'Planescape: Torment' remaster arrives on April 11th
For many veteran gamers, Planescape: Torment was a definitive role-playing title -- it combined an unusual setting with a deep story, memorable dialogue and gameplay mechanics that still hold up. If you're one of those fans, you won't have long to wait to relieve that experience on modern hardware. Beamdog, Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast have revealed that they're launching Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition on April 11th. As with most better remastering efforts, this involves more than a little spit and polish to make the game run on newer hardware.
The rework polishes the game with a 4K-friendly interface on Macs and Windows PCs, a remastered soundtrack and interface tweaks (such as area zooming and quick looting) that reflect 18 years of progress. It even has the help of lead Torment designer Chris Avellone, who's curating various fixes and upgrades to create his ideal vision of the game. This is also the first version of the RPG built for mobile, with both Android and iOS versions arriving the same day. Suffice it to say that you'll want a tablet if you go that route, since there's a lot of info to juggle at the same time.
Beamdog is releasing the computer versions of Planescape through its own store, GOG, the Mac App Store and Steam for $20. On mobile, you'll be paying $10 through either the App Store or Google Play. We'd say the price is reasonable in either case. Beamdog estimates that a typical playthrough will last for 50 or more hours, and there's a distinct chance you'll be happy whether you're nostalgic for Torment or just want to sink your teeth into a classic Dungeons & Dragons experience.
Via: PC Gamer
via Engadget http://www.engadget.com
March 28, 2017 at 12:45PM
Apple Rejecting Apps With Pricing Info Like 'Free' in App Title
Apple has started blocking developers from promoting their apps by using a price in the app's name, reports VentureBeat. For approximately the last month, apps that use "free" or other pricing information in their metadata have been blocked in iTunes Connect submissions.
Apps that use "Free" in their titles are receiving the following rejection notice after being submitted for review:
Your app's name, icons, screenshots, or previews to be displayed on the App Store include references to your app's price, which is not considered a part of these metadata items.An Apple spokesperson VentureBeat contacted confirmed the changes but declined to offer any additional information.
Given that there are still dozens of apps in the App Store that use "Free" in their title, such as Disney's "Where's My Water? Free" or "Doodle Jump FREE," it appears this is a new policy that will affect app submissions going forward. It's not clear if Apple will make apps that are already in the App Store implement a title change.
In related App Store news, Apple appears to have mistakenly approved Metadata, an app that sends a notification when a U.S. drone strike is reported in the news.
The app, which had previously been rejected a dozen times before, was approved this morning and then pulled just hours later, suggesting its temporary approval was an accident. Previously, the app was approved in 2014 and was in the App Store for almost a year before being removed.
Tag: App Store
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March 28, 2017 at 12:44PM
LG releases first G6 TV commercial on eve of Samsung’s big event
LG has to be hoping that come tomorrow, its brand new G6 smartphone won’t be immediately overshadowed in the minds of consumers by Samsung’s Galaxy S8. The two phones are similar in that they’re both all screen with a tiny surrounding bezel. Each has its own advantages; in the case of LG, that’s really the wide-angle camera lens on the back (and a flat display, if you’re a traditionalist like me).
But for its first TV spot meant to sell you (and millions of other people) on the G6, the company is really focused on that screen and its friendliness to one-handed use thanks to a 2:1 aspect ratio. It starts by peeling off what you’d expect a traditional phone’s bezel to look like, and the tagline is “The big screen that fits in your hand.” And yeah, it’s definitely easier to navigate around this phone than some others. Good luck reaching the back button in this Gilt example, though. Please, developers, no more hamburger menus (or any important buttons) up there.
We get a very brief look at the camera in the skydiving scene, but I expect LG will have other ads for showcasing its unique dual-lens setup. And this spot also effectively gets across the device’s water resistance. But will any amount of advertising be enough against the Samsung juggernaut? The G6 launches on March 30th on Verizon and a week later on other US carriers, so it’s got some lead time. But after tomorrow’s event, a lot of people might already have their minds set on a certain new Galaxy with its own giant, curved screen.
via The Verge http://ift.tt/oZfQdV
March 28, 2017 at 12:04PM
'Minecraft' Realms multiplayer finally heads to Apple TV
If you've been looking to play Minecraft with your other Apple TV-owning gamer buddies, it's time to get excited. The latest update to the Apple TV version of this hit game enables "Realms," Minecraft's subscription-based multiplayer system. This upgraded version also includes Xbox Live authentication support, which will let players access their linked avatars and character skins.
When you purchase a Realms account, it's like getting a Minecraft server, only it's maintained by Microsoft so you don't have to mess with things like hosting or IP addresses. You get to control who can visit your private Minecraft Realm, too. That way, you don't have to worry about anyone trashing your world as you race around fighting exploding Creepers or building insane recreations of King's Landing from Game of Thrones. You can get a two- or 10-player Realm of your own for $3.99 and $7.99, respectively.
Unfortunately, owners of existing Realms subscriptions on Mac, Linux or PC won't be able play alongside their iOS or Apple TV brethren; there are two separate Realms systems, one for PCs and one that includes iOS, Android and Windows 10 users. We've reached out to find out if there are plans to connect the two systems.
The procedurally-generated worlds of Minecraft deserve to be explored with others; now Apple TV and iOS fans have a chance to do just that... as long as they stick to their own platform.
Via: 9 to 5 Mac
via Engadget http://www.engadget.com
March 28, 2017 at 11:57AM
Anker's PowerLine II Might Be the Last Lightning Cable You Ever Buy
Anker’s PowerLine and PowerLine+ cables were already our readers’ favorite charging cables, but the new PowerLine II line is even stronger, and comes with a hassle-free lifetime warranty.
Think about that for a second. If your cable ever fails, instead of going out and buying a new one, you can just request a free replacement. Obviously, cable standards will become obsolete over time, Anker might not be in business by the time the sun explodes, and they probably won’t replace it if you, like, purposely set it on fire. But under normal circumstances, this could really be the last charging cable you buy.
That being said, your PowerLine II probably isn’t breaking any time soon. Anker claims it’s 40% stronger than the previous model, and it definitely feels heavy duty in the hand. The plugs are thicker and have longer collars than the previous version, and the cable itself is pretty thick and stiff compared to what you might be used to. It’s not the prettiest cable, but it’s clearly built to last.
via Lifehacker http://lifehacker.com
March 28, 2017 at 11:47AM
Apple finally flips the switch on review responses
Along with the other slate of improvements that are in iOS 10.3, maybe one that'll make a real change (at least in terms of the App Store) in the ecosystem is the ability to converse with app developers. We knew that the feature was coming way back in January, but now it's actually here. Previously, as sister site TechCrunch notes, a developer would have to reverse engineer someone's UserID to get to their email if they wanted to ask about a bug the user experienced. Not anymore.
Google has had this sort of functionality for around five years, which makes Apple's reluctance to add it all the more curious. Anyhow, next time an app isn't working exactly as advertised on iOS or OSX, if you leave a comment about it in the App Store there's a chance you'll hear from the developer. If you're a fan of trolling though, that snarky comment might come back to bite you.
Once you submit a review, should a developer respond, you'll get an email that offers a chance to update your original review or contact the developer directly. On the developer side, Apple's outlined how app-makers should use the feature, too. Basically, respond swiftly and follow Wheaton's Law. And really, that's it. Maybe this two-way communication will result in developers being more communicative and result in faster updates.
via Engadget http://www.engadget.com
March 28, 2017 at 11:21AM
The Most Useful Language for English Speakers to Learn, According to an Economist
So you want to learn a second language to hep advance your career, but you have no idea which one would benefit you the most. If you were to ask an economist, this is probably what they’d tell you.
Over at Quartz, Emily Oster, an associate professor of economics at Brown University, recommends two languages that will offer the most benefits in the present and future. The first, Mandarin, offers the most benefits overall. It’s the native language for 14% of the world’s population—many of whom don’t speak English—meaning it’s the most influential language on Earth. It’s also incredibly important on the business side, with Mandarin speakers being highly sought after.
The second option, Spanish, has a few special benefits of its own. It’s the second most spoken language on the planet, and there are many native speakers of the language right here in the U.S., making it a pretty valuable skill on your home turf. Spanish is also considered to be much easier to learn than Mandarin, especially if the goal is fluency, so it’s the more practical choice.
Of course, this is only one person’s take, and your needs may call for something else entirely. If you’re doing regular business in Germany, for example, learning Mandarin probably isn’t the best use of your time. That said, it’s some interesting food for thought if you’re not sure what to learn and simply trying to maximize your career potential with a single language skill.
via Lifehacker http://lifehacker.com
March 28, 2017 at 11:03AM
How Twitter's New Filters Can Keep Out the Trolls and Rotten Eggs
I love Twitter even though my replies are filled with people calling me an idiot. I use it to follow the news and make stupid jokes, but I can barely tweet about politics without an army of anonymous trolls spamming my notifications. Now Twitter is finally giving users some new tools to keep the trolls our of your mentions.
For some people it’s just a minor annoyance when strangers pop up in their replies, but obsessive trolls also seek out specific topics (particularly around politics... and video games) and target individuals with hateful language. Over the past six months Twitter has been a little more proactive about dealing with rampant abuse on the site, adding new ways to mute specific words and people. Those features are finally becoming available to everyone.
Specifically, you can now manage ‘Advanced Muting Options’ right in the iOS app. (I have the option on the desktop site too, but it might not be available to everyone yet.) Lets look at a few ways you can use these filter to keep trolls from spamming you or to avoid topics you just don’t want to see.
Mute Notifications From Anonymous Trolls
“Muting” on Twitter has a few different meanings. For years your only option was to block or mute specific people when they annoyed you. In that case ‘muting’ just meant that you could follow someone on Twitter while not actually seeing their tweets. That isn’t a way to deal with trolls; it’s just a weird courtesy to follow someone without paying attention to them.
Blocking is the nuclear option for dealing with an individual; block someone and then you’ll never see their messages. But even blocking people can be a game of whack-a-mole because people can just make new accounts to keep pestering you (though Twitter is trying to fix that too).
Now there are more options to control what you’ll actually see in your notifications:
First of all, you can mute anyone you don’t follow. That alone is very convenient if you just want to keep the conversation between you and your friends, sort of like Facebook.
The other filters are designed to target serial Twitter abusers who make new accounts even when you block them. Those trolls usually don’t take the time to upload a profile photo (which is why they’re referred to as “eggs,” the default avatar). And to maintain anonymity they don’t confirm their email address or phone number. It’s obviously not a watertight filter, given that they can just upload any dumb picture or make an anonymous new email address to get around that, but it’s a broad stroke to clean up your notifications a little bit.
(The “quality filter” is more ambiguous; Twitter says it removes “lower-quality content,” whatever that means. I know all of my tweets are high quality.)
Advanced Muting Blocks Words, Hashtags, and People
Setting up more advanced filters takes a little more work because you have to actually tell Twitter what you don’t want to see. Which means if someone keeps calling you the same expletive, you have to spell it out. That’s not great because it’s a reaction to existing abuse rather than preventing it in the first place.
But if there’s a certain word, term, or phrase you don’t like, you can add it here and never see it on Twitter at all. Muting a word removes it from your entire timeline in addition to your notifications. To actually deal with hateful language you need to be specific: The other day someone on Twitter told me to “shoot [myself],” so I could, for example, mute the words “shoot yourself” and never have to see that again. Yippee.
Beyond dealing with vitriolic language, you can just mute whatever topics you don’t want to see. If you hate cats, mute the word “cats.” Or you can specify certain people so even just a mention of them will be removed from your feeds. If I take a vacation I might add some politicians so I can enjoy relative ignorance about politics for a while. In fact, you can also give your filters time limits if you just want a temporary reprieve.
The time limits are also great for avoiding spoilers. You could temporarily mute “Game of Thrones” or “The Bachelor” or whatever show, game, or movie you’re saving for later. Of course, it doesn’t make sense to give hateful language a time limit; I don’t like being called an idiot today, and I probably won’t enjoy it tomorrow either.
These filters are far from a perfect solution to dealing with stupid trolls on the internet—they are a timeless and versatile group. But it’s one step you can take to mute some of the worst offenders, make Twitter a little more palatable, and reclaim your mentions.
via Lifehacker http://lifehacker.com
March 28, 2017 at 10:50AM
Congress Just Gave Internet Providers the Green Light to Sell Your Browsing History Without Consent
The House of Representatives voted today repeal rules preventing internet service providers from selling their customers’ web browsing and app usage data without explicit consent. The Senate passed the same bill last week, which means the only obstacle that remains is a signature from President Trump—and the White House has already signaled he will do so.
The rules would have required ISPs to get explicit opt-in consent from customers before selling their sensitive data, including web browsing history and app usage data. The rules hadn’t gone into effect yet, and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai stopped the first provision, which would have required ISPs to keep customer data secure—what a concept!—from going into effect earlier this month.
Without these rules, “there will be no strong federal protection for consumers when it comes to how their ISP can use their information,” Dallas Harris, a policy fellow at the privacy advocacy group Public Knowledge, told Gizmodo. Under the current statute, customers must be allowed to opt out of letting their ISP sell their data, but without a rule to interpret that statute, it’s much harder to enforce. And the 2-1 Republican majority at the FCC is hardly desperate to enforce that rule. Eric Null, the policy counsel at the Open Technology Institute, told Gizmodo it’s “highly unlikely” that we’d see any enforcement by the FCC if a provider doesn’t provide reasonable measures to opt out.
The rules were repealed using the Congressional Review Act, which was used only once before the Trump administration, but has been implemented seven times since January. Essentially, this means the FCC can’t issue any “substantially similar” rules in the future.
Gigi Sohn, former counselor for ex-FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, told Gizmodo that it’s not clear whether this means the FCC would be prevented from passing stronger rules in the future, and that ISPs may not have “given a whole lot of thought” to that possibility. But it seems that ISPs are betting that this would act as a “nuclear option,” eliminating the possibility of future regulation by the FCC.
So, what does this mean for consumers? Harris told Gizmodo that they’ll “have to take their privacy into their own hands.” Practically speaking, Harris said, this means you should “get online right now, get on your ISP’s website” and opt out of having your data sold. It might also mean getting a VPN—a private network that routes all traffic through its servers—though you’d have to pick one you trust not to sell your data, too. Harris also fears that the repeal will have a “chilling effect” on broadband adoption among those who still aren’t online.
As the Electronic Frontier Foundation has pointed out, there are also serious implications for security: If ISPs look to sell consumer data, “internet providers will need to record and store even more sensitive data on their customers, which will become a target for hackers.” Even if they anonymize your sensitive data before they sell it to advertisers, they need to collect it first—and these companies don’t exactly have a perfect track record in protecting consumer data. In 2015, for example, Comcast paid $33 million as part of a settlement for accidentally releasing information about users who had paid the company to keep their phone numbers unlisted, including domestic violence victims. In 2015, for example, Comcast paid $33 million as part of a settlement for accidentally releasing information about users who had paid the company to keep their phone numbers unlisted, including domestic violence victims.
This is all made much more difficult for consumers by the dearth of broadband competition. More than half of Americans have either one or even no options for providers, so if you don’t like your ISP’s data collection policies, chances are you won’t be able to do much about it, and providers know that. It’s highly unlikely that providers, particularly the dominant companies, will choose to forego those sweet advertising dollars in order to secure their customers’ privacy, when they know those customers don’t have much choice.
After the Senate passed its version of the repeal last week, the bill was blasted by multiple open internet advocacy groups, including the Center for Democracy and Technology. There was also a last-minute push by advocacy groups to turn the public against the bill prior to the vote. The EFF and ACLU called on the public to call their representatives, which got a boost of sorts from actress Alyssa Milano:
Meanwhile, lobbying groups that represent internet providers and tech companies lauded the bill. Last week, the Consumer Technology Association, which represents companies including Facebook, Apple and Twitter, said the privacy regulation “threatens to undermine innovation and competition in the internet ecosystem.” (Gigi Sohn told us that’s a “stock line they use any time they get regulation they don’t like.”)
As we’ve noted before, the criticism that the rule is inconsistent with the FTC’s privacy framework is utter bullshit. Not only is it largely meaningless to almost everyone—who the hell knows what the FTC’s privacy framework is?—it’s also a rhetorical trick to obscure what ISPs actually want, which is weaker regulation. The FTC’s privacy framework was only really different in one crucial way that ISPs hated: it doesn’t consider web browsing and app usage “sensitive,” which requires opt-in consent, but the FCC does, and advertisers really want to get their hands on that valuable web browsing data. Repealing the FCC rules “doesn’t create a level playing field, it just creates a hole in protections,” says Harris.
All is not completely lost. Your ISP still has to allow you to opt out of having your data sold, so you can call them or go online to find out how to do that. (If you do that, let us know how it went.) But today’s news is devastating for privacy overall. Consumers could have had more control over their privacy; your data could have been safer. Things could have been better, if Congress had done what it usually does and done nothing. Instead, they made things worse for anyone who doesn’t run an internet company or an advertising agency. There’s no policy justification and no public interest in doing this; consumers are deeply fearful, in fact, about their privacy online. It was an action solely designed to benefit some already very rich companies that barely anyone wanted.
via Lifehacker http://lifehacker.com
March 28, 2017 at 10:50AM
Infotec showcases high-tech gadgets - KETV Omaha
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March 28, 2017 at 10:48AM