N.O.V.A. 3 is the best shooter on iOS, but it's still not perfect

Posted by Harshad

N.O.V.A. 3 is the best shooter on iOS, but it's still not perfect

N.O.V.A. 3 is the best shooter on iOS, but it's still not perfect

Posted: 14 May 2012 05:29 PM PDT

N.O.V.A. 3 looks amazing even when you're simply walking down the street.

(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

N.O.V.A. 3 Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance ($6.99 -- iOS universal) is the third installment of Gameloft's first-person shooter franchise that, many have argued, bears a strong resemblance to Microsoft's Halo. Whether that's true, the game is mostly a gun-shooting good time with all the perks you'd expect in an FPS, but it does have a couple of problems.

With that said, N.O.V.A. is arguably the best sci-fi shooter franchise on iOS, and with the third installment there's plenty more bad guys to blow away in new and interesting ways. You play as Kal Wardin, and are once again charged with saving mankind -- and this time you'll start on a war-torn planet Earth.

While it's disturbing to see San Francisco destroyed (did CNET make it out OK?) in the opening scenes of the game, the graphics are beautiful and intense as you initially crash land on the planet and dive right into the action. The story leads you through 10 levels that have you traversing throughout the galaxy. The game looks and feels amazing, too -- it features real-time shadows and lighting, a particle system, and ragdoll physics to make it look as realistic as possible. I played for quite some time in my testing,... [Read more]

Perian plug-in for QuickTime to be discontinued

Posted: 14 May 2012 04:11 PM PDT

The development team of the Perian plug-in for QuickTime has announced today that it will no longer be making future versions of the plug-in.

The Perian project began over six years ago, and the plug-in has been a simple and straightforward way to add extensive media support to OS X without juggling multiple media players.

Commonly referred to as the Swiss Army Knife for QuickTime, the Perian plug-in included a number of the codecs required to view most video formats available via the Web and was the answer for many who were trying to find a way to view obscure, outdated video files. It often was used to overcome the limited default codec support in Apple's QuickTime player.

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Unfortunately, the developers have decided to move on to other projects, and in a posting on the Perian Web site, said they will be halting support for the software after 90 days from its final release. The source code will then be posted to an open-source community (Google Code or GitHub), where others can try maintaining it if they so choose. There will be no official support for Perian in Apple's upcoming OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, but unless Apple changes the way the program is allowed to interface with Quic... [Read more]

Apple releases Flashback removal tools for OS X 10.5

Posted: 14 May 2012 03:51 PM PDT

In September 2011, Apple stopped software support for OS X 10.5 in favor of OS X 10.6 or later, including security updates for the older OS. However, in light of the recent malware attacks that have left users of OS X 10.5 vulnerable to exploit, and perhaps following recent criticism of its approaches to security, Apple has issued new tools to help users of OS X 10.5 better secure their systems.

After Flashback malware hit headlines in early August, a number of security companies released Flashback detection and removal tools that automated the manual steps for removing the malware from OS X systems.

Apple followed these with an update of its own, which included its Malware Removal Tool (MRT) package. Unlike other offerings, this tool is built to run once, remove instances of known malware, and then remove itself. This approach is minimalistic, but will allow users to do a one-time check of their system to ensure they are free of the Flashback malware. When this tool was released, Apple initially only made it available to OS X 10.7 and 10.6 users, which left a number of those still using 10.5 Leopard (... [Read more]

Earn rewards by watching TV with Viggle for Android

Posted: 14 May 2012 12:15 PM PDT

Still making time to catch your favorite shows on TV? Well, why not get rewarded for doing just that? Viggle is an Android app that lets you check in to the shows you're watching at that moment. It works sort of like Shazam does for music (and TV on iOS): the app listens to the TV and then compares character voices or other sounds within their database to get the show's name.

After checking in, you'll be rewarded with points. The point values differ from show to show, with featured shows granting more. So what can you do with these points? You can exchange them for gift cards (like Barnes & Noble or iTunes) or even tangible gadgets (like an iPod Touch).

(Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)

To get started using the app, you'll need to grab a beta copy from the Web site. After that, sign up for an account within the app.

(Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)

Next you'll need enter your zip code and select your cable provider. This is likely necessary so Viggle will know which shows are available in your area and which shows to compare audio against when checking in.

(Credit: Screen... [Read more]

Download this, Mr. Jones

Posted: 14 May 2012 11:06 AM PDT

Counting Crows

(Credit: Counting Crows)

Numerous entertainers have had serious flirtations with digital distribution, but the band Counting Crows has taken its infatuation a step further -- straight into the BitTorrent universe. (Legally, that is.)

The Counting Crows BitTorrent bundle (download), released today, includes songs, art, and liner notes from their latest album Underwater Sunshine. It's available to torrent freaks everywhere -- with the approval of both the band and its label.

"I don't know why everybody's not doing it," said Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz during a phone conversation with CNET. He noted that even at his band's peak popularity, it didn't attract the 150 million people who now use torrent managers such as BitTorrent mainline (download) and uTorrent (download). Torrents, he said, are a great way for musicians to get their music out to a wider audience.

Pretty Lights, a band with a far smaller following than Counting Crows, put out an entire album via BitTorrent and got an astronomically high response. While album sales might not ... [Read more]

Octopus Keyboard for iOS takes cue from BlackBerry 10

Posted: 14 May 2012 10:14 AM PDT

RIM's virtual keyboard running on the BlackBerry 10

(Credit: Brian Bennett/CNET)

An iOS developer is working on a new keyboard that takes some cues from RIM's virtual keyboard in BlackBerry 10.

Dubbed Octopus Keyboard, the solution is designed for owners of jailbroken iPhones who want to get more functionality out of the virtual keyboard built into iOS. According to iDownloadBlog, which first reported on the keyboard, the software should enhance a user's ability to quickly type out a message, and can work with a host of languages.

However, the key feature is a learning function that runs in the background and determines what the user typically types out. Based on that information, words are displayed above a letter. If the user wants to add the word to the message, they can just hold their finger on the word and swipe up to make it happen.

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Browsers on Windows RT: It's a tough antitrust case to make

Posted: 14 May 2012 09:59 AM PDT

It's a good thing legal action is Mozilla's "last resort" for resolving its disagreement with Microsoft over bringing Firefox to the upcoming Windows RT, because it's likely a difficult antitrust case to make.

That's because Windows RT, the version of the operating system geared for devices using ARM processors, is a different beast than conventional Windows running on traditional x86 processors. Microsoft's present rules would hobble non-IE browsers on Windows RT, but the company's market power is with Windows on x86 chips.

ARM chips dominate today's smartphone and tablet devices running Apple's iOS, Google's Android, and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.x, but they're very much unproven when it comes to running the version of Windows for PCs.

"To bring a monopoly claim, not only would you have to show that Microsoft does have power, but also that it's foreclosing a significant portion of the market," said Joel Grosberg, an attorney at McDermott Will & Emery who previously was an antitrust lawyer with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. "If Mozilla i... [Read more]


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