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Super Mario Run for Android Released!…

Finally Super Mario Run for Android has been released. It seems the game was released a day early. You can download the game via the
Google Play Store now. The game is pretty much the same as the iOS version where you can install the game for free but you will need to purchase the game to unlock all the modes. Nintendo had the placeholder up in the Google Play Store for some time which allowed you to pre-register and you would get notified.  😕    Well….. I never got the notification. Go figure.

Super Mario Run for Android apparently has not reached Nintendo’s expectations. I would assume this is due to the $10 in game purchase to unlock all the modes. Nintendo being the newby in this arena hasn’t learned yet how things go in Android world where open and free are one of its features. Apps or games with high up-front or near up-front purchases do not generally do well. To give you an idea of where Nintendo’s expectations are, the iOS version’s gross revenue hit about $30 million in 2 weeks and they were still not satisfied with that. Now it has only been a few days and Nintendo is already running touting horns is displeasure. I didn’t even know it was out yet so I am sure this is true for others. Nintendo should have done a little more to advertise this release then mainly relying on a Google Play front page ad or even the pre-registration process which failed in my case.


Try in the Google Play Store!…


On another note, Nintendo is not trying to focus on freemium games or apps despite the success of another game they have called Fire Emblem: Heroes. This notion is based on comments made by different Nintendo officials.

Android will allow more people to see the game and so money really can’t be totally the main focus at this point in the game for Nintendo. Of course it is overall the goal but being the newby Nintendo needs to build a larger presence in the smartphone industry. So if Nintendo continues they would be able to make good on claims they have made to use smartphones to introduce their games to a wider audience.

This in turn would in fact open up doors into the next step for Nintendo in their newly released console, the Nintendo Switch, which is doing pretty well it seems so far. If you want the numbers, well approximate numbers now, Superdata and various sources say about $1.5 million consoles worldwide have been sold and get this… 90% are buying Zelda with it. There has been a drop in sales though in the second week of its release so question has arose as to whether the Nintendo Switch will hit mainstream status once…say…the rave over Zelda dies down.

I mention all of this because it is relevant as Super Mario Run is the first step into a new era for Nintendo where portability in gaming becomes a focus. The Switch opens up the door to the next step being portable high-end gaming. Can Nintendo stay on top in this area cause now that the cat is out there will be others in the shadows that will try to copy and improve on their idea.


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Ninja’s Windows Tips And Tricks

9 March 2017


Ninja is back with some more windows tips and tricks…


Using the Edge Browser While Shopping

First I would like to mention that you make sure your data is backed up in some way. Windows 10 will at times make some major updates. One example is the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. I have had reports of lost data and broken/lost applications after having this update take place on computers. One part of this update though may prompt you to do your online shopping using the Edge browser instead. See once you open sites like Best Buy or Target Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, will often give you its 2 cents and offer the use of coupons that it finds automatically. Now that can be very helpful.

I would also like to add in that you can do as Chrome does and add addons or extensions in Edge which also came with the Anniversary update. There are not many just yet that you can install but you may find some useful like AdBlock. You can check out the images to get an idea how to access the shopping suggestions and extensions.

Windows Calendar Update

The taskbar calendar was not so useful before but Microsoft has been hard at work by adding some extra functionality into it. The taskbar calendar is now integrated with Windows 10’s core Calendar so all your dates and events now show. You can click on the events to view or edit them and it will also show your Google events if you have your google email setup in windows 10’s email app. As you can see it is showing my Bizarre Holidays that I have setup in my Google account. This should have been included from day one if you ask me.

Windows Dark Theme

This item here should have also been a part of Windows 10 from day one but Microsoft is learning what its users want. Through the feedback app and forums that Microsoft has setup a lot have requested a way to change from the light theme. the light theme at times makes it hard to distinguish one window from another if you have a lot of windows open. Ever click on the wrong windows trying to get at a certain desired window? Maybe you even minimize or closed the window you wanted by accident. To find the option you goto Settings > Personalization > Colors.

The light theme was so annoying to me at times I changed the theme color manually. I posted on this in my Getting the White Out post while also showing how you can set your colors to update according to your currently set background in the previous Tips and Tricks post. I may have mentioned Dark Mode there too.  🙂 (Yeah I really disliked light theme.)

Windows Audio Sources

Windows 10 volume control has been rather cumbersome if you are an audiophile. Having to change where the audio you want is coming from has always been a task requiring the Control Panel and going into properties of the device in order to change. Now you can change your audio source by clicking on the name of the source. To get to it you look for that speaker icon on the bottom in your taskbar and just click on it. It may show art first only one source but if you look again you will see an arrowhead pointing upward. You just have to click that to open up the other options. What this means is you can switch from your headphones to your speakers to your Roland Aira TR-8 and back again much easier.

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Leading the Charge? – Verizon??????????

Verizon Leading the Charge - Unlimited Plans

Verizon is known as being the most expensive phone carrier and many would say with good reason. That reason may not always be valid but Verizon has proven itself to many. Recently something non-characteristic of Verizon has occurred and it can pose a real problem to Verizon’s competitors.




The unlimited plan has been shunned by Verizon for years. Unlimited plans were too data-greedy for Verizon’s tastes and yet they have announced straight up from out of nowhere that it would start offering an unlimited plan again. This move marks the first time since in 2011 when Verizon discontinued the unlimited plan in their effort force customers into tiered data plans.

The result, T-mobile, Sprint, and AT&T have day laters followed suit by offering new unlimited plans also. So why would Verizon perform a military about-face in their stance on the unlimited plan? I say this because I remember a commercial where Verizon argued basically that unlimited plans costed a lot and forced consumers to pay for data they would never use. To me the commercial was nonsense (using a better word) and just some attempt to move people from the obviously better choice plans that their competitors offered.

“At the end of the day the majority of people don’t need unlimited plans. But the people who use unlimited plans can be abusive, they can really wreak havoc to your network. And at the end of the day as we launched LTE, I continue to say you cannot make money in an unlimited video world.” Fran Shammo, Verizon CFO, 9/22/16

I needed to understand this new move from Verizon cause they are still the Big Red (Dog) of the cellular industry. People despite the extra cost still flock to them for their service and they know it.

“When the competitive world launches new price plans — and this quarter it was around unlimited and, obviously, we did not respond to that. But as I’ve said, there’s going to be a two- to three-week period of time where there is an impact to our growth. And we saw that. But, as I’ve always said, after that three weeks everything kind of normalizes back out.” – Fran Shammo, Verizon CFO, 10/20/16

I thought well T-Mobile has been improving since all the changes they have made but are they doing that well? I have not really heard much from AT&T and Sprint there are talks of a possible merger with T-Mobile. Fact is  that Verizon still has more customers than say T-Mobile despite their rise and are only nibbling at Verizon’s feet. What I found is alot of data that suggests a continued decline in Verizon with a continued and gradual increase in other companies like T-Mobile. I will literally quote Walter Piecyk from BTIG Research:

Verizon’s Q2 results were marred by weak ARPU, which could have been a result of losing high-end customers to unlimited rate plans of competitors. We noted this while cutting our wireless EBITDA estimate by $2.0 billion less than a month ago. (Link) Since that time, T-Mobile has offered tax-free rate plans and Sprint cut rates on its Unlimited Freedom plan. The downward EBITDA revisions also happened after Verizon eliminated the option for consumers to purchase phones on subsidized rate plans, a move that we think generated a $1.5 billion non-cash benefit to reported EBITDA, the metric that our peers use for valuation. The bottom line is that it appears that Verizon’s perceived network advantage is no longer strong enough to keep its best customers on unattractive rate plans and it was forced to respond. We look forward to getting updated from T-Mobile on how porting ratios fared when they report Q4 tomorrow.

He has also tweeted on T-Mobile’s Porting Ratio verses Verizon’s.

Since T-Mobile has made their changes they have only improved in their numbers.

So T-Mobile has literally forced the industry into their space and now Verizon has finally jumped the bandwagon. See last quarter T-Mobile gained about 1.3 million new customers which is double the amount Verizon had at around 590,000. This along with a continued decline (yeah I said it again) in revenue every quarter last year Verizon I believe had to make that jump to offering unlimited plans. Problem is the competition has also made some changes.

T-Mobile Response

T-Mobile upgraded its own unlimited plan to match Verizon’s, and adds HD video streaming and 10GB of LTE tethering including also a limited-time discount. If you compare the plans, they are the same unlimited with full-speed data on everything (including HD video and 10GB of LTE tethering) backed by unlimited 3G speeds. But, T-Mobile made a slight improvement by de-prioritizing data after 26GB with Verizon’s doing the same at 22GB. T-Mobile having the cheaper plan at $70 for a single line, $100 for two, and $160 for four lines (including all taxes and fees) while Verizon, charges $80 for one line, $140 for two, and $180 for four.

Sprint Response 

Sprint, who copied T-Mobile somewhat in the past by also offering an unlimited plan but with more restrictions now continues the copying but adds similar tethering and HD video features packed into a cheaper deal in an attempt to beat the competition. Sprint’s plan though is more diluted offering unlimited data, but game streaming is capped at 8Mbps speeds while music tops out at 1.5Mbps. When a customer has used up their 10GB of LTE tethering, Sprint knock them down to 2G speeds, not 3G. It is currently the cheapest plan for $50 per month (plus taxes and fees) and a great deal that gets five lines for $95 (plus taxes and fees) per month which will last until March 31st, 2018.

As for AT&T, no point really in mentioning them at this time. They offered a $100 a month unlimited plan to only their DirectTV customers in the past and has only now made that plan available to everyone making it the most expensive plan now with less to offer. So to conclude, competition is good for anyone looking to buy a phone now. Well I would say a face value mainly cause of all the bills that people have to pay now a days. A cellphone bill with data is redundant when one has to also buy internet at home too but competition will hopefully continue to bring those bills lower and lower. Can you feel me on that?



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All Things Galaxy S8

All things Galaxy S8

Here we go as usual with the loads of rumors of the next big thing by Samsung and the talk now is Galaxy S8.  So with everything that has happened with the Note 7 just what is Samsung going to do next with this S8 device? I will start by letting you know that it looks like Samsung will be playing it a little safe in the S8 this time. Now some are going as far as saying Samsung will be making the S8 worse than the Note 7 but I think that is a little over dramatic. So let’s get to it shall we?

What about the battery?

There are numerous reports that claimed the S8 will have bigger batteries but it looks like Samsung is playing it safe due to the Note 7 battery fires. Korean sites have stated that the S8 and the S8 Plus will have 3000mAh and 3500mAh batteries respectively which are almost the same capacities used for the Galaxy S7s. Samsung appears to have been talking to New1 Korea as having said:

“After completing a range of tests, Samsung made a final decision to deploy the battery capacity for the two S8 variants”

“We decided to install 3000mAh for the 5.8-inch model and 3500mAh for the 6.2-inch model through various tests on the Galaxy S8 battery,”

Samsung has made a change just as they said they would by replacing battery manufactures SDI and ATL in China with SDI and Murata in Japan. So Samsung will be sticking with their own company and changing their alternate. I would assume keeping their own is a way to pay closer attention to what goes on during manufacturing while kicking ATL to the curb would be justified since they screwed up in the aftermath of the SDI (Samsung) screw up. So Samsung is going with someone else to have their back this time. There are sites stating this change while also saying what they think as Samsung still using ATL but who knows really for sure other than Samsung and its employees. I will contact Samsung for a response to be sure though.

Samsung has started getting the components in large volumes in preparation for mass production of the Galaxy S8.

So what is this new S8 going to be like?

There is always rumor going around for every device before it  launches and it looks like Samsung had a hard than usual time keeping the cat in the bag this time. (or maybe  after the Note 7 issues they may have wanted rumors to spill out this time as a way to hopefully spark interests and subvert skepticism) Some of the rumors this time are a tad interesting.

Release Date:

With all of the rumor going around I had to really go looking to find a consensus and it looks good to say that Samsung will unveil the S8 in March with the device being made available for sale on April 18th. This is apparently a pushed back date from what Samsung had planned. They wanted to take more time in making sure there are no issues to avoid a repeat Note 7 debacle.

Specs:

Pictures work better. Don’t you think?

Keep in mind though that  most of the images are leaks and renders that people have created as their predictions of what the phones will looks like. Some based on eyewitness accounts.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Display: 5.8in Super AMOLED, 1440 x 2650 (2K) Gorilla Glass
• Operating System: Android 7.1 Nougat
• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 / Samsung Exynos 10-nm
• RAM: 4GB RAM
• Back Camera: 16MP, f/1.7 optics, 4K video, dual-LED flash
• Front-facing camera: 8MP wide-angle lens with f/1.7 optics
• Battery: 3,000mAh
• Internal Storage: 64GB, w/256GB microSD card slot
• Other Features: Fingerprint scanner, Metal frame, Wireless charging, USB-C

Samsung Galaxy S8 (Plus)

Display: 6.2in Super AMOLED, 1440 x 2650 (2K) Gorilla Glass• Operating System: Android 7.1 Nougat
• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 / Samsung Exynos 10-nm
• RAM: 4GB RAM
• Camera: 16MP, f/1.7 optics, 4K video, dual-LED flash
• Front-facing camera: 8MP wide-angle lens with f/1.7 optics
• Battery: 3,500mAh
• Internal Storage: 64GB, w/256GB microSD card slot
• Other Features: Fingerprint scanner, Metal frame, Wireless charging, USB-C




The specifications have been gathered over the past several weeks from a lot of leaks and insider tips of different varieties so take it with a  few grains of salt. Until Samsung releases their official specs for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, we won’t really know for sure but the leaks over the years for phones have been pretty good as far as accuracy is concerned. Well, as long as you know what leaks to call bull crap cause there are usually a few that are more conceptual in idea.


eGlobal Central link

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge @ eGlobal Central

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Clean Out Your Computer Day 2017

Clean Out Your PC Day

Your computer running slowly?  You may wonder what’s causing it. The problems can be vast, and not all of them have to do with what is on your hard drive but that is an excellent place to start, but one must remember that body and mind are tied in people, and that’s just as true in computers. Clean Out Your Computer Day reminds you that you need to take care of the whole system, inside and out, digital and physical! The Yin and the Yang.

Inside Dirty Tower PCOutside area of PC REALLY dirtyWhen was the last time you cleaned out the inside of your computer? Have you looked inside that dust infested cesspool? For that matter, have you ever swept and dusted the area where your computer sits? Before going inside your PC though make sure it is powered down and disconnected then find a good online tutorial to show you the way to get it done safely. All that dust traps heat, and if you aren’t aware, computers really don’t function well under high stress and heat.

Once you’ve cleaned out the inside, you’ll want to put it back together and boot it up. Once that’s done, it’s time to go through and clean out unnecessary files from your computer, a clogged up hard drive can be just as bad as a clogged up fan on your computer, though it won’t as often destroy your computer.

History of Clean Out Your Computer Day

National Clean Out Your Computer Day was originally sponsored by the Institute for Business Technology in the year 2000.

HOW TO OBSERVE (RECAP)

Open it up and clean the inside as mentioned above. Take a look at your files and programs on your computers:

  • Organize your files and folders.
  • Delete junk files.
  • Delete duplicate files.
  • Delete old files and programs not being used.

Use #CleanOutYourComputerDay to post on social media.



Have your computer cleaned inside and out for just
$25!

*$25 fee for physical cleaning of dust and dirt. Click More Info for other cleaning options

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