Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.
Welcome to the Android Police Podcast, Episode 50.
Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). The unedited video version of the podcast can be found here - and will likely include various verbal expletives, technical snafus, tangents, and probably a good 5-10 minutes of pre-podcast banter as we prepare. Watch at your own risk!
Did you know there are other kinds of games out there besides 8-bit platformers? I was as shocked as you are. As it turns out, though, some people prefer to play things that don't involve shooting guns, jumping on enemies or collecting coins. Things like Puzzle Retreat which is a delightfully clever yet simple game for the casual player.
The basic premise is simple. You have a set number of ice cubes that need to be slid into place. In later levels, new blocks that change the direction the cubes slide, or that melt already placed cubes show up.
Google just launched a $1,300 laptop. That's a pretty big deal. In fact, it's a pretty huge deal. In double fact, if our team wasn't about to get on a podcast (see you at 8PM EST!) I'd be sharing all manner of reasons why that's a monumental deal. Unfortunately for you, that will have to wait until tomorrow. For now, we can only talk about the device itself. So, what is it?
It's a high-end laptop with an incredibly dense display. 2560x1700 in a 12.85" screen for 239 ppi. Let me put that in layman's terms: holy mother of crap this screen is awesome.
In October of 2012, the Library of Congress elected not to renew DMCA exemptions that explicitly allow end users to unlock their cell phones at will, thus ending a six year tradition. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. The quest to do something about it began almost immediately. And by "almost immediately" I mean "nearly three months later and at almost the very last minute."
Still, regardless of when the outrage gained steam, the fact is it did. Quite a bit of steam, in fact. Despite the White House raising the bar for online petitions to 100,000 signatures (after the previous bar of 25,000 resulted in an entertaining, if frivolous response about why the President won't build a Death Star), you did it!
In the mid 60s, a man named Harold P. Warren set out to prove that making horror films is not difficult and, with a budget of $19k and a script written on a napkin, he got to work. What followed is, far and away, one of the worst pieces of cinema ever to be recorded. Yes, worse than Gigli or Cool As Ice. You think those are bad? Amateurs. While the film not only bombed in 1966, it continues to bomb to this day. An appearance on Mystery Science Theater 3000 prevented this atrocity from disappearing into obscurity, and since then the fandom hasn't stopped, as evidenced by what might just be the greatest platform game since the original Mario Brothers.
If you've never heard of Snapchat, god! You guys are so behind the times! This app is like MMS and Mission Impossible all in one! Except it's not Mission Impossible because that's an old person show and who cares about Tom Cruise anymore? No time for watching movies when we're busy sending self-destructing pictures to each other. Set a timer on a message and, once it runs out, the recipient can no longer see your photo. That's how Snapchat has always worked and now the Android version can send videos as well!
If you have to ask why someone might need an app that destroys photos and videos after they've been seen, then perhaps you're not the target market.
While LG has started to make its way back into the hearts and minds of the average consumer with the impressive Optimus G Pro, and its sexier cousin the Nexus 4, the company still has other market segments to worry about. This is where things like the F-series comes in handy. Today the Optimus F5 and Optimus F7 were announced and, like their keyboard-dwelling namesakes, will probably be something we're aware of, but rarely pay too much attention to, despite their usefulness.
The New York Times, old guard or not, is still a huge source of news to a lot of people and to the company's credit, it's paying a decent amount of attention to its mobile apps. Now the publication is issuing an update that brings a night mode that inverts the colors for easier night reading. As someone who likes to minimize the amount of bright white light blasting into my eyes, I appreciate the option.
Additionally, the company is adding a customizable widget that, frankly, gets nearly everything right: it's resizable, you can customize which categories show up in the feed, and there is an easy button to change the widget settings if you should so choose.
To call this game "Tetris on a sphere" would be a bit disingenuous. It's far, far more complicated than that. Tetris merely requires you to place falling pieces such that they create solid, dissolving rows and thus abate, if temporarily, the peril of becoming overwhelmed by the steady stream of burdens in what I can only assume is a clever metaphor for adulthood. Globulous, on the other hand, has a clear goal: clear out layers of the sphere and reach the prize inside. It's the method that gets complex.
The gameplay is a little difficult to grasp at first (as is any puzzle game that operates in 3D), but thankfully there are plenty of tutorials.
I like comics. They're wonderful. While the modern world makes it difficult for local shops to maintain the footprint they once did, online distribution has made it insanely easy (and cheap!) for major and minor artists to gain a following and make money doing it. However, is digitally reproducing static artwork on a powerful, portable computer really the best we can do? Narr8 doesn't think so.
The app functions similarly to most digital comic stores now: you can download individual "episodes" and keep track of all entries in a series. However, the capabilities of each story go far beyond regular graphic novels.