Archive | April 2013

Dragon Quest X finally coming to Wii U on March 30

With Dragon Quest VII managing to sell 836,654 copies in its first week on sale in Japan there’s clearly still a lot of interest in Square Enix’s RPG series. So Nintendo will be very happy after revealing that Dragon Quest X finally has a release date for its ailing Wii U console. That date is March 30.

DQX was originally revealed back in September 2011 as an MMO that was set for release on both the Wii and eventually the Wii U. It then launched in August last year, but not without upsetting gamers in Japan due to the requirement of a 70 minute install. At the time, a Wii U release date wasn’t revealed, and we had to wait until September only to be told it would see a Spring 2013 launch.

Now we finally have a launch date, and Wii U owners can look forward to experiencing the MMO with visuals enhanced well beyond what the Wii could handle. The game will also be playable using the Wii U’s GamePad.

Dragon Quest X box art and prepaid card

After the recent poor sales of the Wii U console, Nintendo is set to take full advantage of a high-profile game such as this. Japanese gamers who have yet to purchase the machine will have the option of buying a Dragon Quest X Wii U Premium bundle, which includes the console, game, 1,000 yen prepaid card, and five in-game super health orbs. That bundle will cost $452, whereas the game on its own will be $75 and ships with 20 days of access.

As DQX is an online game, it requires an ongoing subscription be paid, which in Japan can be bought as 30, 60, or 90 day options. The Wii version also required the purchase of a 16GB memory card, but that isn’t the case for the Wii U version, although hopefully Nintendo/Square Enix will let you transfer your game from the Wii to Wii U. If you purchase the Wii U console bundle Square Enix is allowing access to the beta of the game from March 6 as an added incentive to pick it up early.

Nintendo will be hoping this game helps to jump start sales of the Wii U in its home territory, but it’s a shame it’s not a brand new Dragon Quest game exclusive to the platform. It’s also unfortunate Nintendo doesn’t have a similar title getting ready to launch to spark interest with gamers in the US and across Europe.

Now read: Nintendo announces new Zelda, Fire Emblem/Shin Megami crossover

A Basic Introduction to Choosing Camera Lenses

A Basic Introduction to Choosing Camera Lenses

When you’re starting out in photography, with your shiny new DSLR, the world of lenses can be complex and scary place: prime this, wide angle that, and what the hell is focal length anyway? Don’t worry! This video should have you covered.

If you can get over the fact that it’s sponsored by Pentax—so, surprise, only Pentax lenses feature—then it actually serves as a great introduction to what various lenses can be used for. If you’re a newbie, prepare to learn something—and spend some money. [YouTube]

Libya arrests foreign ‘missionaries’

Four foreign nationals accused of distributing Christian literature, a charge that could carry the death penalty

Four foreigners have been arrested in Libya on suspicion of being missionaries and distributing Christian literature, a charge that could carry the death penalty.

The four – a Swedish-American, Egyptian, South African and South Korean – were arrested in Benghazi by Preventative Security, an intelligence unit of the defence ministry, accused of printing and distributing bible pamphlets in the city.

Libya retains a law from the Muammar Gaddafi era that makes proselytising a criminal offence potentially punishable by death. The arrests underlined the sometimes difficult relationship between churches and the new authorities.

“Proselytising is forbidden in Libya. We are a 100% Muslim country and this kind of action affects our national security,” security official Hussein Bin Hmeid told Reuters.

All four remain in custody in Benghazi, and local reports say they may appear in court next week.

It is reported that the foreigners, who have received consulate assistance from their embassies, have been in Libya for some time and had contracted a local printer to produce pamphlets explaining Christianity. Security officials have focused on those pamphlets said to have already been distributed.

Benghazi lawyer and human rights activist Bilal Bettamer said Libya was a wholly Muslim country and Christians should not be trying to spread their faith. “It is disrespectful. If we had Christianity we could have dialogue, but you can’t just spread Christianity,” he said. “The maximum penalty is the death penalty. It’s a dangerous thing to do.”

Preventative Security is a unit created from several rebel formations during the 2011 uprising, although until now it has had a low profile, and this is Libya’s first known arrest on proselytising charges since Libya’s Arab spring revolution. Three years ago, several dozen British, American and Dutch missionaries were arrested and expelled from Morocco on similar charges.

Libya, a conservative Muslim country, has no known Christian minority, and churches, the preserve of foreign residents, have seen few of the attacks seen in Egypt and Tunisia, where there have been church burnings.

But Libya is home to groups of Islamist extremists blamed by some for the attack in September on the US consulate in Benghazi, in which the ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three US officials were killed.

The minority Sufi sect has felt the brunt of extremism in Libya, with more than 70 sites attacked, including the bulldozing by militants backed by police of Tripoli’s prominent al-Sha’ab mosque last summer.

Christian symbols have also been targeted. A bullet narrowly missed the priest of Tripoli’s Greek Orthodox church last year, with another attack destroying icons.

In April, militants filmed themselves wrecking tombstones and the cenotaph at two Commonwealth war graves cemeteries in Benghazi, and in January two Egyptian christians were killed by a bomb that exploded in the coptic church in Misrata. The international committee of the Red Cross last year suspended its activities in much of the country after its offices in Benghazi and Misrata were bombed.

Tripoli’s Anglican Church of Christ the King held its normal Sunday service on Sundaywith the priest, Reverend Vasihar Baskaran, saying that, as during the Gaddafi era, the authorities placed no restrictions on worshippers.

But he said the five Christian churches in Tripoli have a tacit agreement with the authorities not to proselytise. “We don’t distribute literature, so we don’t have any problems,” he told the Guardian. “It is better not to indulge in these activities because we respect Libyans. We respect their religion.”

The Anglican church, present in Tripoli for more than 200 years, has no Libyans in the congregation, and Revd Vasihar said he had yet to meet a Libyan Christian.

On Sunday, Libya’s de facto head of state, speaker of congress Mohammed Magariaf, pledged that Libya would incorporate sharia law into its future constitution, during a speech in Benghazi to mark the second anniversary of the 2011 revolution.

Republicans soften stance on Chuck Hagel nomination ahead of Senate vote

Remarks by senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham signal an end to Republican blockade of defence secretary nomination

Republican opponents to president Barack Obama’s pick for defence secretary indicated on Sunday that the time for blocking the nomination was over, despite insisting that Chuck Hagel remained unsuitable for the Pentagon.

“No, I don’t believe he’s qualified,” Senator John McCain told NBC’s Meet the Press. “But I don’t believe that we should hold up his nomination any further.”

Meanwhile on Fox News Sunday, Senator Lindsay Graham – who alongside McCain had spearheaded the campaign to block Hagel – said he had now accepted a denial from the defence secretary nominee over remarks he allegedly made critiquing the power of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington.

“If that is true, that would end the matter,” Graham said.

Echoing McCain’s comments, the Graham said he believed Hagel to be “one of the most unqualified, radical choices for secretary of defence in a very long time”.

“But at the end of the day,” Graham continued, “this is the president’s decision. I give him great discretion.”

The remarks signal that a Senate vote on the nomination will be allowed to go ahead.

It also indicates a softening in the position of Republican opponents, who last week vowed to hold up a confirmation vote. An up-and-down ballot is now expected to take place sometime after Congress returns on 25 February.

The delaying tactics came amid complaint by some Republicans that Hagel – a former Republican senator himself – was not supportive enough of Israel. They also questioned his stance on Iran and his opposition to the troop surge in Iraq.

The blocking move had drawn an angry response from the White House. Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, told ABC’s This Week that it was of “grave concern” to the administration.

McDonough added that Hagel, a Vietnam combat veteran, was the right person to lead the Pentagon, and “has one thing in mind: how do we protect the country?”

Mac Pro 2013 & iMac 2012 Refresh: Apple Weekly 67 – Gadget & Travel clothing! This week in Apple – Mac Pro 2013 – iMac 2012 refresh – Apple employees get meaty discount iGlaswegian on iTunes: ********** Would appreciate if you guys could check my new venture out: Visit my site Twitter Facebook: FlickR Gallery: My OTHER YouTube channel (vlog): My GAMING YouTube channel: mac pro 2012 wwdc 2012 2013 intel xeon USB 3 thunderbolt imac 2012 retina display ivy bridge ATI intel HD coming in fall 21.5″ 27″ apple store employee mac discount 250 theunits3 iglaswegian i6laswegian zen scotland glaswegian scottish glasgow accent tech reviewer apple weekly 66 show phil schiller
Video Rating: 4 / 5

14″ Blue Laptop Travel Bag Attache. Compatible with: AppleMacbook Air, Macbook Pro 13, Macbook 13, iBook G4 SuperDrive, MacBook Core 2 Duo 13.3″. Bonus Ekatomi screen cleaner sticker.

14″ Blue Laptop Travel Bag Attache. Compatible with: AppleMacbook Air, Macbook Pro 13, Macbook 13, iBook G4 SuperDrive, MacBook Core 2 Duo 13.3″. Bonus Ekatomi screen cleaner sticker.

  • Fits any netbook up to 14.1-Inch
  • Approximate Dimensions: W14 x H9.6 x D1.5 inches
  • Includes a mesh pocket inside for extra storage
  • Belcrow inside to hold your device in place
  • Thin and lightweight yet will keep your laptop protected

Bonus reusable, Ekatomi screen cleaner sticker to help remove dust / dirt from your device.

This is a travel laptop bag that fits up to 14″ computer. The interior comes with straps to hold your devoce in place and a mesh pocket for all other small daily necessities. Dual, high quality zippers slide along the top and both sides of the case, allowing full access into the laptop compartment. Protect and carry your laptop in this Kroo Semi-Hard Case for durable portability.


New Zealand Police to deploy 9,900 iPhones and iPads

The New Zealand Police will have a new tool to fight crime. They will be issuing their frontline officers with 6000 iPhones. 3900 of them will also receive an iPad in an outsourcing deal with Vodafone worth $159 million over ten years, including cellular charges.


This armchair is also a rowing machine

If you are a couch potato who doesn’t want to get up, this chair can provide some exercise without having to get up. The GEWOS armchair was created by researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits. The prototype looks like a normal cushioned armchair, but it has an integrated rowing machine.


Munitio’s New SV Earphones: Precision Sound, Luxurious Style

Siva's Reviews: Munitio SV

“To hear a full frequency of a recording, you don’t even have to turn it up loud!”

-Kool Kojak, multi-platinum songwriter who produced Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida, Katy Perry

Recently, I had the opportunity to connect with the team at Munitio, a precision sound brand specializing in lifestyle electronic accessories. Pronounced “Muni-she-yo,” as in the Latin word for fortification and defense, Munitio audio gear embodies strength, authenticity, and style. Before this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, I must admit, I wasn’t familiar with this small San Diego-based company. Now that I am, I am excited to tell you more about it and share my review of one of its flagship products, the new SV earphones.

Siva's Reviews: Munitio SV

The Munitio SV earphones are one of the most balanced pairs of earphones I’ve had the pleasure of trying out. To say I was very impressed with their exquisite, crystalline sound delivery would be an understatement. Listening to music through the SVs was a surreal experience. The complexity and clearly delineated layers of acoustics the SVs pumped out would impress even the most discerning audiophile.

The SVs captured my attention on so many levels. On the one hand, it was easy to get lost in the pristine sound quality of whatever I happened to be listening to; On the other hand, I found myself in auditory awe at all of the details and nuances I was able to hear using these precision earphones. In some instances, songs I’m very familiar with  felt like I had never heard songs, which in actuality, I was very familiar with.

Siva's Reviews: Munitio SV

“More consumers are realizing it’s better to have headphones that sound good based on personal listening tastes, rather than just buying what everyone else has,” said MUNITIO co-founder Danny Massaro. “Appearance is obviously important too, so we’ve created headphones with unique style and sound identities that appeal to certain lifestyles and listening preferences and allow people to hear their music like never before.”

Their latest addition to an already stellar line up continues in the tradition of excellence! Regarding the SVs, MUNITIO co-founder, Danny Massaro had this to say, “Acoustically, each MUNITIO product is designed with its own unique sound identity that appeals to an individual’s personal listening preference.  For instance, the SV is defined by an ultra-smooth frequency response curve through the mids and highs, exceptional vocal clarity and fast, accurate crossover transitions between instrumentals. Stylistically, MUNITIO products take their cues from a variety of different sources, but always with studio-grade performance, rugged industrial design and tactical functionality at the core. Some of the SVs design heritage comes from the world of high performance racing. You can see that reflected with the flat, tangle-free ribbon cable and the slotted bass port and curves of the aluminum housing earpiece.”

Siva's Reviews: Munitio SV

With so many great headphones and earphones out there to choose from, it can be a true challenge for any one company to break away from the pack and gain recognition. Add to that, that I am particularly critical of headphones and speakers and weigh my words carefully when offering my reviews of audio equipment, being raised the son of an audiophile myself. With the SVs, the detail-oriented team of professionals at Munitio have succeeded in not only impressing me, but also in taking high-end audio engineering to a whole new level.

Siva's Reviews: Munitio SV

Munitio Billets

The Munitio SVs may be some of the pricier earphones the company has to offer, but if $130.00 isn’t in your budget, do yourself a favor and check out their high quality Billets that will only cost you $70.00 and I’d say that even these lower priced models perform better than 75% of the earphones on the market today. On the other hand, if you are looking for some of the best earphones money can buy, be sure to take a gander at Munitio’s Nines ($170.00), which are their top of the line, premium sonic experience earphones.

Siva's Reviews: Munitio SV

Munitio Nines

Siva's Reviews: Munitio SV

Munitio Nines


Comparing iPad Twitter app timeline views

Comparing iPad Twitter app timeline views

Earlier in the week I compared iPhone Twitter app timeline views, and since fair is fair, it seemed only right that I do the same for iPad Twitter apps. And again, Twitter’s cold war with client developers notwithstanding, there’s some amazing investment to be found here. Now, while the iPad doesn’t enjoy the the breadth of Twitter apps, due to the larger screen there’s an even better opportunity for depth. Instead of the 15 + 3 I found for the iPhone, here are 8 + 1 for the iPad.

Gridded up, there’s a lot of variety, from more expansive versions of essentially the same iPhone interfaces, to bold takes on what’s capable at tablet scale. Like before, I used the exact same feed point for each client, with the exception of the legacy app at the bottom. It includes an @mention so that we can see how, if at all, a client highlights or otherwise distinguishes that type of post. I also got rid of ads, wherever possible, to keep things clean. However, I didn’t open popovers for basic controls, because they aren’t omnipresent parts of the layout.

Here then, in order, from top left to bottom right, are:

  1. Twitter, Twitterrific
  2. Tweetbot, Tweetglass
  3. Twittelator, Osfoora HD
  4. Echofon Pro, TweetCaster
  5. Tweetie (discontinued)

Yes, once again, the timeline view is only one aspect of a Twitter app, and can’t properly address features and flourishes like gestures, notifications and filters, parallax image embeds, sorting, and other ways some of the clients have innovative and provided extra enjoyment and value. We’ll be covering differentiators in a future comparison.

And if you want DVD-style extras, and a peak behind the scenes of your favorite Twitter apps, check out:

  • Debug 1: Loren Brichter and Tweetie
  • Debug 2: Paul Haddad and Tweetbot
  • Iterate 35: Gedeon Maheux, David Lanham and Twitterrific 5
  • Debug 5: Craig Hockenberry, Sean Heber, and Twitterrific

Meanwhile, look over the designs above and let me know what you think. Which Twitter apps do you use on your iPad, and are they the same ones that appeal to you most in the comparison above? Any of the timelines attractive enough they encourage you check out an alternative app?

And since this all began with Phil Nickinson’s Android Twitter app timelines comparison, how do you think they compare to Twitter apps for Android tablets?