Confession: I can’t stand the new batch of iPhone advertisements. Apple spent the better part of a decade dropping zeitgeist-grenade TV commercials. But when it came time to show off audio helpmate Siri, the marketing team decided to fall back on random celebrity pitchmen. The result was Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson meandering around identical IKEA households. (Absent from these advertisements: The celebrities’ assistants, a.k.a. “Siri With Limbs.”) I have to admit, though, that I’m a bit tickled by a new pair of advertisements featuring adorable cult weirdo John Malkovich, who speaks to Siri as if she’s the only one who really understands him. Check out the two commercials below: READ FULL STORY
Tag: Tech (91-100 of 863)
It has become routine: First Facebook changes its format, and then users grumble about leaving the social network site before eventually settling in and accepting it – just in time for a new round of changes.
Facebook has been busy lately: Mark Zuckerberg and Co. may have just completed converting everyone to the new “Timeline” feature, (not to mention a well-publicized IPO on May 18) but they aren’t slowing down. The company in now rolling out a new timeline, currently to just a few select users, that has some subtle changes to the display, including streamlining the ‘Friends’ and ‘Photos’ tabs, as well as changing ‘Likes’ to ‘Favorites.’
We all used to be annoyed by commercials. Thanks to the wonders of DVR, we’re now just annoyed by the need to fast-forward through commercials, and then maybe also rewind for a few seconds if we go too far, and thus still be forced to experience the last few annoying milliseconds of that Zooey Deschanel iPhone ad. But what if there were a way to eliminate advertisements from your TV-watching experience? That’s the pitch behind a new DVR feature released last week for Dish Network subscribers called “the Auto-Hop,” which replaces commercial breaks with a few pregnant moments of black screen. READ FULL STORY
The first Disney Epic Mickey game, released in 2010 on the Nintendo Wii, was a witty, inventive action-adventure platformer that was held back by a few blemishes. Now here’s Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, and in an exclusive behind-the-scenes video, the developers at Junction Point Studios don’t shy away from addressing those prior complaints.
Dismayed by the graphical limitations of the Wii? Epic Mickey 2 will be released on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC/Mac, in addition to the Wii. Tired of reading text bubbles? The game now features full speech. Wish you could play with a friend? The sequel will offer drop-in, drop-out co-play. And if you were ever frustrated by the original game’s clunky camera, this quote from creator Warren Spector will be music to your Mickey Mouse ears: “The camera is dramatically enhanced — we’ve made hundreds and hundreds of changes.”
Epic Mickey 2 returns players to Wasteland, an alternate universe inhabited by Walt Disney’s discarded or forgotten characters and ideas. In addition to playing as Mickey, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit — one of Disney’s earliest hit characters — can now be controlled by a second person. And in what sounds like a delightful twist, the game is being described as a musical in which the plot will be advanced through original song numbers.
Check out the exclusive behind-the-scenes trailer below: READ FULL STORY
The release of BioShock Infinite, one of the most anticipated games of 2012, has been pushed back from Oct. 16, 2012, to Feb. 26, 2013, according to a message posted on developer Irrational Games’ website. “We’ve come to realize that some specific tweaks and improvements will make Infinite into something even more extraordinary,” wrote game director Ken Levine. “I won’t kid you: BioShock Infinite is a very big game, and we’re doing things that no one has ever done in a first-person shooter.”
Sadly, that means we’ll have to wait four extra months before being able to visit Columbia, the game’s floating steampunk metropolis — and a relative of sorts to Rapture, the underwater utopian setting of BioShock and BioShock 2. Set in an alternate-universe 1912, Infinite lets you play as Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, who travels to Columbia to rescue a woman with some incredible — and incredibly dangerous — magical powers. It was the most promising game I saw at last year’s E3 convention; speaking of which, Levine also mentioned that Infinite will not be making an appearance at this year’s E3.
Levine and his team should have all the time they need to finish this game. But I wouldn’t be opposed to sending a Big Daddy to the company’s Quincy, Mass., headquarters just to politely keep their feet to the fire. How crushed are you about BioShock Infinite‘s postponement?
‘Diablo III': Chris Metzen discusses the inspiration for Peter Chung’s ‘Diablo: Wrath’ video
‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 2′ sends the franchise into the future. Gamechanger or shark-jumper?
‘God of War: Ascension': Director Todd Papy talks multiplayer
Over a decade after it debuted on Saturday Night Live, Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush impression is still paying dividends. The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences announced today that Ferrell had nabbed a Webby Award for Best Individual Performance in an online video; the clip in question, which appeared on Ferrell’s site Funny or Die, shows Ferrell’s Bush learning about the death of Osama Bin Laden.
Ferrell wasn’t the only big name to score a spiral-shaped Webby. Icelandic fairy Bjork won a Special Recognition Award for Artist of the Year, while Graydon Sheppard and Juliette Lewis of the “S— Girls Say” videos got cited as Actresses of the Year — despite the fact that Sheppard isn’t actually a girl. Funny or Die’s “Drunk History Christmas,” which featured performances by Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, and Jim Carrey, won for Best Online Film or Video Comedy, although none of those stars received individual awards. New essentials Pinterest and Spotify won for top social media site and music app, respectively. The adorable Sesame Street Muppets page was named Best Youth Website. READ FULL STORY
Kratos has never been one to play nice with others, so maybe it’s no surprise that the God of War series has so far avoided multiplayer. But that all changes with God of War: Ascension, the PlayStation 3 prequel that was first announced earlier this month. Sony revealed Monday that Ascension will contain multiplayer modes in addition to a single-player campaign. EW got to see some of the ancient Greek gameplay in action and talked to director Todd Papy about how multiplayer will work in the God of War universe. Here’s what we learned: READ FULL STORY
Believe it or not, it’s been 13 years since the first Super Smash Bros. debuted on Nintendo 64, bringing together several iconic Nintendo characters in one four-player fighting game and answering one of life’s greatest mysteries: What’s it like to be defeated by Jigglypuff?
Now it’s Sony’s turn. The company has officially announced PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, a PS3 exclusive that brings the Super Smash Bros. formula to the Sony universe. At a Los Angeles media event earlier this week, developer SuperBot Entertainment gave the press its first look at PlayStation All-Stars. Our snap judgment: The game’s a blast, though your mileage will obviously vary depending on your passion for side-scrolling brawlers. READ FULL STORY
I have a theory about why everything has gone wrong with the once-beloved, now-maligned Netflix. In simple terms: They were Scrooge McDuck, and they decided that they wanted to be the Beagle Boys — the gang of hoodlum bank robbers who conceive crazy schemes to rob Scrooge McDuck. One year ago, Netflix was practicing a grateful backstroke through a mountain of money. There was some trouble on the horizon, of course. Content providers were starting to create their own video-streaming services, and mailing DVDs was costly, and users would fly into a blind rage whenever the site slightly updated its interface. Scrooge McDuck constantly faces down threats from competitors like Flintheart Glomgold (Amazon Instant Video) or people who want to undermine his business model, like Magica DeSpell (Starz’ decision to remove its content from Netflix). There were ways to solve these problems. Netflix had an adoring constituency. Everyone you knew was watching Party Down. Your parents were starting to use “Netflix” as a verb. READ FULL STORY
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re wasting your time on Facebook. According to an earnings report that the beloved omniscient mega-corporation just filed in preparation for its Jupiter-sized IPO, Facebook had an average revenue per user of $1.21 for the first quarter of 2012.* That means you, Mr. or Mrs. Average Facebook User, have made just enough enough money to buy a couple packets of Splenda for the Facebook coffee machine — or it would mean that, if Facebook hadn’t long since replaced its coffee machine with a mute Vietnamese monk who serves the most perfect coffee in the world and has no eyelids. READ FULL STORY
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