Madden NFL 15 review: Getting defensive
For years, EA has presented its flag-bearing sports series as an attempt at a pixel-for-pixel simulation of professional football. It has consistently billed the latest game in the annual series as "the most authentic Madden," leaving the door open a crack for anyone outside its PR department to point out all the ways Madden is not a mirror image of the sport that dominates America's Sundays.
As the NFL continues its slide towards a future where defenders that side-eye a star receiver may very well be tagged with an illegal contact penalty (it's okay folks, it's just the preseason ), Madden stopped at the fork in the road this year to do a little soul-searching. The man on Madden 15 's cover, Richard Sherman, made headlines for calling out the league's mandates after his team's defense shut down a league-best offense in the Super Bowl, and he's emblematic of the game's renewed focus on defense.
Madden 15 is a big step in carving out the series' identity as a video game first and a football simulator second, driving a much-needed wedge between the game and the sport, while retaining what fans crave from both sides.
Vice Media Confirms That It’s Selling A Stake To A&E Networks At A $2.5B Valuation | TechCrunch
Vice Media has agreed to sell a 10 percent stake to A&E Networks. The $250 million investment values the company at $2.5 billion.
State Fairgoers eat up data, along with hot dogs and cheese curds
T-Mobile said it saw a 172 percent increase in data use on the first Saturday of the Fair, compared with the first Saturday of the 2013 Fair. And for the first four days of the Fair, it saw a 184 percent increase in data usage compared to the same 2013 period.
ThemeBoard Will Let Designers Share Custom Keyboards On iOS 8 | TechCrunch
To that end, it’s making it as easy as possible for designers to get their work into ThemeBoard. While the data for each custom design is saved in a .plist file, designers don’t have to mess with that at all — ThemeBoard provides them a template, they put their design on top of it in whatever illustration program they like, and Taphive does all of the conversion on their end. Eventually, the startup plans to release a native keyboard designer for the Mac that will cut out other software from the process and maybe even let designers have an impact on the functionality of the keyboard as well.
Here’s An Affordable Mid-Range Electric Bike Conversion Kit To Speed Up Your Commute | TechCrunch
The Barak Electric Bicycle Kit is a conversion kit to convert any bicycle to an electric bicycle.
The kit consists of only four parts which are easily bolted onto any bicycle to convert it into an electric bicycle. The kit consists of a hub motor wheel, battery, controller and throttle. The hub motor wheel contains the motor in the center of the wheel. The whole wheel simply replaces the front …
Microsoft will not hand over overseas email, despite order
"Microsoft will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters. "Everyone agrees this case can and will proceed to the appeals court. This is simply about finding the appropriate procedure for that to happen."
Super Mario 3D World, Walmart Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundles by mid-September
Along with a new 3DS for Japan, which is not planned for the US or Europe this year, Nintendo also revealed new Wii U bundles. Available sometime in mid-September, Nintendo of America plans on launching a Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8 bundle.
The Super Mario 3D World deluxe set bundle will feature a physical copy of the game and Nintendo Land for $299.99. The Mario Kart 8 bundle is a "Walmart exclusive," with a physical copy of the game along with Nintendo Land , and it will also retail for $299.99 "while supplies last."
Super Mario 3D World (10/15/13)
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Has Raised $100M. But It's Finally Cooling Off.
The philanthropic blockbuster, which has been ubiquitous on Facebook and lured in hundreds of celebrities, has sparked millions of donations to ALS research and raised awareness of the disease. But after a month in the spotlight, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is — finally — starting to show signs of cooling down.
White House Reboots Its Tech Staff | TechCrunch
A number of moves this week: The White House announced its intention for Danny Marti to be its new piracy guru, departing national CTO Todd Park will return to Silicon Valley, but keep working for the government, Google X’s Megan Smith is said to be a top contender for the nation’s CTO role, and former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will sit on the Intelligence Advisory Board.
When does giving the reader what they want turn into clickbait? It's complicated
The outrage over clickbait is really just a symptom of the change from a one-way, broadcast model of journalism to one in which we actually know what readers want to read — and it’s not always what we think they should
Cloud Cover 151: Azure Machine Learning with Parmita Mehta (Channel 9)
In this episode Chris Risner and Haishi Bai are joined by Parmita Mehta, Program Manger on the Azure Machine Learning team. Parmita gives an overview of the new Azure Cloud Machine Learning Service. Using the Cloud ML service, Parmita demonstrates how you can create experiments to detect patterns in data. In the example shown, Parmita uses Cloud ML to predict family income level based off of census data. This is tested using modules pre-built by MS Research, Xbox, and Bing! After building and testing out an experiment, Parmita shows how easy it is to push the experiment to production as a web service which can be used to run individual tests or batches.
How to convert AVI to DVD
So you’ve got a movie in AVI format, but you want to put it on a disc so you can watch it through your DVD player. Sounds easy, right? The only problem is that you can’t just burn an AVI file to a disc. Well, technically you can, but your DVD player wouldn’t be able to read it. So, in order to get your AVI movie to play in your DVD player, you need to convert the file into a format that your machine can understand. Below, we’ll cover an extremely simple, cross-platform method that will get the job done in just a few minutes.
The Revival Of Semiconductor Funding | TechCrunch
Over the past few years the semiconductor funding ecosystem experienced a downturn. According to the GSA survey, there were only five Series A semiconductor funding rounds and 10 exits in 2010 in North America, Europe and Israel. Most of the VCs who invested in semiconductors shifted their focus to software startups due to higher scalability, faster time-to-exit and low cost of failure.
SoftBank's first Sony smartphone deal takes aim at U.S. market
"I can't see this making much of a difference," said Deutsche Bank analyst Yasuo Nakane of the Sprint deal, stressing the importance of a deal with a major carrier such as Verizon Communications Inc - along with AT&T Inc one of the top two U.S. carriers - to get critical mass in that market. Sony offers an Xperia tablet through Verizon.
Evidence Grows That Online Social Networks Have Insidious Negative Effects | MIT Technology Review
But there is growing evidence that the impact of online social networks is not all good or even benign. A number of studies have begun found evidence that online networks can have significant detrimental effects. This question is hotly debated, often with conflicting results and usually using limited varieties of subjects, such as undergraduate students.
Sprint rings up the HTC One E8 for $100 on contract - CNET
As for color options, you can buy the HTC One E8 in either Polar White or Misty Gray with silver accents for $99 with a two-year service agreement. Alternatively, qualified Easy Pay customers can scoop up the phone for $0 down (plus tax) and 24 payments of $20.84 per month, for a grand total of $500. It's initially a Web exclusive, but Sprint said it will offer the phone in retail stores in a few weeks.
Why You Should Worry About The Cyber Attack On JPMorgan Chase
Security experts said the attack could have serious consequences depending on what information was taken. While banks typically reimburse customers for fraud, the hackers could use access to banks' computer systems to take out loans in customers’ names, commit other kinds of identity theft, or worse, manipulate financial data inside the banks’ computers, said Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer at Trend Micro, a computer security firm.
The Top 9 Things I Want To See In Windows 9
I am the longtime Managing Editor at HotHardware.com . I am also a freelance writer whose work has been published worldwide, in a number of PC and tech-related print publications. I have been a computing and technology buff since my early childhood. Even before being exposed to the Commodore P.E.T. and later the C64 some 30 years ago, I was interested in electricity and electronics, and still have the modified AFX cars and shop-worn soldering irons to prove it. Once I got my hands on my first Commodore 64, however, computing became my passion. Throughout my academic and professional lives, I have explored virtually every major platform from the TRS-80 and Amiga, to today's high-end, multi-core servers. Over the years, I have worked in many fields related to technology and computing, including system design, assembly and sales, quality assurance testing, and technical writing.
The untold story of how a culture of shame perpetuates abuse. I know, I was a victim
It was only after a decade away from Skipton that I was finally able to garner the courage to return and testify against my abuser. When I first told my mother about the abuse I’d suffered, she was absolutely devastated. The root of her anger was clear: I was heaping unbound shame on to my family by trying to bring the perpetrator to justice. In trying to stop him from exploiting more children, I was ensuring my parents and my siblings would be ostracised. She begged me not to go to the police station.
Tablet Growth Now Expected To Be Flat In North America And Europe This Year | TechCrunch
I think that if we had all sat around a table in mid-2013, and asked ourselves if PC sales would stabilize as quickly as they have, and tablet sales growth would slow as quickly as they have, we would have laughed at the idea. That’s not to say that tablet sales aren’t a large part of the consumer hardware market, just that they appear to one of more minor import than we might have anticipated.
Relive your childhood with streaming site Nick Reboot - CNET
Nick Reboot streams classic Nickelodeon shows 24 hours a day. The live stream is free to watch. Shows are shown in random order; upcoming shows are listed along the bottom of the page. You can also see what's currently playing and the next two shows on tap at @nr_schedule . Click here for the full list of shows the site streams from the 1990s and early 2000s.
Predictive First: How A New Era Of Apps Will Change The Game | TechCrunch
Over the past several decades, enterprise technology has consistently followed a trail that’s been blazed by top consumer tech brands. This has certainly been true of delivery models – first there were software CDs, then the cloud, and now all kinds of mobile apps. In tandem with this shift, the way we build applications has changed and we’re increasingly learning the benefits of taking a mobile-first approach to software development.
With New 3DS Model, Nintendo Continues to Woo Hardcore Gamers | Game|Life | WIRED
Losing the “expanded audience” that it once courted to great effect with simplified gaming platforms—whether to mobile phone games or Disneyland—Nintendo is now, at least in the short term, pursuing the high-end consumer with products more geared to their needs. That’s more buttons, more joystick, more RPGs and more oomph.
Vice Media sells a 10-percent stake to Disney and Hearst, valuing the company at $2.5B
Vice Media has broken off talks with Time Warner about selling a stake in the company to the cable giant, and now it has cut a deal with A&E Networks that values the new-media upstart at $2.4 billion
Absurd Creature of the Week: The 100-Foot Sea Critter That Deploys a Net of Death | Science | WIRED
The logistics of that seem, well, a bit complicated, if not entirely awkward. There are conjoined twins in our oceans, though, that pull off something far more remarkable. These are the siphonophores, some 180 known species of gelatinous strings that can grow to 100 feet long, making them some of the longest critters on the planet. But instead of growing as a single body like virtually every other animal, siphonophores clone themselves thousands of times over into half a dozen different types of specialized cloned bodies, all strung together to work as a team—a very deadly team at that.
Twitter Redesigns Signup Process to Entice New Users
Overall, the new layout is cleaner and the ability to see a suggested account’s sample tweet before committing to follow them is nice. But Twitter is basing a lot on its suggestions – if the first round of suggestions aren’t relevant or helpful, it doesn’t appear to replace them with further suggestions. Although, once signed up, Twitter does frequently suggest other accounts to follow based on who you’ve previously followed, what you’ve tweeted or search history.
Uber’s Biggest Danger Is Its Business Model, Not Bad PR | Business | WIRED
But the real peril to Uber isn’t bad PR. It’s the costs of recruiting drivers and what that says about Uber’s business model compared to those of traditional software companies. More drivers don’t equal more value added. They simply equal staying alive.
Two reasons now might finally be the right time for iPhone to gain NFC
Every year, we hear the rumor that the next iPhone will get NFC support and this year is no exception. However, there are two important differences that could mean the time is right for NFC in the iPhone 6.
Wii JRPG Xenoblade Chronicles coming to new 3DS
Xenoblade Chronicles combines science fiction and fantasy into an unforgettable open-world adventure. Players will discover expansive environments and deep character customization options as they delve into an epic conflict between the Homs (humans) and Mechons (robots) and uncover the secret of the ancient Monado blade. With richly detailed role-playing elements, Xenoblade Chronicles offers an extraordinary experience for veteran gamers and genre newcomers alike.
With the Huracán, Lamborghini Finally Learns to Refine Itself | Autopia | WIRED
My test model was equipped with optional variable ratio steering, which adjusts how much force is needed to turn the wheel, but also leaves uncertainty as to how much steering input is required for proper turn-in. It has a rubbery feel that makes sticking with the standard, linear rack a no-brainer (and you’ll save you about $3,000). Compared to the Gallardo, it takes a lot more to get the Huracán sideways. But once it gives up traction, its behavior recalls the wilder side of tuning, with a quick-yawing action aided by a chassis that’s been stiffened by 50 percent and lightened by 10 percent. Halfway through a turn, things can quickly go from safe to saucy. Especially in Corsa mode, a stab of throttle lays down enough power to break the tail loose.
Game Show Night at PAX Prime: 3 hours of hilarious filth (and prizes!)
Is your life missing a deep, soul-warping sense of depravity? Could you use a few chuckles? Enjoy game shows? Has Joystiq got the PAX panel for you! As part of a long-running tradition , our own Managing Editor, Susan Arendt, will be hosting Blankety Blank, a disgusting but hilarious take on the classic game show Match Game .
Join Susan as she asks audience members to answer simple fill in the blank questions, in the hopes that their answers will match the answers of the five game industry panelists, including Russ Pitts of False Gravity, Kathleen de Vere and Graham Stark of Loading, Ready, Run, Chris Kohler of Wired and Ubisoft community manager Dan Amrich. The event begins at 9:00pm Pacific in the Hedgehog theatre at PAX. Fair warning (especially if you have kids): The panelists' answers will be filthy . Like, wash your mouth out with Borax filthy.
Blankety Blank is part of a massive, three hour long super panel, Game Show Night. The whole thing kicks of at 7:00pm Pacific with Pyramid , followed by Jeopardy at 8:00pm and, finally, Blankety Blank at 9:00pm.
If you're not attending PAX this weekend, you can catch all of Game Show Night on Twitch right here .
Philippe Starck's latest bike design puts fur between your legs
Industrial designers love to be provocative almost as much as they enjoy being original. Fulfilling both briefs with a furious disregard for common sense, leading French designer Philippe Starck has this week unveiled a new range of electric bikes. Dubbed Starckbike and built by e-bike specialists Moustache , the new collection features four distinct styles, each with "specific ergonomics adapted to its terrain and field of exploration."
Alibaba Beefs Up Cloud Business
For Alibaba, any deal with Gokuai would be a minor one financially, given the size of funding Gokuai has so far received. A funding round in January 2013 raised 40 million yuan ($6.5 million) for Gokuai. But Alibaba’s interest in Gokuai, whose storage services are somewhat similar to Box Inc. of the U.S., is the latest indication of its bigger plans in cloud computing. Gokuai’s investors include Shanghai-based venture capital firm Gobi Partners and U.S.-based Sequoia Capital. Mr. Jiang said Gokuai has about 3 million registered users.
Every Parent Will Relate to Beyoncé's Poem About Daughter Blue Ivy
Grab a tissue, parents. Here's Beyoncé's poem, which will remind you just how much you care for your kids and why you want the world to be a better place for them:
The Best To-Do List Apps for iPhone
And we’re done! I had a lot of fun working on this roundup because I love lists! Although I’m a Wunderlist loyalist because it’s flexible enough to use for everything from daily tasks to recipes, I must admit that I loved the speed and simplicity of Clear for quick checklists. Did we miss your favorite to-do app? And what do you need from an app to help you get things done? Let us know in the comments.
MSN Messenger is Finally Closing Down
Farewell MSN Messenger. The iconic 15-year-old Microsoft instant messaging service for desktops will finally be laid to rest after its closure was announced in China, the last market where it remains active.
New Nintendo eShop releases: Layton vs Phoenix Wright, Mega Man X3
There's a good helping of eShop eStuff to tuck into this week, both on Wii U and 3DS. On the portable side, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright features two characters who were born to point together - check out our review for a more nuanced analysis. Also, Azure Striker Gunvolt pumps Mega Man-inspired side-scrolling action onto the 3DS, complete with Mighty No. 9 crossover mini-game .
Talking of the (original) blue bomber, Mega Man X3 coming to Wii U completes the Nintendo set of X games on the system. If you prefer your platforming a bit more vertical and underground, Steamworld Dig may be the Wii U game for you.
As ever, the full list of new releases is below the break. On the sales side, Capcom has a decent-sized one this week across Wii U and 3DS, and Splinter Cell Blacklist will be permanently reduced from $40 to $20 starting September 1.
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright (8/25/2014)
Mega Man X3 (Capcom, 1 player, $8)
Steamworld Dig (Image & Form, 1 player, $10)
The Fall (Over The Moon, 1 player, $10)
Donkey Kong Jr.
Gone Home going to Wii U, says Nintendo manager
For more on Gone Home , check out our review . (The Unite 2014 video is below the break as well as the text from the image for anyone who has difficulty reading it.)
Gone Home (8/2/13)
Looks like Nintendo let slip Gone Home is coming to Wii U. In his Unity 2014 talk, Marketing Manager Damon Baker said it was "confirmed" - check out when he mentioned the first-person adventure game at 6:50 in the video. We knew Gone Home was coming to consoles so if this is true, it's not a total shock. To be sure we've reached out to Nintendo.
PAX10 Humble Flash Bundle discounts the showstoppers
The PAX 10 Humble Flash Bundle is live for five days and offers a lineup of really cool independent games that have been featured at PAX Prime over the years. Up for any price you feel like paying is Badland Premium , Solar 2 , Containment: The Zombie Puzzler and Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony Deluxe Pack , plus a DigiPen three-pack including Deity, A Flipping Good Time and Solace . Pay more than the average to add in Fez and The Swapper . Throw down more than $15 and get Cannon Brawl (Early Access version) and Life Goes On , too.
Life Goes On is a selection in this year's PAX 10, while the rest are pulled from 2011 and upward. The PAX 10 Humble Flash Bundle supports, in part, Child's Play Charity.
We'll have all the news and previews live from PAX Prime 2014 right here.
[Image: Humble Bundle]
Multi-Factor Analysis Of Y-Combinator’s Summer 2014 Class | TechCrunch
In my previous article, I wrote about how multi-factor analysis of startups helps avoid decision biases such as availability — anchoring or the famous “herd mentality.” The merits of the theories behind this approach go back to the 1950’s. But based on the feedback our team received, we felt encouraged to share a sample analysis with everyone to explain the inner workings of the process. With that in mind, we ran the Y Combinator Summer ’14 class through our models.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook (black) review - CNET
Barnes & Noble and Samsung call the Tab 4 Nook the first Android tablet " optimized for reading ." That's a rather specific claim, but the tablet does a pleasant job of serving up text. The 7-inch display has a 1,280-by-800-pixel resolution, giving it a pixel density of 215 pixels per inch. You can get 7-inch tablets with higher-resolution displays without spending too much more -- and, annoyingly, the Tab 4 Nook is a step back from the 1,440-by-900-pixel (243ppi) of the company's 2012 Nook HD tablet -- but the screen on the Tab 4 Nook is fine: colors are reproduced accurately and there was no shifting when I tilted the screen at awkward angles.
This Man Is on a Mission to Turn NYC Into a Tech Magnet | Enterprise | WIRED
Still, despite his enthusiasm about these new developments, Iskold knows it will take years, and perhaps even a decade or more, to transform New York City into a true tech center. Silicon Valley investors, for one, still have the deepest pockets. And yet, he knows that the only way to grow the venture capital community in New York, is to build worthy companies first. “It’s a chicken or egg problem,” Iskold says. “In the Valley, you had the PayPal mafia and other people from 20 years ago with successful exits, who then became angels, and funded other companies. It’s a virtuous cycle.”
Ultimate NES Remix slides onto 3DS later this year [update]
Ultimate NES Remix infuses 3DS with the series' mashed-up tapas approach to revisiting 8-bit classics, starting November 11 in Europe and December 5 in North America. According to Nintendo's brief announcement the 3DS entry features content from 16 NES games, but the company didn't note if any of that content comes from the NES Remix 1 and NES Remix 2 games already out on Wii U. We've reached out to the big N to learn more, but for now all that's left to say is that it's coming to stores and the eShop, and it's priced at $30.
Meanwhile on Wii U, the NES Remix Pack compilation of the two released entries is coming to North American stores, and also with a $30 price tag.
Update: A Nintendo spokesperson tells Joystiq the 16 games represented in Ultimate NES Remix are the same 16 found in the original NES Remix , though it's unclear what form these revived 8-bit classics will take in the newer release.
NES Remix 2 (04/21/14)
IDC: Tablets sales growth to slow this year
After four years of double- and triple-digit growth, worldwide tablet shipments this year will grow by just 6.5 percent over last year, according to IDC. The research firm had previously forecast 12.1 percent growth.
Google tests drone delivery service in Australian outback - Telegraph
Watch engineers at Google trial their new delivery system that uses
self-flying vehicles to drop off parcels in remote locations
Hamline professor's post on student loan debt goes viral
Wearing glasses and an earnest look, David Davies holds a piece of paper on which he’s typed three short sentences. The first: “I am a college professor increasingly frustrated by the incredible debt I see my students taking on.”
How Bob Marley's Son Learned From Failure And Started A Multi-Million Dollar Coffee Company
I don't know about the other commentors but where I live in Canada just outside of Hamilton we have a coffee store called ecs coffee which has tons and tons of different varieties of coffee that are made for keurig and tassimo brewers, so basically its a keurig k-cup store. Anyway in my store they sell every box of the different varieties of Marley coffee and I mean EVERY box and that's the coffee I always buy so I guess I'm pretty lucky aha. I'm surprised nobody has found it as these ecs stores are all around canada and I can honestly say that Marley coffee is one of the best coffee's out there it's my favourite if you ever do find it like I did I highly suggest buying every flavour you see as they all taste amazingly different.
8TB hard drives have arrived
We're sorry to break the bad news, but that 5TB hard drive you bought last week? Yeah, it's already obsolete. Seagate has started shipping the first-ever 8TB desktop hard disk, doubling the 4TB capacities that seemed huge just a couple of years ago . If it's any consolation, though, this machinery isn't ready to go inside your hot gaming PC. Right now, all those terabytes are destined for data centers where capacity trumps every other concern; Seagate isn't mentioning prices, but enterprise-class storage is rarely cheap. You may want to set aside some money all the same. These extra-roomy drives have a tendency to filter down to the mainstream pretty quickly, so you may soon have more free disk space than you know what to do with... at least, for a little while.
10 Crazy Vacation Ideas for Thrillseekers
So if jumping out of a plane or chasing deadly storms sounds better than hopping on a cruise to the Caribbean or backpacking across Europe, a blood-pumping, adrenaline-fueled vacation may be just what you need to step away from reality for a bit.