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    November 12, 2015
    Final Fantasy’s Cloud Joins Smash Brothers

    Final Fantasy is one of the most highly-regarded series of video games that’s ever been released.  The series started out on Nintendo, then moved to PlayStation, and now they’re everywhere.  MMORPGs, video games, and all kinds of other things are now featuring Final Fantasy characters, and now one of the series’ most beloved characters is joining the most beloved fighting game around.  Final Fantasy 7′s Cloud Strife is joining Super Smash Brothers Wii U.

    The weird thing is that Cloud has never really been on a Nintendo platform, aside from an appearance on Kingdom Hearts for Game Boy Advanced and a couple of 3DS music games.  However, Cloud comes with a whole lot of fun extras, like Chocobo outfits for Mii Fighter, a Midgard-themed stage, some very cool fighting moves, and an alternate Advent Children costume.  He’ll also become an Amiibo figure at some point.

    It’s a sign of new cooperation between Square and Nintendo.  It’s also probably a really good move for both parties, sparking interest in both Smash Brothers and Final Fantasy.  After all, lots of sites, including this one, are writing about it.

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    November 11, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Fallout Diner

    Via NeoGAF

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    November 10, 2015
    Apple Music Hits Android

    Apple has long held to its walled garden approach.  iOS devices work with Apple services, and that’s pretty much the best way to do things.  However, a connected universe like that isn’t as good as being open to everyone, if only because adding multiple ways to let people take your money is always a great idea.  Apple has finally picked up on that, and they’re even bowing to pressure on mobile platforms, Apple’s current most lucrative areas.  Apple Music is now on Android platforms, joining the multiple platforms already available.

    Of course, Apple faces kind of an uphill climb.  Their app is only a beta edition, so you can only sign up for an individual subscription if you’re not already a subscriber; family account sign-ups need to be done from an iOS device.  However, as far as functionality is concerned, it appears to be the equal to the iOS editions.  You can still follow artists, listen to Apple’s radio stations, connect your music, make playlists, and all that good stuff.  However, it’s a little difficult to find on the Google Play store, unless you search by Apple and scroll some.

    Of course, if you’re not into Apple, there’s still Beats Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify, among many many others.

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    November 9, 2015
    Microsoft Reveals First Backwards-Compatible Games

    One of the biggest features of the original Xbox 360 was the ability to play old Xbox games.  That’s a great marketing carrot to roll out, because there are a lot of great games and it’s not always easy to remake or port them over to the next gaming system.  Without that planned obsolescence, it’s easy to increase sales, and Microsoft has been very cooperative with game developing partners in this regard.  It gets more difficult every time, but it keeps happening time and time again.  Microsoft has announced the first batch of backwards-compatible Xbox One games.

    The first collection of 104 games is coming out soon, thanks to some huge updates coming down the pike.  A lot of them will be Xbox Live Arcade games, but there are some AAA titles involved, like Fallout 3, Assassins Creed II, and South Park: The Stick Of Truth.  It’s going to be the first of a series of updates, with other games being added to the backwards compatible list monthly from a variety of publishers.

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    November 6, 2015
    Hands On With Apple TV


    I just spent probably 30 minutes setting up a new television box.  It promises a lot of fun features that I’ve been lacking previously, like on-demand television shows and ordering movies and connecting my TV to the Internet through my DVR.  It wasn’t all that bad, to be honest, but it was still a process.  Much easier is the process of setting up an Apple TV; it won’t let you connect to DirecTV, but it will do a lot of other fun things, like games and streaming media from iTunes and all kinds of other fun things.  Engadget spent a weekend with the new Apple TV and has a full run-down.

    One of the big surprises about Apple TV, at least for me, is how far behind the technological curve it is.  After all, Roku and Amazon Fire have 4K support on their newest editions, but for whatever reason, Apple TV has yet to jump into the future with the rest of them.  After all, 4K TVs are rapidly taking off, and 4K support is going to be something necessary sooner, rather than later.  I guess it’s all part of Apple’s plan to roll out 4K with the NEXT update of Apple TV’s hardware.

    Of course, the trackpad browsing is still not good–none of them are–but the voice searching has been improved, and it even responds to natural questions rather than boolean-type sentence fragments.  That’s always fun.

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    November 4, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Mac Windows

    Via Reddit

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    November 2, 2015
    Windows 10 Isn’t Taking Off

    Whenever someone updates something, people rush otu to get it.  if they improve Android or iOS, servers have to suffer with the load of millions of people trying to upgrade.  However, people aren’t as quick to update their computer operating systems.  I’m not sure why that is; it’s upgrading software, and any errors can be fixed pretty easily.  Still, I don’t rush out to upgrade my phone and people aren’t rushing out to download the newest version of Windows.  Windows 10 isn’t taking off like expected.

    Indeed, Windows 7 is still the most popular operating system on the planet, followed by Windows XP and Windows 8.  Windows 10 has picked up a little bit, growing slightly, but it seems that people aren’t picking it up even though it’s free.  Granted, if they’re anything like me, they won’t upgrade until after the first update series fixes a lot of the bugs.  With a big upgrade coming soon, I’d imagine that you’d see more people adopting Windows 10.  Not me, though.  I like the way my computer functions, and if I miss out on the upgraded software, I’ll be able to pick it up when I upgrade my laptop.

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    October 31, 2015
    Jones Soda And Target Bring Nuka-Cola To Life

    When it comes to weird flavors, nobody tops Jones.  Sure they’ll put out a turkey and gravy soda, but will they put out a radioactive one?  Fallout the video game series is known for its immersive play, its clever construction, and a great vision of a retro future where it’s permanently 1950′s suburbia.  One of the most fun things in Fallout is Nuka-Cola.  Brown cola or glowing blue radioactive cola, Nuka-Cola is the official drink of the wastelands, where its caps are used as money and the drink itself is chock full of regenerative properties (and radiation).  Jones Soda will be releasing a Nuka-Cola Quantum bottle!

    Of course, Jones’ Nuka-Cola won’t be radioactive.  Instead, it’ll probably be some sort of berry flavor (it’s suspected to be Berry Lemonade).  Nuka-Cola will be available in four packs at Target on 11/10/2015, which is the release date for Fallout 4.  Given the other fun collectibles coming out, like the real-life Pip Boy, this is a great addition to the growing Fallout collection.  Plus, of course, there’s the game.

    I just hope people don’t buy these just to horde them, but actually drink them.  Have a little fun with it, then maybe rinse out and save the bottle for future collecting?  I mean, I probably wouldn’t open mine, either, but… maybe buy two, one to drink and one to hang onto in case someone wants expired mutant soda in the future?

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    October 28, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday

    Via USA Today

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    October 27, 2015
    Facebook’s 2G Tuesdays

    Bigger, better, faster, more… that’s the law when it comes to Internet surfing, apps, and all the rest of the technology at use in the world.  However, if you don’t have the technology to make those kind of connections, the whole modern world is just going to be an excruciating experience.  Even on my current connection, I have problems due to things not being fast enough, and if you live in China or India or Africa, the modern Internet is just a constant irritation because it’s designed for first world users.  Facebook is having some employees browse on 2G internet connections.

    There’s a very good reason for that.  Facebook wants employees to feel what it’s like to browse the web on the type of connection most common in the developing world, where Facebook (and the global Internet) has a new frontier.  The employees connect to a simulated 2G network via their phones and feel how the other half lives.  That’s one of the reasons behind Facebook’s Lite app, and one of the reasons behind this experiment.

    “People are coming online at a staggering rate in emerging markets and, in most cases, are doing so on mobile via 2G connections,” says a Facebook statement.  ”On the lower end of 2G networks, it can take about two minutes to download a webpage.  We hope this will help us understand how people are using Facebook on slower connections, so we can build a better product for all of the people using it.”

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