Smartphones

Smartphone game’s virtual tour of Japan lets you win real-world watermelons

As someone who grew up playing video games that let you throw fireballs, suplex trains, and slay dragons, I’m a little confused by the appeal of some of today’s simple, low-key smartphone games. In particular, any game where you run around having to harvest food baffles me, since I always assumed the best part of farming and agricultural distribution was actually getting to eat something when it was all done.

Thankfully, the makers of the upcoming title Gochipon seem to agree with me, and are rewarding the best players with honest-to-goodness fruit.

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Preorders begin for Attack on Titan iPhones cases

We can’t imagine a more dedicated way to show off your love of hit anime Attack on Titan than by strapping on a pair of replicas of the heroes’ giant-killing swords whenever you step out of the house. What we can imagine, though, is the blades clashing with the rest of many peoples’ wardrobes, not to mention earning them the unwanted attention of their local police department should they happen to live in a municipality where defending yourself from 60-meter tall monsters isn’t a daily concern.

Thankfully, if you’re looking for anime accessories that are less bulky/deadly, the makers of the Attack on Titan iPhone case have announced they’ve started taking orders.

Price, details, and lots of delicious photos after the jump!

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How Microsoft created a virtual assistant that could blow Siri away

YouTube/calloftreyarch

Windows Phone is still a distant third to Apple and Android in the smartphone market, but Microsoft is hoping to change that with the introduction of Windows Phone 8.1— and more importantly its personal digital assistant Cortana.

Microsoft claims that Cortana isn’t like your average virtual assistant. She’s supposed to be a little wittier, more personable, and capable of learning more about you than Siri or Google Now.

After using Cortana for a week and speaking with Microsoft’s Marcus Ash, Partner Group program manager, it’s clear that the company’s got a lot riding on the success of its new virtual assistant.

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Keep in touch with all your Scout Corps friends with this Attack on Titan iPhone case

In creating the monstrous villains smash-hit manga and anime Attack on Titan, author Hajime Isoyama said that one of the feelings he wanted to convey was the terror of facing an adversary you have no way of communicating with. He hit the mark perfectly, as the Titans’ inability to speak or even meaningfully change their expressions makes them uniquely unnerving foes.

But no matter how big a fan of the series you may be, we human beings, on the other hand, need to be able to talk to one another, which is where this awesome iPhone case, modeled after the swords wielded by Attack on Titans heroes, come into the picture.

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Simulation shows the chaotic consequences of walking in Shibuya while staring at your phone

In recent years, Shibuya’s scramble intersection has shot to international fame as a symbol of the sheer energy and extreme congestion that can be found in downtown Tokyo. The five-road nexus is one of the busiest crossings in the world, and it’s not unusual to see as many as 1,500 people making their way across it – usually in opposite directions – when traffic in all directions stops.

With such a massive amount of pedestrians trying to get to the other side, navigating the scramble intersection without careening into anyone can be a tricky affair, especially with three giant video screens and several times as many mini-skirted legs pulling your attention away. But what if we added yet another distraction, in the form of every single person staring at their smartphone as they crossed? How many collisions would we see then? 10? 20? 50?

Try hundreds.

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A better use for your smartphone than Angry Birds: Remotely driving your car!

It’s only a matter of time until we’re all riding around in self-driving cars, texting our hearts out without having to worry about running anyone over. With all the companies working on the technology, it seems like it’s just a matter of time before you can slip into your automated automobile and say, “Carrie, take me to the bar!”

Unfortunately, “a matter of time” could very well be a few decades for all we know. So maybe we need to limit our dreams a bit. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could, at the very least, get our cars to pick us up outside the mall with an app on our phones? Yeah, that’ll probably never happen.

Or will it??

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Explosion-proof membranes won’t keep your phone from blowing, but it might save you from the shrapnel

It looks like the world is facing a new pandemic, but we’re not talking about any viruses or diseases here. No, we’re talking about exploding smartphones. From Europe to the United States to China, more and more cases of phone batteries blowing themselves apart are surfacing, stirring up concern for many. No longer can we fling perturbed birds at their giggling pork nemeses without worrying that our phones will blow our faces off. While the safest option would probably be to simply avoid having one, what would we do without our smartphones on the train, at work when our boss isn’t looking, or in bed at 3 am? This deep, possibly unhealthy attachment to the devices has led to an interesting new product in China: explosion-proof membranes.

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Shield Your Rocket: Waterproofing a Smartphone with a Condom

I’m sure that there are those of you out there who use their smartphones in the tub. Soaking while you surf the Net and watch movies is just pure bliss, ain’t it? The bathtub smartphone is simply awesome! And slightly dangerous…

What you really need to pay attention to is waterproofing. Certainly there are special accessories and ziplock bags, but recently there’s been one…unique method running around the Internet rumor mills. What the hell am I talking about? Using condoms for waterproofing! Read More

Thai DJ Puts iPhone on Blast…from an iPhone

Just as hidari no ko vs migi no ko  is dividing Japan, iPhone vs Android has divided the world. And that division is most clear in the ceaseless battle between Apple and Samsung. Where patent lawsuits once captured our attention, stealth marketing and negative campaigns have suddenly sprung up. And today’s news out of Thailand is all the more bizarre for its tactlessness. Read More

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