Mineko’s Night Market is a cat-filled spin on Animal Crossing

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The world of Mineko’s Night Market is one obsessed with cats. Felines roam freely around its cartoony, cutesy island. Mini-games make sport of their adventures, and occasionally they’ll trail after you like ducklings behind their mother. On Mount Fugu Island, inhabitants even worship cat deities — specifically, the Sun Cat, a portly, upright creature called Abe. Developer Meowza Games has made no secret of its love of one specific animal, but the pleasing aesthetic of its upcoming game only lends to the friendly, approachable atmosphere of it all.

Mineko’s Night Market, launching this year, follows a girl named Mineko who’s recently moved to Mount Fugu Island. She currently runs a market, but it’s been in a financial pinch as of late….

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GDC 2018: ‘Defend the Cake’ is a Cool Spin on Tower Defense

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There was a time when the tower defense aisle of the App Store was so jammed packed that it was hard to get that interested in any new ones. Now that it’s 2018, the App Store has shifted significantly and all these old genres feel fresh again just because everyone else is making super derivative freemium junk. That’s definitely the case with Defend the Cake [$ 4.99], check out the gameplay video we shot at GDC:

I love the combo of both open field tower defense similar to Fieldrunners [$ 2.99] along with being able to place your main base (or cake, I guess). It adds a surprising layer of complexity, as you can definitely really make the game much more difficult for yourself by placing the cake in a bad spot. Defend the Cake is on the App Store right now, so if you think this even sounds remotely interesting be sure to check it out.

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Mark Zuckerberg Kicks Off Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica Spin Cycle With a Washed Response

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On Saturday, an investigation published by the New York Times and The Guardian revealed data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica having accessed an appalling amount of Facebook users’ data in 2013. Thing is, it wasn’t a data breach — Facebook granted Cambridge access to do it. Now, Facebook’s first spin is here. 

Speculation’s been in a frothy swirl since the initial story dropped. Facebook’s valuation plummeted. Congressional committees and the Federal Trade Commission launched investigations. Throughout, Facebook was eerily silent. Zuckerberg was AWOL.

Today, Zuckerberg reemerged. And in a lengthy Facebook post, he wrote:

We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.

Zuckerberg then walked readers through a detailed timeline about how we got to where we are, beginning in 2007 with the site’s launch. In 2013, he acknowledged, Aleksandr Kogan, a Cambridge University researcher who was also involved with Cambridge Analytica, did indeed access the information from 300,000 or so Facebook users, along with their friends.

“Given the way our platform worked at the time this meant Kogan was able to access tens of millions of their friends’ data,” Zuckerberg writes. Facebook revisited the kind of data that third-party apps like Cambridge Analytica were able to access in 2014, he writes, and Kogan was suspended from the platform in 2015.

Zuckerberg continues:

In this case, we already took the most important steps a few years ago in 2014 to prevent bad actors from accessing people’s information in this way. But there’s more we need to do and I’ll outline those steps here:

Those steps, in brief, would investigate apps that accessed a lot of user information before 2014, restrict developers’ access to user data, and help users take control of what third parties can see.

For users that feel shocked and violated by the amount of data accessed by Cambridge Analytica (and, likely, other third-party apps), Zuckerberg doesn’t offer much salve. He didn’t vow to stop selling user data to third parties. And it sounded an awful lot like he thinks the problem was fixed in 2014.

Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear on CNN tonight, and his post referenced a few changes that will be rolled out in the next few days. We will update this post as more information becomes available.

The post Mark Zuckerberg Kicks Off Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica Spin Cycle With a Washed Response appeared first on Futurism.

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Apple’s claim that it warned us about iPhone slowdowns is corporate spin at its worst

iPhone Slowdown Apple Explanation

The US Senate asked Apple various questions about the recently discovered iPhone slowdown practice. The iPhone maker issued a response on February 2nd, which was made public on Tuesday. In it, Apple explains the whole iPhone battery mess, providing a timeline of events, existing fixes as well as other mitigations for the future.

Apple’s explanation proves that the worst thing about the iPhone slowdown is that Apple lied about having informed users of what was about to happen once iOS 10.2.1 was released last year.

The first time Apple acknowledged that it hasn’t informed its customers properly back in January 2017 was a few weeks ago. “When we did put [the software update] out, we did say what it was, but I don’t think a lot of people were paying attention,” Apple’s Tim Cook said in an interview with ABC News. “And maybe we should have been clearer, as well.”

The letter to Congress makes that sort of misinformation even clearer.

First of all, Apple released the iOS 10.2.1 update in January 2017, a month before it actually tried to tell us what the update did.

“We first delivered this power management feature to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE as part of iOS 10.2.1, in January 2017,” Apple explains.

Then, in February 2017, it “told” users about the slowdown.

“Once we verified that the feature was effective in avoiding unexpected shutdowns, we updated the iOS 10.2.1 ReadMe notes in February, 2017. Specifically, the iOS 10.2.1 ReadMe notes said that this update ‘also improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone,” Apple said.

I’m sorry, Apple, but telling users in an updated change log, a month after the update, that the update “also improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone” will not make me realize that the phone will be slowed down in certain cases.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand why Apple had to revert to this fix. I happen to have been an iPhone 6s user right until the iPhone X rolled out, but I never noticed the slowdowns. Nor did I experience annoying iPhone shutdowns before the iOS 10.2.1 rolled out, although it may have shut down a few times overnight from what I can recall. I did replace the battery of the iPhone 6s long before the iPhone slowdown scandal was unearthed, as I was preparing it for a new life with a family member. Finally, I’m also a non-believer in the theory that Apple intentionally slows down iPhones to sell newer models.

But telling iPhone users that you warned us about what was going to go down, is a pretty huge “alternative fact,” Apple. That has been my main complaint all along. I wish I knew in advanced that iOS is clever enough to slow down the iPhone so that it doesn’t die unexpectedly. I wish I had the option of turning the feature down, just like it’ll happen from now onward.

Republican Senator John Thune, who penned the initial letter to Apple, also acknowledged in a statement that Apple’s disclosures of the update “came up short.”

“I appreciate Apple’s response to my inquiry and the company’s ongoing discussions with the committee,” Thune said, according to Business Insider. “In those conversations, Apple has acknowledged that its initial disclosures came up short.”

“Apple has also promised the committee some follow-up information, including an answer about additional steps it may take to address customers who purchased a new battery at full price,” he added.

Apple’s full letter follows below.

Apple – BGR

Apple puts psychedelic spin on Animoji karaoke

Apple has whipped up some new commercials to celebrate the upcoming Grammy Awards by combining some of today’s best artists with the iPhone X’s new Animoji feature. The new ads titled Amigos and Alien features Migos singing their song “Stir Fly” and Childish Gambino performing “Redbone”. Migos appear as a fox dog and pile of […]

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

Cult of Mac

Penny Arcade Slots enters its Closed Beta Test – and you’re invited to give it a spin

Unlike most other studios, the developers behind the new social casino app Penny Arcade Slots can boast a wealth of realworld experience having built slot machines for casinos around the world. And now it’s welcoming players to put its latest digital creation through its paces as Penny Arcade Slots begins its closed beta test.

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Acer announces $349 Chromebook Spin 11 with 360-degree hinge and USB-C

Acer has announced a new Chromebook called the Spin 11, a convertible design with a 360-hinge and 11.6-inch touchscreen. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because Acer and Google launched essentially the same thing a year ago for the education market. This model, however, will be available in regular retail channels.

The Chromebook Spin 11 has options for quad-core Pentium or Celeron processors, two USB-C 3.1 ports, Google Play support, and an 11.6-inch touchscreen at a resolution of only 1366 x 768 — though at least the panel is IPS. Acer claims up to 10 hours of battery life. The Spin 11 will go on sale in the US in March starting at $ 349.

Chromebook 11 C732

Acer is also announcing yet another standard…

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Acer’s Spin 11 hybrid Chromebook supports Android apps

You can add Acer's new Spin 11 to the list of Chromebooks to choose from if you're looking for one that can run Android apps. It's a laptop-tablet hybrid/convertible with flexible joints, so you can fold it if you want to use it as a tablet and have…
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