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Plug Beta

Well over a year ago I designed a concept for a native OS X Hype Machine player just to see how one might fare, and if anyone was interested in it. I've used Hype Machine more in the last 3 years than Rdio, Spotify, Soundcloud and iTunes because there's a lot of good remixes on there, and people are great at submitting the latest songs.

Alex Marchant got in touch, asking if he could use the .psd to try and get an actual build going. By the start of this year we had something that worked, was a little buggy, but did what we largely used Hype Machine for - the 'Popular' tab, which is pretty much like a radio of the latest tracks.

Since then we've had chats with Hype Machine themselves, progressing the design, and almost becoming the official app but deciding to stay separate while we test the waters. We're at a stage where it's a usable product with a few kinks and enhancements to be made.

Other sections that people are asking for like Feed, Blogs, Genres have been designed and may be added soon if time permits. It's a spare time project between the both of us but I'm glad the reception has been very warm, and users have been more than helpful in letting us know about bugs, and supplying suggestions.

If you're interested, go grab the latest beta!

Wii U Review - Tablet

The Wii U GamePad is surprisingly light, but there seems to be a reason for that — the battery only holds enough of a charge for approximately three hours of play given our experiences with the system over the last ten days.
— Polygon

Polygon reviewed the Nintendo's Wii U and have come out particularly disappointed with the new tablet controller. Most interestingly, it uses resistive touchscreen not allowing for multitouch input, and the battery is extremely lacking.

In the past resistive touchscreens have been favoured when accuracy is needed for single point touches, its advantage over capacitive touchscreens like on the iPad. However in Nintendo's case the input feels inaccurate and requires too much force to register.

The battery's 3 hour playtime is also considerably weaker than competing tablets, and may end up seeing the controller perennially plugged in. I imagine these hardware choices were made in favour of cost reduction, but it makes it hard for consumers to take the Wii U tablet experience seriously in an arena dominated by more robust tablets.

Microsoft Patent for Monitored Viewer Licensing

The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken.
— Patent 20120278904

Gaming news sources have been popping up with analysis of a patent filed by Microsoft, detailing a system whereby a video monitoring device (like the Kinect) could determine the amount of people attempting to view content and adjust availability depending on the licenses purchased.

I can understand the thought behind it: charge for the experience per person. However if anything like this was applied there'd be backlash unless prices dropped considerably. Not to mention the amount of people attempting to circumvent it.

It is being sensationalised as Orwellian technology. Journalists are dismissing that patenting something is often about making sure no one else can, and jumping to the more exciting conclusion that Microsoft intends on becoming Big Brother.

Making It Snappy

Hundreds of small lags in animations when you drag a window, scroll a page, click buttons, and other UI operations have been reduced by these improvements. Taken together, they add up to an overall improved user experience.
— Chris Foresman

Ars Technica analyses some of the graphics improvements in Mountain Lion, and while the statistics show the changes to be marginal, the overall effect is the 'feeling' of a faster OS.