Inside the Nintendo NES controller

 

You’ve probably earned more than a few blisters on the NES controller, but what’s going on inside? How does it manage to communicate the state of 8 buttons using only 7 pins on the plug? In this episode we open up the NES controller to learn about the CD4021 chip and how sometime more complex can be better in a design.

The best laptop you can buy is…

 

The options for laptops are seemingly endless and making a decision can be daunting. If you choose the wrong one, you’ll be living with that mistake for years. These are the best laptops you can get, whether you want an Apple computer or a Windows machine.

Reintroducing myself to Android

I bought myself a Moto E to use as my reference Android device. It’s a pretty solid phone for the sub-$100 price point. It’s also running a near-stock version of Android Lollipop, and will get updates in a fairly timely manner when Android M rolls out this fall.

I sometimes badmouth Android on this site sometimes for being worse than iOS in many ways. I have a lot of experience using Android phones, but I’d feel more comfortable making statements about them if I was using an Android phone on a regular basis. Thus the Moto E.

After a few days’ use, I feel as confident as ever in saying that Android is NOT as well designed as iOS in many important ways. There are parts of Android that look nicer in screenshots, but in practice, I find the entire OS to have a small level of “jank” in every area. Even compared ot my 2014 adventure into the platform, it’s much improved, but it’s still not totally there.

Third-party apps also still pale in comparison to their iOS counterparts. Twitter, Facebook, Slack, and Flipboard are on both platforms, but are better on iOS. Even the apps like Day One, Tweetbot, Editorial, Dark Sky, and Fantastical are all better than any comparable app on Android. In some cases the difference in quality is small, but in most cases it’s still pretty damn huge.

One app that bucks the trend is Pocket Casts, which is a delight to use on both iOS and Android, but it is much better on Android. The app flat out looks nicer. You really have to see this app in motion, because it is a marvel with awesome animations for everything.

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And it functions better than the still-excellent iOS counterpart. The “volume boost” and “remove silence” features are features I love, but have not made their way over to the iOS app yet.

Expect some deeper dives into the status of iOS vs Android in the coming weeks. In the meantime, just know that if you’re a little bored with iOS and think that maybe, just maybe Android has gotten better that iOS, don’t worry. Maybe it will win me over in the coming days, but I feel very good about keeping my SIM card in my iPhone for the foreseeable future.

Casino games become a major mobile sector

At one point in the not too distant past it was possible to spend weeks and possibly months deciding which mobile device that would fit our particular needs. Now if one spends too much time doing research one or more new models are likely to hit the market, sending us back to the drawing board.

The computing power of mobile devices surpasses that of many of the desktop PC’s available in the late 90’s. The ubiquitous mobile device (US mobile device penetration is now over 101%) has changed not only how we communicate, but also revolutionized the entire software and home computer markets. PC software is designed to have the look and feel of apps; computer operating systems strive for a look and feel of mobile devices.

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Our devices have changed virtually every aspect of our life, from how we pay bills, get a ride, find a place to eat, get around, interact with others and play games.

NEW YORK, NY December 12, 2014. Features. Founders of selfieonastick.com, Dominic and Jackie. Brooklyn Bridge, NY, NY. Photo By Zandy Mangold.

It is in the gaming area where the mobile impact is most felt, as the mobile revolution has shattered the stereotype of the “typical gamer.” While males still make up the bulk of online gamers, more and more females are joining the active gaming community, and the average age of the male player is now 35.

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To give you an idea of how pervasive mobile gaming is almost half of all tablet owners spends more time on their tablet than on their PC or watching television and almost 90% of the time they are playing games. The gaming market now rivals movies in the amount consumers spend on entertainment.

Europa Casino Blackjack

One of the fastest growing sectors in the gaming market is casino games. The vast technological changes mean that device owners are turning to flash casino games on their mobile devices for fun and perhaps profit. While slot machine type games have been available for some time, the new games rival any found in a brick and mortar casino. Additionally the types of games now available means that players can test their luck and skill at games such as blackjack, roulette, and baccarat for fun, real cash, or various rewards.

The increase in casino game play has also been aided by the sense of security mobile device owners have. The same security features that have resulted in the rise of online banking and mobile payment options enable them to feel comfortable with real money play at online casinos.

The gaming industry has long been one of the main innovators in the mobile market. Mobile casino sites continue to search for ways to enhance the players’ gaming experience. Look for more social aspects, multiplayer options, and advanced options such as live dealer games to become part of online casino options. The phenomenal growth in the number of games is also driving the growth of online tournaments and creating substantial jackpot games.