ALO The National headphone amplifier in review – a new class

Handsome and powerful - and compact

After having created perfection in the Rx, ALO are free to experiment. Their first experiment, The Continental, is quite a hit, especially as it packs valves under the bonnet for a truly classical sort of listen. But as ALO explain, the use of limited valves means that the Continental has a shorter time on this planet. Enter The National, an amp that they reckon is the answer to the Continental. I can tell you right now: The National is a single box that can fill the void of both portable and living room headphone amp.

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DoDonPachi Blissful Death in Review – A Shooter By Any Other Name

There’s a bit of irony in the game’s title, because I’m pretty sure going down in a hailstorm of bullets is anything but blissful.  The slightly odd name aside, however, once you start playing DoDonPachi Blissful Death you’ll feel right at home if you’re a fan of Cave.  If you peruse their titles on the App Store you’ll note they primarily do one thing, but they do that well – scrolling shooters.  To be even more specific, their area of expertise seems to be the “bullet hell” shooter, though from that perspective Blissful Death is a bit milder than most of its type.  That’s good news for me, because I’m terrible at bullet hell games. Continue reading…

How to easily setup a VPN on the iPhone and iPad

Note: To setup VPN primarily on a PC or Mac (and even on a smartphone), you can check out Hidemyass, one of the largest VPN providers around. 

Setting up and configuring a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on the iPhone and iPad can be a daunting task for many. You can first search online and choose from one of the many providers, pick a plan that suits you, and then manually enter the account details into the Network area under Settings. You can of course use the the recently released Onion Browser for more secure browsing, but relying on the Tor network can be frustratingly slow at times. For those not familiar with VPNs, they’re great for accessing websites or social networks that have been blocked by your company’s (or even country’s) firewall and allow you to surf the web without revealing your true IP address. But perhaps even more important for iOS users, using a VPN while logged onto a public WiFi network — something we’ve all done, be it in a hotel, coffee shop or airport — will ensure that your data (namely usernames and login passwords) is encrypted and protected from would-be snoopers. Let’s take a look at two iOS apps that will easily let you setup a VPN and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

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ZAGGfolio Keyboard Case for new iPad in Review – To Type ‘n Protect

Sometime ago, I’d reviewed a keyboard/case combo from ZAGG – the ZAGGmate – for my iPad 1. Thanks to its slick and slim design, along with the capable bluetooth keyboard, it became a constant companion whenever I traveled with the iPad. The one downside was that the tablet’s back was left exposed to potential drops and falls – a trade-off for its sexy form factor. So as an alternative, ZAGG introduced the ZAGGfolio, a folio-styled case that not only houses a much improved keyboard, but also offers front and rear protection for the iPad when closed.

Seeing how I’d become quite reliant on the ZAGGmate, I was eager to pick up a case with similar functionality for my new iPad. And now that I’ve had 3 weeks of hands-on time with the ZAGGfolio, I’ve once again found myself growing very fond of this combo case, thanks in large part to the drastically improved typing experience offered over its predecessor.

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Cannon Cat in Review – In Space No One Hears Meow

Apparently the need to add “cuteness” to puzzle games isn’t going away any time soon, but that’s okay with me as long as the game is fun to play.  Thankfully that is the case with Cannon Cat, the premiere offering from new iOS developer Loqheart.  It would probably be more accurate to label the game action than puzzle, though there are definitely situations that will require a bit of thought if you want to score all the fish in a level.  However you want to classify the game it’s enjoyable and quite habit forming.

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Digizoid zO2 Personal Subwoofer in Review – who let the dogs out?

Indeed. Digizoid dub this diminutive piece of plastic a ‘personal subwoofer’. I’d dub it a personal wolf pack – that is, if wolfs were known for barking. They probably growl, so maybe the metaphor stands. Which is more than I could do the first time I heard the zO2, which floored me.

I’ve been mopping up ever since.

Care to discuss this in our forums? Go ahead!

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Jules Verne’s Journey to the center of the moon in Review – The genius of Jules Verne in Space

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Jules Verne is arguably one of the most prophetic tech visionaries of all time, second only to Leonardo DaVinci. His 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea predicted modern era submarines in amazing detail. From the Earth to the Moon, of course, looks a bit more naive these days describing the journey to the moon using a giant canon. On the other hand, modern-era rockets might be considered the same in spirit, if not in principal. Tetraedge and Microids however, decided to stay true to Verne’s classic vision in their superb Jules Verne’s Journey to the center of the moon – Part 1/Part 2/Part 3.

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Haunted Houdini in Review – The Main Thing Disappearing Is My Time!

Haunted Houdini is the first title in the Midnight Mysteries series that I’ve had the chance to play, but it certainly won’t be the last.  While in general hidden object games are becoming more like “true” adventure games every day, Haunted Houdini takes storytelling within a hidden object game to a new level.  Combine that with many diverse locations to explore and a fine balance between hidden object scenes, object based puzzles and mini-games, this has become one of the most enjoyable from this genre that I’ve played in quite some time.

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Gizmon iCa iPhone camera case in Review – Barnack would be proud

Steve Jobs (RIP) may have publicly glibbed that the iPhone 4 was “like a beautiful old Leica camera”, but he never saw the Gizmon iCa coming…

No one did. And I’m glad. Perfectly succinct designs, such as the iPhone and the iCa, are obvious only after debut. Why is that? As I sip diluted tea at my dining table and type, scenes from the past two weeks flood over me. These few weeks have seen me skipping, happy, snappy, and experimenting. I’ve found a love for digital photography. Finally.

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Kitten Sanctuary in Review – Another Enjoyable Match 3 Experience

When games set the bar so high in a particular genre, much like The Treasures of Montezuma 3 did for match 3 games, I often wonder if new variants are even going to be worth trying.  I was especially nervous about this one because I had played its canine sibling, Puppy Sanctuary, on the PC and didn’t really care for it.  I’m happy to report that not only is Kitten Sanctuary a much more interesting game than its puppy partner (or I didn’t give the other enough of a chance), but it can actually be quite addicting.  The whole Tamagatchi style interludes aren’t even that bad.

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