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HP ProBook 4413 Battery all-laptopbattery.com

SimCity for Super Nintendo was not only one of the first PC-to-console conversions ever attempted, but surely one of the best executed, even to this day. Nintendo, having taken the chance to develop Maxis’ title internally, used the opportunity to bring the game into its own world. So it included Bowser in lieu of Godzilla to wreak havoc on your unsuspecting conurbation. And, in true Nintendo style, a console-friendly front end every inch as good as its PC counterpart was created, with all the added fluffiness you’d expect of a console game.The ports didn’t stop there either, as the game eventually went open source in 2008, under its original working title, Micropolis, and as One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) SimCity. Since then willing participants have been able to tinker with the game to their heart’s content, building all new scenarios, upgrading the visuals, modernising the interface and so on. It’s a good example of a game giving something back to the very fans who made it a success in the first place. The move even came with the blessing of present day SimCity publisher EA in a rare show of generosity.

Of course, the fact that SimCity spawned a cavalcade of sequels – more on those in Part Two – might have something to do with that. As might the development of The Sims, which has long been one of the most profitable games on the market, and of course owes its origination to the pixelated mean streets of SimCity.Not that the ‘Sim’ tag has always been a licence to print money. Those of us to take on the doubtful SimIsle, SimSafari, SimLife and SimCopter will vouch for that.Google has developed a new touchscreen Chromebook that will be out this year, claim industry sources. It’s the latest story to surface about a touch-driven netbook powered by Google’s Chrome operating system, which is based on open-source Linux.A video leaked earlier this month appeared to be an advert for a touchscreen Google Chromebook, a metal-bodied laptop with a high-res 4-million pixel touchscreen named the Chromebook Pixel.And in a report last night, insiders speaking to the Wall Street Journal said such a touchy-feely computer will go on sale this year. But the sources couldn’t say exactly when the device will hit the shelves nor who will manufacture it. Google did not respond to our question about the veracity of the rumour.

The whispers come amid a big advertising push for Google’s current Chromebook and soon after it emerged that Google is planning to open a string of bricks and mortar stores. The rumour is plausible as Google pushes deeper into hardware and direct selling against rivals Microsoft and Apple.If a touchscreen-fitted Chromebook does hit the market, it will compete against the Surface – Microsoft’s Windows 8-powered touchscreen laptop-cum-tablet – as well as Apple’s iPad and Macbook gear.And touchy computers using Chrome OS, built around the search giant’s Chrome web browser, will compete with devices running on Google’s mobile operating Android, also Linux powered. This is an internal rivalry that Google claims it is comfortable with. Less than six months ago, there were just a handful of Miracast-certified products listed in the Wi-Fi Alliance’s kit database. Now there are nearly 150. A spectacular improvement for a little known technology. So what is it?Miracast was formally launched in September 2012, but it was Google’s announcement a month and a half later that the system would be integrated into Android 4.2 Jelly Bean which gave the technology all its momentum of late.

Miracast is essentially a brandname for the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi Display specification, a technology along the lines of Intel’s Wireless Display (WiDi), which can be used to stream the output of one of the company’s integrated graphics cores to a compatible TV – or to a TV with a suitable adaptor hooked up to one of its HDMI ports.WiDi was created to help Intel sell wireless chips – its own, Centrino-branded Wi-Fi adaptor cards are necessary to use WiDi – but this was holding the technology back. A case in point: The Register wanted to review WiDi a couple of years back but we were unable to do so because no laptop maker could supply a notebook that they could be certain had all the necessary Intel components on board.Meanwhile, Apple was promoting its own, likewise proprietary display streaming system, AirPlay. The Apple technology allows a compatible iDevice to mirror its screen on a television by way of one of the company’s Apple TV set-top boxes. Again, it’s all very handy if you have the right kit, but of little use if you haven’t.

Both WiDi and AirPlay were designed on the back of the notion that users had content on mobile devices that they would quite like to watch on a large screen. About four years ago, a number of firms began offering plug in devices to create ad hoc wireless links between laptops and TVs, the better to save punters from having to string HDMI or DVI cables between the two. Some used Wireless USB technology, others made some of the first forays into ultrawideband (UWB) territory. WiDi improved on them all by leveraging the Wi-Fi adaptor already built into the laptop.

Neither Intel nor its add-on manufacturer rivals proved tremendously successful. In WiDi’s case the restriction of being forced to use not only Intel processor and GPU technology but also the company’s Wi-Fi cards – and very recent generations of them all too – ensured only three kit makers give it their support by releasing WiDi adaptors for televisions: Belkin, Netgear and D-Link. Sony’s PlayStation 3 has supported WiDi for a while now, and there are a dozen or so LG and Toshiba TVs that do too, Intel’s website says. Good support but not an overwhelming vote of confidence from the accessory and consumer electronics industries.Part of the problem: few consumers could see the benefit in spending $100-200 or £75-150 on an adaptor to make getting content off a laptop and onto a TV. Not when a decent length of HDMI cable could be had for under a tenner, and not while they were just starting to get into tablets and smartphones, and to downloading content straight to these devices.

Which is why AirPlay was cannily focused on getting content off an iDevice rather than from a mobile Mac, though it subsequently added AirPlay support to its laptops too with the summer 2012 release of Mac OS X Mountain Lion. That’s win-win for the Apple: it encourages iDevice users to buy or rent more iTunes Store content, and to buy one of the company’s “hobby” set-top boxes, which only coaxes them to download more content. Since Of late, Apple has also been evangelising the technology as a way of turning iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads into wireless games console-controller combos: running the game on the mobile device, but presenting the action on the TV, with the smaller panel being used as a secondary screen along the lines of Nintendo’s Wii U controller. Dozens of titles – not all of them games – support this mode.“Consumers today are looking for big-screen entertainment but prefer browsing and navigation on touch devices close at hand,” says Sam Rosen of market watcher ABI Research. AirPlay plays straight to that desire.

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