Wednesday 30 January 2013

Where's My Water with Phineas and Ferb character Style(or vice versa)

"Where's My Water" has become an extremely popular smartphone application. By trying it out the reasons become clear why. Swampy  the alligator needs water in his bathtub, and you must find a way to deliver water to him. This isn't a simple mediocre game. It's graphics and physics are an extremely smooth and colorful flash type of animation. The developer is Disney. I'm sure you've heard of them. They also put some life in Kingdom Hearts cut scenes in 3D on the older PS2. The game play of Where's My Water is simple and easy, but that doesn't mean that the puzzles always are. To get rid of sand in specific location, tough it. The creative levels hardly uses recycled sprites, and that's already a pretty amazing feat by itself. Although at first I thought this was another version of the old Pipe Drain games, this is clearly something more. The free version of "Where's My Water" comes with 20 exclusive levels not in the full version. The full version of "Where's My Water" according to the Google Play post has "3 STORIES — 3 SEPARATE GAMES — MORE THAN 400 TOTAL PUZZLES — FREE UPDATES!" And only for $.99. That's almost free (close enough).

Phineas and Ferb have also become quite popular as well. I've only seen about one of the Disney episodes so I cannot say whether or not I am a fan yet. I am however a fan of it's theme song performers Bowling for Soup. Now back to business or smartphone apps. Both Swampy and Perry (the cool looking secret agent pet platypus) have teamed up, probably with some pressure from their Disney creators. Perry wasn't just thrown into a "Where's My Water" game tub and quickly sold off as another game. No, he gets his own cool secret spy type of tub complete with digital sound effects. Upon completion of a level, his tub getting the required amount of water, Perry dives into a secret passageway type of hole. The app description indicates these entrances lead to O.W.C.A. which stands for "Organization Without a Cool Acronym". What an ironic and cool name. I don't believe Agent P shows frustration as he waits for water the way Swampy does. I can't tell the difference between alligators and crocodiles, especially in cartoon form.

"Where's My Perry" has a $1 edition and a free version. Note, the free stages are already included in Where's My Holidays(discussed below). I believe there are a few differences though between the free version of Where's My Perry and the levels in Holidays.
 1)Someone contacting Perry for assistance, Major Monogram, his superior, via text and voice.
2) The bad guy of the show, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, occasionally taunting Perry and responding to Perry's success.
3) An ending video with characters from the show.
Notice:The full version has over 80 levels.

"Where's My Holiday" is an application that brings them both together for 12 exclusive playable levels for free in this demo. That way you won't be repeating them if you do get pressured into buying the full versions of these great creations. The FREE levels aren't short and simple puzzles for you to complete in a matter of minutes. They are challenging, fun, and rewarding to play by themselves. What a tempting free gift they are. I know I'm using that F word a lot in this article but that's what's really cool about this group of apps. All these smartphone apps are downloadable on iTunes for iOS and Google Play for Android OS. One feature it claims is "3 brand new levels to play every week – for FREE". If you haven't played before somehow, these will get you interested in the full versions.
Trivia: The app's icon in the app section is named "Holiday". That's understandable as opposed to always having to say "Where's my _____".

Here's a hint, remember that water has more than 1 form and the games knows that. There's steam(vapor/gas), liquid, and solid ice form. Whether or not they wanted to come together, these two groups have made some awesome looking games.


Monday 28 January 2013

Emulation on IPad

If you want to use emulation on IPad for old arcade rooms,SNES rooms and more you're going to need to find a good emulator for IOS. Those of you on the know will have heard of MAME which basically acts as an emu for all IOS devices. When the emulator slipped through the net a while back it wasn't long before Apple, who doesn't like this type of thing, soon pulled it from the AppStore. Well guess what MAME has resurfaced in an altered but essentially the same form.

How to use emus on IPad

The Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) is back on the App Store as bundled content in 
retro arcade shooter Gridlee, designed to run on arcade cabinets back in the '80s.

The Gridlee ROM has been released by  the game's developer Videa (it never made it to the arcades) 

If you've got a ROM, you're going to need an emulator to run it. Enter the MAME4iOS Reloaded project, Seleuco's iPhone- and iPad-friendly emulator, which just so happens to come bundled with the Gridlee app.

Naturally, as soon as gamers caught wind of the Gridlee's not-so-secret bonus content, they set about trying to use the MAME4iOS software to get other ROMs to run on their iOS devices.

Sure enough, within hours of Gridlee's launch Touch Arcade forummembers had located the folder housing the ROM and were reporting back with news of their retro game-loading successes.

Jogging my MAMEory

Saturday 26 January 2013

Ruggedised Military Servers

Bravo to Sony for planning for their latest mobile to be waterproof, in this day and age with our gadgets and mobiles constantly with us we expect a bit of ruggednesss to them. NCS Technologies new server, just like the waterproof smartphone, caught our eye as it really exemplifies what we can expect our gadgets, tools and machines to do. It's certainly not going to be mounted in standsandmounts dvd cabinets  as the Bunker XRV-5241 is designed for military use and first responders that are needing to deploy to combat  zones and other areas of danger. It can withstand drops, severe temperatures and can be deployed via parachute too! It can be used on trucks and ships in combat situations and is really a new level of tough server for combat needs. Beat that Sony!

jOBS scene wrong

The jOBS movie is set to release later this year retelling the story of Steve Jobs and is already starting to attract controversy. It's surely only the tech scene that can can have such immediate ramifications throughout the net. In this case the first released scene from the movie has already taken a blow from someone claiming to be Steve Wozniak who describes the released Woz and Steve scene as:
"Not close...we never had such interactions and roles...I'm not even sure what it's getting at...personalities are very wrong although mine is closer...don't forget that my purpose was inspired by the values of the Homebrew Computer Club along with ideas of the value of such machines and Steve J wasn't around and didn't attend the club so he was the one learning about such social impact of the future."

If jOBS first critic really is Wozniak we can only say that the indie outfit behind the movie needs to check their research.

More 4G Quicker for USA?

The FCC is pushing for a Broadband Acceleration Initiative to expand Cell Networks. The FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski taking time out from relaxing under his Hayward Led Pool lights is putting the importance of expanding mobile networks right up there with expanding USA's roads and bridges infrastructure. Citing precedents like increasing network capacity for events like the Olympics and SuperBowl the legislation that has previously stalled efforts to raise temporary cell towers is undergoing a massive overhaul.
In current legislation and paperwork processes request to modify and install base stations take too long to review, this process will be streamlined to give networks the confidence to expand their infrastructure much more quickly.

Glass Foundry is go

So what have we learned from Glass Foundry, the recently held Google Glass Hackathon that we covered a while back?

Unfortunately not much as there are some very strong NDA agreements in place to stop Google Glass Developers sharing any details with the general public. The only facts that have come out as semi-concrete is that users have been told to take caution when walking and not to drive with their headsets. This might suggest that Google Glass Developers could have test rigs available shortly. However don't expect many leaked actual facts or pictures if the Glass developers want to keep their developer accounts.

Friday 25 January 2013

Revitalizing Citizen Science

If we had a half dollar for every time that the internet planned to revolutionize the way that we go about our daily live's we'd certainly be up there with the other tech millionaires. In some ways in some very specialized niches the internet is changing some things and opening up doors that we never knew existed. One of the exciting developments for archaeologists for example is satellite archaeology where Google Earth has become instrumental in detecting buried artifacts , for those prepared to spend the time to scrutinize the world from satellite pictures.

Another interesting area that hasn't really been covered very much by the media in recent years is internet assisted space exploration as embodied by programs like SETI a few years ago. A new technology emerging in this area is the Planet Hunters website, which uses NASA's epler telescope to facilitate citizen science in finding new stars. Something worth exploring if you're interested in revitalizing internet assisted space exploration.

The future of Android Gaming

What is Android as a gaming platform? The simple touchscreen games of its past and present based on the successful iPhone model (we're surprised that Apple doesn't have a patent for touchscreen gaming!) are only a little bit of what it does as a platform. New developments are particularly suited to the open source OS and developers and thinkers are always coming up with new ideas to bolt on to the Android OS and make it a console competitor. So what is it? A poor man's console, a new way of gaming or the future of touchscreen gaming? We'll let the latest ideas for Android gaming speak for themselves...

The Xperia Play in it's short lived glory was exactly what every gamer wanted. And I was particularly in love with it myself with not only its dedicated controller bu also ability to emulate PSN games, SNES games and more. It's only a pity that build quality wasn't great (mine succumbed to water damage, just from ambient moisture) and the handsets specs were lacklustre even when it was first released. Will there be an Xperia Play 2-I hope.

The Tegra chip is changing the way we see mobile gaming. Nvidia has seen the popularity of Android as a gaming platform and has built the superchips to match. Console quality games become very possible with a Tegra toting device, but we're still left with the smaller touchscreen limits-even Project Shield using a powerful tegra chip in an Nvidia branded Android dedicated gaming handheld could be priced out by its limitations. Those limitations are the same as the PSP Vita-powerful specs, but does my pocket have room for a 5 inch phone and a dedicated gaming handheld-probably not.

Which brings us to Ouya/ Is it going to compete with the next generation of consoles? Probably not too, but it brings the power of Android to the living room screen with a dedicated and ever refining controller that also has limited touchscreen capabilities. If the console really lives up to it's ability to be upgraded this Ouya could certainly be the future of Android gaming.

Competitive Online Gaming by Sony

If you're a competitive gamer then it will be big news to you that Sony Online Entertainment and Major League Gaming have teamed up to turn online game PlanetSide 2 into 2013's biggest e-sport competition. Already only 2 months into its life PlanetSide 2 has over 3 million players. It's also a very respectable nod to the game's quality that renowned esport broker MLG is endorsing the new franchise.

Huge numbers of players will be able to play the esport as any single arena (continent) can support up to 2000 players in the battle for resources. Commentators suggest that preliminary rounds could have as many as hundreds of people -perhaps 600 to 700 competing. All you e-sportsman with your geekdom has never been so lucrative!This is certainly a new level to egaming and just goes to show how popular esports are becoming.

Latest iPad 5 Rumors

The iPad and its incarnations are always on the technology news front and there seems to be a new one coming out every couple of months. Site iLounge claims to have the latest information on the iPad 5 but their rumor of a late March release has been downgraded to an Autumn release.

Other information that they claim to have is that the iPad 5 bezel will be virtually non-existent with just enough room on the border for the home button and camera. Size wise the screen will be the 9.7 inch we're used to but left and right bezels will be neglible. They claim that the iPad 5 will be smaller in every dimension and especially thinner.

Every time a new iPad 5 rumor surfaces we wince, but iLounge seems to be in the now and is often quoyed by reliable sources so let's see if the info is true when the time comes.

Superior text to speech bought by Amazon

Amazon is not one to sit back and let the opposition get away from them. They're still acquiring other assets to bolster up their portfolio and the latest is Ivona Software.

Ivona is responsible for the text to speech technology that is used on Kindle Fire tablets -features include "Text to Speech", "Voice Guide" and "Explore by Touch". Their technology is used by thousands of devs and businesses worldwide and is not simply dual diagnosis treatment centers for text/voice output but a progressively R and D led concern.

They are regarded as the industry's leading text to speech quality when it comes to voice quality, access and how uncannily accurate their software is. At the moment IVONA has 17 languages which are supported with 44 voices and is a substantial acquisition for Amazon.

When will my Pebble Watch be delivered?

The Pebble Watch is on its way for those lucky enough to have ordered one or been charitable enough to have helped the  Kickstarter campaign.

When can I buy a Pebble Watch?

The e-ink using mobile device augmenting watch will reach a maximum factory capacity run of 2400 watches a day. If the watch takes off, as we expect of to do, hopefully production concerns will be shunted aside as it upgrades to a larger factory. The Android Pebble App is also now available meaning that supported apps and virtual watch faces should soon be making their way to your wrists.

At the moment manufacturing delays mean that Pebble production line is sticking to the most popular black colour scheme and so as to when the other colours will be available is anyone's guess at the moment.

Become an app developer for free

Hands up if you've heard of Stanford University, now keep your hand up in the air if you want to learn how to program for iOS 6. Now take both of those hands and thrust them gleefully in the air in celebration as through the iTunes U program you're going to be able to learn to do so for free!
Stanford School of Engineering is offering the free course that will run from January 22 to March 28 and needs to be enrolled on by Feb1. In Stanford U's free app development course you'll learn such topics as tools and APIs needed to dev for IPad and IPhone, user interface designs, object orientated designs and more.

The page to visit to enrol in this free course is Stanford's Coding Together: Developing Apps for IPhone and IPad and can be found on iTunes U. Don't miss out as this could be your best chance at becoming an app developer. and quit your day job as a business startup lawyer raleigh nc

The iShoe

The iShoe
No,really it does exist, or soon will if Apple follows through with their latest patent that, to paraphrase, is a detector for sensing when a shoe wears out. Perhaps not such a strange concept as detectors which could include, according to the patent, accelerometers and pressure sensors, could be used to not only measure activity but also to tell professionals like athletes when their shoes need replacing.

Apple's delving into footwear and the mass market of training uses for their products is most exemplified in the Nike + IPod sensor, so this patent might not be as out of left field as it seems. The upcoming iWatch concept would work very well in conjunction with the iShoe ( I'm sure Apple will come up with a snappier name than that) and athletes and those into training can only wait and see if it makes it into production.

Sony Network Hacking Aftermath

Sony loses legal battle at last. If you’re still mad over the network hacking debacle of April 2011 and Sony’s “We’re sorry” package wasn’t good enough for you then you’ll be pleased to now that the saga continues. In Britain they have just lost their legal battle against The Information Commissioner’s Office who has ruled that if Sony had employed  more recent software then the hacking could have been prevented. Saving Sony £100 million and stopping hackers obtaining names, addresses, emails and credit card details.
The 250 thousand pound fine is naturally a drop in the ocean to Sony who is still a wholesale printer for money, but still a sting to their reputation. Naturally they are going to appeal.

Temple Run 2 Secrets,hints and tips

Temple Run 2 is upon us -and now available for Android too-what little we know about becoming successful at the endless running coin-a-thon is now written down to help you to get the best TempleRun2 score with these hints, tips and secrets
Use your Special Power
Each of the three unlockable characters has a special power that you can activate multiple times . Guy's is naturally the weakest Temple Run2 special power but the other characters can give you a massive score boost. An awesome new feature is that once the powers are unlocked you can trade them between characters.

Finding and using the best Temple Run 2 Multiplier
it's no secret that using the multiplier is your best bet for getting a high score. Each one you do boosts your multiplier by one. "So definitely focus on getting those done if you want to score really high," says the developer.  You should look to Focus on coin and multiplier upgrades first. Unfortunately the  Coin magnet doesn't double like in Temple Run 1, here you have to pay for the privilege.
 Don't forget your abilities
Maxing out your abilities gives you more coins, more energy, and durability. These are all important when it comes to a long run, which, naturally, produces more points. Your multiplier can be boosted by a few points with abilities, too. 
Just Run
Be like a sportsman in your running, don't think about what you're doing just do it. Hypnotherapists must be having a field day with fast twitch repetitive action games like these as it is well known that repeated activity puts you in a trance like state-which is the best gaming zone-especially for games like TR2!
Get Your Coins Up
Coins buy stuff so remember that your  Coin Values ability is important-which means that you need to head to the Coin Magnet as fast as you can.

Boost Yourself
The easiest run is the one you don't even have to worry about. "Using the Boost power and Head Starts at the beginning of the game can also help you safely move forward without having to worry about making turns or avoiding obstacles," is a great tip straight from the developer.
The Biggest Temple Run 2 Secret.
Power ups and abilities can complement each other and make for some very powerful combinations such as the character’s power-up ability is set to boost combined with the coin magnet icon is grabbed allowing you to concentrate on dodging obstacles instead of tilting the game screen to get coins. Reach the distance set by the coin value ability and coins multiply astronomically.

Choosing the best Temple Run 2 Ability

Shield Duration:  lasts for about 30 seconds invest coins to increase the time.
Coin Value After a certain distance has been reached, each coin’s value will be tripled . If you spend coins on improving the coin value ability you'll need less distance to get this bonus.
 Coin Magnet Like Shield Duration, this feature comes in very handy for players simply focusing in on dodging obstacles instead of money grabbing.
Is this the most powerful Temple Run 2 Combination?
Paired with Boost and Coin Value, this combination can be very powerful when activated by a combination of power-ups that appear in the game.

 Boost Distance : Each notch adds 200 metres and is great when used in combination with the coin value ability to get quick cash.

Which TempleRun2 ability should be upgraded first?
 Pickup Spawn: Arguably you should upgrade this Temple Run 2 Ability first. Random power ups occur 1 out of ten times at the start but this  improves by about 7% per notch of the pick up spawn ability purchased. 

Power Meter This feature is very handy for players often making use of self-activated power-ups. It allows for a faster charge-up.
 Save Me Dying often? Gems don't appear very often and this ability uses them rapidly. Expect to spend about four hours in the game to collect 50 emerald pieces.
The best time to use the Save me Dying feature is when that threshold in the Coin Value ability is reached.
 Head Start does exactly what it says and boosts you by 250m.
Score Multiplier doesn't effect the coins you gained but will boost your bragging rights by improving the score.

Ouya controller redesigned

With the Ouya launch just around the corner it's good to see that the developers are taking the warning notice seriously and have listened to Ouya Beta testers recommendations as to how the Ouya controller could be improved.
First, the D-pad on the controller is no longer a "disc" and the much more user friendly "cross" layout with greater traction and more precision is to be adopted. The thumbstick tops have been redesigned to be more grippy  and the touchpad area has better sensitivity now. The triggers have undergone a massive improvement too and are more aesthetically pleasing and more flush with the controller's surface. Even the battery compartment has been rethought to be a snigger and tighter fit with the rest of the Ouya controller's body.
The changes are not only superficial but the materials have also been swapped out in some cases for higher quality ones, it's great to see that the designers are taking on board the end consumers points making the whole project carry on its Kickstarter ethos of design by public opinion.

Thursday 24 January 2013

Don't Fix Some Things that aren't Broken (January edition)

Sigh* Sometimes new things just take a while to get used to, even if they are improvements over the old. This holds especially true for me and my opinion with cars. First impressions can't always be trusted. I try not to jump to conclusions, like I did with Microsoft Word 2010 from 2007. Lots of things were changed and those changes did not help me at all when doing hectic research essays. Some buttons were thrown and here and there and behind this new tab that confused me and took me time to find. (I often last minute work). It didn't take longer or more clicks to do the same tasks once you get used to them, but was it really necessary to move features around if it didn't actually really help or improve anything? Why the headache? This Microsoft Office issue was smaller than the ones I'm going to list as a few alterings that I gave about a year to warm up to me.

-Windows 7's Windows Media Player. (My biggest issue is that the Playlist used to be a lot more convenient to use and find.) I enjoy my visualizations. This new editions like to take you to the library where nothing pretty is to be seen. The "Now Playing" and "Playlist" were easily accessable before (at least in Windows XP) with an on screen button. With the annoying version you gotta right click and it's the first on the list, (no longer a button? Why not just make it a button?!?) I skipped Windows Vista because my desktop with XP was still working just fine. Plus I liked the change from boring gray rectangles in Pre-XP to smooth blue edges in XP was kinda epic for me.

-Windows Movie Maker Videos and music used to overlap with a small section for text in a timeline fashion. Now those animations take longer to do and I don't thing the Music could overlap. Text transitions were also worsened because they couldn't overlap each other or fade through or into each other. I could be wrong and these could be a features activated through some sort of menu. But these things used to be the default features and were there for use to use right away SMOOTH and AWESOME they were. Getting used to them was fast and natural and buttons/features placement made sense. I consider myself not too bad with the computer and those features took very little time to learn and use in the XP version of things so I blame Microsoft designers for this inconvenience.
The Rise of Windows Movie Maker grew with Youtube. In fact I think they contributed to each others growth. Youtube isn't getting smaller or worst, why are you WM Maker?

-Right Click DRAGGING items/icons in Windows Seven. While right-click dragging, the item may become undragged. Or when you let go of right click after a drag, the item drops as if it were left click. I am confident in my simple left and right clicking skills so again I blame Microsoft guys and women. This was not in issue in all my computer experience(except maybe sometimes with Apple products).You can't just right click an item if another item/file is already highlighted. You have to click to highlight or select the item you want to right click, then you can right click like previously possible in XP OS.

-USB Microphones. -with a growing population and the popularity of singing competition shows such as American Idol, X Factor, the Voice and America's Got Talent (sort of) I would expect Desktops and Laptops and all sorts of computers to have improved microphone friendliness, or at least not worst. I am researching this to see if there are common fixes. But my opinions still stand this should have been not even a problem in the first place. Further research suggests this isn't a software issue but may be due to the Rockband Mic that delays with computers. I have to mention that I never tried USB Mics on older versions of windows so this isn't a comparison. I am still looking into this matter.

I am not a professional and sort of noob compared to experts, but I do use computers frequently and casually. Some of these ticks may just be a personal preference or issue or my one desktop may be faulty. If you can confirm these problems or give fixes, I would appreciate it.

Let me know your thoughts.(especially if you agree with something so I don't feel so alone).

Garden Puzzle Lite Review

Garden Puzzle Lite comes out of the development inferno that is the Ukraine. A simple sliding block (or classic game of 'fifteens') as it is know by our ex Eastern bloc developer pals. There's only so much you can do with a sliding block puzzle, but what little Garden Puzzle for iOs does it does quite well. A chirpy nature orientated soundtrack combines with a numerically orientated game board done out with quite a realistic graphic style which makes good use of textures.

If a bit of app relaxation with a simple sliding puzzle app is on the game menu for today then please visit the AppStore to see the iTwins Garden Puzzle App.

Galaxy Note 3 Rumours

Latest rumours on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3


Korea Times is reporting that the Galaxy Note 3 will feature a 6.3-inch OLED display with 1080p resolution. If this is true it remains to be seen if the public will take to a screen size that is bigger than the already large 5.5inch sported by the Note 2.

What Processor can we expect the Galaxy Note 3 to have?

The Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to have a Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 8-core processor, which Samsung claims uses 70% less battery power than comparable processors. Benchmarking site Antutu apparently clocks this at a blitzing 1.8ghz. Spammy is of course proud of their new overkill processor so we could probably expect it to make up the brains of the Galaxy S4 too.

Internal Memory

No changes are expected from the current storage: We're talking either 16Gb or 32GB of flash memory, with up to 64GB in external storage via SD slot.

What is the release Date for the Galaxy Note 3?

The Wall Street Journal citing Samsung Sources say that a first half of the year release can be expected -a very fast turn around considering many customers are still levering out their Note2's from the Samsung packaging with safety box cutters to hand. 

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Dead Trigger Updates are like Free DLC's

After months of playing almost every day, Dead Trigger continues to add more content that improves the game.(check out my original coverage article here) The FREE updates aren't small minor updates. There were not big bugs to fix in the first release. I started on version 1.5 and skipped 1.6 because I was afraid it could be a Facebook type of bad update and not work anymore after installing. I didn't want to lose the ability to play the game.

Update 1.5 was a Halloween Update  and adds a cool new arena and gives zombies pumpkin heads. I really like this new open map. It also included the addition of the CROSSBOW in the shop. The crossbow has the highest accuracy at 100% but shoots in an arched path for longer distances. It costs gold to purchase, but money to upgrade(the first of it's kind to do so).

Update 1.6 was a Christmas Update. It adds another arena map more story missions(just 2 additional missions though). This time, the map is more narrow and cramped. Zombies in this arena may wear santa costumes. Yeah that's right, zombies in santa outfits. Although I like this newer map less, I had to get this update. 

           The reason, the amazing GRENADE LAUNCHER(pictured above). It has become my top secret weapon against my arch nemesis and mini-boss enemy, the red eyed swat armored zombie. The launcher ignores the armor. I don't care if it's armor penentration or just ignoring the suit, as long as it helps me. It shoots similarly to the crossbow in a parabolic path. (I haven't tried the crossbow and don't plan to). The launcher is the second weapon to cost gold to buy, but dollars to upgrade. At first I didn't have enough to get it to level 3, but level two was quite fun. At rank 36 it took the (stage 2) grenade launcher two shots to kill the female zombie and armored swat zombie. Within two days I upgraded the weapon to it's maximum level. They non-boss zombies stop walking dead after getting a good hit with a blast. Zombie close to the blast will take less damage and/or get temporary stunned.

Aiming to take a shot and run away reminds me of the old Devil Trigger days of Playstation 2. If you're into the Call of Duty games, no you cannot noobtube in Dead Trigger. Shooting the ground or buildings will not cause the bullet/grenade to explode. Explosions will only occur when it comes in direct contact with a zombie or it has bounced/rolled off the environment for a few seconds like a frag grenade. This is a little odd, but for this game it's better. This causes you to play better with more skills and not cheat very easily. Plus you get to be immune to your own explosions, lucky for you...and me. Although the weapon can hit 6 targets(maximum spawned zombies) if they are in the proximity of the explosion, it becomes dangerous if you fail to hit a target at close range because the fire rate is a little slower than other weapons and will leave you vulnerable. Reloading only takes one magazine, similar to the Striker Shotgun but a bit longer. 

Another reason I finally got an update was because on January 12th I got JACKPOT!!! This ensured me that I had enough gold to purchase at least one item in gold that I would want after updating. The jackpot was 200 gold. After the update, you no longer really see the items come down the slots as much because it is becomes a nice cartoon like blur. It still works and functions as before by the way. Don't know if any of the mechanics for chances of winning changed. I'm positive I have gotten those items lined up before and didn't get jackpot. Getting three 7's in a row doesn't a jackpot neither, but it has given me 10 gold. 3 Purple Grapes get you 5 gold.

  These updates aren't minuscule, they're almost like mini Downloadable Content (DLC) packages for console games, except these are FREE. Again, my original review of the great and wonderful app can be found here.

In the meantime, here are some screenshots. I didn't want to put them in the original article because that article already was already long with photos and I didn't want to take time to take these pics back then.
 Yeah I cut their arms off. Chainsaw Massacre.

He didn't seem happy about it. Then again, zombie are never happy except maybe when they are gorging on some warm blood.
Doing some Carnage in a collect the supplies mission. Learned that C word from watching Spider-Man tv series.
 And now for a cheat. At this map (Mall) sometimes you have access to the escalators. Facing the escalators, you can go up the left one. Zombies only way of reaching you is going up that path. You'll have a much easier time to "aim" and shoot down and survive. It might not be necessary for me to tell you this as you will probably discover this for yourselves anyways. 

Been sticking with the Mini-gun since it's easier to get Carnage with, therefore a little more money.

 Those Madfinger people are crazy. Crazy good that is. 

Amazing Ants-quick guide to coins

Amazing Ants really only becomes a great game when you're prepared to spend money in coins for all of those unlockable extras. So you want to get coins as quick as possible don't you?

How to get coins fast in Amazing Ants
Like many free,I'm games try to eke the most out of Amazing Ants before spending coins (earned or otherwise). Naturally gifted players grinding out repeated 3 star levels will be 'coining it' quicker than the rest of us.
Expect a lot of laborious work to get those 'free' Amazing Ants coins, there's only so far that your skills can take you. Here's how to make the most of your gaming labours:

On the first level of  'Hungry Hoppers' skip the video by tapping the screen. Then, tap the ant to start the colony moving, and leave your mobile nearby.

Here's the mathematical genius of using this method to get coins-It takes 15 seconds to complete this first level - this is the quickest way to get more coins , you'll get 60 coins for collecting all fruit and a 120 coins for doing it in a good time.

Hit the 'retry' button at the end, then tap the ants to start them. You can quickly play the sequence over and over. It's not fun, and really is coin (any) farming! The reason your mobile is on the table is so that you can do something else while continuing this game currency accumulating process.

Get slightly more involved

You can try a similar process on higher and more demanding levels, but will need to more involved in the ant's explorations.

The first level in Set 4 - Dirty Business will pay lots of coins for Example.Here, you need to drag your finger through dirt to remove it, making a channel between ant and fruit.

Almost as soon as you start the level, the timer begins, so don't hang about. Tap and hold over the purple grape and draw a diagonal line all the way to the ants waiting patiently. Now, set them off immediately and draw another line from the green apple to the grape, then from the apple to the gap in the tunnel's walls.

Your ants should be heading towards the apple by now, so remove all the dirt from under the boat with the watermelon so that it drops to create a path to the exit. Et voilĂ : a not-inconsiderable 456 Coins have been added to your purse.

General game tips

There are too many levels in Amazing Ants for me to start going into specifics on how best to complete them, but there are some general tips you should be aware of while playing.

Once you do have enough Coins to move on past a set of levels, go ahead and enjoy the next ones. You'll gain Coins and more enjoyment this way

When you do have to go back into the grind - or if you're intent on earning every star on each level - remember that time is key. To get the highest level rank possible (a.k.a. the Brilliant award), you need to get all the fruit quickly.

Make sure to go for Bronze Apples (the rarer, more lucrative fruits) whenever you see them. If you want to increase the frequency with which they appear in levels, by the way, there's an IAP with your name on it.

Route plotting and memorisation is important and if you can come up with the best solutions you'd do well to keep on repeating it for coins

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Viatun - Best VPN for Android. Save on data usage

Ever wondered if there was anything you can do about your data usage without using less data or paying more? With Viatun you get just that, and a whole lot more. The smartphone app decreases your carrier data usage by using compression software. Up to 80% of your data can be saved from being counted by your phone carrier. If the in-app traffic meter is accurate, just a Youtube video test on HQ saved me 50%(it's gone up a couple percentages after some additional testing with light usage of more videos and some browsing). Sometimes the traffic meter takes time or a relaunch to change it's numbers.  The application also claims to be the "fastest VPN on the market."

Other benefits and features of the Android app includes:
-hiding your IP so you can use the internet more anonymously.
-Viatun servers give you built in anti-virus protection
-Bypass and get Access to blocked or restricted sites (apps, features) in your area(country) with no effort. 
-the ability to use VOIP apps in wifi spots that usually don't allow it.
-no advertisements

Set up is easy. Just install the app. Enter your email address and retrieve the 5 digit password from your email.
Enter the pw into your app and you're good to go.

This shows a smooth and neat convenient connection speed checking tool.
According to some user reviews on Google Play, Viatun also has quick customer service. Start your FREE 3 day trial (1 GB Limit) today. One year of Viatun is only about $10, which is still a huge savings compared to your average data rates of about $30 for 3 GB per month. This version runs on Android 2.0 - 3.7. For a newer version that runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, get Viatun 4 here. They are both very similar to each other, just operable on different versions of Android. Results may vary depending on location, carrier, names of device, and other factors.

Your next surprise from a your phone bill could be a good one.

Friday 18 January 2013

Santa RockStar APP REVIEW and Song List

    Just in case your winter break isn't over yet (harder to get winter college courses nowadays), or you still feel a little jolly from Christmas, you have a new FREE app to enjoy your phone and remaining time. Last Christmas one of my wishes came true with the release of Santa Rockstar. Like the name suggests, Santa has become a rockstar and is rocking in this smartphone app. Although my version claims to be Xperia Exclusive, you may also find the application in the App Store(itunes) and Google Play for other devices. My device isn't compatible for the non exclusive version for Android. I don't understand the introduction or how Saint Nick become so muscular, but that's not important for now.

I have been a longtime fan of Rock Band and some of the songs in the Guitar Hero Games. Just copying Rock Bands gameplay won't be enough to make me like the game. Luckily the smartphone application has awesome rock remixes or rock versions of classical Christmas songs (or winter song if you want to be politically correct). Santa Rockstar: Metal Xmas is way better than the Rock Band and Guitar Hero Demo apps. All 3 are FREE, but this one takes the cake, whatever that means. I wouldn't be too surprised if Santa Rockstar got sued by at least one of them. I am not a fan of most cover songs or generic remixes.  Trust me when I say these songs are great. If you don't trust me you can give the game a try and see for yourself.

Here is the list of songs and their location in order:
North Pole
-Silent Night
-Hark of the Herald
-Joy to the World

Frost Valley
-Jingle Bells
-March of the Nutcracker
-We wish you a merry Christmas

-Carol of the Bells,
-God Rest  Ye Merry Gentlemen
-Santa Journey Begins

Night city
-Come all Ye Faithful
-Little Bells for you
-Snowball Fight

Magma Palace
-Three Wise Men
-No Presents for You,
-Rondo Alla Turca

There are two other places to unlock "Burning Alien" and "Dragon Shrine" (cool names by the way). A quick internet search didn't yield any results for "list of songs for Santa Rock", not even for the above songs. You may unlock:
Burning Alien: by getting all 5 stars in normal or using $0.99.
Dragon Shrine: by getting 5 stars on all songs in difficult difficulty or spending $0.99.

You must beat all the 3 songs in a location before being able to play the next set of songs at the next location. Each location must be unlocked for it's difficulty.

 Go to the store to purchase different types of temporary boosts, guitars with special effects, other playable characters, and the two unlockable places. Playable Characters include Genny (a gingerbread man), Rudolph(buffed up), and Santa Jaws (a humanoid shark). They are all 3D and animated as in lively and not stiff.
    Even the shop looks cool and well organized. 
 Watching the guitar in the shop rotate around reminds me of looking at keyblades from Kingdom Hearts. Your avatar or selected character will even hold the selected guitar in the main menu. (However not in the in-between level screenshots if you want to get picky).

    What kind of guitar game wouldn't have some sort of Rock Power? This game has one. Fill up your Rock Power gauge by hitting all the white notes when they come down. If you make an error once a group of these have appeared, they will disappear and you would have to wait for your next chance. Unlike in the console rock games, the length of the white notes and their bonus isn't dependent on how you were doing in the segment before they showed up. When it's time for the notes they are a fixed amount or notes and power.  Activate the special by tapping outside the frets area or shaking the device. Here are some tips and hints concerning this special:
-A full gauge cannot store up more than 1 special. However you may refill the special gauge while using Rock Power.
-A few songs have long pauses in them and they are "Three Wise Men" and "Little Bells for You".
-Practice doesn't always make perfect, but it can help.

Again, my Xperia Play isn't great at taking screenshots. And I double checked, those are my scores for medium, not on easy.

I was wondering how can a Sony exclusive game be this polished? Did Sony do this or make this? Further research tells us that the answer is no. Santa Rockstar had been an in-browser flash game hero (at least 3 times) before traveling to smartphones. The developers at Bekhotteam had time to perfect their game...And I agree with their tastes. "Metal Xmas" somehow associated with Santa Rockstars title, but I'm not sure what the official name(s) are.  Yuisy is the name of the publishers, at least for the app.

There are a couple exclusive bonuses that Xperia players get. Those are unlock Santa Jaws, and a coin doubler. I am not sure how long this double coin feature lasts, but maybe forever as there is no indication to suggest otherwise. I didn't activate this until I only had about 4 places to unlock. Either way, this bonus doesn't double the 1000 bonus for going to the next location (I think that's also another bonus in itself and like most promotions, deals excludes other deals and only one may be used at a time).

Sadly that picture on the right is a screen capture of one of the first few seconds I get when I start the app. It's probably a loading screen and does not effect the game experience at all except scare me the first time I tried playing.


Other Miscellaneous information:
Your drummer is a reindeer who's nose isn't red. If you really want to know who it is, I cannot help you there and cannot understand why you would want to know so badly anyways. There are 3 round icons that resemble three types of bonuses and whether or not you have them. The first one is the percent of your score bonus. Second is the notes you may miss/backup notes. And the third is the length of extra Rock Power you get for your next use. There isn't an icon that represents your total % of rock power bonus(still only effects once you collect or gain rock power during gameplay by hitting all the white notes that are together in a group.) One big famous song that seems to be missing from their regular lineup is "Twelve Days of Christmas". Besides giving you a higher score to brag about possibly saving you from game over, I don't think the boosted score counts towards your rank/stars, mainly your percentage does. I checked and it was in previous versions of Santa Rock. There is a chance the song is in one of the unlockable areas, but the song isn't as good as the ones already selected for regular gameplay(I agree that it shouldn't have made the lineup).
My one complaint would be that the congratulations or "you're doing a great job" notice that pops out at 25 notes, 50 notes, 100 notes, and 200 notes sounds like an error buzz and is annoying. I sometimes feel like I'm getting punished for making a mistake and realize "oh, I'm doing good." A Whammy Bar function or feature isn't available, but you can make a similar effect just by the distance the phone is from your face while playing if you are daring enough.  

This is not one sleigh you would want to miss.

Thursday 17 January 2013

Timon's Birthday (app for kids) Review

Timon is one of those character that we will always know, maybe not remember but know. The Lion King hero has his very own app. Characters have birthdays too (some of them anyways). Celebrate Timon's bday with this app. The Disney smartphone application is for children, but tricky enough for an adult. I myself had some tough times with the app. The graphics aren't state of the art, but as expected from an official Disney app, the graphics are at least smooth and clean.  I wonder if he'll get any insect or bugs to grub on?

What's the objective or how do you play? Just place all of his gifts in the spot in front of him and in a stack from largest to smallest. The numbers represent the size of the present. A gift may only be place on a larger gift. You have 3 columns to move around your items. Tap or touch a column and if there is a moveable gift, it will move up and be place on the next column you touch if that move is valid.

Don't underestimate things that are made for children as simple and easy. For example the Spongebob television show and Shrek movies have some older than kid themes. Another example is Transformers toys(action figures) either impress you or "pwn" you for a few seconds or more. My short term memory doesn't allow me to effective play until the very end so after midway I sometimes lose my way. The stop, replay, and main menu are assessable with the right hand corner button. Next to it is the time elapsed. To the left of that is the amount of moves made. Picking up an item and putting it back down doesn't count as a move. I do not think there is a score or rank system required for certain feats based on moves made and the time it took to complete.

The Android app is available on Googly Play, and exclusively it seems. It's a brand new app and has an average of more than 4 stars out of 5 so far. Download this app for your children and stimulate their brains without violence. It'll make you a better parent and/or caregiver. One question remains though, where's Pumba and Simba?

The smartphone app is FREE, so Hakuna Matata (it means no worries), Enjoy.