Archive for November 28th, 2012

Windows Phone 7.8 features leaked – no release date

While Windows Phone has launched on a number of new handsets from Nokia, HTC and Samsung, we haven’t heard much news about Windows Phone 7.8, the OS that will be one of the final upgrades for the previous generation of Windows Phones. It was announced at the same time as Windows Phone 8, but has seen much less attention devoted to it and we still don’t know when it will be released.

It does look like that day is drawing closer, however. Leaks are starting to become more frequent, as we’ve seen beta builds of the OS, brief glimpses of the update running on the extremely low-end Nokia Lumia 510 and promotional materials of the same.

While the Lumia 510 brochure is in Finnish, it’s perhaps the most interesting source. It confirms that the Nokia Lumia 510 will include a new start screen, with small 1×1 icons (as we’ve heard before) and more available colour themes. More vitally, it also confirms that the 7.8 update will not be the last for the system. While the bulk of the Windows Phone 8 OS is new hardware support that simply doesn’t make sense to bring to older phones, it’s good to hear that at least the software side of the equation will continue to advance.

Chinese Windows Phone site Winp.ch managed to get a Lumia 510 of their very own to explore, and they report that the phone includes a new boot screen in the Windows Phone 8 style, live lock screen wallpaper and re-designed system apps (including Office, Xbox Games, Store).

The build number of Windows Phone 7.8 is 7.10.8858.136 – so now you know. The update has already been released to manufacturers, and hopefully will be made available in the next couple of weeks or months. So don’t throw away those Nokia Lumia 800 accessories away just yet.

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Review: Guns of Icarus Online Game

Guns of Icarus is one the best and the most thrilling multiplayer games that delivers real co-op and the most aggravating experiences.

On its deck, most have a role to play. Some will have to man its guns, steer the hulking bird and take necessary action when objects catch fire and alas go to hell. When individuals slack off or work haphazardly, the lives are over. In spite of few glitches and frustrations owing to inconsistent crewmates, there is still a level of satisfaction that occurs from handling an intense battle with the ships held together by chicken wire and duct tape.

 

Different Duties performed by Gunners, captains and engineers

From scrappy vessels to the flying sluggish fortress, every airship you choose features a distinct visual design, maneuvering and the deck layout. Duties performed here are categorized into three classes that will help in defining your role better. Captains have to indulge in maneuvering the ship while in battle so that gunners get great shots right from their position, making the orders as required, scouting the enemies to mark and flying the airship. But if you are a crappy captain you will earn yourself the ire with the possibility of spurring the mutiny. All the gunners in the scene are specialized in hot leads, pumping rockets and jetting fire into enemies. The Engineers here use handy tools like hammers, fire extinguishers and wrenches to rebuild and fix stuff that is destroyed when you are bombarded.

While duties of engineers, gunners and captains are entertaining stuff in their own rights, it’s all focused but very limited in scope. For instance, it hardly takes any time to get through different properties of each class, after a series of stages and you will realize and wish that you had more content to deal with.

 

The limitations

Right now, raking up in the class does not unlock anything or even have a major impact on the character. With different objectives around every stage, most multiplayer games are the same and the tiny choice of map locations are very well designed and are distinct visually.

Guns of Icarus does a great job in shooting the excitement of airship crewing in the motoring combat above the clouds. The rough edges demonstrate work in progress which is much more than visual bugs, finished games and the glitches around. The awkward actions are jarring, considering how polished and beautiful the game feels and looks.

Not considering proper tutorials to demonstrate how the systems and gameplay functions getting acclimated to different roles is slightly puzzling from the moment it starts However, a positive sign is that developer Muse is working full-fledged to improvise the game and increase content to make the game a better one, give greater experience and also get involved better. That is more fun but one would think that there is a long distance to be covered before the game reaches its final potential.

 

The final verdict

This game has a lot of attractive elements that few other rivals can match. It feels unique, very refreshing and gives a co-op experience. But in spite of the impressive execution and visual beauty, the game drags a bit and tests your patience.

 

Heather Protz, a freelance writer for USAheadlines.com – offers full home security to help protect your family, assets from burglary and other crimes. ADT Security Services

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Why your Christmas gadgets aren’t getting cheaper this year

Most of us eagerly wait for the festive seasons as it is accompanied by huge discounts over almost every consumer goods starting from clothes, watches, gadgets, computing devices, jewelries and many other such items. This trend of decline in the price of the consumer goods especially electronic goods has been recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the year 1998 i.e. the time from which the electronic goods began to be marketed at an affordable price that was acceptable to the consumers.

The Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics in United States has closely studied this downward trend in the prices of the electronic goods and has come to the conclusion that from the year 1998 till 2005 the decline in the prices of the electronic goods amounted to as much as 85% of the initial price of these goods. However, after 2005 a noticeable change is visible in the percentage of decline. From 85% the price decline figure reduced to only 65% in a matter of just a year. Moreover, in the recent time the percentage of price decline has weakened further and presently it is merely 6% of the earlier price.

The drastic fall from 85% to about 6% within a time span of less than two decades has led the economist and market analyst to wander the probable reason behind such a trend and they have come up with the following conclusions.

Economies of scale

Firstly, analysts are of the opinion that the economies of scale theory was primarily responsible for the declining price of the electrical goods since 1997. According to this theory the price of the goods are bound to fall as the production of the number of units of the same good increases. This decrease in the price of good per unit is primarily triggered by increase in demand.

When the demand for goods increase, the amount of goods manufactured also increases and mass production leads to the reduction of the price of the product. This is exactly what contributed to the decreasing prices of the electronic gadgets like mobile phone, laptops and all the high tech devices.

Wifi enabled phones, Bluetooth enabled phones, iPods, pen drives and other device that were considered unaffordable at one point of time were commercialized. Once the common people began to understand their value and dynamic utility, the demand of the goods increased leading to decrease in the prices of the products.

Explanation behind current stagnancy

So the question that is certainly going to crop up in our mind is: What are the factors that have contributed to the stagnancy in the prices of the electronic goods? The analysts are of the opinion that, in the recent time stagnancy is noticeable in the prices of the electronic goods because the manufacturers of these brands have reached the bottom line as far as their profit margin is concerned. The prices at which they are selling the electronic products right now are giving them the minimum profit. Therefore, there is no scope for further reduction in the prices.

These are the two important factors that have been pointed out by www.gadgetank.com which have contributed to the stagnancy of the prices of the electronic goods this Christmas.

If you have planned to invest in a gadget, then do it right away because this is the best price at which the electronic goods are being offered to the consumers.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Suffocating The World

In the U.S. alone, 280 billion plastic bags are used each year, which is enough to stretch around the earth nearly 30,000 times. Making and using plastic bags has more repercussions than you might think.

Click here to see the INFOGRAPHIC.

 

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New Angry Birds: Star Wars- A Review

Angry Birds took the whole gaming world by storm. The easy interface, along with an exciting and entertaining gameplay, got the attention of the world. The game was an instant hit and won many awards and accolades in the process. The successive games were disappointing though, with no clear evolution of the gameplay. Both games, Angry Birds Rio and Angry Birds Seasons, were nothing unique, and had the same game basically, with just a change of background scenery.

 

The announcement of Angry Birds Star Wars did generate a buzz in the gaming community. The game delivers on this front. The hype surrounding it has been largely justified by the new product from Rovio.

 

Star Wars

 

The game has essentially the same elements as the previous versions. The 2D platform, shape of the birds, and the pigs are all there. But the game is significantly influenced by Star Wars. The red bird, which previously didn’t have any extra power, now destroys the lines of the ‘stormtrooper’ pigs while wielding a cool light saber. As a plus, it looks like Luke Skywalker. All the birds in the game resemble one of the main characters of the movies. There is Obi-Wan Kenobi, Chewie, Rebel Pilot, C3PO and R2D2. Each character is uniquely portrayed through the birds.

 

Even the powers of the bird are fashioned around the movie characters. The Obi-Wan bird has the ability to knock down large objects or for that matter any other thing, by just tapping into the ‘Force’. The bird resembling the Rebel Pilot basically does what the blue bird previously did, but the catch is that they can actually do some damage this time.

 

The gameplay is essentially the same; you have to toss the birds around to destroy the villainous pigs. But instead of being birds, the characters are from Star Wars. The first world is based in Tatooine, and the second in Space. In world 2, you can see a pig-shaped DeathStar in the background. Despite the core being the same, the gameplay is highly influenced by the saga. Even the pigs wield laser blasters in certain situations. The Trash Compactor from Episode IV is also referenced in the games.

 

The performance of the game is as good as the previous versions. It runs smoothly on all platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows and MAC. The Millennium Eagle has replaced the Mighty Eagle, and it’s free now! You get a certain quantity of Falcons in each stage to use in combat. The Millennium Falcon is available to you, once you get a pre-defined number of stars. This simplifies the stages in which you’re stuck and can’t cross it.

 

Final assessment

 

This is the best Angry Birds game from Rovio, since the first one created splashes in the gaming world. The game is very addictive, and you can’t possibly leave it till you have completed all the 80 levels. The next episode is also on the way, and is based on Hoth. The game and the movie have been mixed very well and the resulting experience is well worth the time.

 

 Grace is an expert associated with Airsoft Guns and writes guest post for blogs. The author has written game reviews for various blogs and is an avid gamer.

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