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November 16, 2012

JAM with Chrome

Ever felt like playing in a band but pretty much suck at playing an instrument? What if you do know how to play an instrument but got no friends to start a band? Well, let me tell you about 'JAM with Chrome'. What it is is basically an online tool that lets you play all kinds of band instruments with up to 4 friends. Even if you do not know how to play an instrument, you can just randomly spam keys and hope it sounds good. Of course though, it is not as easy as it sounds to play a tune in sync, and there are some latency issues to take into consideration. But if you are bored and have nothing to do, you can always navigate to 'JAM with Chrome' and pretend you're in a band or something.

Skype for Linux Adds Windows Live Login, Goes Multi-Arch

skype 4.1 running in Ubuntu
Microsoft have released an updated version of Skype for Linux. It brings new changes with a brand new login screen with support for Windows Live login.
skype 4.1 running in Ubuntu
This latter feature is useful for two reasons: firstly it means you no longer need to sign up for a dedicated Skype account, but secondly it allows you to chat to your Windows Live contacts from the app.

Microsoft are shutting down their Windows Live chat network early next year, so this option has a purpose: to get people using the ‘recommended alternative’ as soon as possible.
If you login with a Windows Live account you’ll be prompted to ‘merge’ it with your Skype account. A useful touch, but not vital.

You can download Skype for Linux here.

Anime Review: Sekirei

Much like your typical action comedy anime with accidental ecchi and the main character with a harem, Sekirei just ticks all the boxes. Of course though, even if the formula is reused plenty of times, you can never get enough of these type of anime.

SekireiSynopsis:

Minato Sahashi is extremely intelligent, yet due to his inability to cope under pressure has failed the college entrance exam twice. As a result he has been branded an idiot and loser by many. One day after talking to his yet again disappointed mother he comes into contact with a girl named Musubi who was under attack. The girl runs but takes him with her and soon finds that Minato, while unknown to him, is an Ashikabi, one of the mysterious set of masters that have the genetic trait that can become partners with some of the 108 cute girls, buxom women, and bish┼Źnen called "Sekirei". The reason for the partnership allows the Sekirei to use all their power to win in the competition held by the mysterious MBI corporation.

Review:

Ecchi harem anime is like the ultimate indulgence of fan service. Sekirei is considered pretty much all fan service with a pretty good story thrown in. It starts off like any other ecchi anime with the main character being all ordinary and limited in a variety of skills. In a harsh way, being brand as a loser so to speak. However, being all depressed and expecting nothing good will happen to him suddenly finds himself faceplanted on the ground by none other than a girl named Musubi. This of course starts the whole story into motion with the explanations of the whole Sekirei and Ashikabi game. So, with that in mind, he starts to collect more and more Sekirei and in the end decide to participate in the game anyway.

The quality of the animation is great and the characters were cute and revealing. Everything flows pretty smoothly and characters are drawn in detail. However, most of the characters felt a bit too generic and similar to other titles of this genre. In the end, they weren't that memorable. However though, the backgrounds and sceneries well well done and contained fine detail. The special effects used in the anime were pretty convincing and did not feel scrappy or lazily done.

The voice acting was pretty good for most of the characters. They suited their personalities perfectly. I must note that even though there were plenty of characters in nearly every scene, you can instantly distinguished the characters apart just by their voice. The characters were full of expression and emotion.

Anime of this genre generally focuses more on characters and character development rather than story. Sekirei has followed the given formula and added in plenty of characters (girls) for epic fan service. To make it an harem, Minato Sahashi is made the main characters. There really isn't much to describe him expect that he is really ordinary and quite average. However, he is really caring and kind towards his Sekirei. Musubi is another generic female lead character i which she is quite lively and a bit of an airhead. Of course, she has some sort of connection to the whole story and has some hidden ability locked away somewhere. As for the other characters, you've got your "lolicon" type girl, a girl with glasses, and finally a tsundere one. It all pretty standard stereotypes right there.

Overall, I particularly enjoyed the fan service relating to the action and interactions between Sekirei. The ecchi side of things were slightly unnecessary but those with ecchi-fetishes would enjoy it more than I did. In addition, the story was quite good and I did find it more engaging to other ecchi anime such as To Love-Ru. What the anime falls short is in uniqueness to other similar anime. As long as you are just into the fan service, then this anime will satisfy.

STORY: 7

ART: 8

SOUND: 8

CHARACTER: 7

ENJOYMENT: 9

OVERALL: 8

Humble Bundle 4 for Android adds more games

Android Central
If you haven't picked up on the charity-driven bundle of Android games that went live last week, maybe the addition of Cogs, Canabalt, Zen Bound 2, Swords & Soldiers HD, and Avadon: The Black Fortress will tempt you. Those that have got in on previous Humble Bundles will recognize these titles, though many of those announced initially with the Android Humble Bundle 4 aren't even on Google Play yet. Those first titles include Splice, Eufloria, Waking Mars, Machinarium, Crayon Physics Deluxe, and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. Waking Mars looks especially cool, but really, they're all fantastic games.

The catch with the new bonus games is that you have to pay more than the average donation price, which currently sits at $6.18. See, they have a pay-what-you-want structure here, and you get to pick how you want to split up your donation between devs, the Humble Bundle organizers, and charity. Where available, you'll also get Steam codes to play these games on your PC. There's also an Android app available to keep tabs on new bundles, get game updates, and download previous purchases.

[via Android Central]