‘The Angry Birds Movie’ Has An Advantage Over The Biggest Video Game Movies Of All Time

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This Friday, the lucrative Finnish Angry Birds app-game franchise takes the relentless battle between ball-shaped birds and pigs from the smartphone to the cineplex. Complete with a star-laden voiceover cast and an absence of other animated kids fare on the silver screen to compete with, producers Sony and Rovio Entertainment are optimistic in the movie’s ability to perform with the public, forecasting a $40m opening weekend for the film.

Despite such sunny financial forecasts, The Angry Birds Movie has already experienced its share of consternation from the movie-going public as yet another example of brand-driven dreck being thrust upon the masses. However, with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 51%, the film is already head and shoulders above even its most successful brethren within its critically-panned genre: The Movie Adapted From A Video Game.

 

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Often in spite of good storytelling or memorable performances, movies adapted from video games have a decades-long history of hedging their marketing almost solely on brand recognition and fan-service. The low quality of these films is reflected in their Rotten Tomatoes scores, with nary a “Fresh” rating in sight within the top 20 box-office successes. Even among the five most successful at the box office (visualized above), the most critically acclaimed of them all, 2010′s Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, was only able to conjure a 36% rating.

Of course, these movies aren’t made in the interest of pleasing critics. Getting the video game’s sizable fanbase to fill in seats at the theater has always been the strategy (one that has even greenlit plans for an upcoming, live-action Tetris movie, of all things). But even with a rating still in the “Rotten” spectrum, The Angry Birds Movie‘s current 51% score might spur interest beyond the game’s fan following, allowing the unusually positive critical response to successfully transition the movie’s public perception away from the stigma of video game adaptation and onto further financial success.

WhatsApp launches desktop app

WhatsApp users will now have native access to their conversations on their desktop via the new desktop app.

Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp has launched a desktop application that mirrors conversations and messages from a user’s smartphone device.

The new desktop application is available for users running Windows 8 or Mac OS 10.9 and above, and can be synced with WhatsApp on a user’s mobile device.

In a blog post, WhatsApp said that because the app runs natively on the desktop, it can support desktop notifications and keyboard shortcuts.

At the start of the year, the company removed its $1-a-year subscription fee as an attempt to look for new ways to connect with its users.

The company promised it would not introduce third-party ads to make up for the revenue shortfall.

A month later, WhatsApp announced it was dropping support for BlackBerry OS as well as BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40, and Nokia Symbian S60. The company also said it was dropping support for Android version 2.1 and 2.2, and Windows Phone 7.1.

“While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future,” WhatsApp said at the time.

WhatsApp was recently caught up in an ongoing battle with telecom regulators across the world. South Africa’s two largest telcos, MTN and Vodacom, wanted to see over the top services regulated, while Brazil’s telcos were particularly disgruntled by WhatsApp offering voice call functionality and sought to have WhatsApp declared illegal.

Another ban was placed on WhatsApp at the start of the month in Brazil, which was overturned three days later, after Facebook failed to provide police access to users’ data for a criminal investigation. The police had requested for a conversation that took place in a WhatsApp messaging group, as well as other data that included geolocation.

As of February 1, Whatsapp has 1 billion monthly active users.

New Instagram unveils new logo, but it’s not quite picture perfect

Photo sharing app unveils new sunset-coloured logo and a sleeker in-app look, but opinion is mixed1400 

How the Instagram main logo and accompanying app logos have changed. Photograph: Instagram

Instagram, the photo sharing app owned by Facebook, responsible for such cultural highlights as hot-dog legs, The Fat Jewish memes and Rich Kids of, well, Instagram, has debuted a new logo.

The previous one, a retro-looking camera, and one of the most recognisable tech logos out there, has been replaced by a background swirl of sunset colours (orange, yellow, pink, purple) and a white outline of a camera. As if the camera was murdered, and chalk was drawn around its body. Murdered at sundown. Here it is:

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The brand new Instagram logo. Photograph: Instagram

The new logo was announced via a blog post, a longer post on Medium from head of design, Ian Spalter, and also a short introductory film. The kind that is usually intensely annoying, but actually this one is quite cute (warning though: the end has a lot of flashing and intense colours).

The blog post asserts that the “Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more – a global community of interests sharing more than 80m photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.”

Opinion on social media from Instagram users is split.

Dbanj Blasts Nigerians Who Laugh At Him For Selling Garri

Pop star D’banj took to social media to slammed
Nigerians for placing much attention of
imported products and failed to support their
own insisting many of the products we embrace
and cherish in the country are foreign products.
Read his emotional outburst after the cut:
He wrote
Guys, KokoGarri is available on Konga & in
Ebeano Stores!
Who owns Ciroc vodka? Who owns Beats
headphones? Who own RocknRepublic? The
list goes on. What we do in Nigeria is to laugh
at people’s hustle.
And when it starts paying, creating jobs and
moving the person to the next level, we are
quick to ask why is the person living so large?
Does he know how many people are hustling
and going to bed hungry? But we don’t
consider the person’s hustle in the beginning
worthy of support.
I am a strong Supporter of Nigerian Brands.
How many politicians bought this Koko Garri
to give their supporters?
But they gave imported rice abi? When
Otunba Ghadaffi started his mobile toilets,
people called him “Agbe po!!!”
It wasn’t for long, others joined DMT to do
what he was laughed at.
I know that a few think what’s DBanj
thinking to invest in Garri.
Newsflash!!!! I bet you all that is a $30b
market. KOKOGARRI to be promoted &
distributed in hotels and restaurants.
Wherever beans and moi-moi is served, there
should be packs of Koko Garri as options to
pap, dodo and yam. Trust me, you will see
how it will grow.
I think there should be a Garri soaking
competition sef. The hamburger competitions
we see on television don’t even have as
much entertainment value…
Round 1, Koko Garri and groundnuts, Round
2, Koko Garri and coconut, Round 3 Koko and
Kilishi… Powered by Eva Water and Dangote
sugar… Winner gets a Koko Garri distribution
vehicle and a start up store
#KokoGarri #IjebuRedefined#NigerianBrand
cc @iambangalee

Dark Souls 2 Wins Game ofthe Year at the GoldenJoystick Awards , Here areAll the WinnersAlex Castro

For those who may not have remembered,
today was the 32nd annual Golden Joystick
Awards, one of the oldest and most recognized
awards ceremonies in the gaming industry. As
you might have guessed, the awards are doled
out to the best game in various different
categories, and the winners are chosen by
votes from the general public.
This year, a total of 18 Golden Joystick Awards
were given out, encompassing many different
games from many different genres. Some
games made themselves stand out even
further by taking home awards in more than
one category. But enough of all that, here are
the winners of the 2014 Golden Joystick
Awards. Congrats to all!
Best Original Game: DayZ
Best Online Game: Hearthstone: Heroes
of Warcraft
Best Storytelling: The Last of Us: Left
Behind
Best Visual Design: Assassin’s Creed 4:
Black Flag
Best Audio: Assassin’s Creed 4: Black
Flag
Playfire Most Played Game of the Year:
Rust
Best Multiplayer: Battlefield 4
Best Indie Game: DayZ
Innovation of the Year: Oculus Rift DK2
Best Gaming Moment: The Last of Us:
Left Behind – “The kiss”
Best Handheld Game: Pokemon X & Y
Best Mobile Game: Hearthstone: Heroes
of Warcraft
Most Wanted: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Gaming Personality of the Year :
PewDiePie
Studio of the Year: Ubisoft Montreal
Gaming Platform of the Year: Steam
Lifetime Achievement: Hideo Kojima
Game of the Year: Dark Souls 2

Sim City ventures into city building with Build It app

Who among us have
never enjoyed a SIMs
game (and maybe you
still are addicted to it!) or
an entertaining-at-the-
start-but-might-get-
repetitive-eventually city
building game? A new
game from EA combines
the best of both worlds
as they soft launch SIM
City Build It, which is
what its name says it is.
You get to build a whole
city from the ground up,
but without the
complication of having
your (sometimes
annoying) sims around
and you do it from the
convenience of your
mobile device.
It looks like it and it feels
like it, but it is definitely
not a straight-up mobile
version of the sim city
game. At least, not yet. It
is simply a city building
game where you get to
place roads, buildings,
water works, the whole
urban planning shebang,
but without any
simulation or drama from
characters. You play it
just like you would any
other city building game
on Android, but with the
visual style of the most
recent Sim City PC game,
complete with a full out
360 degree 3D view of
the city, which you can
zoom in and out of (and
even spin!)
You will need to supply
your city with basic
necessities like water,
electricity, etc, because
you still need to keep
your residents happy
(even though you don’t
see much of them here).
You also need to solve
other city planning
problems like traffic
congestion, fires,
pollution, etc. Basically,
as the “mayor” of the city
(and the sole player of
the game), the buck
stops with you. But you
do get to interact with
“friends” and other cities
and you can trade your
resources with them.
The good news? Sim City
Build It is free to
download from the
Google Play Store . The
“meh” news”? There are
in-app purchases so you
need to be careful if
you’re concerned with
your credit card health.
The bad news? This
game is still in soft
launch and is only
available in Canada.

Google Earth for Android is now faster, better at 3Dexploration

Heads up, Android fans: Google Earth for your
phones is about to get a lot better. That’s what
the folks in Mountain View are promising,
anyway — they’ve released an update to the app
brings with it snappier performance and
improved labels for maps (you’ll never wonder
where Foster City and Redwood Shores begin
and end again). Perhaps the biggest change,
though — a completely rebuilt 3D rendering
engine — means those cityscapes and mountain
ranges you pore over should show up with more
crispness and clarity. Try not to lord that over
your friends using Apple Maps, will you? Throw
in a way to import your own custom .KML files
into the app from Google Drive and you’ve got all
the makings of a pretty momentous update.
Itching to take it for a spin? Mosey on over to the
Google Play Store to get your globetrotting fix.