Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms on iOS

When an alpha test comes with specific instructions not to share screen shots and videos, I read the absence of specific instructions on other forms of communication as them being allowed. So I think I can reveal that since yesterday I am in an alpha test of Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms for mobile devices, which in my case specifically is on an iPad.

I got into that alpha via a link that appeared while I was playing the game on my PC. That is a pretty safe way to select your alpha testers, as existing players will be able to concentrate on bugs or differences to the PC version. Up to now I only found one minor issue, and when I reported it I got a non-automated mail back within minutes. Nice! I’m not a huge fan of the “stress test” type of beta tests where the input of the testers isn’t even wanted.

The good news is that the game on the iPad runs as smoothly as on the PC, and appears to be a straight port of the current PC version. The bad news is that the game on the iPad thus has exactly the same rules as the PC version. And those rules push people to let the game run 24/7, because you farm much more gold online than offline. That helped Codename Entertainment get their game in the “top 100 most played Steam games” category, which is somewhat misleading because you can’t compare an idle game left running with a game that only does something when you are at the controls. And while letting your PC run 24/7 is still feasible (I just turn the screen off), it is a lot more difficult to do that on a tablet. You need to connect the tablet to a charger, for one thing. And while on the PC the game runs perfectly in the background while you do something else in the foreground, the mobile version only works when it is the foreground, thus prohibiting other use for your tablet.

I would be okay if the “auto progress ON” function only worked when online. But I think that while not progressing, the game should gather gold online and offline at a comparable rate. Apparently there is a change coming in some future patch, but I do think the game needs that change to be viable on a mobile platform.

Best gifts for gamers

A lot of people who own smartphones and tablets use them for more than surfing the internet, texting, and socializing. They also use them a lot to play games. In a recent survey from Statista, 56 percent, or over half of the entire population of the US, are currently playing mobile games. That amount is expected to expand to 63.7 percent by 2020. But what sort of gifts are the right kind for hardcore gamers?

In this feature, we offer our picks for the best smartphones and tablets that are currently on the market for gaming, along with suggestions for a few accessories that could be great gifts for gamers. Finally, we don’t want to ignore the game consoles that you hook up to your big screen TV; we will offer our recommendation on which of the three current generation game consoles you should buy, and the answer may actually surprise you.

A jack of all trades — ZTE Axon M

Today’s smartphones make great portable gaming devices, while tablets are great for those times when we need a bit more screen real estate from our mobile gaming experience. But what about a wild card of a device that can serve as both your phone and your tablet? The ZTE Axon M is a unique device that is perfect for those that want to take their  gaming to the next level. 

The ZTE Axon M uses two 5.2-inch IPS Full HD panels that are connected to a hinge that, when it is folded out, it essentially turns the device into a 6.75-inch tablet. This is great for running two apps side by side, extending apps and games across both displays, and much more. In addition to the potential for gaming and media, the Axon M also makes for one heck of a multi-tasking device.

As you can imagine, this phone also stands out in a crowd, perfect for those who like to rock phones that are different from the endless sea of Samsung and iPhone devices.Without a doubt, this is one of the most unique phones you can buy right now. You can get it via AT&T for $724.99 without a contract, or for $24.17 a month for 24 months. 

Get it at AT&T

Best gaming phone — Razer Phone

If you want to get a smartphone that’s dedicated to offering the best mobile gaming experience, it’s really impossible to beat the Razer Phone at the moment. This is the first smartphone from Razer, who has been highly successful in releasing PC accessories for hardcore gamers, and more recently has launched critically acclaimed Windows-based gaming laptops. For their first, but likely not last, entry in the smartphone industry, Razer put in a bunch of high-end hardware, including a couple of features that are not in any other smartphone.

Editor’s Pick

The biggest feature for gamers is the Razer Phone’s big IGZO 5.7-inch 2,560 x 1,440p display, which can run at up to 120 Hz. The higher refresh rate, compared to the normal 60 Hz on other smartphones, should allow games, especially high-end titles with advanced graphics, to play and look smoother on the Razer Phone. The display also uses what Razer calls Ultra Motion technology, which is similar to NVIDIA’s G-Sync tech that is supported by many PC desktop monitors. Ultra Motion allows the Razer Phone’s display refresh rate to sync up to the output of its GPU. This is supposed to get rid of any screen tearing and, again, make games played on the phone look and run better compared to other handsets.

In addition to the high-end visuals, the Razer Phone has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor inside, which, at the moment, is the fastest chip you can get on a phone. It also has 8 GB of LPDRR4 RAM, which again should help graphically intensive games perform better. There’s 64 GB of onboard storage, and you can add more with its microSD card slot. In terms of audio, Razer claims it has the loudest phone on the market, with two front-facing speakers with Dolby Atmos technology. There’s no 3.5 mm headphone jack in the Razer Phone, but it does include a dongle for its USB-C port that includes support for 24-bit DAC audio that is THX-certified. Finally, it has a large 4,000 mAh battery that Razer says should allow for up to 8 hours of gaming on one charge, which should be plenty if you are on a long trip.

Simply put, mobile gamers won’t be able to get a phone quite as good as the Razer Phone for a while, and it’s actually a great first effort from a company that has never launched a smartphone before. The price is also right at $699.99 unlocked, which is very reasonable when you consider the high-end hardware inside. If you can ignore its non-gaming issues, the Razer Phone is one of the best gifts for gamers you can buy.

Get it at Razerzone

Alternate gaming phone — Samsung Galaxy Note 8 

 
Bigger is definitely better when it comes to mobile gaming. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8, with its 6.3-inch Super AMOLED 2,960 x 1,440 display in an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, offers up the biggest and best screen you can get in the US on an Android smartphone. It helps that the phone also comes with a speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 6 GB of RAM. You even get an old-fashioned headphone jack with the Note 8. While it doesn’t have a 120 Hz screen refresh rate or the advanced sound features that the Razer phone does, gamers should get a lot out of its huge screen combined with a fast processor. It’s not cheap, but at least you can pay for the Galaxy Note 8 over time if you get it from a wireless carrier.
 
Get it at Amazon

Best gaming tablet — Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

 
Samsung’s recent high-end Android tablet is the best among gifts for gamers. It has a 9.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, with support for high dynamic range (HDR) features that should allow games to look and play well. While the Tab S3 doesn’t have as much in the RAM and processor department as some smartphones, it uses the older Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip and 4 GB of RAM. However, the well-designed display, combined with four speakers, makes the Tab S3 the best, at least for now, for Android gaming, although perhaps not as good of an overall choice compared to many high-end Android phones.
 
Editor’s Pick
 
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 was launched earlier this year at $599, but you can snap it up now on Amazon and save over $100, at $498.
Get it at Amazon

Alternate — Amazon Fire HD 10 

 
If you are looking for a solid but inexpensive gaming tablet, you really should look no further than the Amazon Fire HD 10. The 10.1 inch 1080p (1,920 x 1,200) display can handle any game, and it has a decent 1.8 GHz quad-core processor and 2 GB RAM. While it’s not as powerful as the Galaxy Tab S3, those folks looking to save some money will still get a good gaming experience with Amazon’s highest-end tablet. You can get it for as low as $149.99 (with 32 GB and with “special offers” on its lock screen).
 
Get it at Amazon

Gamer accessory gifts 

Chromecast Ultra
 
 
Want to play thousands of Android games on your big 4K TV? You can. if you connect the Chromecast Ultra HDMI dongle to one of your spare HDMI ports. Just cast your games onto the screen with this $69 accessory, and play like you would on a game console.
 
Get it at Google

POWER A MOGA Hero Power Game Controller

 

No matter how powerful your gaming smartphone may be, it can still be hard to control games with its touchscreen, especially for games like racing and shooter titles. The POWER A MOGA Hero Power Game Controller allows you to connect your smartphone to a Bluetooth-based console gamepad, and you can even attach any smartphone up to 6-inches to the controller, letting you play for hours without having to worry about holding your phone on its own. It also comes with its own rechargeable 1,800 mAh battery. If you want a portable console experience for your smartphone, this controller will fit the bill nicely.

Get it at Amazon

Samsung Gear VR — 2017 edition

The current 2017 version of the Samsung Gear VR mobile headset (co-developed by Oculus) lets you play VR games, many of which are exclusive to the Gear VR. Owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, along with the Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, and even the Galaxy Note 5 can all use the headset, which comes with its own controller. If you happen to own one of these phones, it’s perhaps the best way to experience high-end VR gaming.

Get it at Amazon

 Anker PowerCore Speed 10,000 mAh Battery Charger

The simple fact is that even if you have a big batter on your smartphone, like the 4,000 mAh battery on the Razer Phone, it will still run out in less than a day if you play on it constantly. That’s why it’s great to have an external battery charger like the Anker PowerCore Speed 10,000 mAh model. It can charge up your Razer Phone twice on its own, giving you more time to play on your high end handset. It’s also available for just $29 at Amazon.

Get it at Amazon

Best Game Console – Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is perhaps the best game console you can buy for a gamer on the go. Simply put, the Switch can turn quickly from a high-end game console that you hook up to your TV over to a portable handheld console, where you can play for up to six hours on its own battery. You can play it with two of the console’s Joy-Con controllers, one on each side, or you and a friend can play games on the portable screen, each with a Joy-Con in your hands. You can even put a pair of these new controllers in a Joy-Con grip accessory, if you want a more old-fashioned console experience.

Plus there’s the fact that the Nintendo Switch is the exclusive way to play some of the most acclaimed games of 2017, including Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and many more. Finally, it’s likely that the hardcore gamer that you want to spend your money on already has a PlayStation 4/4 Pro, or an Xbox One S/X. He or she might think that the Nintendo Switch is for kids or families, but the purchase of Nintendo’s latest — and possibly best — game console in years might convert them into fans.

Get it at Amazon
 
Those are just some of the best gifts you can get for gamers. We want to hear from you about which gifts for gamers you would pick out for fans. Let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments!
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Elemental Evil: Sessions 13 & 14

I just noticed that I am behind on my reporting on the Elemental Evil campaign. In the previous reported session the group had reached level 5 and was about to head for the Sacred Stone Monastery. Sessions 13 and 14 were about the adventures of the group in that monastery. However once again it has to be remarked that this particular group is mainly interested in the combat aspects of D&D, and less interested in the role-playing aspects. And the campaign has been chosen with this preference in mind, containing a lot of dungeon crawls. Nevertheless even in that campaign the group still managed to avoid most opportunities to find out more about the story, and spent those two sessions mostly in combat encounters.

The group entered the Sacred Stone Monastery via the garden and from there into the main hall. However that was exactly what the bad guys had planned for invaders, as the main hall contains a trap that drops the group down into the dungeon and into a cage with an Umber Hulk. Having beaten the Umber Hulk and then some orog and ogre guards, the group liberated a group of slaves used for mining work. That included members of the Mirabar delegation, which in the book is the official story hook. However the group showed absolutely no interest in asking them about what had happened to the delegation, and allowed the slaves to leave unescorted.

Next the group entered a part of the dungeon in which a Lich lives. A Lich is a challenge rating 21 monster and obviously not meant as a combat encounter for level 5 characters. But in spite of the Lich just being a bit grumpy and not immediately attacking, the group decided against getting information from him, and just fled. Having otherwise cleaned out the basement, the group found another staircase up, and found themselves in the middle of the monk’s quarters, where a big fight ensued. That included the boss of the place, a blind female monk with the name of Hellenrae. Just like in the previous two elemental keeps, the group killed the boss, looted the magical key part the bosses are carrying, and then legged it.

Then they returned to Red Larch to rest and recuperate. But the next morning at breakfast in the inn, they were attacked by four hell hounds. That was a bit annoying for the sorceress, who mainly had fire-based spells like scorching ray and fireball, to which the monsters were immune. But although they took heavy damage from fire breaths, the group prevailed and sent the dogs packing. They (correctly) concluded that the hell hounds had been sent by the one cult they hadn’t visited yet, the fire cult. As they had previously heard about druids planning a fire ritual at a location which corresponded to the location of the fourth elemental keep on their ancient map, they plan to go there in the next session.

BlackBerry ditching Priv updates is a frustrating missed opportunity

BlackBerry’s track history in the enterprise game and the marketing material plastered all over its website would lead anyone to believe that it’s one of the few smartphone companies actually taking the security issue seriously. So it was a little surprising to hear that BlackBerry is cancelling its smaller updates for the Priv, and so soon after declaring that it wouldn’t be providing a Nougat update to the handset either. It’s a disappointing situation for fans of the Priv, and even more disconcerting for customers who rely on BlackBerry to protect their sensitive information.

Now, I’m fully aware that providing long running updates for aging handsets that aren’t selling anymore is an expensive and often frustrating endeavor for OEMs. However, BlackBerry is missing a trick by not positioning itself as the major manufacturer with security at its forefront, by going a step further than the minimum two years of patches that almost every OEM promises.

BlackBerry Indeed, BlackBerry, indeed…

The case for long-running security updates cannot be understated these days. Although there are plenty of reactionary scare stories about various vulnerabilities, the fact that our mobile devices are increasingly used to store sensitive banking information, make mobile payments, and secure our biometric data makes patching exploits regularly more important than three or four years ago. Not forgetting BlackBerry’s historic audience of business users looking for additional security and encryption for sensitive emails, contacts, documents, and the like.

Between biometric storage, online banking, and payments, the case for long running security updates cannot be understated.

Ditching this commitment to Priv owners is poor form. But just as importantly, this decision leaves customers uncertain about the state of similar update promises made for the KEYone, Motion, and DTEK series. Can we take BlackBerry more seriously on security matters than any other OEM anymore?

The crux of the matter, for me, is that this announcement isn’t just disappointing for Priv owners, it undermines the whole concept and potential of BlackBerry as the go-to brand for serious Android security. That’s a particularly disappointing revelation for the enterprise market, where companies need an OEM they can rely on to keep a fleet of handsets secure in the long term.

No one else, bar perhaps Google, has been tackling this issue seriously enough, and certainly no major brand has gone as far as BlackBerry in the amount of marketing emphasis placed on security. The company’s Document Locker and Privacy Shade are great features for the privacy conscious, as are the company’s Hub+ apps and its broader Secure Platform. However, without also ensuring that the operating system is kept up to date and secure too, the hard work on the software front is undermined.

BlackBerry could have owned the privacy and security niche in the Android space, but that trust fades with the Priv.

I should make clear that BlackBerry isn’t completely ditching all its obligations with the Priv. The company states that it would “engage [its] partners as needed to develop and deliver necessary patches” should any critical problems arise, and that it would “fulfill all warranty obligations” regarding the handset. Even so, what counts as critical or only a moderate security issue, and how high up the priority queue the Priv would be for a fix are concerning unanswered questions.

Based on its well-earned historic reputation, BlackBerry could have owned the privacy and security niche in the Android space. A solution very much needed given the price comparison with Apple’s iPhones. Instead, BlackBerry may find that its potential customers flock to Apple for its ability to provide updates over many years, or to Samsung for the promises made by Knox.

BlackBerry’s compromise on this issue is the introduction of a “trade-up” program for Priv owners and those holding onto BB10 and BBOS devices. While all the details aren’t out in the open yet, the gist is that existing customers will be able to purchase a newer KEYOne or Motion handset with some sort of discount. Perhaps that will tide some customers over, but as I already mentioned, what happens if/when BlackBerry gives up on updates to these handsets within the next two years also?

No matter which way you slice it, BlackBerry failing to properly update the Priv to Nougat, not even Oreo, and refusing to extend important security updates beyond the “standard” 2 years promised by everyone else is an undeniable sign that the company isn’t willing to go the distance with security. That’s more than a little disappointing.

Tobold’s Game of the Year

This year my prestigious (that is to say totally unknown) game of the year award goes to, *drumroll*, The Legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch. None of the other games I played on various platforms this year comes even close to the level of craftsmanship of Zelda. It is an explorer’s paradise: Huge is both quantity and quality of handcrafted features in the landscape, the next discovery feels always right around the next corner. No procedurally generated landscapes here! There is a great mix of different challenges, from fights to puzzles to riddles to crafting, which always keeps you entertained.

This game really is a “system seller”: if you can afford to spend $400 on a game, buying a Switch to play Zelda is totally worth it. And because it is hundreds of hours of gameplay you do get your money’s worth back in entertainment (some people tried to finish the game as fast as possible and the fastest speedrun of 100% completion took already 49 hours). And inversely I’m not sure buying a Switch without Zelda is worth it, unless you are a fan of Mario (I like Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battles). The non-exclusive games on the Switch tend to be older and overpriced. And the Switch’s famous “mobile” mode is somewhat hampered by low battery life.

What makes Zelda such a great exploration game is the absence of any invisible walls. If you see something ahead of you, you can get there. It might need a bunch of stamina food to get to the top of the highest mountain or building, but you can get there. And there is probably a reward too for getting there. The terrain isn’t just there to walk or climb on it, it often has tricks to deal with the local monster population: You can roll down a boulder into the bokoblin camp to crush them, or explode their camp by throwing a bomb barrel in their camp fire or set grass on fire. You can open a drawbridge by shooting the ropes that hold it up with fire arrows.

The landscape never feels empty. Besides finding major stuff like the 120 shrines, you can also discover the 900 locations of Korok seeds, or the countless resources from mushrooms to ore. Interaction with your environment is fun because the game always goes a step beyond what you’d expect from other games: My niece tried to feed her horse a carrot and I was surprised to see that it worked! I was equally surprised to see that while I couldn’t kill chickens by hitting them with a sword, they did lay eggs when I did. Or got angry and called all their rooster friends that attacked me. 🙂

Another feature that makes Zelda a great game is how it handles difficulty. Don’t be fooled by the game’s colorful look, it can be quite challenging. You will die. Many times. But fortunately the game isn’t punishing death all that much. Which means that you’ll be back in the action and trying again in no time. And sometimes again. And again. Until you finally manage that challenging fight or puzzle, or you give up and decide to do something else first. And the game also constantly challenges your intelligence: Unless you look everything up on the internet, you need to figure out quite a lot of how the game works by yourself. Ultimately you end up having quite a lot of control over the level of challenge: Different zones have different monster difficulties, so you can go the easy way and do them in the right order or skip ahead to farm harder monsters for better weapons. You control the difficulty of puzzles by deciding how much help you want to get from sources like YouTube. And if the normal mode of the game is too easy for you, you can switch to the much harder master mode, which makes Dark Souls look like a game for wimps. If you want the game easier, you could also use Amiibos (haven’t tried those yet) to get various gear, or a horse, or a wolf pet.

In summary, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a great game. It fully deserves its 97% Metacritic rating. The game doesn’t just play well, it also has far more handcrafted content than other open world games. Recommended!

Comparing Bootstrap With Google’s Material Design Lite : Bootstrap – ResponSive Design

Bootstrap vs Materialize

What is Materialize and Bootstrap?


Both Google’s Materialize and Twitter’s Bootstrap are front end CSS frameworks for webpages. Both are open source. In the question“What is the best CSS framework?” Bootstrap is ranked 1st while Materialize is ranked 5th. The most important reason people chose Bootstrap is:
Bootstrap is developed to be instantly compatible with all sizes of screens, so you don’t have to worry about which device the user is accessing your site from. Yet if you prefer, you can disable responsiveness of Bootstrap.

Bootstrap:

Bootstrap is a free and open-source front-end web framework for designing websites and web applications. It contains HTML and CSS-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation and other interface components, as well as optional JavaScript extensions. Unlike many web frameworks, it concerns itself with front-end development only.


Materialize:

Created and designed by Google, Material Design is a design language that combines the classic principles of successful design along with innovation and technology. Google’s goal is to develop a system of design that allows for a unified user experience across all their products on any platform.


Major Differences!

Philosophy

  • Bootstrap was originally built by Twitter with the purpose of making it easy to build responsive websites. It gives you a lot of components and customization options for making web apps.
  • Material Design Lite is a way for Google to spread its material design concept to the web. It gives you only the base building blocks for building material apps. The rest is up to the developer.

Development Experience

  • Bootstrap has a very detailed documentation. Development involves copy pasting from the examples and getting a usable result fast.
  • MDL is built around BEM, and components are built by combining multiple classes. This approach gives a great deal of control, but can sometimes lead to unwieldy HTML.

Components

  • In Bootstrap, almost all built-in HTML elements are styled and can fit nicely together in a layout. It gives you a great number of additional components for any type of design.
  • MDL gives you fewer components than Bootstrap, but they are all focused on building modern Material Design applications. They come with animations and beautiful default styles.

Layout

  • Bootstrap has an advanced grid system with offsets, column wrapping, hiding and reordering of columns.
  • MDL has a more primitive grid that gets the job done most of the time, but doesn’t support advanced features.

Design

  • Bootstrap gives you a passable default design which we have grown tired of by now, but there are plenty of wonderful themes to chose from.
  • MDL looks fresh and features bold colors and animations. It dictates exactly how your web app should look like and gives you a limited opportunity for customization by choosing base and accent colors.

Community

  • Bootstrap has been around for quite some time and has an enormous community, which produces themes, plugins and blog posts.
  • MDL came out only recently but has already become quite popular on GitHub. However it is still in its early days, and most of the time you are on your own.

Interest Over Time

    trends.embed.renderExploreWidget(“TIMESERIES”, {“comparisonItem”:[{“keyword”:”Bootstrap”,”geo”:””,”time”:”2004-01-01 2017-06-12″},{“keyword”:”Materialize”,”geo”:””,”time”:”2004-01-01 2017-06-12″}],”category”:0,”property”:””}, {“exploreQuery”:”date=all&q=Bootstrap,Materialize”,”guestPath”:”https://trends.google.com:443/trends/embed/”});

    < 1 > Grid 

    Grid is the most important part of the framework as it makes the webpage responsive for all devices. 
    • The Bootstrap grid splits the page into 12 equally sized columns. Depending on the viewport width, four different size classes are applied – extra small (from 0 to 768px wide), small (768px to 992px), medium (992px to 1200px), and large (1200px+).
    • MDL has a similar grid system, but it only has three sizes – phone (0 to 480px), tablet (480px to 840px) and desktop (840px+). MDL desktop has 12 columns, tablet has 8 columns and phone has only 4 columns.
    comparison between materialize and bootstrap
    Grid system in Bootstrap and MDL
    comparison between materialize and bootstrap
    Grid changes in Bootstrap 
    comparison between materialize and bootstrap
    Grid changes in MDL

      Docs: Bootstrap Grid | MDL Grid
      Learn Bootstrap’s Grid system

      < 2 > Header Navigation

      Headers in Bootstrap are called Navbars. They begin collapsed in mobile views and become horizontal when there is enough space for them. Inside, you can nest an array of different elements that can be positioned with the help of classes.

      Similarly, MDL header navigations start off collapsed behind a hamburger menu and expand with the growth of the viewport. They too have different stylings and possible positions.

      Header navigation bars in Bootstrap and MDL

      Bootstrap’s collapsible menu
      A hamburger menu in MDL

      Docs: Bootstrap Navbars | MDL Navigation

      < 3 > Footer

      Bootstrap doesn’t actually have separate footer components, while Material Design Lite has two options, a mini and a mega footer. For this example, we’ve translated the default MDL design to Bootstrap, using the grid and a bit of extra CSS.
      Footers in Bootstrap and MDL

      Bootstrap’s menu in mobile’s view

      MDL’s mini footer

       Docs: MDL Footers

      < 4 > Tabs

      Both frameworks use pretty similar syntax to create selectable tabs with different content. A number of links for swapping between the tabs, and an array of divs, selectable by id, for storing the content. They also both require JavaScript to work (Bootstrap requires jQuery as well).
      Tabs in Bootstrap and MDL
      Docs: Bootstrap Tabs | MDL Tabs

      < 5 > Buttons

      Bootstraps default buttons are rectangular and have a bunch of size options. They can have their color changed via CSS or with the modifier classes. Another unique feature to Bootstrap is the split button which is half button, half drop-down.
      MDL offers both rectangular and circular buttons. Google has a guide on how and in which situations to use the different types of buttons. All buttons in MDL support the ripple animation effect.
      Different Buttons in Bootstrap and MDL
      Docs: Bootstrap Buttons | MDL Buttons

      < 6 > Tables

      In Bootstrap responsiveness is achieved using a scrollbar at the bottom of the table. MDL hasn’t added responsiveness to their tables yet. But they added different styles to the tables to make it attractive!  
      Tables in Bootstrap and MDL
      Docs:Bootstrap Tables | MDL Tables 

      < 7 > Forms

      • Bootstrap’s forms support more types of input elements and have classes to make alignments to labels and inputs but it doesn’t have inbuilt library for validation.
      • While MDL has few input elements but the ones with material animation support to make them attractive and fun! they have pattern matching and verification as well. MDL support validation. 
      Forms in Bootstrap and MDL

      Docs: Bootstrap forms | MDL forms

      < 8 > Drop-down Menu

      • Here Bootstrap give you an advantage by making a button split which makes half f the button dropdown menu and half normal button.
      • While MDL gives smooth animation effects compared to Bootstrap’s technique! 
      JavaScript is needed in both the cases.
      Dropdown menu styles in Bootstrap and MDL
      Docs:Bootstraps Menu | MDL Menu

      < 9 > Tool-tips

      Bootstrap gives you the best experience in case of Tool-tips. It gives you the options to show the tool-tip at at top or at bottom or at right or at left or you could just popover it on click!
      MDL has gone with simple approach here. Just two options small and Large design. 
      Tool-tips in Bootstrap and MDL 

      Docs: Bootstrap’s Tool-tips | Bootstrap’s Popover | MDL Tool-tips

        < 10 > Icons
      Bootstrap comes with the Glyphicons icon font, which gives you over 250 pretty icons to choose from. They come bundled with the bootstrap CSS file and no special setup is needed.
      MDL uses a set of icons that Google released some time ago called Material Icons. This is a huge set of nearly 800 icons. They are not bundled with MDL so you need to link it in the HEAD section of your page:

      <link rel=stylesheet href=https://fonts.googleapis.com/icon?family=Material+Icons>

      Icons in Bootstrap and MDL

      Conclusion

      By all means Google’s Materialize Lite is shaping up as a good front-end framework. It makes the webpage look cooler! It is still the early days, but the fact that it is made by Google gives you confidence that it will always conform to the latest material design spec.
      if you don’t find Material Design appealing, there is Bootstrap with its large community. You can even get the best of both worlds by using one of the material themes that are available for it.
      Learn Bootstrap!

      Samsung Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus (2018) specs: Infinity Display and a dual selfie camera

      There’s no denying that Samsung’s S-series has boasted some of the finest flagships ever made, but sometimes there’s no match for a bonafide bargain, and that’s what the South Korean giant seems to be delivering with its newly-announced A-series phones, the Galaxy A8 (2018) and Galaxy A8 Plus (2018).

      As the new gold standard of Samsung’s mid-tier range, the Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus look to balance premium design with a steady performance all while retaining a modest price tag. On paper, this year’s A8 phones – which technically replace the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7, respectively – appear to deliver on all counts.

      Editor’s Pick

      This time around both the 5.6-inch A8 and the 6-inch A8 Plus sport an elongated Infinity Display with the same 18:5:9 aspect ratio found on the Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, and Note 8. Both panels are Super AMOLED displays with a 2220 x 1080 resolution.

      Despite missing out on the curved edges of its premium counterparts, the A8 and A8 Plus both pack slimline bezels, while leaving enough room for the devices’ most unique feature – a front-facing 16 MP and 8 MP dual-camera. We’ll be putting the pair’s selfie-taking credentials and much more to the test at a later date for a full review, but for now, be sure to check out the table below for all of the key specs.

        Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018)
      Display 5.6-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED
      2,220 x 1,080 resolution
      441 ppi
      18:5:9 aspect ratio
      6-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED
      2,220 x 1,080 resolution
      412 ppi
      18:5:9 aspect ratio
      Processor Unspecified octa-core platform
      2.2 Ghz + 1.6 Ghz
      Unspecified octa-core platform
      2.2 Ghz + 1.6 Ghz
      GPU TBC TBC
      RAM 4 GB 4/6 GB
      Storage 32/64 GB 32/64 GB
      MicroSD Yes, up to 256 GB Yes, up to 256 GB
      Cameras Rear camera:
      16 MP sensor with f/1.7 aperture, phase-detection auto-focus, video digital image stabilisation (VDis) technology, hyperlapse, and Food Mode

      Front camera:
      16 MP + 8 MP sensor with f/1.9 aperture and Live Focus

      Rear camera:
      16 MP sensor with f/1.7 aperture, phase-detection auto-focus video digital image stabilisation (VDis) technology, hyperlapse, and Food Mode

      Front camera:
      16 MP + 8 MP sensor with f/1.9 aperture and Live Focus

      Audio 3.5mm headphone jack
      MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
      3.5mm headphone jack
      MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
      Battery 3,000 mAh
      Non-removable
      Fast charging
      3,500 mAh
      Non-removable
      Fast charging
      Sensors Accelerometer Barometer
      Fingerprint sensor Gyro sensor Geomagnetic sensor Hall sensor
      Proximity sensor
      RGB light sensor
      Accelerometer Barometer
      Fingerprint sensor Gyro sensor Geomagnetic sensor Hall sensor
      Proximity sensor
      RGB light sensor
      IP rating IP68 water and dust resistance IP68 water and dust resistance
      Network TBC
      LTE Cat. 11
      TBC
      LTE Cat. 11
      Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
      Bluetooth 5.0
      NFC
      ANT+
      Location (GPS, Glonass, BeiDou)
      USB Type-C 2.0
      Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
      Bluetooth 5.0
      NFC
      ANT+
      Location (GPS, Glonass, BeiDou)
      USB Type-C 2.0
      Software Android 7.1.1 Nougat Android 7.1.1 Nougat
      Colors Black, Orchid Grey, Gold, and Blue Black, Orchid Grey, Gold, and Blue
      Dimensions and weight 149.2 x 70.6 x 8.4 mm
      172 g
      159.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
      191 g

      Be sure to let us know your thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) and A8 Plus (2018) specs in the comments below! Is its dual-camera for selfies and (near) bezel-less design won you over?

      Which phone manufacturer had the best year in 2017? [Poll of the Week]

      Last week’s poll summary: Out of almost 23,800 total votes, 25.1% of our readers said the Galaxy Note 8 is the best Android smartphone of 2017. 18.9% voted for the OnePlus 5T, 18.2% voted Pixel 2 XL, and 11.3% said the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is the top device of the year.

      2017 brought us some of the best smartphones we’ve ever seen. It was also the year that we saw many Android OEMs come into their own.

      Samsung had a particularly tough year, as it not only had to recover from the Galaxy Note 7 recall, it also had to win the trust back of consumers. Samsung worked hard to bring trust back to its brand, which resulted in the Galaxy S8 and Note 8— two of the best Android smartphones ever made.

      OnePlus has also stepped things up this year, particularly with the launch of the OnePlus 5T. The OnePlus 5 felt a little stuck in the past, but the 5T brought an improved camera experience and a fantastic 18:9 OLED display. OnePlus continues to make improvements every year. It’s crazy to think this is the same company that had so many weird missteps a few years back.

      See also

      Huawei made some huge strides in 2017 with the launch of the Mate 10 Pro. Not only did that phone win our Best of Android 2017 competition, it feels like Huawei is becoming more original than ever before. Some might complain of Huawei’s software being too aggressive in some areas, but the improvements on the design/build front cannot be overstated.

      I’d also like to mention HMD Global, the proud owners of the Nokia brand name. The Nokia 8, the company’s 2017 flagship, holds its own against the other competitors on the market. Android Authority actually named HMD Global as the best smartphone brand of 2017.

      In your opinion, which smartphone manufacturer had the best year? Cast your vote in the poll below, and speak up in the comments if there’s anything you’d like to add.

      Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

      Robert Reich: A Guide to Why the Trump-Republican Tax Plan Is a Disgrace (for When you Confront Your Republican Uncle Bob During the Holidays)

      Shame on Trump and the Republicans who have lied to the pubic about its consequences.

      Here are the 3 main Republican arguments in favor of the Republican tax plan, followed by the truth.

      1. It will make American corporations competitive with foreign corporations, which are taxed at a lower rate.

      Rubbish.

      (1) American corporations now pay an effective rate (after taking deductions and tax credits) that’s just about the same as most foreign based corporations pay.

      (2) Most of these other countries also impose a “Value Added Tax” on top of the corporate tax.

      (3) When we cut our corporate rate from 35% to 20%, other nations will cut their corporate rates in order to be competitive with us – so we gain nothing anyway.

      (4) Most big American corporations who benefit most from the Republican tax plan aren’t even “American.” Over 35 percent of their shareholders are foreign (which means that by cutting corporate taxes we’re giving a big tax cut to those foreign shareholders). 20 percent of their employees are foreign, while many Americans work for foreign-based corporations.

      (5) The “competitiveness” of America depends on American workers, not on “American” corporations. But this tax plan will make it harder to finance public investments in education, health, and infrastructure, on which the future competitiveness of American workers depends.

      (6) American corporations already have more money than they know what to do with. Their profits are at record levels. They’re using them to buy back their shares of stock, and raise executive pay. That’s what they’ll do with the additional $1 trillion they’ll receive in this tax cut.

      ***

      2. With the tax cut, big corporations and the rich will invest and create more jobs.

      Baloney.

      (1) Job creation doesn’t trickle down. After Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush cut taxes on the top, few jobs and little growth resulted. America cut taxes on corporations in 2004 in an attempt to get them to bring their profits home from abroad, and what happened? They didn’t invest. They just bought up more shares of their own stock, and increased executive pay.

      (2) Companies expand and create jobs when there’s more demand for their goods and services. That demand comes from customers who have the money to buy what companies sell. Those customers are primarily the middle class and poor, who spend far more of their incomes than the rich. But this tax bill mostly benefits the rich.

      (3) At a time when the richest 1 percent already have 40 percent of all the wealth in the country, it’s immoral to give them even more – especially when financed partly by 13 million low-income Americans who will lose their health coverage as a result of this tax plan (according to the Congressional Budget Office), and by subsequent cuts in safety-net programs necessitated by increasing the deficit by $1.5 trillion.

      ***

      3. It will give small businesses an incentive to invest and create more jobs.

      Untrue.

      (1) At least 85 percent of small businesses earn so little they already pay the lowest corporate tax rate, which this plan doesn’t change.

      (2) In fact, because the tax plan bestows much larger rewards on big businesses, they’ll have more ability to use predatory tactics to squeeze small firms and force them out of business.

      ***

      Don’t let your Uncle Bob be fooled: Republicans are voting for this because their wealthy patrons demand it. Their tax plan will weaken our economy for years – reducing demand, widening inequality, and increasing the national debt by at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

      Shame on the greedy Republican backers who have engineered this. Shame on Trump and the Republicans who have lied to the pubic about its consequences.

       

       

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