Friday, July 29, 2016

The Best PokeMap

If you want the best Pokémon Go map, why not use the game’s servers to tell you where to find Pokémon? That’s the aim of Pokévision, which claims to use the the game’s own API to discover the Pokémon in your midst.
Pokévision’s premise is simple: It taps the game’s API to provide a real-time “cheat sheet” pointing to the locations of the nearest Pokémon in Pokémon Go. Each Pokémon location comes with a timer; when that timer expires, the Pokémon de-spawns and disappears.
“Find all Pokémon near you (or a selected target location) in real time for Pokémon Go. Pokémon nearby will be marked along with their appearance timer on the map,” thePokévision site claims. “These are real-time Pokemon locations, meaning they are currently live and can be found exactly at the marked spots.”
The map won't find Pokémon lured to you by incense or a lure, as those are only shown to you or the players around you, and not the world at large.
Why this matters: Pokévision may be the best Pokémon Go map precisely because it’s the ultimate cheat: Instead of asking classmates for the answers, Pokévision lifts the answers from the teacher. It begs the question: Doesn’t this violate the spirit of Pokémon Go, which is discovery? Possibly. However, the map doesn’t collect the Pokémon for you; it simply shows you where they are. If anything, this adds an urgency to the gameplay, as the rare Pokémon you want to collect may be a few miles away. The first chapter of Pokémon Go might have been a walking adventure; Pokévision could turn it into a road rally.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pokemon Yogurt?

Less than a month since the app launched, Pokemon Go fervor is still high and brands including Zipcar and McDonald's are getting in on the craze. But the game doesn't rely on traditional in-app mobile advertising to make money, and that's causing some brands like Stonyfield to get creative with their messaging.

On Wednesday, the yogurt brand and mobile advertising company Aki Technologies will kick off a four-week campaign targeting 10,000 Pokestops—the virtual landmarks where players collect characters and points—in popular apps consumers often use in conjunction with Pokemon Go, like weather or messaging apps.
"We don't put a lot of dollars onto traditional advertising—we're not on TV, we don't do a lot of print advertising," said Liz Dube, director of digital marketing at Stonyfield. "The idea of tapping into this particular activity using moment marketing seems like a no-brainer idea for us. This is real-time marketing on an extremely personal level."
The idea was born a few weeks ago when Aki noticed its San Francisco office is located near several Pokestops, and the team started thinking about the game's advertising potential. While Pokemon Go is working with McDonald's to create sponsored locations, the full advertising potential of the game isn't clear, and Stonyfield's creative for the campaign came together in two days.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Apple Revenue

Apple Inc. reported revenue that fell less than projected and forecast fourth-quarter sales that may exceed analysts’ estimates, bolstered as iPhone demand picks up and consumers warm to the company’s new low-priced smartphone model.

Key Points


  • Fourth-quarter revenue will be $45.5 billion to $47.5 billion, the Cupertino, California-based company said Tuesday in a statement. On average, analysts projected $45.5 billion. A year earlier, sales were $51.5 billion.
  • Gross margin in the period that ends in September will be 37.5 percent to 38 percent.
  • Fiscal third-quarter revenue fell 15 percent to $42.4 billion. That topped analysts’ average prediction for revenue of $42.1 billion.
  • IPhone unit sales for the quarter fell 15 percent from a year earlier to 40.4 million. Still, that exceeded the average estimate of 39.9 million.
  • Apple shares jumped 5.3 percent in extended trading after the report. They slipped less than 1 percent to $96.67 at the close in New York. The stock has fallen 8.2 percent so far this year.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

GameStop and Pokemon Go

Doing its best to turn a liability into an asset, shares of GameStop soared last week after talking up its prospects as an unlikely play in the Pokemon Go frenzy. CEO J. Paul Raines was on CNBC, revealing that sales had doubled at stores that also serve as virtual gyms and PokeStops in the game.
GameStop is talking a good game. It has a page set up to make it easier for Pokemon Go players to see which of its more than 7,000 stores also double as hotspots for virtual items and battle training in the augmented reality game that's sweeping the nation. Nearly 200 of its stores also happen to be designated as PokeStops with more than 30 locations also doubling as Pokemon Gyms.
The chain is also dropping lure modules -- a virtual item that once executed attracts Pokemon to the area for 30 minutes -- at some of its stores, hoping that attracting mobile app players will inspire merchandise purchases in the real world.
A hot mobile app would seem to be toxic for a small-box retailer of new and used video games and gear. If you're glued to Pokemon Go you're not going to necessarily be interested in playing console games. There will be billions to be made by the time the Pokemon Gocraze is over, but that money is going to game developer Niantic Labs, Nintendo and the iOS and Android app marketplaces.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ubuntu 16.04.1

Canonical just released Ubuntu 16.04.1, the first point release in the Ubuntu 16.04 “Xenial Xerus” series. All the changes made to Ubuntu 16.04 have been combined into a new installer image, which you can now download.

What’s a point release?

If you’re already using Ubuntu 16.04, you don’t need to do anything special to upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04.1. Just install the updates available in the Update Manager application and your system will be upgraded to the latest software.
Point releases like this one are primarily useful for new installs. They bundle together the latest security updates, bug fixes, and other improvements. If you have an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS live CD or live USB drive you use, you’ll want to replace it with Ubuntu 16.04.1 to ensure you have the latest security updates.
Some point releases include new “hardware enablement stacks”—new versions of the Linux kernel and graphical X server backported from less stable Ubuntu releases to make Ubuntu work better on new hardware. This one doesn’t, but Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS, which will be released in February 2017, will.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Wine on Chromebooks


Windows software will run on Chromebooks thanks to CrossOver for Android. With Android compatibility on Chromebooks, it will soon be possible to install Windows software like Steam as well as the many games only available for Windows.
CrossOver for Android is a commercial project made by CodeWeavers. It takes code from the Wine open-source project that allows Windows applications to run on Linux and Mac OS X, and adapts it to Android.
Running Windows applications on Android is a cute idea, but the average person isn’t going to install desktop applications on their Android smartphone or tablet. But, now that Chromebooks are gaining an Android compatibility system, it’s possible to install CrossOver for Android on a Chromebook and use it to run Windows software.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fragmentation

Google's Android operating system has long suffered from a problem called "fragmentation."

Unlike with the Apple iPhone, it's up to smartphone manufacturers and not Google itself to push out updates to customers. So there's no guarantee that any given phone will get the operating system upgrades.
There's also a ton of different hardware, some of which does a better job supporting certain features. Contrast this with Apple's very few different hardware choices.
All this makes life a nightmare for anybody making Android apps: There's no guarantee that an app that works on my phone will work on yours, or vice versa. Multiply that times the many millions of Android devices out there, and it's a minefield of apps that may or may not work for huge segments of your potential audience.