App of the week: Epic Meal Time

Om Nom Nom EMT

Here at Digixav we all love some bacon strips and as such we all love Epic Meal Time, the YouTube show that brought you the Turbaconepicentipede and the candy pizza among other bacon-ridden crimes against health. Now Harley and the team have released a mobile game in conjunction with Molecube, and I believe it is great enough (ie. it has enough bacon) to be our app of the week.

When you play this game a variety of food (bacon strips, gay bacon strips, candy bacon, Turbaconepicentipedes etc.) come flying in from the side of the screen and it is your job to make sure that Sauce Boss eats as much unhealthy food as possible while avoiding the healthy stuff like carrots and broccoli. As you eat you gain points in the form of calories and grams of fat which get transformed into the in-game currency of Internet Money. This can then be used to buy upgrades and more food for Sauce Boss to devour. If you commit the cardinal sin and eat a vegetable, you lose a life, rather like Homer in Treehouse of Horror XI.

This is by far one of the best games that I have downloaded on Android or iOS. It is addictive, a great time waster, and all around hilarious for both those who have and haven’t watched the YouTube series. I would recommend it to anybody.

Epic Meal Time, Android (£1.24) and iOS (£1.49)
Buy it from Google Play and the App Store or visit the website

 

WP7 AOTW: YouTube Pro

A while ago I did an app of the week post about an app called YouTube Pro, but due to the use of the YouTube name the app was removed from the Marketplace. Eager to enable people to get the best YouTube experience on Windows Phone, the developers just changed the name to SuperTube and re-submitted it. The two apps are basically identical save for the logo, but make sure you download SuperTube even if you already have YouTube Pro to ensure that you get the latest updates and features on your phone.

Digixav

I’m sorry that I haven’t done an app of the week for a while, but I’ve been busy at this thing called school. But sitting here gated to my room on a Saturday night and listening to Garden by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs inspired me to get back to the work that really matters. Without further ado, this week’s app of the week is YouTube Pro.

This fantastic app is better than any of the other YouTube apps that I have personally tried, simply because it is the only one I have tried that allowed you to log in to your YouTube account. Upon opening the app, you are faced with a Metro style start screen, you then slide along the panorama to view things such as the top rated videos and your subscriptions. However most of the interesting stuff is located on the first screen. The ‘Recorded Page’, where…

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Nokia introduces advert shot entirely on a phone

Remember the Nokia 808 PureView? Announced at MWC, the Symbian device has a 41MP camera that is more than a marketing gimmick. Now, with its launch coming up in the next couple of months, Nokia has released a promotional video on YouTube – shot entirely on the phone itself. We’ve already seen how phenomenal the shots can be, and we can’t wait to go hands-on. Watch the video below, and marvel at the camera over on the galleries at My Nokia Blog.

April Fools: The YouTube Collection gives complete offline access to YouTube

The YouTube Collection, announced online this morning, lets YouTube fans own the entirety of YouTube on DVD or even Betamax. Due to the heavy demand, however, some viewers, such as myself, may be forced to wait 43 years for delivery. Watch the video below.

April Fools: Google unveils 8-bit Maps for NES

In a video posted on YouTube, Google has unveiled an 8-bit version of its popular Maps service. In addition to a ‘Quest’ view on the web page, NES users will soon be able to purchase a cartridge with built-in dial-up internet support to access the service. Watch the video below.

Vevo redesign shifts away from YouTube towards Facebook

Vevo, the music video service that causes more problems than it solves, launched a major redesign of its site today, notably emphasising Facebook connection and shifting away from YouTube hosting. Why can’t they just hurry up fix the iOS app?

Gigaom

Over the past two years, Vevo has become the default place to watch music online. But, like many other streaming video providers, it had a problem: For users, the act of watching videos tends to be a very disjointed process.

Users search for something they want to watch, find it, watch it and then have to search for something else all over again. Most sites have recommendations when the videos end, but they can be hit or miss — and they tend not to be very personal, not reflective of a user’s viewing history or his social graph.

I’ve written about this a lot in the past — about how the success of streaming video will be driven by improved discovery and through the implementation of a more TV-like playback experience where the user doesn’t have to continually search for the content he wants to watch.

Anyway, the latest update…

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Windows Phone App of the Week: SuperTube

I’m sorry that I haven’t done an app of the week for a while, but I’ve been busy at this thing called school. But sitting here gated to my room on a Saturday night and listening to Garden by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs inspired me to get back to the work that really matters. Without further ado, this week’s app of the week is YouTube Pro.

This fantastic app is better than any of the other YouTube apps that I have personally tried, simply because it is the only one I have tried that allowed you to log in to your YouTube account. Upon opening the app, you are faced with a Metro style start screen, you then slide along the panorama to view things such as the top rated videos and your subscriptions. However most of the interesting stuff is located on the first screen. The ‘Recorded Page’, where you can take and upload videos from within the app is a very useful addition, and this along with the uploading page makes mobile uploading a great deal easier. Also, as you would expect, there are pages for your playlists, your downloads and many other features that have in fact been missing from most other apps that I have used. The actual video playback in this app is good also. Before playing a video, you are taken to a page where you are given a choice of what quality you wish to play it in, the description of the video, and the like and dislike buttons. The only problem that I have with this app is the fact that in order to play low quality video, you need to have the standard YouTube app installed, but after having downloading it I have had no more problems.

YouTube Pro is an excellent app which I recommend to any person both with or without a YouTube account.

YouTube Pro, Windows Phone 7, Free or 79p
Download from the Marketplace

 

HP Pavilion dv7 review

In August, HP were in turmoil. Leo Apotheker had killed webOS out of nowhere, announced that he wanted to spin off their PC division. Then he was ousted in favour of Meg Whitman who eventually came to the conclusion that it would be a good idea (gasp) to keep the world’s largest PC business. Apotheker is an idiot, and HP make fantastic computers, such as the budget Pavilion g6 range and the award-winning Folio ultrabook. Now, we have our hands on a Pavilion dv7, a high-end notebook designed for work and play, but can it justify its £949 price tag?

Hardware

The dv7-6b51ea that we are reviewing boasts a powerful 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-2670QM processor, capable of turbo-boosting to 3.1GHz, and a massive 8GB of RAM, enabling it to handle almost anything you throw at it. This, combined with the 1GB of video RAM on the AMD Radeon graphics chip and the 1TB hard drive means that this laptop is perched at the higher end of the spec table. HP didn’t stop there, adding in a few small things such as a fingerprint scanner and a Blu-ray drive to make it just that bit better. The display is a 17.3″ panel of 1600 x 900 resolution which, while having great contrast and a crisp picture, lacks in brightness, even compared to lower end laptops like the Pavilion g6. The screen does however have impressive viewing angles. The built in camera is quite crap, despite its misleading HP TrueVision HD label. Both videos and stills come out at a measly 640 x 480 resolution, and the frame rate is worse than a dustbin.

As with all flagship HP laptops, the dv7 range comes with Beats Audio as standard. The clarity of sound is fantastic, even when playing at full volume. Little distortion occurs and the HP Triple Bass Subwoofer ensures that my large Skrillex collection always makes my head bang. Most importantly for a journalist, however, is the keyboard and the one in the dv7 is quite simply fantastic. The keys are not too shallow, and a rubberised coating makes them very comfortable. The number pad, noticeably absent from some smaller HP devices, is convenient and as you’d expect. The trackpad, hilariously coined as a TouchPad by HP, is smooth and responsive, supporting certain multitouch gestures, but I still prefer using a mouse.

Design

The dv7 is a beautiful piece of tech. The core of the device is made from brushed aluminium, which looks and feels amazing. The base of the device is unfortunately made of plastic, but I can live with this. One advantage of the Envy range is the aluminium unibody, even if it is just a carbon copy of the MacBook Pro. The notebook is not the most portable one I have ever seen, but I haven’t had problems carrying it around the school grounds on a daily basis. The lid of the device is emblazoned with the HP logo which, again similarly to Apple devices, lights up when the device is in use. While this is a nice touch, I would rather that HP used these LEDs in a different place such as the keyboard, which suffers from the lack of backlighting. The speakers are placed around the edge of the laptop and on a bank between the two hinges. The Beats branding is clear to see across the device, even in the taskbar, but, when compared to certain HP laptops, the branding is thankfully minimal and bearable.

Software

The dv7 comes with Windows 7 Home Premium as standard, along with the usual preloaded crapware that you have to filter through upon your first boot. Things like HP Games by WildTangent, Bing Toolbar, Internet Explorer 9 and the free trial of Norton Internet Security went without a moment’s hesitation, but HP CoolSense is actually worth keeping on any HP device. CoolSense allows you to juggle fan usage and performance to make the laptop cooler/quieter when required. SimplePass software comes to work with the fingerprint reader and it can be programmed to log into certain sites and open them with a swipe. Being so well-specced, the dv7 has had no problems with almost everything thrown at it. Games such as Portal 2 and Modern Warfare 3 can be played on the highest graphical settings with ease, and I have, on occasion, been able to play at least half a dozen HD YouTube videos simultaneously, but the Zune software has strangely caused a few problems. On a number of occasions it has caused random reboots, but I believe that this problem is with the software itself having heard of others enduring similar experiences.

Conclusion

The HP Pavilion dv7 is a fantastic laptop, perfectly equipped to handle anything thrown at it without being excessively bulky or expensive. For less than the price of a 15 inch MacBook Pro, you get a better processor, sublime audio and, in my opinion, a superior all-round user experience. While the battery life and webcam both leave things to improve upon, overall I would recommend this notebook to anybody who can afford it.

Xavier Voigt-Hill contributed to this review

Technophobia: I used to think of original jokes, but then I took an arrow to the knee

Technophobia is a column by James Hardy. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

I woke up not so long ago, and thought I’d gone mad. About half the people on YouTube seemed to have mysteriously taken arrows to their knees, which meant they couldn’t do certain things which they’d used to be able to do. I did find it sort of weird, but then I thought hang on a minute, maybe the Mayans weren’t so mad after all. Maybe this was the beginning of the apocalypse.

Anyway, after trawling through YouTube trying to find explanation for this weird happening, I stumbled upon a few comments written by people I could relate to, who were equally bamboozled by this arrow to the knee thing:

WTF is this arrow to the knee?

Can one of u gay fags tell me what this arro to the nee thing is?

Or something along those lines. We all know how incompetent and horrible YouTube commenters can be.

Anyhoo, turns out it is something to do with Skyrim. Apparently one of the guards in it says that he used to be able to do something or other, but then he took an arrow to the knee.

Now, I haven’t played Skyrim. (OMG you haven’t played Skyrim? WTF! You haven’t lived man!) I don’t have a problem with it. But, I have to admit, I don’t really see the humour in this. I don’t know, maybe it is incredibly funny, and I just don’t get it. If so, please feel free to explain the joke in the comments below. But I honestly don’t get it. Are we allowed to do this with any game? Here is a (probably wrong) quote from FIFA:

‘And you have to wonder how on earth he has missed that.’

I used to (insert something related to video) but then I wondered how on earth he missed that.

Am I now an incredible comedian? I honestly don’t see how this is any less funny that the arrow to the knee thing.

And you will find it in the comments section of every single fricking video!

‘I used to shout Fenton but then I took an arrow to the knee’

‘I used to see trampolines fly past my house but then I took an arrow to the knee’

These will be repeated in some form in half the comments on the video! And people like this crap! Err…why? It isn’t funny, it isn’t original and it doesn’t make sense!

So please, refrain from quoting anything anywhere that is at all related to arrows, knees or Skyrim.

And don’t even get me started on Fus Ro Dah.

WP7 AOTW: YouTube Download

This week’s  Windows Phone app of the week is YouTube Download.

This app is like Ronseal. It does exactly what it says on the tin. It allows you to download HD videos on to your phone from YouTube. To download a video all you need to do is to search for the video in question and press download. It then gets added to your download queue. You can even choose what quality the video downloads in. One of the best things about this app is that the videos you have downloaded are then available in the music and video hub along with all your other audiovisual content to ensure that all your media remains centralised as Microsoft intended.

YouTube Download, Windows Phone 7, 79p

Download from the Marketplace