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Angry Birds 2 Getting Positive Reviews

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The sequel to Angry Birds is receiving significantly positive reviews. In a review titled “Angry Birds 2 review: 5 reasons why fans should flock to the sequel,” the author writes:

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Developer Rovio has pulled out all of the stops to deliver a follow-up that towers over its predecessors and restores the series to its past glory. […] Most importantly, Angry Birds 2 will fill you with a burning desire to play through one more level every time you complete a stage, or retry that level you’re stuck on yet again to wipe the smug grins off those pigs’ faces.

In another review, on another site, titled “‘Angry Birds 2’ Review – The Best, and Most Free to Play ‘Angry Birds’ Yet,” the author says of the new installation in the series:

Most noticeably, the visuals in Angry Birds 2 are greatly improved. Both the pigs and the birds are far more emotive, particularly with the addition of a picture-in-picture close-up in the top left corner of the screen when you’re about to fling a bird which will show the bird grimacing in anger, or the pigs quivering in fear. […] It’s not at all hyperbole to say this is the best looking Angry Birds yet.

However, not all reviews are positive. Several reviews focused on the freemium model, such as this one in Forbes, which reads, in part:

Unfortunately, for all the nice changes and innovations to the Angry Birds formula, Angry Birds 2 stalls rather quickly thanks to its poor implementation of in-app purchases. […] Perhaps I’m an impatient mobile gamer, but I dislike being told I have to wait to play a game. I mean, I dislike load screens—and find the continuance of these in modern video game consoles a failure of the industry—but I despise the forced wait that only free-to-play games impose upon us.

There are still others which criticize the game on its aethestics, such as this one, which reads:

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But with Angry Birds 2, the thirteenth game in the franchise since 2009, there’s a clear regression in many ways, despite the impressive art upgrade.

For the overwhelming part, though, people have come out saying that the new game is superior to previous renditions by far, and that it is worth playing. This has become the ultimate question with games anymore: are they worth playing? The jury seems to be in on Angry Birds 2, and despite some negative comments surrounded by positive affirmations, the verdict seems to be that the game is worth a try.

Image from Twin Design / Shutterstock.

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Artificial Intelligence

Students Create Doom AI Which Learns Visually and Kills Humans in Deathmatch

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Two students from Carnegie Mellon University recently placed second in an artificial intelligence competition for their submission of a program that was able to learn the game Doom the same way humans do – by playing.

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Communication

Sony Introduces 2FA for PlayStation Users

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In a long-awaited and overdue move, Sony has finally introduced two-factor authentication to PlayStation users who can now enable the security feature on their PlayStation Network (PSN) accounts.

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Five years after suffering a devastating hack that compromised the user details of some 77 million PlayStation Network users, Sony has introduced two-factor authentication (2FA) on PSN accounts. Sony confirmed the news with a tweet last night, explaining how the feature works.

“By requiring two forms of identification for sign-in, your account and personal information will be better protected.” Sony wrote in its blog.

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Users will be asked to provide a verification code that will be texted to their mobile phones at the time of signing into their PSN account. While the feature isn’t hack-proof (nothing is, really), it provides a much-needed extra layer of protection that a large platform like the PlayStation Network, with over 100 million uses, deserves.

Sony PS 2FA

Sony added:

Passwords can be compromised if you use the same password for multiple accounts, click on malicious links, open phishing emails and other methods.

If your password is compromised and becomes known to someone other than yourself, your account will still require a verification code to gain access when you activate 2-Step Verification.

With the feature, Sony caught up with its console rival Microsoft. The Redmond-based software giant had introduced 2FA for Xbox back in 2013, during the days of Xbox 360. Other platforms which sees millions of users such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and others have been offering 2FA security for years.

It is perhaps baffling that Sony took as long as it did to introduce 2FA security, after the 2011 breach. At the time, the hack had Sony admitting that names, email addresses, billing addresses, account passwords and some credit card numbers were all exposed. The fallout saw Sony fined by the UK government. Furthermore, Sony also agreed to a settlement in a class action lawsuit, worth millions, granting PSN users in the United States the means to claim damages if they suffered identity theft as a result of the data breach.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Fun Hacks

British Whizz Kid Hacks Pokemon Go; Catches Monsters Without Breaking a Sweat

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Pokemon Go

A 25-year-old British former computer science student has discovered a loophole in the popular Pokemon Go allowing him to catch Pokemon without leaving the comfort of his home.

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According to reports, players of the game have resorted to donating thousands of pounds to keep Mark Gore’s ‘bot’ running. Five lawyers are alleged to have urged him to remove the programme.

Mr Gore has stated that his loophole wasn’t designed to take the fun out of the game, which is reported to have seen users harassed by police for walking into restricted areas, according to the British tabloid newspaper, the Sun.

He stated that it was easy exploiting the game, which was created by Niantic. Gore said that over 24,000 people worldwide had been using his site to take advantage of his ‘bot’.

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He said:

I don’t think I’m spoiling people’s fun. If you look at the age bracket of people playing this game, it’s not all teenagers playing. There are a lot of people who work all day and don’t have the time to spend hours each day going out and catching Pokemon.

He added that those who want to can run the program in the comfort of their own home for two hours a day and still maintain the same level of fun to those who walk around collecting Pokemon.

While it certainly adds a level of safety to the game, does it not take away the authentic feel of it too?

Featured image from Matthew Corley via Shutterstock.

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