Nintendo, Cygames Partner to Make Mobile Games, Dragalia Lost Coming This Summer

Nintendo, Cygames Partner to Make Mobile Games, Dragalia Lost Coming This Summer

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nintendo is buying a 5-percent stake in Cygames
  • Cygames is best known for Granblue Fantasy
  • Dragalia Lost is a action role-playing game

Japanese video game maker Nintendo said on Friday it has teamed up with Tokyo-based online games developer Cygames, aiming to step up the mobile gaming business and reduce reliance on volatile console sales.

The Kyoto-based company will buy a 5 percent stake in unlisted Cygames, known for its blockbuster Granblue Fantasy game, for an undisclosed amount.

As part of the tie-up, Nintendo will release a jointly developed action role-playing game called Dragalia Lost for smartphones this summer, Nintendo said.

The game will be launched in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau at first, and later in North America and Europe.

Nintendo entered mobile gaming under partnership with online gaming firm DeNA Co in 2015 as part of an effort to stabilise earnings highly dependent on its volatile games console business.

 

It has since released several mobile gaming titles including Super Mario Run, using its popular Super Mario Bros characters.

Nintendo said on Thursday it expects operating profit to rise 26.7 percent in the year through March to a nine-year high, as its Switch games console maintains sales momentum in its second year.

The initial success of the hybrid home-portable Switch has boosted Nintendo’s gaming software sales and encouraged more third-party publishers to make games for the console, a cycle which could further push up console sales.

The Kyoto-based company also said it named Managing Executive Officer Shuntaro Furukawa as new president to succeed Tatsumi Kimishima, effective after the general shareholders meeting in June.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

The meaning of education is being lost in a fug of qualifications

Educated, or merely qualified? The two are becoming  difficult to distinguish. Photograph: iStock

Educated, or merely qualified? The two are becoming difficult to distinguish. Photograph: iStock

this mad drive by universities to assuage the captains of industry and cyclopean economists, it is difficult to distinguish any more between those graduates who are educated and those who are merely qualified.

The international media burped a little recently on discovering that the world’s league-leading universities are far too busy with research to be overly bothered with or about education. Commentators seemed surprised. As if people believed that all the money being poured by corporations into universities was to raise educational standards. How pure and how naive!

Universities, perforce, are a business. Each reduction in public funding pushes them closer to becoming creatures of the economic establishment.

So, for leading universities, survival requires them to commit to research, innovation and corporate partnership. Education is plummeting down the priority list, overtaken by business creep. The idea of a university is being dumbed down. Core values have deteriorated as education becomes indefinable in a fug of qualifications.

The spectre of the highly qualified but uneducated professional was prompted by a recent comment from an elderly countrywoman accompanying her terminally ill husband from a consultation with a specialist in the city.

“For a highly educated man with a dozen letters after his name, he had no manners at all. He looked down his nose at us and spoke in words we didn’t understand,” she said.

Her comment reflected the modern-day challenge in distinguishing between education and qualification.

Synonymous

Unfortunately, the two have become synonymous with each other in general discourse and the confusion is reinforced by the fact that university awards fail to flag any difference between those considered to be educated and those considered to be merely qualified.

Consequently, it is not unusual to come across holders of senior offices in public life or the professions who, though comprehensively qualified, fail to display even the most basic evidence of education. Very often, indeed, they mask their boorishness and arrogance with expensive suits or impenetrable language when engaging with the general public or less exalted colleagues.

Interestingly, in olden times universities required students to be bachelors or masters in arts or philosophy before they were allowed to specialise as doctors in disciplines such as medicine, law or other professional areas. Strikes me that it is time to look back to the future and recalibrate university policy accordingly.

Our national mindset, however, seems to equate education with university qualification. Lamentably, we don’t generally hear references to “highly educated” plumbers or farmers or grocers or mechanics, no matter how qualified they may happen to be. This despite the fact that many such people can be more educated than many of us who are proud university graduates.

Undoubtedly, universities can and do produce highly educated graduates, but it would be absurd to conclude that universities are the only route to education.

And it is equally ludicrous to assume that people are educated merely on the basis of their having a university degree.

Two millennia ago

Consider that two millennia ago, long before universities were founded, ordinary folk could respect and revere the likes of Plato and Socrates as being educated. How did they know? Well, because whereas the traits of an educated person are difficult to measure, they are easy to recognise.

And what’s to recognise? Well, on that score, the conclusions of the great philosophers are uncomplicated but instructive.

Plato opined that the process of education should develop qualities of wisdom, courage, self-control and justice. For Aristotle, education developed the perfection of reason in concert with the development of bodily and mental functions.

Socrates referenced, inter alia, qualities such as honesty, bravery, reason, and the ability to cope with success and failure. Newman saw tolerance as the defining quality of the educated person.

League tables might mean something if these qualities were the basis of points accumulation, but no doubt that would be a bridge too far for our neoliberal friends.

The question is: do the universities see any need to develop or inculcate these traits before registering applicants for courses leading to professional qualification?

It is hardly revolutionary or even novel to suggest that we should educate people first before preparing and qualifying them for their role in the community. Was that not the idea of a university?

So let’s value education and let’s respect qualifications, but let’s also know the difference. Time to rebalance. Funding our universities would be a good start.

Joe O’Toole is a teacher, former senator and general secretary of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation

[“Source- irishtimes”]

Watchers Wonder if Apple Has Lost Its Magic

Watchers Wonder if Apple Has Lost Its Magic

Is Apple facing a rare, simple pause in growth in a tough global economy or has it lost its magic for dreaming up must-have new gadgets like the iPhone?

The question was front-of-mind Wednesday on Wall Street, where shares in the California-based company fell more than six percent to $97.82 by the official close of trading on the Nasdaq exchange.

The drop erased the equivalent of $40 billion (roughly Rs. 2,65,856 crores) in market capitalization and came after Apple Tuesday reported its first year-over-year quarterly revenue drop in 13 years.

Apple also forecast that the current quarter would be difficult.

Revenue was down during the first three months of this year due to the first drop in iPhone sales since the release of the world-changing handsets in 2007.

Sales of iPhones have been the engine for Apple earnings for a while.

(Also see:  Apple Upbeat on iPhone SE Demand but Some Asian Retailers, Suppliers Less Cheery)

Cruising on a flagship?
FBN Securities said in a note to analysts that it was “concerned” that since taking over as chief executive in 2011, Tim Cook has not delivered “any real transformative products.”

An Apple Watch that made its debut last year was seen as the company’s first foray into a new product category under Cook. Apple has not revealed sales figures for its smartwatch, but Cook said on an earnings call that they “met expectations” during the quarter.

(Also see:  As iPhone Sales Slump, Apple Bets on Services From Apps to Music)

Given the absence of official sales figures, observers are left to speculate how Apple Watch is doing in the market. The fact that Apple Watch synchs to iPhones has raised doubts it could be a stand-alone hit instead of an accessory.

Apple Pay, the service that lets iPhones act as digital wallets, is viewed through a similarly dependent lens.

Apple has long been a ripe target for rumors, with recent speculation including talk that the company is working on self-driving cars and virtual reality.

“The car entry would be years away and it would not at all be clear if Apple would succeed – especially considering Tesla’s recent success with its Model 3,” FBN said in its note.

Tesla has been swamped with orders even though release of the car is a year away.

Seeking a new Steve Jobs
“The pace of innovation has completely slowed down at Apple,” said Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdhry.

“The projects that Tim Cook is talking about are taking so much time… by the time they are ready they are already obsolete.”

Chowdhry depicted Apple as a company that was in fine shape except for a bedeviling lack of vision and passion at the top, pointing a finger at Cook, chief financial officer Luca Maestri, and senior vice president of retail and online stores Angela Ahrendts.

“Get rid of these three people, and Apple will come back to its past glory,” the analyst said.

Apple has thus far delivered on the vision of Steve Jobs, and a new visionary who is at least as passionate as the iconic figure is needed to fix the company, Chowdhry reasoned. He recommended former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein for the job.

Former Apple manager Guy Kawasaki, who helped launch the Macintosh computer in the 1980s said in a CNBC television interview that the company needs to get back to making products people “lust” for.

(Also see:  Something Is Rotten in the State of Apple)

Kawasaki gave the example of iPhones that boast improvements from prior generations but don’t stand apart from predecessors in big ways.

“We need a product that leaps to the next curve,” Kawasaki said.

“I don’t think that is simply making the iPhone smaller or the iPad bigger.”

He said that Jobs and his famous “reality distortion field” could dazzle people with product upgrades, but without him such modifications have not come across as revolutionary.

Meanwhile, many analysts have taken to counseling investors to be patient.

“Just wait until 2017, when comparisons will be easier,” advised FBN, noting that earnings will then be up against those reported this year instead of a year in which a hot-selling iPhone 6 debuted.

The coming iPhone 7 could be a “game changer” according to RBC Capital Markets. Analysts also pointed out that with more than a billion Apple devices being used around the world, Apple is positioned to rake in money selling content, products and services to users.

Tags: Apple, Apple Watch, Apps, Laptops, Mobiles, PC, Tablets, Wearables, iPad, iPhones
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Evernote Says Small Number of Mac Users May Have Lost Notes, Offers Premium Subscription

Evernote Says Small Number of Mac Users May Have Lost Notes, Offers Premium SubscriptionEvernote Says Small Number of Mac Users May Have Lost Notes, Offers Premium Subscription
HIGHLIGHTS
The company says it was only able to restore some lost notes
Users with lost notes can attempt to manually restore them
Premium users can use the gift code for an additional year of service
A small number of Evernote for Mac users are being sent an email by the company that apologises for a bug that caused data loss in certain types of notes – those featuring images or other attachments. Text notes are said to have remained unaffected. The company is making up for the issue by offering Evernote Premium, which also helps restore missing date from notes by using the premium Note History feature.

The email to users states that a small number of users running versions of Evernote for Mac released in June and September were affected, which is a rather vague description for those worried users who may have lost data in hundreds of notes. However, the company confirmed to TechCrunch that specific versions 453991 (which was available directly from Evernote servers) and 454042 (available from the Mac App Store) were the ones affected, under “specific conditions”.

Evernote in its email tells users to update immediately to the latest version – v6.9.2 (454158 from Evernote and 454159 from the Mac App Store) – to avoid the issue and also prevent any “further loss of data”. The company added that as soon as it discovered the issue it “worked quickly to implement a solution and attempted to restore all lost data”, however, it did not succeed in some cases.

(Also see: Evernote ‘Can Overwhelm Some People,’ Admits Ken Inoue, GM APAC and Japan)
Those users that lost data can manually restore the data by using the Note History feature available to Evernote Premium subscribers, which as we mentioned was also being provided to free users that were affected by the issue via a redemption code. Those users already on Evernote Premium can use the code to buy another year of premium services, or save them as Points to be used at a later point.

The company is telling users to update their Evernote for Mac app via the menu, from where they can navigate to Help > Check For Updates… It adds that users who do not see the option should visit the Mac App Store or the Evernote website to download the latest version of the app.

Of course, the entire debacle is very embarrassing for a note-taking service. Evernote told TechCrunch however that once its recently-begun migration to the Google Cloud platform is complete, such issues will be a easier to prevent and resolve. The full email, with the subject “We’re sorry. Please update Evernote for Mac”, can be seen below.

We have identified a bug in some versions of Evernote for Mac that can cause images and other attachments to be deleted from a note under specific conditions. We believe you are one of a small number of people impacted by this bug.

Please update Evernote on your Mac to the latest version as soon as possible:

From the menu, go to Help > Check For Updates…

If you do not see this menu option, update through the Mac App Store or from our website

The bug can occur in the version of Evernote for Mac released in September, and less frequently in versions released since June. In these versions, certain sequences of events, such as skimming quickly through a large number of notes, can cause an image or other attachments to be deleted from a note without warning. Text in notes is not affected.

Once we identified the problem, we worked quickly to implement a solution and attempted to restore all lost data. Unfortunately, some of your attachments couldn’t be automatically restored. However, you may be able to recover your attachments using Evernote’s note history feature available through Evernote Premium.

We are giving your account one free year of Evernote Premium to make amends and give you access to priority customer support via chat or email. If you already have Premium, the gift code can be used to extend your subscription for one additional year, or banked as Points to use for later.

If you run into any difficulties redeeming your code, follow ….

We understand how important your notes and attachments are, and we apologize. Again, please update your app as soon as possible to prevent any further loss of data.

The Evernote Team

Tags: Evernote, Evernote for Mac, Note Taking Service, Note Taking App, Apps, Apple, Internet

[“Source-Gadgets”]