Jan 14

How to install new games on your NES Classic

The NES Classic — you saw our first vid on it, right? — is a cool little piece of nostalgia. But it’s sorely lacking in the games department. Or, rather, it REALLY needs a way to add games.

Fortunately the NES community has answered, and in a big way. And after a few rounds of tinkering we now have a super easy way to add games to the NES Classic.

I used the “hakchi2” method. You’ll want to read through the instructions yourself, but here’s the gist of how I did it, boiled down from a reddit post … and another Reddit post. Full props to those folks!

You’ll need at least Windows 7 to get this done.

OBLIGATORY WARNING: You’re doing this at your own risk. If your teeth loosen and your eyes start to bleed, I didn’t do it.

  1. Download hakchi2 and unzip: direct download link
  2. Browse to your saved ROMs, and decide what you want to install on the NES Classic. (I kept the original 30 games, too.)
  3. Find box art — either use your own, or just hit the handy Google button in the GUI to automagically search. (Nice touch!)
  4. Plug your NES Classic into your PC using the Micro-USB cable. Leave the console turned off. We’re going to enter FEL mode.
  5. Hold down the reset button on the front. Then press (and release) the power button. After a few seconds, release the reset button. You won’t actually see anything happen.
  6. You should now be able to hit the sync button in the hakchi2 program. (If you didn’t get the FEL mode thing right, it’ll tell you. I didn’t do it right the first time and nothing blew up.)
  7. Reboot the NES Classic.
  8. Profit!

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See the NES Classic
See the NES Classic controller extension

Jan 03

The new ASUS Chromebook Flip features a 360-degree hinge and USB Type-C

ASUS has announced the new ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 which features 2 USB Type-C ports, a 10-hour battery life, and the same 360-degree hinge as its predecessor.

Dec 27

Bugs push Android 7.1.1 update for Nexus 6 to early Jan 2017

The Nexus 6 lives on for at least one more version of Android.

Google may have long since killed off support for the beloved Nexus 5, but it’s showing a bit of mercy with the Nexus 6.

The Motorola-made Android phone will see its update to Android 7.1.1 in early January, according to Android Police, so it’s not obsolete just yet. The two-year-old device will share software features with the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and the Pixel family, including new emoji and app shortcuts from the Home screen. Just don’t hedge your bets on major features like the Night Light mode and Daydream VR because of hardware constraints.

Google said it would support devices for up to two years, but this is already beyond that, though that could be due to the delayed 7.0 OTA. Regardless, this software update brings Android 7.1.1’s features to a nearly-expired device. Part of the incentive is to appeal to developers, though, who may wonder if implementing a feature like app shortcuts is worth the code and deciding which shortcuts to provide. The other part is reminding those who stuck with the Nexus 6 of the future that lays ahead with a Pixel in hand.

Dec 23

More than four years into development Star Citizen changes game engine

Game will now run on Amazon’s Lumberyard instead of CryEngine

Continue reading…

Dec 10

How to turn off screen overlay on Samsung Galaxy S7

This is one of the more confusing error messages afflicting some Galaxy phone owners. The fix is relatively simple — but a little investigation may be required.

Here’s a perplexing issue that’s been affecting Samsung Galaxy S7 owners — in addition to folks on a handful of other Android devices. It goes a bit like this: You start up an app for the first time and accept the usual permission dialogs. Then you’re hit by a message like this:

Screen overlay detected
To change this permission setting, you first have to turn off the screen overlay in Settings > Apps.

A screen overlay is a part of an app that can display over the top of other apps. The most well-known example is chat heads in Facebook Messenger. But apps need your permission to use screen overlays, and sometimes this can cause problems. For example, if an app were able to display something over the top of a permission dialog, it could try and trick you into granting it permission to do stuff you might not want.

The simplest fix is to basically do what the dialog box tells you to do. The language is a little confusing, but what it’s asking you to do is:

  1. Launch the Settings app from your home screen or app drawer.
  2. Scroll down and tap Applications.
  3. Tap Application Manager.

  4. Tap More to open the menu in the top right corner.

  5. Tap Apps that can appear on top

From here, you’ll need to track down the app that needs permission to use a screen overlay — usually the app you were just using. When you’ve found it, tap the toggle next to it to turn it off, and you should be good to go.

Note: It’s not always clear precisely which app is trying to use screen overlays. Clean Master has been reported as one app likely to cause issues, as has alert center app Drupe, and Lux, which lets you adjust the color of your screen. If in doubt, think about any app that might change the way things appear on your screen.

Once you’re done, try starting the app you were originally using once again. With any luck, you’ll be able to grant it permissions and start using it as normal.

As this issue is a particularly tricky one, if you know of any apps likely to cause problems with display overlays, be sure to help out and let us know down in the comments!

Dec 02

Top 5 Android Apps & Games of the Week (December 2, 2016)

Every week, hundreds of Android apps and games are submitted to the Play Store. If you’re not paying attention 24/7, it’s easy to miss some of the best stuff.

Nov 23

Black Friday 2016 Deals

Are you ready to save big? Good! It’s time for the best Black Friday tech deals, and you’ll find them all right here!

Nov 12

Doctor Strange could have looked to comics to avoid its inherent racism

There’s nothing in the rule book that says magic always has to come from the Mystical East

Continue reading…

Nov 05

Android and chill: Writers are people, too

Disagreeing is cool. Being hurtful isn’t.

I really love peanut butter swirl ice cream. If I worked somewhere and it was my job to write about ice cream and I was to compare peanut butter swirl to chocolate or cherry vanilla, I would tell you I think peanut butter swirl is better. I can say why I think it’s better — peanut butter trumps the lack of peanut butter, in any configuration, not just a swirly one. Even though it lacks the delicious bits of meaty maraschino cherry it’s still better because of peanut butter to me. If I’m going to express my preference, it will be swirly and peanutty unless someone can invent ice cream that tastes like fried chicken.

100 people will have 100 different opinions. Every single one of them is valid, but 99 of them won’t match yours.

If ice cream blogs exist (I’m not sure and afraid if I look I’ll never leave) that means there will be a lot of people out there who disagree and think their chocolate is better than my peanut butter swirl. Some would take the time to comment on articles about ice cream and tell me why they think I’m wrong. I’d enjoy reading those comments because I’m really glad everyone doesn’t have the same opinion. But others would claim the Peter Pan / Skippy coalition is paying me under the table to ruin the good name of Neapolitan or whatever they like, and I’m no longer to be trusted whenever I write another article. Others would go further and insult me and berate me because I like peanut butter swirl better than anything else.

That sounds really petty and stupid, doesn’t it? Know what? It’s just as petty and stupid when it’s about phones and not ice cream.

In the past month or so I’ve seen writers derided and berated for having an opinion. Even worse, I’ve seen their family insulted, their bodies made fun of, their sexual orientation questioned and the size of their genitalia (both length and girth) remarked on. I honestly can’t understand it and am left with the feeling of WTF man, WTF. It’s just a phone, man. Stop.

Ridiculous comments won’t change anything except how others think about the person making them.

To be clear, there are relatively few people doing this sort of shit. It’s not terrible here at AC, though some do push the limit. (You know who you are.) When it’s done to me I don’t care. If I can think of something I feel is witty to reply with I’ll do it because I’m a bit of an asshole, but otherwise, I chuckle and move on to the next thing. Hearing that I should take all the money Google pays me for good reviews and get bigfoot’s ass hair surgically removed from my face was pretty funny. But others who do what I do for a living may find it very hurtful. That does bother me. We’re people writing about phones or game consoles or another cool tech products. Abuse — and to be clear, that’s exactly what behavior like this is — is never a pretty thing. Nobody deserves it, regardless of what they have said or typed.

The internet is a big place filled with people who don’t think the same way. Whether it’s about phones or politics or sports nobody has the right to abuse another person because they said something you didn’t like. We’re just regular people doing our job. Part of our job is to be publicly judged in open comments by people from all over the world. No matter what we say there will be people who disagree. This isn’t about disagreement. You should never stop voicing your opinion, no matter what anyone else says. I am also pretty sure that nobody wants any tech writer to lie about what they like or dislike to stave off shit comments. I can’t think of one good reason anyone would be so forceful and ignorant to another person because of words. I’ve come to the conclusion that if you feel a need to get toxic when you talk about phones you should talk to a professional about your feelings. If you do it “for the lulz” you’re just an asshole.

If you want people to listen to what you have to say, be respectful. It works.

I’m not trying to say you should like the peanut butter swirl as much as I do. Nor am I saying your opinion is any less valid than mine or anyone else’s. I’m just saying you don’t have to be a jerk about it. Being cool to other people — especially when you don’t agree — never hurt anyone.

Have a recipe for the best ice cream of them all and remember to keep things chill.

Nov 01

LG V20 Review

The LG V20 is the successor to the V10. Once again, the unique Second Screen has been invited to the party, along with Android Nougat and pretty much everything else you can imagine.

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