Playable Demos of ‘Super Mario Run’ in Apple Stores From Today

iOS devices in brick-and-mortar Apple Stores around the world are running playable demos of Nintendo's highly anticipated Super Mario Run from today, December 7, for those eager to get an early taster of the new game.

The announcement was made by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime on Wednesday evening's The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, during which a playable version of the company's upcoming Switch console was also shown.

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Super Mario Run is Nintendo's first major attempt to crack mobile gaming and is the first of many titles planned for the platform. Driven by its iconic character, the game is expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue for the company. Engadget has posted a remarkably positive hands-on of the free runner title for anyone interested to learn more.

Super Mario Run is set to debut on the App Store on December 15 for iPhone and iPad. The game will be a free download with a $10 in-app purchase required to unlock the full content.


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Samsung to Pre-Empt Apple’s ‘iPhone 8’ With Bezel-Free Display and Virtual Home Button on Galaxy S8

Samsung will beat Apple to the punch in next year's smartphone wars by including features in its Galaxy S8 handset that have long been mooted for the 2017 "iPhone 8", such as a bezel-free wraparound OLED screen with a virtual home button embedded in the display.

Bloomberg on Thursday referred in its favored manner to "people with direct knowledge of the matter" who said that Samsung is targeting a March release for the redesigned S8, but that launch could be delayed by about a month as the company adopts tougher testing procedures in the wake of the Note 7 debacle. Apple's smartphone launch cycle usually runs on a yearly September release.

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Samsung is understandably wary of the dangers of rushing its smartphone development after quality control reportedly suffered in the company's race to release the feature-rich, but ultimately fire-prone, Note 7.
"Since the phones have a record of burning up, it needs time for these phones to be verified as safe. How safe the phones turn out to be is more important than any hardware innovation," said Greg Roh, an analyst at HMC Investment Securities Co. "It will take about a month or two for people to actually start opening their pockets," he said.
The bezel-less devices will come in sizes similar to Samsung's 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch S7 Edge models. Samsung is also said to be introducing a "significantly differentiated" voice-activated personal AI assistant in the handsets that will be able to send text messages, make phone calls and manage calendar schedules. The AI technology will come courtesy of Viv Labs, which was founded by the developers of Apple's Siri and acquired by Samsung in October. Samsung is considering scrapping dual-cameras on the S8 due to high manufacturing costs, Bloomberg sources said. According to a separate report, the models will also drop the headphone jack.

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi made a splash back in October by debuting an almost bezel-less display with the Mi Mix "concept phone", boasting a screen that covers 91 percent of the front of the handset. While Xiaomi's limited-availability phone was more a proof of concept than a device ready for the mass market, both Samsung and Apple will be relying on the mainstream appeal of similarly standout features to boost unit sales in a stagnant market short on innovation.

In the near term, Samsung is desperate to bounce back from the impact of this year's Note 7 recall and discontinuation, which could end up costing the company more than $6 billion. The Korean-based firm reported a 17 percent drop in net income in the three months ending September, and has advised investors to expect a multibillion dollar slump in earnings in the December and March quarters as its market share struggles to recover.

As well as a bezel-free OLED display and virtual home button, Apple is said to be readying an all-glass casing and wireless charging for its 10th anniversary iPhone, with the possibility of a new 5-inch premium model and two lower tier aluminum models also in the offing.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S8

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Obviously, the ‘Super Mario’ theme song played by its creator and The Roots is perfect

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Nintendo fanboys and girls, the definitive live rendition of the Super Mario theme song is here.

Jimmy Fallon got legendary Nintendo game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, to play the iconic tune alongside Fallon’s also-legendary house band The Roots.

Miyamoto, who created Mario and Luigi in the ’80s, is seen comfortably playing along with the hip-hop band.

Besides the Super Mario franchise, Miyamoto is also known for creating other landmark video game franchises, including Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda.

How many people will make this their new ringtone?

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People with disabilities want better tech and they know how to build it

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Eyes flickering along the alphabet, I can “type” my name without lifting a finger.

The sight-controlled keyboard following my gaze is being showcased by the Australian startup Psykinetic as part of the City of Sydney’s Unlimited Possibilities: Disability and Science Fiction Expo.

Nick Temple, a software engineer at Psykinetic, guides me through the process of calibrating the system. I explode red dots on a computer screen by concentrating my gaze, so the eye tracking system can get to know my habits. 

After that, I’m able to type short sentences in only tens of seconds.

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Orangutan surprises zoo by getting pregnant despite taking birth control

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It’s kinda like that film Knocked Up, but with primates.

Keepers at Adelaide Zoo in Australia have been taken aback by the news that its Sumatran orangutan, Karta, has fallen pregnant despite being on birth control. A baby is expected in mid-Jan. 2017.

The zoo’s Senior Primate Keeper, Jodie Ellen, shared the “nerve-wracking news” in a Facebook post. 

“Mother Nature actually intervened, and we’ve gone ahead with the pregnancy because Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered in the wild,” she said. 

There is a sad twist to this story, however, as 34-year-old Karta has lost six infants due to difficulties breastfeeding and stillborn births, since 1995. Read more…

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The BBC’s in trouble for a story it ran on the new king of Thailand

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The BBC is in trouble in Bangkok, after the broadcaster ran a profile piece on the new king, that authorities found objectionable.

The profile piece was published on Friday last week, a day after King Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended to the throne following the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October.

On Tuesday, 10 police officers reportedly visited the BBC Bangkok office, but found it was closed.

The offending Thai-language article has been blocked in the country, and apparently carried some details that opened the new king to criticism. Read more…

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Pebble’s downfall and the future of wearables

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With a recent flurry of notable activity, the wearable market looks to be in a state of flux.  

Activity-tracking titan Fitbit purchased smartwatch maker Pebble on Wednesday, and all reports point to the end of the Kickstarter-birthed brand’s line. 

Motorola publicly acknowledged its lack of interest in releasing another version of its Moto smartwatch anytime soon, with the company’s head of global product development admitting he doesn’t “see enough pull in the market.” LG and Huawei have confirmed they’re not re-entering the field in the foreseeable future, either. 

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Why the ‘SuperMansion’ Christmas special makes Keegan-Michael Key feel ‘a little naughty’

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SuperMansion‘s Christmas special is in no way your classic holiday tale. 

And that makes it all the better, Keegan Michael Key, who plays The American Ranger on the Crackle animated show, told Mashable.

“You want to be able to have a different take every now again,” Key said. “It’s the hardest part of comedy. Artistically it’s fun to have the ability to say ‘oh wow I get to help facilitate this interesting twist.’ There’s something a little naughty about going ‘let’s see if we can make it as Christmas-y and as un-Christmas-y as we can at the same time.”

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If you’re not tweeting about ‘Hairspray Live’ did you even watch it?

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The latest entry into NBC’s live musical oeuvre, Hairspray Live!, aired Wednesday night and — as anyone who watched Sound of Music Live! or The Wiz Live! is well aware — half the fun of these giant productions is watching it with your friends.

And by “friends” of course we mean fellow musical theater nerds on Twitter. 

Below are some second-screen highlights from the three-hour broadcast. 

First of all, Dove Cameron was definitely a breakout star.

Dove Cameron and Kristen Chenoweth are destined to play a musical mother-daughter duo for the rest of eternity #HairsprayLive

— Rachel (@rachelalbon) December 8, 2016 Read more…

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Weed dealer makes a smooth save after accidentally texting a teen’s mom

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Never, ever switch phone numbers with your mom.

A 15-year-old named Christian recently got himself in a sticky icky situation after swapping phone numbers with his mother. Someone didn’t get the memo, and unfortunately, that someone was his weed dealer.

Christian’s sister Anna tweeted out a photo of the exchange, which as an older, wiser sister, she found pretty hilarious.

my mom and my little brother switched phones and my mom received this text and I am crying lmaooo pic.twitter.com/eO1PdsvXUw

— a nna (@anna5skin) December 2, 2016

“Need bud?” the text said.

Christian’s mom replied explaining the mishap, but needed some clarification.  Read more…

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