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21 Jan 16:30

Skullcandy SLYR gaming headset

by Jason Weisberger

Skullcandy SLYR Xbox One - Black/Green

The headset that came with my Xbox One was chewed by a dog. This Skullcandy SLYR is a fantastic step up!

Playing a networked FPS shooter with your friends requires good in-game chat. This Skullcandy set is a fantastic mic, and the sound is really impressive. Gaming and effects come through so clearly that I am using the headset as my single audio source when playing games. Clarity is wonderful and the soundstage works very well for identifying where threats are coming from. There is enough bass to make firing off a rocket launcher feel legitimate, as well.

The boom mic is a bit long for me, and I have to be sure to position the ear cups back as far as they can go, but overall fit is comfortable. The padding is high quality and just the right density to allow me to wear my thick, horn-rimmed glasses without problems or fear. Construction is great and I have no doubt this headset, Cavalier King Charles permitting, can outlast the Xbox One.

There are manual controls for in-game sound and voice chat, so you can balance the levels your self, on the fly. I found that setting the two options equally in side the Xbox' settings will allow for more fine control via the handset. If you set the levels wildly different in software, the hardware may do odd things.

Not cheap, at $90, but definitely a huge upgrade over the included headset. Skullcandy makes this model for PC gaming as well.

Skullcandy SLYR Xbox One via Amazon

21 Jan 16:27

Cosmic Kids Teaches Kids Yoga Through Interactive Stories

by Beth Skwarecki on Vitals, shared by Alan Henry to Lifehacker

Yoga can be a fun way for kids to get exercise and learn about how their body works, but not every kid is interested in the yoga routines their parents do. Cosmic Kids Yoga is different: little ones follow along with a story on the screen, and the poses and stretches just happen to be part of it.


21 Jan 16:27

Build a Stylish, Insulated Dog House to Keep Your Pup Warm

by Patrick Allan

If you’re looking for a great weekend project that will make your dog one happy pooch, this insulated dog house is perfect. It looks great and will keep your dog nice and comfy year round.


21 Jan 16:27

Explore the Best Brews of 2016 With This Interactive Periodic Table of Beer

by Patrick Allan

If you’re looking for a tasty new beer to try out, this interactive periodic table will guide you in the right direction.


21 Jan 16:27

Monitor Your Home From Anywhere With Yi's Security Camera, Just $30 Today

by Shep McAllister on Deals, shared by Shep McAllister to Lifehacker

Yi, manufacturer of your favorite affordable action cam, also makes a home IP security camera, and Prime members can pick it up for just $30 today, albeit with a backorder. If you want it faster, or aren’t a Prime member, it’s also available for $35.


21 Jan 16:27

Make a Cheap and Portable Camping Stove From Shelving Brackets

by Andy Orin

When you’re out camping and want to cook something in a pot or pan, all you really need is a way to hold the vessel above hot coals. One cheap and portable solution is to bring along a few metal shelving brackets.


21 Jan 16:27

Saturday's Best Deals: Finger Lights, Sugru, Massage Balls, and More

by Shep McAllister on Deals, shared by Shep McAllister to Lifehacker

Finger lights, Sugru projects, and TriggerPoint foam massage balls lead off Saturday’s best deals.


21 Jan 16:27

Top 10 Free Alternatives to Expensive Software

by Alan Henry

Unless you have a company buying licenses for you, tools like Photoshop, Pro Tools, Maya, or even Windows can be a serious bite out of your wallet. Here are some more affordable options to those normally pricey apps that’ll help you stop fretting and get more done.


21 Jan 16:26

3 Doors Down's Manager Explains Why the Band Said Yes to Trump's Inauguration

by James Borrowdale

This post originally appeared on VICE New Zealand

Tomorrow, America—and by extension the rest of the world—kicks off its experiment with the alternate reality of a Trump presidency with the Make America Great Again Welcome Celebration. It's no secret that Donald Trump has had trouble attracting top-drawer talent to perform at his inauguration—except, of course, the man his team are calling "the greatest celebrity in the world": Trump himself.

Where Obama had Beyoncé, Trump has Jon Voight; where Obama had Aretha Franklin, Trump has 3 Doors Down, the Southern rockers of the early 2000s spiky-hair-and-baggy-jeans post-grunge school. VICE caught up with Angus Vail, 54, the band's business manager to find out why the group would align themselves with Trump.

Angus Vail and the Donald Trump butt plug he bought in June, "Fully anticipating that I'd be stomping it when Trump lost the election." Image supplied.

VICE: Hey Angus, so what's the mood like on the East Coast right now?
Angus Vail: Absolute disgust. Because my office is largely conservative, it's been interesting because they think that I'm crazy, but my liberal friends don't think I'm liberal enough.

How did 3 Doors Down become involved in the inauguration?
Well, 3 Doors actually played George W. Bush's inauguration. They are good Mississippi and Alabama boys—they come from conservative families. You know, they're really good guys, but they have very different political beliefs. Because they played both Bush's inaugurations, they've obviously been on the conservative radar.

So what are the band's political beliefs?
3 Doors have that God, guns, and country black-and-white sort of viewpoint, and they spend a lot of time going to Iraq, doing service, playing for the troops. They believe it and that's just the way they see America. It's pretty hard to argue with. You say, "What about the nuances, what about the grey areas?" and they say, "No, no, God, guns, America is the greatest country on earth." They stick to that viewpoint.

Does that make things interesting for you?
I disagree with them politically but we have a very good dialogue. When I go down and see them, they give me a lot of shit. I went down there and one of their fathers said, "Damn, I've never had a Democrat in the house before." The band was like, "He's from New Zealand—he doesn't know any better." When Obama got elected, the singer [Brad Arnold] said please don't talk to my father about Obama because he thinks the world has ended. He was just as horrified and depressed about Obama as many are about Trump. They were like, "It's going to be Armageddon, the whole world is going to communism and he's going to give everything away to the welfare state."

Until hearing 3 Doors Down were appearing at the inauguration, I don't think they had crossed my mind since I was about 14. Are they a big deal in the US?
The interesting thing is that they have songs, like "Loser" and "Kryptonite," and those songs are played at every Walmart and in every elevator in America. But are they huge? Well, the very first album they put out sold 13 million copies and 3 Doors are a Bible-belt sort of band, and they can do very well in all those places. They can play until they're 80 years old, and people will come and see them. They're not the latest, hottest thing, but they will always attract a lot of people. They can sell out a reasonable-sized venue—if they play in the rustbelt, in the Midwest, in the Bible belt, they can do 5,000 people one night. That's the nature of America, of the market here.

Obviously Trump has had some trouble attracting top-caliber talent. Why do you think that is, and why did 3 Doors Down want to play?
I think people are horrified, and celebrities tend towards liberal viewpoints and it would be very toxic for them. But I defend 3 Doors because it's their right to play wherever and they have a particular view of Trump and the Republican Party and conservatism in general, and it's really interesting for me to see. A lot of people think like, how can you be associated with them? Whereas I just think they have a very different view of the world from me.

The band has copped some criticism over their decision—does that bother them?
No such thing as bad publicity. Andy Warhol said, "I never read what anybody says about me, I just measure the column inches." And you know what? We started with them in 2001—they're an older band, they're older guys. Once you get to the point that you've been in rock for 16 years and a whole bunch of people get pissed off with you on Twitter, it's like: that's good for us. The more liberals that get all hot under their collar about it, the more we're appreciated by a whole bunch of conservatives. Are they sitting there crying into their pillows at night? Of course not.

Under Margaret Thatcher in the UK we saw the rise of a host of excellent post-punk bands—Echo & the Bunnymen, the Smiths, the Cure—and in Reagan's America there was some amazing hardcore. Can we expect something similar under Trump?
It's the music industry so I don't think you can expect anything. That's the good and bad thing about the industry: you never know what's going to happen. I would love a new iteration of just brutal punk rock. If some angry, kick-in-the-bollocks punk rock came out again, I'd be so happy. Maybe that's the silver lining.

Follow James Borrowdale on Twitter.

21 Jan 16:25

Bread Baking 101 for Beginners

by Jeremy Anderberg

My bread-baking hobby all started with a Netflix documentary. Cooked, based on Michael Pollan’s book of the same name, explores the origins of food in our world and communities. One of the episodes — “Air” — focused on bread. Pollan, who also narrates the series, takes us on a world tour of the history and science of bread-making. With just 4 simple ingredients, he explains, a world can be fed: flour, water, salt, and yeast. (And that last one can be found and added naturally in the right conditions.)

Four ingredients? I could make bakery-quality bread — the very staff of life — in my own kitchen with just four ingredients?

The idea was planted in my mind, but I neglected to take action on it, and the inspiration went dormant. Then I interviewed Bo Pryor for our SYWMJ series, and I learned that part of his weekly routine is making bread with his children. The inspiration re-surfaced, I asked him for a recipe, and a new hobby was born.

I started out with Bo’s sandwich loaf. Then I made some easy French bread, a few Dutch oven boules (that’s French for “round loaf”), a baguette-style airy loaf — soon enough it became a weekly hobby of exploring various recipes and methods. And now, just a few short months later, I’m making sourdough bread, English muffins, dinner rolls, etc. It’s really quite an easy learning curve.

Below, I present Bread Baking 101: guidance and recipes for very beginners — folks who may have never baked anything in their whole life — on how to make bread at home. I guarantee you’ll end up with a bakery-quality loaf from your very own oven.

The Benefits of Baking Your Own Bread

If you’ve never thought about baking your own bread before, why consider starting? Here are 3 reasons:

It’s healthier. Take a look at the ingredients list of any pre-packaged bread you buy at the grocery store. You’ll find a bunch of unpronounceable chemicals and preservatives. Your homemade bread will literally just be flour, water, salt, and yeast. There may be added accoutrements like cheese, herbs, dried fruits, etc., but the base of your loaves will be built on a simple foundation of four ingredients. While bread is calorie-rich and not particularly healthy in general (at least in the modern age where you’re typically not burning off all those carbs), if you’re going to eat and enjoy it, homemade is the way to go. I actually appreciate that my bread starts to harden and mold after a week — just like real, unadulterated organic matter should.

It’s an easy way to impress friends/family, guests, and party hosts. Few things impress loved ones and other guests at a dinner party like a homemade loaf of bread. It has a certain magical quality about it that isn’t replicated in other foods — possibly because it’s one of mankind’s oldest cooked foodstuffs.

Plus, being that a man should never arrive empty-handed to a party, bread makes for something unique and wonderful to present to another host. Rather than a bottle of wine or a six-pack — as is the usual — show up to the door with a fresh loaf, and you’ll be sure to stand out. It’s also a nice gift because it can be served with dinner or other party treats, or it can be reserved to be enjoyed later on.

It connects you to your food, and rebels against big corporations. The vast majority of Americans these days are totally disconnected from their food. Everything we ingest is prepackaged, frozen, reheated in microwaves. And the giant corporations who manufacture all that “food” for us are making billions of dollars because we don’t know how and don’t want to take the time to cook our own.

Push back against the corporate behemoths and learn how to bake a loaf of bread. It’s incredibly satisfying not only to the taste buds, but to the soul, too.

Next, let’s go into the basic ingredients and supplies needed, and then into a couple recipes.   

Ingredients Needed

The ingredients needed to make bread are incredibly simple, and you’re almost guaranteed to have the majority of what you need already at home.

Yeast. Yeast is the living organism that makes your bread dough rise and creates those lovely air bubbles in the crumb — without it, you’d have a flatbread or a tortilla. There’s a ton of complicated science behind yeast and what it’s actually doing in bread (and beer!), and if you’re looking for a good explanation, check out this resource library from Red Star. But for our purposes, just know that you need it, and there are two types of yeast usually found in the grocery store:

  • Active Dry — yeast that is dry, granular in texture, and needs proofing — that is, it needs to be mixed with lukewarm (about 110° F) water to activate (beware: if the water is too hot, it will kill your yeast). This water/yeast solution is then added to your dry ingredients.
  • Instant/Rapid Rise — with a finer consistency, instant yeast activates more quickly than “active dry” and doesn’t have to be proofed first — it can be put right in with your dry ingredients. “Rapid rise” is a variety of instant yeast to which enzymes have been added to help the dough rise faster.

There are other varieties of yeast — fresh and sourdough starter, namely — but the above two are all the beginning baker needs to know. Both kinds of yeast come in either packets or jars; if you plan on baking frequently, it’s worth getting a jar from which you can dole out perfectly portioned measurements (you’re not always going to need a packet-ful).

So which kind of yeast should you use? While each type will produce slightly different effects in your breads, and some bakers swear by active dry, they’re fairly interchangeable. Instant has the advantage of convenience in that it doesn’t have to be proofed and helps your dough rise faster (potentially saving 10-20 minutes of time). For that reason, I prefer instant. Just choose one type, get used to using it, and make it your go-to.

Flour. While any old all-purpose (white) flour will do, there are some variations to consider when buying flour for bread.

  • Whole Wheat — whole wheat flour adds density, some sweetness, and additional health benefits to your bread. Many people also just prefer the taste of whole wheat bread over white. Know, however, that you can’t just substitute the same amount of whole wheat flour when a recipe calls for white. Doing 100% whole wheat flour without changing the loaf’s preparation techniques would give you a brick of bread — its properties don’t allow for the same fluffiness. Usually you’ll see 20-40% of the total flour being whole wheat, so I recommend only working with whole wheat when a recipe specifically calls for it rather than freestyling.
  • Bread Flour — this is a variety of white flour, but it has a higher protein content. What does that mean for our purposes? It leads to better gluten development — the bonds formed by the water and flour are stronger. You end up with a really nice chewy and elastic structure. You can sub in bread flour 100% for any recipe that calls for all-purpose. It’s exclusively what I use for my loaves.
  • Specialty Flours — when walking down the baking aisle at the store you’re bound to see other specialty flours like rye, semolina, oat, etc. As a beginner, stay away from these until you’ve gotten some experience. As with whole wheat, you’ll rarely, if ever, use these as 100% of the flour content in a typical loaf of bread, so don’t try it.

In conclusion, any all-purpose white flour will do. I like to use bread flour as a substitute, and it’s easily found in most grocery stores. Use whole wheat flour if the recipe calls for it. Stay away from the other stuff until later on.

Salt. Your basic table salt will do! I usually put 25-50% less salt in the bread than what the recipe calls for. I personally like to let the bread flavor come through pure, and then sprinkle some sea salt on top if I feel it needs it.

Water. I’ve always used tap water, and it comes out just fine!

Others. Many recipes call for additional ingredients to sweeten things or create a different type of texture. These can include milk (usually calls for whole), butter (usually calls for unsalted), oil, honey, etc.

Supplies Needed

Digital scale. If there’s one tool a home bread baker needs above all others, it’s a digital kitchen scale. Cheap versions are a little over $10; the one I use was $30. I’m sure the cheap ones work just fine.

Why do you need a scale versus just measuring cups? It’s almost entirely for the flour. When scooping flour out of a bag with a measuring cup, every person doing it (and every time you do it) will garner a scoop with a different density. The flour can get smashed down and then you get more than needed, or it can be a little too fluffy and you’ll have less than desired. In short, the cup of flour in a measuring cup is not always the same one cup of flour called for. With a scale, you’re getting exact amounts in grams. It’s just the better way to go.

Additionally, most bread recipes are written in either grams or ounces anyway, so your measuring cups wouldn’t do you a whole lot of good without having to do some math for every ingredient.

Mixing bowls. I tend to use more than one mixing bowl when I make bread, so have a couple clean and handy.

Measuring cups/spoons. Both liquid and dry, and for some recipes you’ll need spoons for down to 1/4 tsp or even 1/8 tsp (though not for the ones in this article).

Spatula/wooden spoon. Any will do.

Dutch oven. For the second recipe, a Dutch oven with a lid is needed. I melted the plastic handle off mine the first time, so a steel handle is preferred.

Two Beginner Recipes for a Great Homemade Loaf of Bread

These recipes are where, I believe, every home bread baker should start. They’re super easy, don’t require kneading, and produce a really amazing loaf. Once you feel comfortable working with the ingredients, stirring and transferring dough, etc., then you can move on to more advanced breads and techniques (which I’ll write about in the future!).

I’ve included the step-by-step pictures for the first recipe. The steps are similar for the second recipe, and really for all bread recipes. Mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, form into dough, let rise, bake. That’s simplified, of course, but that’s the gist of it!

Easy Sandwich Loaf

This is a classic sandwich loaf recipe, that adds some butter and honey for additional sweetness. You’ll need a loaf pan for this recipe.


  • 310 grams flour (all-purpose or bread) – 2 cups
  • 55 grams whole wheat flour – 6 tablespoons
  • 7 grams yeast – 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 14 grams honey – 1 tablespoon
  • 4 grams salt – 3/4 teaspoon
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast, so it’s all well-incorporated.

Whisking together dry ingredients.

2. Whisk together warm water, melted butter, and honey in liquid measuring cup until honey is dissolved.

3. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir until the batter comes together. Then use the spoon or spatula to fold the dough over on itself 4-6 times until a more firm dough starts to form.

The dough is coming together after mixing the wet and dry ingredients with a spatula.

4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rise until it’s about doubled in volume (30-40 min.).

You can see the dough has about doubled in volume, filling some of the space of the mixing bowl. It’s also naturally smoothed out a bit. The bubbles are the yeast doing its job!

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and grease your loaf pan (Pam for the win here!).

6. Transfer dough to the loaf pan, cover with plastic, and let rise until the dough gets to 1/2” below the lip of the pan. Uncover, and let rise until the dough is level with the lip of the pan. This should all take about 30-40 minutes.

The dough naturally deflates some when transferring to the loaf pan. That’s A-okay. It can actually rise too much, in which case the loaf deflates when cooking.

Almost ready for baking! Just a few more minutes.

7. Bake 40-45 minutes, until the top is a nice golden-brown. Let loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes or so, before transferring to a cooling rack or cutting board.

8. Let cool for a couple hours before slicing and enjoying! If you cut bread too soon, the steam that’s still in there will escape, and the bread will dry out much quicker.

Dutch Oven Boule

This recipe is stupidly easy, and it tastes amazing. This was my family’s favorite bread of mine before I recently got some speciality bread-baking tools (more on that in Bread Braking 201). This is an overnight rise, so start the bread the day or night before you’d like to bake it. Hardly any skill needed — just some time and attention.

Ingredients (I’ve included standard measures as well, in italics)

  • 630 grams flour (bread or all-purpose) – 4.5 cups
  • 18 grams salt – 1 tbsp
  • 1 1/2 grams yeast – 1/2 tsp
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast, so it’s all well-incorporated.
  2. Add 2 1/4 cups water, stir until a sticky, pretty wet dough forms. If not all of the flour is incorporated, slowly add more water, a tablespoon or so at a time. This isn’t your standard dough; it’s very moist and would be impossible to form into any shape at this point.
  3. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let it rise on the counter at room temperature overnight, or up to 24 hours.
  4. After the bread has risen, use a spoon to fold the dough over itself 4-6 times, deflating some of the air from it. Let rise another 2-3 hours.
  5. When you’re ready to bake, place your Dutch oven, with the lid, into the conventional oven. Preheat it to 475 degrees.
  6. When the conventional oven is preheated, pull the Dutch oven out (with oven mittens, please) and place it on the stovetop. Using a spoon, pour your dough into the hot dutch oven. It’ll sizzle a little bit.
  7. Place the lid back on, and put it back in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes with the lid on, then another 15-20 minutes with the lid off.
  8. Pull the Dutch oven out of the conventional oven, and let the bread sit in there another 15 minutes or so, before carefully flipping it over to get the bread out. The high heat ensured that the bread wouldn’t stick, so it should plop right out.
  9. Let cool for a couple hours before slicing in and enjoying!

For a whole wheat variation, use 420 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour (or bread flour) and 240 grams (1.5 cups) whole wheat flour.

You can also add: grated cheese (1 cup, gruyere is excellent), dried fruit (1 cup, blueberries are my favorite), rosemary (1-2 tablespoons). These are all added between steps 1 and 2. Use your imagination and experiment!



Cooked by Michael Pollan
52 Loaves by William Alexander
In Search of the Perfect Loaf by Samuel Fromartz
Bread Illustrated
Bread: A Global History by William Rubel
Bread Science: The Chemistry and Craft of Making Bread by Emily Buehler
Bake Magazine

The post Bread Baking 101 for Beginners appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

21 Jan 16:25

chocolate dutch baby

by deb

If I had a superpower, it would be rationalizing. Did you find a pair of boots that you love but they’re wildly expensive? Text me and I will tell you about the only time in my life I have splurged on boots and how lovely they are. Were you having a nostalgic conversation with a friend about boxed macaroni and cheese and now you’re craving it? I say you’re basically obligated to reunite with it once in a while as an adult for, like, reassessment. But that’s my base level of rationalizing; what I did last weekend was Olympic.

Read more »

21 Jan 16:25

Batman: The Telltale Series

by cellmate707

It is a badly injured Batman carried into the dirty, little apartment to Catwoman in Gotham’s dark. A confrontation has just gone wrong, and the two mask-clad figures have escaped with difficulty. Rarely has Batman been in a bigger predicament than now. Gotham opposes him, enemies flows around him on all sides, and his list of allies is becoming smaller. Catwoman helps him out of the armor, and left sitting Bruce Wayne on the couch, bruised, alone and without hope. It is in just this moment we see Rembrandt’s painting The Storm on the Sea of Galilee hanging on the walls in Catwoman (which also explains how the painting has been since it was actually stolen from the museum in Boston in 1990). The image of Jesus’ disciples in drowning emphasizes Bruce Wayne’s current situation more than anything else: Our hero is about to drown under their burdens, and it must be more or less a miracle to save him.

That’s when Batman: The Telltale Series strikes with moments like this, packed with symbolism and where Bruce Wayne’s vulnerability is set forth in its full and entire gravity, that the game is at its very best. Welcome to a Batman game where Bruce Wayne is the protagonist, and where super hero proves to be far from invulnerable.

List of Batman games can be said to hang soaring after Rocksteady gave us his Arkham trilogy, but Telltale Games does not try to create a similar or competing open world games. On the contrary, they do what they do best, and gives us a game where the story is central election anguish entrusted to you as a player, and where action sequences are reduced to a few simple button presses. It’s a familiar formula, and Telltale does not large to renew itself, but it is a formula that ultimately also works. Telltale has also shown that they are often best when they are based on comic material, as they did with The Wolf Among Us, and get comics can glimpse with a larger, wider and diverse cast of characters than just Batman.

The launch of Batman: The Telltale Series coincides with DC Rebirth, which was last year’s big event in the DC comics universe where one more or less started from scratch again for the DC characters (similar to The New 52 in 2011). The game is not directly linked to DC Rebirth, but presents for us a Batman that is as early in his career, and thus meet part of their enemies for the first time. We are introduced to acquaintances as Alfred, police officer Gordon, journalist Vicky Vale, mafia boss Carmine Falcone and Selina Kyle, who throughout the game presents us with the well-known love-hate relationship between Batman and Catwoman. We also meet Harvey Dent, who in this universe is mayor and friend of Bruce Wayne, and Oswald Cobblepot, better known as The Penguin. The latter is in this universe one ruined young man with elaborate ambitions revolution and a burning desire to see the rich and established be overthrown from their elite positions. This works unfortunately rather poor, and the game gives us one of the weaker penguin presentations for a long time regardless of the medium.

Fortunately it is not only old acquaintances that appear in the game. The plot circles mainly around a new group that appears in Gotham named Children of Arkham. Their motives I will not go so much into, but much about Bruce Wayne’s father, and during the game comes the unpleasant truths about Thomas Wayne emerged as major consequences. The story is well-written and engaging, and also leader of the Children of Arkham must be mentioned here as a highlight.

In rocksteady Arkham trilogy did we seriously feel of how it is perceived to be Batman, games allowed us to seriously play with power fantasy section of Batman Mythos. Telltale choice on their part to go in the opposite direction, leaving us primarily few follow the history of Bruce Wayne. We get to experience how Bruce not only have to struggle with balancing their two identities, but also how stressful it must be experienced when both Batman and Bruce Wayne faces pressure from all sides. It is part of the Batman universe we have not gotten explore much outside comics, making this being a unique and enriching experience. The burden is especially stressed that one in known Telltale style must make choices, and the choices have large consequences that shape history. Screenplay Work in this area is good, and although one can foresee some of the action because of the reuse of famous characters, the story more than approved a comprehensive plan. Musical besides also helping to underpin this vulnerability exposed in the game, while also sets the right mood when slipping into a robe and a mask.

The focus on Bruce Wayne does not mean Batman laid right on the shelf in this game, but Batman sequences experienced significantly weaker comprehensive set than Bruce Wayne sequences. This is due to the Batman sequences are heavily burdened by what have become Telltale games’ scourge: Action Sequences where it all is to press any buttons to the right time. It’s not bad, and there are actually some battle sequences towards the end of the game that is well directed, but it becomes very predictable now that Telltale has followed them the same formula for years. Have you seen you tired of Telltale formula, there is probably little here that will change this.

Though, something new, they try on. As Batman, you must periodically play detective, which means that you examine crime scenes for clues and do your best to connect the clues. This is done literally by discovering tracks and then draw a line between them. The same is done sometimes in the forefront of battles where you connect a villain with an object in the environment, so that you decide in advance how to defuse the perpetrator. The first few times you do this it feels new and exciting. It did not take a long time before getting bored.

Graphically has it all a clear and distinct style that gives the feeling of a living cartoon, and finally Telltale revamped graphics engine’s. It all looks sharper and better than the studio’s games have done in a long time. Meanwhile, the game does not void of technical problems. Many movements are choppy, bugs occur periodically, and to top it all, the PC version a tendency to crash. Are you unfortunate crashes at the end of a longer sequence, after which you have to play it all over again. And since you do not have the opportunity to skip the dialogues and action sequences, then these episodes even more frustrating.

So in the end we are left with a Batman game that is at its strongest when Batman gets to remain in the shadows, and the screenplay authors’ work is at its best when they are allowed to play around with symbolism and underlying currents in the Batman universe. I hope certainly on a season 2 of this game, with the proviso that Telltale manages to fix both the formula and the technical solutions their and I hope increasingly more game developers manage to show us superheroes with vulnerable sites.

20 Jan 19:00

Three Common Misconceptions About Histograms in Photography

by Andy Orin

If you’re a relatively experienced photographer you probably have a basic understanding of your camera’s histogram, the graph that acts as a visualization of the light in a scene. But it’s commonly misunderstood and often misused.