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  • Back to BlackBerry: closing time

    Back to BlackBerry closing time

    Time’s up. I’ve now had a full month to call the BlackBerry Z10 my very own and use it as my everyday device. I’ve had the opportunity to use it in every likely scenario, including a nine-day trip to Spain for Mobile World Congress. Now comes the moment of truth: have I become a BlackBerry convert? Is the Z10 my new daily driver?

    Unfortunately, it’s not. But before the BlackBerry fan base breaks out the torches and forms mobs, this isn’t a denunciation of the phone or its OS. Quite the opposite, in fact. I decided to pursue this experiment for a few reasons: it’s the best way to learn a brand-new operating system, I genuinely am interested in how well it handles regular day-to-day use and a month gives me plenty of time to form a solid idea of the platform’s potential and future. Is it possible to have a great deal of admiration for a phone while simultaneously rejecting it as my daily driver? Yes. After the break I sum up the highlights of BB10: what works, what doesn’t and what simply needs a little nudge or two.

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  • Boy Scouts of America go thoroughly modern, make designing videogames a badge-worthy affair

    Boy Scouts of America goes thoroughly modern, makes designing videogames a badgeworthy affair

    Obvious truths: Boys love videogames. Videogames are fun. Earning awards for loving videogames and wanting to make them is ridiculous and pretty darn sweet. It’s also now entirely possible if you’re a Boy Scout (Cub Scouts have enjoyed this privilege for some time now). The organization that made khakis, neckerchiefs and canteens fashionable has now officially added Game Design to its array of merit badges. The new badge, devised in conjunction with several industry members and enthusiasts, requires young scouts to conceive, test and build a game prototype using such traditional methods as cards, die or a smartphone app. Yes, you read that right. Incredibly ambitious model-citizens-in-the-making can put all their 21st century knowledge and native digital know-how together to build a mobile gaming app to help them climb the ladder to Eagle Scout status. It’s definitely a modern step for the century-old youth group. We just wish the “reward” were a little more substantial than a cloth cut-out.

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    Via: Polygon

  • Google and MPEG LA settle up, free VP8 video codec for the world wide web

    Google and MPEG LA settle up, frees VP8 video codec for the world wide web

    The longstanding disagreement between Google and MPEG LA is finally over, as the two parties have reached a licensing agreement for several patents covering video compression. As a quick refresher, MPEG LA owns the technology behind h.264, the current king of video codecs. Meanwhile, Google’s own VP8 video codec is a part of its WebM standard, but MPEG LA cried foul, claiming that Google’s technology was infringing. Apparently, the companies found common ground, and with the settlement in place, WebM is free from patent encumbrances and video producers can do what they do without fear of legal retribution.

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    Via: Phoronix

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