Trends
Microsoft Digital Trends

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 20th, 2014

mdt-1

Recently, Microsoft did a study about some of the latest digital trends. This endeavour was no local study, either – they canvassed over nine thousand people from across nine different countries to figure out what makes people’s digital worlds tick these days, and they found some really interesting answers. For instance, did you know that consumers are now turning to niche networks to fulfill their online needs? In many ways, it makes sense! Why would you bother casting a broad net when there are other ways to have the information aggregated for you? Also, responding to something that you might see in a smaller network has a higher chance of being responded to!

Another cool trend is about Creator Culture, where consumers like to understand how things work, and like to get their hands dirty through the process of creation rather than simply consuming things. This highlights the strong position that technology holds in various cultures. I’m not sure how deep this creative bug goes, though – as most people like to make you think that they are a lot more engaged than they really are; however, it is compelling to see that people in general are trying to become more technologically self-sufficient.

There are many interesting bits of information that you can check out on the Microsoft Digital Trends site. Go check it out!


Updates
Belkin WeMo Light Switch

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 20th, 2014

wemolightswitch

Last October, we reviewed a neat piece of tech from Belkin called the WeMo Light Switch. This cool device replaces one of your existing light switches (this is a physical replacement, and the light switch you are replacing must meet certain technical requirements), granting you a huge amount of control over the attached light fixture (seriously, check out the review – it’s cool). Well, Belkin has updated the free WeMo app (iOS/Android) to allow you to assign functionality to a long press (more than 2 seconds). There is also a new mode called “away”, which is a simulated occupancy play. Basically, you can have the light switch activate and deactivate at random intervals, so that there is no regular pattern when you are away from your home.

It’s cool to see that Belkin is delivering new functionality to some of their existing lineup, and integrating more with IFTTT (If This Then That). I’m hoping that some of these make their way to the other WeMo devices to increase the level of awesomeness.


Dx3 Canada 2014
Microsoft Advertising Xbox Challenge
Kids Help Phone Interview

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 19th, 2014

dx3iv-1

At the end of February, we posted a bit about an event at Dx3 (Canada’s largest conference and tradeshow dedicated to digital marketing, bringing together a pile of people for two days of education and networking opportunities) about the Microsoft Advertising Xbox Challenge with Kinds Help Phone as the client. Well, the winning campaign was Grip Limited. We were fortunate enough to post a few questions about the event to Lynne Clarke, Marketing Director at Microsoft.

Read the rest »


Reviews
Disney Infinity
Phineas and Agent P Toy Box Set

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 18th, 2014

phineas-1

Each and every time that we play Disney Infinity, we pay a visit to the Hall of Heroes to check our progress. For a while now, two spots remained empty – the spots belonging to Phineas and Agent P. Regardless of how much fun Disney Infinity is, those gaping holes did make us feel a little wistful. As of last week, however, these spots became occupied by bronze statues of the two zany heroes. As the final additions to the first run of Disney Infinity, these two figures bring goofy fun, espionage, and science into the mix (not to mention two boosters if you buy the Toy Box set)!

Read the rest »


Rituro Active
Football Manager 2014
Blue and White – EP15

By Rituro & Jorge Figueiredo - April 17th, 2014

12doc-jm-1

Back in March, Rituro returned from his quest to explore the world of soccer and handed me an SD card with encrypted video files on it. Well, these have finally been decoded, and I have to profess that they are quite interesting. The videos are all about Sports Interactive’s Football Manager 2014, and we in the Thumbs Control Center have chosen Episode 15 as a great launch point for those of you who wish to follow along in Rituro’s mad adventures. These videos tell the story of Rituro’s journey in the world of the game, and detail a fair number of the features of this title. Episode 15 deals with a recent patch (14.3) which was a great improvement.

fm2014-15
Click this pic to watch the episode.

It’s not the most dynamic of viewing (I’m referring to the lack of actual soccer footage). However, it is highly informative for those of you who really enjoy management-style games.


Reviews
Disney Magical World

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 16th, 2014

dmk-1

When we receieved Disney’s latest 3DS title, Disney Magical World (developed by Bandai Namco Inc.), we didn’t know what to expect, as it was not something that we had actually kept tabs on. It’s hard to put a finger on what it is. It is a life simulator – but it’s also so much more. When Smallest Thumbs and I first started playing it, we both agreed that Magical World was a little like Animal Crossing: New Leaf. However, while there are similar elements between the two titles, there is enough of a difference between them that we find ourselves making time for both. Similar to visiting the Magic Kingdom in Florida, as soon as you step over the threshold, the game will have you in a constant state of activity, tugging at you like the eddies near the shore of a powerful river. And as you wade in deeper, you’ll find yourself swept away by the magic – especially if you are a fan of anything Disney.

Read the rest »


Reviews
Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 15th, 2014

insight-1

I think Belkin’s WeMo line is pretty spiffy; great functionality and cool form. Take the WeMo Switch, the pass-through power feed with the capability to do intelligent things. If there was a disadvantage to this device, it would be its size. While it is not huge, it does occupy some wall real estate (although, it is designed not to interfere with the second electrical socket on a standard wall plate). Now what if I were to tell you that Belkin has another, similar product? Sure, the WeMo Insight Switch costs a bit more money (it’s about $10 more expensive than the Switch), but it brings usage monitoring functionality as well as a smaller form factor to the table. Belkin sent us one to try out, and definitely meets the same level of awesomeness as the Switch. In fact, I think that it surpasses it!

Read the rest »