Reuters: Technology News
last updated: Tue, 17 Oct 2017 20:14:57 -0400

IBM beats revenue estimates; hints at sales growth
(Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp's shift to newer businesses such as cloud and security services helped it beat analysts' quarterly revenue estimates, and the technology major hinted at sales growth after nearly six years of declines.

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BBC News - Technology
last updated: Tue, 17 Oct 2017 23:38:27 GMT

Child safety smartwatches ‘easy’ to hack, watchdog says
A watchdog finds that hackers can track, eavesdrop or even communicate with children.

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Geek.com
last updated: Tue, 17 Oct 2017 18:15:27 +0000

Doctor Who Gifts to Tickle Both Your Hearts

Whether a Whovian of old or new to the man in the box….well now woman in the box. Those dedicated to the Who crew are fierce and loyal to the beloved staple of British […]

The post Doctor Who Gifts to Tickle Both Your Hearts appeared first on Geek.com.

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PC World - News RSS feed
last updated: Thu, 04 May 2017 03:28:00 +1000

Sneaky Gmail phishing attack fools with fake Google Docs app
Google Docs was pulled into a sneaky email phishing attack on Tuesday that was designed to trick users into giving up access to their Gmail accounts.

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Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
last updated: Sat, 09 Sep 2017 08:32:49 -0400

Twitter tests longer character limit

Twitter tests longer character limitYou may soon get to say a lot more on Twitter. The social media giant announced it is testing a longer character limit. The change will extend the current 140 characters to 280 for all languages except Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Users won’t see this change right away, though. Only a small percentage will be testing it at first, and according to the company, it is just a test and there is no guarantee this change will be available to everyone. Via Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider. ...


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Galaxies collide in stunning picture
A NEW image captured by NASA Hubble space telescope shows ‘doomed duo’ galaxies colliding and then trying to destroy one another.

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CNET News
last updated: Tue, 17 Oct 2017 23:07:34 +0000

US beats Japan in ultimate giant-robot smackdown - CNET
In the "first ever giant robot battle," mammoth machines from MegaBots and Suidobashi Heavy Industry fight for the world title using chainsaws, cannons and attack drones.

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BuzzFeed - Geeky
last updated: Mon, 15 May 2017 16:16:04 -0400

Here's What "Pokkén Tournament DX" Taught Me About Fighting Games

"The most important thing is to have fun," adviser Nia reminds you at least once during every Pokkén Tournament DX battle. She is your tour guide, tutorial master, and cheer captain throughout the game — and, for me personally, a ubiquitous reminder of how much fun I'm not having (but could be).

Don't get me wrong — there is a lot to love in Pokkén: The graphics are great. The gameplay feels smooth. The sampling of playable Pokémon is a nice reminder of just how large the franchise has become. But at its core, it's a fighting game, not a Pokémon game, and while I love the latter, I've always despised the former.

Maybe if I were any good at fighters, I'd feel differently, but, to me, they've always felt repetitive, frustrating, and silly. I gave Pokkén a shot only because it takes place in a universe I love (and tbh I just couldn't pass up the chance to play as a realistic-looking, ass-kicking Empoleon).

Don't mess.

Nintendo

"Once you start really digging into [fighters], they're basically a high-speed version of chess."

As I journeyed through Pokkén, I leaned on my Street Fighter–obsessed friend Mike Andronico, who's also a senior editor at Tom's Guide, for helpful tips and advice. "On a basic level, fighting games are video games at their purest," he told me. (Nerd.) "You and your friend beat each other up until one of you is knocked out. What's more straightforward and fun than that? But once you start really digging into them, they're basically a high-speed version of chess. You and your opponent are constantly trying to outsmart each other on a second-by-second basis, and when you make that smart guess or land that crazy combo, it provides a rush that you just can't get from other types of games."

As I continued playing, I tried to actualize this mindset and devoted time to the tutorial, learning combos, and thinking of the game strategically. So for others who are similarly inexperienced and/or skeptical of the fighting game genre, here are some basic tenets of Pokkén I took away:

1. The breadth of customization options is silly, hilarious, and really fun.

1. The breadth of customization options is silly, hilarious, and really fun.

Nintendo

I was not expecting the level of customization Pokkén offers because why would you expect much of *any* customization in a fighting game? (At least I've never seen customization like this in a fighter.) But the plethora of possibilities, while largely (if not completely) unimportant to the main gameplay, brought me nothing but joy. There's no reason I should have been able to deck my trainer out in items that reflect my upcoming Hawaiian vacation, and yet there he is in a lei among sunflowers wearing his finest hipster flannel. OK, Nia, NOW I'm having fun.

And speaking of Nia...yes, you can even customize HER outfits.

And speaking of Nia...yes, you can even customize HER outfits.

Santa Nia because why not.

Nintendo

It makes absolutely no sense and, when it comes to the mechanics of actually playing the game, doesn't matter in the slightest, but I can't wait to keep playing to see if I'll unlock more. Aside from my innate desire to just not suck at fighting games, customization is my main motivation for advancing.

Not to mention the absurd number of titles and "self-promotions" you can choose from.

Not to mention the absurd number of titles and "self-promotions" you can choose from.

Nintendo

"I love the woods" vs. "I always win, in spirit!" was my Sophie's Choice.

2. Sometimes you can run freely around the whole arena; sometimes, à la classic fighters, you just face each other.

2. Sometimes you can run freely around the whole arena; sometimes, à la classic fighters, you just face each other.

Nintendo

As the all-knowing Nia states above, the two phases are called Field Phase (aka running around freely) and Duel Phase (aka classic left and right movement only). You can make the battle shift between phases by successfully executing certain moves. Why? I have no idea, but, honestly, I really like it. It gives you more to accomplish than simply KOing your opponent, and I realized that I much prefer fighting games when I'm afforded more mobility. Field Phase reminds me a lot of an earlier Switch release, Arms, which I'm shockingly pretty good at (tyvm). Part of me wishes the whole game were like this.

"[Field Phase] gives you more to accomplish than simply KOing your opponent, and I realized that I much prefer fighting games when I'm afforded more mobility."

Unsurprisingly, fighting game elitist Mike disagreed. "The game just feels kinda loose and sloppy when you're floating around in 3D," he said. "Once you get into the 2D Duel Phase, the game starts to feel like a proper fighter" — (lol) — "in which things such as spacing and combos matter." But Mike sucks at Arms, so what does he know, amirite?

A key takeaway here? Training mode is your friend. Listen to Nia, despite her Navi-like tendencies. And, as Mike told me, "Don't worry about pulling off crazy combos right away. It's far more important knowing the range and properties of your character's basic attacks and how those might be useful in battle. Once you have those fundamentals in place, you can start learning flashier stuff."

3. The Attack Triangle is an easy-to-follow but hard-to-execute endless cycle of grabs and counters.

3. The Attack Triangle is an easy-to-follow but hard-to-execute endless cycle of grabs and counters.

Nintendo

The this-beats-this-beats-that system is a sensical and interesting element of Pokkén I found easy to understand but difficult to put into practice. Blame it on having a slower-than-normal reaction time if you must, but I was only really able to counter a counter with a grab attack by accident. Nonetheless, knowing about it really helped me enjoy the mechanics of the game more. I found myself trying to anticipate my opponents' moves and strategizing more than I normally would rather than simply button-mashing my way to non-victory. I'm not sure if this mechanic is unique to Pokkén, but it feels new and different to me.

Another key takeaway: Watch tons of matches. Mike is a firm believer that watching your favorite fighting game being played at a high level is just as integral as playing yourself. Once you have a decent understanding of your game of choice, you can learn a ton about how to optimally use the characters and mechanics when watching two really talented players go at it.
Pro tip: Focus on tournament footage on Twitch or YouTube.

3. Watching the Pokémon run around, punch, kick, and hurl magical blasts is pretty dope, albeit a little weird.

3. Watching the Pokémon run around, punch, kick, and hurl magical blasts is pretty dope, albeit a little weird.

I see you, Ponyta.

Nintendo

There's something a little disconcerting and awkward about having Pokémon we know and love as mostly inactive creatures run around on two legs in all their 3D glory, but ultimately you get used to it. And their specials are admittedly pretty badass.

4. Support Pokémon are cute but pretty much all the same.

4. Support Pokémon are cute but pretty much all the same.

Nintendo

Support Pokémon are a nice excuse to be able to feature more Pokémon in the game, and the feature is a fun twist on tagging in help, but despite their different "attack," "enhance," etc., abilities, they're not really all that different or helpful in the scheme of things. Maybe they're of much greater importance for a Pokkén master, but still, I think there's an option to choose a "random" set for a reason.

5. The game makes you feel pretty invincible...for a while.

5. The game makes you feel pretty invincible...for a while.

Nintendo

As you're well aware by now, I'm obviously pretty sh*tty at fighting games, but Pokkén does a good job of letting even the least skilled players feel powerful for a while, which gives you a lot of time to perfect your combos and strategy. Tbh, it's downright easy to coast through the various leagues, but because of the grading system that pops up after every battle — which includes a grade on your technique — you're always pushed to develop various aspects of your fighting style.

"'Online will continue to be a core part of every fighting game, but 'most of the good fighting games out there still do a great job catering to single-player folks.'"

What's not easy though? Playing online. After 30 consecutive wins playing against the league CPUs, I felt like I was ready to try other IRL players. But that confidence, I learned, was completely undeserved. I was destroyed countless times in a row. I could barely even get one hit in let alone a combo or counter and several times I was honestly *this close* to throwing my controller against the wall and swearing off the game for good.

According to Mike, although "online has become integral to just about every fighting game ... games such as Injustice 2, Tekken 7, and Pokkén are brimming with fun solo content, meaning you won't have a cheapened experience if you don't feel like getting destroyed online." He thinks online will continue to be a core part of every fighting game, but "most of the good fighting games out there still do a great job catering to single-player folks." Phew.

An important lesson: Patience is a virtue. I expected to pick up my controller and become a PokéMaster after just a few hours, and while at times the game made me feel like I was, it takes a lot more time than that "to be the next Evo champ," as Mike put it.

At the end of the day, I agree with Mike's assessment that "Pokkén is one of the best fighting games out there in terms of being easy to learn and hard to master." For beginners, it's great to play when you're bored and want to have some casual fun (but beware of online); for more experienced players, it must also be a lot of fun to play online and kick beginners' asses.

One last word of advice: Find a community or training partner. From weekly fighting game meet-ups in your area to friends who are also trying to get better, set aside time to practice with real people. It's way more fun that way! Online communities like Reddit and dedicated FG sites like Shoryuken and EventHubs are also filled with folks willing to help out.

And finally, as Nia says (quite often), have fun! Despite my initial misgivings, I really came around to Pokkén in the end and embraced its weirdness, uniqueness, and playability. Fighting games aren't as vapid or boring as I'd originally thought, and embracing the strategy and time required to master them made playing that much more rewarding in the end.

All images from Nintendo

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Tech – TIME
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Review: Google’s Pixel 2 Is the Best Android Phone for Anyone Tired of Samsung
Google is playing catch up to Apple and Samsung with the Pixel 2

The good: Clean interface, great camera, long battery life.
The bad: Underwhelming screen, no facial recognition or iris scanning, not much that makes it stand apart from Samsung and Apple.
Who should buy: Any Android fan that values clean software and camera quality, particularly those looking for something beyond what Samsung’s offering.

When Google unveiled its first Pixel smartphone last year, it felt like a giant leap for a company better known for its software and search engine than its gadgets. Google’s message was clear: Apple and Samsung aren’t the only tech giants capable of making high-quality gadgets. That remains the case with the company’s impressive new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones.

Both of the new Pixels take what already worked and complement with admirable new features. The larger Pixel 2 XL includes a nearly borderless screen that dominates the phone’s face: a design approach Samsung, Apple, LG and Essential staked out first. Like other recent phones, the new Pixels have adopted basic water resistance. And the camera boasts some fancy new features, like the ability to capture a few seconds of footage around a still photo to create images that move, and a new Portrait Mode for delivering bokeh effects.

Sound familiar? It should if you’ve been following the smartphone industry for the past year. It’s also a familiar song you could sing about some of Google’s competitors, each of whom invariably borrow a feature here or there in what’s become a game of feature leapfrog. The Pixel 2 and 2 XL are more Google catching up than edging past those others, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth a look. With its easy-to-navigate interface, long battery life and great camera, the larger Pixel 2 XL may in fact be the smartphone of choice for Android fans looking for take fresher than Samsung’s.

Let’s start with screens: the $649 Pixel 2 includes a 5-inch, 1920-by-1080 pixel display, while the pricier $849 XL version has a 2880-by-1440 pixel screen. The XL edition’s nearly edge-to-edge screen is far more impressive. As nearly borderless screens become common on flagship smartphones, the standard Pixel 2’s thick frames make the phone look outdated. The Pixel XL 2’s screen is sharp and vibrant, but not quite as stunning as the displays found on the Samsung Galaxy S8+, Apple iPhone 8 and Essential Phone. All three of those devices produced bolder colors than the Pixel 2 during my experience.

The new Pixel phones are getting another handy new feature that Samsung phones have long had: an always-on display. That means that even when the screen is turned off, you’ll be able to see things like the time and notifications. It’s a welcome addition that makes your smartphone even more useful as a bedside clock. Google is taking this one step further with a new feature called Now Playing, which identifies songs and shows the title and artist name on screen. This worked occasionally for me, but there were times in which the Pixel 2 XL failed to pick up on songs that were currently playing, even when there was minimal background noise. Google says the feature is designed to recognize songs within a few seconds in optimal conditions, which means when it’s quiet and there isn’t much chatter happening.

My favorite aspect of Google’s Pixel phones, though, is their software, and that’s no different with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The interface is simpler and more streamlined than Samsung’s Galaxy S8, if only slightly. Samsung has made tremendous improvements to its software over the years by cutting the clutter and widgets, and the Galaxy S8’s interface rivals Google’s. Then again, if you’re closely tethered to Google services like Gmail or Google Chrome, Google’s phone does more to make these apps central to your experience.

Google also moved the phone’s search bar to the bottom of the screen, beneath the app dock, which makes the home screen feel cleaner than on last year’s model. And the new Pixel phones have a special shortcut called Active Edge for accessing the Google Assistant more easily. Instead of talking or holding a button to summon Google’s digital helper, you squeeze the sides of the phone to activate the Assistant. The feature works well enough, but can’t be customized to perform different tasks. Squeezing the phone’s corners to silence my alarm in the morning, for example, would be very useful.

If I had to pick one area the new Pixel phones notably surpass last year’s model, it’s their cameras. Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL include 12.2-megapixel cameras with f/1.8 aperture capable of taking more colorful photos than the original Pixel. When testing the Pixel 2 XL’s camera against that of the iPhone 8 Plus, Galaxy S8+ and previous generation Pixel XL, I thought the new Pixel was best at capturing the right balance of color and detail when shooting outdoors in daylight.

Take a look at the batch of sample photos below. You’ll notice the iPhone 8 Plus’ image makes certain parts of the flower look washed out compared to the other photos. The Galaxy S8’s image isn’t quite as sharply focused as the rest, and the overall color in the original Pixel’s photo feels flat and muted. The Pixel 2 XL had the right mix of accurate color, balanced lighting and precise detail.

Google Pixel 2 XL

Lisa Eadicicco

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Lisa Eadicicco

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Lisa Eadicicco

Google Pixel XL

Lisa Eadicicco

The new Pixel’s Portrait Mode feature, which blurs the background in order to make a subject appear more crisp in the foreground, also performs just as well as Apple’s. The iPhone 8 Plus’ photo was better lit, but the Pixel 2 XL’s showed richer color. Take a look at the examples below.

Google Pixel 2 XL

Lisa Eadicicco

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Lisa Eadicicco

Google Pixel owners also get a nice, exclusive bonus feature called Google Lens that turns your camera into a realtime object-identification tool. It’s similar to the Google Goggles app the company’s offered for years, only baked into the Google Photos app on the phone. Just tap the Lens icon when looking at a photo, and Google will identify the subject and provide useful information. When viewing a photo of my cat, for example, Google was able not only to identify it as a cat, but also got the breed right.

Google Lens is still in preview mode, so the subjects it can identify are limited. But when it works it definitely impresses. Samsung offers something similar on its newest Galaxy phones called Bixby Vision, but its results are less granular. Bixby Vision will often pull up related images through Pinterest, for interest, instead of offering detailed information about a subject.

Battery life is more than reasonable, if standard at this point. In the few days I’ve spent using the Pixel 2 XL as my primary phone, I never ran out of juice. By the end of my workdays, around 7:00 p.m., I usually had about two-thirds battery charge left. Your mileage may vary, as always given different usage profiles: if you’re a heavy Bluetooth user, leave the brightness cranked up to high, or record a lot of video, the battery will drain quicker. If you opt for the basic Pixel 2, which has a smaller battery, you’ll run out of charge sooner as well. My results are based on moderate to heavy usage that involved frequently checking email and social media, capturing photos, streaming Netflix, and making occasional phone calls.

Overall, the Pixel 2 is a great choice for Android fans that care about camera quality and having an easy-to-use interface above all else. Yes, nothing about the Pixel 2 sets it apart from Apple and Samsung’s phones. But while Google’s rivals are setting the stage for what’s to come by incorporating potentially trendsetting new technologies like facial recognition and iris scanning, Google is quickly catching up.

4 out of 5

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Twitter / liamalexander
last updated: Mon, 08 Oct 2012 07:22:42 +0000

liamalexander: My daily stats: 12 new followers, 9 new unfollowers via http://t.co/hROlspGI
liamalexander: My daily stats: 12 new followers, 9 new unfollowers via http://t.co/hROlspGI

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Twitter / Favorites from liamalexander
last updated: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 22:44:57 +0000

alanjonesUK: RT @PopSci: Scientists finally have some answers about the mysterious "dark matter" in the human genome: http://t.co/Gm4Fh0B6
alanjonesUK: RT @PopSci: Scientists finally have some answers about the mysterious "dark matter" in the human genome: http://t.co/Gm4Fh0B6

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Ask the Guru
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Captain marketing phone number - We are a SEO, SEM, and online advertising firm based in Los Angeles. Our experts specialize in search engine optimization, Intern

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Stumble
last updated: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 22:09:20 +0000
The Next Web
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The importance of sticking to your company values

Having a set of public company values gives your business a distinct stature and can significantly strengthen your company’s image and reputation, especially when it comes to outreach, promotions, and other social initiatives your company may seek to pursue. Oftentimes, having a brand or image that is consistent with your company’s public values can garner consumer loyalty and make people feel good about the purchases they are making with your company. Here are some companies that can teach us the importance of sticking to company values. Antithetical commercial success: Patagonia For instance, consider how the popular clothing brand Patagonia has…

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