Shopping for New Software

Q. Why are some programs not available in the software app stores, even if I know they exist? If I find them anyway, are they safe to install?

A. The “app store” approach to distributing software, which downloads the program directly to the device (or computer), is a convenience for consumers, but not every developer chooses to sell work that way. For one, the bigger electronic marketplaces run by Apple, Google and Microsoftplace technical restrictions on what a program can and cannot do once it is installed, and some software creators do not wish to abide by those rules.

Photo

Desktop app stores are one easy way to find, buy and install programs for your computer, but you can still purchase software from other sources. CreditThe New York Times

Other developers may also balk at registration fees and the revenue-sharing policy of an online app emporium. Apple, Google and Microsoft often take a 30-percent cut of the sales in their app stores, although some in-app subscriptions now require only 15 percent of the overall price as payment.

Certain programs you seek may not be available for other reasons, like regional restrictions or the creator pulling a program from the store. If you are looking for an app you know exists, make sure any parental-control settings on your device are not blocking you from seeing the software.

Apps approved for sale in Apple’s App Store (and Mac App Store), the Google Playstore and Microsoft’s Windows Store have presumably been screened for quality and security, which is one advantage to buying programs there. While it often takes some extra work, manually installing third-party apps from unofficial sources is possible; the practice is also known as sideloading.

In some cases — particularly with Apple’s devices — you may need to “jailbreak” or “root” your gadget to override the manufacturer’s protections and install unauthorized software. Proceed at your own risk, however, as manufacturers warn this may lead to security issues and possibly a voided warranty.

Long before smartphones and tablets arrived, developers were selling their wares as downloads from their websites or offering them in software repositories (like those used by many Linux distributions). You can still install many desktop programs this way. Just make sure that the seller is legitimate and that the security software on your computer is activated and up-to-date.

[Source”GSmerena”]

Luc Besson Talks ‘Avatar’ Inspiration at ‘Valerian’ Premiere

I just want to do something different because that’s what I want as a moviegoer, I want something fresh and new,” the director told THR.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets director Luc Besson, who on Monday walked the black carpet at The Chinese Theater, gave credit to James Cameron’s Avatar as a main source of his inspiration.

Castmembers Cara Delevingne, Dane DeHaan and Rihanna joined the filmmaker at the Hollywood event to preview his latest sci-fi creation.

After seeing Valerian for the first time, Besson described to The Hollywood Reporter his initial reaction at the final product: “I was surprised. I didn’t expect that we could be at this high level of definition and creativity.”

He added that Valerian was a project he wanted to stand out and also create an entirely new way audiences see sci-fi and comic-inspired stories.

“If you want to come up with something, if you’re pretentious enough to say, ‘I’m coming with something new,’ come with something really new and different,” said Besson. “I’d rather take the risk that people watch the film and are blown away and get lost because there is so much, but I don’t want to do the things that we see almost every week now. I just want to do something different because that’s what I want as a moviegoer, I want something fresh and new.”

“Luc’s imagination is so incredible and the fact that technology has finally caught up to that, [it’s] the ultimate summer movie,” DeHaan told THR on the black carpet.

[Source”GSmerena”]

Clips now features Disney and Pixar characters and new graphic overlays

Clips, Apple’s easy-to-use video creation app for iOS, is getting an update today that includes dozens of new graphic overlays and posters, plus usability improvements that make it even easier to turn video clips and photos into fun, expressive videos on iPhone and iPad.
Users can now add classic Disney and Pixar characters to their videos. Clips 1.1 features animated overlays of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck. The app also includes characters from Pixar’s Toy Story and Inside Out, so users can choose to star with Woody or Jessie, or show their emotions with Joy, Fear and others. To complement the collection of characters, new Disney-designed posters can be added to videos as playful title cards to help tell a story.
Clips also adds 10 new Apple-designed overlays and 12 posters that feature dramatic graphics, beautifully rendered backgrounds and customizable animated text. From glistening water to slow motion billowing smoke and 3-D pop-up art, the new poster designs bring more versatility to iOS video creation.
[Source”GSmerena”]

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle India Price Announced

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle India Price Announced

Earlier Gadgets 360 reported that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle for Nintendo Switch will be officially released in India. Now the game finally has a price too. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is Rs. 3,499 in India. There’s a collector’s edition too that will set you back by Rs. 5,999. Specialist games retailer Games The Shop has listed Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle for the Nintendo Switch with an August 29 release date that’s inline with the rest of the world.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Collector’s Edition for Nintendo Switch

  • The complete game on cartridge
  • A six-inch figurine of Rabbid Mario by UbiCollectibles
  • A set of physical collector’s cards
  • The original soundtrack on CD

In the past, Nintendo Switch games such as Cars 3: Driven To Win – which was the first official Nintendo Switch game available in India, sported a Rs. 2,499 price tag. For comparison’s sake, new games on the PS4 and Xbox One are usually in the range of Rs. 3,499 to Rs. 4,299.

Games The Shop is owned by E-xpress — India’s biggest distributor for video games. E-xpress is the India distributor for game publisher Ubisoft. With the publishing duties for the game in the hands of Ubisoft rather than Nintendo and with Ubisoft having an official India presence, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is the first Mario game on the Nintendo Switch to be made officially available in the country.

This isn’t the first time a distributor has made a game officially available in India for a console that hasn’t had a release through its manufacturer. We’ve seen this with the Nintendo DS and 3DS getting Pokemon games via Sunder Electronics and Nintendo Wii titles from E-xpress and the now defunct Milestone Interactive in the past.

As for the Nintendo Switch itself? Gadgets 360 understands that the console is selling steadily online and offline sourced via parallel imports. Nintendo’s absence has been far from a detriment. Hopefully, Indian distributors and game publishers bring more of their games to the platform in the future.

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Pokemon Go Gets a Big Update Ahead of Fest Events

Pokemon Go Gets a Big Update Ahead of Fest Events

Niantic, developer of the smartphone game Pokemon Go, announced a update for the game ahead of the Pokemon Go fest being held to mark the game’s first anniversary. This update adds several small but useful features to the game. The update should be available for both Android and iOS before the fest begins this weekend. The latest update to Pokemon Go is labelled version 0.69.0 on Android and 1.39.0 on iOS. As always, the developers have released some information about the update on Pokemon Go’s website and enthusiastic players have already begun an APK teardown to see what else is there in the update.

According to the developers’ release notes, the new version of Pokemon Go allows trainers to spin the photo disc at a gym after completing a Raid Battle. This gives you the opportunity to collect items from the gym immediately after a Raid Battle — in case you didn’t do so before the battle.

If your Pokemon are defending gyms, you can now send them some Berries even if you’re not near the gym. This can be done through the info screen, but remember that this method isn’t as effective at raising the motivation levels of your Pokemon as giving them Berries while you’re physically present at the gym. You can also give Pokemon Berries even if their motivation meter is full. That’s an alternative way to dispose of your Berries instead of just throwing them away if your bag is full.

Other minor features include new icons that show how the Pokemon was caught — this will let you see if you caught the Pokemon via a Raid Battle, while exploring, or via an egg. The search functionality has also been improved on the Pokemon Collection screen.

There are several bug fixes as well in this update. Issues such as Pokemon not being returned properly after defending gyms and trainers being unable to complete Raid Battles that were begun before the time expired on the map view, have been fixed.

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Overwatch’s New Hero Doomfist Will be Playable on July 27

Overwatch's New Hero Doomfist Will be Playable on July 27

The latest addition to the Overwatch roster of heroes, Doomfist will be playable for all from July 27. While you can play as Doomfist in Blizzard’s PTR (public test realm/region) on PC, he’s not available for the PS4 or Xbox One just yet. This will change on July 27.

Overwatch developer Blizzard announced this news in a video that showcased the thought process behind Doomfist’s creation. It seems that he wasn’t intended to be a new hero, receiving a passing mention in the game’s reveal cinematic. However fan feedback prompted the studio to get to work to make him a reality.

In terms of design, Doomfist was inspired by classic 2D fighting games and his aesthetic has been chosen to portray power with liberal uses of red and gold.

As for the game’s lore, Doomfist was defeated by an Overwatch strike team consisting of Winston, Tracer, and Genji and has been biding his time in prison until now. His arrival in the game should result in some interesting conversations with other characters like Reaper and Widowmaker – both of whom belong to the same organisation as him – Talon. Though he isn’t voiced by actor Terry Crews, as some would have liked following Crews’ lobbying for the role.

Prior to this, crashlogs for the game had hinted of Doomfist’s arrival to the game. There’s a mention of both – Doomfist and Summer Games. This was spotted on Reddit and the official Overwatch forums. They have since been deleted though you can check it out here.

With last year’s Overwatch Summer Games event beginning on August 2, we won’t be surprised to see it make a return around the same timeframe. Considering Doomfist is slated for July 27, this means we could see the Overwatch Summer Games event soon after.

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Luc Besson Talks ‘Avatar’ Inspiration at ‘Valerian’ Premiere

“I just want to do something different because that’s what I want as a moviegoer, I want something fresh and new,” the director told THR.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets director Luc Besson, who on Monday walked the black carpet at The Chinese Theater, gave credit to James Cameron’s Avatar as a main source of his inspiration.

Castmembers Cara Delevingne, Dane DeHaan and Rihanna joined the filmmaker at the Hollywood event to preview his latest sci-fi creation.

After seeing Valerian for the first time, Besson described to The Hollywood Reporter his initial reaction at the final product: “I was surprised. I didn’t expect that we could be at this high level of definition and creativity.”

He added that Valerian was a project he wanted to stand out and also create an entirely new way audiences see sci-fi and comic-inspired stories.

“If you want to come up with something, if you’re pretentious enough to say, ‘I’m coming with something new,’ come with something really new and different,” said Besson. “I’d rather take the risk that people watch the film and are blown away and get lost because there is so much, but I don’t want to do the things that we see almost every week now. I just want to do something different because that’s what I want as a moviegoer, I want something fresh and new.”

“Luc’s imagination is so incredible and the fact that technology has finally caught up to that, [it’s] the ultimate summer movie,” DeHaan told THR on the black carpet.

[Source”cnbc”]

Apple’s Greater China business now has its own managing director for the first time

Apple has appointed Isabel Ge Mahe as its first vice president and managing director of its business in Greater China.

China-born Ge Mahe is tasked with managing Apple’s China business, and she will report into CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams when she takes up the role, which is based out of Shanghai, “later this summer.”

Ge Mahe is currently located in California, where she has spent the last nine years heading up Apple’s wireless technologies software engineering teams. That includes the development of cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, location and motion technologies in products, and Apple said she has also overseen its Apple Pay, HomeKit and CarPlay technologies.

“Everyone at Apple is proud of the contributions we make to the communities where we do business, and I am looking forward to deepening our team’s connections with customers, government and businesses in China to advance innovation and sustainability,” Ge Mahe said in a statement.

That mention of government in her statement is interesting since it hints that Ge Mahe may take a leading role in liaising with authorities in China. Apple this month announced plans to develop its first China-based data center, a move that is thought to be related to the country’s new cybersecurity laws which went into effect June 1, and this appointment may also be connected.

While there are many business reasons to have a Greater China MD — Apple’s revenue from the region can make or break its quarterly earnings report — having a lead may help with sticky issues in the country. Earlier this year, for example, Beijing authorities summoned Apple to explain its standards for live-streaming apps. The government has since shuttered a number of live-streaming services that it found were in breach of its media standards.

[Source”cnbc”]

Apple creates a new head of China role and names exec to run it amid falling sales

Isabel Ge Mahe, Apple's new vice president and managing director of China.

Isabel Ge Mahe, Apple's new vice president and managing director of China.

Apple
Isabel Ge Mahe, Apple’s new vice president and managing director of China.

Apple has created a major new executive role in China and appointed the head of its wireless technologies unit to run it, reporting into CEO Tim Cook, as the technology giant struggles with falling sales in the world’s second-largest economy.

Isabel Ge Mahe will take up the new role of vice president and managing director of Greater China, Apple said in a statement late on Tuesday. Ge Mahe is moving from her role as vice president of Wireless Technologies to take up the new job which is based in Shanghai.

The executive will report into Cook and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams.

Apple’s move comes at a time when the world’s second-largest smartphone maker by market share grapples with stricter regulation in China and struggling iPhone sales. In the quarter ended April 1, Greater China revenues fell 14 percent year-on-year, though iPhone sales were up 1 percent, pointing towards a slight recovery.

Local Chinese brands like Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei, have posed a big challenge to Apple in China, taking away market share. But Apple is hoping its upcoming device releases, especially the souped up iPhone 8 anniversary edition phone, will win back Chinese consumers.

Cook still sees China as a crucial market.

“We continue to be very enthusiastic about our opportunity in China,” Cook said in Apple’s fiscal second quarter earnings call.

Technology firms in China also have to grapple with ever-changing regulation, something that Apple has felt the effect of. Last year, for example, Apple’s iBooks and iTunes Movies services were shut down.

But Apple has been making moves to appease regulators. Last week, Apple said it is setting up its first data center in China to comply with stricter cybersecurity laws that were introduced in June.

In Ge Mahe’s role heading up the wireless team, she focused on the development of cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, location, and other technologies for many of Apple’s products. She has also overseen the engineering teams developing Apple Pay, HomeKit and CarPlay.

In China, she worked with Apple’s research and development teams to develop features specifically made for that market.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Ge Mahe hinted that her role would include liaising with government, something that Apple increasingly needs to do.

“Everyone at Apple is proud of the contributions we make to the communities where we do business, and I am looking forward to deepening our team’s connections with customers, government and businesses in China to advance innovation and sustainability,” Ge Mahe said.

Apple’s new China MD is fluent in Mandarin as well. Ge Mahe will begin the role later this summer.

“Apple is strongly committed to invest and grow in China, and we are thrilled that Isabel will be bringing her experience and leadership to our China team,” Cook said in a statement on Tuesday.

[Source”cnbc”]

Where the Conservatives should look for inspiration

Theresa May speaking at the Conservative party annual conference in Birmingham, October 2016

Kate Maltby’s analysis of the Conservative party’s disarray (My party has gambled away its reputation, 17 July) fails to see that its neoliberals are the equivalent of what the Trotskyists were in the Labour party of the past. Neoliberals are an entryist group standing for a body of economists’ ideas that can’t be implemented in a real, living diverse society with complex people in it, because it is a simple imaginary theory, totally anti-statist and individualist, as opposed to the far-left totally statist and collectivist version. Both are essentially authoritarian, not democratic.

What Maltby ought to recommend to the Conservative party is paying more attention to the continental version of conservatism, which has continued its success as exemplified in modern Germany, strongly statist to ensure a hierarchical integrated society with a powerful but decentralised state to provide the social and logistical infrastructure for the economy of modern business and industry as well as social order for the population.

The real political distinction in the UK at present is the conservatives’ unequal social and economic hierarchy (and individualised competition everywhere, partly under neoliberal pressure) versus the left’s focus on equalities (and equal rights and collaboration). That would give us plenty of political difference in policies to fight about, without all the authoritarian neoliberal economic theorising to confuse the arguments.
John Veit-Wilson
Newcastle upon Tyne

 Can I suggest another conservative political philosopher other than Edmund Burke that should be essential reading for the political reformers of the Conservative party and that is Michael Oakeshott. He would have been horrified that the party he loved had embarked on a reckless period of social experimentation known variously as either public choice theory, neoliberalism or Randian economics. He said “to be a conservative … is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried”.

When the party of traditional values abandons them in the name of social revolution, it can be no surprise that it is unable to speak with authority on the great issues of the day. The ethos of constant changes fits ill with the party of tradition. It is now the party of fractious groups all competing to claim ownership of the party. The result is the unappealing squabble of a group of largely middle-aged men and women over who has ownership of a set of policies that were the revolutionary policies of their youth, not realising that time has passed them by.

[Source”timesofindia”]