Category Archives: Technology

Kids’ Choice Awards 2013 Live

prime-time-slime-16x9Tonight is the 2013 Kids’ Choice Awards! The show will be hosted by Josh Duhamel, and will be broadcasting live on Nickelodeon (Nick). The show starts at 8PM Eastern in North America.

So, join us at Magnae Famae as we celebrate the slimiest award show in human history: the Kids’ Choice Awards for 2013!

The Kids’ Choice Awards for 2013 have come to an end. You can see the complete list of nominees and winners below. Thanks for following Magnae Famae on the slimiest night of the year!

The Winners & Nominees

KCA-2013-01HRThis list will be updated as the show continues.

FAVORITE TV SHOW

  • Good Luck Charlie
  • iCarly
  • Victorious
  • Wizards of Waverly Place

FAVORITE REALITY SHOW

  • America’s Got Talent
  • American Idol
  • The Voice
  • Wipeout

FAVORITE CARTOON

  • The Fairly OddParents
  • Phineas and Ferb
  • Spongebob Squarepants
  • Tom and Jerry

FAVORITE TV ACTOR

  • Jake T. Austin (Wizards of Waverly Place)
  • Lucas Cruikshank (Marvin Marvin)
  • Ross Lynch (Austin & Ally)
  • Carlos Pena (Big Time Rush)

FAVORITE TV ACTRESS

  • Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly)
  • Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place)
  • Victoria Justice (Victorious)
  • Bridgit Mendler (Good Luck Charlie)

FAVORITE MOVIE

  • The Amazing Spider-Man
  • The Avengers
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
  • The Hunger Games

FAVORITE MOVIE ACTOR

  • Johnny Depp (Dark Shadows)
  • Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man)
  • Zachary Gordon (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days)
  • Will Smith (Men in Black 3)

FAVORITE MOVIE ACTRESS

  • Vanessa Hudgens (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island)
  • Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)
  • Kristen Stewart (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2)

FAVORITE ANIMATED MOVIE

  • Brave
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift
  • Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  • Wreck-It Ralph

FAVORITE VOICE FROM AN ANIMATED MOVIE

  • Chris Rock (Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted)
  • Adam Sandler (Hotel Transylvania)
  • Ben Stiller (Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted)
  • Taylor Swift (The Lorax)

FAVORITE MALE BUTTKICKER

  • Robert Downey Jr. (The Avengers)
  • Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man)
  • Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers)
  • Dwayne Johnson (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island)

FAVORITE FEMALE BUTTKICKER

  • Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
  • Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)
  • Kristen Stewart (Snow White and the Huntsman)

FAVORITE MUSIC GROUP

  • Big Time Rush
  • Bon Jovi
  • Maroon 5
  • One Direction

FAVORITE MALE SINGER

  • Justin Bieber
  • Bruno Mars
  • Blake Shelton
  • Usher

FAVORITE FEMALE SINGER

  • Adele
  • Katy Perry
  • P!nk
  • Taylor Swift

FAVORITE SONG

  • Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen)
  • Gangnam Style (PSY)
  • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor Swift)
  • What Makes You Beautiful (One Direction)

FAVORITE MALE ATHLETE

  • LeBron James
  • Michael Phelps
  • Tim Tebow
  • Shaun White

FAVORITE FEMALE ATHLETE

  • Gabrielle Douglas
  • Danica Patrick
  • Serena Williams
  • Venus Williams

FAVORITE VILLAIN

  • Reed Alexander (iCarly)
  • Simon Cowell (The X Factor)
  • Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers)
  • Julia Roberts (Mirror Mirror)

FAVORITE BOOK

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
  • Harry Potter series
  • The Hunger Games series
  • Magic Tree House series

FAVORITE VIDEOGAME

  • Just Dance 4
  • Mario Kart 7
  • Skylanders Giants
  • Wii Sports

FAVORITE APP

  • Angry Birds
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Minecraft
  • Temple Run
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Apple confirms password vulnerability, and that they are working on a fix

images (1)It was unveiled earlier today that there was a massive password vulnerability with Apple’s iForgot my Password option by the tech press.

The vulnerability allowed for one’s password to be reset simply by providing the email and date of birth of the account holder. Not something particularly difficult to find. In the mean time, Apple has closed down iForgot.

Apple released a statement to The Verge saying:

“Apple takes customer privacy very seriously. We are aware of this issue, and working on a fix.”

This is obviously a very serious issue, that will hopefully be resolved quickly for Apple account holders.

 

So… is there even a difference between the new Samsung Galaxy S4 and the previous S3?

img_kv_01_phoneThe new Samsung Galaxy S4 was unveiled this week in New York City at Radio City Music Hall. It is the successor to the wildly successful Galaxy S3, which has been flying off store shelves around the globe, with over 40 million units sold.

The S4 has been highly anticipated, but also highly “under-wraps”, meaning that Samsung did a great job at hiding what would be in their latest phone (until it leaked 24 hours before). They did better than any Apple launch.

The new S4 is thinner, lighter, and taller at 5 inches, allowing for more screen real estate, something vital in the app era. The S4 also has a 1080p (HD) Super AMOLED display.

First impressions from others say that the S4 continues to have the “plastic-y” feeling of the S3. Also, even though the phone is taller, “it still feels and looks the same [as the S3]“. This could be bad for Samsung because it means that consumers won’t be fooled as easily into thinking that this is the next big thing, when it looks the same as the previous model.

Other “improvements” include a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.9 Ghz processor (it’s fast), 2GB of RAM, and either 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage. The battery is improved as well, but the battery life is yet to be seen.

It also includes a 13 megapixel camera, essentially making the camera even better than the iPhone 5′s (based purely on megapixel count, which doesn’t always matter).

Many tech analysts are asking the question, “is it better enough?” At first glance, it appears to be about the same. This is a problem that all mobile companies are facing right now (except Blackberry, because they are still so far behind), it seems that they’ve hit the innovation barrier. Continue reading

This is the new Facebook news feed

fbclutterIt’s spring cleaning time for Facebook.

Facebook has announced a new redesigned news feed, in response to the criticism of the news feed being “cluttered”.

The design is very much “mobile-inspired”, because the new layout is easily used across all platforms, from your PC, to Tablets, to Phones. The new design is simple, and designed to work with it all.

fbnewsfeed

A “personalized newspaper”

“We want updates from our friends, but we also want updates from publications”

Facebook has dubbed the new design as a personal newspaper. But as you can in the quote above, Facebook doesn’t want this to only be about our friends (they need to make money somehow).

Comparisons are already being drawn with Google+, because of that social network’s newly found focus on photos and video, because of the very strong photography community found on Google+, that Facebook wants. That’s why they bought Instagram!

If you’re interested, you can get in line on the waiting list for the new news feed here.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW FACEBOOK REDESIGN?

A review of the new SimCity… #TheGreatSimCityFailOf2013

S54_MountainHigh_6aOPINIONS AND REVIEW: SimCity was released to the North American public on March 5, 2013. It was one of the most anticipated video games for 2013.

Firstly, I’m not exactly a big video game fan. The only video games I’ve every enjoyed for longer than a month are Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 and, well… that’s it. But, I thought that I might enjoy SimCity… I really like the idea of creating a city online, so that’s what attracted me to SimCity.

DOWNLOADING SIMCITY

Downloading SimCity was an absolutely horrible experience.

After buying SimCity, you need to download it and install it, which is to be expected . But because SimCity is distributed by Electronic Arts, you encounter a lot of problems… EA assumes that you are guilty until proven innocent, and because of this they make you run through a lot of hoops just to play their games. One of these hoops is a program called Origin.

Origin is a service run by EA (Electronic Arts), where you can buy games. But, in order to play them you must be connected to the internet (so anyone with Dial-up or slow internet cannot play this game). Those of you tech-savvy people may have already noticed a problem with this. Because they make it so that you must always be connected to the internet, they need to have enough servers for the hundreds of thousands of people who are all downloading the game (maybe even millions of people… the figures are still unknown). There are not enough servers for all of these people, so the experience in general is horribly slow, even if you have Google’s Gigabit Fiber internet, the download speeds for this game is horrible!

Trying my best to download SimCity. (Kyle Stewart/Magnae Famae)

Trying my best to download SimCity. (Kyle Stewart/Magnae Famae)

I also had a problem with the servers, for some reason the game would be stuck at a certain percentage, and I would need to restart the download in order for it to continue, and then stop. It stopped at 10%, I restarted. 13%, I needed to restart. 20%, than I needed to restart. 24%, than I needed to restart. Et cetera, et cetera. Magnae Famae contacted SimCity and we were told: “We are currently looking into this, we are working as fast as we can.” At this point, I’m not even sure if I will be able to do a review.

#firstworldproblems

Looking at the SimCity twitter feed, you can see an endless list of problems with downloading the game, and servers that are down. Electronic Arts needs to change this horrible way of releasing games, that treats the consumer like criminals.

I did eventually get SimCity loaded… let’s start playing! Or at least try…

TUTORIAL CITY

I was able to play the beta, so I know what to expect in this SimCity. I am still forced to do the tutorial.

They give you a pre-made city (more like a town, actually) called Summer Shoals. What happens in this city?

Nothing.

There are supposed to be some pop ups, suggesting ideas, and showing you things to do (I know this, because I played the beta). All that you can do is look around. Yay… $60 well-spent. I contacted SimCity regarding this issue, with no response… I gave EA my money, now they can go take someone else’s.

I loaded the city a few times, going on different servers until, for some reason or another, it just skipped over the tutorial.

PLAYING SIMCITY

Also not working.

It is safe to say that so far my experience with SimCity was not fun, but was frustrating, and felt like #AWasteOf60Bucks… I thought that maybe after finally getting through all of the hoops, and actually playing the game, maybe it would be better. Maybe I would be able to get over this initial reaction and forgive Electronic Arts.

Nope, nope, not at all.

S54_TrafficJam_4aI started by trying to create my own region (a set of cities in a close area), for just myself to play with. Of course, I get the error “Unable to claim this city.” So I tried other cities in the regions, than other regions, than other servers. None of these attempts worked. EA just didn’t want me to play my game.

 I than tried to join a public region. This also didn’t work for a while, but eventually it did. I joined, and was enjoying it for a while.

After leaving the game for a break, I came back and decided to try to create my own region again. It worked! Yes! I was ready to forgive EA for this horrible experience. But, it only got worse.

I was really enjoying creating my cities. I started by focusing in on one city in sandbox mode, than I moved to focus in on another city in the same region. This was when it started going downhill… again.

Crashing.

S54_Downtown_7aAfter about 5 minutes of playing in that 2nd city, the game crashed (not my computer, the game. This means that it is a server error). I tried it again, and it crashed. Again, and it crashed. Once more, and it crashed. Every time I completely lost my city.

One of the very few benefits of running the game on a server (like SimCity does), is that you get off-site back-ups. Theoretically, the game is backed up on the server, so it doesn’t take up any space on my computer (except for the program’s space), and also the server is likely more reliable than my computer. Key word: Likely.

The servers are horrible.

So every time the game crashed, I lost my game. It completely forgot that I ever played it.

Sadly, this is a common issue. There are endless forum pages talking about this issue on the official SimCity forums (and this forum just launched yesterday). I have been watching this forum page, which currently has over 14 pages of discussion over this issue (EA has yet to respond to this forum with a fix).

I contacted SimCity and Electronic Arts for comment, and they have not.

CONCLUSION… THUS FAR

duskcityHeading into this, I was expecting a few issues. But this is absolutely insane. I am so disappointed in EA and Maxis for releasing this game. I can only imagine how horribly overloaded the servers will continue to be as the release of SimCity continues in other countries around the world (In particular Europe, which is having its release on March 8).

I decided to publish this review early, in order to try to save anyone from buying this horrible product, that is essentially robbing $60 from each person (and if you buy the Deluxe version it is even worse, at $80).

They did two beta tests, and said openly that they had fixed the issues reported in the beta (which is obviously not true, as I notice many of the primary issues with the beta still in the final release).

I am going to give SimCity a 2/5 stars. Why 2 instead of 1, because when I did play the game (for that short 30 minutes of actual gameplay), I really did enjoy it. This game has great potential, and I hope to be able to release an update later giving a better review, however I am skeptical at this point.

WHY DID SIMCITY HAVE SUCH GREAT REVIEWS IN ADVANCED?

extra_01I believe that the primary errors are with the servers and Origin. The game itself, looks great. But because EA believes that you are guilty until proven innocent, they force us to use these servers to prevent any possible chance of piracy (however, it has been endlessly proven that these tactics don’t work, but actually make it worse).

When the people who had advanced copies of the game to review were playing the game, no one else (or very few others) were playing. They had no server issues. I just don’t see how EA will ever be able to avoid server issues with such a big game. I don’t think that we will have the technology for many years to be able to support hundreds of thousands of people playing a game (which is a lot of work for computers to run). And because of this, I believe that EA has eliminated any chances of possible success. And eventually, the servers will cost too much for EA to run, and they will be closed, and we will have all lost our money to EA.

For the time being, do not buy this game. I will update this post with further information as time goes on.

You can see all of the Twitter responses from the SimCity twitter feed here. You can also see their typical response to go to the forums, and never get a response from an EA rep.

DID YOU BUY SIMCITY? WHAT DID YOU THINK?

Images and Video via: SimCity

Google releases video of Google Glass interface

An example of Google Glass (Screenshot: Kyle Stewart/Magnae Famae)

An example of Google Glass (Screenshot: Kyle Stewart/Magnae Famae)

Google has posted a fantastic video of their latest project, Google Glass, which are a wearable headset, similar to glasses. This video comes as Google announces plans to expand their Google Glass pre-order program, which was originally only available to Google I/O conference attendees, at  $1,500.

Currently, we can still expect to see Google Glass by early 2014, with developer editions already hitting the streets.

Check out the amazing video of where innovation is heading, below.

 

instagram-1

Instagram goes online to the desktop

Screenshot: Kyle Stewart/Magnae Famae

Screenshot: Kyle Stewart/Magnae Famae

Today, Instagram has unveiled their full news feed for desktop browsers at Instagram.com.

Instagram is a very popular photo sharing app on iOS and Android. It has almost created a cult-like following. Instagram was sold to Facebook for $1 billion in April 2012, and has continued to maintain its users, even with the threat of boycotts.

The new Instagram.com allows users to use almost all of the same functionalities that is presented in their mobile app, including commenting; liking; and of course, viewing. The only exception is that users cannot upload images. That feature remains with the mobile app.

This is an important move for the ad-free social network, that needs to begin generating revenue, as it is much easier to advertise on a website over a mobile app. This theory can be proved with the amount of empty space on the sidebars, that will likely be filled with ads in the near future.

What do you think of the new website?

Slider Image via The Verge.

 

DSC_1646

RIM rebrands itself; announces Blackberry 10; Z10, Q10 phones

DSC_1646EDITORIAL- The Canadian tech company, Research in Motion had a big day today, with the launch of Blackberry 10. They also announced two new smartphones, called the Z10 and the Q10.

But perhaps one of their larger announcements was that they would be changing their name from Research in Motion to Blackberry. I’ll be telling you why that’s a mistake.

Blackberry 10: The long-awaited OS

IMG_00000012-300pxWe knew that today’s announcement would have a large focus on Blackberry 10, the long-awaited, redesigned Operating System (OS) (with this update, Apple’s iOS now has the oldest design for any mobile operating system).

Some major updates includes, well, a complete refresh of the Blackberry OS. It looks a hundred times better than before.

Blackberry Messenger has been updated to include video conferencing. This puts Blackberry at level with Apple’s FaceTime.

Another feature that may prove to be Blackberry’s savior, is the new feature that will allow for owners to essentially create two accounts on their phone. One for work and one for home. This will be great for people who need their smartphones at work, but don’t want their bosses to have access to their personal phone. Now, instead of having two phones, you can just have one. This feature has been praised widely by Tech Journalists.

Blackberry 10 is launching with 70,000 apps, a very impressive number.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all strongly integrated into the OS.

Apps

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare, Whatsapp, Amazon Kindle New York Times, The Economist, MLB At Bat, ESPN Scorecenter, CBS Sports, PGA Tour, NHL Gamecenter, SportsTracker, ATP, UFC Cisco Webex, Bloomberg, Evernote, SAP, Citrix, Soundhound, The Weather Channel, eMusic, Slacker, Songza, TuneIn Radio, Paper Camera, Box, DropBox, ooVoo, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Dictionary.com, Flixster, BBC Top Gear, and Stubhub

Games

four titles from Rovio (Angry Birds and Angry Birds Star Wars are among them),Where’s My Water, Where’s My Perry, 15 titles from EA (including Plants Vs. Zombies, Real Racing 3, Monopoly Millionaire, and Dead Space), 10 titles from Gameloft (including NOVA3, Asphalt 7, Spider-Man 4, Modern Combat 4, and Batman: The Dark Knight Rises), Jetpack Joyride HD, Fruit Ninja HD, Cut the Rope, and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episodes 1 and 2.

Z10 phone

lseries_white_eng_gen_frontangle2

The Z10 phone is Blackberry’s touch screen phone (as you can see in the photo above). It will be available in black and white models. It is 4.2 inches, and has 356 ppi. It will cost $199 on contract.

It comes with 16GB of storage (up to 32GB SD can be added). Other features include NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and LTE. The rear-facing camera has 8MP and 1024p video. The front-facing camera has 2MP and 720p video.

The battery life hasn’t been great, according to testers.

Z10 will be available in Mid-March.

Q10 phone

nseries_black_front-1

The Q10 phone is the phone with the keyboard. This phone is the one that (should Blackberry succeed), Business and Government users will want, as they tend to lean towards QWERTY keyboards.

Unfortunately, Blackberry has released next to nothing on the specs. All though they have praised the battery life, so maybe it will do better than the Z10.

Alicia Keys, Global Creative Director for Blackberry expects for the Q10 to be released in April 2013.

Name Change

CEO Thorsten Heins on stage with Alicia Keys, Global Creative Director for Blackberry.

CEO Thorsten Heins on stage with Alicia Keys, Global Creative Director for Blackberry.

It’s never ideal to change your company’s name (don’t look at me, please). Research In Motion decided to change their name to Blackberry at the event in New York City.

They decided to change their name to Blackberry. So, if this all fails. They can’t do anything else without being remembered as a failed product.

If they do succeed, this will have been a genius move. It’s a really risky move that they’re making, and I hope that it works out for them in the end.

Success or Failure?

Of course, it’s impossible to tell just yet. But, I have to say, this is a fantastic product (except for the Battery Life issues presented). Maybe Blackberry really could make a comeback.

All though, many tech analysts say that this is too late. They agree that this is a fantastic product, but it’s just too late.

What do you think about Blackberry 10? Will you be buying a Blackberry? Leave a comment below.

Sources: The Verge; CBC News; CNN