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30 Ways You’re Addicted To Your Smartphone

by   

Smartphones are becoming an integral part of our lives, and not just for their capacity to make phone calls. Our smartphones have become our music players, our GPS systems, our photography studios, our link to breaking news, the way we entertain ourselves—truly they have become extensions of ourselves. Some might even say our smartphones define us, telling the world more about us than we even realize.

You probably have your own opinions about the different types of people who own an iPhone as opposed to a Samsung Galaxy or a BlackBerry. And what do you really think about someone when they pull out a flip phone? One revealing study found that over half of iPhone users tend to be optimistic about the future.

On the other hand, the same study found that BlackBerry owners may not be quite so prone to such optimism. Does this match with your own notions? Are iPhone users laid back trend followers and BlackBerry owners driven, type-A personalities?

More importantly, where do you fall into the smartphone personality spectrum? Does your smartphone define you? If so, what is it saying about you? Check out this fantastic infographic from Online Colleges for more information:

Sources:

March Multi-Screen Madness: Smartphones and Tablets Drive 20 Perfect of Web Traffic for First Round Games of NCAA Tournament, comScore.com, March 2012
Platform Differences in Smartphone Adoption, Pew Internet, July 2011
Play Before Work: Games Most Popular Mobile App Category in US, Nielsenwire.com, July 2011

30 Ways You’re Addicted To Your Smartphone

Tools For The Internet – This Blog Will Help You Explore Tools For The Internet

7 Great Android Apps You Can’t Get on the Kindle Fire

by  Brent Rose 

So, Amazon doesn’t exactly highlight this, but all of its Kindle Fires are Androids on the inside. Amazon slaps a heavy skin on top, so it’s not at all recognizable, but it’s Android all the same. Great, so you get access to all of the Android apps, right? Not exactly.

Amazon has strayed far enough from the Android path that it doesn’t have access to the Google Play Store (formerly the Android Market). And while there are 50,000 offerings in Amazon’s Apps for Android store, that pales in comparison to the 600,000 apps every other Android user has at their disposal.

A lot of what Amazon’s missing is junk. But some very good apps got left out in the cold. Here’s what you’ll be missing most:

Google Apps (obviously)

The Play Store isn’t the only Google-built app that didn’t make it over the water. Actually, none of them did. That means Google Maps,TranslateDriveEarth, Calendar, Wallet,GmailChromeYouTube, and others aren’t anywhere to be found among Amazon’s Android apps. Which is a shame, because they’re all the best at what they do.

Instagram

This isn’t a huge surprise since the original Fire didn’t have a camera, but as of now you won’t be able to browse your Instagram feed from your new Kindle Fire HD, either. If I couldn’t see what Jesus Diaz has for dinner every night I think I’d kill myself.

Groupon

Bargains! Good, cheap bargains on things you probably don’t need but damnit they’re such a bargain! Well, none of that on your Fire (at least not from Groupon). Although frankly, this might have just as much to do with the fact that Amazon owns a major stake in megacompetitor LivingSocial. Either way, Groupon’s a notable absentee.

Firefox

Firefox for Android isn’t perfect yet, but if you use it as your main desktop browser, you were probably psyched about being able to sync all of your bookmarks, browsing history and all of that good stuff. No Firefox and no Chrome? As good as Kindle Fire’s native browser is, it’s always nice to have options.

Games

Dead TriggerOscuraMinecraftGrand Theft Auto IIIOsmosShoot the Zombirds. All really, really good games. None of them available through Amazon.

Adobe PhotoShop Touch

Want to do some semi-serious photo editing on your tablet? Adobe’s PhotoShop Touch is the current benchmark, and it’s AWOL on the Fire. You can get PhotoShop Express, but it’s not nearly as robust.

Widgets

One of the banner features of Android is widgets. They provide super fast access to the information you want and/or instant controls for music, settings, or just about any program you want. They’re really handy, but they live on your tablet’s desktop. The Kindle Fire has ditched said desktop, so widgets wouldn’t make any sense.

This list is just from a short skim through the top Android app and through stuff I have on my phone. There are many others (Speedtest.net, for example). In other instances, they’ll have a free version, but not the more fully featured paid version, or vice versa.

Now, there are some options for getting these tantalizing forbidden apps onto your Fire, but none of them will appeal to the masses. It is possible to sideload apps on to the Fire, but doing so is a royal pain in the ass. And yes, it’s possible to root the Fire and have it run a custom version of Android, but most people can’t or don’t want to. More importantly, you probably shouldn’thave to. In terms of app ecosystems, Android is the hands-down winner.

Amazon may have more books and music than the Google Play Store, but here’s the thing: in Android you can just download the Amazon MP3 app, or the Kindle App, and then you have access to all of those Amazon titles, plus Google’s, plus pretty much anybody else’s. There’s no Amazon Instant Video yet, but with all of the other sources, you aren’t likely to miss it.

That’s not to say the Kindle Fires aren’t more than decent. They are! But remember that there are some gaping holes in its game—the kind that don’t show up on a spec sheet.

7 Great Android Apps You Can’t Get on the Kindle Fire

10 back-to-school mobile apps for university students

CBC News asks three app developers who are students themselves to recommend their favourite apps for school.

by David Thurton

With thousands of apps out there that students can download, which ones are the best for students?

With thousands of apps out there that students can download, which ones are the best for students?

Many students are heading back to school with smartphones and tablets in their backpacks, and there’s a host of free and low-cost apps out there that can make these gadgets even more useful for scholars who want to stay on top of their studies.

To sift through all these apps, CBC News spoke with three app developers who are students themselves and asked for their recommendations about software that can help people succeed in school:

  • Brennan McEachran is a fourth year commerce student at Ryerson University and is the CEO of Hit Send, a technology startup incubated in Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone that creates web applications for companies.
  • Hannah Mittelstaedt is a fourth year computer science from the University of Toronto. She has developed a number of mobile applications, including SoFit, a fitness app with a social media component.
  • Ben Docksteader is in his final year at the University of Prince Edward Island. He has created several apps, including Domain Hole that helps people find domain names. He is currently working on a medical application for stroke patients called StrokeLink.

Here are their top recommendations.

Quora

Price: Free

Quora

Website: http://www.quora.com/

Platform: Android & iPhone

A social media app, Quora is still building an audience. McEachran said what’s really neat about this app is that the users can pose questions to a core group of people who are knowledgeable about certain topics, and receive answers. McEachran said students can use this as a first-hand source for research projects.

“There’s a huge knowledge database. And it’s not like a boring library version,” McEachran said. “It’s a social collaborative community of questions and answers. And you can get some really insightful research.”

WolframAlpha

Price: $1.99

WolframAlpha

Website: http://www.wolframalpha.com/

Platform: iPhone

For students on tight deadlines looking for a quick statistic for essay or research, this app is another good place to start, McEachran said. Type in a question, and WolframAlpha can often provide the answer.

“Things like, ‘What the life expectancy of a 21 year-old male in the city?'” said McEachran, “And it will give you sources for that.”

Do

Price: Free

Do

Website:https://do.com/

Platforms: Android & iPhone

When it comes to organizational apps, there are so many to choose from. But this app that Docksteader recommends allows users to organize and set up their own or shared profile that allows students who are working on group projects or planning events to create lists, calendars, send files and even chat in the same app. It also syncs everything online at do.com.

“It’s not convoluted like a lot other platforms,” Docksteader said.

SpringPad

Price: Free

SpringPad

Website: http://springpad.com

Platforms: Android & iPhone

An organizational app that Mittelstaedt finds useful is SpringPad. But the app does much more than let you jot down ideas — it can save articles, record voice memos, allow users to snap photos and take note of their exact location at the time, and more.

“It’s a way to jot down a note and it just syncs it with your account,” Mittelstaedt said, “I use it at work when we have meetings.”

It also has commerce-related features that can enhance your notes with extra information, such as links to reviews and nearby theatres related to a notation you make about a specific movie.

Google Drive

Price: Free

Google Drive

Website: https://drive.google.com 

Platforms: Android & iPhone

Mittelstaedt doesn’t use a native word processor anymore, she uses Google Drive. The app launched recently by Google integrates storage and its Google docs cloud-based word processor.

Hannah uses the app save documents for school and it automatically syncs on her computer, in her online account and on her smart phone.

“With Google drive everything is just there. I even have the Google drive app on my phone.”

Prey Anti-Theft

Price: Free

Prey

Website: http://preyproject.com/

Platforms: Android & iPhone

At some schools, theft is a problem. Just in case that happens, McEachran recommends that students download the Prey Anti-Theft app and software on their smartphone or tablet (it’s also available for laptops).

The app allows users to track the whereabouts of a person’s device if it goes missing. It can also monitor who’s using the device by quietly snapping photos if the phone or laptop has a front camera, and can then send these details to the rightful owner. The app can even remotely command the device to issue an alarm or message notifying thieves that the device is being tracked.

“You don’t have to lose that two grand that you just spent [on a laptop],” McEachran said.

Spenz

Price: Free

Spenz

Website: http://spenz.com/

Platforms: iPhone

McEachran said that many banking apps don’t cut it when it comes to helping students plan their finances. But the fourth-year commerce student recommends Spenz, an app his colleagues designed at Ryerson and that encourages budgeting by asking users to log everything they spend daily.

It also gives people the option of adding their banking information through a twice-over encrypted connection.

“It kind of gives you extra incentive to pick up the cheaper thing and save an extra dollar, and go to Tim’s instead of Starbucks,” McEachran said.

Twitter

Price: Free

Twitter

Website: https://twitter.com/

Platforms: Android & iPhone

Twitter is a common app, but McEachran said students often overlook a really handy way of using it. He recommends that one of the most productive things university students can do is use their Twitter accounts to follow university staff and campus organizations.

Universities and colleges can be huge places and it’s easy for students to feel out of the loop, so he said he uses Twitter to get information that may not be readily available to students any other way.

“There’s a lot of inside tips that can save you a lot of time during your day if you pay attention to them,” McEachran said. That goes for things like finding classes and getting study tips, but he adds that another bonus is that when you’re in the campus loop, “You know where the free pizza is going to be.”

Penyo Pal

Price: Free

Penyopal

Website: http://penyopal.com

Platforms: Android & iPhone

Penyo Pal is a language app mainly developed for kids, but Docksteader said high school students and university students can use it too. It’s a quick and fun way to learn a little more about another language. So far the app is available in Mandarin and French.

“It’s cool because it’s not just a game, but it helps you learn,” said Docksteader. “Languages are the future.”

Flow free

Price: Free

Flowfree

Website: http://app.net/flowfree

Platforms: Android & iPhone

While there are apps for organizing your life and researching information, there are also apps that can help students unwind after a tough class. An entertaining app worth a download is Free Flow, Mittelstaedt said. The goal is simple – to get the highest score you have connect the dots with the fewest moves and mistakes.

“You have to connect these dots to fill a screen but it’s kind of addictive,” Mittelstaedt said.

Anti-distraction apps

There are a number of apps designed specifically to help people avoid distractions and concentrate on their work:

  • Anti-social: When it’s running, this Mac OS X app blocks access to social media sites, and any other sites you choose. Once activated, you’ll have to reboot your computer to unblock the sites. (Free trial, $15 to register it.)
  • LeechBlock: This Firefox add-on is designed to “block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day,” according to its website. You can choose what to block, and at what time of day. (Free.)
  • WAYD: WAYD is a program that sits in the Windows tray, waiting. After a set amount of time it will ask you: “What are you doing?,” using a big window that covers your entire screen. It’s designed to guilt you into concentrating on your work. (Free.) Alternatives include RescueTime(lite version is free, pro version is $6 a month),Klok (free trial, $15.99 to register), Slife (free) andManicTime (free).
  • Blinders: The Mac-based WriteRoom (free) and its Windows counterpart, Dark Room(free), promise “distraction-free writing” by paring your screen down to one function: Writing.
  • Pomodoro timers: A simple, effective time management technique: Choose a task to be accomplished and set the Pomodoro timer to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer). Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper. Take a short break. Every four Pomodoros, take a longer break. There are lots of downloablepomodoro timers.

10 back-to-school mobile apps for university students

 

The Classics: ‘Another World’

By Sam Byford

another world

There wasn’t anything quite like Another World when it was released, and that’s largely the case over two decades later. In an age where too many games teach rules by holding hands and tell stories by stopping play, Eric Chahi’s 1991 Amiga classic is all the more relevant. Ostensibly a Prince of Persia-style 2D action adventure, Another World set itself apart with its stark visuals, fluid animation, and vivid sci-fi storytelling. Transported to the titular other world after a lab experiment gone awry, you’re left to fend for yourself without any guidance. And you will die.

Another World certainly isn’t afraid to kill you. Indeed, many players will die within a couple of seconds of the opening movie; you wake in a pool of water and need to avoid a speedy drowning. Unlike most games of the time, though, you have unlimited lives and are free to learn by trial and (more likely) error. While some ofAnother World’s challenges may seem unfair by today’s cushy standards, they tend to operate on a certain shaky logic. Another common cause of death, for instance, is the scattering of leeches on the game’s second screen; make a wrong step and they’ll nick your leg, killing you instantly. Take this lesson into the next screen, where you meet a huge shadowy beast, and it should be pretty obvious that the only thing to do is run.

It’s a difficult game, then, but only sometimes a frustrating one; the simple controls and quick restarts keep you from feeling overwhelmed, and you can finish the story in an hour or two if you know what you’re doing. There are parts of Another World that essentially require you to die in order to work out how to progress, but that’s no different from a lot of first-person shooters — it’s a linear game in which the way forward is always clear, however trying it may be to reach. The mechanics are simple, usually revolving around a gun that vaporizes enemies, creates a force field, or destroys walls depending on how long you press the trigger. While Another World might seem opaque at first, it settles into a consistent rhythm for the patient.

‘ANOTHER WORLD’ LOOKS LIKE NO OTHER

That’s just as well, as you’ll want to see all the game has to offer. It’s amazing how well-realized the world is considering the hardware it was created on, but Another Worldclearly benefited from its single auteur. Chahi designed and developed the game on his own (though the soundtrack comes courtesy of Jean-François Freitas), which no doubt helped the painterly art style take shape; Another World really looks like no other, with its cool color palette, minimalist polygon characters, and rotoscoped animation. The animation in particular holds up well today, and the way the game seamlessly loops in cutscenes gives it a stylish, cinematic verve.

Photo_12-08-20_16_08_33

Few have tried to emulate Another Worlddirectly. Publisher Delphine went on to create a disastrous sequel, Heart of the Alien, and later Flashback used many ofAnother World‘s ideas in a more action-based context. Chahi, meanwhile, explored similar themes with the ambitious Heart of Darkness. Perhaps the game’s closest descendant is Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, which has the same blend of occasionally maddening 2D action gameplay in a rich fictional setting, but Another World‘s true influence is best felt in Fumito Ueda’s low-key, contemplative Ico. Both games involve two strangers traversing environmental puzzles in an unfamiliar world, yes, but there’s a deeper thread between them; Ueda and Chahi realize that the truly memorable video game stories are shown, not told.

Another World was released on countless systems throughout the 90s and beyond, but if you’d like to play it today you have two easy options. The 15th anniversary reissue for PC is probably the definitive version, with redrawn high-resolution art from Chahi and a wealth of extra material, but for portable play we’d recommend the excellent 20th anniversary edition on iOS.

The Classics: ‘Another World’

Play DOS Games On Your Mac In Style With Boxer [MUO Gaming]

By Tim Brookes

When it comes to DOS emulation, the general consensus around these parts is that DOSBox is the way to go. It’s free, completely cross-platform and runs virtually any DOS game or app you can throw at it.

If you’re a Mac OS X user interested in simplifying the process and making everything look good while you’re at it then you might be interested in Boxer, an app that wraps your favourite DOS games in an app-like wrapper complete with box art and the ability to just double-click and play.

The app is designed to bring additional functionality to those wanting to play their old favourites on a Mac, so read on if you’re a retro gamer who now calls OS X home.

DOS? On My Mac?

Boxer is a fancy front-end for DOSBox which packages your DOS games for easy access, straight from the Finder. That means no more loading DOSBox, defining the C: drive as a directory then using command line prompts to launch. There’s still something charming about that process, I agree, but Boxer gets rid of it all and adds a few other enhancements too.

The GUI is one of the most obvious improvements, making it easy to install, browse, modify preferences while still providing access to the command prompt if you want it. There are also a litter of Mac-specific improvements including extensive joystick and gamepad support, easy management of DOS drives, a screenshot function and the ability to paste straight from OS X into your emulated DOS environment.

Powered by DOSBox, the app smoothes over and beautifies the process so that it is more in-keeping with the rest of your OS X desktop. Having quick access to your games from Finder makes playing and backing up your collection easier than ever. Boxer also comes with some pre-installed demos, allowing you to jump straight in and test it out. I can’t really think of a reason why you wouldn’t want to use Boxer to play your favourite golden oldies.

Installing & Playing Games

Once you have downloaded the latest version of Boxer, simply mount the .DMG by clicking on it then drag the “Boxer” app to your Applications directory. Once you’ve done this, launch Boxer and you’ll see the main menu like in the screenshot below.

In order to install a game you’re going to need a game to hand. If you already own some titles then you might find that downloading them is an easier and quicker way of getting up and running from a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with Retina display due to the lack of both a CD and floppy drive. If your games are stuck on floppy disk, this might be your only option and there is nothing wrong with downloading games that you legally own.

For the rest of us then there are always abandonware collections which allow you to download old games for free. Abandonware is a grey area where many (sometimes incorrect) assumptions are made about a game’s copyright, so be warned you might be breaking the law if you go this route. There are plenty of bonafide freeware titles too, such as those found on DOS Games Archive and Liberated Games.

Click Import a new game and Boxer will instruct you to drag a CD, folder containing game data or a disc image into the area.

If the game requires installation (you can copy games that are already “installed” so don’t worry about this if that’s the case) then the window will change and invite you to choose an install file, which will in most cases be “INSTALL.EXE”. Once you’ve chosen a file from the dropdown box, click Launch installer.

You’ll then have to run the game’s installer, which will automatically open in a new window. Boxer makes it as painless as possible, prompting you to choose C: as your installation drive and Sound Blaster 16 (IRQ 7) if prompted for a sound card.

Once you have configured your sound, controls and installed the game (if necessary) you will then be returned to a command prompt where you can click Finish importing at the bottom of the screen.

After a brief moment Boxer will report that your game is now ready to play. At this point you might want to find a scan of the box art (though it is possible to add this later) and ensure the game is properly labelled. Finally you can click on Launch game to start playing.

The first time you launch the game you will notice a selection of executable files from which to choose at the bottom of the screen. Usually you’ll want to pick the executable with the same name as the game, and you’ll know you’ve got the right one when the game launches at which point you can choose to launch it every time to jump straight in.

While playing you will notice there are three icons at the bottom of the screen, the first of which opens the game inspector which allows you to change CPU parameters (to speed up or slow down gameplay), configure a joystick or use an iPhone running Joypad (it’s free) and retroactively add box art among other options.  There are also buttons to reveal executables and one that locks the mouse to the window (simply Cmd-Click to get your pointer back).

Conclusion

That’s pretty much all there is to enjoying classic DOS games under Mac OS X in style with Boxer. If you’re migrating to a different Mac then don’t forget you can simply grab your whole Boxer collection (which is found in your personal user folder) and move it across without losing any save data.

Play DOS Games On Your Mac In Style With Boxer [MUO Gaming]
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Knicks point guard Jason Kidd busted for DWI in Southampton after crashing into telephone pole

Kidd, the former Nets star and future Hall of Famer, signed a three-year, $9.5 million deal with the Knicks on Thursday.

By AND 

Southampton police said Jason Kidd, 39, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after his 2010 Cadillac Escalade hit a utility pole in Water Mill. (July 15, 2012)

Southampton police said Jason Kidd, 39, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after his 2010 Cadillac Escalade hit a utility pole in Water Mill.

He should have stuck to driving to the hoop.

Newly-signed Knick Jason Kidd was busted for drunken driving early Sunday after crashing his luxury SUV into a pole, capping a night of pounding vodka while partying in the Hamptons.

The 39-year-old hoops star was feeling no pain after crashing into a telephone pole in the Hamptons, police documents say

Article_jkiddclub_0715

Jason Kidd seen at SL East club before being busted for DWI

“Defendant did not know what had happened in accident,” a Southampton cop wrote of the future Hall of Famer in an arrest report on Sunday’s accident.
The front of the SUV was demolished, but Kidd complained of no pain after the crash that snapped the telephone pole off at the base, according to the accident report.
Kidd blew past a stop sign in ritzy Water Mill, L.I., about a mile and a a half from his $6 million summer home at 1:56 a.m. Sunday and skidded 25 feet into the woods, hitting several trees.
When cops showed up, he reeked of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet and had bloodshot and watery eyes, according to his arrest report on a drunk driving charge.
His knucklehead antics knocked out cable service to customers of his new boss — Cablevision and Knicks honcho James Dolan.
Kidd refused a Breathalyzer test, police documents show, and later refused chemical tests at Southampton Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries before being arraigned and released later Sunday.

Article_jkiddclub_0715

Jason Kidd at the Hamptons club.

“I saw him lying down, completely out of it,” said Gautam Ahuja, 34, who watched police shining a flashlight on Kidd. “I think he was just so wasted.”

Kidd Lucas

Jason Kidd (c.) his wife Porschla and filmmaker George Lucas at the Saturday benefit in the Hamptons.

Ahuja’s friend said she saw Kidd leaning against the broken pole.

“He was sprawled out,” the friend said. “He was sitting on the ground with his feet stretched out in front of him.”

Witnesses said the boozed-up baller sat there for about 45 minutes before cops arrived. The crash came just four days after Kidd signed a three-year, $9.5 million deal to bring his veteran leadership and point guard prowess to the Knicks.

Kidd was treated at Southampton Hospital and then hauled off to court where he faces a misdemeanor. He was released on his own recognizance after his Sunday morning arraignment.

“Jason has pleaded not guilty to a DWI charge and awaits further court proceedings,” said Kidd’s lawyer, Ed Burke Jr.

KIDD16S_6_WEB

Cops shut down the street as crews work to repair the telephone pole Jason Kidd struck while driving near Water Mill early Sunday morning.

A photograph published by TMZ showed Kidd about an hour before the crash bent over and being held up by another man as he left the East Hampton nightclub SL East. The website reported that Kidd left the club after breaking a light fixture he tried to hang from.

“He was in no condition to drive,” a source connected to the club told the Daily News. “He was not carried out, but he was definitely holding on to some friends.”

The future Hall of Famer’s wild night began Saturday evening at a benefit for R&B singer Ne-Yo’s Compound Foundation, a nonprofit founded to empower and inspire kids in foster care and group homes.

Kidd attended the “Fostering A Legacy” benefit with his wife, former fashion model Porschla Coleman, at the private East Hampton estate of William Nuti, CEO of NCR and Chairman of Sprint.

KIDD16S_5_WEB

Kidd and Ne-Yo (r.) at the 2012 Compound Foundation Fostering A Legacy Benefit in East Hampton.

The 10-time NBA All-Star tweeted a picture from the party of him rubbing shoulders with filmmaker George Lucas, who was honored at the charity event. Other attendees included Arsenio Hall, new Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson, Paula Abdul, and Kidd’s wife’s ex-boyfriend, Russell Simmons.

Guests were treated to Malibu Red rum cocktails throughout the evening.

From there, Kidd and Coleman headed to nearby SL East, a spin-off nightclub of the popular SL club in the Meatpacking District.

Coleman left the club — known for pricey bottle service and topless dancing patrons on weekends — without Kidd, who sources said was dancing and downing vodka.

While at the club, Kidd paid several visits to DJ M.O.S in the deejay booth. At one point, DJ M.O.S. gave Kidd a shout-out, telling patrons J-Kidd “was in the house.”

A source insisted that Kidd’s handler was driving the Escalade when they left the club. But cops said Kidd was alone in the SUV when he crashed.

KIDD16S_4_WEB

Paula Abdul (l.) and Kidd attend the 2012 Compound Foundation Fostering A Legacy Benefit Saturday in East Hampton.

A man who answered the intercom at Kidd’s home said, “Um, no,” when asked to comment on the arrest.

Lights flickered in nearby homes when Kidd demolished the pole, and neighbors lost cable and Internet service for about 12 hours.

“He did a lot of damage,” said a Cablevision worker dispatched to the neighborhood.

Ricky Soares, 55, who lives nearby said he was throwing a party when the accident happened.

“That’s when the lights went out for a second and then came back on … the TV was out. The Cablevision was out,” Soares said.

“It was a nuisance,” added neighbor Bob Lax, 76. “Cable, telephone and everything else went out. I went to use to the phone; it was dead.”

Donna Engelson, a grandmother, scolded Kidd, a father of six, for being irresponsible.

“Just because he’s Jason Kidd doesn’t mean he can drive drunk and cause a lot of property damage that we may have to pay for,” Engelson said. “He inconvenienced a lot of people.”

It’s not the first time Kidd has been on the wrong side of the law. He pleaded guilty in 2001 to a domestic violence charge stemming from an incident involving his ex-wife, Joumana.

He led the New Jersey Nets to NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003 before winning a title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.

As a member of the Knicks, Kidd was expected to mentor fellow point guard Jeremy Lin, who now appears to be headed to the Houston Rockets after signing a $25 million offer sheet that the Knicks appear unlikely to match.

Lin burst on the scene last season, captivating Madison Square Garden and sparking a phenomenon coined “Linsanity” as the Knicks enjoyed a long winning streak in the absence of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony. He started 25 games before hurting his knee, which caused him to miss the playoffs.

The Knicks had no immediate comment on Kidd’s arrest.

But Knicks fans said the incident should spur the team’s brass to rethink resigning Lin, a devout Christian, before it’s too late.

“Letting Lin get away is a bad idea,” said Cristy Cobb, 23, of Brooklyn.

Like many Knicks fans, Rashuan Kelly, 25, was prepared to give Kidd a pass for his off-court shenanigans.

“Hopefully he’s not injured or anything,” Kelly said. “As a basketball player, he’s one of the best to play the game.”

Some on Twitter were quick to bash Kidd.

“So Jason Kidd got drunk and hit a telephone pole and now he has a DWI charge?” posted Ms. B to the C. “The ink hasn’t even dried on your contract yet.”

Knicks point guard Jason Kidd busted for DWI in Southampton after crashing into telephone pole   

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Why London 2012 will be remembered as the social Olympics

IN DEPTH Beijing brought us HD, but London will be the chattiest games yet

By Jamie Carter

Why London 2012 will be remembered as the social Olympics

The torch relay has generated a lot of social interaction

Forget the sporting glitterati about to descend on our capital city – it could be the thumb-twiddling Twitterati that break new records during London 2012 at the most interactive Olympic Games yet.

As well as Team GB‘s biggest haul of medals for 100 years, Beijing 2008 gave us a hi-def Opening Ceremony and some streaming live video online.

In the four short years since China, things have moved on and London 2012 will be teeming with tech; Super Hi-Vision, live 3D TV and live broadcasting on smartphones will all feature. Perhaps most impressively, the BBC is planning to screen every single event at London 2012, promising that its record-breaking coverage – 24 live HD streams and 2,500 hours of coverage – will be available via the BBC Sport website on PC, laptop, smart TVs, tablets and smartphones.

Facebook has also launched its own London 2012 portal.

The BBC intends to broadcast up to 24 live streams from London 2012

Despite all those tech firsts, it’s the latter two devices that could make London 2012 an event where social media is as much a sport as the on-track antics. “There were no tablets at the last Olympics – it’s a completely new market,” says Carl Hibbert, a tech analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

“Tablets have proved a lot more engaging for video than the laptop, and during the Olympics tablet owners will be able to fire-up the BBC iPlayer at work to catch-up on the judo or weightlifting in their lunch-hour. It provides a new resource and touch-point for broadcasters.”

The tablet, however, is far from a passive device – and that goes double for smartphones, which will get just as much live London 2012 love. The majority of Olympics viewing will be on a TV, of course, but with ‘second screen’ viewing now common, the amount of Tweeting and Facebooking during London 2012 is expected to sky rocket precisely as a consequence of the BBC’s ambitious plans.

Is Zeebox the answer?

Anthony Rose, ex-Future Media Controller at the BBC and responsible for the BBC iPlayer, thinks the Beeb’s coverage of London 2012 needs a social media sheen not just for its own sake, but to act as a dynamic electronic programme guide.

“The BBC will have fantastic video coverage, but I don’t believe they’re doing anything in social media,” he says. “Imagine you’re sitting in front of your television and you’ve got 24 channels you could access – how do you know which is the one where Team GB is winning? Or which one your friends are watching?”

Twitter

Olympic athletes are set to use Twitter to keep us all in touch with Team GB’s progress

Rose’s tech start-up has therefore come up with Zeebox, a web platform and app for iOS and Android that was launched late in 2011. It attempts to turn live TV into a two-way, social viewing experience. Each user simply tells the app which package they’ve got – say, Sky+HD, Virgin Media’s XL bundle, or Freeview HD – clicks on the programme they’re watching, and information about popularity is shown along with Tweets about that show, news headlines and stories online, and even associated apps that can be downloaded.

“Run Zeebox on your phone or iPad and it will know, second by second, where the buzz is,” says Rose. “Suddenly everyone discovers that one of the events is trending, and you will see that – you can arrange your programme guide so that whatever is the most popular is at the top. The BBC will provide some fantastic live video, and Zeebox is a way of helping you surf that to find the most interesting one for you. Your can then invite friends, start a group chat, and follow celebrities.”

Fully integrated with Twitter, the celebrity angle – called Starwatch – is perhaps the most interesting. “If you follow someone on Twitter and they happen to use Zeebox then you can follow them and chat with them if they’re chat settings allow, and see what they’re watching, if their privacy settings allow,” says Rose.

The Zeebox app works as a decent electronic programme guide, but channels can be ordered by popularity

“Even if they don’t use Zeebox, if they Tweet about a programme that’s on TV now, our servers follow them – we follow about 1,000 UK sports starts and media celebrities and TV presenters – and show them on your virtual couch.” During London 2012 it will be possible to follow the athletes and TV presenters, and see their Twitter streams.

Hibbert thinks Zeebox, and social media in general, adds a new dimension to TV – and sport in particular. “Look on Saturday evening TV – it’s hard to go half and hour without appeals for hastags and Tweets, and I really think it should be pushed during the Olympics. You become an interactive person at a game,” he says, adding: “Social TV is very much in its early days, but the idea about being increasingly engaged in what you’re watching isn’t going to go away.”

The core of this approach works best for live ‘event’ TV, which is relatively rare away from live sport and the odd ‘talent’ show – especially with the popularity of hard disk recorders and time-shifting – but increased interactivity is also being used by online catch-up TV services.

For commercial companies social TV is a way of keeping us all interested beyond the live broadcast, and with so much on-demand content now available online, that’s crucial from an advertising perspective. “Maybe with tablets becoming more common it means a multi-screen experience, or an additional screen providing another video feed, live updates, or more stats,” suggests Hibbert.

“Maybe you’re watching the 100m race and you can bring up profiles of all the runners? The creative side of this comes into play – could broadcasters have a real-time game where you tap the screen to race against the runners? It’s all about achieving eyeballs and retaining interest in that piece of content after it’s aired, whether it be paid-for premium content, or advertising-funded.”

During May’s FA Cup Final Zeebox invited users to ‘be the ref’ by sharing their opinions (Foul! Etc.), voting for the man of the match on Facebook, and tweeting during the match using special hashtags to win tickets to the 2013 event. A similar treatment was given to the Champions League final.

“Every four years it’s promised that this will be the Olympics of something – of video on demand, or of HD – but it’s never changed dramatically, with most people watching the highlights each evening on TV,” says Rose. “This time London 2012 has the potential to be the first time that social media has played a decisive role.”

Why London 2012 will be remembered as the social Olympics

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Jamie Robbins: World Series Of Poker Main Event Final Table Or Bust

Robbins Looking To Improve On 2009 11th Place Finish
by Julio Rodriguez

Jamie Robbins has been here before and he knows what it will take to make the World Series of Poker main event final table. Now he just has to actually do it.

The 38-year-old former online pro from San Diego finished 11th in 2009, securing $896,730, the biggest payday of his career. But the day was bittersweet, knowing he came so close to becoming a member of the November Nine.

“I was card dead that entire last day and then when I finally picked up a hand with 14 players left, I had my aces cracked all in preflop against James Aikenhead,” said Robbins. “I remember Antonio Esfandiari was telling the table that getting that deep was a once in a lifetime opportunity. In the back of my mind, I knew that wasn’t true. I knew I’d be back.”

Robbins has already secured $62,021, but with a near average stack, he’s looking for much, much more.

“I’m final table or bust,” he admitted. “I said that on the first day of play and I’m sticking to it. Anything short of that goal will be a major disappointment for me. The money is great, but I need to be in that final nine to considering this tournament a success.”

Other than Sam Holden and Eric Buchman, Robbins is quite possibly the most mentally prepared player still remaining in the tournament and says that his deep run in 2009 gave him invaluable experience.

“I really learned about the fatigue factor that goes along with playing a tournament of this stature,” he said. “This is the time of the event when people start to fade or make bad decisions that they never would have made on day 1. I’m just playing my game, but I’m making sure that I’m well prepared for the grind, because right now, it’s the players who make the fewest mistakes that survive the longest.”

For complete coverage of the summer poker festival, check out our WSOP landing page.

Jamie Robbins: World Series Of Poker Main Event Final Table Or Bust

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Gambling addicts prefer poker machines to online or sports betting

By Miles Kemp

pokie

TELL US: Is it time to get rid of pokies?

FOUR out of every five problem gamblers in South Australia are addicted to pokies – despite the growth of online and sports betting.

A profile of problem gamblers treated by the Flinders University School of Medicine shows less than 1 per cent said they had a problem gambling online but 83.9 per cent admitted to poker machine addiction.

Flinders University Professor of Psychiatry Malcolm Battersby said experts did not know why a boom in sports betting and online gambling had not yet translated to an increase in problem gamblers.

In recent months, anti-gambling advocates have switched their focus to newer forms of gambling, especially the  promotion of betting odds  during AFL games.

They have criticised the use of gambling advertisements without legal warnings at AAMI Stadium, incorporation of betting odds during the Wimbledon championship on Channel Seven, AFL coverage on Seven and rugby league coverage on  Channel Nine.

Professor Battersby said the latest figures showed that the Flinders University service treated around 800 problem gamblers in 2010-11.

They reported problems with TAB gambling (10.8 per cent), casino games (3 per cent), Keno (1.1 per cent) and lotteries, private gambling and card games (less than 1 per cent). “People have said for a long, long time: `Look out, here comes a tsunami of people with problem gambling’ because of the new forms of gambling and we have not seen that yet,” he said.

“One researcher has evidence that while problem gambling in the newer forms of gambling is increasing, we are yet to see the increase in people seeking help.

“We don’t know why is the short answer. But like all young people, perhaps those who are taking up the new forms of gambling just don’t seek help.

“Around 20,000 people have a gambling problem in total but only 2000-3000 come for help.”

Professor Battersby said researchers still expected new forms of gambling would create problems. “The average time it takes for people to come to our service for pokie gambling is five to seven years, usually when they hit rock bottom or have some major crisis in their life,” he said.

Gambling addicts prefer poker machines to online or sports betting

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Nintendo 3DS XL review: bigger is better, but it’s still not quite enough

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Nintendo 3DS XL review Bigger is better, but not quite enough

If you like your portable gaming three-dimensional, clam-shelled and big, then Nintendo’s 3DS XL fulfills those broad, unconventional requirements. It’s a design refresh that more closely references bothprevious generations of DS hardware (and the incoming Wii U) — all while touting a substantially bigger, 3D-capable, parallax-barrier screen. Aside from a larger battery, the XL’s internals rehash what we first saw over a year ago: the controls remain the same, with no addition of a (mildly) hardcore gamer-courting second analog stick. For what it’s worth, the device does arrive with a 4GB SD card in-box (up from 2GB in the original), matching the approximate doubling in physical dimensions. 18 months is a long time in gaming,especially these days, and although 3DS sales have recently rallied against Sony’s latest, we reckon the 3DS XL has double the appeal of its forebear. We’ll explain why right after the break.

It’s a huge relief to see Nintendo return to the cleaner, tidier lines of the DS Lite and DSi. Gone are the awkward tri-colored gloss and the angular, bizarre shape of the 3DS. Instead, it’s now a simple, softly curved oblong, which looks more mature and considered. Closed, the 3DS XL’s matte finish wraps around both halves — and unintentionally reminds us of Sony’s Tablet P. Fortunately, the casing is far more solid than that Android tablet, and feels much slimmer. In fact the device’s thickness feels (and measures) roughly equal to the 3DS, despite the explosion in screen size, improved battery life and a 46 percent weight increase to 336g (11.85 ounces).

Nintendo 3DS XL review Bigger is better, but not quite enough

While gamers with smaller paws may not agree, the 3DS XL feels more at home in-hand than the 3DS — not to mention, it looks a good deal classier than what came before. Thanks to those rounded corners, the device doesn’t dig into your palms like its slightly squarish predecessor. The circle pad is still supremely comfortable, just the right side of tactile, while the faithful Nintendo button medley and D-pad still do the trick.

Even more than what’s changed, it’s what’s still missing that baffles us. Given that the 3DS has been furnished with a secondary analog stick through a slightly unwieldy peripheral, we don’t understand why they couldn’t have embedded one into the 3DS XL — certainly, it’s not for lack of space. Our review sample arrived with Resident Evil: Revelations in the slot — a game that’s not very forgiving without that second stick. It’s also worth adding that while the plastic stylus on the bigger hardware remains functional enough, we miss the classy, extendable chrome pen that arrived in the original 3DS. The collar buttons are just as responsive as Nintendo’s preceding handhelds. And if you weren’t a fan of the cheap-looking button trio underneath the secondary screen, you’ll be glad to hear that the odd bar has been replaced by three more standard-looking — and feeling — buttons. The SD slot has been repositioned to the right edge, meaning that Nintendo’s sticking with standard removable storage. There’s also now a horizontal cubby for the aforementioned stylus, referencing the DS Lite and DSi of gaming past.

Displays

DNP Nintendo 3DS XL review Bigger is better, but it's still not quite enough

Bigger is better. Maybe it’s our review-jaded eyes, but the larger, 4.8-inch screen (just shy of the width of the PlayStation Vita, although slightly taller) seems to make the 3D effect less taxing, not to mention more immersive. The similarly expanded secondary screen also offers more real estate for touch-heavy titles. The pair of screens, however, still looks a little incongruous, each boasting different sizes and dimensions. While matching the humble resolutions found on the original, we found the screens both had comparable (if average) viewing angles. The main screen may be 1.8 times larger, but it packs the same 800 x 240 resolution of last year’s model — now spread a little thinner, with the more typical ‘flat’ 320 × 240 display also unchanged on the secondary.

Purely number-wise, it doesn’t sound impressive to anyone spoiled by Retina displays and the like. The screens on the original weren’t the sharpest back then, but the jagged edges on fonts and detail is noticeably more pronounced on the bigger model. It goes without saying that the Vita’s screen is a stronger performer, both visually and technically (being capacitive and all). We presume this is why Nintendo imposed filming and photography restrictions on its reviews for the 3DS XL, even though pixel math dictates that the bigger screen won’t look so hot close-up. Even if the 3DS XL doesn’t win on crispness, however, Sony’s onyx wonder can’t — and never will — output 3D content.

Software

So apart from size, the hardware hasn’t changed that much. The same can be said for the software, but it’s a good chance to see how Nintendo’s embraced online content and gaming in the midst of strong smartphone contenders. Since launching last March, Nintendo’s baked-in software, including eShop, Spot Pass, Mii Plaza and online functions, have had time to grow and it’s particularly noticeable when it comes time to interact with other users. During the first few months of use, you weren’t going to pick up many Mii visitors — not unless you were hanging around gaming writers, tech bloggers and importers, anyway.

DNP Nintendo 3DS XL review Bigger is better, but it's still not quite enough

Now, whether we flit across the country by train or park somewhere in center city, we pick up new Miis — and accessories — in the process. Admittedly, the games that tie into this social component really aren’t worth your time, but the simple process of connecting with other users — and being notified of it — still makes us smile. The uncomplicated approach makes online gaming a cinch. With access to WiFi, we could connect in-game with a single option selection and would soon be battling strangers with far greater skills than we could ever muster. The friend PIN system also allows you to connect with real-life competitors.

The augmented reality games are still baked into Nintendo’s newest portable, although they haven’t moved on in any way. If you’ve played with them on the original, you’re getting the same deal again here. The Nintendo eShop has expanded its offerings since we last opened our online wallets for the 3DS launch, with its wares separated out for ease of navigation. “In Stores” houses demos of incoming 3DS titles, and is presumably where the full-length games will be housed in the near future. Next is the Virtual Console, wrapping up NES, GameBoy, GameBoy Color and (gasp) Game Gear titles for anyone over 20 to replay again. It’s joined by software and mini-game channels and a recommended videos collection. Unfortunately, the likes of Netflix and Hulu weren’t available on our review model here in the UK and overall it’s still not as good as it could be. While it does give taste of how content will be sold through Nintendo in the future, we’d like those to be available now, not in another two months.

Battery life

DNP Nintendo 3DS XL review Bigger is better, but it's still not quite enough

Nintendo reckons you’ll see around three to six and a half hours of gameplay from 3DS titles, and between five and eight for simpler DS games. In our experience, we managed an average of four hours of playtime in full-fat gamer mode, with the 3D switch and brightness cranked up to maximum, WiFi connected and around two hours of online play folded into our test. As even Nintendo forewarns on the console, how the 3DS XL is used has a huge impact on total runtime. Switch off the 3D mode, dabble with older DS titles and retro hits, and you’ll see a substantial improvement in battery life. We did just that, also switching on battery saver mode and dropping brightness down to the middle setting, and got closer to nine hours of playtime — it’s a substantial improvement but obviously means limiting your gamer habits to some extent.

Transitioning

DNP Nintendo 3DS XL review Bigger is better, but it's still not quite enough

Nintendo’s explanation for the lack of an AC adapter in both European and (some) Asian countries is that most buyers will be coming from older hardware — naturally. Thus, buried in the settings menu, is the option to transfer your content — like your digital purchases — across from original 3DS consoles and the DSi. You’ll need both devices and an SD card to get it done, and it feels like an exercise in frustration compared to the effortless systems in place for other gaming challengers like Google Play, which allows you to house your purchases on multiple devices without so much hassle.

Wrap-up

DNP Nintendo 3DS XL review Bigger is better, but it's still not quite enough

After playing with the 3DS XL, we returned to the original only to find it difficult and awkward to use in comparison. The new size is an improvement in so many ways, including ergonomics and playability. The bigger screen makes 3D gaming less tiring, and offers a larger sweet spot for Nintendo’s all-important gaming effect, while the curved edges simply fit your hands better. Competition remains tough, however. The Vita remains clearly ahead technically, while Nintendo banks on its strong in-house software team to bring in the customers. Pitch Resident Evil: Revelations against Uncharted, or Super Street Fighter IV 3D against Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, and it’s clear to see on those big ole’ portable screens which has the most potent hardware. But if you’ve been waiting out for a 3DS Lite before taking the plunge into 3D waters, then we can’t help but recommend Nintendo’s latest. We just hope the company can give its online content offering a shot in the arm soon, as it’s really starting to age the hardware.

Nintendo 3DS XL review: bigger is better, but it’s still not quite enough

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