Halfbrick Studios turn Fruit Ninja into a competitive multiplayer game with the beta release of ‘Fruit Ninja Fight’

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Halfbrick Studios haven’t been having a good year. They recently laid off half of their workforce and with that sudden change have also decided to start concentrating all of their efforts on their two most successful licenses, Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride. Their latest release on the Play Store is an open-beta product still under development. It is called Fruit Ninja Fight, and as the name would suggest, it’s a multiplayer-focused Fruit Ninja game.

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Halfbrick Studios turn Fruit Ninja into a competitive multiplayer game with the beta release of ‘Fruit Ninja Fight’ was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Pizza Hut’s ‘smart’ shoes turn you into a fashionable couch potato

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When it comes to fast-food PR stunts, Pizza Hut doesn't hold back. Seriously, this is the company that's made a jacket that keeps you as warm as, well, a pizza. The ridiculous garment came with the same insulating materials as those used in Pizza Hut…
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Apple to turn Lane Tech into ‘Center for Excellence’ for training teachers on Swift

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Apple on Wednesday announced a partnership with Chicago Public Schools and Northwestern University, which will establish a "Center for Excellence" at Lane Tech College Prep High School — the place where Apple held its Tuesday iPad event.
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How to schedule your Mac to turn on and off on a schedule

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Your Mac can be made to power on and shut down on a custom schedule…. Read the rest of this post here


How to schedule your Mac to turn on and off on a schedule” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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How to turn off HomePod’s status lights altogether

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Due to its lack of screen, HomePod’s means of expressing itself are limited to the pulsating, colorful dot on its slick top surface. Design and implementation of the expressive light undoubtedly make for a masterclass in giving an inanimate speaker an air of personality.

While we do have a detailed breakdown of which of HomePod’s lights exactly mean what, what we have not done yet is call attention to the fact that the lights can also be shut down entirely – and no, I’m not talking about pulling the plug from the power outlet…. Read the rest of this post here


How to turn off HomePod’s status lights altogether” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Seoul will turn off workers’ PCs to curb excessive overtime

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South Korea has a serious problem with overtime. A typical government worker puts in 1,000 more hours per year than their equivalents in other countries, which could easily affect their long-term health. Seoul's Metropolitan Government may have a s…
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Tapas Media aims to turn digital comics into the next big entertainment franchise

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Tapas Media has its own platform for digital comics — but like a lot of publishers, CEO Chang Kim has ambitions beyond the comics world.

Comixology is the big name in digital comics. The company, which was acquired by Amazon in 2014, is focused on selling print comics from major publishers in web- and mobile-friendly formats. (It’s also working with publishers like Marvel to create exclusively digital content.)

That’s a very different approach from Tapas, which Kim compared to YouTube — it allows individual creators to publish their work and (hopefully) reach an audience. And unlike the superhero-dominated world of American comics, the most popular titles on Tapas seem to be more romance and fantasy themed, and are usually drawn in a style that’s closer to Japanese manga.

Tapas was founded in 2013, and it now says the platform has more than 32,000 creators who have created more than 48,000 titles. And it’s reaching an audience of 2.1 million monthly visitors.

The comics themselves are monetized through micropayments. Usually, the first few chapters of a title are free, then you have to pay to keep going.

Chang said his team is also working with some of the most popular creators on the platform to develop new intellectual property, which could be translated into movies or TV or other media. Eventually, he said he’s hoping that Tapas could launch the next Harry Potter.

Dungeon Construction Co game

That level of success is a long way off, but Tapas is already exploring ways to adapt its IP. For example, it’s announcing a partnership with Red Kraken Apps to develop a mobile puzzle game based on its Dungeon Construction Co. comic.

In addition, the company has partnered with Hachette Book Group and Ten Speed Press on titles, and it’s signed distribution deals with Tencent and Kakao.

Tapas announced earlier this month that it has raised $ 5 million in additional Series A funding. (The company has raised $ 10.8 million total.) Now it’s revealing more details about the round, which comes from ID Ventures, SBI Investment Korea, Medici Investment and EN Investment. Sean Park of ID Ventures is joining the board of directors.

“ID Ventures invested in Tapas Media because we believe in the impact their platform has on the digital and mobile publishing industries,” Park said in a statement. “Their remarkable extension into licensed content and co-development will see their continued dominance, as ID Ventures’ investment looks to help Tapas Media capitalize on their platform’s adoption and innovation as well.”

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Samsung SmartThings Link for Nvidia Shield TV: Turn your set top box into a hub

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At the tail end of last year, Stacey and I created a buying guide of smart home products. I added the Nvidia Shield TV to the list, which sounds odd since the device is an Android TV set top box. But the Shield TV gained Google Assistant integration and then Samsung created the SmartThings Link USB stick, which turns the Shield into a full-featured SmartThings hub.

I’ve been testing the SmartThings Link for the past week and it’s a great, inexpensive add-on if you have a Shield TV. (By the way, $ 179.99 Shield TV on its own is a fantastic Android TV and Chromecast device; I use it all the time in my home office where it’s connected to a 4K set.) I was lucky to be among the first buyers of Samsung’s SmartThings USB stick, and paid just $ 9.99 for it. These days, you’ll find it for the full price of $ 39.99, which is still a good deal.

There isn’t much to the Link. The main purpose is to add both a Zigbee and Z-Wave radio to the Nvidia Shield TV, which already has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios as well as a Gigabit ethernet port. From what I can tell, all of the hub processing takes place on the Shield TV, and not the the USB stick. For comparison the Smartthings hub which has the same array of radios and no Android TV/Chromecast capability costs $ 89.99.

Installation is super simple as well. You just open the SmartThings app on the Shield TV, plug the Link into the Shield, sign in to or create a Samsung account and then link the “hub” to your SmartThings phone app. Two notes though: First, there are now two SmartThings mobile apps. During the setup process, I tried to use the newest SmartThings app but it didn’t work. Instead, I had to use the original mobile app, which is now called SmartThings Classic. That actually may be a good thing though, since the newer app hasn’t been very well received. And secondly, the Link is pretty wide so if, like me, you’re using one of the two USB ports on Shield TV for additional storage, you’ll need the small USB extender cable included with the Link.

If you’re familiar with SmartThings or already have a SmartThings hub, there’s nothing new here to see. For the rest of us, you get the functionality of Samsung’s SmartThings Hub product without actually owning the hub.

Just about everything you can do on Samsung’s native hub can be done with the Shield TV and SmartThings Link. I say “just about everything” because Samsung has a history of updating the firmware on its own hub first, leaving the Link running an older version. So new features that come to Samsung’s SmartThings Hub may not appear on the Link for some time. Regardless, you can add the same supported devices to the Link, set up automations and routines. I haven’t found any major technical differences between the tested setup and an actual SmartThings Hub.

Since I’ve built my smart home around a Wink Hub 2, I only tested a few devices with the Link: A bulb, a lock and a motion sensor. All of them work just as they do when connected to my Wink Hub. And although I’ve long preferred Wink, Samsung does have one key advantage when it comes to device compatibility, which I love.

If you purchase a smart device that isn’t compatible with SmartThings, you may still be able to use it. That’s because Samsung allows you to create or install device handlers so that the Link (or SmartThings Hub) can control it.

In fact, I have two non-supported Z-Wave devices that I’m testing now with the Link because I was provided unpublished device handlers for them. More on those in a separate review is coming, but the point is this: Device handlers are handy to have. Wink doesn’t support them, so I’m considering a full-scale change over to SmartThings.

Nvidia Shield TV with remote and optional game controller (Credit: Nvidia)

I did have one concern about the Link before setup, but it turned out to be unfounded. I thought that my TV would have to be on for the Link to work, since the Shield drives all content to the set. Indeed, when using Nvidia’s Shield TV, the set-top box lights up green, so you know it’s on. Even when that green light is off and the Shield TV is in sleep mode, however, the Link hub works. I should have realized this because I often use a Google Home voice command to turn on the Shield TV. It works every time because the set-top box is just sleeping, not completely off.

Speaking of Google, you can link Google Assistant or Home with the SmartThings Link to use voice commands and control connected home devices. Even if you don’t own a Google Home or have Assistant installed on your phone, this works through the microphone inside Nvidia Shield TV’s remote. Sadly, Nvidia hasn’t yet delivered on the low-cost Google Assistant microphone called Nvidia Spot it announced in January 2017. If it ever does, I would fully expect these to work with the SmartThings Link as well. Those that prefer using Alexa can do so without any hassle.

Overall, I’m impressed by this little USB stick. Granted, I already spent money on the Nvidia Shield TV; if you haven’t or if you’re not in the market for a new set-top box, this isn’t for you.

Even if you own a Shield TV, you may want to pass on the Link based on where your connected TV is. This isn’t like a hub that you can place directly in the center of your home for maximum range. I’m just lucky that my home office is is the right spot and can reach all of my connected devices, such as those with limited range that use Bluetooth or Zigbee, for example. Thanks to a simple setup, device flexibility and strong voice integration, I just may retire my Wink Hub 2 in favor of the SmartThings Link.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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Google is looking to turn product searches into purchases from select retailers with Shopping Actions

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

According to a report from Reuters, Google has been working on monetizing all the product searches that pass through it and almost inevitably go to Amazon by pointing buyers to other places they can purchase the same item. Search results won’t be affected, so you’ll likely still see Amazon among the top results if you look for something, but the sponsored shopping results will start showing products from its Shopping Actions partners.

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Google is looking to turn product searches into purchases from select retailers with Shopping Actions was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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