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CONTENT
FEATURED NEWS FEEDS


NEWS (LAST 200)
Aretha Franklin birth home may get DIY N...
Germany kicks off six days of carnival d...
Taking Stock In Rio 6 Months After The O...
HP SCAN JET 2500C SCANNER (LAGRANGE, NY)...
Former US congressman gets about $138.4K...
Apple Mouse (Midtown West) $10...
BLACKBERRY TRAVEL CHARGER (BRONX) ...
Router Fast 5260CV (New) (Greenwich CT)...
West Virginia Senate would penalize shar...
Arsenal star open to Barcelona move if A...
Trump is making good citizens live in fe...
New York City FC sign former Columbus de...
Royal Personal Organizer DM70 PLUS PDA (...
RCA Antenna ANT115 Indoor HDTV VHF UHF ...
Amazon Firestick loaded with Kodi plus i...
Riot police & military Humvees enter Sta...
2 ex-Vatican bank execs convicted of min...
Stranded hiker from Nevada rescued in so...
Chelsea make Frank Lampard announcement:...
MEGA-DISASTER WARNING: ‘Earthquake and...
White nationalist Richard Spencer booted...
Do it for slain Whittier Officer Keith B...
Report: Knee injury could keep Kyle Beck...
NEW GOOGLE VR DAYDREAM HEADSET SNOW WHIT...
SPEAKERS BOOKSHELF TYPE PINNACLE PN-5 MO...
Epson Stylus Photo R1900 (Printer) (Midt...
COMPACT DISC CD PLAYER (BRONX) $2...
MP3 PLAYER (BRONX) $7
RADIO (BRONX) $15
Harmon Kardon Soundsticks ii Speakers (B...
What Makes An Effective Protest Movement...
Cavendish wins crash-hit opening stage o...
Justice Ginsburg praises media and the r...
New Mexico considers special chile peppe...
Son killed protecting mom at Subway shop...
US base buzz: Japan to pay Okinawa resid...
Sony a6000 SLR mirrorless with E PZ 16-5...
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: This is how Ars...
Protesters arrested outside of immigrati...
Next Rangers manager: Frank de Boer in L...
Minister blasts Sweden Democrats Wall St...
Europa League last 16 draw: When does it...
Anti-Trump protesters are not obstructio...
Questioning Trumps mental health is not ...
Former boxing champ Oscar De La Hoya lan...
This Citroen 2CV is expected to sell for...
Fantasy: What do last seasons top finish...
COMPACT DISC CD PLAYER (BRONX) $1...
modem-wireless-n-router =Netgear-n450-cg...
NEW GOOGLE VR DAYDREAM HEADSET SNOW WHIT...
SOHOWARE PCI CARD (BRONX) $7...
Tactical Flash Light Free For Next 500 V...
JVC DVD PLAYER (BRONX) $20
Holyrood votes to pass Scottish budget...
CPAC Loves Trump Now, But That Wasnt Alw...
Lawmaker: Trump lawyer pushed Ukraine de...
Heres What The Nintendo Switch Day-One U...
Fundraiser started to demolish home wher...
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI lucid says ai...
Dutch special agent ‘leak’ prompts W...
Police have DNA profile of killer of run...
Turmeric panna cotta with pomegranate an...
Oscar nominee My Life as a Zucchini, a s...
Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Crawl (Live)...
Fact-free hysteria on Russia fuels outra...
Making sense of Measure S, the latest ba...
Today in Entertainment: Rihanna named Ha...
Sean Dyche challenges Burnley FA Cup flo...
Barclays make pre-tax profits of £3.23 ...
‘Clearly narcissistic’: After scoop ...
First Watch: STRFKRs Video For In The En...
SpaceX Dragon brings supplies (and a bir...
Star Wars update: What Kylo Ren looks li...
Popstar created scholarship program for ...
Lisa Marie Presley ordered to pay Michae...
Along a Los Angeles freeway, the 101 Cid...
Trump: Were getting really bad dudes out...
Building Bolivian Identity With Psychede...
Find better solutions for Roma stadium s...
Man cleared after serving over 20 years ...
Lin-Manuel Miranda on being an Oscar dor...
Juan Matas hipster guide to Manchester...
In a Turkish Galaxy Far, Far Away ......
Welsh MP takes Brexit petition to Europe...
Pregnant woman loses unborn fetus after ...
Sport Scotland describes 20% funding cut...
Govt going ahead with significant decisi...
Netflix March 2017: New Arrivals and Wha...
Womens Six Nations: Ireland make changes...
Town halls demand Trumps tax returns...
Turmeric-braised baby potatoes with coco...
Senator Cruz calls courts gun test nuts...
How Will States And Cities Respond To Tr...
Ghost Recon Wildlands Open Beta Montuyoc...
Nordic skiing: Pellegrino wins world gol...
Doris fells Game of Thrones tree
Mattarella: “Don’t judge Trump too s...
Davinci IQ Vaporizer Vape NEW never used...
Profits will SURGE as Britain ditches th...
Battle of the breasts: Federal judge ord...
Europa League Live: All the scores and t...
A Jazz Fact Check Of La La Land
Wayne Rooney confirms he is not leaving ...
First Watch: Thaos Meticulous Bird, A Ha...
Netanyahu depicted as Hitler by Sydney p...
Wayne Rooney releases statement over Man...
Shankill woman tells of terrifying scaff...
FTSE dragged down by ex-dividend firms...
NI Assembly election: Disability issues ...
What is the Wireless 2017 line-up? Dates...
Meet Moonlights Joi McMillon, the first ...
Trumps Treasury Secretary targets tax re...
Siberian tigers team up for devastating ...
Almost third of university academics fro...
Zimbabwe denies birthday snub for Isa Ha...
Carrot Salad with lemon turmeric vinaigr...
Could storm Doris blow UKIP to victory i...
Pentax announces development of 50mm F1....
Chelsea line-up predicted: Could Antonio...
Madia reforms OKd (2)
Inside President Trumps Palm Beach Socia...
Is homemade baby food healthier for infa...
Cruz: Courts travel ban decision lawless...
Valtteri Bottas says he will race Lewis ...
Naomie Harris: Daniel Craig could be bac...
The town being pulled apart
Hearthstones Arena Is Undergoing Some Si...
Three More Games Added To Xbox One Backw...
Swim Peacefully With Thousands of Jellyf...
The full Michael Jackson 911 call
Slavisa Jokanovic: Fulham boss signs new...
Britains FTSE falls as Barclays, ex-divs...
Nigeria summons South Africa ambassador ...
Griezmann will DEFINITELY sign for Manch...
Dylan Hartley still in contention for Li...
Opinion: Inuit of northern Quebec see th...
Jaco van Zyl causes stir at Joburg Open ...
Charlotte Dawson shares snap which resem...
Baked spaghetti squash that takes hassle...
Stranger Things Millie Bobby Brown now w...
Kylie Jenner showcases legs and cleavage...
Mercedes Bottas thinks he can be quicker...
U.S. beef exports to China, GMO approval...
Wilder tests KO power in defending heavy...
Motor racing-Bottas blown away by new Me...
4 charged in death of 9-year-old boy wit...
Lonely brothers are deemed a medical mys...
Frances Bonduelle to buy Californias Rea...
Off-duty officers fight with teens sets ...
Oscars made strides, but Octavia Spencer...
Wayne Rooney: I am staying at Manchester...
The Jump: celebrities who have suffered ...
Ahead of Oscars, golden "La La Land" sta...
US Treasurys Mnuchin dials back Trump ec...
Putin says wants to stabilise Syrias leg...
Fitness star says secret to flawless pho...
The Queen loves watching gymnastics, cla...
George Clooneys ex Elisabetta Canalis co...
Kendall Jenner rocks the sports luxe tre...
Man survives having nail HAMMERED into b...
BRIT Awards 2017: Liam Payne makes surpr...
Slavisa Jokanovic commits future to Fulh...
Putins US approval rating jumps, especia...
Some Dakota pipeline protesters defy eva...
Uganda holds dozens of fleeing M23 rebel...
Kelly Ripa sent book about strippers to ...
BRIT Awards 2017: Little Mix put on sizz...
BRIT Awards 2017: David Bowie wins Best ...
BRIT Awards 2017: Louisa Johnson debuts ...
Courtney Cole threatens to RUIN fiances...
BRIT Awards: Andrew Ridgeley pay tribute...
Sara Sampaio exposes breasts at Milan Fa...
Villarreal meets pope before Europa Leag...
Brazil legend Ronaldinho shocked by fema...
Philippines De Lima: from high-flying la...
Soccer-Rooney to stay at Man United - st...
Kenya to start direct U.S. flights after...
BRIT Awards 2017: Emma Willis looks thri...
Senator asks DeVos to clarify remarks ab...
BC-EU--Europe Coverage,ADVISORY, EU...
Tottenham Hotspur v Gent, Europa League ...
Turkey says 2,000 Syrian families set fo...
James Corden shares moment Streep mistoo...
Glencore ready for deals and dividends a...
Nina Dobrev sports a bright pink and bla...
A look at the types of aid US provides M...
Chinas Legend, buyout funds preparing fi...
16 killed in three days of DR Congo clas...
Arrests among dwindling demonstrators at...
Trump again vows to bring back U.S. jobs...
Courgettes are BACK in supermarkets...
EU says trade pact approval rests on Vie...
Police say 2 more Turkish servicemen see...
Storm Doris claims first victim as woman...
Birmingham mother who killed daughter de...
Trump says he has a military operation o...
Comics and music shows in Saudi Arabia d...
Turkish-backed forces seize centre of Sy...
All-American boy lands role in $100m Ch...
Ballerina brings Disney/DreamWorks anima...

REVIEWS & PREVIEWS (LAST 60)
Ricky Martin wants a daughter -- and the...
White nationalist leader Richard Spencer...
Today in Entertainment: Rihanna named Ha...
L.A. theater openings, Feb. 26-March 5: ...
Girls water polo: Southern Section champ...
How to cook with turmeric, and why you s...
Building Type: In battles over Measure S...
How To Make Your Own DIY Turntable For P...
Spotting The Common Redshank
Review: Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug...
A promise to transgender students, fewer...
Lomography Release Colour Negative 35mm ...
Third Nikon Coolpix P900 Camera Winner A...
Best Memory Card Readers 2017
From the Archives: Lakers 1968 Hall of F...
Republicans mount an effort to remake th...
First clip from Alien: Covenant shows a ...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. might be racing in hi...
Thursdays TV highlights: The CBS comedy ...
What you need to know about Trumps new i...
Rams offer $1-million prize in Guess Our...
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Review
Nikon D3400 Review
Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review
Leica M10 First impressions review...
Sony Xperia XZ Review
2016 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Camer...
Huawei P9 Review
Fiction: Death and Disaster Stalk the Ch...
Review: KZ-ATE Hi-Fi Earphones
Fujifilm X-E2S Review
2016 Roundup: 4K action cameras
5 Grey Day Photography Projects To Try...
Conservatives head to CPAC conference...
Leica SL (Typ 601) Review
DeVos reportedly disputes Trump plans to...
Pro baseball teams can now intentionally...
Best Childrens Character Cameras 2017...
Leica SL Review
Xbox Exec On PS4 Competition, Nintendo S...
Rogue Legacy Devs New Game Says "Be Kind...
Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.2 PRO Lens Revi...
Sony Launch SD Card With Write Speeds Up...
Tether Shooting Software For Fujifilm GF...
Fujifilm X-Mount Lens Road Map Released ...
Camera Buying Guide - Find The Right Cam...
Fujifilm X-Mount Lens Road Map Released...
Killing with kindness, GOPs McClintock f...
Sniper Elite 4 Review
Nonfiction: Apocalypse Now: What’s Beh...
Curious Cameras
2016 Roundup: Semi-Pro Interchangeable L...
Google Pixel XL Review
Basic Twilight Shooting Tips
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500/FZ2000 Review...
Getting up close: Canon EF-M 28mm macro ...
Fire Emblem Heroes Review
Fujifilm X-T2 Review
Shooting In Windy Conditions
Find Out Why Mark Warnes Uses Tamron Len...


Administration removes protections for transgender students Feb. 23, 2017, 9:06 a.m. A look at President Trump's administration and the rest of Washington: Trump administration rescinds Obama-era guidance New Homeland Security memos call for strengthening immigration enforcement Trump, after failing... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:06:00 PST )
Today in Entertainment: Rihanna named Harvard Humanitarian of the Year; Sinéad O'Connor apologizes for saying he gave Prince drugs Feb. 23, 2017, 9:55 a.m. With the Oscars around the corner and much of Hollywood still focused on the twists and turns of the presidency of Donald Trump, here's what's... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:55:00 PST )
Today in Entertainment: Rihanna named Harvard Humanitarian of the Year; Sinéad O'Connor apologizes for saying he gave Prince drugs Feb. 23, 2017, 9:55 a.m. With the Oscars around the corner and much of Hollywood still focused on the twists and turns of the presidency of Donald Trump, here's what's... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:55:00 PST )

GIRLS' WATER POLO

SOUTHERN SECTION

Championships, Saturday at Heritage Park (Irvine)

Division 4: #3 Peninsula vs. #1 Anaheim Canyon, 10 a.m.

Division 2: #4 Schurr vs. #2 Riverside Poly, 11:30 a.m.

Division 5: #3 Xavier Prep vs. #1 Pasadena Poly, 1 p.m.

Division 3: #1 Villa Park vs. #2 Redondo,...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:55:00 PST )

This week: A coming-of-age tale about a young Nigerian American woman, a Tony-winning musical comedy about murder most foul, and a physical-theater adaptation of a 17th century spiritual epic.

The Piano Men: A Tribute to Sir Elton John and Billy Joel With tribute artists Jeffrey Allen and Matthew...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:00:00 PST )

If you’ve ever eaten curry, and really who hasn’t, you’ve tasted turmeric. Turmeric is the spice that gives curry pastes and powders that vibrant golden hue. Long popular in India, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and North Africa, these days turmeric is having a golden moment. Maybe you’ve seen...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:00:00 PST )

If you want to understand the forces — and more to the point, the grievances — that gave rise to Measure S, the anti-development initiative that will appear on the March 7 ballot in Los Angeles, you have to go back to the 1980s. That was the decade Angelenos finally rebelled in significant numbers...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:00:00 PST )
360-degree product photography just got a little easier thanks to this DIY turntable you can make at home.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 17:00:01 GMT )
Spotting and photographing the Common Redshank with the help of Eschenbach.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 16:00:01 GMT )
Review: Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug
Belkin's $35 smart plug works with any regular wall socket, adding Wi-Fi capability and app control to any appliance in your home. The post Review: Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:30:41 +0000 )
Essential Education: Trump rescinds Obama's guidance on transgender students Feb. 23, 2017, 5:52 a.m. Welcome to Essential Education, our daily look at education in California and beyond. Here's the latest: Applications for college financial aid through the California Dream Act are much lower than... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Thu, 23 Feb 2017 05:52:00 PST )
Seven years ago, Lomography rescued the very last master roll of 400 ASA film and now they want to share it with you.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:33:45 GMT )
Find out who's won a Nikon Coolpix P900 camera in the third week of the Photo Month competition.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:55:00 GMT )
Find out which memory card readers offer the best price, speeds and ease of use in our guide to purchasing a memory card reader.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:30:01 GMT )

The Dec. 22, 1968 Los Angeles Times caption stated, “Laker coach Bill Van Breda Kolf, left, applauds play against the Warriors–and why not be happy with a bench like this to call on.”

This Laker bench included three future members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Elgin Baylor,...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Thu, 23 Feb 2017 01:00:00 PST )

A quarter of a century after a bitter political fight for control of California’s largest public employee pension fund, a new effort by Republicans in the state Capitol seeks to again dilute the influence of public employee unions by reshaping the agency’s board of directors.

The bill, introduced...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:05:00 PST )

SERIES

Superstore Amy (America Ferrera) sees Mateo and Jeff (Nico Santos, guest star Michael Bunin) on a secret date in this new episode of the workplace comedy. 8 p.m. NBC

Supernatural Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles) seek Rowena’s (guest star Ruth Connell) help in their investigation...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Wed, 22 Feb 2017 20:00:00 PST )

Ridley Scott is returning to his “Alien” franchise, but don’t fret, the first clip from the new feature film “Alien: Covenant” leaves “Prometheus” far behind. Well, except for that robot. 

The first clip from the latest installment in the long-running franchise brings back Michael Fassbender as...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 20:00:00 PST )

Enjoy him while you can, NASCAR Nation.

Savor this Sunday’s Daytona 500. Relish it.

It might be the last one Dale Earnhardt Jr. ever runs.

NASCAR’s most popular driver has made it clear, he will not beat his brains out — literally — in order to continue racing.

 “Of course I’m human and I’m going...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:30:00 PST )

New memos issued this week by Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly brought President Trump’s promised crackdown on illegal immigration one step closer to reality. Kelly lifted nearly all restrictions on targeting the 11-million people in the U.S. illegally for deportation. 

Here’s a breakdown...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:06:00 PST )

The Rams, coming off a 4-12 finish, are longshots to play in the Super Bowl under first-year Coach Sean McVay.

The odds are even longer for a fan to correctly predict the Rams’ schedule before the NFL releases it in April.

As part of a Guess Our Games contest, the Rams are offering a $1-million...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:15:00 PST )
Review: KZ-ATE Hi-Fi Earphones
A poor man's earphone with five-star reviews. Skeptics and trolls, start your engines. The post Review: KZ-ATE Hi-Fi Earphones appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Fri, 27 Jan 2017 13:00:44 +0000 )
Read More

Source: Depreview - All Reviews & Previews (Mon, 17 Oct 2016 14:00:00 Z)
Read More

Source: Depreview - All Reviews & Previews (Fri, 22 Jul 2016 14:28:00 Z)
Margaret Drabble’s “The Dark Flood Rises” is a fictional road trip through various forms of “senior living” in Britain. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:00:02 GMT )
If the weather's not playing ball here are a few photography ideas to keep you busy.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:10:08 GMT )
Trump's new immigration directives: stricter enforcement and more deportations Feb. 22, 2017, 1:38 p.m. A look at President Trump's administration and the rest of Washington: New Homeland Security Department memos call for strengthening immigration enforcement President Trump, after failing to... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:38:00 PST )
Essential Education: The end of the L.A. Unified iPad saga Feb. 22, 2017, 9:41 a.m. Welcome to Essential Education, our daily look at education in California and beyond. Here's the latest: The FBI has completed its investigation into L.A. Unified's iPad plan, and the U.S. Attorney's office says... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Wed, 22 Feb 2017 09:41:00 PST )

The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.

“As part of a broader discussion with other moving...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 07:55:00 PST )
Here's a roundup of the best cameras available for your kids with their favourite characters included!
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:53:51 GMT )
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Source: Depreview - All Reviews & Previews (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:00:00 Z)

Xbox executive Phil Spencer has had a busy week on Twitter. After answering questions about Project Scorpio and backwards compatibility, weighed in on Horizon Zero Dawn and the health of the Xbox ecosystem. Now, he's commented on the console sales race, why Microsoft hasn't made a dedicated handheld gaming device, and more.

On the subject of competition with the PlayStation 4 (a recent report claimed the PS4 is outselling the Xbox One 2:1), Spencer said gaming is "not [a] race between two consoles." Here is the full tweet, which Spencer sent as part of a continuation of his comments about the Xbox brand having its best console generation ever right now with Xbox One:

No Caption Provided

Why Microsoft Never Made Its Own Dedicated Gaming Device

No Caption Provided

On The Nintendo Switch:

No Caption Provided

On Microsoft Universal Windows Platform Games:

No Caption Provided

More PC-To-Xbox One Games Could Come:

No Caption Provided

Read More

Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:17:00 -0800)

Cellar Door Games, the developer of acclaimed 2D platformer Rogue Legacy, has revealed its newest title. It's called Full Metal Furies, a chaotic action-RPG coming to Xbox One and PC later this year.

The game features multiple playable characters, which you can use in four-player co-op or by yourself, switching quickly between two fighters. A trailer, which you can watch below, highlights a number of rules on how to play the game, ranging from "Know your allies" through "Don't skip dialogue" to "Be kind to your cat."

Full Metal Furies is also an Xbox Play Anywhere title, meaning buying it digitally on either Xbox One or PC will grant you a copy on the other platform for free. It remains to be seen if Full Metal Furies will come to additional platforms at a later date.

Cellar Door's last game, Rogue Legacy, originally launched on PC in 2013, before coming to PlayStation platforms a year later and Xbox One in 2015. In our review, we said "it's worth exploring Rogue Legacy's castle again and again and again."

For more, check out all of our Rogue Legacy coverage and videos here.

Read More

Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 03:15:00 -0800)
Sony has introduced a new SD card to its memory line-up that offers quicker read and write speeds and is available in 3 sizes.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:15:58 GMT )
John Riley reviews the ultra-bright Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.2 PRO prime lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:24:51 GMT )
Fujifilm has released details of future lenses they plan to release for Fujifilm X-Mount cameras, including new cinema lenses.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:21:14 GMT )
There's now tether shooting software that's compatible with the Fujifilm GFX 50S.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:49:56 GMT )
Fujifilm has released details of future lenses they plan to release for Fujifilm X-Mount cameras, including new cinema lenses.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:21:14 GMT )
If you're struggling to find the right camera for yourself or for a friend, then why not have a look at our buying guide to help you find the right camera for you.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:34:49 GMT )
Trump's new immigration directives: stricter enforcement and more deportations Feb. 21, 2017, 8:53 p.m. A look at President Trump's administration and the rest of Washington: New Homeland Security Department memos call for strengthening immigration enforcement President Trump, after failing to... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 20:53:00 PST )

For a very abridged version of a very deep series, Fire Emblem Heroes is initially engaging in that it has hooks for two different kinds of players: for fans, the hope of randomly unlocking a favorite character, and for newcomers to the series, an accessible and fun introduction to its turn-based battle tactics. But it also doesn’t do much beyond that, and if you’re somewhere in between those two archetypes, it doesn’t give a compelling reason for you to stick with it.

Playing Fire Emblem Heroes consists mainly of engaging in battles to earn Orbs and then using those Orbs to unlock characters from previous Fire Emblem games at random. There are several currencies to manage and a layered leveling system, but that’s the basic feedback loop. Win a battle, collect an Orb, and hope for a good character (or your favorite) to unlock; if you don’t get what you want, keep trying. What’s missing is why.

Heroes adapts the series’ tactical gameplay for mobile by lowering the difficulty enough to increase the pace of battle. Fire Emblem is known for turn-based strategy on a battlefield, punishing perma-death, and RPG-style character and story development. Heroes features simplified combat without perma-death, and it has a minimal story that isn’t at all interesting without previous Fire Emblem knowledge.

I breezed through the first few chapters with no problems aside from having a weak party initially, and it was a good warm-up after a long break from Fire Emblem. Battles themselves play really well on touchscreen thanks to intuitive controls, and dropping in for a few minutes while on a break makes sense and is definitely an entertaining way to spend some downtime. As the challenges get harder, executing the right strategy can take some serious trial and error, and finding a solution to a tricky map or tough enemies is satisfying.

Trying to unlock new characters, however, is more of a drag. If you have a bad party due to unlucky character drafts, pulling new, stronger allies is the best way to get the upper hand in high-difficulty battles. In the beginning, you can use reward items from completing challenges to quickly level up whoever you want to use. But if you hit a bit of bad RNG, that can mean a lot of grinding--and there are diminishing returns on how fun a battle can be when you’re only doing it to avoid paying real money for Orbs so you can keep getting more characters.

Of course, it’s like that on purpose, since that’s often how free-to-play games turn a profit. But if you’re not terribly invested in unlocking Tharja or Camilla or Marth, then the only reason to keep playing is for the battles. Before I’d put together a strong team, I started to lose interest in playing; but once I pulled good characters, I had a hard time putting my phone down. It’s very tempting to keep playing thanks to Heroes’ quick grind-reward loop, and when I wasn’t spending Orbs on characters, I was using them to fill my Stamina--a separate currency you need in order to battle which refills over time in typical mobile game fashion.

While I never felt forced to buy Orbs, I did end up spending money on them once I started battling for extended periods of time. Playing for more than a few battles in a row meant needing (and buying) more Orbs--and that’s when I decided I would much rather just play Awakening instead, where there’s more of a challenge and my favorite characters are more fleshed out.

When the incentive to keep playing is to be able to keep playing, it’s easy to burn out on Fire Emblem Heroes. Aside from obtaining your favorite characters--if you even care about that--Fire Emblem Heroes becomes less and less rewarding as time goes on. Grinding can only be fun for so long before chasing rare allies becomes a chore, and in that sense it caters to two ends of a wide spectrum while offering little incentive for anyone in between.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Mon, 13 Feb 2017 15:10:00 -0800)
In “Age of Anger,” Pankaj Mishra views today’s political struggles through the prism of the Rousseau-Voltaire debates. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Mon, 13 Feb 2017 10:00:03 GMT )

There's always been something voyeuristic about sniping in video games. With a powerful rifle in hand, you're perched in some bombed-out tower overlooking a Nazi-occupied town, your crosshairs fixated squarely on the head of an enemy soldier as he strides along his designated patrol route. He has no idea that with one pull of the trigger, you're about to send a bullet careening through flesh and bone, snuffing out his young life in a single, gory instant. It's in these moments, when an unaware enemy is trained in your sights and you take a deep breath before pulling the trigger on a skull-shattering killshot, that make Rebellion's Sniper Elite such a devilish joy. Where the series has regularly faltered, however, is in the moments between these euphoric, long-range kills, where it has often been a cumbersome chore just to get around in a stealthy manner. With Sniper Elite 4, Rebellion has changed all that.

This starts with the levels themselves. In Sniper Elite 3, Rebellion abandoned the linearity of previous series entries in favour of opening things up, and Sniper Elite 4 continues that trend in grand fashion. The smallest map in Sniper Elite 4 is three times the size of the largest one seen in its predecessor, and these expansive sandboxes are brimming with open-ended objectives you can choose to complete in any way you desire and in any order you please. They're varied locales, too, stretching across picturesque Italian landscapes on the verge of invasion: from the sunswept isolation of a cavernous island off the coast, to the narrow confines of an opulent beachfront town, to the dense overgrowth found in the heart of a verdant forest. Each one teeming with fascists just waiting to be extinguished with a well-placed bullet.

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And these massive playgrounds aren't just big for the sake of it; they grease the cogs of every other aspect of Sniper Elite 4's design. Collectibles and advantageous sniping positions are judiciously dotted around each map, encouraging you to explore, and the macabre satisfaction of sniping is increased tenfold when you're able to execute a pinpoint headshot from as far as 400 metres away. Sniper Elite's signature X-ray kills return in all their morbid glory here--now with even more detail--and it's a particular treat to see a bullet travel over these extensive distances before colliding with an enemy's skull, the hot lead bursting through eyeballs and sending a mixture of brain matter and skull fragments scattering onto the floor. This may sound tasteless, but the series' grisly ballistics are still second to none--and there's something wonderfully schlocky about rupturing an enemy's scrotum from 200 metres away.

Getting into these fruitful sniping positions isn't the chore it once was either. There's a newfound responsiveness to protagonist Karl Fairburne's movement that makes it easier to get around and stay hidden. This polishing of the underlying mechanics makes tiptoeing across these mammoth spaces enjoyable in itself. There's a decent degree of verticality to each map, too, and you now have the ability to utilize it by clambering up specific surfaces, jumping across gaps, and climbing in and out of windows to navigate with increased freedom--not to mention the ability to wipe out a few enemies with some stealthy ledge takedowns. Environmental kills also play a part, whether it's a convenient red barrell or a rickety-looking bridge, and foliage is often a welcome aid to keep you out of sight from curious Nazi eyes.

With the structure (or lack thereof) of its open-ended mission design, there's also a clear emphasis on experimentation. This is never more evident than with the two-pronged function of each item in your deep-pocketed arsenal. For distraction devices, this means you can switch between throwing rocks to lure enemies to a specific area, or a whistle that will bring them straight to you. Where it really gets fun, however, is with the bevy of explosives in your stockpile. Equip landmine, for example, and you can set it to detonate after one press or two. The former will see it explode the moment it's stood on, which is ideal for a single enemy; while the latter detonates after two steps, making it perfect for dealing with groups. Rig one up with two presses in, say, a doorway, and the delayed blast radius is liable to take out three or four enemies, rather than just the first guy to enter the room. Once you start booby trapping bodies, this devious feature really comes into its own.

Personally, I have a soft spot for the sniper rifle's secondary function: suppressed rounds. These trade dramatic bullet drop-off for silent sniper fire, giving you the flexibility to use the game's standout feature with much more frequency. This was actually an issue in Sniper Elite 3, where it often felt like there were too few chances to use the sniper rifle without alerting everyone to your position, almost encouraging you to stick with the silenced pistol. There are still opportunities to mask the loud crack of your rifle with malfunctioning generators or the thundering noise of Luftwaffe flying overhead, which is the ideal way to silently pop skulls. But in areas where this isn't always possible, you now have the option to snipe with far more regularity, which is key in a game built around doing just that.

If you are spotted and the bullets start flying, pulling out your Thompson and going toe-to-toe with the bloodthirsty fascists isn't as clunky or frustrating as it has been previously. There's a fluidity to the way the game shifts from stealth to action and then back again. And while its cover-based shooting is merely competent at best, its viability as a messy plan B for when things go awry is very much appreciated--which, once again, traces back to the size of the levels themselves. Every objective essentially occupies a pocket of space on these vast maps. Once you're inside one of these pockets, you can cause as much mayhem and destruction as you please, and the rest of the enemies dotted across the level will be none the wiser. This allows you to go in all guns blazing and savour each violent moment, safe in the knowledge that you won't have to worry about the rest of the mission being full of Nazis on high alert. It's a smart choice.

The AI shows a marked improvement over its predecessors in situations similar to this. They'll attempt to triangulate your position based on the sound of gunfire, and officers will command their troops to overwhelm you if they have your location locked down. Inconsistency is a common menace, though, and they're not always the brightest bunch. There were a number of occasions where I would simply circle around an area after being spotted, only to find a bundle of enemies cowering behind cover near my last known position. With all of their backs turned, it was easy pickings. In other instances I've killed an enemy whose body is quickly discovered by one of his buddies. Naturally, I kill him while he's examining it, which garners the attention of another guard, and you can probably tell where I'm going with this. Guard after guard after guard; each one brazenly disregarding the growing pile of corpses to wade into my line of sight.

If you want a harder challenge from the occasional bungling enemy, the “Authentic” difficulty setting strips away all of the handy assists and extends the life of the campaign with a steep learning curve. You'll probably want to skip all of the cutscenes a second time through, though. The plot is completely forgettable; a stereotypical World War II tale, with an unhinged Nazi villain, and a superweapon only our gruff American hero can stop. Some surface level details touch on the Italian resistance and the mafia's role in the war, but it never delves deep enough to be particularly enlightening or engaging as a story. Beyond the beautiful Italian landscapes, the setting isn't exploited as much as one might hope.

Sniper Elite 4 feels like a natural progression for this series, as Rebellion continues to refine its systems and put a greater emphasis on the long-range shooting

Multiplayer serves up a plethora of game modes spread across competitive and cooperative offerings. Control asks teams to battle for supremacy over an ever-moving control point, disregarding the sniper rifle in favour of some up-close-and-personal skirmishes. This sits in stark contrast to the rest of the competitive modes, which are predominantly marksman affairs. If you enjoy cautiously moving across maps with an eye open for the glint of an enemy scope, then there will be something here for you. I can't say I've ever regularly enjoyed sniping in multiplayer shooters, so entire matches based around this style of combat aren't for me. Killing a human player from the opposite side of a map is still immensely satisfying, but these moments are so few and far between, it was never enough to hold my attention for too long.

Survival fares much better, as up to four players work together to withstand increasingly challenging waves of enemies-- à la Horde mode. As snipers, distance is a key advantage, and it's fun finding an opportune location to seek shelter and pick off each wave of progressively difficult Nazis. In a unique twist, the supply box you use to replenish your ammunition also moves to a different location every few waves, forcing you to get creative with your trap placement, and discover new areas to camp out. Once mortar fire, tanks, and heavily-armoured units rain down upon you, it can get incredibly tense.

Sniper Elite 4 feels like a natural progression for this series, as Rebellion continues to refine its systems and put a greater emphasis on the long-range shooting it does so well. Its stealth and action mechanics may be simplistic, but they're functional and regularly enjoyable. And the maps--with their impressive scale, open-ended objectives, and clever level design--coalesce these disparate systems into a creative and fulfilling whole. There are still some issues with AI inconsistency, a bland story, and some dull competitive multiplayer, but it finally feels like this series is living up to its long-standing potential.

Read More

Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Mon, 13 Feb 2017 05:00:00 -0800)
Don't pack your gear up once you've captured your sunset as twilight can be just as rewarding.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - Photography Techniques (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:10:04 GMT )

Curious Cameras is a visual journey through the evolution of the camera, from the earliest daguerreotype camera through to novelty toy cameras.

If you have an interest in cameras through...
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Source: ePHOTOzine - Book Reviews (Wed, 3 Feb 2016 12:47:40 GMT )
Find out more about the work of Steve Davey, a Nikon user who's travelled the world.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:07 GMT )
Here are a few tips and ideas for photos when shooting in windy conditions.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:07 GMT )
Here are some top food photography tips for you to have a go at with your camera.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:07 GMT )
We talk to Tamron user Mark Warnes about his wildlife and landscape imagery.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:07 GMT )
Essential Politics: Lawmaker says California needs an estate tax if the federal version is scrapped, Sanders thanks supporters in Los Angeles Feb. 21, 2017, 1:59 p.m. This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now: If... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:59:00 PST )

Inside the carnage of the Lakers’ “Red Wedding” trade deadline, where decades of service to the franchise were sent packing, an opportunity has arisen.

Magic Johnson, the man who always knew how to pick ‘em in transition, the man who made the perfect pass at the perfect moment, needs to hire himself...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:50:00 PST )

Two weeks after Walt Disney Co. launched a bailout of struggling Euro Disney, another international Disney resort revealed that its financial woes grew last year.

Hong Kong Disneyland reported a second consecutive annual loss on an 11% drop in attendance and a 7% decline in revenue. The $22-million...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:50:00 PST )

New Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson will function as the team’s general manager during trade talks in the next two days, Johnson said on Spectrum SportsNet, the Lakers’ official TV station.

The NBA trade deadline is noon Pacific time Thursday.

Johnson said he had already...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:05:00 PST )

Long crazy about Coco, Chanel is now going gaga for Gabrielle. That’s the name of the brand’s latest handbag hope, its communications thrust for 2017 and a forthcoming fragrance — the company’s first new pillar in 15 years, named after the house founder and exalting the rebellious, mold-breaking...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:00:00 PST )
The mystery of who would be the first celebrity to wear the brand new Oscar de la Renta has been solved - and with it came a whole new celeb fashion Instagram account to follow. That would be one Emma Watson, who unveiled her Oscar red-carpet moment via her newly launched Instagram account, "The... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:00:00 PST )

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders got a rock star’s welcome when he spoke in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday in what was theoretically a book tour stop but amounted to more of a political rally, urging progressives to play by new rules as they resist President Trump’s administration.

“We are looking at...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:50:00 PST )

Milo Yiannopoulos’ book was cancelled Monday. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be published.

Simon & Schuster took the unusual step of cancelling publication of “Dangerous,” by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, after a video surfaced that showed the Breitbart editor appearing to defend sex...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:50:00 PST )
Essential Politics: Lawmaker says California needs an estate tax if the federal version is scrapped, Sanders thanks supporters in Los Angeles Feb. 21, 2017, 11:02 a.m. This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now: If... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:02:00 PST )
Essential Politics: Lawmaker says California needs an estate tax if the federal version is scrapped, Sanders thanks supporters in Los Angeles Feb. 21, 2017, 11:02 a.m. This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now: If... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:02:00 PST )
Today in Entertainment: Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert harpoon Trump's Sweden gaffe Feb. 21, 2017, 11:04 a.m. With the Oscars around the corner and much of Hollywood still focused on the twists and turns of the presidency of Donald Trump, here's what's new and interesting in entertainment and... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:04:00 PST )

To the editor: I must respond to a letter writer who suggested that the leaks by “unelected and unnamed bureaucrats to bring down officials is what happens in a police state.” (“Constant revelations about the Trump administration and Russia bring back memories of Watergate,” Readers React, Feb....

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:00:00 PST )

To the editor: This headline might as well be, “Why fixing climate change won’t be easy.” (“'This is the worst I have seen': California's roads are in dire shape, says former Caltrans director,” Feb. 12)

The inability of American or even progressive California legislators to raise the measly, unchanged-in-a-quarter-century...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:00:00 PST )

Wayne Shaw was hungry, so he ate a meat pie.

The problem with that is he did so while serving as a backup goalie for Sutton United during a Football Assn. Cup match against Arsenal — and with the knowledge that a betting company had 8-1 odds that he would grab a snack on the sideline during that...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:00:00 PST )
Today in Entertainment: Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert harpoon Trump's Sweden gaffe Feb. 21, 2017, 10 a.m. With the Oscars around the corner and much of Hollywood still focused on the twists and turns of the presidency of Donald Trump, here's what's new and interesting in entertainment and the... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:00:00 PST )
Review: Here One Wireless Earbuds
Doppler Labs takes a stab at the newest trend in wearables, the in-ear computer. The post Review: Here One Wireless Earbuds appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:00:00 +0000 )

What do a ten year-old boy with fairy godparents, a half-ghost teenager, an anthropomorphic animal secret agent and a pint-sized beast have in common? They’re all characters born from the mind of Butch Hartman.

For the first time ever, the animated worlds of “The Fairly Oddparents,” “Danny Phantom,”...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:00:00 PST )

From a closing at Grand Central Market to new tasting menus from an L.A. veteran, here’s what’s happening in the Los Angeles food-and-drink world. 

Farewell: Bar Moruno, Mozza alums Chris Feldmeier and David Rosoff’s Spanish-inspired restaurant at Grand Central Market, will close Sunday. The stall...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:00:00 PST )

Hi, my name is Houston Mitchell, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. It just really hit me the other day that we won't be able to hear Vin Scully this season. 

Chase is back

The big news recently was the Dodgers re-signing Chase Utley to a one-year deal. Utley's deal is worth $2 million...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:00:00 PST )

One month down, 47 (or 95) months to go.

As President Trump celebrated his first month in office Monday, late-night hosts lined up to take on his latest round of headlines.

Seth Meyers found plenty of reasons to break out his keenly honed Trump impression on Monday's "Late Night," opening the show...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:51:00 PST )

An Israeli military tribunal on Tuesday sentenced a soldier to 18 months in jail for fatally shooting a Palestinian knife assailant lying wounded on the ground in the West Bank city of Hebron last March.

The decision comes a month and a half after the military court unanimously convicted Sgt. Elor...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:45:00 PST )
Trump decries threats to Jewish centers Feb. 21, 2017, 7:52 a.m. A look at President Trump's administration and the rest of Washington: Trump, who had shown reluctance to speak out, condemns anti-Semitism Trump's new national security advisor , H.R. McMaster, is an Army strategist Defense secretary... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:52:00 PST )
Trump decries threats to Jewish centers Feb. 21, 2017, 7:52 a.m. A look at President Trump's administration and the rest of Washington: Trump, who had shown reluctance to speak out, condemns anti-Semitism Trump's new national security advisor , H.R. McMaster, is an Army strategist Defense secretary... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:52:00 PST )

Restaurant Brands International Inc. said it's buying Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. for $1.8 billion, bringing the fried chicken chain under the same corporate umbrella as Burger King and Tim Hortons.

The move fits with Restaurant Brands' approach of taking over well-known fast-food chains it...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 06:55:00 PST )

This walled and gated desert dwelling in Palm Springs contains an oasis of its own. Rooms in the 1936 Spanish hacienda-style home face an expansive swimming pool area that takes in views of the surrounding mountainsides. At the heart of the single-story home is an over-sized great room with an...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:00:00 PST )

Looking for an office complex with its own helipads, swimming pool, data center and emergency power?

One just hit the market in Torrance: the longtime North American headquarters of Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, which is consolidating its U.S. operations in Texas.

Toyota announced its plans...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:00:00 PST )

If you ask recent visitors to New Orleans to assess their dining experiences, the responses will undoubtedly fall in the range of “great” to “How much time do you have?”

The Crescent City has long been a lure for epicures, a place where the cuisine has been informed by centuries of new arrivals...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:00:00 PST )

Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as investors return from the holiday weekend in a buying mood.

Energy companies and banks posted some of the biggest gains in early trading Tuesday. Hess rose 2% and Northern Trust rose 1%.

The gains sent indexes further into record territory. U.S. markets...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:05:00 PST )

Baseball fans who want an edge on spring-training travel to Arizona might consider staying at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. The period hotel has added something new to its roster of guest services this season: baseball butler.

The pros on the hotel’s concierge staff have been guiding Cactus...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 06:00:00 PST )

Officials in Modesto are preparing for the Tuolumne River to rise higher than 60 feet by midafternoon Tuesday and begin flooding nearby areas, the result of the release of water down the spillway of Don Pedro Dam for the first time in nearly two decades and continued storms in Northern California.

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 06:00:00 PST )

How do you get around Yellowstone National Park in winter? One way is to take a daylong tour with experienced guides aboard a comfortable snow coach. Old Faithful Winter Expeditions are on sale now, starting at $299 per person.

The deal: For the past half-century, Teton Science Schools has been...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 06:00:00 PST )

Investing in start-ups trying to make video games has fallen out of favor in much of the venture capital community.

They’re difficult-to-predict businesses, driven more by characters and animation than by novel technology and often have limited potential buyers if they don’t work out as well as...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 06:00:00 PST )

It's difficult to think of an anime and manga property more suited to join Omega Force's Warriors meta-series than Berserk. Franchise protagonist Guts lives and breathes hack-and-slashing, enough that he, at first glance, can be mistaken for a one-dimensional mercenary obsessed with killing. Unfortunately, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk's simplistic gameplay does little to demystify this shallow perception. It's an inadequate introduction to the Warriors games although the abundance of anime and CG cinematics makes it a fitting gateway to the Berserk even if it doesn't do its main character any favors.

For a manga series that has lasted over 27 years, spanning myriad story arcs, it was wise of Omega Force to focus on Berserk's most well known events, namely the narratives that have been adapted into various anime productions. The result is a comprehensive Story Mode that chronicles Guts' evolution from a raging teenage mercenary with no life goals to a homicidal adult seeking retribution. Band of the Hawk isn't a sufficient substitute for the anime since it glosses over many supporting characters' storylines. Furthermore, the best action scenes, from The Golden Age film trilogy in particular, have been omitted as you get to reenact those same battles instead. Unfortunately, these playable scenes fail to elevate its presentation to match the show.

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Berserk is representative of Warriors games at their most simple and straightforward which, when compared to their recent achievements with Hyrule Warriors and Dragon Quest Heroes, is all the more disappointing. Assignments are limited to three types: destroy, rescue, and kill. The game of region dominance--a hallmark of Dynasty Warriors campaigns--is barely utilized and would have added depth to Berserk's 46 story chapters.

Even with Guts' propensity for killing, there's no substantial or long term incentive to slaughter everyone that crosses his sword. At its best moments, amassing a body count of over 1,000 while completing goals in a single mission feels cathartic but there's never the compulsion to wipe an entire map clean of enemies. To do so would add monotony to an already tedious campaign, when the drive to tick off objectives and reach the next cutscene becomes more appealing than staying on the battlefield.

Despite the multiple objectives, the occasional mid-mission plot twists, and all the running around, the majority of chapters can take less than 10 minutes to complete. What results are missions that are shorter than the cinematics that frame each sortie. The intermissions in the first third of the story mode wisely reprises scenes from Berserk's Golden Age film trilogy while players are spared from footage from the divisive new TV show in favor of new CG scenes. It's plot-heavy by Warriors standards but works in the context of Guts' epic road to revenge.

Guts' brutal and offensive-minded repertoire is expressed through the simple combos that make up much of his move set. It all comes down to how many quick and strong attacks you string together. After every hundred or so kills, Guts can unleash a finishing move that wipes out every nearby foe. Such carnage is fitting for him though it's easy to see how a sense of routine can set in quickly and often. Without a greater variety of objectives, Omega Force's brand of unrefined hack and slashing becomes all the more magnified as you labor through this lengthy campaign.

The novel appeal of playing someone other than Guts loses its allure quickly since Free Mode only features previously beaten story missions.

This reliance on the Warriors formula extends to the playable areas outside the story. Free Mode, a staple of the meta-series, serves as an outlet to try out Berserk's supporting cast. They all control with the same quick attack/strong attack simplicity of Guts, each with their own brutal flourishes, where two dozen troops can be vanquished with a single sword stroke. The androgynous Griffin kills with the lethal grace of a fencer while the skilled Casca moves with the agility of a ninja. The novel appeal of playing someone other than Guts loses its allure quickly since Free Mode only features previously beaten story missions.

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Berserk's repetitiveness is all the more pronounced in Endless Eclipse, the game's endurance mode. Despite its seemingly intimidating 100-round design, this mode lacks character as it's neither a tower dungeon nor is it a hectic wave-based survival mode. Instead, it mimics the Story Mode's prioritization on completing objectives with no penalty for running past all the lesser enemies in each round. Endless Eclipse also underscores Berserk's lack of replay incentives, despite the character-building rewards it bestows when completing missions. In Endless Eclipse, boredom is as much an obstacle as anything this mode throws at you.

Given how well Guts' bloodlust and battle experience are well-suited to the crowd fighting and mass slaughter of Warriors games, it's a disappointing that this tie-in lacks the engagement and nuance of Omega Force's more imaginative efforts with other franchises. Its saving feature is the expansiveness of the campaign narratives, which serve as a hearty sampling of the Berserk franchise's multiple story arcs. If not for these insightful cutscenes, the developer's penchant for adequate but unengaging hack and slash combat would perpetuate the image of Guts as a one-note protagonist. And even if you're a Warriors fan who knows not to expect a Dark Souls level of gratifying melee combat, Band of the Hawk still deprives you of the juicy sights and sounds that one associates with Guts' savagery; the splashes of red that result from every kill hardly counts as "gore".

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 06:00:00 -0800)

I’m Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don’t want you to miss today.

TOP STORIES

After Flynngate, the White House Does an About-Face

A week after the departure of conspiratorially minded Michael Flynn, President Trump has named a new national security...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 05:00:00 PST )

Guess what? It did get better for gay, lesbian and bisexual high schoolers when the states they were growing up in changed their laws to allow same-sex marriage, a new study finds.

More specifically, in a 16-year period during which changes in state marriage laws were sweeping the nation, states...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 04:00:00 PST )

The day he was sworn in to the California Assembly, freshman Bay Area Democrat Ash Kalra filed his first piece of legislation: Assembly Bill 20, which would force the state’s two largest public employee retirement funds, CalSTRS and CalPERS, to divest from companies involved in building the disputed...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 05:00:00 PST )

The news is good but not great. Women and minorities have made modest gains in front of and behind the camera  but remain significantly underrepresented as leading actors in films, as TV show creators, as writers who sweat out the dialogue — just about every part of the entertainment industry,...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 05:00:00 PST )

Elections have consequences, as the saying goes, and here’s another one arising from conservative Republicans taking complete control of the federal government: The Endangered Species Act, which played a significant role in saving the bald eagle and the California condor from extinction, is now...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 21 Feb 2017 04:00:00 PST )


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