Your ultimate guide to Evergrow’s huge 1.2 update

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Evergrow, that beloved physics puzzler turned action game, is back with a huge update that’s expanding the game in some major ways. Evergrow will now feature new gameplay modes, a host of unique mini games, and much more. There’s so much happening here, we decided to write a whole guide for it. Let’s dig in, shall we?

Chill out with Zen Mode

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Facebook Updated Its Privacy Settings! And It Is a Huge Deal!*

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[*To absolutely nobody.]

So many questions for Mark Zuckerberg right now. Like:

  • Why wait almost a week to do press on the recent Cambridge Analytica mess?
  • Why wait until your company bled $ 100 billion in stock market value to do it?
  • Or, lol, was that what it took?
  • Why did make such underwhelming promises to try to regain Facebook users’s trust?
  • Does anyone really think small, insignificant tweaks to the UI of Facebook’s user privacy controls will at all remedy any of what just happened to the majority of Facebook’s users, given what they know about the value of their data?

The same changes just made to Facebook’s privacy controls would’ve been necessary anyway if Facebook were to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — the sweeping personal data protection measures the European Union will implement in May. So! Nobody should be shocked that these updates “…have been in the works for some time, but the events of the past several days underscore their importance.” Nor should they be convinced they have any altruistic motives behind them. That hardly looks like contrition.

Giving users more tools to know who they gave access to all their data, but no sense of who Facebook allowed to have it, is lukewarm, and disingenuous response to their catastrophic failure to protect personal data. Theoretically, they could easily show users who might have their information already. Are they going to get those Friends of Facebook’s (Supposedly Protected Data That Isn’t) to start shredding their documents?

We didn’t think so.

The damage is done. And the “Privacy Shortcuts” menu Facebook released today is far too little, far too late. Even with a proverbial gun to his head, Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly demonstrated an inability to ensure the safety of users’ personal data. Whether #deletefacebook will have a long-term impact on its users’ behavior? Or whether or not Facebook will face any serious upstart competition for those users? Impossible to tell. But if this new update shows anything about lasting change in Facebook’s attitude towards users’ data, it says boldly, loudly, and clearly: In the long-term, we don’t truly give a shit, only enough to fool people into thinking we might.

The post Facebook Updated Its Privacy Settings! And It Is a Huge Deal!* appeared first on Futurism.


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59 iPhone Slowdown Lawsuits Might Merge into Huge Class Action Case

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Five dozen iPhone customers who are suing Apple might seek to merge their lawsuits into one single class-action case, according to a new report. A total of 59 separate lawsuits have been filed against Apple since news of its performance management system first spread. Now, there are efforts to combine those lawsuits into a class-action […]
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Huge ‘Dragon Hills 2’ Ancient Egypt Update Coming April 5th

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Developer Rebel Twins releases all kinds of awesome, highly-polished games, and in the spring of 2015 they released yet another one in Dragon Hills. It mashed up several types of gameplay mechanics into one cohesive experience, with a dash of Tiny Wings here and a dose of Death Worm there, and we enjoyed it a lot in our review. Last fall Rebel Twins released a sequel that amped up an already great game in pretty much every way. We loved Dragon Hills 2 [$ 2.99] in our review, and after about 6 months of being on the market a significant update is heading to the game on April 5th. Check out the new trailer showcasing what’s in the update.

As you can see, this update will include a new Ancient Egypt environment to ride your dragon in, as well as two shiny new dragons to ride. There will also be new enemy types to contend with, and six new ultra-challenging Mega Bosses to battle. Basically, more of all the good stuff in Dragon Hills 2. If you have yet to check this one out, I’d highly suggest dropping the three bucks to give it a shot, especially since this is a fully premium, no IAP game. Things only stand to get even better when the big Dragon Hills 2 Ancient Egypt update arrives on April 5th.


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In the wake of Facebook’s huge scandal, Apple calls for stronger privacy regulation

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Encryption and Privacy

Apple is still very committed to both user privacy and strong encryption, especially in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica revelations.

In an interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook asked for “well-crafted” regulation when it comes to user privacy. Separately, Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi reiterated Apple’s stance on the need of having strong encryption, the kind that can’t have any backdoors like the US government asks for.

Cook made his remarks at the annual China Development Forum in Beijing on Saturday, Bloomberg reports, which came at the end of a rough week for Facebook.

“I think that this certain situation is so dire and has become so large that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary,” Cook replied when asked whether the use of data should be restricted.

“The ability of anyone to know what you’ve been browsing about for years, who your contacts are, who their contacts are, things you like and dislike and every intimate detail of your life — from my own point of view it shouldn’t exist.”

“We’ve worried for a number of years that people in many countries were giving up data probably without knowing fully what they were doing and that these detailed profiles that were being built of them, that one day something would occur, and people would be incredibly offended by what had been done without them being aware of it,” Cook added. “Unfortunately that prediction has come true more than once.”

Encryption is one critical way of protecting user data. That includes encrypted services, but also encrypted devices. The US, and other governments around the world, would love Apple, Google, and others to include backdoors in their devices and services, so that law enforcement agencies could access data tied to active investigations.

Apple has always opposed adding backdoors to iOS, and nothing has changed, even though the Justice Department is looking at ways to force device makers to unlock phones part of criminal investigations.

According to The New York Times found out that the FBI and Justice Department officials have been quietly meeting with security researchers who have been working on backdoors for encrypted devices. That’s called “extraordinary access” to encrypted devices. But, whatever they call it, it’s still a feature that reduces the security of a device.

Federighi stressed the importance of strengthening security for iPhone, not weakening it.

“Proposals that involve giving the keys to customers’ device data to anyone but the customer inject new and dangerous weaknesses into product security,” the exec said in a statement. “Weakening security makes no sense when you consider that customers rely on our products to keep their personal information safe, run their businesses or even manage vital infrastructure like power grids and transportation systems.”

Security researchers have been considering ways that would allow law enforcement to unlock smartphones. One idea that’s gaining steam would be that encrypted devices would also hold special unlock keys that could be used to unlock a device of interest. The process would still involve a court order, and only the phone’s maker would be able to unlock it. Therefore, the keys would not be handed to law enforcement. However, this universal unlock solution would be at risk of leaking, as multiple people inside a company would have to be able to access it to help with requests from law enforcement.

Apple – BGR

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Today only, get huge discounts on monitors, keyboards, hard drives, and more on Amazon

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Some seriously good options today.

If you’re looking for new hardware, today’s Amazon Gold Box sale is one you don’t want to miss. This selection includes everything from Acer 4K monitors for less than $ 300 to new gaming laptops, portable hard drives, and more. Most of these items are compatible with Mac and PC.

The brands in this sale are some of the top names in computer accessories, including Acer, Razer, Logitech, and HyperX. There are pre-built desktops, headsets, routers, and tons of other gear on sale. This is one day only, so get it while you can. Here’s a few of the better deals we found:

Check out the full sale on Amazon.

See on Amazon

iMore – Learn more. Be more.

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Galaxy S9+ vs. iPhone X real-life speed test: A huge upset we didn’t see coming

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Galaxy S9 Plus vs. iPhone X Speed Test

The Galaxy S9 is the best Android phone out there, but it’s not faster than the iPhone X when it comes to benchmarks and intensive tasks. That’s right, the A11 Bionic chip is still miles ahead of the competition in 2018. But the competition has gotten so good over the years that the Galaxy S9+ can actually outperform the iPhone X in some real-life usage tests.

That’s something we didn’t necessarily see coming, but it finally happened. Samsung’s latest flagship handset beat the most recent iPhone — and this wasn’t even the most powerful Galaxy S9+ you can purchase.

Let’s revisit the “rules” of these real-life speed tests. You take two or more phones that you want to compare, you connect them to the same wireless network, you install the same apps and arrange them in the same order on the home screen, and then you run two different app launch “laps.”

The first lap shows you how fast each phone loads applications, while the second lap focuses on how fast an app is reloaded from memory. In other words, the test tries to replicate real life smartphone usage, where you’d be switching between various apps during the day, including web apps that load almost immediately, as well as more resource intensive apps like games.

YouTube channel EverythingApplePro, which does this sort of test every time a new smartphone launches, has completed its Galaxy S9+ vs. iPhone X test. The winner is — and I’m surprised it actually happened — the Galaxy S9+.

The iPhone X wins the first lap only because it can process 4K videos faster than the Galaxy S9+. But Samsung’s phone, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845, does exceptionally well. What really helps the Samsung phone is the significant bump in memory. The Galaxy S9+ has 6GB of RAM compared to the iPhone’s 3GB — the Galaxy S9 only has 4GB of RAM. That extra RAM lets the Samsung phone breeze through opening apps from memory, and it’s something we saw happen with the Galaxy Note 8 last year and other phones that pack more RAM than Apple’s iPhones. Also of note, iOS 11 has had memory management issues since it was first released.

The video shows benchmark tests for both phones, including Geekbench 4 (where iPhone X wins) and Antutu (where the Galaxy S9+ scores better). It also looks at single-app load times, boot time, biometrics performance, and wireless data speeds, with the Galaxy S9+ doing extremely well in all of them.

We’ve praised Apple’s iPhone performance in the past, as older iPhones would consistently outperform brand new Snapdragon and Exynos-powered Galaxy phones in similar tests. This time around, the Galaxy S9 is the clear winner, and I wonder how the Exynos 9810 version does. It sure looks like Apple has some fixing to do if the most powerful mobile chip out there can’t really prove it’s the best in these tests. Watch the full clip below.

Apple – BGR

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Awesome Rhythm Game ‘Cytus II’ Hits Android Next Week, With a Huge New Update Launching on iOS March 15th

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Rhythm games are about the only things that have managed to coax me off Spotify as of late, and Cytus II [$ 1.99], the latest effort from prolific App Store develop Rayark, is undoubtedly one of the better offerings. Making a surprise appearance on iOS earlier this year, Cytus II takes some really compelling rhythm action and merges it with a cool sci-fi premise and a beautiful cyberpunk aesthetic, and we loved the resulting concoction in our glowing review on the game’s release. As fervent fans of Rayark’s previous titles will sure be familiar with at this point, Cytus II is set to receive a brand new update on March 15th, adding a brand new character expansion pack alongside some neat minor fixes just one week after the game’s full Android release on March 8th.

The major addition to Cytus II is the inclusion of the new character Cherry, with ten new songs in tow. While there is a substantial $ 9.99 cost to try her out in the game, anyone encapsulated by the rhythm action in Cytus II will likely not need convincing in picking up this latest expansion pack. There are a number of extra additions for anyone just wanting to stick with the base release, with the character level limit increased, new free unlockable songs and story content, taptic feedback and a number of gameplay optimisations. The Android version will come with all these features at launch on March 8th, and will also be on sale until March 14th for a bargain price of $ 1.39. Pre-register for Cytus II on Google Play now, and in the lead up to the title’s 1.1 update on March 15th, let us know your thoughts on the game almost two months later on our forum thread.

Thanks nyanpass for the find!


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Awesome Dungeon Crawler ‘The Scrungeon Depths’ Gets Huge Version 2.0 “Schrism” Update and is On Sale for $1.99

One game that launched not too long ago but has flown criminally under the radar since then is The Scrungeon Depths [$ 1.99] from developer Chase Holton, aka When’s Lunch? Games. It’s a top-down dungeon crawler that released for iOS, Android, and Steam back in early November of last year. We have a tough job here at TouchArcade as the App Store sees hundreds of releases each week, and try as we might to bring all the great games to the surface there are many that inevitably slip through the cracks. I briefly played The Scrungeon Depths when it hit in November, as I try to do with all the new games each week, and thought it seemed just fine, but never dove back in beyond that initial play test. It wasn’t until this year that I got around to really giving it a go, and it has impressed me so much that I wish I’d realized it sooner as I’d certainly have included it in my top games of the year. So it goes on mobile, but just today a huge version 2.0 update arrived for The Scrungeon Depths and I figure that’s good enough reason to talk about this gem of game and hopefully bring it some much needed attention. First, the trailer for the new update.

Huh. So that’s a preeetty dark trailer for what is a much more upbeat game. I’ll drop the original launch trailer below for a more rounded look at what The Scrungeon Depths has to offer, but as for this latest Schrism update it includes a bunch of new stuff. This includes new relics and weapons, new enemy types, a new dungeon floor effect, a new trap, a new final boss fight, and new Hard Mode bosses that you can face once you’ve finished the game. By far the greatest thing about The Scrungeon Depths is its massive variety of loot and weapons to collect. As you go from floor to floor smashing enemies into little scattered bits and destroying the spawn points from which they came, you’ll also unearth TONS of different weapons and gear in a variety of different rarities and with a variety of different attributes. The game does an excellent job of making it easy to compare any found items with what you have currently equipped so you can weigh the pros and cons and make decisions on the fly. It’s addictive checking out every single item and very satisfying coming across particularly rare items or those with particularly interesting effects. I love it!

If you haven’t hopped aboard the Scrungeon Depths Hype Train already, now would be a particularly good time to do so as to celebrate this new Schrism update the game is currently on sale for just $ 1.99 in its first ever price drop, down from its regular price of $ 4.99. It’s a pretty darn good deal for a whole lot of dungeon crawling action, but if you still need a nudge in the “buy” direction then check out the game’s forum thread for all sorts of information and impressions from other players, as well as direct contact with Chase Holton the developer. Oh, and did I mention that Mr. Holton is the king of writing update notes? At the very lease read through those descriptions in the App Store for some quality stuff, otherwise give The Scrungeon Depths and its new update a look for some chaotic dungeon crawling action.