Are Children Addicted to Video Games?

Kids spend hours in front of a TV screen playing video games. For decades this has held true and while the industry evolves and video gaming because more complex, the addiction to these games gets worse.

When Nintendo was first released, there were a few controllers, and kids could spend a few hours on the machine before it overheated, or they wanted to go play outside. When Ninetendo64 was released, you saw kids spending more time in front of the TV, with more game options and more people per game playing. Birthdays and Christmases were filled with exchanges of the latest and greatest games and competitions were held on mass.

With the internet adding into the equation, we now see a whole new world of gaming. No longer are you forced to compete with the guy next to you… to have fun with your friends in a room and place silly bets on who will win the next game. Now, you are able to go worldwide… connect with whomever you want, whenever you want. Timezones mean nothing and language is never a barrier.

kidsgamingWhen Does ‘Fun’ Become an Addiction?

Like the effect the Internet, social media and most technologically related things we have on our lives; video games are truly changing the way we socialize and the develop our brains. Is this a good thing? Depends who you ask. On one end, people are scared for the kids of today… they feel that spending 5+ hours a day in front of a TV deprives the child of the things we, as children loved so much. Four-Square, road hockey tournaments and other fun games that filled our neighborhood streets are now unheard of, in fact, 99% of the time the streets are bare.

For the children of today though, there world wouldn’t be the same without their games. They’ve grown up accustom to a life of technology addictions, its normal and they see no reason to ever want anything different. The kids that do see it are often considered outcasts… words of disgust are often directed at those children that choose not to like, or have never had the chance to play a video game.

Video games give children the immediate satisfaction they are looking for. You beat the game or you don’t. If you don’t then you try again, if you do, you’re recognized by your peers. Seems like a great idea on a high level. Video games provide children with the ability to step into another world, to become a part of the game that some developer has created. There are multiple levels, multiple characters (with feelings too!)… the world of video games has ‘addict’ written all over it. Video games are awesome, in moderation.

Who doesn’t want to play a video game? I just can’t imagine never getting the urge to breathe some fresh air … or to play a game of tag in the backyard.

What are your thoughts?

Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS to Debut in Singapore

A few weeks ago at the IFA tech show in Berlin, Samsung representatives announced that an upgraded version of the current star, the Samsung S3, is set to debut in Singapore by the end of September. The new S3 will have all of the features of the earlier version except now it will also come with a 2GB RAM, quad-core processor, LTE capabilities, and an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. Now that is certainly something to look forward to since an OS update is yet to be available for the first S3 release.

At the event, Samsung showcased the S3 LTE Android 4.1 Jelly Bean test model. Those that were able to test drive the new version of the S3 were nothing short of awed by its performance. If there is one downside to Samsung’s up and coming upgraded flagship device, it may be its price. Rumor has it, an unlocked Samsung S3 LTE will retail for around $800SGD. Mobile carriers have yet to make an announcement as to whether or not they will offer the unit under contract.

Samsung has made it clear that they will not be phasing out the I9300 S3 when the LTE version is released to the Asian market. The older version will still be available since not everyone can shell out $800SGD for a smartphone. However, those that are trying to decide whether or not the LTE version would be worth the cost are advised to think a little further into the future. An LTE capable smartphone may not be a necessity now but seeing as today’s technology moves as fast as a moving bullet, it may be a good option to get a more advanced smartphone now while LTE capable units are still priced competitively.

The new iPhone 5 has 1GB of RAM

Not a single soul (or nearly so), hasn’t heard of the now officially marketed iPhone 5. Even before its launch in September, people had been long clamoring for updates on the release of the iPhone 4’s big brother which (presumably) promises a supped-up functionality. Those that are missing are the technical details that geeks everywhere, and most especially the crafty developers, have been aching to know the soonest possible. While previous generations of the iPhone, such as 4 and 4s, had only 512MB of RAM to run the operating system smoothly and without those annoying lags especially when attempting to connect to the internet, browser and all applications in the background, the new iPhone 5 seems to have been an improvement that has led the creators to decide to double the size of the initial memory capacity.

To reach this conclusion, notwithstanding the device being in the stillborn stage, the boys from AnandTech managed by simply analyzing the image of the A6 chip shown in the last Keynote , to snatch the technical specifications of the new RAM: interface, speed and bandwidth .

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The A6 chip shown during the keynote,  was the part number K3PE7E700F-XGC2 . Decomposing this serial comes out that the first part K3P indicates that the RAM present inside it is in dual-channel configuration type LPDDR2 with channel 32-bit . The second block is marked with the symbol E7E7 indicates, the density of each DRAM module present (512MB per die, 1GB in total ). The two end characters are to indicate the operating frequency of such modules equal, in this case, to 1066Mhz . It has finally arrived, only now with an acceptable amount of memory to be able to withstand running multiple applications in the background without letting up and allow developers to create games and applications more complex and exorbitant.

 

LG Launches the First Pocket-sized Printer for Android

From the days of analog telephony to digital ones and now the reign of the Android, think you’ve seen it all? You might want to think again. LG has recently introduced on the market the very first Korean mini wireless printer for Smartphones that we can see in the picture accompanied by some manufacturers’ equipment, compatible with it. Coming in a range of colors with glossy, metallic finish, and looking particularly compact and as reported by the manufacturer,  the mini vavavoom can fit in your pocket or purse , it interfaces with the phone via Bluetooth or Near Field Communication (NFC).

The print technology ZINK (Zero Ink) is used. Meaning the protégé  eliminates the  need for conventional cartridges and inks to provide good photographic prints in mobility. This particular system uses heat to melt the color crystals contained in the special paper used by the printer. Imagine the cost-efficiency of this mini state of the art wonder, gone are the days of groping for that costly ink to fit into your machine, plus, convenience and utter portability. If that is not something that would set the standard for next generation printing, nothing else probably will.

First launched in South Korea, there hasn’t been any plans, as of press time to launch it into the US market quotes one LG representative. LG Pocket Photo will initially be sold on the local market at a price of about €130(189,000 won) already inside with 10 sheets of special paper, every refill containing other 10 sheets at a cost of about €10, not exactly cheap but on the other hand is of a particular product and not so widespread. Makes one want to consider oneself fortunate to get their hands on this you-can’t-do-without-gadget.

Sony Launches New MDR-XB

Multi-media super mogul Sony further expands its catalog of audio devices with the new headphones MDR-XB, a device capable of reproducing sounds as precise and distinct as Sony had been reputed to deliver in its vast array of audio products for many years now. Now they had come up with yet another masterpiece, certainly a clearer way to please even its most demanding users. Connoisseurs and enthusiasts would surely be satisfied with this newest addition to an already long list of top class audio equipment that guarantees no less than a superb listening pleasure.

Sony even valued variety when it was manufacturing the MDR-XB which is now officially out and  can be purchased in five versions: MDR-XB800, MDR-XB600, MDR-XB400, MDR-XB200, MDR-XB30EX .

 

With diversity in mind, the series is meant to satisfy varying audio needs for an ever-growing clientele that Sony has the pleasure of  retaining in their rosters. Different necessities required that several versions be conceived to cater to gamers, enthusiasts and even professionals who just can’t settle for the conventional headsets that do not really provide the subtlety they need.

 

Aesthetically, the new Sony headphones are sleek, compact and lightweight, also thanks to the fluid rotation retractable that they are easy to carry. Unfortunately the company has not yet announced the price so we can only leave you with these technical specifications:

Google Acquires iOS Photo-editing App Snapseed

One of the biggest news of late  is the acquisition by Google of Nik Software, a company whose core business is the development of applications and in particular, the application Snapseed, a sort of Instagram app that allows users to edit images directly from their Smartphones. Little known to Android user due to unavailability, Snapseed App Store Apple was awarded iPad App Of The Year  in 2011 and has reached to the 9 million downloads in just one year. An important software, with a great user base and greatly appreciated. The acquisition could lead to important future developments and is not to be excluded that it can be integrated into Google+ photo editing when uploading or maybe in the Vanilla version of Android to further improve the editing system offers.

Although details of the acquisition and the cost of the operation were not provided, the Nik Software team says:

We are pleased to announce the acquisition by Google of Nik Software. For 17 years we have had as its focus the saying, “photography first,” and we have worked to build tools and software for image editing class. We want to share our passion for photography with everyone and with the support of Google, we hope to be able to help millions of people to create memorable photos.

We are grateful to you all for your support and we hope that your enthusiasm to continue in the next phase of our journey as part of the Google team.

You just have to take a wolf to the company hoping to soon see more news of the acquisition.

 

iPhone 5 on sale in Italy on September 28!

‘Been waiting too long for the next episode in the iPhone saga? Can’t have enough of “the luscious apple”? Then sink your teeth into this good news for all fans of Apple, Italy is not on the first line  (USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore) that will have the chance to buy iPhone 5 on day one 21 September as shown in the picture below. Moreover, it is part of the second tranche which will start at a distance of one week, making the wait not so painful. Now how’s that for a loud introductory bang?

A little more than two weeks from today, September 28 , the date of the official debut of the new iPhone model in the Italian market , with the final version of iOS 6, which will be released September 19. Free for iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, New iPad, iPad 2, iPod Touch 4G. No official price has yet been released however for the said market. By December 2012 the coverage would have been nearly global, having reached a distribution in at least a hundred countries around the world, thanks to the partnership with 240 operators who played a very crucial role in the global distribution of the Apple iPhone 5s. We look forward to know the prices dedicated to the Italian market, which is not too far along in coming given the proximity of the date of sale. Good things indeed come to those who patiently wait after all. In the meantime, any prospected buyer is encouraged to check the Apple site for further information.

http://www.apple.com/it/iphone/why-iphone/

CrazyMaze! Lands in the Marketplace

Amidst the myriad of titles from Microsoft’s virtual store, from time to time you would “strangely” happen to get your hands on an extra ordinary software that renders a user spending hours with eyes glued unto the screen for reasons withheld until solicited. Extra ordinary in the sense that anyone who throws about 5 minutes of attention to it would certainly need another 5 no sooner than the last one. With the power to captivate any unsuspecting spectator and render them enticed to its often interesting but friendly interface due to its simplicity of approach, whilst embellished with some unique characteristics, albeit enigmatic yet subtle and utterly addicting.

Such is just one way to describe that which is known simply as CrazyMaze! With a façade as simple as it is interesting, CrazyMaze! is part of the circle of fascinating, often quirky mirage of out of this world sights, sounds and inhabitants that certainly leave a mark on you the moment you let them into your world.

With an offering of about fifty levels revolving around platforms and sceneries driving a small sphere towards the end of the level and following the classic conception of a puzzle game, the player drives around the levels to be awarded medals, which may be bronze, silver or gold,  and at the end of each stage depending on their performance.

The duration of the game is dictated by the players’ tenacity to unlock new levels, collecting medals, painstakingly earned stage after stage. In addition, there are several boundary elements that has the potential to be particularly useful.  Some of which are keys that open new areas and a substantial increase in speed due to the booster. These among others give the replay value of CrazyMaze! a decent face.

The price of release itself is impressive as it is “user friendly”, set at €0.99 , which could very well be another good reason to grab a game that promises tons of fun and countless hours of exhilarating challenges if not a set of bloodshot eyes.

 

Sony Patents a Next Generation Energy-saving TV

Sony has yet again upped the ante in their staple audio-visual prowess as they recently patent an innovative technology that drastically reduces energy consumption of the television. There are however, other models from other manufacturers already out on the market with sensor, capable of recognizing if there is a user in front of the panel, and is therefore actively using the TV, or if the room is currently unoccupied otherwise. In the case of the latter, the presence sensor can give the order to turn off the screen on its own and without human intervention, if the absence lasts for a pre-set period of time.

The new system of Sony is based on a principle almost identical to, but more advanced than its competitors in the market. In addition to the sensor which detects user presence, there are 3 installed cameras, which not only detect the presence of a warm body, but also embedded in it is a pre-installed software for recognizing faces, with ultra precision analysis of facial features, like the mouth, eyes, eyebrows and so on. This is how the energy saving system goes to work as it makes it possible to determine with greater accuracy the presence of people in the environment. Furthermore, there are also features dedicated to user preference that allows full customization of the visual settings. A pre-customized user profile is saved in the system’s internal memory for quick selection.

Depending on the case, some actions are pro-actively initiated such as screen brightness reduction, or automatic switch-off, with the volume simultaneously reducing to a subtle level to total mute when the sensor detects that  a subject, although present in the room, is actually asleep, rendering operation to a minimal, thereby greatly contributing to energy saving.

Statistically, these features can reduce fuel consumption by up to 40% less .

 

 

Monster Island on special offer for the whole week

Can’t get enough of those cutesy little critters whose got an island named after them? Well then bury your hand in the cookie jar with this special offer in the virtual store from Microsoft! Monster Island is indeed released at a reduced price, from €2.99 to €0.99, on demand and on sale for the rest of the week!

Developed by Miniclip, Monster Island promises to submerge players into a real adventure where you will find trying to defeat hordes of monsters through the use of mini bombs an exhilarating experience of sorts that will slowly creep up on you and make you find yourself waking up one morning… addicted!

Monster Island is heavily based on interacting with a pre-rendered environment, thanks to the graphics engine capable of simulating the various impacts between the active elements on the screen very convincingly. The control system is based on the classic concept introduced by Angry Birds, giving players the opportunity to cast their arsenal, from the monstrous features, upon the unwanted visitors and trying to put together a chain reaction through wise exploitation of the scenarios.

There are five different bombs that the player can count: Rocko, Sticky, Xplode, and Don Blui Tonator, all freely available for use in the three worlds. In fact there are over two hundred missions to accomplish, ensuring countless hours of fun and quirky, rather cutesy sort of challenges on a different kind of platform. Attempting to unlock all contributes to a high replay value.

Start turning your weekends into something that you truly look forward to. Grab a copy of this highly addictive title that you would definitely find an unforgettable gaming experience. An instant classic that is certainly well worth your while!

HTC Revenue Down 4% in August

Another difficult month for the Taiwanese Smartphone manufacturer has just concluded. The decline in sales of Smartphones continues to leave traces in the company’s already battered balance sheet, which also recorded a sharp revenue fall within the same month. HTC has achieved revenues of approximately $800 million,  value marks a decrease of 4% compared to the month of July and 47% if we take the month July 2011 as a benchmark. The Taiwanese manufacturer had already anticipated a quarter interim, after ascertaining that the launch of the HTC Smartphone One was not able to get the sales success that everybody in the team previously hoped for.

If on the one hand, the crisis is obvious and overt, the other thing the Taiwanese manufacturer has already implemented was a number of measures to try to respond to difficult situations. In the recent weeks, Peter Chou has called to order his collaborators, emphasizing the importance of responding quickly, minimizing bureaucratic processes that slow the adoption of key decisions’ success.

Just recently, after its annual participation at IFA 2012 without any big news except for the presentation of the X Desire , the Taiwanese company has returned to draw upon itself the attention of the media, giving us a date of September 19 for the event dedicated to Windows Phone 8 and, perhaps, new Android devices as well. The same executives confirmed that a lot more is in-store and are to be expected within the coming months.

There were many interesting perspectives to try to stem the crisis that were discussed, which should be translated into concrete results in terms of sales to bring real benefits to the company.

 

Digital Storm X17E: Gaming laptop with CPU up to 4.5 GHz

In this high technology age of modern gadgetry and high definition media, it is a common ground for different manufacturers and brand names to compete for the supremacy in the field of powerful systems and digital components, and when talks of advanced technology as far as speed, performance and reliability in the chips systems are concerned, the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a particular system (be it a conventional desktop or the modern mobile laptops and notebooks) is the first thing that is being given full consideration.

Digital Storm is a brand that manages well in this department. A company known for its portable systems for expert gamers, DStorm just announced today an update to their much prized X17E notebook, now available with an Intel Extreme Edition Core i7-3920XM. This one of a kind rig is equipped with 17-inch LED display with a resolution of Full HD 1920 × 0180 and can handle any game through the use of graphics chips NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M or AMD Radeon 7970M. As per tradition, the company allows users to customize the product, not only the hardware but also the frequency of the CPU embedded deep in its circuitry.

As per user’s request, it is possible (though at an additional cost) to set the processor to 4.5 GHz, a value that seems entirely suited to graphics cards for this system. Among other special features of X17E mentioned is the possibility to install 32GB of DDR3 memory, USB 3.0, card reader 9 in 1, Blue ray, and eSATA among others, all bear the epitome of late age technology. You can own the basic version of the Digital Storm i7-X17E with 3920Xm for about $ 1800.

Motorola Finally Announces Its First Line of Smartphones

Google acquired Motorola in the summer of 2011 and now one of the leading makers of mobile phones has finally launched its first line of smartphones. To date, only a 3 smartphone models have been confirmed but Motorola promises more to come.

The model that has almost everyone jumping in their seats with excitement is the Droid Razr HD Maxx.

motorola-droid-razr-maxx-hd-press-photo-2

The Droid Razr HD Maxx is currently Motorola’s smartphone flagship. It features a 4.3-inch touch screen, 4G connectivity, and a high powered battery (think 3300 mAh!). Aside from that, it also has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3 -megapixel front facing camera.

 Motorola-Droid-RAZR-HD

The other 2 units that has been announced are the Motorola Droid HD Razr and Droid Razr HD M. The latter is set to be released by the US telecom company, Verizon. No price has been confirmed as of yet but insiders say that it will go for only a little over $100 with a contract.

The other two smartphones have similar features to the Razr HD Maxx except that the flagship phone is more optimized, has a slightly larger screen. However, the other 2 Razrs also have high resolution HD screens. Additionally, they have higher storage capacity and features like NFC, mobile payment applications. Of course, lower market prices give the other two Razrs an edge over the HD Maxx..

There are a lot of applications that one can enjoy from any one of the Droid Razrs out of the box. Other applications (free or paid) can be downloaded off Google Play.

The new Motorola smartphones come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, but are upgradable to the most recent Android OS which is the Jelly Bean 4.1.

 

Apple vs HTC: HTC LTE patents valid, the proceedings continue. iDevice at risk ban

The long (and somewhat exhausting) battle of patents between mobile manufacturers, HTC and Apple, reported a new and important victory for the Taiwanese manufacturer. While echoes of triumph over Cupertino biggie’s victory over Samsung still lingers, the judges of the ITC case that Apple filed against HTC have rejected Apple’s 700-page complaint. We are, of course, talking about Apple’s claim that HTC does not have valid patents for their Smartphones. Although the case has not yet come to an end, the judges have already received proof of the validity of HTC’s patents and have already given the go-ahead to use them in court.

The courts have essentially rejected the requests of Apple regarding the exclusion of such patents by the dispute. According to Cupertino lawyers, HTC bought the ownership of such patents from ADC Telecommunications in April 2011 for $ 75 million.

Judge Thomas Pender however, has cleared any doubts about the validity of these patents, saying:

“I do not care if they bought these patents. They are property right”

Whatever reason HTC may have had for buying the patents, strong evident fact remains that they are still valid and can therefore be used in the proceedings, and no one, not even the big apple can keep them from manufacturing Smartphones that somewhat bear an uncanny resemblance-feature wise-with the former’s most prized “innovations”.

The story has not yet resulted in the final judgment, but the stakes start to become more and more significant as the drama drags on. If the federal courts will eventually ensure the effective patent infringement by Apple with iPad and probably also with the new iPhone has integrated LTE technology, these devices will be at risk ban.