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Game For More

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Every four years, a magical showcase invades a chosen foreign city and steam-rolls its way onto our television screens. An event where nations are judged not by their military or economic might, but by how a handful of their representatives can jump, run and swim! Yes, the Olympics are here, and with most of us having to content ourselves with watching the spectacle on television, if you'd like to soak in the Olympic spirit, here's my pick of apps and resources that can carry a torch throughout the games.


Apps: Even if you're not there in person, the official 'Join In' app lets you access detailed maps for all the venues, a full listing of the various activities happening in and around the sites, and it even lets you pull together a custom schedule of events that you'd like to check out. Of course, if you're more concerned with who's taking home the most hardware and how the medals tally is looking, the London 2012 Results App would be your best bet. The Results app, available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 devices, includes live scoring, and the latest news, photos and background information on each athlete. Or the PlayUp app for Android, which lets you keep up with the Olympics and socialise with other fans - this app even customises your feed based on your location, so India specific news and announcements always come up first. The London 2012 (iOS), London Olympics Ultimate (Android) and 2012 Olympic News (WP7) apps are worth checking out too.


Games: Of course, for the Olympic enthusiast who's also a gamer, there's the London 2012 Office Mobile game for iOS and Android. You get nine events your athlete can compete in, including the 100 meter dash, pole vault, kayaking and more. The game is quality stuff, but the graphics and characters are very reminiscent of the casual sports gaming popularised by the Nintendo Wii console. What that means is that you're playing with characters with oversized cartoon heads on skinny bodies, and while the game lacks in details in some areas, the characters are endearing and suited to the casual gaming genre. You can, if you're good enough, look to beat the Olympic and World records (great motivation, by the way!), not a surprise given how many real athletes from every corner of the globe will be trying to do just that pretty soon! Serious gamers should look at the 'London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games' which features over 30 events with an immense amount of game play variety and true-to-life graphics. Each game is played slightly differently with the game controllers, and given the number of events, it's pretty handy that the game developers have included a helpful tutorial before the start of every new event. Go on, go do India proud, even if it is on your PS3!


Web Sites: With us watching a whole bunch of games we probably follow only once in four years, the ESPN Olympics Guide is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about each sport. Every Olympic sport is here, with rules and a visual explanation of how it works, plus trivia and a timeline of historic moments in that sport and the biggest stars in that sports' history. Oh, and if your interets veer towards the musical, go download the Coca-Cola My Beat Maker app, which uses the movements of your phone to make a custom version of the official Coca-Cola anthem for the London 2012 Olympic Games.


Watch 'em Live!: If you're away from the TV, there's no reason you should miss out on all the action. Just head over to Youtube where the IOC is broadcasting live coverage of the Games free-of-charge to 64 countries (yes, India is one of them!). Happy viewing!



 Staying In Power

“Drat! Has the power gone yet again?” If you don’t want to catch yourself saying this during the Olympics broadcast, invest in a good power backup solution, and the APC Back UPS Pro 1000 is about as good a bet as they come. This is a UPS with the smarts — not only does it perform the regular duties of surge protection and power backup, it also does intelligent power management by shutting down idle peripherals like printers etc. The neat little LCD display gives you important information like the load, estimated runtime, input voltage, etc. — finally one doesn’t have to decipher what the alarm signals emanating from the UPS mean! If you want, you can use the PowerChute software that comes with the UPS to safely shut your computer or laptop down in case of an extended power outage.

Rating: 8/10
Price: Rs11,000 for the 1 KVA variant


technocool at kanwar dot net
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