Tuesday, January 15, 2013
It's almost a truism to say that the Nexus 4 is near impossible to buy, at least for those who don't want to pay a carrier premium. G33k3r, Rohan32 and others at XDA-Developers may just save us from camping at the Google Play storefront through a new software hack. Their work converts an LG Optimus G's firmware to that of an 8GB Nexus 4 by swapping every LG-customized software element with a Nexus 4 parallel. The nearly identical hardware makes for a very close rendition, at least if you discount the unavoidable design differences. If anything, the work is almost too faithful: the current hack turns off LTE, caps the internal storage at 8GB and even requires using Nexus 4 firmware for future upgrades. It's possible to revert to LG's code if there's jitters, but it goes without saying that the overall procedure carries more than the usual share of risk when even familiar ROM flashers are warned to be careful. Anyone who throws caution (and the price of an Optimus G) to the wind can find their stock Android experience at the source.
In this episode of "What could possibly go wrong?!", allow us to introduce you to DCM Dealer. Billed as an "online trading platform," this here project was whipped up by the same London-based investment outfit (DCM Capital) that went belly-up after losing some $40 million in assets in just one month during the summer of 2011. Granted, that was a pretty tough time in the market, and it did manage to squeeze out a 1.9 percent gain in the period it was open, but it's still worth keeping in mind. Now, the firm is hoping to catch a second wind with a tool that mines Twitter, Facebook, and the whole of social media in order to pick up clues about the public's view on a stock. Reportedly, it'll spit out real-time ratings from 0 (negative) to 100 (positive), giving investors yet another "leading indicator" on what to
invest in flip for a quick buck.
Founder Paul Hawtin confesses: "This is not some kind of holy grail of buy-sell signals that's guaranteed to make you money. This is an additional layer of market information...markets are driven by greed and fear, so if you can understand fear and quantify it in real-time, you could use that to protect yourself." We'll leave it to the 99 percent to comment on the idea below.
Not content to dominate internet search in China alone, Baidu and France Telecom's Orange are partnering to capitalize on African and Middle Eastern markets as well. Today they launched a co-branded version of Baidu's browser on France Telecom's Egyptian operator MobiNil -- it's essentially the same as the one released last year for the Chinese market but in English / Arabic instead (a French version is also coming). The browser is a pre-installed app on carrier-sold smartphones and features bookmarks for Orange and Baidu services. According to Orange, smartphone adoption in the region has become widespread due to the increased availability of 3G networks -- demand apparently doubled in Egypt in the second half of 2012 alone. With nearly 80 million potential customers at hand, Baidu could certainly give Google a run for its money yet again. You can peek at the full PR after the break.
Via: The Next Web
Monday, January 14, 2013
Opting for an angst-filled, emo-punk Dante instead of the classic dark-gothic Dante, Capcom?s new game reboots the venerable Devil May Cry franchise and tackles a different side of the demon-angel hybrid than we?ve seen before. He?s funny, slick, powerful, and rather carefree about everything but his mission to stop a deranged psychopath from taking over the world. You know, the small stuff.
Dante?s back and, thankfully for us, he?s at his best. When we first meet him, it?s clear that he?s not the same Dante we?ve seen in previous releases. He?s less of a gothic demon hunter and more of a hard partier, the kind that all the ladies dig (as the game continually points outs.) He has this way about him that screams confidence, one that carries over into his unique style of combat.
While the style might be unique, it doesn?t stray far from classic Devil May Cry and works exceptionally well. Combat flows along at a smooth clip and there aren?t any dead moments, unlike past Devil May Cry games. This time it?s all action, all the time, especially after you progress through the story and unlock more weapons. Once you have a few different tricks up your sleeve, switching between different weapons and powers becomes second nature and key to stringing together combos necessary to take out some of the more difficult enemies, especially when they spawn in groups.
The environments are beautifully rendered; each area feels unique and different than the last while still adhering to the basic level design present throughout. Platforming is a necessity in Devil May Cry, both to advance the story and collect the surprising variety of tchotchkes littered throughout the game.While you will encounter plenty of hidden collectables throughout the story, the most notable are keys scattered throughout the levels which allow access to hidden time trials found throughout the game. They?re all rather simple, but thanks to leaderboard integration, it can be worth replaying each one a few times to snag the top spot among your friends.
It's important to note that while the game looks great, while playing the PC version of Devil May Cry I ran into a few notable issues. Some textures appeared muddy and seemed to pop in at odd moments, but that wasn?t nearly as big of an issue as the massive screen tearing during cutscenes (especially during early sections of the game) that made it difficult to focus on what was going on. The PC version also doesn't evince much of a graphical improvement over the Xbox 360 version, making it clear that the console version of DmC is probably the ideal version to play.�
Despite those (minor) issues, the game looks great and the sound design really stands out. Not only is there a great score to go along with the pacing and action, but the evolution of Dante as a character seems to be reflected in the overall soundtrack, which accompanies your actions with a diverse range of music encompassing a punk/dubstep vibe that imbues the protagonist (and the game) with more depth of character.
Along with this new Dante and his attitude comes a story that strives to match it, which allows for hilarious boss fights in which Dante and the boss yelling curse words at each other until one of them finally gives up. That sense of sardonic satire sticks around for the entire game, but Devil May Cry manages to keep it under control and avoid going over the top.
While the story isn?t the longest, clocking in somewhere around 10 to 12 hours across 20 missions, it is extremely well-paced and never feels artificially lengthy, which is exceptionally rare these days for an action-adventure title. The mission structure splits and seems a bit odd at first, but it actually works pretty well once you get used to it, giving definitive ends to story sequences while driving you towards the finale.
So far we have a new Dante, new tone, funny curses, and non-stop action, but the best part of all is just how much fun DmC manages to be. It struck the same chords that Asura?s Wrath did last year, opting for fun and outrageousness over everything else, and it excels because of that. It doesn?t take itself too seriously while still maintaining respect for the series, and that?s key.
DmC: Devil May Cry succeeds in re-imagining the angel-demon hybrid while capturing everything that made the original series so great. Sure, Dante might look a little different and have funny hair, but he?s brutal as ever and still looks undeniably cool firing dual pistols upside-down in a rainstorm of bullets. Even with a few technical hitches, I never encountered anything gamebreaking that soured my experience. After a long run of mediocre releases in 2012, DmC: Devil May Cry might be just what Capcom needs to get back on track.