The latest version of Google's Chrome browser -- version 8.0.552.215, or Chrome 8 from here on out -- now supports Web apps, meaning it will work seamlessly with Google's upcoming Chrome Web Store.
That alone doesn't do Chrome users much good in the here and now, but that isn't the only change Chrome 8 brings to the browser table. Google added a built-in PDF viewer that's secured in Chrome's sandbox, so you can finally kiss Adobe's Reader app goodbye, if you haven't already.
Other changes underneath the hood include over 800 bug fixes and stability improvements, Google says.
Welcome back, everyone, to another installment of “PETA Says The Darndest Things.” Having already planted its flag in everything from World of Warcraft to Cooking Mama, the animal rights activist group has now taken aim at Super Meat Boy, an indie platformer whose main character – as you might expect – is made entirely of meat. Titled “Super Tofu Boy,” PETA's recipe for hop 'n' bop with a spicy hint of protest – in an utterly shocking twist – casts Meat as the villain. Profound, we know.
So, with a flash game that shamelessly uses its characters staring it in the face, how do you think developer Team Meat responded? Lawsuit, right? Wrong. Turns out, this is exactly what Team Meat wanted.
“Peta is 1000 times more well known than Super Meat Boy and the fact that they went out of their way to make a parody like this is beyond flattering and amazingly helpful. First off I want to thank Peta for helping us turn Super Meat Boy into a household name and of course for making themselves look quite foolish in the process,” said Team Meat’s Edmund McMillen in a statement.
And so, as a show of gratitude, Super Tofu Boy has been granted playable character status in Super Meat Boy. Just type “petaphile” in the protein-packed platformer's character select screen and he's all yours.
“How many Peta members does it take to change a lightbulb?” Team Meat added as a parting shot on Twitter. “None, Peta can't change anything.”
And that, PETA, is why you never pick on the small, seemingly defenseless indie folks; back them into a corner and they have absolutely nothing to lose.
You have to hand it to Rovio for finding alternative ways to squeeze revenue from its Angry Birds game, which it recently released to the Android Market as a free download.
Available now but in limited quantities, Rovio is selling a collection of Angry Birds plush toys. There are nine in all to choose from, each one commanding $15. That works out to $135 for the whole lot, and you know there will be some super fans out there who absolutely have to have the entire set.
Unfortunately, even though you can order them now, they won't actually ship until January. That's a bummer if you were hoping to sneak one (or 15) under the Christmas tree / Hanukkah Menorah, etc.
If you're under the legal age for sexual intercourse in your state, then this post is irrelevant to you because you're practicing abstinence, right? Of course you are, now scurry along. For everyone else, there's a new app designed to help you from being caught with your pants down unprepared.
It's called iCondom, and while it doesn't dispense prophylactics from your iPhone, it does show you a list of the 10 nearest condom dispensers, address and all. It even shows you the price, because we all know that's exactly what's on your mind when you're about to get intimate.
There are a few caveats. For one, you'll need a partner to make something like this worthwhile. Secondly, it's only available for the iPhone (sorry Android users). And finally, the app knows the locations of dispensers in just a few areas, including New York City, Washington D.C., Paris, and Marselle.
A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away, Star Wars: The Old Republic... was announced. And yet here we are eons later (in impatient gamer time) with the wait growing ever more agonizing. The good news? There's a light at the end of the tunnel! The bad news? It's not until the middle of next year – at the absolute earliest.
At the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference (via Gamasutra), EA CFO Eric Brown pegged BioWare's new hope for Star Wars MMOs with its first release window. It'll be arriving sometime during EA's fiscal year 2012, which begins in April 2011. We know. We don't really get it either.
On the bright side, however, the beta's gearing up to take off. Sure, it'll probably be glitch-ridden – as many betas are – and you'll spend more time patching it than actually playing, but desperate times call for desparate measures, right?
The eternal debate rages on. Or does it? After the scientific equivalent of an extremely protracted “Yuh-huh!” “Nuh-uh!” argument, Australia's Federal Government has reviewed all available material involving videogames and violence, and good old Oz echoed what all reasonable gamers would pretty much peg as “Duh”-worthy: there's no conclusive evidence that games make people any more aggressive than other media.
“The review found that evidence about the effect of violent computer games on the aggression displayed by those who play them is inconclusive," Federal Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor said (via GameSpot). "From time to time people claim that there is a strong link between violent crime or aggressive behaviour and the popularity of violent computer games. The literature does not bear out that assertion."
Even a slight short-term affect on aggression was called into question because "these studies do not thoroughly explore other factors such as aggressive personality, family and peer influence, and socio-economic status."
Using this data, Australia hopes to make a decision on whether or not it should introduce an R18+ rating to keep its little ones (or at least the ones that haven't become bite-sized snacks for the continent's wonderful selection of giant spiders) away from gaming's more blood-spattered experiences. Previously, Australia opted to simply refuse classification for those games altogether – effectively banning them from sale.
Regardless, we're pretty happy to hear what they've uncovered so far. So the next time someone calls your hobby a "murder simulator," pick up a phone and call Australia. If there's a better way to win any sort of argument, we're certainly not aware of it.
If you answered "iOS and Android," you win the no-prize. We would have also accepted "Apple and Google," or a combination thereof. The point being, Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms are the most sought after systems by mobile phone users, according to a new survey by Nielsen.
The survey results should come as worrisome news to Research In Motion, whose BlackBerry OS is currently in a virtual tie with iOS as the most popular smartphone platform. Of those surveyed, 27.4 percent own a BlackBerry device, compared to 27.9 percent who own an iPhone. Android, meanwhile, claims a 22.7 percent share.
Here's another interesting tidbit. Feature phone owners showed a slightly stronger preference towards upgrading to an Android device over an iPhone (28 percent versus 25 percent, respectively,), while current smartphone owners lean towards an iPhone over Android (35 percent versus 28 percent).
Gender also played a role. Females lean toward wanting an iPhone (30.9 percent) over an Android device (22.8 percent), while males are all about Android (32.6 percent) first, and iPhone second (28.6 percent).
Did you recently purchase a smartphone? If so, which platform did you go with? And if you're planning to upgrade, same question.
Another month has gone by, and these days that usually means the gap between Microsoft's Internet Explorer and most other browsers tightens up. November was no exception.
According to Web analytics firm Net Applications, IE's market share slipped 0.9 percent in November, which is largely the result of IE6 giving up 1.3 percentage points during the same month. For IE6, that's the biggest drop in eight months.
It was another good month for Google's Chrome browser, which increased its total share from 8.5 percent to 9.25 percent, while Mozilla's Firefox went in the other direction, dropping from 22.83 percent to 22.75 percent. Safari now holds a 5.55 percent stake in the browser sweepstakes, which means IE, despite have lost more ground, still holds a larger chunk than all other browsers combined with a 58.26 percent share.
It's no exaggeration to say that the eyes of the entire MMO world are on Star Wars: The Old Republic right now. Hell, even the guys and gals with the inspirational “I kicked the habit and you can too!” stories typically add a defeated “...but I don't think I'll be able to resist The Old Republic.” And now, BioWare's offering an opportunity for you to get an early start on what's sure to be a beautiful, fun, and – most importantly – completely debilitating relationship.
Over on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website, BioWare's begun accepting another round of sign-ups for the soon-to-begin closed beta test. Simply create a TOR community account, head over to the Game Testing Portal, and – quick as Jar-Jar Binks laying waste to someone's childhood – you're in!
Granted, we're still talking closed beta here, so no matter how badly you want to take the game for a test drive, you won't get a golden ticket unless you meet BioWare's “specific requirements” for this test.
So, with all that said, we have to ask: what are you still doing here? Go! Sign up now or risk playing the game at the same time as everyone else like some kind of filthy videogame peasant.
In 2011, Android will claim more market share than any other mobile OS, including Symbian. You hear that? Symbian will finally fall from its top spot, shoved aside by Google's little green robot. Or at least that's the future DigiTimes research is predicting.
If nothing else, we have to give DigiTimes Research credit for predicting what few, if any, other market research firms have been willing to say. It's not that analysts have been overlooking Android by any stretch of the imagination, but for the all praise, we can't remember another firm predicting the fall of Symbian, at least not so soon.
By the end of 2010, DigiTimes Research sees Android jumping from fifth to second place, while Symbian will fall to 35.5 percent, still enough to claim the No. 1 spot. But in 2011, Android will slip ahead, edging out Symbian with a 29.7 percent share compared to 28 percent. Coming in third will be iOS at 16.7 percent, followed by Blackberry at 14 percent and Windows Phone at 5.1 percent.