Rumors concerning Xbox 8

Microsoft is doing a good job in generating exactly the kind of publicity that grabs as much attention as possible before the launch of its newest console – in the form of rumours. Until very recently, most news and media websites informed their readers about what could be the launch of the new Xbox 720.

How can a game help fight cancer?

Based on a scientific research by Hopelab and Stanford University researchers, a game where the patient is killing cancer in his body can help create positive motivation as it activates the brain circuits related to it. So a game, such as one related to fighting cancer in your body, using weapons such as chemotherapy, can help boost player's adherence to prescribed treatments and increase self-efficacy.

Now Hopelab in cooperation with a global health service provider has come out with a new cancer-fighting game Re-Mission 2: Nanobot’s Revenge to do just that. Help the young cancer patients fight their cancer.

MMA Animals, a truly new experience for kids

What might the names Dan, Staajabu, Chaiyo, Ruran, Katashi, George, Vitali and Thomas have in common? They all come from different regions of Earth, they all have different skills. But at the same time they are all also the characters of a new, or better yet, world's first kids brand for mixed martial arts. Developed by Appiphany Technologies, the new brand is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2013.

MMA Animals is an eight part interactive story series which will be offering the consumers an all-new mobile device gaming experience. But not just. The concept is unique, yet based around simple "choose your own adventure" type novels where the exact direction of your story is based on the user's game play, achieved goals as well as in-play questions and answers.

The benefits of interactive gaming

Gaming has gotten a bad rap in recent years, with the general belief that regular gaming is akin to becoming an antisocial zombie. Actually the reverse is true, in contrast to passive television watching, gaming is a very interactive pastime with many benefits. Gaming in general, dependent on the type of game you choose to play, will require some form of strategic thought, quick motor skills or problem solving abilities. Add interactive or social online play such as the massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), and you can add social interaction and team work to that list.

Gaming can improve the player’s technology-related knowledge. Studies have shown that children who play online applications are more aware of how to use a PC and when you consider that computer literacy and internet research are now important basic skills best grasped as early as possible, it is advantageous to allow children a moderated set period of time to have fun whilst improving their computer literacy.

Research has also shown that elderly people whose brains are constantly challenged with puzzles and trivia that require problem solving skills, decision making and memory recall lower the risk of having memory ailments, so playing online interactive games can be a fantastic tool and are hugely beneficial for keeping a mind active and healthy.

Playing online games on your PC, laptop, tablet or other mobile device also allow a certain freedom to participate in hobbies or pastimes in an otherwise busy and stressful life. Enjoy a weekly cards evening with your friends? Use an online casino site to add some online casino thrill to your otherwise mundane weekly get together. Enjoy going to the bingo hall but can’t find the time to get there? There are now many online bingo sites to choose from that you can access via your mobile or laptop on your commute home or from your sofa in the evening, so you don’t miss out.

Interactive gaming has also been used as a language teaching tool. Evidence from research suggests that using multiplayer online games can promote the language student’s motivation, increase communication and encourage collaboration among participating students as computers and online gaming provide a convenient venue to practice the target language. Online gaming gives the student the opportunity to use the written language or spoken language (if using a game that requires a headset) in a setting that is more true to life, rather than the theory of dusty text books.

And finally, if you needed further persuasion of the benefits of online gaming, there is evidence that when older children play online educational games, they can benefit from increased confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Older children who play online educational games and are able to beat levels and accomplish small goals usually feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, a feeling that is often missing in these turbulent developmental years. Small goal setting and the subsequent achieving is a fantastic skill for older children to learn to implement in all aspects of their life. As with all online access for children, the amount of time spent playing these games should be monitored and the websites properly vetted by the parents before access is allowed.

Three Apps to Unleash Your Creativity on Android Tablets

The mobile revolution means we can work on the go, stay connected while traveling and be productive while in perpetual motion. Of course, it also means we can while away time on Wikipedia, search for an endless amount of animated GIFs of cats and compete with our friends on Candy Crush Empire until someone gets belligerent. But what often goes unremarked is the fact that  a slew of applications that can enhance and nurture your innate creativity are available for your Android tablet or smartphone. And we're not talking about Instagram. Here are a few choice selections:

Real Drum
What could be more fun and creative than drumming on your Android tablet? That's what a slew of apps have set out to do, but few have been as successful as Real Drum by Brazilian developer Rodrigo Kolb. Real Drum has racked up nearly 27,000 ratings on the Google Play store, with a four and a half star rating in total.

Real Drum offers 13 drum pads, 13 sounds, HD resolution, multitouch functionality and a record mode. It promises "studio audio quality" as well. In practice, the main user interface screen is a series of drum heads presented from a top-down angle. You touch a drum head and it makes the requisite sound. The latest version of Real Drum includes a 'record' feature, which is useful for musicians who get ideas while on the go. All they have to do is tap out their idea on their Android tablet and record it on Real Drum so they can recall it easily.

One issue with Real Drum seems to be latency, or 'lag', between the time you touch a drum head on the screen and when the sound is played, according to several user reviews on Google Play. "As others have said, there is a slight delay. It makes it hard for real drummers like myself. The overall setup is nice, though," wrote Real Drum user Vernon Q. Jones II on 9 Feb. However, if you are satisfied with Real Drum, as the thousands of users who have rated it highly appear to be, then you might want to check out its developer, Kolb's, portfolio of other music apps. These include Real Piano, Real Bass, Congas and Bongos and other apps of a musical nature for your Android tablet and smartphone.

Paper Camera
The filtered-photo mobile or tablet app is played out, now that everyone has an Instagram account, whether it's on an iOS or Android device, right? Not necessarily, as Paper Camera shows. This is a photo filtering app with a difference, and one that is sure to bring out your creative instincts when you use it on your Android tablet.

Paper Camera "cartoonises" images seen through your Android tablet or smartphone's camera viewfinder. Images can look like a comic strip, an oil painting, a pencil sketch and so on. These effects are what make the app unique. They turn your image into something so different from a retro photo filter that you won't mistake it for a boring old Instagram shot. You can do a few other things, like add borders to the image and adjust the brightness or contrast, and that's  about it. You then save your cartoonised image and you can share it on social networks or e-mail directly to friends.

Paper Camera's relative simplicity seems to have won it fans. It has a four and a half star rating on the Google Play store from nearly 22,000 votes. It has between 1 million and 5 million installs, according to the Google Play store. It costs GBP1.19, which may not be too high a price to pay considering the sorts of creative fun you'll get up to with it on your Android tablet or smartphone.

Let's Create! Pottery Lite
Besides drawing apps, photo apps and music apps, what other categories could there be for a curious and creative mind to explore on an Android tablet? It turns out that something unexpected is possible on a tablet — practicing pottery.

The Let's Create! Pottery Lite app promises to be a pottery simulator for Android tablet and smartphone users. You will virtually "throw your clay" onto the pottery wheel and shape it into something presentable. That's the basic premise, anyway. A 'game' is fashioned around this premise where you must create pottery in certain designs to gain points and credit in order to create more elaborate pieces. The app is free, but a paid version allows you to paint on the vase after the it's been glazed in the kiln.

Let's Create! Pottery Lite has been unexpectedly successful in the Google Play store. It has somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million installs. It has a four and a half star rating from 6,200 votes. The app review site Android Pipe gave it nine and a half stars out of 10, calling it "very original and highly relaxing". A pottery simulator was not the most obvious thing to download for an Android tablet or smartphone, but clearly, thousands of people have done so and enjoyed the creative experience. 

The week in review: Windows 8

As Sony geared up for their eagerly-anticipated PlayStation keynote, Bill Gates was deep in discussion with Reddit about Microsoft's mobile strategy. Here's all the Windows phone, tablet, and laptop news from the past week.

Nokia have introduced two new models to their Lumia range – the Lumia 720 and Lumia 520 – at the Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona. Nokia are launching the phone as low-cost alternatives to their premium Windows 8 smartphone, the Lumia 920, with Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop saying that “broadening our devices and services” was a motivation for expanding the line.

Paul Rubens, who writes for CIO, commented extensively on reports that Windows 8 tablets were making good headway in the enterprise sector. He concluded that while both Windows 8 tablet and app sales among businesses are strong, the limited app selection means that Microsoft’s offerings are only slaking the thirst of niche enterprise services not disrupting the business market as a whole.

Windows Blue, the rumoured update to Windows 8, has been poking its head above Microsoft’s leaky parapets for the first time. Unconfirmed reports state that the new OS will launch in August, and feature much-expanded search functionalities.

LG, whose handset division has all but wound up over the last year, say they’re open to developing Windows 8 devices, but don’t see a “significant market” for them yet. The Korean consumer electronics giant – who manufacture displays for a few global handset manufacturers – “will be on board” with Windows 8 when things pick up, according to an unnamed LG representative.

Microsoft has expanded its range of peripherals for Windows 8 devices. Among the accessories on offer are a pair of ergonomically styled mice and a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, thinks that Windows 8 sales are “perfect” for now, and is pretty pumped about the possibilities for Microsoft’s in-house tablet, the Surface. “I don’t think Surface is going to dominate volume,” said the exec in an interview with TechnoBuffalo, “but it’s a real business”.

Simon Garfinkel, a writer for Technology Review, has his doubts about the possibility of unifying an operating system’s interface across multiple devices. He thinks Microsoft’s solution feels “somewhat weird”, although he also credits Windows 8 with getting “a lot right”.

Consumer Reports has been testing loads of Windows 8 laptops and ultrabooks, and thinks there are much better devices on offer than Microsoft’s own Surface Pro, including ultrabooks and laptops by Lenovo and Acer.

Google have released a super-high-resolution Chromebook with a touchscreen, called ‘Pixel’. Preston Gralla, who writes for Computer World, hates it.

Lenovo have launched their best-selling ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch in the United Arab Emirates.

Mozilla has seen fit to release an early ‘test’ version of its Metro-optimised browser for Windows 8. It’s available now, free of charge, from Mozilla’s test build archive.

IHS iSuppli, a leading technology market research agency, are pretty certain that the second half of 2013 with be a gravy train for ‘hybrid’ (convertible laptop/tablet) Windows 8 ultrabooks, according to a report from CNet. Despite a weak start to the year, they predict 2013 notebook shipments from PC manufacturers will rise 5 percent from the total of 156.9 million units shipped during 2012.

Keep Healthy with your Mobile Phone

Singapore has the world’s lowest health care costs and is ranked by the WHO as having the sixth best healthcare system in the world. Nevertheless, we all try to avoid a trip to the doctor wherever possible. In this modern world of smartphones, new solutions are proposed daily, designed to help you deal with your health needs. A number of apps have been developed, both by private companies and by the government of Singapore, to keep you healthy and deal with your problems if you fall sick.

As we all know, prevention is better than cure: one of the best things that a mobile phone health app can do is to help you stay fit. The Singapore Health Promotion Board has released a number of phone apps aimed at keeping you in shape. Healthy Chef contains over 70 nutritious recipes from Singapore's leading chefs. The HPB Diet Tracker allows you to keep track of what you're eating and compare it to the HPB food nutrition database, to give you an idea of whether you are in line with the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. The HPB Fitness Tracker tracks your aerobic fitness score and body mass index over time, suggesting activities if your score does not fall within the recommended zone.

At the moment these apps only work with phones and tablets operating on iOS. If you are fond of other operating systems and own non iOS gadgets, you will need to look somewhere else. For example, if you have a BlackBerry Bold or an Android smartphone you might consider downloading Health Meter Premium as an alternative. Using this tool you can calculate your body mass index, basal metabolic rate, body fat and waist-to-hip ratio. This type of information can alert you to potential health risks and make you set a recommend daily calorie intake plan.

No matter how fit you are there will always come a time when you need to see a doctor. The Ministry of Health’s answer to this is the app MOH iHealth SG that offers a comprehensive guide to the country’s healthcare establishments and healthcare professionals.  If crisis strikes when you’re out but carrying your mobile phone in Singapore, you’ll still have direct access to information about the nearest medical facilities, be able to filter results by the service they provide, and get their addresses and phone numbers and even a map right away. The app is currently available for iOS only, but information apps on how to actually deal with a medical emergency are available on all platforms. Health Guide: FirstAid Pro, for example, encompasses a range of health tips: from day-to-day healthy living, to emergency information. It gives you immediate access to a database of emergency numbers, as well as online medical encyclopaedias that will help you understand what is wrong.

Here’s wishing the very best of health to you all!

Stylish Gear for the Savvy Businessman and Businesswoman

To be taken seriously in the business world, you need to look and act the part. This often means having the right gear, gadgets and accessories to come across as confident, intelligent and, most importantly, prepared to make an important deal or connection. This article will explore some of the latest and best accessories for the savvy businessman and businesswoman, including self-charging bags suitable for your smartphone, glasses to prevent jetlag and mobile phones to use on the go.

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover
One of the most well-received accessories of 2012 was the Logitech Ultrathin iPad keyboard attachment, and it is still making waves. This accessory works by connecting a thin, portable keyboard to your iPad with a magnetic clip. Doubling as a protective cover, this accessory turns into a fully functioning keyboard when it is slipped open. This accessory is great from the travelling businessman or woman as it helps your tablet make the seamless transition to a near laptop, all by adding a keyboard for ease of typing and transport.

Retimer Glasses
Business trips can be exciting opportunities for personal and professional growth. They can also, however, be stressful, draining and lead to debilitating jet lag that neither you or your boss can afford. A new Australian tech gadget may be here to help. Jet lag, which is a bodily reaction to abnormal shifts in sunlight patterns, can be controlled and prevented by using the Retimer glasses, which use green light to advance or delay the body’s natural rhythm. By wearing these glasses for 30 minutes after you wake up, or 30 minutes before bed, you should be able to return to natural sleeping patterns within three days. By mimicking the benefits of sunlight without harmful UV rays, Retimer reduces jet lag, increases energy and manages fatigue.

Everpurse, a small, portable purse that charges your smartphone, works by allowing you to place your phone into the pocket of a stylish clutch. Your phone connects to a docking system at the bottom of the clutch, so you don’t have to struggle with cords, and your phone then charges automatically. Each night you can place your Everpurse on its specially designed charging mat which uses inductive charging to send energy from the mat to the purse. Everpurse can charge your phone from 0 to 100 percent twice a day. The Everpurse is currently compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and Samsung Galaxy S III.

BlackBerry Bold 3 Series
The new BlackBerryBold 3 series is designed with business in mind. For instance, the BlackBerry Bold 9000 is purposely compact, chic and powerful, perfect for taking business on the go, and not just because of the competitive BlackBerry price. The precision of the trackpad and responsiveness of the touchscreen make this phone easy and smooth to handle. In addition to enhanced email and data security, a touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard, this phone contains a 5 MP camera, voice recording and a powerful QC 8655 1.2GHz processor. With Wi-Fi access to BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Internet Bundle, you will never be disconnected. When researching the right tools for business, take a look at the now cheaper BlackBerry prices and consider if a smartphone will take you to the next level. 

Subaru and Nordica Kick off Snowsports Season with the XV Crosstrek Run

The snowsports season is beginning and Subaru together with Nordica is ready to kickstart it with the XV Crosstrek Run. The entire coast-to-coast journey by two young free skiers will be filmed and the material will be produced, edited into short videos by the Champlain College film students.

The videos as well as photos will be uploaded for online viewing by fans of Subaru and free skiing at

The featured skier of the XV Crosstrek Run is Luke "Lupe" Hagearty and the filming will be done by another skier Liam McKinley. Together they will be hitting major mountain resorts, visiting skiing events across the U.S. in the all-new Subaru 2013 XV Crosstrek.

"The XV Crosstrek Run is a great collaborative effort and comes at the perfect time as we are celebrating our 10th anniversary of the Subaru-Nordica Service Team," states Tim Tagye, promotions and sponsorship manager, Subaru of America, Inc.

Both Luke and Liam were handpicked by Nordica, company that is dedicated to relentless product innovation to make of all types of skiing more fun, more comfortable and more enjoyable.

The journey, XV Crosstrek Run, is being undertaken to celebrate the partnership of Subaru and Nordica and the 10th anniversary of the Subaru-Nordica Service Team.

Disclosure: This post was submitted by an advertiser.