support, Google today announced a new Android Wear update that brings said speaker support.
LG's not coming out with another LG G Flex, but if you still value the curved display and self-healing back, you'll be happy to know that it can be had quite cheap today. Daily Steals has it or $199.99, which -- when you consider how good of a phone this is -- seems to be an actual steal.
Twitter seems to be testing an interesting new button in their mobile apps: GIFs! The few people who happened to spot the change noted that the button lets you browse a list of reaction or funny GIFs to use in your Twitter posts.
Give any phone MagSafe-like charging with MuConnect’s latest projet [IndieGoGo]
It's been more than half a year since ZNAPS was funded on Kickstarter and they're still waffling around about shipment expectations. If you happened to miss out on that one or are tired of waiting, though, then perhaps MuConnect's solution for a magnetic charger comes as a nice alternative for you.
schwit1 writes: Banks are watching wealthy clients flirt with robo-advisers, and that's one reason the lenders are racing to release their own versions of the automated investing technology this year, according to a consultant. Robo-advisers, which use computer programs to provide investment advice online, typically charge less than half the fees of traditional brokerages, which cost at least 1 percent of assets under management.
The Performance of Ubuntu Linux Over the Past 10 Years
An anonymous reader writes: Tests were carried out at Phoronix of all Ubuntu Long-Term Support releases from the 6.06 "Dapper Drake" release to 16.04 "Xenial Xerus," looking at the long-term performance of (Ubuntu) Linux using a dual-socket AMD Opteron server. Their benchmarks of Ubuntu's LTS releases over 10 years found that the Radeon graphics performance improved substantially, the disk performance was similar while taking into account the switch from EXT3 to EXT4, and that the CPU performance had overall improved for many workloads thanks to the continued evolution of the GCC compiler.
Intel Says Chips To Become Slower But More Energy Efficient
An anonymous reader writes: William Holt, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group, has said at a conference that chips will become slower after industry re-tools for new technologies such as spintronics and tunneling transistors. "The best pure technology improvements we can make will bring improvements in power consumption but will reduce speed." If true, it's not just the end of Moore's Law, but a rolling back of the progress it made over the last fifty years.
Amazon's Thin Helvetica Syndrome: Font Anorexia vs. Kindle Readability
David Rothman writes: The Thin Helvetica Syndrome arises from the latest Kindle upgrade and has made e-books less readable for some. In the past, e-book-lovers who needed more perceived-contrast between text and background could find at least partial relief in Helvetica because the font was heavy by Kindle standards. But now some users complain that the 5.7.2 upgrade actually made Helvetica thinner. Of course, the real cure would be an all-text bold option for people who need it, or even a way to adjust font weight, a feature of Kobo devices. But Amazon stubbornly keeps ignoring user pleas even though the cost of adding either feature would be minimal. Isn't this supposed to be a customer-centric company?
AmiMoJo writes: Google says it will go to war against the fake 'download' and 'play' buttons that attempt to deceive users on file-sharing and other popular sites. According to a new announcement from the company titled 'No More Deceptive Download Buttons', Google says it will expand its eight-year-old Safe Browsing initiative to target some of the problems highlighted above. 'You may have encountered social engineering in a deceptive download button, or an image ad that falsely claims your system is out of date. Today, we're expanding Safe Browsing protection to protect you from such deceptive embedded content, like social engineering ads,' the company says.
12 years ago today, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, and since then the site has grown at a nearly unbelievable pace. Now, with about 1.6 billion monthly active users, Facebook makes an average of $3.73 in revenue per user worldwide. And as the company continues to grow, engagement is only getting higher. According to an analysis by CNBC, users spend an aggregate of 10.5 billion minutes per day on the social media platform -- that's around $3.5 trillion in squandered productivity, by their estimate. Facebook is celebrating its birthday by marking today "Friends Day" and adding personalized videos to each user's account showing their best moments with friends, or at least what Facebook's algorithms think are the best moments. (Users can opt to share the video or keep it private.) The company's also announced an updated degrees-of-separation metric to make it easier to connect with other users.
Interviews: Ask 'Ubuntu Unleashed' Author Matthew Helmke
Matthew Helmke (personal blog) is the author of the newly published 11th edition of Ubuntu Unleashed (published by Pearson); this updated edition of the book will cover the OS through Ubuntu's 15.10 and (forthcoming) 16.04 releases. Helmke is also a former Ubuntu Forum administrator, a musician, an entrepreneur, and a long-time Slashdot reader who now leads a "nice quiet life in Iowa." Ask Matthew about what it's like to be a Linux book author and community leader, and his thoughts on Canonical, the goods and bads of modern Linux distributions, and the future of Ubuntu -- especially relevant with the upcoming release of the first Ubuntu-based tablet. (Remember, Matthew isn't responsible for gripes you may have with either Ubuntu or Canonical, but he might have some good solutions to particular problems.) Ask as many questions as you'd like; we just ask that you keep them on-topic, and please stick to one question per post.
Harnessing Artificial Intelligence To Build an Army of Virtual Analysts
An anonymous reader writes: PatternEx, a startup that gathered a team of AI researcher from MIT CSAIL as well as security and distributed systems experts, is poised to shake up things in the user and entity behavior analytics market. Their goal was to make a system capable of mimicking the knowledge and intuition of human security analysts so that attacks can be detected in real time. The platform can go through millions of events per day and can make an increasingly better evaluation of whether they are anomalous, malicious or benign.
Sprint: LG G Flex Will Launch Online on January 31 for $299 on Contract
Starting today, Sprint customers can pre-order the unique LG G Flex smartphone for $299 online with a two year contract. By pre-ordering between now and January 31st, customers will receive a complimentary Quickwindow Folio Case, which is valued at $60. Sprint…
Motorola Announces Moto X Launch in UK, France, and Germany on February 1
Certain European consumers interested in the Moto X smartphone from Motorola will soon have their chance to purchase the excellent handset. Expected to launch on February 1st, Motorola will sell its iconic Moto X device in Black or White in…
Updated: From Bernie to Trump: Where every candidate stands on science and tech
Presidential candidates on science and tech
Update: This article has been updated to include the poll numbers from the Iowa caucus as well as the current roster of candidates.
There is no greater privilege as an American than that of casting a ballot. The right to vote and thereby influence the political structure of this country cannot be understated in its importance.
But, in a political landscape rife with mouthpieces, skewed advertisements and limitless bankrolls, it can be tough to sort out exactly what to believe and, consequently, what any of the people running for the presidency believe, either.
While the staff here at techradar aren't the foremost experts in politics, I do consider this website to be a top-class tech outlet (techradar is the home of technology, after all).
To that end, instead of sorting out every candidate's shortcomings and strengths, let's focus on the two key areas that are paramount to us techradar readers and editors: science and technology.
Using the website On The Issues, a non-partisan repository for the candidates' statements as well as the candidates' own websites, I've collected and summarized the views, remarks and beliefs of the people who might become the most powerful man or woman in the world in 2017.
It's worth noting here that I've only chosen the top candidates in each of the two primary parties. There are more candidates in the running than made this list, including those running independently, but this list should apply to about 95% of voters out there.
Finally, to address concerns head-on: I'm aware this list looks slightly biased towards the Democratic party. This is based simply on the criteria that science and technology lend themselves to a more progressive agenda rather than a conservative one, and is not intended to garner support for one party over the other.
Rand Paul (Republican, 5% in Iowa)
Update: Rand Paul announced on Wednesday, Feb. 3 that he would officially end his campaign for President of the United States.
Rand Paul, the 53-year-old Senator from Kentucky, is good at two things: Using the internet to berate opponents during their debates and using his political power to fight against a government-controlled web. We approve of both those things.
For: Wants energy companies, like PG&E, to test aging infrastructure to prevent accidents, like the 2010 explosion in San Bruno, CA that killed 10 people (2012)
For: Fought against the current rule that all the NSA needs is one generalized warrant for information to make cellphone companies hand over all their customers' data (Jan. 2014)
For: Led the charge against SOPA and PIPA (Jan. 2012)
For: "I will not sit idly by while PIPA and SOPA eliminate the constitutionally protected rights to due process and free speech. For these reasons, I have pledged to oppose, filibuster and do everything in my power to stop government censorship of the Internet." (Jan. 2012)
Against: Wants to repeal the Clean Power Act (Nov. 2015)
Against: "What we really need is somebody that understands that we do need energy of all forms, and that means we will have solar, and wind, and hydro, but we will still have coal, and we still will have natural gas. We want to free up the energy sector, and let people produce, let them drill, let them explore." (Nov. 2015)
Against: Opposed Net Neutrality (Nov. 2014)
Mike Huckabee (Republican, 2% in Iowa)
Update: Mike Huckabee announced on Wednesday, Feb. 3 that he would officially end his campaign for President of the United States.
Huckabee is a "families first" kind of politician. He argues that Americans, in general, need less TV time and more family time. He's also argued that science can never take us to the places religion can but, for all his talk in the late '90s about technology and media corrupting the youth, he's spent the last decade fighting for ubiquitous broadband internet and an increased R&D budget.
For: Proposed financial transparency through the internet in 2008 (Feb. 2008)
For: "I would propose that every time the federal government makes any expenditure, it posts it on the Internet within 24 hours, so you can find out exactly where every dollar of the budget goes, down to how much it costs to mow the courthouse lawn in your hometown." (Feb. 2008)
For: Would modernize the technology behind air traffic controls to reduce the amount of accidents during flights (Oct. 2007)
For: Co-sponsored a bill that radically increased from 0.6% of the country's GDP to 1.5% (Sep. 2001)
For: Urged Congress to speed the deployment of broadband, high speed Internet networking throughout the nation (Sep. 2001)
Against: Believed that violent movies, television and video games contributed to violent crimes (1998)
Against: Has said that science will play second string to religion, and that science is not the way to build a better society (June 1998)
Against: "The utopian vision of society that has so dramatically undermined the family was spawned by a system of thought rooted in the superiority – even the supremacy – of science over every other discipline." (June 1998)
Carly Fiorina (Republican, 2% in Iowa)
Hailing from Silicon Valley, Fiorina is touted as one of the most successful women in technology. Coming from more of a business background than a political one has allowed Fiorina to avoid getting bogged down by either party's dogma, taking ideas from both sides of the aisle. That said, you might want to do some research on her history as CEO at HP before you cast your vote in the primary.
For: Believes accountability and quantitative metrics are the keys to improving education (May 2015)
For: "The most important thing is to have a world-class 21st century education system. We need to start by insisting on really strong accountability measures in public schools." (May 2015)
For: Unsure about the cause of global warming, but believes solving it is a global issue (Sep. 2010)
For: If elected, would post budgets online for transparency and public comment (Dec. 2009)
Against: Would overturn Net Neutrality (May 2015)
Chris Christie (Republican, 2% in Iowa)
Christie, the current governor of New Jersey, hasn't said all that much on the subjects of science and technology, and generally steers the conversation away to larger, more pressing issues when the topics are brought up. Two points he has made abundantly clear, though, are that he would like to drive America towards energy independence by means of nuclear power and that the educational system needs a major overhaul.
For: Doesn't believe education should be free, however would like to see the cost of college go down (June 2015)
For: Helped his home state of New Jersey reach its 2020 clean energy goals five years ahead of schedule (Sep. 2015)
Against: However, Christie doesn't see global warming as a crisis that needs to be addressed (Dec. 2015)
Jeb Bush (Republican, 3% in Iowa)
Old George's brother might not be the best spokesperson for the technology-loving community (he uses Apple products almost exclusively), but he does have some ideas on how to balance innovation here in the US with manufacturing done overseas. He's fairly level-headed when it comes to threats against cyber security, however has gone on record saying that, if elected, he would fight against Net Neutrality.
For: A well-rounded plan to meet cyber security threats head-on (Sep. 2015)
For: Believes that technology innovations are shaping the country (Sep. 2015)
For: Says immigrants are key to technology revolution (March 2013)
For: As Governor of Florida, set aside $100 million for a technology development initiative (2002)
For: Believes the climate is changing, and humans play a role in that (July 2015)
For: Would give NASA a $500 million increase in budget (July 2015)
Against: In order to improve cyber security, believes more monitoring is necessary (Sep. 2015)
Against: Would ask tech companies to hand over encrypted data (Jan. 2016)
Against: Would repeal Net Neutrality (Sep. 2015)
Ben Carson (Republican, 9% in Iowa)
Despite his education in neurosurgery, Dr. Ben Carson has not had the most … well-developed ideas regarding science and technology. While some candidates have allowed religion and science to coexist peacefully, Carson generally has a "one or the other" approach. For example, he called the widely-accepted theory of the Big Bang "a fairy tale" and that evolution was work of the devil.
For: Encourages VR developers to create virtual classrooms (Sep. 2015)
Against: Believes evolution is the work of the devil (Sep. 2015)
Against: "I personally believe that this theory that Darwin came up with was something that was encouraged by the adversary." (Sep. 2015)
Against: Does not accept that humans are the cause of accelerated global warming (Sep. 2015)
Against: Believes the Big Bang theory of the universe is "a fairy tale" (2012)
Against: Supports homeschooling over public or private education (Feb. 2015)
Against: "The best education is the education that is closest to home, and I've found that for instance homeschoolers do the best, private schoolers next best, charter schoolers next best, and public schoolers worst." (Feb. 2015)
Marco Rubio (Republican, 23% in Iowa)
Marco Rubio is a young, energetic junior senator of Florida who might have made a better president seven years ago than he would today. He has some big strikes against him when it comes to technology, including co-sponsoring the Protect IP Act that would give copyright holders the power to close down "rogue" websites at their sole discretion.
For: Encouraged stricter guidelines for minors using social media sites MySpace and Facebook (2008)
For: Supports the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) that prohibits ISPs to add sales tax to monthly internet bills (2015)
For: Supported clean energy in 2008, said Florida should be "an international model of energy efficiency and independence" and the "Silicon Valley" of clean energy (2008)
Against: However, in 2013 said that the US should focus its efforts on extracting coal, oil and natural gas, "instead of wasting more money on so-called clean-energy companies like Solyndra" (2013)
Against: Is against Net Neutrality; the Internet is not a public utility (Feb. 2015)
Against: Co-sponsored PIPA, a bill that sought to fight file-sharing (June 2012)
Against: Would repeal carbon emission mandates set in place by UNFCC (2015)
Against: Encourages information sharing between government and private sector (2015)
Donald Trump (Republican, 24% in Iowa)
There's a growing divide in America. There are those that laugh along with Donald Trump and agree with him, and there are those that laugh at him while rooting for one of the less extreme Republicans to clinch the nomination.
Surprisingly, however, his statements in the fields of science and technology aren't all that divisive. He agrees that some part of climate change is real and that the educational system isn't at maximum capacity, and wants a fair mix of open internet and regulation.
For: Agrees that some part of climate change is manmade (June 2015)
For: Believes that the government needs a certain level of visibility into people's lives, but that it cannot violate their personal rights (Oct. 2015)
Against: Concerning climate change, he originally said on Twitter, "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive." (Nov. 2012)
Against: Would cut funding to the Department of Education's Common Core initiative, and overall from the department itself (Jan. 2015)
Against: Has called to shut down sections of the internet (Dec. 2015)
Against: Has called to move Apple manufacturing to America, which would destabilize the company and exponentially raise the cost of its products (Jan. 2016)
Ted Cruz (Republican, 28% in Iowa)
Look, I'm not here to judge. If you like Ted Cruz for his stalwart defense of the traditional American values and love affair with the flat tax, it's all good. That said, as far as science and technology are concerned, Cruz has no clue what's going on.
At one point, he confusingly called Net Neutrality "the biggest threat to the internet ever," only to later thank the opponents of PIPA and SOPA for stepping up to the plate to fight for freedom on the web.
For: Wants to spend less time monitoring law-abiding citizens, and more time "going after bad guys" (Jan. 2014)
For: Opposed the Protect IP and Stop Online Piracy Acts (2012)
Against: Opposes Net Neutrality and the idea of reclassifying the internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. (Nov. 2014)
Against: Called Net Neutrality "the ObamaCare for the internet" in a piece for The Washington Post (Nov. 2014)
Against: Denies the impact of human activity on climate change, and claims NASA has done too much research on the subject (March 2015)
Against: Would deport international students upon completion of their bachelors or masters degrees (Dec. 2015)
Bernie Sanders (Democrat, 50% in Iowa)
While Bernie Sanders hasn't given America his complete view on all aspects of science and technology, his broad-stroke ideas are generally agreeable. He generally votes to increase spending for research and development while simultaneously pushing for free college tuition for the first two years. He's a member of the Congressional Internet Caucus and has done the most out of any candidate to preserve the internet in its current form.
For: Calls climate change the biggest threat to national security (Oct. 2015)
For: In 2007, introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, which would have required broadband service providers to adhere to neutrality provisions and other regulations (2007)
For: Is a member of the Congressional Internet Caucus, a group of Senators that educates and informs their colleagues about the challenges and promises of the internet (1996)
For: Believes electing not to vaccinate a child is "dangerous and wrong" (Feb. 2015)
For: Not against GMOs, however believes that foods with GMO crops should be labeled (June 2015)
For: Supports NASA and its quest for discovering new knowledge and technologies (2015)
Against: However, has not said that he would increase the department's budget (2015)
Hillary Clinton (Democrat, 50% in Iowa)
Hillary Clinton has been in politics for a very long time and, as you might expect, carries a bit of baggage into her bid for presidency. While a few issues, like her complacency on the Keystone XL pipeline and email controversy, may have marred her image, Clinton supports many programs that continually push for scientific and technological advances.
For: Proposed the idea of universal pre-kindergarten that will start education one year earlier (June 2007)
For: Was crucial in the negotiations with China for first agreement to lower carbon emissions (2009)
For: Said she prevented the government from "going too far" in its access to private information (Aug. 2014)
For: On SOPA/PIPA: "When ideas are blocked, information deleted, conversations stifled, and people constrained in their choices, the internet is diminished for all of us. There isn't an economic internet and a social internet and a political internet. There's just the internet." (Jan. 2012)
For: "The science of climate change is unforgiving, no matter what the deniers may say. Sea levels are rising; ice caps are melting; storms, droughts and wildfires are wreaking havoc. … If we act decisively now, we can still head off the most catastrophic consequences." (Dec. 2014)
For: "The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue and #vaccineswork. Let's protect all our kids." (Feb. 2015)
Against: Used a private email server for official communications while serving as the Secretary of State (March 2015)
Martin O'Malley (Democrat, 0% in Iowa)
Update: Martin O'Malley announced on Wednesday, Feb. 3 that he would officially end his campaign for President of the United States.
Finally, Martin O'Malley, former Governor of Maryland, brings up the rear of the list. Due to O'Malley's low polling numbers, he hasn't seen as much screen time or as much attention from the media as his rivals.
However, he remains one of the possible candidates for the Democratic nomination. In the past, O'Malley has supported funding for building out infrastructure needed for faster internet speeds, and he believes in clean energy. But, without much of a platform, it isn't all that clear how he plans to achieve any of it.
For: "Climate change is real. We must create an American jobs agenda to build a new renewable energy future. … And if we take these actions, the American Dream will live again." (May 2015)
For: Supported an investment of $156 million in federal, state and local funds to connect all 24 counties in Maryland via high-speed fiber-optic broadband (Feb. 2012)
For: Created a position for a Chief Information Officer in Baltimore that would work to drive the "digitization of the federal government" (2000)
For: Has goals for the country to be energy independent and says, "New technologies have put a clean energy, energy independent future within reach…" (June 2015)
Against: However, has not proposed a specific plan or set of technologies to make that possible (June 2015)
The best Super Bowl 50 commercials are the ones with tech - watch them now
Don't wait till Sunday
As players and fans alike prepare for Super Bowl 50, so are major companies looking to grab the spotlight during the nation's, if not the world's, most-watched television event of the year.
With a $5 million price tag for just 30 seconds of air, every brand has to put forth the biggest, silliest, or most elaborate ad it can muster, and some big names in tech are throwing their hats in the ring this year among the usual cast of cheap beer and corn chip products.
While a few still remain under wraps from now until the big game on Sunday, we've collected the best spots already available for your viewing pleasure, so grab some cheap beer and corn chip products, and enjoy!
Digging up an old meme is typically the MO for a corporation desperately grasping at the youth demographic, but we can't help but find the charm in Drake reviving his quirky moves and undeniably huggable sweater from the Hotline Bling music video.
The R&B singer's affable mocking of competing phone carriers isn't the only thing T-Mobile has planned for the Super Bowl, as it has also teased a second commercial. The short promo only shows us what won't be in it, however.
While not the "real" ad per se, Amazon's teasers for its upcoming Super Bowl spot already combine two great properties - Alec Baldwin, seemingly channeling his Jack Donaghy character from 30 Rock, and the Amazon Echo.
The two other teasers follow Baldwin's efforts to throw the perfect Super Bowl party, assisted by Echo's built-in AI, Alexa. While we look forward to seeing if Alec's get-together is a success this weekend, we wonder if he's aware that Alexa also knows how to order pizza.
In this ad for the online housing search service, national treasure Jeff Goldblum adopts his persona as Apartments.com's self-ascribed Silicon Valley Maverick, Brad Bellflower.
This more or less gives him carte blanche to gallivant on a flying piano as he sings about the joys of "movin' on up" to a better home, as roomies, newlyweds, and families find new places to live throughout the course of the commercial.
Oh, yeah, and Lil' Wayne shows up. Apparently, Weezy makes a dang fine apple pie. George Washington also makes an appearance ... what was this an ad for, again?
We can't think of a name for this style of commercial, but you know it when you see it. Thumpingkumi-daiko drums, fast edits, and an in-your-face attitude are the calling card of these advertisements, typically reserved for athletic brands, like Nike.
Does this style of ad work for a payment service, though? Surprisingly, yes.
PayPal's threat of replacing your money of yore seems to gel just fine with the hustle and bustle of those triumphant horns, chants and drum beats. It's kind of like Pokémon's 20th anniversary Super Bowl spot - it's engineered from the start to pump us up, and we can't help but get chills.
Wix brought in the help of DreamWorks animators to entwine their "drag-and-drop" website creator with the latest entry in the Kung-Fu Panda movie trilogy. The CG-animated short stars Po in parodies of famous Super Bowl ads in an attempt to draw customers to his adoptive father's noodle shack.
DreamWorks apparently had a field day with this, as it made not one, not two, not three, but four other shorts with Wix, in which the Po-tagonist tries other methods of repping his dad's restaurant. The bits are a fun, albeit brief, time, though we're confused by Master Shifu's anachronistic knowledge of laptops and HTML5.
Alright, so this commercial's got Liam Neeson returning to Super Bowl ads, a digital dystopia that rips off the best parts of Tron: Legacy, and the cheesiest Shyamalan-esque plot twist at the end - all to promote LG's 4K OLED television.
It would take approximately 34,506,455 years to play through every single iPhone game on the App Store. Well, OK, we might have made that number up, but surely we can't be too far off.
The App Store is crammed with gaming goodies to keep thumbs busy, but not all iPhone games are born equal - which is why we've done the difficult job of playing through as many games as humanly possible in order to tell you which are best. After many trials and tribulations, we arrived at the list you're about to dive into: the 50 best games you can enjoy on your iPhone today.
In addition to our ongoing list of the 50 best iPhone games money can (or can't) buy, this article will also be updated every week with the latest top-tier titles that you'll want to be sure to check out. (Just skip ahead a few slides if you want to dive right into the top 50.) This week's newcomers include Crashlands, Dungelot: Shattered Lands, and Lost in Harmony.
Kill the Plumber World ($2.99/£2.29/AU$4.49)
New this week! Unlike that other game about a plumber, Kill the Plumber World lets you play the bad guys and catch the hero before he makes it to the goal. Jump on him, squish him from above, or fling some hammers his way - each level offers up a new challenge in killing him off.
Adventures of Mana ($13.99/£10.49/AU$21.99)
New this week! Relive a Game Boy classic RPG on your iPhone with Adventures of Mana, a story about friends working together to protect the Tree of Mana from the Dark Lord of Glaive. This remake updates the original and offers wonderful puzzles, mobile-friendly controls, and gorgeous visuals. Enjoy its combat system and stellar soundtrack as you fight to save the world.
New this week! Tsuro is a beautifully meditative board game that comes to iOS, letting you play with friends or against the computer. You and your opponents will take turns drawing cards and placing them on the board for your playing pieces to follow. The objective of this game of paths is to avoid falling off the board. As ever, it's a mixture of strategy and luck.
Space Grunts ($1.99/£1.49/AU$5.99)
New this week! Sneak through the corridors of an alien space station and take down enemies while picking up helpful power-ups in the rogueish Space Grunts. This turn-based game only gives you three weapons to defend yourself with so you'll need to upgrade and stock up on weaponry to take down all the aliens, robots, and security drones standing in your way.
Pull My Tongue ($.99/£.79/AU$1.49)
New this week! Pull My Tongue is a charming puzzler that requires you to pull a chameleon's tongue and guide it to the elusive popcorn piece in each level. You'll have to pull his tongue in such a way to avoid traps like spikes zappers while pulling switches and collecting optional stars to get that high score. 90 cleverly created levels are sure to challenge your thinking skills and keep you smiling.
Rainmaker - The Beautiful Flood ($3.99/£2.99/AU$5.99)
New this week! Each puzzle in this minimalistic game lets you transform into different objects and unravels a story about a mysterious rain that is flooding the world. You need to reach the exit in each puzzle you play, so you may need to time your transformations at just the right time in order to get there. Turn into a bubble, a basketball, and even a spider as you discover and solve the game's mysteries.
New this week! Help a lovable robot reach the atoms it needs to repair its ship in Atomi, a casual puzzler that is sure to challenge your logic skills. Each level requires you to create a path out of some shapes provided, and the trick lies in figuring out where to place each shape to ensure the path is sturdy enough. With over 200 levels and two difficulty modes, this puzzler is sure to keep you pleasantly occupied.
Open Bar ($1.99/£1.49/AU$2.99)
New this week! Featuring minimalistic and soothing visuals, Open Bar is a casual puzzler that has you placing tiles on the screen to clear out lines of various colors. Sometimes you may need to swap out tiles to make them all line up, and later levels increase the number of colored lines for added difficulty. Its catchy soundtrack and bite-sized puzzles make it highly addictive.
Twofold inc. ($3.99/£2.99/AU$5.99)
New this week!Twofold Inc. may look perplexing at first, but once you get your hands on this curious puzzler, you'll be hooked. Each time you play, you'll be given a grid of colored tiles and a few "requests" you need to complete by matching several tiles of the same color. The idea is to complete as many requests as possible before you run out of moves. Match tiles and keep an eye on your available moves as you put your logic skills to the test.
New this week!NeoArcade is a collection of four arcade-inspired titles that are sure to take you down memory lane and channel your competitive spirit. Games that put a twist on Brick Breaker, ice hockey, Tanks, and Snake are great to play against the world via online leaderboards, or against a friend on the same device. Aim for a high score and rest assured you won't need quarters to play again.
Super Phantom Cat ($1.99/£1.49/AU$2.99)
New this week! A colorful and upbeat platformer, Super Phantom Cat is sure to put a smile on your face with its retro-inspired levels and unique brand of humor. Jump and make your way through various worlds to collect data and stars, avoiding enemies and uncovering hidden areas and characters. A smooth soundtrack, tricky platforming mechanics, and tons of secrets await you.
Circa Infinity ($2.99/£2.29/AU$4.49)
New this week! Leap into concentric circles in Circa Infinity, a platformer that's as dazzling as it is dizzying. Each level requires you to get deeper inside all the spinning circles, but you need to jump at just the right moment to actually reach the next one. On top of that, demonic enemies soon appear within each circle. See if you can complete each level without dying once.
Infinite Skater ($.99/£.79/AU$1.49)
New this week! An endless runner that's quite easy on the eyes, Infinite Skater is gorgeous to look at an a breeze to play. Your usual runner mechanics come into play here, but its stunning worlds breathe new life into the experience and feature aerial stunts, pastel colors, and spirit animals to find and befriend.
Crashlands is an engrossing story-driven RPG that lets you craft and battle your way through a hilarious tale of survival and package delivery. Build weapons and tools out of you the materials you get from your surroundings and complete various side-quests for the creatures you meet along the way. Fresh and addictive, the game is sure to keep you coming back for more crafting and hilarious one-liners that are sure to make you smile.
A beautifully pixelated adventure, Sky Chasers requires you to use your fingers to guide your character along side-scrolling paths collecting coins and completing side-quests for his friends. Your cardboard ship has a limited fuel supply, so you'll occasionally have to stop by checkpoints to refuel and avoid any pesky enemies that add an element of danger to your otherwise peaceful trip. Solve simple puzzles and upgrade your ship as you enjoy its rich colorful worlds.
Keep your planet alive by tapping out any enemies that approach its orbit in the addictive survival game Playnets. Each planet you save also comes with its own set of abilities you can use when in a pinch that can stun, freeze, or zap incoming baddies. You'll need to have quick fingers to guarantee your planets survive waves of attacks so be sure to upgrade them to make them stronger and take more hits.
Tap your way through dozens of dungeons in the roguelike Dungelot: Shattered Lands. Each room you travel to requires you to tap its paths to uncover keys, treasure, or even monsters to battle. The objective is to make it to the exit in one piece but chances are you'll die and try again until you get there. Its addictive format and leveling up features are sure to keep you coming back for more.
An elegant blend of colors and sounds, Lost in Harmony is a rhythm runner that follows the intriguing story of two friends and their dream-world adventures. Levels have you dodging enemies that come from behind or in front and tapping on cues in sync with the music. The music, ranging from classical to modern techno, evolves as you progress, and you can even make your own levels to share with the world.
Build the restaurant of your dreams and make sure you expand and manage it just right to make it beat the competition in World Chef. This management sim requires you to use your resources well to so your chefs have access to the ingredients they need to cook the foods your customers want. Money and experience will allow you hire more chefs, build new rooms, and turn your restaurant into the go-to spot on the block.
Team up with spiritual guardians from the past and harness their abilities as you complete quests and try to save your kingdom in Guardian Stone. Turn-based battles require you to think on your feet and choose the correct attack that ensures you stay standing despite the opposition. Choose from over 69 guardians, evolve them, and create the character you want to play in this robust RPG.
Combine cats and explosion and you have yourself a card game that's quite the winner. Based on the physical card game, Exploding Kittens is a local multiplayer title that puts a feline twist on Russian Roulette. This means you don't want to be the player who draws the kitten or else you're done. Draw cards that help you avoid or move any possible explosions and figure out strategies to make sure you don't blow yourself up.
The Westport Independent is essentially a censorship simulator that lets you see what the effects your choices in running a newspaper have on society. Will you choose to leave out the less favorable details from your front page story or will you lambast the Loyalist Party in the stories you publish? Your employees will be affected by what you publish and so will your country and its citizens.
Simple and yet increasingly difficult, Geometry Lock challenges you to correctly tap the screen at the right time to complete pieces of a geometric pattern. Each level gives you a different shape to reassemble and starts off a timer so the trick is to be quick but accurate when figuring out where a shape should go. Play alone or hook it up to Apple TV for four-player matches.
We've been after a decent futuristic racer on the iPhone for some time, but none of them really felt right. AG Drive bucks the trend, echoing Wipeout and F-Zero: breakneck speed is married with pitch-perfect tilt controls and suitably shiny graphics. Also, there's absolutely no IAP, so the only way you're going to win is with mastery and skill.
2. Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise (US$2.99/£2.29/AU$4.49)
Explore the stylish home of a nefarious spy in Agent A, a snazzy puzzler that is sure to captivate you with its sleek visuals and ingenious puzzles hidden in the environment. Check underneath everything for any hidden trinkets, disable security systems, and keep mental notes of where you think an item is used as you play. Keep your logic skills on point as you enjoy this casual yet engrossing puzzler.
Anagrams and crossword puzzles combine in Alpha Omega, a game where you only get the first and last letter of each word which you'll need to unscramble. Perfect for those who crave a challenge, this puzzler offers hundreds of levels that get harder as you progress through the Greek alphabet. Use a hint if you must, but these puzzles are sure to please purists who simply love a good word challenge without any distractions.
Bears of all shapes and sizes will make you smile as you spell words with the letters on your screen in Alphabear. Each time you make a word, bears will populate your board and grow in size the more letters you use around them. The bigger the bear at the end of your game, the more points you score. Use helpful bear buddies you unlock to give you bonus points as you play through an endless array of word challenges.
We've all played brick-breaking games here and there, but Brickies enhances the familiar concept and takes it to a whole other level. You'll still need to break all the shapes on the screen, but some of them will require multiple hits to break, for example, while others can only be hit from a specific side. Use power-ups to break through multiple blocks, but keep an eye on the timer as you play through its addictive levels.
Capitals is a word game that requires both a knack for vocabulary as it does for strategizing your enemy's demise. Each match puts you against an opponent and requires you to spell out words around your enemy's "capital" or yours. Using his letters will diminish his dominance and using yours will expand your realm. If you or your opponent loses his capital, the game is over. Plan ahead and come out victorious.
Chaos Rings III is one of those RPGs that will suck you in. Featuring rich colors and 3D worlds to explore, this game takes place on a floating continent and brings together a group of different characters on a pilgrimage to reach the Marble Blue planet and uncover the mysteries it holds. Fight your way through countless battles, complete mobile-friendly missions, and enjoy the gorgeous vistas as you explore its world.
RPGs can be complicated affairs with tons of rules to master, but Clicker Heroes simply requires you to tap your screen to defeat thousands of enemies and make your way through its near endless worlds. Hire heroes to do damage for you so you can take a break from tapping and farm coins to power them up or unlock stronger allies. It's a charming quintessential clicker game that is sure to get you hooked in no time.
This endless take on Frogger finds your cuboid character confronting countless deadly roads, train lines and rivers, before inevitable squashage. It's the characters that make the game, though – a varied roster of people, animals and 'things' won using a one-armed bandit, fed with coins collected en route (you can just buy stuff, too, but Crossy Road also lets you earn by watching videos and bestows regular coin top-ups anyway, making it the least obnoxious free-to-play game with IAP imaginable).
Does Not Commute is a clever game that combines driving and puzzle elements to provide you with a unique and suspenseful experience. Each chapter requires you to drive a number of quirky commuters to their destinations, and once you do, the path you just made is saved and replayed when you control the next vehicle. You don't have much time either, so you'll need to avoid crashing and plan your paths carefully to succeed.
Single-screen platformer Drop Wizard is infused with the soul of classics such as Snow Bros. and Bubble Bobble, but it's also part auto-runner. You can only run left or right, and your wizard blasts magic on landing. Strategy, therefore, involves careful timing, to avoid and zap foes, and then kick them into a tumbling combo that will bounce about in a pleasingly destructive manner before turning into fruit. Because that's what vanquished platform-game enemies all did in the 1980s.
Fallout Shelter is an addictive resource management game that lets you be the overseer of your very own vault. This means you'll be responsible for its daily operations and need to assign your dwellers with jobs that benefit from their skills. Farm resources like water and electricity and expand your vault with more rooms and residents, but also protect yourself against accidents, raider invasions, and pesky radroach infestations.
A game needing no introduction to console players, Final Fantasy VII lets you dive into the city of Midgar and join Cloud, Tifa, and a whole party of classic heroes on a fight to save the planet from a villain named Sephiroth. This timeless JRPG now comes with mobile-friendly controls and even some nifty cheats for those who might have beaten the game a few times before and simply want to relive the moments everyone is still talking about.
If you're looking for a hidden gem of a game, Framed has your name written all over it. It's a unique puzzle game that makes good and novel use of the touchscreen.
Each scene looks like a page ripped out of a comic book and it's up to you to guide the character through it. Starting from left to right, you have to organize each panel so that you can run through and avoid harm.
The fate of House Forrester rests in your hands in this Game of Thrones episodic series. Enjoy a gripping storyline with plot twists around every corner as you play as characters trying to keep their family strong and united. The choices you make will have lasting consequences and repercussions, so be sure to play your cards right. But as it is with any Game of Thrones episode, tragedy is inevitably followed by more tragedy.
Tap into your inner rock star as you tap your screen to the music in Guitar Hero Live, the mobile version of the console game that comes free with two songs to try. Crowds will cheer you on if you're performance is solid, but miss too many notes and your bandmates will be seen shaking their heads and the audience will let you have it. The full game can also be played with a separate guitar controller and comes with over 40 songs and even more you can stream online.
Yes, the insanely popular online card game Hearthstone has been squashed down to fit your iPhone screen - and it works surprisingly well. With less space to play with, the creators have rejigged the deisign slightly; it's still the same game, just a bit more considerate to your thumbs. It's also still compatible with the tablet and desktop versions so you'll be able to play against your friends on the move. Requires at least an iPhone 4S or 5th generation iPod Touch.
An intriguing little game that lets you play detective, Her Story has received rave reviews for its incredibly engrossing gameplay. As a British woman is interviewed about her missing husband, it's up to you to search through the clues and discover what happened. An impressive achievement.
Charming, colorful, and lots of fun, Heroki follows the adventures of its eponymous hero tasked with saving his cloudy village from doom. Boasting over 10 hours of gaming, this side scroller features gorgeous worlds with secrets to uncover and menacing foes to defeat. Find collectibles, go on quests, and upgrade Heroki's abilities to last through some impressive boss battles in this engrossing adventure.
Square Enix would have been on a hiding to nothing converting its free-roaming 3D game to touchscreens, and so it's great to see the company do something entirely different with Hitman GO. Although still echoing the original series, this touchscreen title is presented as a board game of sorts, with turn-based actions against clockwork opposition. You must figure out your way to the prize, without getting knocked off (the board). It's an oddly adorable take on assassination, and one of the best iOS puzzlers.
If you've ever been mesmerized by impossible shapes and perspective illusion puzzles, hocus. is sure to take you for a spin. Each puzzle requires you to move a small red cube to reach a hole on a shape by guiding it down its sides. These kinds of geometric shapes can be deceiving so you'll need to figure out which sides will lead to where as you solve its 50 relaxing yet tricky conundrums.
Time was racing games were all about ludicrous speed, gorgeous graphics, and the sheer rush of weaving through a sea of cars to the finish line. Horizon Chase briefly reverses back to such halcyon days, grabs the best bits from the likes of Lotus and Top Gear, before zooming back to the present as a thoroughly modern arcade racer.
It looks gorgeous, with some stunning weather effects, and an odd but pleasing low-poly roadside-object style; it sounds great with veteran games musician Barry Leitch on soundtrack duties; but most importantly, it handles perfectly, and is a joy until the very last track.
Loaf lovers and gluten gourmands are in luck - I Am Bread will fulfill your lifelong wish to become a piece of bread and navigate your way through rooms to become toast…actual toast. Each time you begin a level, you'll need to keep your eyes sharp and locate anything that can help you get crisp and then tread across dangerous territory to get there. Don't get too dirty, though. No one likes a dirty piece of bread.
Humans are again getting a kicking at the hands of nasty aliens and it's up to you to stop them. Cliches aside, Implosion offers a stompy slash-and-shoot experience that feels entirely at home on the iPhone but scratches that itch when you fancy playing something that resembles what you'd find on a 'proper' games console.
Anagrams are one thing, but Jollygrams are another form of word scrambles that don't make sense at first but say them over enough times or rearrange their syllables and you'll get a phrase that does. Words like Plouse Hant and Band Socks will try to stump you, but think it over a bit and you'll earn some coins and move on to the next puzzle. Use a hint if you must, but soon you'll find it's all a "keys of pake."
Following in the footsteps of Hitman GO, which astonishingly managed to transform that series into an adorable board game, Lara Croft GO reworks the adventures of the world's most famous tomb raider. It's another turn-based affair, with lashings of atmosphere, finding Lara carefully working her way past traps crafted by an ancient civilisation with a penchant for blocky design and elaborate moving parts.
There are also lots of snakes and deadly lizards about, which she's quite keen on shooting in the head. The five chapters are quite brief, but savour the game rather than blazing through, and you'll find something that merges early Tomb Raider's sense of adventure and solitude, Monument Valley-level beauty, and bite-sized touchscreen gaming that's perfect for iPhone.
Leo's Fortune finds gruff hairball Leo in search of his gold, which has been dropped in a suspiciously trail-like manner across typically platform-game environments. As he scoops up coins, he finds himself whizzing round Sonic-style loops, solving puzzles by manipulating the environment, and negotiating increasingly complex and deadly pathways. It's a beautiful game, full of character, and well-suited to quick bursts on your iPhone.
Beautiful to look at and even more amazing to play, Lumino City is a puzzler that's also an adventure into a world of magic and color. Play as a Lumi, who ventures into the puzzling city following her grandpa's kidnapping and discovers people in need of her help. Featuring paper-like visuals, the city is filled with unique puzzles for you to find and solve and is sure to charm and invite you in every step of the way.
In Monument Valley, you journey through delightful Escher-like landscapes, manipulating the very architecture to build impossible paths along which to explore. It's not the most challenging of games (nor one with the most coherent of storylines), but each scene is a gorgeous and mesmerising bite-sized experience that showcases how important great craft is in the best iOS titles.
Play as a dad and a husband in Octodad, a hilarious game that tasks you with accomplishing basic daily tasks as best as you can so that your family doesn't get suspicious that you're, in fact, an octopus. Moving around in a man's world is harder than it sounds and you'll need to get used to your cephalopodan limbs as you pick things up, move around, and interact with people without accidentally outing yourself.
Bullet-hell meets blood-thirsty vampires in Operation Dracula, a shoot 'em up that boasts some great top-down action, a catchy soundtrack, and a difficulty curve that makes you feel like you're back in the 80s. Missions have you maneuvering your craft through levels that continuously assault you with enemies, bullets, and some relentless bosses so you need to keep your cool amid the frenetic violence happening all around you.
Get lost in the amazing worlds of Order & Chaos 2: Redemption, Gameloft's follow-up MMORPG that comes with even more quests to sink your teeth into. Optimized for mobile, this game features a new race to choose from as well as a new story that follows your character as he or she tries to restore peace to the world of Haradon. Plenty of exploration, characters, and dangers await you in this massive adventure.
Pac-Man 256 is a twist on the classic pellet-eating formula and has you racing for your life as the menacing Level 256 glitch from the original game tries to devour you. But it wouldn't be a Pac-Man game without those pesky ghosts to avoid and power pellets and fruit to collect. Use power-ups like lasers, tornados, and even a "giant" mode to survive when things get rough, but don't accidentally run into a dead end or it's over.
Save the world as you hop through the galaxy in Path to Luma, a gorgeous adventure puzzler that lets you harness the power of clean energy and explore planets to find the switches they need to power back up. As you play through the game's 20 levels, you will have to recharge batteries, turn on windmills, or rotate planets to create new routes to explore. You'll soon discover puzzles within puzzles that are a joy to solve.
You're in store for a gallery of pixelated masterpieces in Pixel 8, a charming puzzler that tasks you with recreating paintings pixel-by-pixel before time runs out. Paintings start off simple and small, but you'll soon be working on large works of art that span several themes and categories. Completing each one in the fastest time earns you a spot on the leaderboards as well as coins to unlock more puzzling galleries.
With its pixelated visuals and a soundtrack that is sure to make you feel nostalgic, you'd swear PixWing came out for Sega Genesis decades ago. This colorful flyer brings things into the modern age with its optional gyro controls that let you use your body to navigate your plane and it will even track how many calories you burn as you play. Gorgeous levels, collectibles, and timed challenges are sure to keep you busy in a good way.
Power Hover is an impressive action game that takes you through a beautiful world to recover a village's stolen power. Hover through deserts, oceans, and highways, and grind on rails as you make your way to the finish line, chase down baddies, or play through arcade-style boss runs and challenge your friends for the best score. Collect dropped batteries to unlock even more gorgeous and thrilling levels.
Progress to 100 is more than just a puzzle - it's a cleverly unique experience that will engage all aspects of your iPhone as you figure out what you have to do to move on. As its name states, each of the 100 puzzles you'll play gets you one step closer to finishing it, but each one also comes with a hint as to how to solve it. Repeatedly tap your screen, put your nose on your device, or move your head to solve its silly and satisfying riddles.
Prune is a meditative experience more akin to the art of bonsai than your usual puzzle game, but its relaxing levels and soothing sounds will captivate you nonetheless. Each level lets you grow a tree with a swipe of a finger and then prune enough of it branches so its buds can flower in the sunlight. As you progress, shadows and red orbs will pose obstacles for your tree as they'll block it from the sunlight and even poison its branches.
The setting of the sun signifies your doom in Race the Sun, a tense and riveting endless racer that gracefully challenges you to prolong the inevitable and keep flying. Each time you start a race, you need to be mindful of both incoming obstacles that can destroy your aircraft and power-ups that can extend your flight. The world you fly through changes every day so you are always on your toes wondering what lies ahead.
Join Rayman and friends as they journey through colorful worlds retrieving lost eggs and helping a sacred tree flourish. Levels in this action platformer can involve searching for hidden Teensies, beating up enemies on your path, or solving puzzles before making it to the goal. Take care of the creatures you hatch by feeding and playing with them and then take them on your adventures for a helpful boost.
42. Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon (US$1.99/£1.49/AU$2.99)
A game of exploration, mystery, and puzzles, Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon once again stars an intrepid eight-legged protagonist and lets you unravel a subtle story with each clue you find. Trap insects in your web as you explore the enormous Blackbird Estate, and solve some puzzles along the way too. What's more, the game uses your location, time, and local weather to add dynamic features to your experience each time you play.
Strategy is a big part of your success in this colorful roguelike, so you'll need to plan your steps accordingly or else enemies will ambush you when you least expect it. Use your items wisely or purchase equipment to permanently own them and give your characters a fighting chance when up against some tough bosses. Just don't be fooled by its whimsical music or deceptive cutesy design - this is one tough game.
Super Dangerous Dungeons is sure to bring you back to a time when 16-bit platformers ruled the world. Its 48 colorful levels feature classic traps and enemies that will keep you engaged as you turn on switches, find keys, and avoid dangerous terrain on your way to the exit. Jump your way through bottomless pits and beat giant bosses that require some finesse and careful timing to defeat.
Ah, Super Hexagon. We remember that punishing first game, which must have lasted all of three seconds. Much like the next - and the next. But then we recognised patterns in the walls that closed in on our tiny ship, and learned to react and dodge. Then you threw increasingly tough difficulty levels at us, and we've been smitten ever since.
Follow a group of unlikely friends on their quest for greatness in this episode series set in Pandora following the events of Borderlands 2. You'll travel to familiar locations and interact with pivotal characters from the action games, but your choices are what matter most as they can come back to haunt you later on. Clever writing and a talented cast are sure to keep your laughing through each hilarious episode.
Featuring more than just boxes to examine, The Room Three expands the format of the original just enough to create a uniquely tactile experience that definitely pulls you into the many nooks and crannies you'll be entering to solve. Gorgeous box puzzles still play an important role in the game, but many other clever logic games are sure to tickle your brain and condition you to look closely at everything that could turn out to be a puzzle. Three's a charm indeed.
There are two sides to TouchTone. The foundation is a topical story about intercepting communications, ostensibly to make the world safer. The game itself involves reflecting signals to receivers, using a tiled grid where every item on a row or column moves as one. The story gives you added impetus to keep going, even when you've been racking your brains for days to come up with a solution to a particular puzzle.
It's always great when a savvy developer rethinks a genre and comes up with something that feels fresh. EightyEight Games welds auto-running to match-three in You Must Build A Boat. Deft fingerwork must be married with careful timing, matching keys as the hero approaches locked chests, or swords at the moment an incoming enemy prepares to get all stabby. Get shoved off of the left-hand side of the screen and you're told YOU WIN!, because every step potentially adds to your coffers. There are missions to complete, abilities to power-up, and a cheeky sense of humour that sets the title apart from its frequently comparatively po-faced contemporaries.
An immersive story, stellar soundtrack, and a fluid turn-based combat system are just a few delights that await you as you journey to the world of Orcanon and uncover the first installment of this mobile RPG. Gorgeous cutscenes accompany your characters as they travel throughout a kingdom filled with dangers and secrets. Customize your experience by crafting your own weapons and bring your friends with you into battle as you fight to save the world.
Versus: iPhone 6S vs iPhone 6S Plus: Apple's latest smartphones go head to head
Apple's latest two superphones have a lot in common, but they're far from identical – and in many ways they're aimed at quite different users. And with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus both carrying a hefty price tag, it's vital that you make the right choice and avoid buyer's remorse.
So how does Apple's compact champion compare to its beastly blower? And which is the right phone for you? We've put the two handsets head to head to give you all the facts and figures, and help you choose.
In a lot of ways, the design of the iPhone 6S is very similar to that of the iPhone 6S Plus. Both phones have a metal chassis crafted from '7000 series aluminium', a material designed to make the handsets stronger than their predecessors.
Both also have the same overall shape and appearance, with a rounded body, and antenna lines running along the back. They also come in the same selection of colours: silver, gold, space grey or rose gold.
But of course their dimensions differ. The iPhone 6S is 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm, while the iPhone 6S Plus is 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm. That makes the iPhone 6S Plus significantly larger than its sibling, and a little thicker, and in practice it's slightly more unwieldy to use, especially with one hand.
The iPhone 6S Plus is also heavier, at 192g, while the iPhone 6S is just 143g. You'll likely feel that difference in both your hand and your pocket.
At 5.5 inches the iPhone 6S Plus has a larger screen than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6S. There are merits to that larger screen, as movies and games look great on it, and you can also fit more on the display when browsing the web and using apps.
On the flip side, it makes it more awkward to use the phone one-handed. Unless you have massive mitts you'll probably be forced to operate it with two hands much of the time, or just write off the extremities of the screen as a lost cause. The iPhone 6S, meanwhile, is small enough to use comfortably with one hand.
The size isn't the only difference between these two displays – the 1080 x 1920 iPhone 6S Plus screen is also higher in resolution than the 750 x 1334 iPhone 6S display. Despite the larger screen size the 6S Plus also has a higher pixel density, at 401 pixels per inch, while the display on the iPhone 6S is just 326 pixels per inch.
So the screen on the iPhone 6S Plus is sharper, and therefore slightly better overall. But both handsets have great displays, producing bright, vibrant colours, and both benefit from Apple's innovative - but so far underused - 3D Touch feature.
The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus each have a 1.84GHz dual-core Apple A9 processor and 2GB of RAM, so they offer almost identical performance.
The A9 supposedly provides significantly more power than the A8 chip in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but with those phones still delivering slick performance the real world difference is negligible.
The key thing to note here is that, aside from the occasional bit of slowdown when loading or exiting apps, both the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are almost impeccably smooth operators. Down the line the iPhone 6S might prove a little nippier as it's got fewer pixels to power, but that's not likely to cause a noticeable difference.
There's little between the phones here too. The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus both have 12MP snappers on the back and 5MP cameras on the front.
Both phones are highly competent shooters, but the iPhone 6S Plus has the edge as it features optical image stabilisation to reduce camera shake, which causes blurred shots.
Neither of these phones are exactly known for their battery life, but the iPhone 6S Plus is the better of the two.
Its 2750mAh juice pack is bigger than the 1715mAh one in the iPhone 6S, and despite having a larger phone to power it's also longer lasting, with Apple quoting up to 24 hours of talk time on the 6S Plus, against just 14 hours on the 6S.
The difference in battery consumption when it comes to internet use, video and audio playback, and standby times are similarly striking. Both phones will typically need a daily charge, but the iPhone 6S Plus should more comfortably see you through to bed time.
Price and availability
The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are both widely available, but you'll pay a premium for Apple's larger handset. It starts at £619 (US$749, AU$1,229) for the 16GB version, with the price rising to £789 (US$949, AU$1,529) for the 128GB model.
The iPhone 6S isn't exactly cheap either though, at £539 ($649, AU$1,079) for the 16GB phone and £699 ($849, AU$1,379) for the 128GB version.
The choice between the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus largely comes down to whether you want a phablet or would prefer something more compact.
That distinction aside, the iPhone 6S Plus has the edge in a number of areas, thanks to its larger battery, a sharper screen and optical image stabilisation. But it's also significantly more expensive, and a little awkward to use with one hand.
Ultimately, however, these are both four-star phones, and the best Apple has to offer – at least until the iPhone 7 arrives.
DICE also announced it is holding a closed beta for those wanting to step in Faith's (highly athletic) shoes early, opening registration on the game's website. The beta can be played on PS4, Xbox One and on PC through Origin, though an EA Account is needed to sign up.
Mirror's Edge Catalyst releases on May 24 for the above-mentioned platforms. It's not yet been announced when the closed beta will start, though interested players should still sign up as soon as possible, since slots will likely be limited.
New Serial episodes takes us back to Season 1 - listen to the first one now
It was a podcast season that captivated millions, and now it's coming back for three more episodes.
Serial, Sarah Koenig's creation, is revisiting Season 1 to document a hearing in Baltimore for Adnan Syed. The first Season One: Update episode is up now, and two more will follow.
Lawyers for Syed, who was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend when he was 17, are seeking for his conviction to be overturned based on new evidence. They'll also argue that Syed's defense attorney at the time of his conviction was incompetent. One of his original attorney's mistakes, Syed's lawyers claim, is that she failed to contact Asia McClain, "a potential alibi witness."
Koenig will break from her weekly release format to bring new Update episodes daily. The Day 2 one isn't available yet, but we expect it will be by the end of the today.
Update: Amazon Echo now supports Spotify! Spotify Premium subscribers in the U.S. can now listen to their music on their smart speaker by simply connecting the Echo to their Spotify account and asking Alexa, "Alexa, play Today's Top Hits from Spotify."
Original review below...
About one year ago I had my first conversation with Alexa, a personal assistant built in to the $179 Amazon Echo (about £125, AU$230). The conversation wasn't very deep, but I got a good laugh asking Alexa stupid questions, having her shuffle my music and asking about mundane topics like the weather or the time. The earliest conversations were simple, almost child-like.
As the months went on our conversations got deeper as the team at Amazon added more functionality. Soon we could talk about sports, or what I had coming up on my calendar. Alexa could report that the Buffalo Bills lost another game (not that I need an AI to tell me that) and how I was already late for a meeting.
It wasn't much longer before Alexa could read audiobooks, play my favorite podcasts and control some of the other smart devices I have around the house. Most recently Amazon took Alexa out of the house (figuratively) to teach her about local businesses through Yelp. I can now ask Alexa about where I should go for Chinese food, or when the grocery store closes.
All this is a way to say that I've seen the Amazon Echo grow up from a novelty to an actually semi-intelligent AI. I've used products for years – my iPod or Xbox, for example – but this is the first time that I've witnessed something evolve so much without ever needing a guiding hand.
After spending a year with it in my home, it's clear that Amazon Echo is something you don't know you want until you have it, and something you don't miss until it's gone. Which is surprising, really, when you consider that its primary function – a Bluetooth speaker for music – is actually pretty subpar.
If I didn't know what I know about portable Bluetooth speakers, it'd be easy to mistake the Echo for a portable dehumidifier. It's all matte black exterior and 9.25 x 3.27 inch cylindrical shape gives it the kind of camouflage you'd expect from an appliance.
Another difference between the Echo and other portable speakers is that the Echo isn't exactly portable. It needs to be plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi at all times. (Which, considering the six-foot power cable, can be a bit of a struggle.)
And this decision makes sense when you give it some thought. How could an always-on microphone hear you if it runs out of power? It couldn't. Moreover, how would it send your voice to Amazon servers without a connection to the internet? Again, not going to happen.
Sure, it's a hassle to always be connected, but Wi-Fi networks are a dime-a-dozen in 2015.
On top of the canister are two buttons, mute and listen, while the top ring rotates to raise or lower volume. If you're worried about regular controls (play, pause, forward and backward), don't. The Echo comes with a traditional remote identical to the one that comes with the Amazon Fire TV, or can be controlled from your phone via the Amazon Echo App.
Speaking of which, the app isn't the most fleshed-out companion app I've ever used, and can feel pretty barren in comparison to the Amazon Fire TV storefront. I found a few of the selections relatively useful – controlling radio stations via the app is painless compared with asking Alexa to do it – but the design looks and feels like it certainly wasn't ready for release.
Along the bottom of the Echo is a 360-degree speaker grille that gives it some surprisingly room-filling sound along with a small, white Amazon logo.
While the Echo can crank the volume, the quality of the sound near its upper and lower limits leaves a lot to be desired.
Testing took place in two environments: my small, 12 x 14 ft bedroom and much larger 20 x 15 ft living room. The confined space, as you might expect, benefitted the quieter volume levels and completely muddled anything above 7. Given enough space, sound only faltered at the highest levels, 9 and 10, but Alexa had a tougher time picking up commands. At least the balance around volumes 4-6 were spot on.
With any other Bluetooth speaker, these kinds of problems would've been grounds for a failing grade. But the fact that Alexa not only needs to produce a lot of noise, but be able to hear over it as well, is good reason to cut it some slack.
Streaming music selection
Now that I've sold you on its music-playing capabilities (not), you're probably thinking, "but gee, what can I play on it?"
The Echo supports TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Pandora and, if you're a Prime subscriber, Amazon Prime Music.
The first two require syncing registered accounts to your companion app, and can be activated by some very round-about voice commands. ("Alexa, play Foo Fighters on iHeartRadio." "Would you like me to add a Foo Fighters station to your iHeartRadio account?" "Uh...yes?" "OK. I've added it.")
Most of the time though, Amazon Prime Music is Alexa's go-to media app. If the song isn't available on Prime Music – and trust me, two out of three songs are not – then Alexa will play a sample from the Amazon Music Store instead. Decide you like what you're listening to? Buying the song or album is as simple as saying "Alexa, buy this song," and confirming the price.
But, if all else fails or you don't feel like re-buying songs you've paid for on other services, there's one last-ditch effort to get your music: Amazon will actually allow you to import 250 songs to the cloud from your personal collection for free. This may not sound like a lot, but for those of us with one or two go-to playlists, it compensates for any slight inconvenience it caused to add them.
When it works, Alexa feels like the talking computer that sci-fi has been imagining for the last 50 years. Conversations can happen in informal language, and queries are picked up by natural cues instead of awkward syntax. Both "Alexa tell me about razors" and "Alexa, what is a razor?" lead me to the same answer, and feel completely natural when said out loud.
One year later...
The scariest part of Amazon's grand experiment is that it's still going, and has shown no signs of slowing down. Alexa receives more updates than my Amazon Fire TV or the Kindle, and the team of developers have proven time after time that they really care about feedback.
Alexa is still behind Siri in terms of what it can do, but one year from now, on Alexa's second birthday, that might not be the case.
Alexa, as an AI, used to feel more like a fun parlor trick that I could show off at a dinner party, rather than a full-fledged personal assistant like the other two. Now it's practical to use it over going and turning on my computer or pulling out my phone.
The addition of information about local businesses is a big step forward, and shows that other companies are taking notice of Alexa and want to integrate their services with it. It's validation that this project has become bigger and more important to Amazon than anyone ever thought.
There's still growing to do, though. Alexa doesn't handle deep knowledge questions very well (it won't answer questions like "who was the President in 1954?") but it's an exponentially smarter system than the one I pulled out of the box a year ago.
That first year, I spent so much time focusing on how the Echo performed as a Bluetooth speaker that I failed to see how much potential the platform had as a smart-home hub and generally intelligent, time-saving device. I put it up against Siri and there was no contest – Apple's AI was simply smarter and more well-rounded. That's no longer the case.
For many, the $179 Echo is still a novelty, and until Alexa starts truly understanding natural human speech I don't expect to change their minds. The Echo is for those that can recognize the potential in a product, the DIY-ers and makers of the world that can look at something and find new uses.
It's for those that need a Bluetooth speaker, sure (as I stated earlier, I really can't see myself going back to a run-of-the-mill speaker after spending so much time with the Echo), but it's not the audio fidelity that will keep the Echo on your shelf for a year. It's Alexa.
If you can't see yourself enjoying the 'smart' aspect of Amazon's smart speaker, I wouldn't recommend the Echo. With other connected speakers out there like Sonos, LG Multi-Room Audio and a dozen Google Cast-enabled devices like the Chromecast Audio, there's just no reason to go all-in on a subpar speaker.
That said, if you want to see the future of AI in the making and be a part of that process, you absolutely need to buy the Amazon Echo.
Editor's note: We've reached out to Amazon about UK/AU availability details, and will update this review when we know more.
Updated: How to watch Super Bowl 50 online for free
Update: Watch Super Bowl 50 online free using the guide below! Just because the opening night celebration is over doesn't mean the festivities need to end.
Come February 8, the NFL will have a new champion.
Super Bowl 50 (no more roman numerals!), featuring the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, kicks off Sunday at 6:30 pm EST / 3:30 pm PST on CBS.
"Wait a minute," you say incredulously. "I thought the Super Bowl was only broadcast on Fox, NBC or ABC."
Well it is, sometimes. But not this year. Every year the network rotates in order to spread the wealth amongst the top three biggest broadcast stations.
But just because ABC's running the show, you don't need cable to watch it: Check down below for ways to watch the biggest game of the year with - or without - a cable subscription.
Pre-game: Opening night on the NFL Network
Super Bowl 50 festivities begin Monday night with an opening night event to be held at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET on Feb. 1.
The action starts at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA where the two teams will address the media for the first time after flying out to the San Francisco Bay Area.
This is the first time the NFL has ever broadcast the opening media events and, due to the slightly limited scope of two teams talking about football instead of playing it, the Super Bowl 50 Opening Ceremony will only be broadcast on the NFL Network channel or online at NFLNetwork.com.
If you have the channel available, it's absolutely worth tuning in for. There's your standard smacktalk, of course, but also a plethora of strangely dressed people that do on-the-spot interviews on who they think will win.
If that's not up your alley, the NFL Network will broadcast the events leading up to Super Sunday that are happening all around the Bay Area from 3 pm PT - 10 pm PT every day this week.
Game day: Where to watch Super Bowl 50
So what happens when you've stuffed yourself with pre-game activities and are ready to move on to the main course? When Sunday rolls around, things become slightly more complicated.
If you're on a PC or tablet, the only place you need to know is CBS Sports - which is offering a livestream to the game via this link: Super Bowl 50 livestream
"Wait," here we go again. "If it's so simple why don't we do this all year round?"
CBS, like ABC and NBC, typically locks this section down during the NFL season, requiring you to enter in your cable provider information to get anywhere close to the gridiron. Everyday of the season, that is, except Super Bowl Sunday.
Now, what about those of us trying to watch from a mobile device like, say, a new iPhone 6S or Samsung Galaxy S6? Unfortunately, as powerful as it is, even CBS has to bend a knee to Verizon come Super Sunday.
If you're on a mobile device, the only way to watch the game is through the NFL mobile app, which is only available to select Verizon customers. By "select customers" I mean those who subscribe to Verizon's signature "More Everything Plan." The plan, for the most part, isn't costly ($45 a month for individuals and family plans for $140 a month), but unless you're the biggest fan of football in the world, upgrading your plan just to watch the game is a bad call.
Finally, should you and your guests like to watch the game with Spanish commentary, ESPN Deportes is offering a Spanish-language telecast of the game. The best option to watch that without cable would be to subscribe to Sling TV, and then tack on "The Best of Spanish Live TV" package for an additional $5 per month.
Super Bowl 50 will be held in Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California on Sunday, Feb. 7. The Super Bowl 50 Pregame show starts at 3 pm PT / 6 pm PT with the kickoff at 3:30 / 6:30. The half-time show will be headlined by Coldplay and will also star Beyonce.
Stylish Vaio biz mobe is flying this way – ah, it's got Windows 10 inside
Shiny, shiny .. with a catch
Last year Sony offloaded its Vaio PC division and brand, and it was snapped up by a private equity outfit. The new owner promised to make luxury tech hardware that was irresistibly attractive. It's now unveiled its first Vaio phone, a stylish aluminium design, aimed at business people. What can go wrong? Well, nothing.…
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British expatriates may be able to vote in the EU referendum
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Mistrial application dismissed; Turks and Caicos corruption trial resumes
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