Mobile Gamepad: App that turns your smartphone into game controller for PC

The Mobile Gamepad, an Android app, works with server-side application on the host PC, allowing use of different kinds of controls to play games via the smartphone.
Mobile Gamepad: App that turns your smartphone into game controller for PC

Now, you have a mobile app that turns your Android smartphone into a gamepad for a Windows computer. The app, called Mobile Gamepad, has been created by a XDA Forum Member blueqnx and is available via Google Play store.

Once installed, the mobile app turns your device into a motion sensing and customizable gamepad. The app provides a virtual D-pad and siz buttons – square, triangle, circle, cross, pause, and start. You can map the virtual buttons to any key on the keyboard and assign to various profiles.

Mobile Gamepad uses accelerometer in your Android smartphone to enable gamers motion control. To do this, simply enable motion mode, and place your finger where the D-Pad once was. You can use the app to start PC games from the smartphone as well. Other features of the app include support swipe over controls for easy usage not just clicking, device volume buttons to control windows volume.

You can download the Mobile Gamepad app for free via Google Play store. You can find out more details about the application on this thread on XDA Developers.

Google asked to censor 2 million PirateBay URLs

In the first week of April, Google says that it reported over 40 thousand URL takedown requests hosted on the torrent site.
Google asked to censor 2 million PirateBay URLs

In a bid to make it more difficult for public to find pirated content, copyright holders have turned to Google to delete/block around two million links to various copyrighted content hosted on thepiratebay.se. The torrent site itself does not take any takedown requests.

The number of thepiratebay.se URLs that have been submitted to Google reached the two million mark this week. The links that were submitted have either been removed or can no longer be accessed through search results.

The Google Transparency Report shows that the total number of URLs requested for removal on The Pirate Bay reached 2,003,331 (at the time of writing this article.)

Despite featuring in the list, The Pirate Bay is not the biggest offender even though it is the most popular. Filestube.com takes the top spot while Pirate Bay is 29th. Filestube accounts for almost 11 million URLs that have been requested for takedown. dilandau.eu, rapidgator.net, zippyshare.com, 4shared.com and many others are the most reported sites.

According to Google, the two million URLs represent between one and five percent of all the links that are indexed. This means that lots of other content from the torrent site is still available via Google. The Pirate Bay is unmoved by the development and despite the high number of takedown requests, the traffic of the site has been increasing steadily over the years.

Remembering Nokia: 10 of its most iconic phones ever

As Nokia and Microsoft close in on their deal on 25 April, we might never see Nokia produce the phones that it used to. And before that happens, let’s take a look back at 10 most iconic Nokia phones that revolutionized the mobile industry.
Remembering Nokia: 10 of its most iconic phones ever

Come this April 25, Nokia as a phone manufacturer might no longer remain the same. Microsoft and Nokia have already reached a deal and on Friday, the software giant will finalize the deal by buying the phone maker for $7.3 billion. There is even a certain speculation that Nokia could be renamed as ‘Microsoft Mobile’. While the rumor isn’t official yet, Microsoft is taking over Nokia’s devices and services division anyway and only time will tell if we will keep hearing the name ‘Nokia’.

As the Finnish phone company and Microsoft close in on the deal, we take a look at the glorious history of Nokia with some of its most iconic and important phones that it ever produced. Some of these phones completely changed the mobile industry forever. Nokia might be struggling right now but there was a time when it was known to set the standards in mobile phone industry. Here are the 10 phones that take us back to the glorious days of Nokia.

1. N95

Released in 2007, this Symbian handset was one of the most sophisticated and well-designed Nokia smartphone ever. Sporting a brilliant hardware at the time, the phone gained huge popularity. N95 was the phone that Apple looked forward to beat with its iPhone. It came with a brilliant 5MP camera, navigator, a two-way sliding design, GPS and Flash-compatible web browser. For us, it was the first ever smartphone that could take photos, play movies and music, run games, worked as a telephone (of course) and could comfortably fit in our pockets.

2. Nokia E71

An elegant business smartphone from Nokia’s Eseries. It was perhaps the best QWERTY smartphone other than Blackberry at the time of its release in 2008. It ran on Symbian OS v9.2 and is still comes with Series 60 3rd Edition. The phone was a delight for business users as it was optimized for mobile email and messaging services which was made even easier by the keyboard. It featured a decent 3.2MP camera and supported Wi-Fi and 3G. When it came to India, we were still quite far from running it on a 3G network.

3. Nokia 3310

Hands down, this was one of the most popular mobile phone at the time of its release in 2002. Till the time Nokia stopped manufacturing, 126 million units of the phone had already been sold. Till date, this phone is one of the most successful phones ever. Developed by Copenhagen Nokia site in Denmark, the phone was extremely well-built and it even gained a cult following of its own. Nokia 3315, a variant of this phone, became extremely popular in India for its SMS features. No matter how many times you dropped the 3310 from your hand, somehow it just didn’t break. It also came with one of the most popular mobile phone game ever, Snake II.

4. Nokia 7650

With the 7000 series, Nokia showed the world that when it came to designing mobile phones, the Finnish company was the one to watch out for. Nokia 7650 was one of the examples of how innovative design could sell thousands of handset units. Released in 2002, it was also the first smartphone to run a Symbian operating system and also the first to feature an integrated camera. The phone even featured in the hit movie, Minority Report. It came with a 104MHz CPU based on ARM-9 series, 4MB of RAM and 16MB ROM. It was also an excellent phone for emails and messaging.

5. Nokia 6600

Launched in the second quarter of 2003, Nokia 6600 was one of the most popular smartphones ever. The 6600 belonged to Nokia 6xxx Classic Business Series of mobile phones. Running on Symbian OS-based Nokia Series 60 platform, the phone is considered as a trend-setter of its time. It came with a VGA camera, music and video players, Bluetooth and a VGA camera. Nokia stopped the production of 6600 handsets in 2007. You might still remember looking for Java and .sis games and apps so that you could install them on this phone in case you owned it back then.

6. Nokia N73

Officially described as a “multimedia computer” by Nokia, N73 was released in 2006. The feature that made this phone stand out in the ‘N’ series was its 3.2MP autofocus camera. The ‘N’ series from Nokia was designed as a high-end mobile phone series at that time and the N73 was the most powerful one in the series. It came with dual CPU ARM-9 processor clocked at 220MHz. It also featured an S60 3rd Edition Symbian-based operating system. Due to the popularity of the phone, Nokia released three more editions of the phone. The first one was the Music Edition smartphone which featured a dedicated multimedia button on the keypad. Nokia later released another Internet Edition of N73 which retained the multimedia button. The last edition of N73 was the Special Edition which came with the same hardware as the other editions but came pre-loaded with Islamic applications as the phone was made for Middle East, North Africa and Indonesia only.

7. Nokia 8210

This beauty from Nokia was released in 1999 and at the time it was the smallest and the lightest Nokia mobile phone in the market. Another huge selling-point of the phone was its customization option that Nokia provided for the phone. The 8210 came with removable Xpress-on covers and a user could choose from six differently coloured covers. Later, more colour options were available in the market from third-party manufacturers. The phone could store up to 250 names in its memory (which was huge at that time). It also came with speed dial, SMS and an infrared port for communicating with a compatible PC or a printer. Due to its iconic design at that time, the phone was featured in many movies such Charlie’s AngelsSo Close,Accidental SpyAbout a BoyDomestic Disturbance and many more.

8. Nokia 5110

The phone that introduced us to mobile phones was the Nokia 5110. Released in 1998, it came with a simple interface and easy to use functions. It was a rugged GSM mobile phone that didn’t bother people much in case they dropped it. Featuring an excellent battery life, it was also the first phone to feature the famous mobile game, Snake. Users could replace the faceplate which allowed them to customize their 5110. During its time, it was one of the most popular mobile phones. Even the screen of the phone was sturdy and didn’t break easily. It was the first mobile phone that gave users customization options with its removable faceplates. The Nokia 5110 is clearly one of the most revolutionary mobile phones ever made.

9. Nokia N-Gage QD

N-Gage was Nokia’s attempt at a mobile phone which could do some handheld gaming. It featured a Nokia series S60 platform and was released in late 2003. With the N-Gage, Nokia attempted a face-off against the likes of Nintendo and in some developing countries, it did succeed to an extent. It featured a rugged design, built-in Bluetooth, loud speakerphone and a solid battery life. Even though the first generation of N-Gage failed miserably due to its mono sound and a small screen, Nokia rectified the mistakes and came out with a second gen N-Gage QD which was much better designed. Running on Series 60 version of Symbian OS 6.0. The Nokia N-Gage QD is still one of the most coolest looking phones from Nokia ever. One of the things that killed this phone was that it never supported mp3 audio.

10. Nokia N8

N8 was the first mobile phone from Nokia that ran on the Symbian 3 mobile OS. It was Nokia’s flagship device of 2010 and was released around the world on Oct 01, 2010. It features a 12MP camera also came with gritty features like an HDMI-out, USB On-The-Go support and Wi-Fi 802.11 b.g.n. It replaced Nokia another successful ‘N’ series phone, the N97. N8 still holds the record for the most customer pre-orders in Nokia’s history. The Finnish phone maker sold almost 4 million N8 handsets. It has a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen with Gorilla glass protection and it was also the first one to feature a multi-touch. It had top-of-the-line specs at the time of its release, featuring a 680MHz ARM11 processor with 256MB of RAM. The 12MP autofocus lens on the back is a Carl Zeiss optics lens with xenon flash.

 

StoreDot claims to charge your smartphone battery in 30 seconds

StoreDot’s prototype bio-organic technology can charge your smartphone in 30 seconds or less.
StoreDot claims to charge your smartphone battery in 30 seconds

An Israel based startup, StoreDot claims to have developed a new battery-technology that claims to charge your smartphone’s battery in 30 seconds. The startup unveiled its battery prototype at Microsoft’s ‘Think Next Conference’ in Tel Aviv. The company has developed a charger and a battery. This special charger can charge an empty Samsung Galaxy S4 battery within 30 seconds! The demo with an S4 battery was given by the startup at the conference.

StoreDot’s charger produces chemically synthesized bio-organic peptide molecules called ‘nanodots’, that improves the electrode capacitance and performance, which results in batteries that can be fully charged within seconds instead of hours. The technology is cost effective and is inspired by natural processes.

‘In essence, we have developed a new generation of electrodes with new materials – we call it MFE – Multi Function Electrode,” StoreDot CEO and founder Doron Myersdorf stated. “On one side it acts like a super capacitor (with very fast charging), and on the other is like a lithium electrode (with slow discharge). The electrolyte is modified with our nanodots in order to make the multifunction electrode more effective.”

Currently the battery which is the size of a laptop charger, is not ready for the market. According to Myersdorf, it will take a year for the company to make a functional prototype embedded inside mobile devices. The company expects to have the charger ready for production by 2016. The estimated cost of the charger is twice as that of an average charger which is up to $30.

“So we are talking about three years for a commercial ready device,” Myersdorf added. “So I assume it will be three years before you can actually purchase it in the market.”

iPhone 6 factory-leaked renders and images reveal a new curved design

According to sources, a couple of pictures and a graphics image of the upcoming iPhone have been leaked by an insider at the Foxconn manufacturing plant
iPhone 6 factory-leaked renders and images reveal a new curved design

In what seems to be one of the first legit-looking leaks, we today have some images of what the next-gen Apple iPhone might look like. Apparently, a 3D render and a couple of images of the device on a testing station have been disclosed by an insider working at Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn.

Though the images are not quite sharp, if this is the real deal then we are looking at a nice curved back panel unlike the sharp finish on the iPhone 5/5S. The dimensions, however, seem to match the iPhone 5/5S and even the placement of the camera seems to be the same. There is also a very tiny hole at the back which is being presumed to be a heart-rate sensor indicating that Apple might also be focusing on health related apps in iOS 8. We have already seen Samsung loading its Galaxy S5 and Gear accessorieswith health apps, so is Apple going to follow the same path?

Previous reports have suggested that the next iPhone will be less thick than the current generation, and a new size (4.7 inch or 5.9 inch) might also be introduced. Hopefully we will see a few more leaks until Apple finally reveals the product. Apple should soon announce the dates for its upcoming WWDC event which is usually held in the month of June.

Android 4.4.3 arriving soon, features leaked online

After various rumours of the upcoming Nexus devices, some fresh details of an upcoming Android update has been leaked on the web giving an idea what Google will be bringing to the mobile platform
Android 4.4.3 arriving soon, features leaked online

A new Android update is expected to arrive soon as a change-log including some fixes has been leaked. The new update will be 4.4.3, so this is definitely not a major release, rather a slight bump from the current Android version. This also means that there won’t be any major changes in terms of looks of the UI.

The update was seen on a Nexus 5, however there is no confirmation regarding the release date. We are presuming that the update should arrive on or just before Google’s upcoming I/O event along with a pair of new Nexus devices.

Here is the list of fixes that are expected to arrive in the 4.4.3 update:

  • Frequent data connection dropout fix
  • mm-qcamera-daemon crash and optimization fixes
  • Camera focus in regular and HDR modes fixes
  • Power Manager display wakelock fix
  • Multiple Bluetooth fixes
  • Fix for a random reboot
  • App shortcuts sometimes got removed from launcher after update
  • USB debugging security fix
  • App shortcuts security fix
  • Wi-Fi auto-connect fix
  • Other camera fixes
  • MMS, Email/Exchange, Calendar, People/Dialer/Contacts, DSP, IPv6, VPN fixes
  • Stuck in activation screen fix
  • Missed call LED fix
  • Subtitle fixes
  • Data usage graph fix

Facebook to use drones, satellites to provide Internet everywhere

Facebook to use drones, satellites to provide Internet everywhere
Facebook wants to connect remote areas of the world to the Internet with drones, lasers and satellites.
Facebook to use drones, satellites to provide Internet everywhere

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook Inc is harnessing drone, satellite and other technology in an effort to spread Internet to under-developed regions. The social networking giant stated that it has hired aerospace and communications experts from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and its Ames Research Center for its new “Connectivity Lab” project.

Facebook had started Internet.org in partnership with some other companies, last year to spread the internet. The company is working experimenting with drones that are capable of beaming internet from the sky. The organization aims to bring down the cost of internet connectivity.

“In our effort to connect the whole world with Internet.org, we’ve been working on ways to beam internet to people from the sky,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook.

“Our team has many of the world’s leading experts in aerospace and communications technology, including from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center. Today we are also bringing on key members of the team from Ascenta, a small UK-based company whose founders created early versions of Zephyr, which became the world’s longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft. They will join our team working on connectivity aircraft.”

The announcement comes a day after Facebook announced the acquisition of Oculus Rift, a company that specializes in virtual reality products for $ 2 Billion. Mark Zuckerberg, stated that it plans to use Oculus’ technologies to expand in “communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas”.

Last year Google announced plans to use solar-powered balloons to deliver Internet access to remote regions of the globe. Google’s Project Loon, supported Internet-beaming antennas on top of giant helium balloons placed in the stratosphere, that can create a wireless network with 3G like speeds.

Facebook buying Oculus VR for $2 billion

 

Zuckerberg says that Facebook will “focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games.” But he makes clear that after Oculus sees through its gaming ambitions, Facebook will expand the product into new territory. “We’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.” Zuckerberg equates Oculus to “a new communication platform” and clearly has a vision that extends far beyond the gaming focus that helped Oculus become a smash Kickstarter success.

“IMAGINE SHARING NOT JUST MOMENTS WITH YOUR FRIENDS ONLINE, BUT ENTIRE EXPERIENCES AND ADVENTURES.”

The acquisition of Oculus seemingly comes out of nowhere: the company just demoed its most recent version of the Oculus Rift development kit at GDC 2014 to much fanfare. Oculus has been steadily moving towards a consumer product, and Facebook’s resources can only help to push that mission along. “Facebook understands the potential for VR,” the Oculus team wrote in its own blog post announcing the deal. “Mark and his team share our vision for virtual reality’s potential to transform the way we learn, share, play, and communicate. Facebook is a company that believes that anything is possible with the right group of people, and we couldn’t agree more.”

But the most interesting question, as Zuckerberg lays out, is where the technology will go in the future. “By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.” Zuckerberg says that future is coming sooner than anyone thinks, and he “can’t wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us.”

Update: In a posting on Reddit, Oculus inventor Palmer Luckey said “we won’t let you down,” adding that Facebook “aligned” with the company’s own culture:

In the end, I kept coming back to a question we always ask ourselves every day at Oculus: what’s best for the future of virtual reality? Partnering with Mark and the Facebook team is a unique and powerful opportunity. The partnership accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible. Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipated.

Separately, Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony Worldwide Studios, said he did not see the announcement coming, despite the fact that it was within just a week of the company announcing its own VR headset program codenamed Project Morpheus.

 

Update 2: John Carmack of Id Software fame, who joined on to become Oculus’ CTO this past August, says the Facebook deal will keep virtual reality from suffering scaling issues:

Flappy Bird creator “considering” bringing the game back

Flappy Bird creator “considering” bringing the game back

In an exclusive interview to Rolling Stone, Dong Nyugen has revealed that since taking the game down, he felt “relief.” But he is still “considering” releasing the game again.
Flappy Bird creator "considering" bringing the game back

Flappy Bird creator, Dong Nguyen has revealed that he is “considering” to bring the game back. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Nyugen said that there is still at least a sliver of a chance that the extremely simple but tough game will be available again.

Nyugen, a Vietnamese Indie games developer, has stated that he is seriously thinking about it after he pulled the game off Google Play Store and Apple App Store in February last month. He had stated that he removed the game because it had become an addictive product. He also blamed the media for “overrating” the game but also acknowledged that Flappy Bird was a success for him.

After Nyugen took the game off from the official mobile app stores, thousands of users have been persuading him to bring the game back. He had explained that he had been told stories of people who were homeless, parents who no longer communicated with offspring and even kids who had destroyed their phone because of the game. The creator told Rolling Stone that he couldn’t sleep, focus and didn’t want to go outdoors because of the immense success of his game. He mentioned that even his parents were “worried about his well-being.”

Flappy Bird was not an instant hit but took some time to become so popular. Before hitting the top of the gaming charts, the game was released over six months earlier.

While some reports had suggested that Nyugen removed the game because of pressure from Nintendo over copyright infringement, the Japanese gaming giant is reported to have confirmed to International Business Times that the company had not forced the creator to remove the game.

Despite the removal of the game from app stores, Android users are still able to install the .apk file of the game from unknown sources. Multiple clones of the game were created after the game was taken off from the official app stores. Apple and Google were even reported to be rejecting ‘Flappy Bird’ clones which had the word “Flappy” in their titles.

Nyugen has stated that even though he is not currently working on a new version of the game but if he does bring the game back, it would come with a “warning” for players saying “Please take a break.”

Even we got addicted to the game when it was still available last month and ended up scoring 186! Let us know your highest scores in the comments section below.

Nokia Refocus now available for Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8

Nokia Refocus now available for Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8

Nokia Refocus now supports all Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8 operating system.
Nokia Refocus now available for Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8

Nokia Refocus which was initially available for Lumia Pureview smartphones only, has now been launched for all Lumia smartphones, including Lumia 520. The software was launched in November last year and allows users to take a photo and change its focus at a later date.

According to Jens Eggert, Nokia’s Lead Program Manager for Refocus, the apps release for all Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 devices is meant to show users that their Lumia devices can get better every day.

“Initially available for anyone with a Lumia PureView smartphone, from today the latest Refocus update will allow all Lumia owners sporting Windows Phone 8 to have a piece of the varifocal action,” a recent post on Nokia Conversations reads.

“As we have seen with the great imaging apps like Nokia Camera before, lots of people have been asking for it and we responded. You spoke, we listened. Now anyone that owns a Lumia can enjoy the power and creativity of Nokia Refocus,” said Jens Eggret.

Jens Eggert, Nokia’s Lead Program Manager for Refocus, gives a tip on how to capture the best Refocus shots:

“To create a great Refocus image, move as close as possible to the object nearest you, get that in focus – between five and ten centimeters – and ensure you’ve got something defined in the background. The best advice, however, is experimentation. Just play, it’s fun!”

The Nokia Refocus app comes with a built-in sharing feature with which you can show off your pictures to your friends. People receiving the images don’t need a Lumia smartphone or the Nokia Refocus app to look at your photos or choose their own focal point.

 

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