NASA explores ‘quiet’ supersonic flight over land

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Today, NASA announced its latest experimental aircraft called the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator (LBFD). The agency signed a contract to design the plane back in 2016; now it's ready to proceed with development and construction. If the LBFD is successf…
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Mid-range Pixel for developing markets could land this summer (joined in India by Home, Nest stuff, practically everything Google sells)

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Whether you’re selling phones or powering the platforms behind them, there’s little that’s more exciting for a company seeking out growth opportunities than a rapidly expanding market. As other markets around the globe see slumping projections or sales threatening to plateau, India’s doing gangbusters, and last year sales of smartphones were up 14 percent. This growth hasn’t gone unnoticed, and today we’re checking out some signs of Google’s increasing interest in India, including rumors of a possible new Pixel phone targeting India and other “price-sensitive” markets.

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Mid-range Pixel for developing markets could land this summer (joined in India by Home, Nest stuff, practically everything Google sells) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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ARKit app to build, launch and land a space rocket coming soon from USA Today

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

We learned yesterday that there have been 13 million downloads of augmented reality apps powered by ARKit, and USA Today has plans to increase that number.

It has announced that it will soon be launching an AR app that allows you to do some launching of your own. 3-2-1 Launch is an app that allows you to assemble, launch and land an AR rocket …

more…

9to5Mac

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Out Now GDC Make-Up Edition: ‘Fortnite’, ‘PUBG Mobile’, ‘Shadowgun Legends’, ‘Cartoon Network Match Land’, ‘Armello’, ‘Hyperforma’, ‘Adventure Gnome’, ‘Nano Golf: Puzzle Putting’ and More

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

With how absolutely slammed we were covering GDC 2018 last week, we didn’t get a chance to post our weekly Out Now post that lists all the new games that released in the past 7 days. Seriously, we were busy. But since I absolutely HATE missing doing any of those, and since a lot of people have come to rely on these lists to find out what new games they should be checking out, we’ve gone ahead and put together a list encompassing everything from last week up through today. Better late than never, as they say. Chances are you’re already aware of games like Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, and Shadowgun Legends being released, unless you’ve been living under a rock, but there’s likely a bunch of stuff that might have flown right under your radar too so check out the huge list of new games below and let us know which ones you’re interested in picking up. This week’s Out Now post should be up at the regular time late Wednesday night US time. Enjoy!


 

Adventure Gnome

iTunes Description

Download the most frantic FREE action puzzle game out there! Jewel won’t regret it!

Help Rolf rebuild his garden in this crazy, action-based puzzle adventure game! See how low you can go as you tap the way clear for the most adventurous gnome around!

Collect numerous nuggets, jumbles of gems, and the most happenin’ gnome outfits as you clear the way for Rolf! Avoid traps and guide Rolf to the good stuff!

Dig, roll, collect, repeat!

The garden will gnever be the same!

Forum Thread: Adventure Gnome (by D3)


Air Plane Simulator

iTunes Description

Air Plane Simulator is a uniquely designed flight simulator arcade game with relaxing gameplay and colourful, hand painted vibrant graphics. In Air Plane Simulator you would need to explore a surreal procedural generated world, flying through fantastical forms of impossible geometry. Collect orbs and watch out for the fuel all through the relaxing and atmospheric music.

Forum Thread: Air Plane Simulator (by BrioGame)


Armello

iTunes Description

Armello is a grand swashbuckling adventure combining three styles of play; The deep tactics of card games, the rich strategy of tabletop board games, and the adventure of fantastical RPGs.

As a hero from one of Armello’s Great Clans, you’ll quest, scheme, hire agents, explore, vanquish monsters, cast spells and face off against other players, with one ultimate goal in mind; becoming King or Queen of Armello! The Kingdom of Armello is as dangerous as it is beautiful. Perils, banes and bandits hide around every corner and a spreading corruption

Forum Thread: Armello (by League of Geeks)


Awkward Goalie

iTunes Description

Throw yourself around to catch balls and not let your team down.
Progress through the game and unlock new gameplay mechanics, like moving gates, or different types of gates, or different types of balls (golden, minigames, etc) and some more.
To support your inner desire for self-expression, the game contains variety of characters to choose from.

See you on the leaderboard!
Thanks for playing.

Forum Thread: Awkward Goalie (by Kirill Losev)


Bad 2 Bad Delta

iTunes Description

■ This is an offline fun defense game. Enjoy until the end internet free!

■ “Carefully monitor the distance between the hero and enemies!”
– Keep in mind of the enemies` attack timings!

■ 10 Outstanding Heroes that you can control, with various support units are on standby for you.
– More than 60 different, real military-based unitsready to be deployed.
– Different heros are specialized in their weapons and abilities.

Forum Thread: BAD 2 BAD : DELTA (by DAWINSTONE)


Ballz Triple Match

iTunes Description

When three or more number of tiles join, they merge into new one. Same as, when three or more balls are join, they turn into new one. Join the numbers and get to the highest number tile!

Game features:
Easy to play but challenging to master
Endless challenge!
Get leafs to use amazing match 3 powers!
Use power to make smart moves
Compete against the world to establish the highest score!

Forum Thread: Ballz Triple Match (by tinylab_game)


Bloops Game

iTunes Description

BloOp! Out of the void, mysterious particles have appeared. Some are slow, others are fast, some may be crazy, & some are spooky! Tap to pop a bloop. A good pop will earn you time, a bad pop will steal it from you. Oh & beware the black hole!

– 72 levels to test your speed & focus.
– Infinite randomly generated levels past level 72.
– Find 63 other friends & go crazy in local multiplayer!
– Leaderboards to show off your feats & tell everyone who’s boss!
– A secret. Pop BloOps to unlock it & then solve it. Are you up to the task?

Forum Thread: Bloops Game (by Karim Azar)


Cannibal Bunnies 2

iTunes Description

The destiny of the pink bunnies is in your hands. They desperately need your help to survive. Their world has been infested with malicious and wicked cannibal bunnies. Use your agility, speed and logic to prevent them from being cruelly crunched by the evil bunnies.

Cannibal Bunnies – The Lost Village is a unique ‘Touch Platformer’ perfectly suited for all types of touch devices. The game runs flawlessly at 60 fps.

Forum Thread: Cannibal Bunnies 2 (by Creative Drops Studios)


Cartoon Network Match Land

iTunes Description

Build a team of your favorite Cartoon Network characters to conquer a unique match 3 adventure in Cartoon Network Match Land!

MATCH 3 WITH A TWIST
Once you make a match, you can keep on matching until the timer runs out. How many matches can you string together? Plus, you can move pieces diagonally to put a whole new angle on classic match 3 gameplay.

FOOD FIGHT FRENZY
Battle a horde of sentient food items to keep the Cartoon Network Food Festival running. Punch a pizza! Clash with cupcakes! Fight some french fries!

Forum Thread: Cartoon Network Match Land (by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.)


Cow Land

iTunes Description

Welcome to Cow Land! Help Old Cornell, Little Amy and Uncle Farrokh discover what‘s happening in their farms… The clouds went dark and cows started fallingfrom the sky… Save all the cows!

Complete everylevels while you explore all of Cow Land‘s sites…

Forum Thread: Cow Land (by Seis Horas Games)


Crushing Blocks

iTunes Description

Game features colored block pieces which you have to tap to match. As you make matches, the blocks are pushed towards the chain. Objective of the game is to keep the field clear and the blocks from reaching the chain. Hatchets are randomly made available which you can use to crush full rows of blocks. Avoid getting chained down if you want to survive!

4 difficulty levels to choose from: Easy, medium, hard and insane.

Simple game controls. Just tap.

Easy to learn yet difficult puzzle to master.

Forum Thread: Crushing Blocks (by Danny Pajevic)


Dream On A Journey

iTunes Description

Run, Jump, and swing your way through various, puzzling obstacles.
Two game Modes
Journey-
Jump into the dream and explore the journey through obstacles that are not what they seem, Reach the light and unlock levels.
Playground-
Where you go to escape the nightmares, but you better run, run, run, run

Forum Thread: Dream On A Journey (by adam rogan)


Emoji Smash

iTunes Description

Drag anywhere on your screen to move the emoji so that it smashes into emojis of the same type in oncoming, and increasingly faster waves. Unlock rare emojis, upgrade your perks and skills, and compete with your friends in this awesome new emoji game.

Unlock different emojis with all-new abilities and special features.

Show your friends your glorious emoji smashing skills. Download Emoji Smash now, and see how much better you are than your friends!

Forum Thread: Emoji Smash — Drag, Crash, Win (by jojodmo2010)


Fantasy Maze

iTunes Description

A great adventure in a big maze. You must defeat goblins, trolls, spiders and other unfriendly creatures and stay alive. The game involves collecting various resources and fighting creatures. This concept of the game offers different paths to victory.

You can do many things in the game: fight with a sword, use the potion of transformation, use fire, hunt rats, catch fish, collect fruits, carry animals to their homes and much more. You also have a strong and dangerous dog to help you. Only you need to feed him properly.

The game provides many hours of entertainment. The maze has about 200 rooms.

Forum Thread: Fantasy Maze (by Jacek Zawadzki)


Fortnite

iTunes Description

The #1 Battle Royale game has come to mobile! Squad up and compete to be the last one standing in 100 player PvP. Build cover. Battle your enemies. Survive the longest. Earn your Victory.

On mobile, Fortnite is the same 100-player PvP game you know from PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac. Same map, same gameplay, same weekly updates. Build your own fort as you battle to be the last one standing. Jump in and squad up with friends around the world or in the same room!

Forum Thread: Fortnite (by Epic Games, Inc.)


Hyperforma

iTunes Description

The civilization of the past vanishes, leaving behind only the Ancient Network. 256 years later, an anonymous explorer descends into its cold depths.

Venture into a journey through the endless empty cyberspace, inspired by the works of William Gibson, Dan Simmons and Peter Watts.

Immerse into the Ancient Network and uncover the secrets of the vanished civilization. Communicate with the Titanic Interfaces and hack their secured Forms.
Secrets hidden in the Network are waiting for you.

Forum Thread: Hyperforma (by Fedor Danilov)


Ice Quub Run

iTunes Description

Tap your way to a record setting number of platform jumps with Ice Quub, the only ice cube that matters.

Incoming platforms vary in sizes, angles & distances requiring you to pay attention when judging how far or how high to jump to make it from one platform to the next.

Jumping on top of the platforms is by far not the only way to travel. Ice Quub’s ice cube properties allow it to slide & spin while gaining velocity from successful platform transitions. When you find yourself falling, just remember, you can navigate by contacting the sides or even bottom of platforms.

Forum Thread: Ice Quub Run (by Nikita Ignatenko)


Idle Tuber Empire

iTunes Description

Want a taste of the celebrity Tuber lifestyle? Take on the world as you journey to stardom, making mega money and earning likes as you go. Dope!

And the profits don’t stop there. Build an entourage to collect cash for you whilst you’re away, so you can come back later and make it rain, baby! Become an online tycoon as you pimp your wardrobe with hundreds of fresh styles, and compete with your homies to top the global Fametube streaming leaderboard. Who will get the most likes? #SquadGoals

Can you create the most profitable Idle Tuber Empire of all time in the greatest idle sim?

Forum Thread: Idle Tuber Empire (by Futureplay)


Keep the Castle – Defense

iTunes Description

Monsters have invaded the peaceful town.
Defend your town against the monsters.

Raise your hero and upgrade skills.
Hire and place mercenaries to fight more powerful monsters.

Forum Thread: Keep the Castle – Defense (by Studio EZ)


The Last Survivor – Time Warp

iTunes Description

Get ready to experience a gripping story that will take you on a journey through time across different phases of Jake’s Life.

Final Survivor is a deep, engaging and immersive story experience. Jake gets stranded on an island you play as him and try to figure out how you ended up getting stranded. Jake is relying on you to figure out how to get himself out of this sticky situation. The game features numerous achievements which gets unlocked based on the choices you make.

The story is written by the same team which is responsible for the story of one of this year’s huge releases “The Last Train”. Play the game multiple times to experience different outcomes, the game features over 500 different combinations through which it could play out.

Forum Thread: The Last Survivor – Time Warp (by Smash Game Studios)


Madness Speed

iTunes Description

Every beat is crush your brain!

– Tap to change the path
– Collect the points
– Avoid the obstacle
– Unlock the tons of characters

Let’s see, How far will you go with Madness Speed!

Forum Thread: Madness Speed (by tinylab_games)


Manage the Stars

iTunes Description

Become a head of a sport agency, hire agents, get football athletes, take care of them and sign them to best contracts you can find.
Negotiate to get the best terms and the biggest profit cut to form the most respected football agency in the US

FEATURES:
Negotiate with clubs using your charisma and skill, playing mini-games to increase the profits;
Manage your agency, hire the best agents on the market, find contracts and please your athletes;
Upgrade your office, starting at the basement and moving up to the top floor;
Collect unique athlete cards;

Forum Thread: MANAGE THE STARS (by Room 8)


Mars360

iTunes Description

The International Space Agency is looking for Pilots. Do you have the right stuff to safely land the first colonists onto martian soil? MARS360 is a frantic ‘endless lander’ where a moments lapse in concentration means your immediate demise!

Hold your device any which way, swipe to spin, tap to fire your boosters and prevent the incoming martian landers from smashing into the surface of the planet!

Forum Thread: MARS360 (by Revolutionary Concepts)


Memoji – Match Emoji Pairs

iTunes Description

Match as many pairs of emoji cards as you can in endless mode, try to gather as many stars as you can in challenge mode or simply relax and have fun at relax mode.

* Match infinite pairs in endless mode and compete in the leaderboards!
* More than 30 challenges to complete and more than 90 stars to gather!
* Customize your game, lay back and enjoy relax mode!
* Compete in the leaderboards!
* Gather all the achievements!
* Easy and fun to play!
* All your favorite emojis are here!
* 100% family friendly! Kids love this game!

Forum Thread: Memoji – Match Emoji Pairs (by Guilherme Carvalho)


Merge Star

iTunes Description

In a time not too long ago, there was a warrior that could merge any 2 items into 1.

The Warrior has journeyed many areas and encountered powerful monsters. There was no need to worry, for the Warrior got more powerful by merging items.

Forum Thread: Merge Star (by NANOO COMPANY)


Nano Golf: Puzzle Putting

iTunes Description

Travel the world beating courses in this puzzling golf action game!

Features:
– Puzzling golf action!
– Easy one-handed controls.
– 70+ unique courses.
– Travel to crazy worlds.
– Dodge deadly traps.
– Epic boss stages.

Forum Thread: Nano Golf: Puzzle Putting (by Nitrome)


Num Yumms

iTunes Description

Num Yumms is a surprisingly adorable game about numbers and hungry little monsters.

Move your freshly hatched Num Yumm around the board eating numbered candies. You have 5 moves to total your Num Yumm’s goal. Watch them grow as they eat, discover new Num Yumms, and get the highest score you can.

Forum Thread: Num Yumms (by The Paper Robot)


Operation Warcade

iTunes Description

Operation warcade is a shooter inspired by the late ’80s classic war arcade that now uses the latest technology of ARKit to convert it into a unique experience.

Thanks to the innovative immersion system, you will be able to travel inside the video game whenever you want to experience the adventure in a completely different way, like shooting from a helicopter, from a trench or from inside a tank… because why not? The power is on your side.

Use all the elements in the environment in your favor with the incredible gravity gun. You will be able to capture any object in the landscape and launch it against enemies, converting them into a weapon. Your imagination is the limit.

Complete 108 missions, 36 levels and many upgrades will unlock, giving you ever more destructive power. Natural anti-stress guaranteed.

Forum Thread: Operation Warcade (by Ivanovich Games)


Peko Peko Sushi

iTunes Description

Peko Peko Sushi is a fast-paced conveyor sushi puzzle game. Serve hungry customers by shuffling sushi about, racking up high scores by stacking plates and acting quick. Unlock new staff and store parts to change the way you play and make it your own. Download now and help Ayame build the greatest sushi restaurant of all time!

Forum Thread: Peko Peko Sushi (by Hanaji Games)


Pop Butterfly

iTunes Description

“Pop Butterfly” is a relaxed and addictive 3D game.
It is fresh, original and unique. It is easy to learn: only need tapping to pop butterfly. Same butterflies around it will be popped too.

Try to pop more butterflies at same time, you will get more scores.
There are 100 levels in each world. Lots of butterflies are waiting to meet you.

Let’s take your free time now!

Forum Thread: Pop Butterfly (by YINJIAN LI)


PUBG Mobile

iTunes Description

Officially licensed PUBG MOBILE, the original battle royale style game is coming! Unreal Engine 4 brings smooth, next-generation graphics to your mobile device, and produces a graphical and audio experience that perfectly recreates the PC version.

Forum Thread: PUBG Mobile (by Tencent Mobile International Limited)


Rapid Shift

iTunes Description

Are you ready to go on an adventure across the land of colors?

Helios Labs brings to you an epic journey across the lands where colors are all that matter! Get ready for a tight, fast-paced runner platformer, that takes you across a beautiful environment.

The levels are designed to be challenging and as the levels progress, so does the difficulty.

Revel in a world full of colors with amazing graphics and music. Combining twitch reflex platforming with custom designed difficulty ramp, to keep even the most experienced gamer on their toes. Simple controls and intuitive gameplay that keeps you trying harder.

Forum Thread: Rapid Shift (by Urvish Kathiriya)


Sequentia

iTunes Description

The goal is simple : Just find the best path between the start & end points that allows you to collect the required items on your way & avoid hitting the obstacles or collecting non-required items.

Features :
– Tons of puzzles with no ADs.
– No time limits, take all the time you need to solve the puzzle.
– 5 levels of difficulties.
– Enjoy beautiful minimalistic design & relaxing game music.
– iPhone X ready.

Forum Thread: Sequentia (By RoboAppZ)


Seul.(Alone) The Day Before

iTunes Description

Funny, Sad, Creepy, Disturbing and completely absorbing, with a Shakespearean sense of tragedy .
Wonderfully surreal as an ordinary day in the life of a character who holds secret alleyways of unsettling and unexpected views, unfolds to the reader. Painful and touching, it offers the private thoughts of a person contemplating the philosophical question of whether to end their life or not. Aiming to raise awareness to the taboo subject.

Forum Thread: Seul.(Alone) The Day Before (by Steven Koutsouliotas)


Shadowgun Legends

iTunes Description

Download the best mobile RPG shooting game for free now!

Experience an epic story campaign, competitive and cooperative multiplayer, and an innovative social hub, all in one game!

In the futuristic world of Shadowgun Legends, humanity is under attack from a deadly alien invader. The last line of defence are the Shadowguns, legendary warriors and heroes. You are a young Shadowgun recruit with limitless potential who can turn the tide of war. So what are you waiting for? Join the fight and show the galaxy who’s boss!

Forum Thread: Shadowgun Legends (by MADFINGER Games, a.s.)


Slide Path

iTunes Description

Jump over or slide under obstacles on an endless zig zag path through a mystical landscape.

Enter portals to change paths or clone yourself to double your score.

Collect gems to unlock new colourful characters.

How to play:
– Tap Right to Jump over obstacles
– Tap Left to Slide under obstacles

Forum Thread: Slide Path (by Radu Popa)


Smashing Rush

iTunes Description

●Collect 21 characters with different motions and shapes.
●Various actions such as wall jump, double jump, bar swing, zipline with only two buttons JUMP and DASH.
●Be Thrilled with challenging levels.
●Fast parkour style play that rush on the big city.
●Race through obstacles and see who can go far.
●Extreme control that hard to feel in mobile games.

Forum Thread: Smashing Rush (by Cold Soda)


SnowSmash

iTunes Description

SnowSmash is a fast-based stress-relief game. Destruct the city of Smash with snowballs and other throwables.

Get highscores from destroying the streets. Collect coins to get more effective things to throw. Have fun.

Disclaimer: Throwing snowballs or other things at people or their property is never Ok without their consent. Games are games. Be a respectful person. Thank you. 🙂

Forum Thread: SnowSmash (by Tuokio)


Space Station Simulator

iTunes Description

If you are dreaming of space from childhood, then our simulator of the space station you will surely like! At your disposal is a small orbital station with one robot, who is sad without any work and only from you depends its future. You as the captain will have to deal with its development, dumb personnel, the construction of new modules. In the game you can bet on peaceful coexistence, for example, on extracting resources and recycling it or you can act with fire and sword, plundering interplanetary caravans and other players!

Forum Thread: Space Station Simulator (by appscraft)


Super Chuckie Egg

iTunes Description

Journey through the four seasons containing 36 levels. Play the levels in any order you like, collecting gold and silver eggs along the way.

Avoid the naughty Ostriches, who will try and block the way. And watch out for Bertha – Harry’s arch nemesis. She’s sure to show up on some levels.

Use you stash of silver eggs buy extra lives or even auto complete levels that you’re stuck on! So, whether you’re a platform gaming veteran, or just want a casual gaming experience, Super Chuckie Egg is for you!

Forum Thread: Super Chuckie Egg (by Downsideapp gamers)


Swipe Light

iTunes Description

Action, speed, and concentration in just one app.
This is for who want a challenging, addicting, entertaining game.
Avoid the obstacles by dragging the character with coordination away from them, but be careful … it’s not that easy!
Be in the world ranking, millions of players are challenging right now, what are you waiting for?

Collect stars and unlock the rarest characters, sometimes they can reveal surprises!

Forum Thread: Swipe Light. (by Sirus Baladi)


Waynesaw

iTunes Description

He’s cute. He’s loveable. He’s a CHAINSAW. Meet Waynesaw, your new best friend!

Tear through the forest as Waynesaw in the hopes of reuniting with your lost family. But watch out! The forest is teeming with toxic waste, and the forest critters have transformed into vicious mutants. Fortunately, you are a chainsaw!

Destroy trees! Obliterate your enemies! Upgrade your sawblade to annihilate everything in exciting and horrible ways! Jump on a Boostpad or grab a Chaingun to wreak unthinkable carnage upon the forest. When you’ve rained enough havoc, transform into the ferocious and unstoppable SUPERSAW!

Rev up your engine, because what’s better than wielding a chainsaw? BEING A CHAINSAW.

Forum Thread: WAYNESAW (by So Choice Softworks)


TouchArcade
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Jaguar Land Rover to use BlackBerry technology in next-generation connected cars

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Jaguar Land Rover will use BlackBerry’s infotainment and security technologies in its next-generation connected vehicles under a multi-year deal signed by both the companies.

As part of the deal, the T&C of which remain undisclosed, the Canadian software firm will license its QNX and Certicom technology to the auto maker. In addition, a dedicated team of BlackBerry engineers will support the formulation of the new Electronic Control Unit (ECU) modules. The maiden ECU project focuses on the development of a net-gen infotainment system.

Commenting on the partnership, Dave Nesbitt, vehicle engineering director at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Working with BlackBerry will enable us to develop the safe and secure next-generation connected car our customers want. Together with BlackBerry engineers, we will be able to access the most dynamic and up-to-date software to ensure the highest security required for our connected vehicles.

Alongside this, BlackBerry is furthering its leading position in Enterprise of Things (EoT) security with the launch of a wide array of new software capabilities aimed at enterprise users, IT administrators, and developers. With BlackBerry Secure – an end-to-end EoT platform – enterprises can connect and secure their physical and digital endpoints.

The enhanced capabilities of BlackBerry Secure aimed at improving user productivity include securely using Microsoft mobile apps with BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE; the addition of the new Do Not Disturb feature to BlackBerry Work to block email and calendar notifications outside of usual working time and exchanging pictures, videos, PDF’s and other files within BlackBerry Connect.

In addition, some of the enhanced solutions aimed at easing IT management of endpoints and notifications include the on-demand deployment of pre-configured and secure Android devices and managing IT notifications talks with users from one platform.

In June last year, Jaguar Land Rover announced an investment of $ 25 million in Lyft to support the US-based ride sharing company’s plans circled around expansion and technology.

iottechnews.com: Latest from the homepage

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Folding iPhone might land in 2020

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Your next iPhone could soon double as an iPad. According to the latest Apple rumor, the company plans to launch a folding iPhone in the next two years, bringing Westworld-style tablets to the real world. Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan told investors in a note today that supply chain checks show Apple plans to […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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Disney is already setting up its Star Wars expansion land in a new Grand Admiral Thrawn novel

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

We’re still far away from the 2019 opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the twin expansion lands that will be opening at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but the narrative groundwork for the new parks is already being quietly set up. Specifically, the new novel Thrawn: Alliances from Timothy Zahn will send Darth Vader and the Grand Admiral together on a mission to Batuu, which io9 notes is the same planet that will serve as the setting for Galaxy’s Edge.

Disney hasn’t revealed too much about the planet — only that it’s a remote trading port, and “one of the last stops before Wild Space” — but taking the chance to build out the lore before the park opens is a smart way to get fans interested ahead of time. Thrawn is already a…

Continue reading…

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BlackBerry, Jaguar Land Rover collaborate on next-gen vehicles

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BlackBerry and Jaguar Land Rover have signed a deal to collaborate on the car giant’s next-generation vehicles.

BlackBerry has shifted its focus from mobile devices to software for the Internet of Things (IoT). Its focus has been on autonomous vehicles, with products ranging from fleet management tools to telematics devices.

The company has recently signed deals in the automotive industry with Baidu, Delphi, Denso, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Visteon.

BlackBerry infotainment

Under the terms of this new collaboration, BlackBerry will put its mobile expertise towards supporting the development of a next-generation infotainment system to be used in Jaguar Land Rover’s new vehicles.

The mobile software company will also license its QNX and Certicom technologies to Jaguar Land Rover, and send a team of its engineers to support the development of new Electronic Control Unit modules.

Read more: Under the hood of Land Rover’s Project Hero

A focus on security

Dave Nesbitt, Jaguar Land Rover’s director of vehicle engineering, pointed to Blackberry’s reputation for secure software architecture as a factor in the decision to partner with the company. Earlier this year, BlackBerry launched Jarvis, a cloud-based cybersecurity product for the automobile industry.

“Working with BlackBerry will enable us to develop the safe and secure next-generation connected car our customers want,” he said. “Together with BlackBerry engineers, we will be able to access the most dynamic and up-to-date software to ensure the highest security required for our connected vehicles.”

BlackBerry’s SVP and general manager for QNX, John Wall, “We are at a pivotal moment, where innovative automakers, such as Jaguar Land Rover, are realising that they need to take an active role in defining the software architecture for their vehicles.”

“Connected and autonomous vehicles will react and drive based on rich data. Our platforms help process data efficiently and keep it secure and trusted. We are incredibly honored to work with Jaguar Land Rover and look forward to our teams working hand in hand to deliver an enhanced driving experience for their customers.”

Read more: Automotive IoT market projected to reach $ 82.7 billion by 2022

Internet of Business

Even amongst the reams – or perhaps fleets – of connected and autonomous car announcements this year, the tie-up between BlackBerry and Jaguar Land Rover is a prestigious one. The car marque’s reputation for quality, and BlackBerry’s reputation for security and mobility, should make this one to watch.

Read more: Lamborghini teams with Vodafone on connected supercars

The post BlackBerry, Jaguar Land Rover collaborate on next-gen vehicles appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

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Jaguar Land Rover tests autonomous parking on public roads

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

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‘Mirror Land’ Review – I’m Starting with the ‘Mon in the Mirror

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I’ve experienced a few games now from Magic Cube, and while they’ve always sounded interesting on paper, they never quite seem to come together like you would hope. Their latest, Mirror Land [$ 0.99], is a monster-collecting RPG built around a cute idea. The game uses your actual location and allows you to summon monsters based on that information. The farther you are from where you first started up the game, the more interesting and unusual creatures you’ll find. It’s obviously inspired by Pokemon GO, but it works a little differently in practice. The game attached to that cool idea, on the other hand, is simultaneously the best I’ve played from this developer so far and yet still quite flawed.

Mirror Land tries to spin some kind of story around a world parallel to our own where people battle using special creatures called Fingermons that apparently come from our real world. Or something like that. There are evil clones, the hero has amnesia and can’t remember their surely uneventful past, and rivals a-plenty. The plot is rolled out in conversations that occur before and after completing story missions, events that become so spaced out over time that it was hard to remember how things connected. Not that it really matters. This isn’t the sort of thing you’re going to play for its story.

No, you’re probably here to collect monsters and do battle, and I can happily tell you that there’s plenty of both things going on in this game. The only way to earn monsters is through summoning, but there are a few ways to go about that. The splashy location-based summoning lets you call a monster using either easily-obtained coins or somewhat harder-to-come-by cubes. You can only summon once in any given location, at least for a certain period of time. It seemed to refresh after around a day. Your initial location when you start the game seems to be set as the home lab in-game, and monsters you summon near that lab will almost always be disappointing and mostly the of the same type. Head a little farther afield and you might find something interesting, though.

Most of your monsters will probably come from the standard summoning, however, which doesn’t involve your location at all. Instead, you choose which of the three types of summon you want to perform, pay the required amount of coins, and collect a random Fingermon whose rarity more or less corresponds with how much you spent. Basically, you can summon a pretty weak bronze character after every couple of battles, hang in there for a bit and get a more useful silver character, or wait until Lucifer dons a knitted sweater and nab a powerful gold character. Mirror Land contains no IAPs whatsoever, so the only way to fill out your collection of monsters is to grind those coins.

And grind you will, my friends. There are a lot of things I like about Mirror Land. It’s generally well-crafted, the summoning gimmick is neat, and the battle system is actually pretty fun and somewhat original. Battles play out sort of like the Active Time Battle system in many of the Final Fantasy games. Each character has to wait for a meter to fill up before they can do anything. Once the meter is full, you tap on them to use their action. If you tap just as the meter fills up, you’ll get a bonus. You can also tap just before an enemy strikes to block some of the damage at the cost of a bit of your meter. If you tap before the meter fills, the character will not only fail to act, the meter will also slightly drain. It’s lively, somewhat strategic, and surprisingly tense at times.

Unfortunately, it’s also the entire game. You’ll enter battles from a map screen, where you are presented with a random assortment of missions with different conditions. In this one, you can only use bronze monsters. Over here, you’ll have to fight one-on-one. Most of the time, you’ll have a few types to pick from, though they’ll occasionally collapse into a single mission that you’ll have to either pass or fail to get a new spread. The battles earn experience for participating Fingermons, experience for your hero, and either coins or cubes. Fingermons can only level as high as the hero’s level, and your regulars will usually cap out well before your hero gains their next level. Presumably the idea is to keep the players using an assortment of creatures.

The story is advanced by completing special story missions. These appear after you fulfill a certain set of requirements, like fighting a specific number of battles or summoning a particular amount of Fingermons. You can then tackle the story mission and should you win, you’ll be given the next set of requirements. Things move quickly enough in the beginning, but the further in you go, the more time-consuming it gets to satisfy those requirements and the more difficult the story missions themselves become. Some requirements ask you to summon using the location mechanic, so if you can’t go wandering around in the real world, you won’t be able to move forward. Mirror Land eventually devolves into a game where you grind battles to satisfy the requirements to make the story mission pop, then grind more battles to get to a high enough level to be able to beat that mission. Rinse and repeat.

Contributing to the problem is that the fundamentals of combat don’t change as the game unfolds. The same things that you do near the beginning are what you’ll be doing hours down the road. Watch carefully for each character’s turn to come up, try to tap them at the right moment, and hope your team is strong enough to outlast the other. It’s fine when you only need to do a few battles in a row, but when the game starts asking you to do twenty battles or try to level up to match enemies that are fifteen to twenty levels higher than you in order to proceed, it starts to feel like a genuine grind. A grind that demands your attention, mind you, so you can’t get away with doing it while you watch a movie or something.

The characters also feel like they’re not balanced very well. Faster Fingermons are definitely more useful than the rest, as any attack will drain some of a character’s meter and slow their ability to take their own turns. That goes both ways, so using slower Fingermons becomes a formula for frustration as you watch your meter slowly climb only to get knocked down with each swift strike. I picked up a speedy silver character early on who could punch well above her weight level-wise, while a higher-ranked character who was strong but slow tended to get beaten up by far weaker foes.

Besides leveling up through battling, you can also enhance your creatures by spending coins on their special abilities or cubes on ranking them up. Higher ranked characters tend to be a lot more powerful than their low-ranked cousins, though you’ll still want to keep an assortment of characters of each rank around for specific battles. Characters who are silver-ranked or higher have access to special abilities like drain strikes, attack buffs, and so on. They’ll use them automatically, but you can spend your coins to improve their effectiveness. Fingermons come in different types, with the usual system of each type having one type they’re strong against and one that they’re weak to. This doesn’t usually matter that much, but it can make a big difference in tough battles.

It’s not hard to imagine a world parallel to our own where Mirror Land was a free-to-play game with a stamina meter and premium-currency summons. I applaud the developer for not taking that particular route, but I honestly feel like the game works a lot like one of those kinds of affairs. You can run as many battles in a row as you want to here, but I wouldn’t recommend doing too many at once lest the game start to feel tiresome. You can dump your coins into a ton of weaker summons, but you’re probably best to wait until you can afford a shot at the best ones. Progress is slow and tedious, battle strategies don’t change a whole lot over time, and the story feels like a bunch of weak connecting tissue to provide some kind of context for rolling the same situations over and over again. I liked this game in the moment, but the longer I played it, the less I wanted to.

Mirror Land is better than I was expecting given this developer’s track record, and it can be quite enjoyable at times. But for a game that doesn’t try to extract any additional money from the player beyond the initial asking price, it sure feels structured like a game that does. The stop-and-start pacing and tremendous amounts of repetitive grinding required detract greatly from a game that could otherwise be pretty solid. There’s a decent game here, and it’s really only in the incidentals that it doesn’t shake out to be more than that.

TouchArcade

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