Two Fitbit Flex settings you'll want to change

Wearing an activity tracker such as the Fitbit Flex is an efficient way to increase your activity. Counting steps motivates some users, while the number of calories burned or total distance traveled may be bigger motivation for others. The Fitbit Flex tracks all of these categories, but the indicator lights when you double-tap the tracker only indicate progress towards your daily steps goal. And without a small screen (like the Fitbit One is equipped with) you can't quickly scroll through your progress for your other goals. Sure, you can just launch the app on your phone, but being able … Read more

The 404 1,238: Where we open up for Bayside (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Listen to the music of Bayside and check them out at one of their upcoming shows.

- Nick's clothing label is called Born and Bred, and 404 listeners can save 20 percent off all merchandise with code BB404.

- Follow Nick Ghanbarian and Born and Bred on Twitter

Episode 1,238


iTunes (HD) iTunes (SD) iTunes (HQ) iTunes (MP3)



FIFA to implement goal line tech in 2014 World Cup

Imagine yourself as England's Frank Lambard playing against Germany in a preliminary match during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. After kicking a solid game-tying shot, you watch the ball oddly bounce downward off the top rail, then in and out of the goal. Even though video footage proves otherwise, the referees disallow the score and Germany eventually goes on to win the game.

Fortunately, such epic miscalls seem less likely to happen during the 2014 World Cup and beyond, as the soccer-regulating organization FIFA plans to utilize a highly accurate sensor system capable of detecting successful shots and ensuring the referees should get the call right every time.… Read more

Games for football lovers on iPhone and Android

The big game is this weekend and most American's will tell you it's a lot more than just a football game.

Many people make an event out of the game with parties, barbecues, and betting pools, even if their favorite team isn't in the running. Even the commercials shown during the game are an event in themselves with advertisers spending huge amounts of money for 30-second and 1-minute spots.

While you wait for the Sunday's festivities to kick off, I've put together a collection of mobile games to get you excited for the main event. … Read more

Touch puzzler inspired by top apps

Contre Jour is an arcade puzzler that veteran gamers will see as a mashup of game mechanics and inspiration from several other popular titles. That said, Contre Jour is a well-executed melange, a fun and often challenging puzzle game with polished art and sound.

On each short level of Contre Jour, you're trying to get a charming little alien (essentially, a rolling eyeball) to the level's exit. The alien doesn't move on its own, so you need to use attached ropes (some elastic, some not, some with movable anchors), slingshots, malleable ground (which you can shape with … Read more

It's your turn to score

Freekick 2 is a free, ad-supported soccer game that lets you take repeated direct free kicks on a goal.

Freekick 2 looks great, with a photorealistic field and cartoonish players, and it has a fun, easy-to-learn interface that lets you adjust the speed and direction of your shot, including the ability to put a little bend on the ball. You tap arrows to rotate your point of view left and right, and you swipe your finger up an arrow to determine the force and spin of your kick. As you score, the number of defenders rotates between one, two, and … Read more

Soccer dribbling and smooth space combat: iPhone apps of the week

The Apple event on Wednesday was largely about the next iteration of Mac OS X (appropriately named Lion). But an interesting development came when Steve Jobs introduced the new Mac App Store, which will become available to Snow Leopard users in about 90 days.

Much like the iTunes App Store, the Mac App Store will let you purchase Mac apps and install them quickly on your computers. And as it does with the iTunes App Store, Apple will take a 30-percent cut of the sale price, leaving developers 70 percent. But Jobs was careful to point out that the Mac App Store will not mimic the closed system of the iTunes App Store--it will simply be another option to bring apps to your Mac. But do we really believe him?

It seems to me that creating the Mac App Store is Apple's way of testing whether the market will tolerate Apple getting a piece of the action on software developed for the Mac, just like it does with iPhone apps. We can be pretty sure that several developers will submit their apps right off the bat, if for no other reason than for the exposure that an iTunes-like experience can provide. But what Apple might be banking on is that once the software submissions gain momentum, the larger players may no longer have a choice but to submit their software to the new system. Am I just being paranoid?

While we certainly can't be sure what Apple hopes to achieve with the Mac App Store, this sort of soft launch makes me think there's something more going on here. Let me know what you think in the comments.

This week's apps include a 3D third-person soccer game and a new arcade space flier with a fun single-player mode.… Read more

The game is on the line...

Goaaal! is a soccer shootout arcade game, in which you try to rack up the best score possible by taking successive shots on goal.

The interface is simultaneously simple and tricky: you have a fixed view, facing the goal (and the goalie), and you just flick your finger to kick the ball. The trickiness comes from mastering accuracy (requiring much trial and error), learning how to fire on the ground versus in the air, and figuring out how to put spin on the ball by flicking from one side or the other. You can also reposition the ball by holding … Read more

Real Soccer is not real enough

Real Soccer 2010 offers the most game types in the iTunes App Store, tons of flexibility in formations and substitutions, and plenty more, but doesn't stand out on the iPhone because of less-than-stellar gameplay and graphics. Though the fields and stadiums look pretty good graphically, the player animations are fairly simple and the overall look is not as realistic as other titles in this genre. The controls include an onscreen joypad and two buttons for passing and shooting. You also get a special dribble move by double-tapping on the screen, but it's always the same move and rarely … Read more

EA's FIFA makes for great soccer

Electronic Arts' FIFA soccer games are the most popular console soccer games worldwide, and FIFA World Cup continues the tradition of having the most complete and polished soccer game. The graphics in FIFA World Cup are second only to newly released Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, but when it comes to fast-paced polished gameplay, this game is tough to beat.

The control system on offense includes a joypad on the left and buttons for passing, shooting, and special dribble moves on the right. Holding down the pass button will increase power for long lobs or cross passes. We found the controls … Read more