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Ventev Powercell 6000+, Dashport r2240, Powerdash r900 & Chargesync (Accessories Review)

By : Amanda Dyar on Saturday, August 23, 2014 | 9:08 AM

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ventev is a popular new mobile electronics division from the Tessco family of companies. The brand offers some of the best chargers, cases, cords and other accessories for mobile devices available on the market today. We recently had a chance to go hands-on with several products from the Ventev line including the Powercell 6000+, Dashport Dual Output Universal Charger, Powerdash r900 and the Chargesync USB Cable. Each of the products is designed for a separate purpose, but each also performs their job well while looking stylish to boot. Read on to learn more about these fantastic products from Ventev.

Powercell 6000+:
The Powercell 6000+ is a fantastic product that allows users to get extended battery life to their favorite mobile devices. The 6000mAh battery charges through dual 1A and 2.1A USB ports that allow devices to charge to full strength as quickly as possible. The powerful charger can supply devices with enough energy to give a prolonged 25 hours of talk, 20 hours of video content, 18 hours of Internet browsing or 100 hours of audio playback. The device also features a flip out AC prong that easily fits in outlets and can be folded back inside the device to make transport easier for the charger. The great design also includes a prominent power button at the top of the charger to allow users to easily power the Powercell 6000+ on or off.

When testing the Powercell 6000+, we found that it does take a bit longer to fully power up the charger than it does to charge up other devices with the battery. Fully charging a phone and tablet took between 30 minutes and 1 hour, while preparing the battery to charge other devices took more than twice as long. These wait times are to be expected with this type of device, but some users may need to know that the charge isn't instantaneous. The ability to charge two devices at once via the Powercell 6000+'s two USB ports is a big selling point for the device that not all chargers currently offer. We would recommend the Powercell 6000+ from Ventev for any mobile gadget user that takes a lot of vacations or simply can't get enough time out of their devices while away from home.

Score: 9 out of 10





Dashport r2240 Dual Output Universal Charger:
The Dashport Dual Output Universal Charger is a helpful device for users looking to charge their phone or other mobile device while out in their car. The product has a few features that makes it a product that stands out in a market full of car and battery chargers. The device is small, but stylish. It easily hooks into a cigarette lighter and is small enough to easily place in a car, purse or glove compartment. The device also features two LED lit USB ports. This is important not only for allowing owners to charge two devices at once, but the illuminated ports means devices can easily be hooked into the Dashport at night without the need to turn on other lights and blind the person who is driving. This feature is a definite lifesaver.

The charge times for the Dashport seemed to be a bit longer when compared with the Dashport Dual Output Universal Charger. The Dashport is a much cheaper alternative though, and the device is ready to plug-in and charge from the moment its box is opened. As previously mentioned, the light up USB ports also make a nice impression for gadget users that need a charge when out on the road at night.

Score: 9 out of 10





Powerdash r900
The Powerdash r900 essentially offers a combination of features seen in the Dashport and Powercell 6000+. Owners will plug the device into the DC port of a vehicle to begin the charge. Users can then choose whether to allow the internal battery on the Powerdash r900 to charge or whether to go ahead and plug a device into the single 1A USB port located on the device. This gives users the flexibility of charging the device in the car before unplugging to use the charge it received later in the day or simply using the device to run a mobile device while in the car.

The Powerdash r900 does give flexibility typically seen from two different devices, but it does sacrifice some efficiency. The charger seems to take just a bit longer to charge devices if the internal battery on the Powerdash r900 is not already fully charged. Likewise, the 1A USB port simply is not as powerful as the 2.1A USB port seen on the Powercell 6000+. Still, the Powerdash r900 can be purchased for a lower price by sacrificing just a bit of performance, so it's an overall fantastic charger for mobile device users that need a charger for different purposes at different points during the day. It's also worth noting that none of the three devices come packed with any cords for connecting and charging devices.

Score: 9 out of 10






Chargesync USB Cable:
While the previously mentioned products don't offer cords for charging mobile devices inside their original packaging, Ventev does offer the Chargesync USB Cable in a variety of sizes that makes a perfect purchase for users to make alongside any of the chargers mentioned above. There isn't anything that really stands out about the Chargesync; the cords do come in various sizes ranging from 3.3 feet to 6 feet, and the cables come in many different colors including orange, green, blue, gray, pink, dark purple, red and white, but the cords don't have any special features that make them stick out from similar cables.

The Chargesync cables from Ventev work well with the other chargers and devices the company sells and are compatible with all major phones, tablets and similar mobile devices. The cables do feature a design that resists tangles, but the cables will mostly likely sell due to users needing to add the item onto their purchases from Ventev rather than there being anything special about the products. The cables do their job fine, and the variety of colors means owners can match the cable to their smartphone or tablet case. Add one of these cables onto a purchase from the Ventev store, and you won't be disappointed with the purchase.

Score: 8 out of 10


For more information on these and other great products, check out the official Ventev website.




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New Details Revealed For Maestros of Video Games Panel At Pax Prime 2014

Maestros of Video Games panel set to take place at PAX Prime 2014 with several composers who have worked on music for such video games as Destiny, Assassin's Creed and more. Read on.

On Saturday, August 30, hear from the composers of ASSASSIN'S CREED, BASTION, BORDERLANDS, DEAD RISING, DESTINY, HALO, HITMAN, MASS EFFECT, RATCHET & CLANK, STATE OF DECAY, SUNSET OVERDRIVE and TRANSISTOR at the PAX Prime 2014 "Maestros of Video Games" panel in the Sphinx Theatre, Sheraton at 5.30pm. Then join the composers in the Paramount Theatre (1 block from Sheraton) at 7.00pm for a meet & greet / autograph session following their panel.


The "Maestros of Video Games" are:

Martin O'Donnell
DESTINY, HALO.

Jesper Kyd
ASSASSIN'S CREED, BORDERLANDS, HITMAN, STATE OF DECAY.

Darren Korb
BASTION, TRANSISTOR.

Boris Salchow
SUNSET OVERDRIVE, RATCHET & CLANK, RESISTANCE.

SASCHA DIKICIYAN
MASS EFFECT 3, BORDERLANDS, DEAD RISING 3, TRON.

OLEKSA LOZOWCHUK
DEAD RISING 3, DEAD RISING 2.

Attendees will receive a complimentary soundtrack sampler courtesy of premier video game soundtrack label Sumthing Else Music Works www.sumthing.com.

For more information:

"Maestros of Video Games" Composer Panel (5.30PM) http://prime.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/maestros-of-videogames

"Maestros of Video Games" Autograph Session (7PM) http://prime.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/autograph-session-maestros-of-gaming

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Listen To Your Favorite Tunes Anywhere With The Arctic S111 M & Arctic S111 BT

Enjoy music anywhere with the sound-systems Arctic S111 M & Arctic S111 BT. Read on to learn more.

Through the Summer with the Sound-Systems ARCTIC S111 M & ARCTIC S111 BT Having a barbecue, swimming, sunbathing - in the summer you could spend the whole day outside. But if you want to hear something else than just the chirping of birds, you will be well served with ARCTICs new sound-system duo S111 M and S111 BT.


A built-in battery makes the stylish mini cubes to ideal companions for your smartphone, tablet and laptop. Compact and lightweight, they easily fit into your pocket and still provide exceptional sound. With strong bass and higher volume they have nothing in common with the tinny sounds of conventional laptop and cell phone speakers.

Thanks to a 80 cm cable between the speakers even a true stereo experience is possible. You don’t have to worry about flat batteries along the way. With the LED battery level indicator you always know how much juice you have left. Greater possibilities through wireless freedom is provided by the ARCTIC S111 BT. With a built in high gain antenna the speakers have a significantly extended range in contrast to standard Bluetooth devices. A chipset of the latest generation brings out the best of the music and allows lossless audio streaming. So you never miss a detail and you can listen to your songs with a new spectrum of tonal possibilities – anytime and anywhere.

To learn more, visit the official Arctic website.

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EMP Museum Reveals New Indie Game Revolution Exhibit

By : Amanda Dyar on Thursday, August 21, 2014 | 12:52 AM

Thursday, August 21, 2014

EMP Museum has announced their latest upcoming exhibition entitled Indie Game Revolution which is set to open on November 8th. Read on to learn more.

The most exciting and creative work in contemporary game culture will be featured in EMP Museum’s upcoming exhibition, Indie Game Revolution. Opening November 8, this new exhibit will explore how the independent video game community is pushing past conventional boundaries and in the process expanding the definition and cultural impact of this fast growing medium.


“Independent developers have been releasing games for more than 60 years, but in the last decade the indie game space has exploded. This is primarily due to the proliferation of easy-to-use game making software, plentiful digital distribution outlets, and new avenues of funding, but also from a desire on the part of many game developers to create new and impactful experiences,” says Jacob McMurray, Senior Curator, EMP. “Games can be, and often are, as powerful an experience as the best of film, literature, or music. It’s a story that is constantly changing, and this exhibition will detail that evolution as it unfolds.”

Within a dynamic and immersive space, the exhibition will feature stories of more than 40 game developers, designers, coders, composers, critics, and others active in the indie game scene. 20 single and multiplayer playable games, several multimedia installations highlighting major gaming milestones, and additional experiences will also allow visitors to witness the present and future of gaming.

One of the games showcased in the exhibit is GALAK-Z: THE DIMENSIONAL, a sci-fi space shooter created by Seattle-based 17-BIT, an independent video game developer specializing in revitalizing classic genres with cutting-edge gaming experiences.

“Video games had been falling into the rut of limiting innovation and forcing products to adhere to a few popular genres,” says Raj Joshi, Studio Director, 17-BIT. “Now you are seeing a renaissance of new and amazing gameplay and sociological experiments that are shaping our understanding of what interactive entertainment could be. Anyone with a compelling idea can invest their own time to make it a reality and bring it to audiences worldwide.”

Throughout the gallery, visitors will be able to play games released within the last year as well as several highly anticipated, but currently unreleased titles. Developed in cities across the globe including Tokyo, London, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, the games represent myriad genres, cultures, and vary from casual puzzle games, interactive fiction experiences, and action role-playing games, to platformers, 3D exploration games, and shoot-‘em-ups (shmups). A dozen new titles will be added to the exhibit every two months.

Featured games include:

  • Lovers In a Dangerous Spacetime is a colorful cooperative action game that takes place in a neon spaceship where players triumph over evil robots and rescue kidnapped space bunnies.
  • Tenya Wanya Teens is a coming of age tale about love, hygiene, monsters and overcoming the awkwardness of being a teen. Co-created by Uvula (Keita Takahashi and Asuka Sakai), Venus Patrol, and Wild Rumpus, Tenya Wanya Teens uses a pair of 16 button controllers custom-made for the exhibit.
  • GALAK-Z: THE DIMENSIONAL is a modern sci-fi action game inspired by 70s and 80s anime like Macross and Robotech. Created by Seattle-based developer 17-BIT, Galak-Z is a colorful 2D shooter where Newtonian physics take center stage.
  • Never Alone is an atmospheric adventure that draws upon Alaskan indigenous folklore. The player’s character is Nuna, an Iñupiat girl who along with her fox companion embark on a quest throughout the Arctic and beyond. Created by Upper One Games, Never Alone is narrated in the Native Iñupiat tongue with English subtitles.
  • Quadrilateral Cowboy is a 3D adventure puzzle game set in the 80s in which the player takes on the role of a cyberpunk computer hacker. Created by Blendo Games’ Brendon Chung, the high-tech espionage adventure/hacking simulator allows the player to oversee one or more agents that have missions to infiltrate buildings and steal documents.
  • Papers, Please was created by Tokyo-based game developer Lucas Pope. A dystopian document thriller, Papers, Please simulates the mundane, stressful, and life-altering experiences of a border control officer in a fictional Cold War-era Eastern Bloc state, while managing to engender empathy within its complex and uncaring bureaucracy.
  • Gone Home is a first person, 3D exploration game that urges the player to examine details of a seemingly normal house to learn about the people who live there. Players can uncover the events of one family’s lives by investigating what they’ve left behind. Developed by Portland, Oregon’s The Fullbright Company, Gone Home takes place in a Pacific Northwest home during the mid-90s Riot Grrrl era.

ABOUT EMP MUSEUM

EMP is a leading-edge, nonprofit museum, dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel popular culture. With its roots in rock ‘n’ roll, EMP serves as a gateway museum, reaching multigenerational audiences through collections, exhibitions and educational programs, using interactive technologies to engage and empower its visitors. At EMP, artists, audiences and ideas converge, bringing understanding, interpretation and scholarship to the popular culture of our time. EMP is housed in a 140,000 square foot Frank O. Gehry-designed building. This spectacular, prominently visible structure has the presence of a monumental sculpture set amid the backdrop of the Seattle Center.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS AT EMP

  • Spectacle: The Music Video
  • Block By Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture
  • Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic
  • Hear My Train a Comin’: Hendrix Hits London
  • Icons of Science Fiction
  • Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film
  • Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses

To learn more, visit the official EMP website. 

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adjust Releases New Report On Back to School Apps For Children

By : Amanda Dyar on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 | 9:58 PM

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

adjust has announced a new "Back to School" report on iOS and Android apps for primary school and kindergarten children. Read on.

With less than a week to go until students begin classes, adjust, a leading app analytics and attribution company, today released a new ”Back to School” report on Apple App Store and Google Play apps for primary school and kindergarten children. Data was sourced from adjust’s apptrace.com database on August 19, 2014.


“As smartphones have become commonplace, the market for apps for children has emerged. Children are increasingly using learning apps to boost their reading skills, math, eye-hand coordination, and more. Tablets and computers are becoming commonplace in schools today, as they are regularly used for teaching. As children become more technically involved, and the lines between computers and phones get further blurred, we expect to see a rise in educational and child-appropriate apps for iOS and Android,” said Christian Henschel, CEO and co-founder of adjust.

The industry already recognizes a strong demand for such youth-centric products. Apple launched a designed ‘Kids’ category* in the App Store that already has 80,203 apps out of a total 1,299,049 apps currently available in the store, indicating that 6.2% of iOS apps are appropriate for young children. More than 72% of children under the age of 8 and 38% of children under age 2 have used a mobile device in the past year, with up to half of them using the devices daily**. These numbers are also high in Germany, where smartphone use by primary school children has reached almost 65%***.

Most children are being exposed to mobile communication devices from birth, as family and friends take photos and show them pictures. Video calling is also becoming popular with young children and remote relatives, now that the data traffic can achieve the speeds necessary for quality video. All of this points to a continued rise in app development for young children.

Interesting stats from the Apple App Store:

  • 60% of the apps in the designated App Store Kids category are also in the category ‘Education’; almost half of these (46.5%) are also in the category ‘Games’.
  • Kids category has a very high percentage of iPad-specific apps (over 22%), which is more than twice that of the other apps (10.2%)
  • Almost all of the apps (more than 98%) are natively in English or have an English translation
  • There are 16,855 apps for non-college level math and they are targeted by the developers at boys three times more than at girls
  • At the same time, the reviews indicate much more balanced use of math apps by boys and girls: of all reviews that indicate children’s use and specify gender, 45% indicate that the user is a girl
  • Apple offers 2,067 apps to help children with their homework compared to Google Play’s 924 homework apps
  • The average price for paid App Store Kid category apps is $2.56 USD or 2.30

Google Play kids apps:

Google Play does not have a “Kids” category for young audience applications, nor does it currently offer developers the ability to specify recommended age ranges. Both make Google Play a little difficult to navigate for those seeking apps for children. Using child-related keyword searching (and filtering for pregnancy related apps), apptrace found that 318,674 out of 1,236,698 Google Play apps appear to be child-related, or roughly 25.8%, which is less than the results found using the same search on the Apple App Store (367,968 apps or 28.5% of the App Store). Due to the lack of age-categorization on Google Play, it is hard to determine which of these apps may or may not be child appropriate. Google’s ‘Family Games’ category, announced in March 2014, may provide parents with some guidance on age appropriate games for children.

Most positively rated educational apps for iOS:

Revealed through adjust’s apptrace.com sentiment analysis, the most positively rated Apple App Store Educational category app in the Kids category is “Bugs and Buttons” by Little Bit Studio, LLC (87%). The most addictive Educational category app for children is “Doodle Numbers Quiz” - addictive matches puzzle game like little things forever by by RedSpell (54%)!

“In addition to apps for children to use, parental control apps, and find your child geo-location based apps, we’ve also seen a trend towards primary schools developing apps to keep parents informed about school news, homework and parent’s blogs,” says Christian Henschel, CEO and co-founder of adjust.

"We also see an opportunity for more information and Educational category apps targeted towards children and parents of young children. Marketing is essential for app visibility and as this segment matures over the next year, engagement will become more of an important focus."

Data source:

The data used in this release has been extracted from the adjust “Back to School” report on apps for primary school children and younger. The original data was pulled from adjust’s apptrace database, which can be browsed through adjust’s free online tool apptrace.com that provides insights into rankings, ratings, reviews and more for Apple App Store and Google Play mobile app performance.

adjust’s apptrace sentiment analysis takes over 56,473,400 Apple App Store reviews and 16,536,900 Google Play store reviews and provides a reviewer centered analysis for each app with enough reviews based on how positive or negative the reviews are or if they indicate the app is addictive or crashes frequently.

For more insights and the full report from adjust, visit the media hub at www.adjust.com/media.



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