Money And Politics: Bitcoin’s Governance Crisis

bitcointug A lot of intriguing and conflicting things have been said about Bitcoin in the past few years. Some see it as the salvation of the financial system, others as a new toy, appealing only to the technologically savvy. Say what you will, but so far, Bitcoin is a technological success. Minor glitches aside, the developer community that originally rallied to launch this project forward turned an… Read More

InstaVet Makes It Easy To Schedule A Veterinary House Call

instavet With the recent deluge of on-demand startups, many of us expect to get whatever we want with the push of a button, whether it’s food, a ride or pretty much anything else. So why not medical care for the pets that we love? That’s what Elijah Kliger is hoping to deliver with a service called InstaVet. By visiting the InstaVet website, or by just calling or texting (the number… Read More

Chinese police arrest 15,000 for Internet crimes

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

Police in China said on Tuesday they had arrested about 15,000 people for crimes that “jeopardized Internet security”, as the government moves to tighten controls on the Internet.

Since taking over in 2013, President Xi Jinping has led an increasingly harsh crackdown on China’s Internet, which the Communist Party views with greater importance and acknowledges it needs to control, academics and researchers say.

Police have investigated 7,400 cases of cyber crime, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on its website. It did not make clear over what period the arrests were made, but referred to a case dating to last December.


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China launched a six-month program last month, code-named “Cleaning the Internet”.

“For the next step, the public security organs will continue to increase their investigation and crackdown on cyber crimes,” the ministry said.

The campaign would also focus on breaking major cases and destroying online criminal gangs, it added.

The sweep targeted websites providing “illegal and harmful information” besides advertisements for pornography, explosives and firearms and gambling. In total, the police said they investigated 66,000 websites.

China runs one of the world’s most sophisticated online censorship mechanisms, known as the Great Firewall. Censors keep a tight grip on what can be published, particularly material that could potentially undermine the ruling Communist Party.

In February, China’s internet watchdog said it would ban from March 1 internet accounts that impersonate people or organizations, and enforce the requirement for people to use their real names when registering online accounts.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)


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The Future For Artists And Celebrities (And YouTubers) Is Direct Intimacy

shutterstock_140061253 The most-watched Game of Thrones episode ever, this past season’s finale, had 8.11 million viewers. Meanwhile, Pentatonix, a musical a capella group on YouTube since 2012, gets 10 million views each week. My point isn’t that these personalities will eventually replace premium content, but rather that YouTubers and independent artists have been commanding comparable audiences to… Read More

Hands-On With Ford’s Sync 3

ford-1 Ford was one of the first major car manufacturers to bring connected car technology to its lineup with Sync in 2007, but while the first iterations of its Sync and MyFord Touch infotainment systems were ahead of their time in the car world, they were also rather slow, clunky, and the user interface was somewhat unintuitive. Sync 3, which is now available on the 2016 Ford Escape compact SUV… Read More

Meet Joelle Emerson, The Startup CEO Helping Slack, Pinterest And Airbnb Tackle Diversity

joelle emerson Diversity in the tech industry is dismal, with white men making up the vast majority of its workforce. That being said, tech companies are aware of the lack of diversity and some are even actively taking steps to do something about it. Pinterest, for example, recently announced a new diversity initiative called Inclusion Labs, in partnership with a startup called Paradigm. As part of… Read More

4 things we learned when Apple rejected our first Watch app

Four

At MobilityWare, we’re huge believers in Apple products. In fact, when the app store first opened in 2008, we had one of the first games available. So when Apple announced Watch, we quickly ramped up development and began working on several new concepts without the benefit of an SDK. Our first game was to be Solitaire, a game we had tremendous success with on the iPhone.

But a funny thing happened on the way to launch: Apple rejected us. We absorbed Apple’s feedback and, backed by a new design philosophy, we came up with a superior product on our next attempt and Apple approved us.

The rejection turned out to be a tremendous learning opportunity that we would like to share. Here’s what we learned:

1. Take a cohesive approach

As game designers, we are ambitious by nature. Why have just 5 levels when you can have 55? But with Apple Watch, we needed to rein in those instincts and view the project from a Design 101 perspective. For a game, “simple” is actually very hard and requires that all dev team members are looking at the project through the same design lens. Everything from length of game play to information delivery and game mechanics require a cohesive understanding of the platform’s inherent limitations as well as its opportunities.

2. A clean screen is an approved screen

It’s tempting to look at a small 38mm screen and think you need to use every available pixel. Not so! We learned that on-screen objects need a little breathing room in order to not overwhelm the user’s eyes. Additionally, the edges of the watch are beveled, which can make touch recognition less accurate. For Solitaire, we had to forego the traditional card stacks layout and create one optimized just for Apple Watch. Additionally, we used the Digital Crown feature to add space.

The rejected version (left) shows, in pink, the areas between controls which ended up being an issue. The accepted version is on the right.

Above: The rejected version (left) shows, in pink, the areas between controls which ended up being an issue. The accepted version is on the right.

3. Control your controls

Aside from the obvious one-handed limitation of playing games on a watch, the small screen limits control options and accuracy. Our research showed that games being approved tended to have either basic D-pad or simple tap controls. So we developed a number of small touch-control prototypes to improve accuracy and further aid the player. For Solitaire, we ended up with a proprietary “smart-move” control scheme that was more generous and forgiving to players. In the end, the revamped controls yielded a much better product.

4. Set guidelines

With two additional Apple Watch titles now under development, we’ve established a set of principles for the platform based on our learnings from our first rejection. As a result, our development process is significantly streamlined and produces a better end product – one more likely to be approved on the first go-round.

These simple guidelines include the following:

  • Timing: The game must deliver a positive experience within a fast time frame.
  • Controls: The controls must be simple, yet deliver a high degree of accuracy.
  • Delivery: Avoid text by instead using use a color or graphic to deliver information, or perhaps an animation to convey emotion.
  • Fun-Factor: Most importantly, make it fun to play on the platform.

Robert Jackson is the Vice President of Product Development for mobile game company MobilityWare, whose first game, Solitaire, was among the first on the App Store in 2008.


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