Sunday, September 30, 2012

PSX games now available in the Android Market, if you own an Xperia Play

PlayStation One games on the Android Market
If you're lucky enough to own an Xperia Play -- Sony Ericsson's new Gingerbread-powered smartphone-cum-gamepad -- you can now buy PlayStation (PSX) titles from the Android Market.

There are five titles currently available, all priced at £3.99: Syphon Filter, MediEvil, Cool Boarders 2, Destruction Derby, and Jumping Flash. They don't have an American price yet, but that will surely change once the Xperia Play launches in the States.

Two important questions remain unanswered: How big are these games? The Market descriptions say the games are only 5MB, but that sounds incredibly unlikely -- and more importantly, will it be possible to 'spoof' the Xperia Play and download PSX games onto other Gingerbread-powered phones, like the Nexus S?

In other news, the PlayStation emulator PSX4droid was recently removed from the Android Market. This obviously has nothing to do with today's release of first-party PlayStation games.

PSX games now available in the Android Market, if you own an Xperia Play originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 01 Apr 2011 04:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Android OS Updates: Who's the Decider?

Samsung has rolled out the first official Android 4.1 Jelly Bean updates for its Galaxy S III smartphone. Customers in Poland are reportedly getting the update first. Samsung will apparently roll out the update to customers in other countries later this month. A slew of Android devices that are ready for Jelly Bean are being released before the end of the year. However, rolling out an update to Android isn't a smooth process because "it's business and politics and everyone has a certain power play," said Michael Morgan, a senior analyst at ABI Research.



Bad Piggies for iPhone and iPad review

After what feels like an eternity since Angry Birds maker Rovio teased that they were working on a game that was from the pigs point of view, Bad Piggies is finally here. I wouldn't call it a "sequel" to Angry Birds, however, because it doesn't feature the birds at all. Instead, it's an entirely new game featuring only the pigs -- and it's awesome!

The objective of Bad Piggies is to help the pigs build modes of transportation to get them to the finish line. Each level also has the option of earning up to three stars, but unlike Angry Birds, these stars are not based off points and don't need to be earned in a single attempt. In fact, you usually can't earn all the star at once. Every level will give you one star for completing the level, another one for collecting the star icon, but the objective for the third star varies from level to level. For example, one level may have a time requirement, another may require that you not use a specific object in your machine, and another level may require you to get to the finish line without blowing up TNT. I'm a huge fan of this approach to earning stars because it fosters creativity since you usually have to change your vehicle's design to earn all the stars.

If you get stuck on a level and need help with designing your vehicle, you can purchase the Mechanic Pig and he'll build one for you. Although the Mechanic Pig's design won't necessarily earn all stars for you, he at least gets you started so that all you have to do is tweek the vehicle to help you get all three stars.

In addition to the 60 levels included, Bad Piggies also includes 4 very difficult "sandbox levels", 30 puzzles that can be unlocked by earning three stars on levels, and an extra-special, super-secret level that will be revealed after collecting all the skulls.

Bad Piggies is availalble as separate purchases for the iPhone and iPad, but unfortunately, the iPhone version doesn't support the iPhone 5's larger display, yet. Another big disappointment about Bad Piggies is that, just like Angry Birds, there is no iCloud sync available to keep your levels in sync between devices. This is such a terrible decision by Rovio because it actually discourages people from purchasing both versions.

The good

  • Fun and addicting
  • Different than Angry Birds
  • 60 levels crammed with flying/driving/crashing fun
  • 30 additional puzzles unlocked by three-starring levels
  • 4 sandbox levels to stretch your creativity
  • Ultra-special, ultra-secret, ultra-difficult sandbox level to unlock by collecting all the skulls!
  • 33 objects to create the ultimate machine: motors, wings, fans, bottle rockets, umbrellas, balloons, and much more!
  • Purchase the mechanic pig and he'll help you build your mode of transportation needed to complete the level Mechanic Pig

The bad

  • No iCloud sync between iPhone and iPad
  • iPhone version is not optimized for the iPhone 5

The bottom line

Rovio has done a great job with Bad PIggies and it was worth the wait. It's a completely different game from Angry Birds that is challenging, fun, and addicting.

$0.99 for iPhone - Download Now

$2.99 for iPad - Download now



Google Chrome and Chromium add protection against malicious downloads

google chrome malicious download
Google Chrome already sports a number of security-minded features, from Incognito mode to a software sandbox which makes exploiting the browser a Herculean task. Now, Google has announced additional protection for Chromium and Chrome users.

Built upon the Safe Browsing API, the new feature introduces protection against malicious downloads. If a download link appears in the Safe Browsing blacklist, Chrome and Chromium will warn users against downloading -- a save button is still presented, of course, in case you're convinced a file is perfectly safe to download.

We'd like to see something a bit more eye-catching than the red warning icon -- like perhaps painting the entire bar red. Many of the people a feature like this aims to protect probably won't notice the icon or change in wording as they'll be focused on clicking the save button.

Google is initially making download protection available to Chrome dev channel users, and you'll likely see it in Canary and Chromium snapshot builds as well. After thorough testing, beta and stable users will be next in line.

Google Chrome and Chromium add protection against malicious downloads originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Maingear announces Nomad 17 gaming laptop, comes with custom paint job

Maingear announces Nomad 17 gaming laptop, comes with custom paint job

Maingear certainly loves to turn out solidly specificated hardware, and today is no exception. Its latest offering? The Nomad 17. As the name suggests this is a 17-inch notebook for gamers on the go. (Nomad, get it?) The new addition will support third-gen Intel Core i7 chips (up to 3.8GHz) and a maximum 32GB of RAM, with a choice of hard drive configurations. It's not all about the under-the-hood grunt, though, with Maingear offering a choice of six colors for what it's calling "hand-painted premium automotive paint jobs." As for the other spec options? You can expect NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M or 680M graphics, a 1,920 x 1080 display, combo Blue-ray optical drive, b / g / n wireless along with USB 2 / 3, DVI-I, HDMI and Fire Wire ports. So, this definitely sounds like a ride you can make your own. Assuming you're good with the $1,599 starting sticker price that is.

Continue reading Maingear announces Nomad 17 gaming laptop, comes with custom paint job

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Maingear announces Nomad 17 gaming laptop, comes with custom paint job originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Sep 2012 00:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ask DLS: What's your primary Web browser?

Competition is a good thing, and the browser arena has been a fierce arena for years now. There are at least four "major" browsers each vying for your attention, along with lots of smaller spin-offs (SRWare Iron or Flock, anyone?).

While the browser usage charts we share from time to time show overall browser usage amongst the Web at large, Download Squad readers are not exactly the average bunch in terms of browser use. So today we have one simple question for you:

What's your primary Web browser?

View Poll

Ask DLS: What's your primary Web browser? originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 16 Feb 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mac OS X Lion Preview 2 released, introduces mega exciting leather bound iCal skin

This is one of those posts that could probably be condensed into a tweet: Apple has released the second Preview of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. If you're running Preview 1, it looks like you'll first receive a small update via Software Update, and then you can download Preview 2 from the Mac App Store.

There has been some speculation that Apple is getting close to a release or Golden Master build, but judging by 9to5 Mac's initial findings there's definitely some way to go. The Golden Master will probably appear at, or just before, the Apple WWDC in June.

So far, it's looking like the only changes in Preview 2 are the leather bound iCal skin that you can see above, and the main iChat window now combines your AIM, Bonjour and Jabber contacts, like Adium. We're sure that more details will emerge throughout the day, though, and there's bound to be lots of invisible changes, too. We'll update this post when we find out more.

Mac OS X Lion Preview 2 released, introduces mega exciting leather bound iCal skin originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 05:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple Stops Calling Its Maps "The Most Powerful" [Apple Maps]

Following Apple CEO Tim Cook's candid admission that Apple Maps might not be so great, and his suggestion that users turn to competing services, Apple has cleaned up one final detail: they aren't calling their maps the most powerful any more. More »



The Miracle of Serendipity Captured in a Single Image [Image Cache]

You've seen photos of a groom kissing a bride a million times. It's always beautiful, but this double exposed image taken by two different photographers captures the weight of that moment better than any other. Finding love is random—and refreshing like splashing into a pool. More »



BlueStacks and AMD Bring 500,000 Android Apps to Windows 8

Just some of the many apps available through AMD AppZone. Image: BlueStacks and AMD

Don’t worry, Windows 8 users. You won’t have to look at all those Apple users and suffer from too much app envy. BlueStacks and AMD have you covered.

The two companies have teamed up to bring 500,000 mobile Android apps to Windows PCs through the AMD AppZone Player starting Thursday. The software is powered by BlueStacks, a company that makes it possible to download and run Android apps on PCs and Macs.

The partnership between BlueStacks and AMD, which has invested in the software company, focuses on optimizing Android apps for AMD-powered Windows devices. While Intel-powered PCs can access Android apps through BlueStacks’ original Windows software, the AppZone Player is optimized for AMD’s GPU and APU technology.

“This helps AMD leapfrog Intel by making Windows 8 more attractive on their tablets and PCs,” BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma told Wired in an e-mail. “We’ve worked closely together to optimize the performance of the apps for AMD’s unique ‘graphics and computing on one chip’ setup. The result is awesome — mobile apps run beautifully on their machines.”

The AppZone Player is especially useful considering the nascent state of app development for Windows 8. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is currently pitching the new system to developers, but the platform has only around 2,000 apps just one month before launch. With BlueStacks’ technology, AMD PC users won’t have to worry; they will be able to easily access the apps available on the established Android ecosystem.

Popular apps like Flipboard, Homerun Baseball and Jetpack Joyride will be available to use on current AMD-powered Windows 7 PCs and upcoming Windows 8 devices (including touch-enabled ones). Currently, however, most manufacturers have announced Intel-powered Windows 8 PCs, notebooks and tablets. But according to BlueStacks, the two companies are already in talks with PC manufacturers like HP to get the AppZone preloaded onto future AMD devices.

Considering how important app choices are to user experience, the AppZone Player could certainly be a determining factor for consumers when deciding between an Intel-powered or AMD-powered Windows device. It will take longer than a month for Microsoft to grow out its own Windows Store, and this gives users immediate access to what’s already available to Android devices. And it helps developers too, who get a wider distribution network without having to spend time building for a separate platform.



Kensington Introduces Colorful New Wireless Mice

I never have gotten used to those newfangled trackpads, and I always need a mouse for my computer.  I also require a wireless mouse, and I spend a lot of time on my computer daily, so I need a comfortable mouse, too.  Kensington is introducing a colorful new mouse that looks like it could easily fit my requirements.  The Pro Fit Mid-Size Wireless Mouse is small enough for travel, and it uses a nano wireless receiver that can stow away in the mouse or is small enough to be left plugged in to your computer even while in a laptop bag.  The 2.4 GHz wireless mouse features an ergonomic right-hand design with a scroll wheel with middle button and pointer speed quick-select and “high-definition optical sensor (1750 DPI) for responsive control”.  Kensington promises up to 12 months battery life, too.  It’s available in Sapphire Blue, Ruby Red, Graphite Gray, and Emerald Green.  Suggested retail price is $24.99, and they should soon be available for purchase at Kensington.

Filed in categories: Desktop Computer Gear, Laptops and Gear, News


Kensington Introduces Colorful New Wireless Mice originally appeared on The Gadgeteer on September 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm.



Nokia Parking helps you find and pay for a spot, we go hands-on (video)

Parking in Paris is a nightmare. No, it's worse -- it's bad enough to keep you awake at night, worrying that your precious machine will be scratched up or simply missing the next morning. Nokia, at least, is trying to make things a little easier with an upcoming service it's just calling Nokia Parking. It's a comprehensive parking database launching in Europe in November that can not only help you find parking but even help you pay for it once you do. More details, and a video demo, after the break.

Continue reading Nokia Parking helps you find and pay for a spot, we go hands-on (video)

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Nokia Parking helps you find and pay for a spot, we go hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 28 Sep 2012 20:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Yahoo! Messenger now censors the links you share

Yahoo Messenger Big Brother censorshipWe've all thought it, but never dared think it could be true: what if Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL actively monitor our instant messenger chats? What if mentions of 'bomb' and 'underage' are tracked and sent to law enforcement agencies? What if chat providers don't agree with the things we say, or the links we share, and filter or censor the content of our transmitted messages?

Well, it looks like our fears may actually have some basis in reality: Yahoo Messenger strips FilesTube links from instant messages. It doesn't tell either party that a URL has been removed from chat -- it just deletes it. Poof. FilesTube, in case you were wondering, is one of the largest file hosting meta search engines on the Web -- it indexes RapidShare, Megaupload, Mediafire, and many other 'cyberlocker' services.

It's fairly obvious why FilesTube links are being removed -- the Censor General at Yahoo is probably one of those perplexed primates who think all uses of BitTorrent are illegal -- but this situation poses a far more important question: is Yahoo censoring messages on the client side, or the server side. Does the messenger client itself maintain a list of 'blacklisted' words -- and if so, why are we not told that FilesTube links are banned? What other words and terms does Yahoo protect us from?

Continue reading Yahoo! Messenger now censors the links you share

Yahoo! Messenger now censors the links you share originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 05:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Logitech promises continued support for Squeezebox, says it won't force a switch to UE Smart Radio

Logitech promises continued support for Squeezebox, says it won't force a switch to UE Smart Radio

With Logitech's Squeezebox platform having quietly and unexpectedly reached its EOL status, the company found it necessary to let its customers know where they stand going forward. In a very detailed letter from UE product director Ariel Fischer, the Harmony maker reassured current Squeezebox owners it will continue to offer support for these products, adding that the current "mysqueezebox" website and certain apps will still work with existing devices. What's more, those who managed to snag one of those Squeezebox Radios will have the option to upgrade to the outfit's new UE Smart Radio service -- which, according to Logitech, can play nicely alongside existing Squeezebox products, though this "will operate and be controlled separately." All in all, it could be worse -- and, in age where customer service can sometimes be rather unpleasant, we're sure most of us can appreciate the transparency being shown in the open letter. Speaking of which, you'll find that at the source link below.

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Logitech promises continued support for Squeezebox, says it won't force a switch to UE Smart Radio originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 29 Sep 2012 06:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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