Review: Tt eSports Contour Made-for-iPhone/iPad/Apple TV game controller

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on the state of iPhone and iPad controllers, but I have seen some improvements since we first covered some of the shortcomings with the early batch of game controllers that came out under Apple’s Made-for-iPhone licensing program. Today I’m taking a look at the new Tt eSports Contour…

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AAPL: 103.01

Review: Tt eSports Contour Made-for-iPhone/iPad/Apple TV game controller

Jordan Kahn – 4 hours ago @JordanKahn REVIEWS


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It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on the state of iPhone and iPad controllers, but I have seen some improvements since we first covered some of the shortcomings with the early batch of game controllers that came out under Apple’s Made-for-iPhone licensing program. Today I’m taking a look at the new Tt eSports Contour MFi controller, a new $65 option that includes a classic Xbox-style design and a built-in stand to hold your iPhone and turn it into a true handheld game console.

With the first crop of the official Apple certified gamepads, build-quality was a big part of the issue, especially at the $99 introductory price the controllers were going for at the time. Fast forward two years and we’ve got at least one controller on par with its console counterparts in both price and quality with the Tt eSports Contour. That’s why the build quality of the Contour is one of its most notable features. This thing feels as solid as any console controller, and in many ways feels a little more substantial. It accomplishes that without being too bulky, however, and I thought the controller felt great in my hands. For the most part, you won’t feel shortchanged when comparing it to any current gen Xbox, PlayStation, or PC controller.

That’s with or without using the arm that holds an iPhone or iPod, which like the controller itself isn’t flimsy in the least. The arm attaches securely to the controller when not in use and it’s lined with a soft, thick lining of rubber to ensure no scratches on your device. It extends up to 3.75 inches wide, which allows you to fit in any iPhone or iPod touch in landscape view with or without a case.

There’s not much you can do to adjust the viewing angles of a docked device, and because the device connects over Bluetooth and isn’t docked via a Lightning connector, there’s no opportunity for any type of passthrough charging setup. But I had no complaints with the viewing angle of the device relative to the controller, and it’s a big improvement when it comes to arm or neck strain versus just holding an iPhone while gaming. In other words, the iPhone screen ends up at an almost eye-level position when holding the controller comfortably.

As pictured throughout the review, the controller gives you the usual MFi controller button setup, which is essentially an Xbox controller with X, Y, A, B face buttons, right and left joysticks, an old-school D-Pad, and two shoulder buttons on each side with a trigger-style button for the ones in the rear. You’ll also find charging indicator lights on the front, and the usual power and Bluetooth pairing mode.

When it comes to actually playing games with the controller, I didn’t run into any issues in the few weeks I’ve been playing with and testing it, of course with supported games on mostly iPhone. Button responsiveness and fit and feel all felt great in extended gameplay sessions, as I expected based on my initial thoughts on the build quality described above. The joysticks are perhaps the only components that could use some improving, but in my experience that has been the case with all MFi controllers and it’s something Apple controls through its specs for accessory makers making controllers to some degree. The Contour’s joysticks do have a nice grippy texture like a PlayStation controller which I liked, and they aren’t undersized like many other MFi controllers before it.
And lastly, the controller has a sleep mode after 10 minutes of inactivity to preserve battery life, which is handy given the controller’s 10+ hour battery life falls a little short of others.
Should you buy it?
If there are a few shortcomings of the Contour controller, they’re lack of Lightning charging and battery that doesn’t last quite as long as some of the newer models from competitors— like the new SteelSeries Nimbus controller we reviewed a few months back. But those controllers have there own downsides, like lack of an arm to hold the iPhone and turn it into a true handheld console style setup, the main reason I personally tend to use iOS controllers in general. If you want an MFi controller with a built-in arm, and can put up with the 10+ battery life on your current gaming addiction, then the Tt eSports Contour delivers in every other way at a price ($65) that’s competitive with anything else of the same quality.
You can buy the Tt eSports Contour MFi controller for $65 now from Amazon.

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AAPL: 103.01

Review: Zand, the stand that makes using the iPad at a desk comfortable

Sarah Guarino – 10 hours ago @sarahg1113


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AAPL: 101.50

Review: Facer makes your Apple Watch come alive with fresh content

Greg Barbosa – 1 day ago @gregbarbosa APPLE WATCH APPS REVIEWS


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Since watchOS 2.0’s announcement I’ve known that I would want to use the Photo Album watch face. The ability to have my favorite photos display every time I looked at my Apple Watch’s display made me think the device was about to get more personal. Facer’s launch today takes that personality one step further.

AAPL: 100.75

Review: Postly for iOS turns your photos into personalized postcards

Zac Hall – 2 days ago @apollozac APPS REVIEWS APPS & UPDATES


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Apple’s Cards app introduced in 2011 and discontinued two years later remains one of my favorite iPhone apps to date. The service was fantastic: snap photos on your iPhone, then turn them into personalized letterpress cards sent through the mail to friends and family. Stamp and envelope included, you’d pay $2.99 for anywhere in the US or $4.99 for anywhere around the world. You can still send personalized letterpress cards using Photos on the Mac, but the service was perfect for me as an iPhone app.
I’ve tried a handful of similar iPhone apps since Cards shut down with Postly being the latest and perhaps most modern. Available for iPhone and iPad, Postly lets you create personalized postcards from your iPhone that deliver worldwide for $1.99.

AAPL: 96.69

Review: Honeywell Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat matches HomeKit smarts with traditional style

Zac Hall – 4 days ago @apollozac HOMEKIT REVIEWS


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If you’re looking to upgrade your home appliances and add Siri control, then HomeKit is a key feature you’ll want to look for when buying new hardware. The number of HomeKit-compatible smart thermostats is continuing to grow with Honeywell’s Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat (2nd-gen) as the latest to hit the market.
Among competing thermostats, the basic premise is the same: Wi-Fi connectivity lets you remotely control heating and cooling from mobile apps, and intelligence using location and the Internet let you add some home automation. The pay off is potentially a lower energy bill and the cool factor of controlling the temperature with Siri.
Having recently reviewed the ecobee3 HomeKit thermostat as well, I’ll be using it as a comparison below to highlight what makes Honeywell’s Lyric Round smart thermostat different.

Tesla OS hacker points to upcoming Model S P100D in cryptic message to Elon Musk Tesla gets a win in Utah over direct sales and will now take it to the Supreme Court Independent design renderings show what a Tesla pickup truck could look like Nissan features autonomous and all-electric IDS concept in Geneva [Gallery] Nissan’s LEAF sales are still disappointing in the US – down 22% in February Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey thinks the Tesla Model S is the “best car ever made”, but here’s a few things he… Model 3 unveiling is more important than ever for Tesla investors as short interest reaches record high ahead of the… Tesla tripled the book value of its Supercharger network in 2015 to now $339 million Tesla sends out official invites to a select few for Model 3 unveiling in Los Angeles



AAPL: 96.91

Review: Hyper’s $69 stainless steel Apple Watch bands in silver & space black

Jordan Kahn – 1 week ago @JordanKahn APPLE WATCH REVIEWS


Comments (3)

There are now a ton of third-party Apple Watch bands on the market of varying quality, but at $69, this alternative to Apple’s pricey stainless steel link band from Hyper is worth a closer look.
The bands are made out of the same 316L stainless steel that Apple uses, and nothing about them indicates why there would be an almost $400 gap between these and Apple’s.
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First OS X Ransomeware Attack #MacUsers


OS X users have today been hit with the first known case of Mac ‘ransomware’ malware, found in the Transmission BitTorrent client released last week. Infected versions of the app include ‘KeyRanger’ malware that will maliciously encrypt the user’s hard drive after three days of being installed. The malware then asks for payment to allow the user to decrypt the disk and access their data — the ‘ransom’.

As reported by Palo Alto Networks, Apple has already taken steps to curb the spread of the malware through its Gatekeeper security system. This means the infected version of Transmission will no longer install, but it does not help those who have already been affected. Transmission is urgently recommending people upgrade to the latest version of its software, 2.91.

Unlike ‘friendly’ system encryption services, it is becoming increasingly common on Windows for viruses and malware to maliciously encrypt user data. The aim is for the virus maker to raise money by holding the user data ransom until payment is provided, in exchange for the malware to decrypt the drive once again.

The KeyRanger malware currently circulating is the first known instance of ransomware targeted at OS X users. It is not recommended to actually pay the malware as it only encourages further malicious action and there is no guarantee the virus maker will actually do the decryption as promised.

Users worried about being impacted by the ransomware should look for the ‘kernel_service’ process in Activity Monitor. This process is named like a kernel system program as a disguise, but it is actually the KeyRanger malware. If you are impacted, the recommendation is to restore to an earlier backup of your system before you installed Transmission. This is the best way to ensure the virus has been completely removed from the system.

It’s worth noting that the malware has only been detected in the Transmission app to date. It is unknown if it is more widespread, affecting other common apps.

Palo Alto Networks suggests a few other methods to check for the presence of the malware. Their post also includes a lot more detail on the technical implementation of the virus, so check out their post for more information. The security researchers suggest checking for the existence of the file ‘/Applications/’ or ‘/Volumes/Transmission/ General.rtf’. If this file exists, the Transmission app is likely infected. You can also check for the existence of “.kernel_pid”, “.kernel_time”, “.kernel_complete” or “kernel_service” files in the ~/Library directory. Delete the files if they exist.
Source: 9to5mac

Review: Tt eSports Contour Made-for-iPhone/iPad/Apple TV game controller

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on the state of iPhone and iPad controllers, but I have seen some improvements since we first covered some of the shortcomings with the early batch of game controllers that came out under Apple’s Made-for-iPhone licensing program. Today I’m taking a look at the new Tt eSports Contour…

Why Virtual Reality Is Vital


Brands are already experimenting with VR. Among them, the NBA shows 360-degree game footage, Marriott Hotels loans headsets to guests so they can take “tours” of exotic destinations and Ford uses VR to help design its vehicles’ interiors. By the year 2020, Altberg believes, VR companies will be generating more than $150 billion a year in revenues — and you may want a part of that.

Isn’t this a little speculative? I don’t even know anyone with a VR headset. 

That’ll change sooner than you think. VR has wide business potential — a company can connect with remote staff as if they were all in the same room, a carmaker can offer test drives, real estate brokers can provide buyers with walk-throughs of entire buildings and a dressmaker can even offer a virtual fitting for a wedding dress. 

Cool, but how do I know if VR is worth it for me? 

Are 3-D environments and spatial relationships important in your line of work — say, architecture, interior design or product design? Do your employees require expensive or potentially dangerous training in fields such as medical procedures, heavy equipment, product installations or hazardous materials? VR could be an effective tool for you. And if you have prospective customers, partners or others with whom you meet face-to-face frequently, VR might save you a bundle on travel.

So where would I start? 

Check your budget. There aren’t many companies creating custom VR content today, and the ones that do are expensive — like Unity, which also makes blockbuster video games. You’ll also need to hire artists, videographers and software engineers. The price could easily top $1 million. Don’t have the cash? Don’t despair. In the early days of the internet, a website was expensive to build, too. Not anymore.

How far away are we from a VR boom?

For some industries, VR will become a critical component in the next few years. For others, it will probably be more like five to 10 years. And by that time, VR will be far more impressive — and cheaper.
Article by Mikal Belicove —

How Ferrari went from a race-car company to a multi-billion-dollar luxury brand


After nearly 70 years in business, Ferrari completed an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2015 that valued the company at nearly $10 billion. Today, the carmaker has one of the most valuable and recognizable brands in the world; its “prancing horse” logo is synonymous with sex, money and the high life. 
Ferrari wasn’t always the global luxury brand that’s now being traded in New York. The company’s early days as a maker of racing cars were rather humble, and it took an Italian-American racing star named Chinetti to begin the transformation into a purveyor of glamorous supercars for the world’s well heeled.
The company’s success drew takeover interest, and later rivalry, from Ford – before Ferrari eventually became part of FIAT. With the IPO, Ferrari is on its way to becoming an independent company again. 
This is its story.

5 Famous Movie Quotes That Can Inspire Entrepreneurs

I’m not sure if this will finally be Leonardo DiCaprio’s year, for The Revenant, or if newcomer Brie Larson, in Room, will trump perennial favorite Cate Blanchett for the latter’s role in Carol. What I can tell you is that people are inspired by movies and jazzed by Hollywood’s award season. But what does that have to do with business?
The answer: inspiration. Where do your business ideas come from? From a variety of sources, I bet. Whether it’s a personal experience, a business experience, a billboard you saw when you were driving down the road or something your significant other said at the grocery store: Inspiration comes from a wide variety of sources.

So, whether you feel like “the king of the world,” or believe that you “could’ve been a contender” or consider that you should “always be closing”: Entrepreneurs can draw a lot from movies. And as we approach Hollywood’s biggest night, the Academy Awards, here are a few movie lines that have inspired me throughout my own career:

1. ‘The Godfather’ (Best Picture, 1972)

“Great men are not born great, they grow great.”  

Isn’t that the truth! No one is born with massive amounts of knowledge. If you’re smart enough, you acquire some of that knowledge along the way. If you’re one of those people who think they know it all, I’ve got news for you: You don’t! That is the first obstacle you must overcome, your own arrogance.

Throughout my career, I’ve been called pig-headed, even irrational, but I haven’t been bothered by it. In fact, I’ve welcomed it. Why? Because I’ve been smart enough to learn a few things along the way and use that knowledge to grow.

As a young entrepreneur being shown the ranks, I sat in meetings where my boss would say things like, “Because it’s always been done that way.” If you expect to be in business a long time, this is one surefire way to cut that shelf life short. And it’s not a good mentality to have if you want to grow and be great. Nothing beats experience.

2. ‘All the King’s Men’ (Best Picture, 1949)

“To find something, anything, a great truth or a lost pair of glasses, you must first believe there will be some advantage in finding it.” 

“Advantage” is the basis of any entrepreneur. The road to entrepreneurship is paved with roadblocks and potholes galore. We all know that, but one thing we entrepreneurs have in common is the belief that we will find success.

We have this dream of the company that we want to build and shape. We have a vision, and we’ll work ourselves to exhaustion trying to make our dream a success, regardless of what the naysayers say (because they will say something about why you won’t succeed).

You will find that your business success will not come from any trophies or titles. It will come as a reflection of your truth. Your vision becoming a reality will be the measure of your success, and throughout this process you must stay true to who you are.

What made you become an entrepreneur in the first place? Let that serve as your true north. Being authentic is the key to success — it has been for me. That and my belief that I can make a living doing something I love doing.

3. ‘Rocky’ (Best Picture, 1977)

“Nobody is going to hit as hard as life, but it ain’t how hard you can hit. It’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.” 

You just read that quote in Sly Stallone’s voice, didn’t you? That’s okay. I did too. Rocky is speaking some truths here. Life is hard enough as it is, but there will come a time where life will knock you flat on your rear end. You must get back up! You must!

Life as an entrepreneur can be lonely. Not everyone will understand your drive, your vision or your passion. There will even be times where there won’t be anyone in sight to help you up after life has knocked you down. In my own life, one of my biggest business “knock-downs” involved pheasants.

Those stupid birds taste delicious but have got to be some of the stupidest birds on the planet. I love pheasant, love hunting them, so at first I thought, What could go wrong? After all, I am passionate about this venture, and I’m pretty good at business. Little did I know that a prairie storm would wipe away my newest venture.

In fact, the pheasants huddled together and drowned in the storm. And I lost everything. Needless to say, the true takeaway here is that, when life knocks you down, you should get up and hit it back harder. Just don’t expect soaring music when you run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

4. ‘Million Dollar Baby’ (Best Picture, 2004)

“It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you.”  

Once again, the life of an entrepreneur can be lonely. You have your dream and vision, but there are people who are incapable of visualizing your dream or are so jealous of your success that they will plant seeds of doubt in your head. Don’t let them. Haters are gonna hate, so let them! People will tell you how you should do things.

Tell ’em to shut up! Write your own story. If others want to write a story, let them write their own.

Your business will need to reflect your vision, not anyone else’s. So, stop listening to other voices if you want to be the best “you” possible. It’s your dream, your vision.

5. ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (Best Picture, 1962)

“Big things have small beginnings, sir.”  

Don’t ever think you’re too big for your britches. When you give yourself the title of “CEO,” that doesn’t mean you’re not going to end up cleaning your own bathroom or taking out the trash. If you’re not willing to do something, how can you ask your team to do that same thing?

As CEO of a company, big or small, it can be really easy to lose perspective and let our titles define us. A CEO cleaning his/her own bathroom? Unheard of in some cases. However, I see it as a positive. Why? It keeps entrepreneurs grounded.

For me, humble work reminds me that I come from humble beginnings and that I need to be able to do everything I can for my company to succeed. It also allows me to stay connected, in some visceral way, to all aspects of my business. Disconnection can be a lonely island of entitlement, and you must find that balance between pushing forward and staying grounded. While I encourage everyone to “think big,” I also warn, “Don’t become too big.” That can be a major turn-off for many.

What movie inspires you to forge ahead?  Which one dared you to put into motion your dream of becoming an entrepreneur? One thing is for sure: Nothing will happen if you don’t at least attempt to get things started. As Master Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

What are your Academy Awards picks? 

This man grew his company from $30 million to $100 million in one year, mostly thanks to Amazon

 CEO of ScienceLogic David Link 
Cloud computing might be a threat to some of the biggest IT vendors around, but it’s turning other companies into the next Goliaths.

Take ScienceLogic, for example, a company founded 12 years ago by CEO David Link.

ScienceLogic’s revenue under contract (aka “bookings”) tripled from about $30 million in 2014, to $100 million in 2015, Link told Business Insider.

And he expects big growth again in 2016 (although he wouldn’t share the target number).

This is all because of enterprises are running full speed ahead toward cloud computing services, particularly Amazon Web Services (the giant of the cloud industry).

ScienceLogic offers what’s known as systems and network monitoring tools. It competes with products from companies like Zenoss, Solarwinds, IBM, HP and CA.

                    The “hybrid” market

About three years ago, Link saw the cloud computing trend and revamped his product to work especially well with Amazon’s cloud. (Today, it also works with Microsoft Azure and clouds built using VMware’s software, too.)

His goal was to tackle what’s known today as “hybrid” computing. That’s when companies put part of their IT into the cloud while keeping part in their own data centres.

Many businesses plan to operate in a hybrid forever. Others find that once they try cloud computing, they like it and want to eventually unplug all of their data centres for the cloud. But they will still be “hybrid” for a few years, the time it takes them to move.

As you might imagine, it can be complicated to manage a hybrid setup, with apps, data and systems spread out all over. And this is especially true if a company uses more than one cloud (which many do).

ScienceLogic helps them watch, and even find, all of their IT assets. Its claim to fame is that it’s incredibly detailed, Link tells us.

                      A dotcom survivor

ScienceLogic is also a dream-come-true for Link.

Before founding ScienceLogic, he had been working for a web hosting company that didn’t survive the dotcom bubble. It was his job to buy all of the data center equipment and systems monitoring tools. He and his two ScienceLogic cofounders (who still run ScienceLogic with him) spent the first year of the company programming the initial product in his basement.

“I was a buyer of these products, and I didn’t like the way the marketplace was treating me,” he told Business Insider. “We didn’t build this company to build it and flip it. We wanted to solve a problem near and dear to our hearts.”

The company was bootstrapped for its first seven years before landing its first $15 million in venture funding from NEA in 2010. It then landed Intel and Goldman Sachs as investors and, all told, raised $84 million, with a $45 million round from Goldman Sachs about a year ago, before the funding bubble burst.

“We’ll be cash-flow positive second half of this year,” he says. “I’m so happy to be sitting here now, feeling smarter than I should because we took more funding than we needed.”

An IPO is the eventual goal, he concedes, but that will have to wait until the public market regains its tech IPO appetite again.

In the meantime, thanks in large part to Amazon, business is good.
In addition to tripling bookings last year, ScienceLogic will grow its employee base from 270 to about 350 people in 2016, with offices in Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore and it has 25,000 customers worldwide.

Leaked images suggest Apple’s next iPhone might not look like the iPhone 6 after all

9to5 Mac has new renderings of the soon to be announced iPhone 5SE, and it looks a bit different than everyone expected.
These new images come courtesy of an iPhone case maker, and show the upcoming 4″ iPhone looking more like an iPhone 5S rather than the iPhone 6, as previous reports have indicated.
Unlike the 5S, however, the iPhone 5SE will have its power button on the side, where it’s been since Apple introduced the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 2014. The renders don’t show a Touch ID button, but 9to5 Mac is certain that it will be included.
These new renders may differ from previous reports on how the iPhone 5SE would look, but those may have been accurate too. According to Twitter user OnLeaks, Apple was testing two case designs for the upcoming phone, one with a design more akin to the shell of the iPhone 6, and another that resembled the iPhone 5S.
It’s unclear why Apple may have opted for the older form factor, but we’ll find out soon enough as their next keynote is rumoured to be happening in three weeks.

For full report visit here.