Movies, Music, Video Games, Social Networks and Lifestyle News And Reviews

Product reviews and news of digital entertainment products and services in movies, music, video games, game streaming, social networks and lifestyle products.

Let's not tread lightly here, we all know how the stereotypical video gamer is portrayed on TV, and perhaps in our own minds sometimes as well -- overweight, anti-social, hyperactive (especially on chat), lazy, living in their parents' basement, and the unflattering list goes on. Just reference the "Make Love, Not Warcraft" episode of South Park to see several of those traits played out. It's amusing (the episode, that is), but are gamers getting a bad rap? Most definitely yes, a new survey reveals. First, let's talk about age and sex (as in gender). According to a study called "The New Face of Gamers" (PDF) by Lifecourse Associates commissioned by Twitch, the typical gamer is 31 years old and... Read more...
Unless you're willing to live out the rest of your life as a hermit, you'll notice there's a pecking order wherever you go. This is especially true among teenagers, but what might surprise you is exactly how their social statuses are determined these days. Instead of name brand clothes, which has been the case for many years, a teen's social status is largely determined by food and electronics. No joke! Piper Jaffray told the International Business Times that fashion apparel ruled the day in 2005, but "today it's food." That's a first in 13 years -- where a teen choose to dine out has a bigger impact on their social status than the clothes they wear. When it does come time to shop, Piper Jaffray... Read more...
Watch out all you instant messaging applications, Snapchat just learned how to send texts in traditional form. What started off as a disappearing photo and video sharing service is now becoming a full-fledged communication platform that combines fun and functionality. Suddenly it starts to make sense why Snapchat rejected two separate (and obscenely priced) offers from Facebook -- one for $1 billion and a followup offer for $3 billion -- which itself went on to acquired WhatsApp. The WhatsApp acquisition is working out well for Facebook so far, but as Snapchat grows, team Zuckerberg may regret not making a more lucrative offer, as silly as that might sound (we can't imagine it's easy to turn... Read more...
Just as Ricky Ricardo would often tell Lucille Ball in some manner or another, "Microsoft, you've got some explaining to do!" For the second time in less than two weeks, hackers representing the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) are taking credit for infiltrating Microsoft's Twitter account and posting messages warning people not to use the company's email services. The messages are almost exactly the same as the ones posted on New Year's Day when the SEA hijacked Microsoft's Twitter and Skype accounts, along with Skype's Facebook page. Those initial tweets stayed online for over two hours and were retweeted over 8,200 times before Microsoft took back control of its account on the holiday. Many employees... Read more...
We won't make fun of you if you decide to don a tinfoil hat, not anymore. A few years ago you might have looked pretty silly wearing one and been the butt of jokes, but these days privacy is no laughing matter, even if companies and our own government treat it like a joke. There's the whole NSA/PRISM thing, but did you know that Facebook can see statuses and comments you type even when you don't publish them? It's true and Facebook even confirmed it's able to track unpublished posts after a pair of researchers disclosed they had tracked the activity of around 5 million random Facebook users, the Los Angeles Times reports. The study focused on how often users would censor themselves while typing... Read more...
It's not unprecedented for mobile apps to receive billion dollar valuations. One need only look at the sum Facebook paid for Instagram, a mobile photo sharing apps that allows users to add filters to their photography. It's a simple app, but because of its widespread appeal, the developers earned a ginormous payday. Another super popular app is Snapchat. For the uninitiated, Snapchat is a photo and video messaging application. Users can snap photos, record short videos, and add text and scribblings before sending it off to one or more recipients with a timer attached. Those who receive the photo or video are allowed to view it anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds before it disappears. It's another simple... Read more...
Waking up to an annoying alarm is certainly effective, albeit a jarring way to start off the day. What if you could wake up to the smell of jasmine or a freshly baked cinnamon roll instead? If you own a smartphone, you can. A Japanese company has come up with a device that plugs into the audio port on your iPhone or Android device and pumps out certain scents during pre-determined events. It's called Scentee and it's being billed as a new way of communication with aroma. The device is shaped like a top and has a hole that blasts your chosen aroma. Currently the company offers scented cartridges for coconut, jasmine, apple, corn soup (no joke), rose, cinnamon role, mint, ylang ylang, curry, strawberry,... Read more...
A study from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University examining the factors that cause people to be more susceptible to phishing attacks found strong correlations between gender, certain personality traits, and openness orientation to social networking and being more vulnerable to such an attack. The three authors of the study, which include individuals from computer science; electrical and computer engineering; and technology, culture, and society areas, used the Big Five personality framework as a reference point in determining the traits that might contribute to a greater vulnerability to a phishing attack. The five dimensions are Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness, Agreeableness,... Read more...
There's just something about a delicious looking meal that compels people to whip out their smartphone, snap a picture, and upload it to a social network, like Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Your friends and family can instantly see what you're about to devour before you've taken the first bite. Such is the connected world we live in, though don't be surprised if you're told to put your phone away. According to a CBS report in New York, some local restaurants are banning photos of their food. It's not because the restaurants are embarrassed about what they're dishing up -- and if they are, don't expect them to admit it -- but it has to do with etiquette and ambiance. Double-Double and fries with... Read more...
If our eyes are the windows to the soul, then what does that make our ears? Doorways to our internal sound stage, that's what. But listen up, it doesn't matter how gnarly the guitar riffs your favorite musician is playing or how intense the in-game effects are, if your headphones aren't up to the task, then you might as well go back to the days of MIDI files Ad Lib sound cards. Second-rate headsets rob you of delightful high notes and brain rattling bass, of the subtle sound of footsteps when an opponent tries to sneak up behind you or the blast of a grenade you just hurled behind enemy lines. Conversely, a high-quality headset doesn't just upgrade the audio, it unlocks a brand new experience.... Read more...
Have you found yourself feeling sad, depressed, or even unusually angry lately? Maybe you need to stop checking Facebook for awhile. A joint study conducted by two German universities found that Facebook envy is a real thing, and perhaps as many as one out of three people actually feel worse and less satisfied with their lives after visiting the site. The researchers said that vacation photos were the No. 1 cause of resentment, accounting for more than half of all envy incidents. After that, social interaction was the second biggest cause of envy, as Facebook users compare the number of birthday greetings, likes, and comments to those of their friends. Do photos like these make you sad, depressed,... Read more...
If you've never heard of Snapchat, ask your kids about it, especially if they're teenagers. It's billed as a real-time picture chatting application, and that's exactly what it is, making it an ideal tool for so-called "sexting." Using Snapchat, you can send photos or videos to recipients with a timer attached, so after a few seconds (or however long you attach the timer), it disappears for good, or at least they're supposed to (turns out images and videos are recoverable). Snapchat has become wildly popular in recent weeks and has overshadowed Facebook Poke, the social network's own version of an app that automatically deletes messages. Facebook is home to over 1 billion registered users, and... Read more...
Earlier this month, AT&T began offering the Samsung Galaxy Camera, a 4G connected camera that runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The Galaxy Camera lets you connect to either a cellular network or a Wi-Fi network to share your photos and videos. While Samsung isn't the first manufacturer to offer a connected camera, the Galaxy Camera is in a unique position since it is currently being sold through a major wireless carrier in the US. Nikon also offers an Android-embedded Wi-Fi only camera, the COOLPIX S800c, which runs on Android 2.3. The COOLPIX S800c also features built-in GPS. In the past, Japanese companies have largely dominated the digital camera industry. That doesn't mean Samsung can't... Read more...
E-readers seem to be going the way of the netbook. And strangely, it seems that netbooks and e-readers both have a single product segment to blame: tablets. As more and more users found tablets to be a suitable, more portable substitute for netbooks, so have avid bookworms. Instead of springing for a device that just reads, why not pick up a multifaceted product like the iPad, Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 for just a bit more? Still, the e-reading market isn't quite dead yet, and indeed, Sony's still looking to make new headway in a maturing market. The new Reader, PRS-T2, was launched today. It's a 6" device that sleeker and slimmer than prior iterations, and it'll ship in red, white or matte black.... Read more...
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