Sonic Lost World, for all its failings, was an interesting Wii U game that signals a potential return to glory for the hedgehog. When we published our Sonic Lost World review earlier this fall, and one of our chief complaints was the fact that Sega decided to go the route ofSonic Colors and make rings virtually worthless. Even in the face of the tough difficulty of the game, collecting 100 Rings didn’t do anything inSonic Lost World. Extra lives were only earned if found in the levels or on the game’s map. That meant tangling with bosses and exploring levels for the first time came with a lot of game overs and continues. We complained about this in our review, just as many critics did. Here’s that chunk of our review. Im all for challenging games, as long as the game rewards you for good play with extra cushion. Just like inSonic Colors, extra lives are no longer earned by collecting 100 rings. So, youll get to each boss fight with less than five lives, then struggle with jumping and attacking in order to conquer the moment. More often than not, I wound up losing my remaining lives fast, hitting the Game Over screen and starting the level again. Difficulty is great. Challenge is awesome. These things are a hallmark of gaming when the toughness stems from the level design, the ways bosses attack or the brutality of platforming in the game. When difficulty is born from sloppy and imprecise jump mechanics, thats when things get bad. If Sega can tweak Sonics precision, litter the world with more extra lives and make boss battles less infuriating, games likeSonic Lost Worldcan be amazing. Guess what… Sega’s tweaked the extra lives system. A new patch forSonic Lost World will soon go live, and it will include several touch-ups. Here’s the rundown fromSega Blog: Gameplay Updates: Collecting 100 rings will now grant the player an extra life. In the event of a Game Over, we have doubled the amount of lives the player will begin with when continuing. From 5 to 10 The Indigo Asteroid, Crimson Eagle, Orange Rocket, and Black Bomb Color Powers can now be controlled using the analog stick and buttons. Fixed a rare graphical issue that would sometimes appear during the pinball section of the Frozen Factory casino area. Good news all around, friends. Now that it’s soon to get a little less frustrating, we can throw a heartier recommendation atSonic Lost World for the Wii U. Not the 3DS version, though. Yikes.
With effortless syncing and a wide range of cloud services, manual file transfer is not as popular as it once was, but this hasn’t stopped companies from trying to innovate in creating new products in this field. Having already checked out PhotoFasts i-FlashDrive just yesterday, which allows iOS and Android devices to exchange various different kinds of files, Sony has now come up with a stylish, Android smartphonetablet-compatible USB flash drive. Not only does it boast a sleek, compact form factor, but the flash drive also includes dual micro USB and USB 2.0 connectors. Unfortunately, if you’re running on older software, you might not be able to take advantage of the versatile gadget, because it’s inly compatible with devices running Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 through 4.3 Jelly Bean. There isn’t, as per Sony’s announcement, current support for Android 4.4 KitKat, but this is due to the fact that it’s relatively new, and we’d hazard that compatibility is forthcoming. It’s easy enough to back things up using a PC or the cloud, but if you don’t have immediate access to a computer or any kind of data connection, then any new data you may have added to your smartphone is potentially in jeopardy. As well as backing up, it serves as an easy way for an Android user to share a photo, video, or any other type of video with friends. These instances can usually be handled via a simple app combined with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but again, if these luxuries aren’t possible for whatever reason, the Sony USB flash drive will surely come in handy. Let’s be honest, for most folks, these flash drives are just a little behind the times, but if you’re the sort of person who likes to ensure all files are safe and secure at any given time, this is definitely a purchase you should consider making. It’s a novel way of saving bandwidth, if nothing else. Prices start at 19.99 for the 8GB model and peak at 62 for the 32GB variant. The mid-point 16GB edition, meanwhile, is strangely priced at 29.99, meaning that you could essentially purchase two for less than the cost of a 32GB, with the same amount of total storage space. We really wish the next offering brings forth Wi-Fi support. That would be really cool You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the web.
Apple is known for its attention to detail, and that focus on the little things is probably why it sells its MacBooks with power bricks that have flick-out wings for wrapping the cord around. It’s not a big thing, but it’s just enough to make lugging a notebook computer around just that little bit easier. As great as the wings are though, the whole system does have one flaw, and it’s just enough of a pain to take the shine off what would otherwise be a pretty ingenious setup. Thankfully though, where there’s a will to make these things even better, it turns out, there’s also a way. If you’ve ever had a nicely coiled MacBook charger but then been stuck with the actual plug and its cable left over, then you’re going to love this. Entrepreneur J Cornelius has posted a picture of his latest brainwave to Twitter, and we’re really rather taken by it by a huge margin. Clearly tired of having his MacBook’s charging cable wrapped around those wings while the long thick cable that actually plugs into the wall flaps around in the wind, Cornelius noticed that he could do things in a better way, a lot better in fact. Instead of wrapping the thinner cable around the power brick’s wings, he wrapped the thicker one around the brick itself and used that thinner cable to hold it in place. Those wings then hold that cable in situ, and everything’s golden. As if that wasn’t good enough, this setup allows for the thing to be plugged into the wall while all wrapped up, making the entire thing even less obtrusive. An ultra epic win if youre asking us. Heres a demonstration of the whole thing which we found on YouTube, posted by a user named Jay Dizzle: We’ve often wondered why Apple hasn’t come up with a better way of keeping its computers’ cables even tidier than it already does, but it’s little tips like this that should help smooth things over until Apple gets around to redesigning its cable management systems. If you have a better tip to keep things tidy and all organized up, why not share it with us in the comments section below Were certain one of you can come up with a more ingenious method of keeping Apples power brick as tidy as possible. Source: J Cornelius Twitter You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the Web.
Twitter for OS X had been on the low for quite some time, so much so that some had started to debate the likelihood that the company had pretty much given up on the platform. All of that changes today, when a new and refreshed Twitter for Mac 3.0 has just been released on the Mac App Store. Believe me when I say it, the new version will make you want to use the native Twitter app on your Mac once again, and ditch all the third-party solutions that you might have had employed over the course of time. Lets start with taking a quick look at the major changes that embrace Twitter for Mac 3.0. Photo previews are finally available, allowing you to get inline previews of timeline photos within your Twitter feed. Want to see the full resolution image No problem – just click the image, and voila, instant preview, much like its iOS counterpart. Alongside several other visual changes, the revised app features a fresh design, too. Cover photos have been implemented in a manner similar to most popular Twitter clients for both OS X and iOS, and centered icons are an additional plus. For image previews, they can be disabled within settings, so as to not give the user a feeling that something is imposed. Version 3.0 isnt just making profile photos available, either; clicking them would also provide a detailed account of who the user is, their published bio, who they follow and who theyre followed by, what lists theyre a part of, and a custom timeline as well, should that be available. Similarly, the tweet detail pane also carries much more now than before. Along with providing a whole conversation view featuring replies and replied to tweets, you get to see favorite and retweet count as well. Tallying up the score are major bug fixes, which address the problems that users had complained about with previous versions of the official Twitter client for OS X. Twitter for Mac v3.0 comes following a similar release for iOS earlier, and overall, attempts at making the experience similar to what youd get on an iPhone or iPad. This speaks further to the companys attempts – in line with Apples – to provide a similar user experience across Apples ecosystem no matter what device youre using. Its an approach that has already proven to be effective and praised, and it makes sense why a company like Twitter would follow suit. Twitter for Mac 3.0 is available for free at the source link below. Download: Twitter for Mac on the Mac App Store You may also like to check out: Twitter Releases Significant Update To iOS And Android App, Now Lets You Send Private Photos Over DM You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the Web.
China’s smog is an example of pollution that contributes to global warming. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Ilya Haykinson A recently discovered gas appears to be 7,000 times more impactful on climate change than CO2. Perfluorotributylamine PFTBA is a non-naturally occurring gas that has been produced primarily by the electrical industry since the mid 20th century. According to researchers at the University of Toronto, nothing else comes close to the level of impact that this gas can have on global warming.”We claim that PFTBA has the highest radiative efficiency of any molecule detected in the atmosphere to date,” said study co-author Angela Hong. Over a period of 100 years the gas appears to be more than 7,000 times more potent that carbon dioxide.Fortunately PFTBA is relatively scarce at the moment with concentrations in the atmosphere measuring approximately 0.18 parts per trillion in comparison to carbon dioxide’s 400 parts per million.”This is a warning to us that this gas could have a very very large impact on climate change – if there were a lot of it,” said NASA climatologist Drew Shindell. “Since there is not a lot of it now, we don’t have to worry about it at present, but we have to make sure it doesn’t grow and become a very large contributor to global warming.”
Lloyd Pye with the Starchild skull. Image Credit: Lloyd Pye YouTube The author and paranormal researcher died on Monday evening at the age of 67 after a battle with cancer. Author of several books including the novels That Prosser Kid and Mismatch, Pye was a keen proponent of Bigfoot and other paranormal topics, making numerous television appearances over the years on The National Geographic Channel, Animal Planet, The Learning Channel and others.He was perhaps best known however for his extensive research and promotion of the enigmatic Starchild skull, an abnormally shaped human-like skull that he believed was evidence of the hybridization of humans with an advanced extraterrestrial race.The skull was originally discovered in a mine southwest of Chihuahua, Mexico in around 1930 and was later obtained by Pye from a couple in El Paso, Texas. He spent years researching and promoting the find, having taken it to numerous experts in an effort to get to the bottom of the mystery.While DNA testing seemed to suggest that the skull was in fact human, Pye actively maintained his hybridization theory right up until he was forced to retire from work due to his cancer diagnosis earlier this year.Regardless of the skull’s true origins, Pye will always be remembered for his passion, for his devotion to finding the truth and for his unending commitment to bringing some of the world’s most intriguing mysteries to audiences all over the world.
Did an asteroid impact send Earth life to Mars Image Credit: NASADon Davis The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs may have also catapulted life to Mars and elsewhere. Panspermia is the idea that life, far from relying solely on its independent origination on any given world, is instead transported around the cosmos in comets, asteroids and other interplanetary bodies. Some believe that life on Earth and possibly even Mars may have arisen in this way.Researchers in the US have taken this idea one step further by analyzing the possibility that life from Earth may have been spread throughout the solar system following the impact of the giant asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. The research involved calculating the number of rocks capable of carrying life that would have been produced by the collision and where they may have ended up.”We find that rock capable of carrying life has likely transferred from both Earth and Mars to all of the terrestrial planets in the solar system and Jupiter,” said lead author Rachel Worth. “Any missions to search for life on Titan or the moons of Jupiter will have to consider whether biological material is of independent origin, or another branch in Earth’s family tree.”
Microsoft’s outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer has been talking to Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley in what will probably be his last interview while still in charge of the Redmond firm that was once the ruler of the world. Now though, and partly under Ballmer’s stewardship, Microsoft has found itself falling behind its competitors in all kinds of metrics. Ballmer’s interview has been put up on CNN’s Fortune website, but Foley has shared some more information in her ZDNet column, and it’s here that we find out that Ballmer feels his biggest failure was the launch of Windows Vista, the operating system that spent its early life being developed under the codename of Longhorn. Initially looking extremely good to those of us that were keeping an eye on its development, Longhorn eventually turned into the force that was Vista, and Ballmer says it took years for his company to pick up the pieces. Not only because the product wasn’t a great product, but remember it took us five or six years to ship it. Then we had to sort of fix it. That was what I might call Windows 7. And what we wound up with was a period of let’s say seven or eight years where we had the A-team — not all of the A-team but a bunch of our best people — tied up not driving. We did not make years progress in eight years, and there were other things those people could have been working on, like phones. It’s Ballmer’s mention of phones right at the end of that quote is particularly telling, with Microsoft currently playing catch-up behind the likes of Apple and Google, and largely failing. If Microsoft had been able to keep its top developers, engineers and software coders working on future products rather than trying to fix its once strong operating system, perhaps Microsoft would have been the company to launch the iPhone or iPad. Of course, all this is guesswork and it’s the kind of guesswork that an outgoing CEO can afford himself as the clock ticks down to his exit. The real issue is left over for his successor, and whoever that turns out to be, they’re going to have plenty to get their teeth into. The recently released Xbox One has launched to good reviews but yet some hardware problems, and Windows itself is still trying to get a foothold following a luke warm response to its Metro Modern redesign. Tough times ahead for Microsoft, that’s for sure. Source: ZDNet You may also like to check out: CEO Steve Ballmer Makes An Emotional Goodbye To Microsoft VIDEO You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the Web.
Back in August, we featured Google’s then-new Android Device Manager, allowing users to remote-wipe and locate their device in a similar vein to Apple’s Find My iPhone service. It was apparent at the time that a dedicated Android app was imminent, and now, it has finally arrived over at the Google Play Store. More details as well as the direct download link can be found right after the break. The app, as with most of Google’s mobile utilities, is merely an extension of the Web service, nicely optimized for use on-the-fly. You can use it to track, alert, lock and wipe a device you may have misplaced, although naturally, you will need to be wielding more than one Android device if this app is going to be of any use to you. The interface is slick but simplistic, meaning Google hasn’t clogged it up with any unnecessary frills. Such is the panicked nature of most folks upon losing their device, that the UI isn’t actually all that important; but nonetheless, the Big G has, in very typical fashion, delivered the goods once again. As our mobile devices have become more sophisticated, it has, in turn, become a breeze to track them when we lose them. Having misplaced my smartphone in the past, the ability to quickly get online and confirm its location was great for peace of mind, and although it wasn’t the Android Device Manager I used at that point, I probably will do now that it’s available for mobile. With the Android Device Manager, you can readily switch between accounts, and having given it a quick run-out on an HTC One, it’s a nice, smooth and refined experience. So, if you own more than one Android device, it’s highly recommended that you pick up the Android Device Manager app from the Play Store, just in case you happen to lose one of them. Just make sure, of course, that you don’t lose them both at the same time, otherwise, like me, you’ll be scrambling for a computer in the hope that it can still pick up a flicker of a trace using GPS scanning. Download: Android Device Manager for Android On the Play Store Make sure to check out our Android Apps gallery to explore more apps for your Android device. You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the Web.
Spotify has emerged during the last few years as one of the leading music streaming services around, and although it operates a subscription model, those simply registering an account have been able to listen to tracks on some devices, albeit supported by ads. Now, Spotify has decided to change the way in which free listening works, and if you happen to be an iPad or an Android tablet owner, it’s a change for the better. The Apple and Android tablet is now viewed by Spotify in a similar light to a desktop computer, and as such, the iPad app will carry a look and feel much like the PC and Mac versions of the service. Thanks to a new update, users are now able to create playlists using specific tracks they’ve searched for, and listen for free. This decision to categorize the iPad and any Android tablet as a computer is a valid one, and will certainly work in the favor of its owners. On your smartphone, meanwhile, users updating to the latest version of the Spotify app can search for artists or songs, but will then be offered a shuffled playlist related to that artist, rather than being able to compile their music as they please. Those looking to do so will still need to pay the monthly subscription fee, which costs 9.99. As well as an impressive array of Spotify-curated playlists, it’s really easy to hook up with your Facebook friends and pry on what they’re listening to as well. It’s a great way to discover new tracks from those with similar tastes, and is all part of what makes Spotify such a thorough music-listening experience. Initially, I was skeptical about Spotify, but as a convert and subsequent long-term user, I have to note that it has improved greatly over the past couple of years. Although the catalog of tracks has grown considerably, there are still some missing, but with such a lot of work having gone into making Spotify’s library among the most impressive in the business, I’ve every faith that this situation will continue to improve. Speaking of which, the company has today announced that the full catalog of rock outfit Led Zeppelin is now available across 20 new markets worldwide. And if youre asking us, thats big news, provided youre a fan of classic rock. You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the web.
A hidden threat lies just below the surface. Image Credit CC BY-SA 3.0 David Monniaux The supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park is believed to be 2.5 times larger than earlier estimates. The natural beauty and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park attract thousands of tourists from all over the world on a yearly basis, but not far below the surface is an increasingly large chamber of molten hot magma that could erupt at any time.The volcano is no ordinary one either, containing as much as 200-600 cubic km of molten rock the vast subterranean cavern represents one of the largest known supervolcanoes. When it does erupt it will cause untold devastation for hundreds of square miles and impact the climate on a global level.Now researchers investigating the site have made an astounding discovery – that the supervolcano is actually two-and-a-half times larger than previously believed.”Weve been working there for a long time, and weve always thought it would be bigger… but this finding is astounding,” said Prof Bob Smith.It’s not all bad news however – there is no sign that the supervolcano is likely to erupt any time soon and it is quite possible that nothing will happen at all in fact for many thousands of years.
Mars One’s ultimate goal is to settle a human colony on Mars. Image Credit Mars One Bryan Vertseeg The company aiming to send humans on a one-way Mars trip is set to launch a robotic mission by 2018. With more than 200,000 applicants signed up for a one-way ticket to Mars, the ambitious Mars One project has been at the receiving end of a fair amount of skepticism since announcing its intentions to have humans living and working on the Red Planet by as early as 2024.The seemingly infeasible goal has done little to dampen the company’s enthusiasm however as this week Mars One have announced plans to send a robotic mission to Mars within just four years.The mission is aimed at testing out the technologies that will be needed to send humans to Mars and will consist of a lander and a communications satellite. Aerospace company Lockheed Martin will be working on the lander while UK-based company Surrey Satellites has been contracted to work on the satellite.Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp described the endeavor as “the first step in Mars One’s overall plan of establishing a permanent human settlement on Mars.” If it goes ahead then it will already be entering the record books as the first ever privately funded mission to another planet.
Researchers have been piecing together clues about the species. Image Credit CC BY-SA 3.0 Cicero Moraes Fossil remains of an ancient hominim species dating back 1.34 million years have been unearthed. Discovered at the Olduvai Gorge site in Tanzania, the partial skeleton consists of arm, leg, hand and foot fragments. Paranthropus boisei is believed to have evolved around 2.3 million years ago and this find is likely one of the last members of its species to have lived prior to its extinction.”We are starting to understand the physiology of these individuals of this particular species and how it actually adapted to the kind of habitat it lived in,” said anthropologist Dr Charles Musiba.”We knew about the kind of food it ate it was omnivorous, leaning more toward plant material but now we know more how it walked around and now we know it was a tree climber.”Paranthropus boisei was first discovered in 1959 but despite a number of discoveries, it has taken until now to fill in the gaps due to the difficulties in finding a complete specimen.