September 2017

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‘Clash Royale’ 2v2 ‘Touchdown’ Mode Shown Off in Tournament, Coming Soon

Good news, Clash Royale [Free] players. Your favorite game is about to get a brand new mode, and it looks and plays very differently than everything else we’ve played before. This new mode is called Touchdown, and it can only be played in 2v2 (at least for the time being). The developers showed off Touchdown earlier today, and you can check it out here. This mode is a draft-only mode and is played on a field with no towers, rivers, or bridges; instead, it’s played on a field with two end zones, one on each side. Every time a troop walks into the end zone, you get a crown. At three crowns, you win the game. Most minions can only be played within a specific part of the field, and spells can be played anywhere on the field.

Some cards are excluded from the Touchdown mode possibly because of how they would pretty much break the game. Hog Rider, Miner, Flying Machine, Mega Knight, Bats, Cannon, and some other cards (all subject to change at this point) won’t be available, most of them for obvious reasons. The …read more

Screenshot Saturday Highlights – September 30th, 2017

Ancient monstrosities, extraterrestrial hordes, demonic foes, and a whole array of equally dangerous enemies threaten to destroy you in these weekend’s collection of Screenshot Saturday Highlights.

Golem Gates
Laser Guided Games | PC
Described as a blend of RTS, MOBA, and card game, Golem Gates challenges you to spawn powerful weapons and support to battle incoming waves of ancient golem warmachines. Across a campaign and multiplayer arenas, you must manage your spell cards to tactically defend and push back in the encroaching enemy.

The Universim
Crytivo Games | PC, Mac, Linux
Forget a household or city, The Universim gives you an entire planet and civilization to play god with, From Stone Age to the future, you help them thrive, survive natural disasters, or even unleash helpful miracles or wrath upon the planet’s population.

Seeking Dawn
Multiverse Inc | PC
Seeking Dawn approaches the survival genre from the VR angle, setting you on an alien planet with a dangerous ecosystem as you craft, gather, build powerful weapons, and create the ultimate base to endure the planet’s deadly hazards.

Nyamyam | PC, iOS | 2018
A …read more

Star Fox 2 Review

With the launch of the SNES Classic, Star Fox 2 gets the official release that was originally planned for 1995-96. The game was finished but ultimately scrapped during this transitional period for game consoles, when both the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 were on the brink of delivering richer 3D experiences. It’s a game that’s hard to evaluate in 2017 without contextualizing it in the time it was created. But out of its 22-year limbo, Star Fox 2 is both an expression of technical limitations of the SNES platform and laudable modern game design.

At the start of a playthrough, you choose two pilots to embark on the campaign. The original cast of anthropomorphic critters–Fox, Slippy, Falco, and Peppy–returns with two new female characters in Miyu and Fay. Each character has their own special item, shield strength, speed, and ship design. The overworld map is where you swap between your two pilots, in case one is low on shields and needs a break between battle sequences. This approach detracts from the feeling of camaraderie present in the squadron-style premise of past Star Fox games, especially since you engage in fights as a duo or on your own. It does, however, …read more

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Forza Motorsport 7 Review in Progress

My first day and a half with Forza Motorsport 7 was spent doing much the same as I’ve done with every previous instalment: attempting to move through the solo campaign while allowing myself to become occasionally distracted by experimenting with interesting new car and track combos (and with more cars and tracks than ever, there are plenty of those). Overall, it’s a fairly familiar experience thus far, and one that hasn’t deviated much from the time-tested loop established by genre kingpin Gran Turismo back in 1997. Beating opponents, winning credits, and injecting those credits back into the next race by buying better parts and collecting new cars are again the core concerns. In other words, I can confirm that this is definitely a Forza Motorsport game.

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iPhone 8 Plus cracks open for two users in Asia, batteries may be to blame

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have been available for just a couple of weeks, but reports of alleged battery issues have emerged in Asia.

A Taiwanese Apple fan noticed her newly-bought iPhone 8 Plus was bulging while charging, and soon cracked open, Taiwanese media Apple Daily reported.

The owner surnamed Wu told local media that she was using the official Apple charging cord. The smartphone started swelling after about three minutes and then split open. The phone was later recovered by the carrier and will be shipped to Apple for analysis, local media reported.

Another iPhone 8 Plus owner in Japan experienced something similar but this time without even charging the mobile device. Twitter user Magokoro0511 uploaded a few photos on Twitter of his broken device. He tweeted that “it was already slightly split open when I received the iPhone 8 plus.”

Apple has yet to confirm if these cases were caused by batteries, but iPhone 8 Plus might use the same battery manufacturer, Amperex Technology Limited (ATL), as the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, said The Next Web citing unconfirmed reports. However, if these cases turn out to be isolated incidents, there’s not much to worry about. After …read more

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Fashiontech will embrace sustainability and comfortable wear

What will tomorrow’s fashion look like? It is worth noting that fashion-conscious and tech-savvy millennials not only care about uniqueness but also sustainability. In a recent study done by Nielsen and Deloitte, of the respondents who look out for sustainability, 51 percent were millennials.

The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter of freshwater resources on the planet, and a quarter of the chemicals produced in the world are used in textiles. Vincent Djen, co-founder of FashionEx, a fashion accelerator based in Shanghai, believes this needs to change.

“The hot topic now is sustainability. Since two or three years ago, the fashion industry has been really pushing forward sustainability, to use less water in the whole process of making a garment in order to lower the impact on our environment,” Vincent said at Fabernovel Shanghai Talks on September 22nd.

The jacket co-developed by Odd Molly, Spindye, and FashionEx uses new solution for dying textile. (Image Credit: TechNode)

As an example of sustainable fashion, Vincent introduced a jacket co-developed by Odd Molly, Spindye, and himself. The jacket uses recycled polyester from used PET bottles, cuts down water usage by 80% and saves 30% carbon emission in the making process. Most of all, …read more

Taiwan Turnaround—Fighting the Brain Drain

In part 3 of the Taiwan Turnaround series looking at how Taiwan’s internet tech scene is catching up, TechNode checks in with some star players about how Taiwan’s brain drain is affecting them and how they are addressing the issue. Next, in the finale of the series, we look at the effects that government regulations have had on the startup economy and how the government plans to be more accommodating. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

When Ivan Lin returned to Taiwan in 2014 after working for more than 15 years on the mainland, he was surprised that the landing page for the island’s largest e-commerce platform PChome hadn’t changed much.

“PChome looked like this 10 years ago. Now, it still looks the same,” the former e-commerce executive turned entrepreneur told TechNode. Lin now runs his own lifestyle e-commerce startup called Add Ons in Tainan, a small city in southern Taiwan.

PCHome’s landing page (Image credit: TechNode)

PChome’s website isn’t the only thing to have seen little change in Taiwan. Wages for university graduates have stagnated in the past 20 years. In 1999, the average monthly salary for a university graduate was $900. In 2016, it was $925—0.03% growth …read more

Alibaba accused of stealing code from skincare app

Alibaba is troubled again for plagiarism, and this time from a small startup called C2H4, who claimed their entire app and technique solutions were stolen and added to the apps of Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall.

A new feature on Tmall’s app allows customers to scan their faces with the smartphone cameras, get their skin conditions evaluated, and receive recommendations for skin care products. However, the app is entirely built by plagiarizing C2H4’s technology, according to the startup.

Wu Liang, CEO of C2H4 Internet Technology Co. Ltd., wrote on Zhihu, China’s Quora, that Alibaba’s apps have a striking resemblance of the startup’s app “You Look Amazing Today (你今天真好看).”

Wu’s company in August 2016 rolled out the app, which can analyze the users’ skin conditions and provide information on the skin type, smoothness, acne, and blackheads.

The comparison of user instructions on Wu’s app (left) and Taobao’s (Image credit: C2H4)

“This is not just plagiarism. They took our technology under false pretenses of collaboration,” Wu told TechNode. “The Alibaba’s team stole our entire solution, code, and design.”

Wu explained that Ali Health approached the startup on May 17 to collaborate on rolling out a feature to test skin in Tmall’s and Taobao’s apps. After a few …read more

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URWork can’t use its name in New York during trademark lawsuit

China’s leading co-working space unicorn URWork plans to open its New York City branch next January, but it’s very likely now that the company can’t use its name for the grand opening in a couple of months.

A judge put an order in effect on Friday, stating that Serendipity Labs, URWork’s partner in the US for opening new locations, is not allowed to use URWork’s brand name for promotions outside of China, such as those on its website, office or other promotional materials, Bloomberg is reporting.

This order came as part of the case of WeWork’s lawsuit against URWork. WeWork, the New York-based startup, sued the fast-expanding Chinese company earlier this month, accusing it of infringing on WeWork’s trademarks. WeWork has also started legal action toward URWork in London.

As part of the case, URWork’s name can’t be used before the case closes, meaning that the Chinese co-working company is likely not allowed to put up its trademark for the launch of its New York City location set in January next year.

In response to this, URWork has just released an official statement, suggesting that the company won’t comment on ongoing litigation.

“However, we do want to make it clear that …read more

iPhone 8 Review

If it appears as though Apple is no longer trying to surprise and excite us with its annual iPhone revisions… it’s because it’s not. Now that the main iPhone has become the standard smartphone rather than a luxury item, Apple has reserved its real ambition for the upcoming iPhone X and its edge-to-edge screen. That leaves the iPhone 8 as an incremental upgrade over the iPhone 7, which was itself an incremental upgrade over the iPhone 6s, and the 6 before that.

The fact that you could easily mistake the iPhone 8 for its three-generation-old ancestor at a glance doesn’t mean it isn’t a great phone, because it absolutely is. By nearly every measure it’s the most powerful phone out there, and it matches or beats most of its competition with a high-quality camera (by smartphone standards) and a pocket full of excellent features. What it lacks in razzle-dazzle, it makes up for in high-quality construction and tested dependability.

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