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17 Sep 01:01

iPhone 6 Plus review

by Nilay Patel

"in day to day use the Note 3 definitely feels smaller"

"The iPhone 6 Plus is the first iPhone that looks and works better in a case"

"it’s a totally new resolution for an iOS device, so apps that aren’t updated for the 6 Plus simply get zoomed up to fit the screen. Apple says the 6 Plus has a "desktop-class scaler" to make this all work seamlessly, but if you’re paying attention you’ll spot the difference between scaled apps and updated apps every time: the status bar at the top of the screen gets way bigger when a scaled app is open"

"the speaker situation on the iPhone is starting to get a little silly. There’s still just the single mono speaker on the bottom, right where your hand goes when you’re holding the phone in landscape. The iPhone 6 Plus already demands that you contort your hands when you’re actually using it, but having to adjust your grip so you can hear the speaker when you’re watching a video or playing a game is asking a little too much. HTC and Motorola have solved this problem by putting stereo speakers on the front of their phones"

"Safari is pretty crashy in landscape, especially on responsive sites like The Verge, and some apps like Weather don’t take advantage of the extra space at all."

"The landscape keyboard also requires some serious adjustment; I kept hitting the right arrow key when I mean to hit delete, and the emoji and numbers buttons are swapped from the portrait keyboard and iOS 7 landscape keyboard, which is just cruel."

Big things have enormous beginnings

I have really big hands.

It’s not something I usually think about; you don’t ever really think about your hands. Those are my hands, you might idly remark to yourself from time to time. I wonder if I can use them for anything good.

But using a smartphone with a huge screen, like the iPhone 6 Plus, forces you to constantly consider the size of your hands. This phone looks huge, even in my admittedly large hands, you might think to yourself. Or: Dammit, I can’t reach that button without using my other hand.

Or: If my children and my children’s children and their children and all the children after that keep contorting their hands to use phones like this for generations, will our hands evolve to have gigantic thumbs?

It is not often that a new iPhone threatens to alter the course of human evolution, is what I’m saying. But here we are.

I have really big hands.

The iPhone 6 Plus isn’t beautiful, the way the iPhone 4 was beautiful. No one’s going to hold it up and say it reminds them of a gorgeous old Leica camera. It’s not sleek and dangerous-looking, like the black iPhone 5. It’s not flashy like the gold iPhone 5S. My review unit is silver and white, and with its rounded edges and the aluminum back it reminds me of nothing so much as the first-gen iPhone, scaled up. The white front panel makes the phone seem even bigger than it is; the space gray version has a black front panel that blends more seamlessly into the frame, which makes the entire thing appear smaller. But there’s no escaping the sheer size of the thing. The screen itself is bigger than an entire iPhone 5S, and it dwarfs even the new larger iPhone 6. I found myself carrying it around almost like you’d carry a Moleskine notebook, tucked into the curve of my fingers. After a while you begin to realize that Apple had no choice but to move the sleep / wake button to the side of the phone; you’d never be able to reach it otherwise.

No one's going to compare the iPhone 6 Plus to an old Leica

The iPhone 6 Plus a big phone because it has to be; Apple made a big phone in 2014 because consumers have demanded big phones. Samsung’s empire is built on gigantic phones that keep getting bigger — the Galaxy S5 is 5.1 inches, while the Note 3 and Note 4 are 5.7 inches — and while Apple initially derided screen size as an unworkable gimmick, it turns out that bigger sells. (Steve Jobs famously called big phones "Hummers," but it turns out that’s only an insult in California.)

Big phones like the Note 3 work because they defer almost the entire front of the phone to the display; you don’t need to put a lot of stuff around a screen that big. But the iPhone 6 Plus has large top and bottom bezels that make a big phone even bigger. Apple’s tied to its iconic round home button, while Samsung can get away with a rectangular home button that takes up less space.

The extra height increases the surfboard-like nature of the 6 Plus — it’s a well-balanced package, but it’s so long it can feel top-heavy if you don’t grab it in the middle. It’s less stable to hold in one hand than Samsung’s Note 3, which is a bit more squat and squared-off. It’s a tiny difference in spec-sheet dimensions, but in day to day use the Note 3 definitely feels smaller. (Samsung’s upcoming Note 4 is a tiny bit taller and skinnier, but it’s not out yet, so it’s hard to judge.)

Huge phones get to have huge batteries, and the iPhone 6 Plus is a huge phone with a huge battery: I consistently got about two days of battery life from the 6 Plus in regular daily use — slightly more than the day and half we got from the iPhone 6, and basically the same as the Note 3. iPhone battery life tends to fade quickly, however, and I dread the day I inevitably stuff 6 Plus into a battery case and make it even bigger.

Apple manages to make up for the slightly more awkward dimensions of the 6 Plus with finer materials than the weird fake-leather plastic of the Note 3. The back of the iPhone 6 Plus is a smooth aluminum, marred only by the protruding camera lens and an ugly set of of plastic lines at the top and bottom that allow the phone’s various antennas to speak to the world. That aluminum feels quite nice, but it’s also a little slippery, especially when you factor in the size of the phone and its rounded sides. The iPhone 6 Plus is the first iPhone that looks and works better in a case — I’ve been using Apple’s leather sleeve and it makes the phone easier to hold, evens out that camera bump, and hides the weird lines on the back.

But enough about sides and backs; let’s talk about the screen. Where the iPhone 4’s Retina Display was a quantum leap past the competition, the Retina HD Display on the 6 Plus is more of a thoughtful step around.

I haven't seen another phone display that looks this immediate

The 6 Plus has an absolutely stunning displayt’s a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 panel, which works out to 401 pixels per inch. That’s the highest-density display Apple’s ever shipped, but there’s a whole range of Android phones out there with big and great-looking high-density screens: the 5.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S5 at 432ppi, the 5-inch HTC One M8 at 441ppi, the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4 at 515ppi, and the 5.5-inch LG G3 at an insane 538ppi.

Of course, it’s debateable whether your eyes can even perceive any of these higher pixel densities, and driving all those extra dots takes a toll on battery life. Apple seems to have aimed firmly at the middle ground with the iPhone 6 Plus: it’s a great-looking display that’s plenty sharp, but it’s not so crazy high-res in the service of specs that it needs a bigger battery to keep it lit up all day.

Apple’s using some other tricks to make the display look amazing, though: there’s a new polarizer that makes the phone easier to see in sunlight, wider viewing angles with more accurate color reproduction, and overall higher contrast than previous iOS screens. And perhaps most importantly, the entire display stack is thinner, so it looks more like you’re touching the pixels directly than ever before. It’s like the screen is painted on. This, more than anything, is what makes the iPhone 6 Plus display pop — I haven’t seen another phone display that looks quite so immediate. It would be nice if there was a spec-sheet number to describe this quality so the rest of the industry could race to improve it; that seems to be how these things work.

The bigger screen comes with a tradeoff, though: it’s a totally new resolution for an iOS device, so apps that aren’t updated for the 6 Plus simply get zoomed up to fit the screen. Apple says the 6 Plus has a "desktop-class scaler" to make this all work seamlessly, but if you’re paying attention you’ll spot the difference between scaled apps and updated apps every time: the status bar at the top of the screen gets way bigger when a scaled app is open. YOU HAVE THREE BARS OF AT&T LTE, announces the iPhone 6 Plus when you open an older app. IT IS 11:07AM AND YOUR BATTERY IS AT 65 PERCENT. It’s comedy gold, if you think big things are funny. (They are.)

The app scaling also affects various apps differently, and most of them definitely need to be updated to look better. Twitter looks fine, with sharp text and only moderately soft icons. (It’s hilarious that you can only see four tweets at a time, though.) Instagram photos look terrific, but the text is a little soft. Facebook and Gmail are pretty fuzzy all around. Text in the Kindle app is headache-inducing soft; it definitely needs an update to be readable. FIFA 14 looks solid, but Madden Mobile glitches out with a totally misaligned screen on load. Whoops.

Scaled apps are comedy gold, if you think big things are funny

But you have to be looking to spot these flaws, and it’s a safe bet that popular apps will be updated in short order. In the meantime, even scaled-up apps benefit from simply being bigger: Instagram is awesome on the iPhone 6 Plus. So are Facebook photos. Watching video on the 6 Plus is tremendous — the display is almost as big as the iPad mini showing 16:9 videos since the mini has to letterbox those videos to fit its 4:3 screen. I watched a lot of football using the Sunday Ticket app last weekend; I never once wanted to find a TV. I could spend days banging through YouTube and Vevo on this thing. If you’re a traveler who carries an iPad just for movies on the road, the 6 Plus is going to be your best friend.

But while the screen is terrific for videos, the speaker situation on the iPhone is starting to get a little silly. There’s still just the single mono speaker on the bottom, right where your hand goes when you’re holding the phone in landscape. The iPhone 6 Plus already demands that you contort your hands when you’re actually using it, but having to adjust your grip so you can hear the speaker when you’re watching a video or playing a game is asking a little too much. HTC and Motorola have solved this problem by putting stereo speakers on the front of their phones; it might be time for Apple to take that cue from the competition as well.

Apple’s built a few new hooks into iOS 8 that let updated apps lift a few ideas from the iPad when the phone’s in landscape mode: there’s a new two-paned mode for apps, a new keyboard with dedicated arrow keys and formatting buttons, and even a new landscape home screen. These are all interesting ideas, although only Apple’s apps make full use of them right now, and some of the implementations are frankly a bit messy. I’m not sure Apple put a huge amount of effort into how this iPad mini-mini should actually work, and it shows in various ways. For example, starting an email in landscape involves a new-document sheet sliding up along with the busy landscape keyboard, leaving the screen a busy mess of inactive interface elements. Safari is pretty crashy in landscape, especially on responsive sites like The Verge, and some apps like Weather don’t take advantage of the extra space at all. The 6 Plus could be the start of an entirely new platform for Apple, but it’s going to take a little more work to get there.

The landscape keyboard also requires some serious adjustment; I kept hitting the right arrow key when I mean to hit delete, and the emoji and numbers buttons are swapped from the portrait keyboard and iOS 7 landscape keyboard, which is just cruel. And let’s not even talk about the paste icon, which is ridiculous. First of all, it’s a glue bottle. Second of all… look, let’s just move on. Having a better landscape keyboard is a great idea, but this one needs a lot more work.

iPhone 6 Plus screenshot

iPhone 6 Plus screenshot

A better landscape keyboard is a great idea, but this one needs a lot more work

Apple’s also built in a small concession to using the phone one-handed called Reachability. Double-tapping (not pushing) the home button slides the screen down so you can hit buttons at the top more easily. It sounds silly — and it is — but once you get used to using it, it’s nice to have, and easier to understand than Samsung’s tiny-one-handed-phone mode on the Note 3.

The other new software features on the iPhone 6 Plus all come courtesy of iOS 8, which will be available on many other iOS devices as well. iOS 8 is a welcome update to the ambitious sweep of iOS 7, which redesigned much of the familiar iPhone experience but left some jagged edges in place. Everything about iOS 8 is smoother and faster, and it especially flies along on the A8 chip in the 6 Plus. There are loads of features small and large and a new sense of openness about the system that make iOS 8 perhaps one of the most important iOS updates ever. You can quick-reply to messages from the notification shade (small) and you can replace the stock keyboard entirely (huge). You can send quick audio messages to your friends (small) and when the next version of OS X comes out you’ll be able to seamlessly switch from working on iOS to working on a Mac using Continuity (huge). You can now use Spotlight to search across the web and various services like Yelp (small) and you can share all your iTunes purchases with up to six family members (huge).

You get the idea. There’s so much to iOS 8 that we’ll have a full separate review shortly; it’s that big.

The iPhone 6 Plus camera is the best smartphone camera I’ve ever used. Apple’s holding firm at 8 megapixels while everyone else is racing to put ever-bigger numbers on spec sheets, and it feels like the right decision: the iPhone 6 Plus focuses faster, works better in low light, and generally produces the best photos I’ve ever seen from a phone.

The 6 Plus has the same basic shooter as the iPhone 6, but it adds optical image stabilization to the mix, which improves low-light performance even more. It’s not going to help you when you’re shooting anything that moves, like people, but for sunsets and skylines, it’s clutch. It basically lets the camera hold the shutter open a little bit longer than it otherwise could without causing a blurry image, so more light hits the sensor. If you’re like me and you mostly find yourself taking photos at dusk and in dark rooms, you’ll end up with many more usable shots. Until you take too many shots and everything gets blurry regardless.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus sample pictures

Previous Next The best smartphone camera I've ever used

The iOS 8 Camera app is also much improved; I love the feature that lets you instantly adjust exposure by dragging up and down on the screen. And the new time-lapse and 240fps slow-mo modes are pretty fun — slow-mo works really well, and while the time-lapse mode isn’t quite as good as Instagram’s Hyperlapse app, it’s still pretty good. There’s also a new feature called Cinematic Stabilization which does an impressive job of smoothing out unwanted motion in video clips; it’s strong enough to make a meaningful difference but subtle enough that you won’t notice the effect until you’re looking for it.

It’s also easier to take photos and videos with a huge screen helping you frame your shots. No wonder people insist on using their tablets to take photos; having a screen this large paired with such an excellent camera is revelatory. The iPhone has long had a better camera than just about any Android phone, and it’s always had a better ecosystem of editing and sharing apps than any other platform. The iPhone 6 Plus should just increase that lead.

I’m going to buy an iPhone 6 Plus. I’m taken with it; it feels like an entirely new kind of device for Apple, and it has such a killer camera I can’t say no. It’s every bit as good a phone as the iPhone 6; I’m docking it a little because Apple has a few software glitches to clear up. But I’m confident that will happen.

There’s nothing here that competitors aren’t doing with their big phones — Samsung in particular is pushing the envelope with its S Pen stylus and multiple-app features — but the overall package is so good it’s hard to ignore. The smaller iPhone 6 feels like just the next iterative update to the iPhone, but the 6 Plus feels like something else entirely; with a few more software tweaks and some love from developers, it could really be my main computer. It’s as much iPad as iPhone.

But while Apple’s early attempts to bridge the iPad and iPhone experiences on the 6 Plus are a little hit-or-miss, they point to a future where the regular-size iPhone, a bigger iPhone like the 6 Plus, and the iPad all turn into very different things. I can’t see myself ever using my iPad mini again after having the 6 Plus, and it’s getting harder and harder to justify pulling out my iPad Air. With the right software changes, I could basically use an iPhone 6 Plus all day long, for everything from sending messages to editing documents to watching videos. A do-everything phone like the 6 Plus would eventually allow Apple to push the iPad even further towards becoming the true laptop replacement it was always meant to be.

It’s all just potential right now, but it’s extremely obvious potential. And if Apple doesn’t do it first, it’s pretty clear Samsung is headed down that road as well.

We’re going to need bigger hands.

Photos by Michael Shane

The Breakdown

More times than not, the Verge score is based on the average of the subscores below. However, since this is a non-weighted average, we reserve the right to tweak the overall score if we feel it doesn't reflect our overall assessment and price of the product. Read more about how we test and rate products.

  • Design 8
  • Display 10
  • Camera(s) 10
  • Reception / call quality 8
  • Performance 9
  • Software 8
  • Battery life 9
  • Ecosystem 9

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17 Sep 06:13

College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

by Soulskill


jfruh writes: With a lot of debate over the value of a college education, here's a data point students can use: at one Texas college, students who took an elective COBOL class earned on average $10,000 more a year upon graduation than classmates who hadn't. COBOL, dropped from many curricula years ago as an outdated language, is tenaciously holding on in the industry, as many universities are belatedly starting to realize.

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17 Sep 04:25

Samsung is making a musical sitcom about how cool it is to work there

by Cassandra Khaw

shared to delight Overbey

Korean dramas are becoming a worldwide phenomenon, and it looks like Samsung is cashing in on their popularity. As spotted by Business Insider, upcoming "musicom" Best Future will explore young people's dreams and challenges over the course of six 10-minute long episodes. The gorgeous cast will also be performing covers of popular '80s and '90s tunes.

In order to portray the "real" Samsung, the series will be shot at company offices in both Seoul and Suwon Digital City. The idea behind Best Future is to weave a tale about work, life, and relationships that those in their 20s and 30s can sympathize with, and to tempt prospective employees into working with Samsung. Amazingly, this is actually the company's second foray into the world of sitcoms, the previous being an attempt to showcase the technology giant's recruiting ideologies.

17 Sep 08:26

'Goat Simulator' is now on iOS and Android

by Cassandra Khaw

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17 Sep 13:26

iOS 8 on the iPhone 4S: Performance isn’t the (only) problem

by Andrew Cunningham

'The iPhone 4S was Apple's last to use the original 3.5-inch iPhone screen size, which is now the smallest of four different phone screens that Apple supports. iOS 8's new stuff is all about fitting more information on those larger screens, whether we're talking about predictive typing, new Mail sorting options, Notification Center widgets, or Spotlight suggestions. The 4S' screen has always been small, but iOS 8 can make it feel cramped.

By holding off on iOS 7, you were mostly just missing out on a redesign, but with iOS 8 there's good stuff here that you're going to want if you can get it. Ideally you wouldn't have to trade features for performance, but in our opinion getting the new stuff is worth putting up with the small slowdowns you'll experience.'

The iPhone 4S. I remember when this was the one that made my old phone feel slow.
Andrew Cunningham

iPhones have about a year to be top-of-the-line. Then they have a year to be the modest-but-capable midrange model. After that, they become the free-with-contract choice. And then, in their last year, they enter that no-man's-land where they're still getting software updates but are no longer being sold.

2014 is the year the iPhone 4S was told to pack up its things and move to the retirement home. As a going away present, Apple gave it iOS 8, which in all likelihood will be the last major version upgrade it gets.

For the last two years, we've taken the oldest phone supported by each new iOS update and looked at what you stand to gain (and lose) by installing the update. We were impressed by iOS 6 on the iPhone 3GS, but iOS 7 on the iPhone 4 came with some serious compromises. The 4S has stayed pretty speedy over the years, but how does iOS 8 treat it?

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17 Sep 13:29

A slide into obsolescence: iOS 8 on the iPad 2

by Casey Johnston

'Generally, iOS 8 is noticeably slower and choppier than iOS 7, in everything from opening apps to typing. Back when we switched from iOS 6, we complained about how we could get 10 characters into typing something before the keyboard realized what was happening. This problem has returned with a force in iOS 8, especially on first opening an app. Screen rotation is stuttery, and any time some part of the OS needs to slide into place (text centering, apps minimizing), it can't do it smoothly.

IOS 7 was overall slower at opening apps than iOS 6 last year, but a lot of the difference could be attributed to the sweeping and slow animations that Apple introduced between the two versions. Even after Apple expedited the animations in newer versions of iOS 7, iOS 8 is still one half to a full second slower to complete certain tasks than iOS 7 on the iPad 2. Cold boots take a couple seconds longer, too.

None of these opening times are huge roadblocks, but they add up to a noticeable poky feeling that wasn't there (or wasn't as strong) coming from iOS 7.

iOS 8 has convinced us that things can, in fact, be worse. Not a whole lot worse, and not all the time, but it's enough of a regression with few enough upsides that acquiescing to the "download software update" prompts may actually be a bad idea.'

iOS 8 doesn't make a huge difference, visually, save a few small points.

In case you've been so content with your iPad 2 over the last few years that you've drifted away from paying attention to the Apple product cycle, here is some six-month-old news: Apple finally stopped selling the iPad 2 model back in March. After it hung on at the bottom of the tablet product line for a couple of years to be a rock for the education and corporate markets, Apple kicked the iPad 2 out and resurrected the iPad 4 as the new full-size budget model.

But for now, Apple is continuing to update the iPad 2, in part because it has so much in common with the non-retina iPad mini, including the Apple A5 processor and 1024x768 display. But the iPad 2 hung around so long because it's also a legacy device. There are students depending on updates, as well as companies who used the iPad as a default device, like Square.

iOS 7 didn't do a whole lot of damage to the iPad 2, and even improved it in some aspects, like how fast the browser could load webpages. But this time around, the new version of iOS 8 appears to make the start of a much bigger decline, not only in performance, but in appearance.

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17 Sep 13:55

Facebook is building a Facebook inside Facebook, and that's just great

by Ellis Hamburger

Facebook has a problem: your Friends list has grown so broad that sharing a photo or status with all of them probably doesn't make much sense. People still do it out of habit, and because there aren't many clear-cut ways to share with just your family or just your close friends. But according to a new report, Facebook is building a standalone app to help you do exactly this.

TechCrunch reports that Facebook is building a new app codenamed "Moments" that lets you share with smaller groups of people. The report says that the app most resembles Cluster, a social networking app that lets you create "spaces" for each of your family and friend groups, and then share photos or texts with them. Cluster, notably, is a network of its own, while Moments, reportedly, shares content back to Facebook.

cluster app

cluster app

Cluster lets you share with smaller groups

This is actually a great idea, on Facebook's part; we don't need one more network to manage, we need a better way to quickly share something with our family, and then have them understand that we've shared it with only them when it pops up in their news feed. Currently, if you post something on Facebook and share it with only a few people, it will indeed show up in their feeds, but it's not obvious that the post has been shared with a smaller than usual audience. Thus, the message changes, and these people think you've shared a photo with everyone, and not just them.

Facebook's two-sided problem is a tough one. The company has come out with various features to address both issues — first, sharing to smaller audiences, and second, having those audiences know when they've been shared with — but none of them have seemingly achieved wide adoption. Facebook's first solution is two-pronged. You can either share with a custom "List" you've created, or pick people one-by-one to share with when you create a post. The second solution involves a tiny icon in your feed that indicates something has been shared with a small group including you, but isn't obvious enough. Moments could, seemingly solve for both of these issues in a more intuitive fashion.

facebook audience selector before after

facebook audience selector before after

Facebook recently updated its audience selector to make it more obvious who you're sharing with

The app reportedly lets you tap on a group of friends you've created to share with them. This is easier than creating Lists, which still has a terrible interface, and is also easier than tapping the names of your family members in an ordinary Facebook post. Moments would share directly back to Facebook, but when the people you've shared with see a Moment in their feed, it would be called out, and not just fly by like any other post.

We don't need one more network to manage, we need better ways to share

Moments could even send you a push notification when a friend has shared something with you specifically. In this case, the signal behind any post would be extremely high, whereas today a quick browse through the news feed might yield a dozen wedding photos from someone you haven't seen in a decade. Signal is important. Signal is addictive. Signal is one of the reasons Snapchat hasn't created a Select All button. To do so would be to create the Facebook feed problem all over again.

The original appeal to Facebook was that what you share becomes valuable when it's shared with a small, tight-knit community. The plot worked. 1.32 billion people joined the site, which is still growing like gangbusters in many countries. But, for all the early Facebook users who have now accumulated more friends than they can count, Moments could provide some salvation — if Facebook ever launches the app.

17 Sep 14:18

Commander Keen: Keen Dreams Source Code Released

by Soulskill
New submitter ildon writes: Recently, the rights holder of former game publisher Softdisk's game library put the rights to some of their old titles up for sale, including Commander Keen: Keen Dreams, one of the few games in the series not to be published by Apogee. A group of fans created an Indiegogo campaign to purchase those rights. We are just now seeing the fruits of that effort with the full source code of the game being published to GitHub. About a year ago, Tom Hall found the sources to episodes 4-6, but it's not clear what, if any, progress has been made on getting Bethesda to allow that code to be released.

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17 Sep 14:00

There's a new 'Zelda' game, but it's not what you're thinking

by Andrew Webster

"Hyrule Warriors is a surprisingly good use of the Zelda license. It's not a particularly deep or challenging game, but it's mindless fun with plenty of moments and details that longtime fans of the series will pick up on. It's crazy, sure, but crazy enough that it works."

It's an exciting time for Legend of Zelda fans. Following the release of last year's brilliant A Link Between Worlds on 3DS, Nintendo is working on a brand-new, open-world Zelda that's shaping up to be Link's most exciting adventure in years. But while Wii U owners anxiously await that game's 2015 release, Nintendo is launching something a whole lot weirder this month: Hyrule Warriors, a game that blends the Zelda universe with an obscene amount of action. It's not what you'd expect from the series, but it can be a lot of of fun.

Hyrule Warriors is actually a mash-up of two different games. It's part Zelda, and part Dynasty Warriors, an action series that dates back to 1997. What's most surprising about Dynasty Warriors' lasting appeal is that all of the many, many games are basically the same, and they feature some of the most simplistic combat around. In most cases you can just mash the attack button without actually thinking about what you're doing. What makes the games interesting, though, is their sense of scale; Dynasty Warriors is basically a game version of those insanely huge battles from the Lord of the Rings movies, except you play as a massively overpowered character that can take out dozens of enemies in a single move.

Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors

If this doesn't sound anything like a Zelda game, that's because it isn't

This remains unchanged in Hyrule Warriors. To give you a sense of just how crazy things get, in my very first mission, less than 15 minutes into the game a pop-up appeared announcing that I had already defeated 1,000 enemies. I hadn't even faced off against the first boss yet. The combat is simultaneously thrilling and tedious, but it's helped along by some light strategies that force you to take over different areas of the map before you're completely overrun by bad guys. There are also some cool — and, of course, gigantic — boss creatures that require you to do things like aim and dodge instead of just mashing a single button.

If this doesn't sound anything like a Zelda game, that's because it isn't: Hyrule Warriors is developed by the team behind Dynasty Warriors and features virtually identical gameplay. What makes it Zelda is all of the fan service thrown in. There's a huge line-up of characters you can play as, from Link to Sheik, and you'll be battling across iconic Hyrule landmarks like Death Mountain and those colorful floating islands from Skyward Sword. You'll even hear the all-too-familiar "hey, listen!" to alert you to action happening elsewhere in the level. It's little more than a Zelda-themed coat of paint, but it's surprisingly effective: I've always found the Dynasty Warriors games to be bland and tedious, but it's a whole lot more interesting when you're playing as Princess Zelda and wielding familiar weapons like bombs and boomerangs.

Nintendo has a very spotty history when it comes to letting other developers handle its properties — Other M is definitely not the Metroid game I was hoping for — but Hyrule Warriors is a surprisingly good use of the Zelda license. It's not a particularly deep or challenging game, but it's mindless fun with plenty of moments and details that longtime fans of the series will pick up on. It's crazy, sure, but crazy enough that it works.

Hyrule Warriors is coming to the Wii U on September 26th.

17 Sep 14:00

A man in horse mask getting his head crushed is the least crazy thing about this kung-fu trailer

by Carl Franzen

A legendary loyal solider is frozen in the war-stricken past and reawakened in the present to face his ultimate nemesis. Sound familiar? It should, because The Iceman — a Hong Kong martial arts flick that went grossly overbudget and bowed earlier this year to poor reviews — is actually a remake of a more beloved 1989 martial arts film called The Iceman Cometh (proving it's not just Hollywood that has a chronic remake/reboot addiction these days). But for all its faults, The Iceman (2014) surely doesn't get cold feet when it comes to staging elaborately cartoonish action sequences, including this midair fist bump.

Iceman fist bump GIF

Starring Hong Kong action icon Donnie Yen as the titular cold storage warrior (who bears no relation to the X-Men character of the same name, sorry), the movie even manages to weaponize a pencil holder.

Pencil holder Iceman

Of utmost importance to the equine fiends of the internet, however, is the scene in which the Iceman gamely drops a horse-headed assailant.

Iceman horse head punch

All this and more are featured in the trailer Neflix posted today to announce the film's streaming availability beginning this Thursday, September 18th. Whatever you think of it, also recall it's not the only recent program on Netflix to prominently feature a horse

17 Sep 02:51

Pages 33 & 34 Let’s have a drink and talk about our...


KC Green be killin me with his frames

where is my KC Green tv shows

Pages 33 & 34

Let’s have a drink and talk about our troubles, okay?

16 Sep 18:52

The Rise Of Open Source Hardware @popsci @tindie #oshw

by adafruit

meanwhile, in Portland


The Rise Of Open Source Hardware @ Popular Science.

Emile Petrone founded Tindie for selfish reasons. “The basic idea was that there wasn’t a marketplace for the things I was interested in,” he says. At the time, those things were his latest DIY hardware obsessions—specifically, kits to support Arduino and Raspberry Pi. “Ebay’s not really right, and neither is Amazon. Hardware projects had no natural home.” 

So in the summer of 2012, Petrone (then an engineer at a Portland startup) launched a site where flexible matrix boards and laser motion sensors could be sold alongside build-it-yourself weather monitoring kits and robot birds. Almost immediately, Tindie began attracting favorable attention from the indie hardware community—and then expanded from there. Today, around 600 inventors sell more than 3,000 different hardware products, which have shipped out to more than 80 countries around the world. Some customers are hobbyists like Petrone, but others are large entities like the Australian government, Google and NASA. These days, Petrone says, “NASA’s purchasing department just calls my cell phone.” 

16 Sep 19:12

Charcuterie? Prohibition-era Cocktails?


'Where do you take your loved ones with expensive taste, a love of local/organic, and "grown up urban outiftters" stylings?'

to hell


My husband's birthday is coming up and so we're taking a weekend trip to Portland. My problem is that my husband is wayyy cooler than me. He has run a cocktail bar, managed a craft beer/wine bar, and now works for a brewery (sales). Super extrovert and always manages to find really unique/cool spots.

I am not like this. Before I met him going out to eat meant Applebees (I know I'm pathetic, don't judge). Problem being now that I am trying to plan a cool trip involving brewery hopping (this I got covered) and then bar hopping/ a nice dinner. But I am hopelessly uncool and unhip.

Can any of you locals suggest your favorite local hipster hangs (are they all hipster hangs in Portland?)? Do you have a restaurant that specializes in Charcuterie? Swanky cocktails? Where do you take your loved ones with expensive taste, a love of local/organic, and "grown up urban outiftters" stylings?

submitted by yellowspottedlizard
[link] [43 comments]
17 Sep 14:24

Breaking news – Dremel is releasing a 3D printer @dremel #makercon

by adafruit

Pre-installed extruder, onboard software with touchscreen, 0.1mm resolution, 9x6 bed. Proprietary software runs on Win/Mac/Ubuntu. "Available exclusively at Home Depot, and Canadian Tire."

17 Sep 05:29

Here Are This Year's MacArthur Genius Grant Winners



Recipients include civil rights lawyer Mary L. Bonauto and cartoonist Alison Bechdel.
17 Sep 13:51

Today Apple Will Release iOS 8, The Latest Version of Their Mobile Operating System

by Glen Tickle

iOS 8 preview

Apple is set to release iOS 8 today. It is the latest version of their mobile operating system and was announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference on June 2nd, 2014. The exact time the update will be available is uncertain, but International Business Times and Computerworld are both reporting it will be live starting at 10:00am Pacific Time (1:00pm Eastern) based on past Apple releases.

In the past Apple has required that devices be updated to the most recent version of iOS before an update can be installed, so anyone looking to update once iOS 8 is made available should make sure their device is currently running iOS 7.1.2 to prepare.

iOS 8 brings a number of new features including Apple’s health and fitness hub HealthKit, which will also integrated with the upcoming Apple Watch (see previously). The update will also bring predictive typing with QuickType, and introduce new ways families will be able to share media.

image via Apple

17 Sep 00:32

Shit Is Fucked Up And Bullshit

by (Atrios)
popular shared this story from Eschaton.

Really don't think enough of us olds grasp just how difficult things are for The Kids Today, that even the ones who did All The Right Things can't manage get the things we mostly took took mostly for granted at that stage in life.
We aren’t getting even entry-level jobs, which could enable us to pay our own bills. Not only are we not buying houses, many of us aren’t renting, either: About a third of millennials still live with their parents, earning us the irksome epithet “boomerang generation” — a play on “boomer generation,” the presumed victim here.

Still let's mumble something about how they should have all gotten STEM degrees even though there aren't any STEM jobs either.

17 Sep 03:50

Timeline Algorithms


via Jfiorato
never filter firehose
filter only firehose

I’ve never stopped thinking like an RSS reader developer. A habit of nine years is difficult to shake.

For many years what I wanted to do was develop an algorithm for the reader that would pay attention to what you pay attention to, so that it could bring to the top things likely to be most important to you.

I never got that far, which I regretted for years.

But now I wonder if that would have been the right thing to do. These days I hear complaints that you don’t see everything on Facebook from the people you’ve chosen to follow. And Twitter seems to be moving toward an algorithm-based timeline too, which has people (including me) upset.

At the same time, people do like things like muting features and lists. So it’s not that they’re against filters and organization — it’s that they don’t want these imposed from the outside.

These days, were I writing an RSS reader (I’m not), I think I’d skip developing an algorithm based on the user’s attention — instead, I’d focus on making it really easy to filter out the things you don’t care about, and to highlight the things you’re more likely to want to see.

And not try to come up with some algorithm which would have the effect of bugging people and making them feel like they were missing things. Since they would be.

17 Sep 03:26

TBA:14 | Whatever else it is, Tim Hecker’s music is performed at a volume potentially damaging to the audience’s health | portland theatre scene

by hodad

meanwhile, in Portland

There was some interesting stuff going on inside Tim Hecker’s sound at PSU tonight, but the performance was so loud I had a hard time hearing it.

Not that putting fingers or ear plugs in your ears was much help. This was the kind of loud where your clothing moves and you can feel the bass vibrating through your chest. Like that low note that blows out the window in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. High volume is a health hazard plain and simple, and I’m not sure why people would subject themselves to the experience voluntarily.

Also, the fact that the performance contains extremely loud and potentially damaging volume should be prominently featured in PICA’s materials about the show – same sort of warning to the audience that a show with extreme violence might call for. It’s dangerous, and it could make for a very adverse experience if you did not know what you were in for. If you were trapped in the middle of one of PSU’s long rows and wanted to exit but could not – the experience could be unpleasant.

Original Source

17 Sep 04:26

TIL a painful truth about the history of institutionalized racism in Oregon and the historical roots of the lack of racial diversity here.

17 Sep 04:00

quondam, n., adv., and adj.


"The former holder of an office or position; (Oxford Univ.) a former Fellow of All Souls College. Also derogatory: a person who has been deposed or ejected."

1935 E. R. Eddison Mistress xxi. 437 Let not the filth be in doubt, you are his good jade, hate us all, too, 'cause of your quondamship.

17 Sep 00:27

funny 2 year old shouting at her mummy for laughing while she was singing Disney Frozen - YouTube

by gguillotte

captions available
now that's how you shut down a heckler

17 Sep 02:16

liarasothersideboob: allaboutskyrim: Stupid Draugr.  That...



Stupid Draugr. 

That moment when he realizes he fucked up.

17 Sep 02:49

birdandmoon: Dating isn’t easy, no matter who you are. This is...


Dating isn’t easy, no matter who you are. This is a great Attenborough clip about wasps and orchids.

07 Sep 21:00

twerkforyoutube: are dogs even real?


via Lori


are dogs even real?

16 Sep 20:23

the-goddamazon: jenari: hobojoe007: Mind=Blown How have I...


via Rosalind





How have I grown up watching these movies, for some 30+ years and not pondered this…..

True. If they actually played their hand properly the fucking credits would have been rolling twenty minutes in.

16 Sep 04:29

sherlockspeare: (X)


via Rosalink Cumberarden

16 Sep 18:30

Transgender teen back in custody following escape

by Associated Press

via Rosalind

jailHARTFORD, Conn. -- A troubled transgender girl whose confinement case has attracted national attention escaped from a Connecticut treatment program Tuesday and was found by police several hours later, state officials said. The teenager has been moved several times since a judge in April ordered her to be imprisoned without criminal charges at the...
17 Sep 07:42

Casualties of Ebola epidemic on a log...


via rnas; the log scale erases the fact that the fatality rate is <50%

Casualties of Ebola epidemic on a log scale

08 Jun 04:37

On being a thing

by Sarah Kendzior

via otters via bl00

I do not write personal essays. This is the first, and likely the last, you will see.

I write articles that have resonated with millions of people, often in an emotional way. But I never write about myself or my personal life. I have multiple platforms and if I wanted to, I could. I choose not to – in part because I think focusing on myself distracts from the social and political problems I depict, but also because I value my privacy.

I am like this in “real life” too. I have been described as aloof, but I try to be generous and kind. I take care of my family and my community. I don’t care about fame, which is much more of a curse than a gift. I reject most media interviews. My priorities are my loved ones and my work. Yesterday I was reading Charlotte’s Web to my daughter: the story of “a true friend and a good writer”. That is all I aim to be. If I had the choice, this is how I would be remembered.

But I do not have a choice.

I do not like to write about myself, and I do not like to write about my pain. Today Jacobin put me in a position where I had no choice but to do that.

For the past few weeks, I have been receiving rape threats and constant harassment from people who describe themselves as leftists or communists, and apparently want to rape their way to revolution. I have attempted to handle these threats privately. I mentioned them on Twitter twice: once to violentfanon, whose podcast I nearly had to cancel on because of the intensity of the threats, and one to Kenzo Shibata, in a Twitter conversation.

The rest of the time I dealt with them in non-public ways, through private emails and discussion. I have learned that to draw attention to rape threats produces more rape threats. I was scared for my safety and did not want to do that. Any attack on me becomes an attack on my family. As a mother, it is my job to protect my family.

During the YesAllWomen hashtag, which happened at the peak of the threats, I was tempted to open up about what was happening. I was moved by others sharing their stories, many of which were similar to mine. Like many women, I deleted more tweets than I submitted. In the end, I only referred to my situation obliquely. I could not go through with it.

Today Amber A’lee Frost at Jacobin magazine linked to my conversation with Shibata in order to mock my rape threats. This tweet would have been fairly hard to find since it was merely a response to Shibata’s. As I said, had I wanted to talk about my rape threats, I certainly could have – in an article in a mass media outlet or in tweets to my 24000 Twitter followers. But I did not want this scrutiny. Instead I made a brief remark, and forgot about it until this morning, when it appeared in Jacobin – used to viciously mock my potential rape in a piece that otherwise had nothing to do with me.

There are not words to describe the experience of reading an article, coming to the word “rape threats”, and then seeing that the rape threat is about you – intended to debase and humiliate you for admitting you have been threatened.

When I objected to the piece, two Jacobin editors admitted that they had not edited or carefully read the piece in question, and removed the link. Then another editor, Megan Erickson, said I was being “childish” for noting that they had mocked me for my rape threats. She and others spent the day mocking and harassing me.

Because this was now being handled in public, I was fortunate to receive the support of hundreds of people on Twitter – as well as attacks from others. I always expect some form of trolling, but I did not expect one of the attackers to be an editor at Salon, Elias Isquith, who questioned what my potential rape meant for “hashtags” and “brands”.

So in one day, two leftist publications used rape threats to me to belittle me, humiliate me and defame me. And then others accuse me of wanting attention.

Who in their right mind would want attention for this?

I had, and continue to have, no desire to ever write about being repeatedly threatened with rape. It is a painful subject for me to discuss for many reasons. The only reason I’m doing so now is because Jacobin forced me into a position where I have no choice but to do so to clarify what happened. I don’t want attention, or pity, or to be anyone’s hero or victim.

What do I want? I want people to stop sending me rape threats. I want to do my work. I want to stop being treated like a thing – or, shall I say, like a woman.

The left has a rape problem. Someone should write about it. But it is not going to be me. I have had enough threats this year.