Six (6) Android Games You Should Play Now not Tomorrow

Got a new device? You need to get some new games. Here are some quick recommendations for great Android games. Some are familiar from other platforms. Some are free. Some are paid, and some have specific hardware requirements. All are listed here.
1.  Minecraft Pocket Edition
Why it is great: Minecraft is an entertaining block-building and survival game. You can play either in creative mode where you build and invent things in your own randomly generated world or you can play in survival mode where you use your wits and resources to survive against the creepers who come out at night.
Note – this does not connect with your main Minecraft account if you play the computer version of the game.
Play for yourself or keep it around to entertain kids. (Turn off in-app purchases if you do this.)
Minecraft is a paid app ($6.99) but you can find occasional sales, in-app purchases run from $0.50 to $1.99.   More »
2.  Lara Croft Go
Based on the popular Tomb Raider series and developed by Square Enix, Lara Craft Go is a relatively simple but very addictive puzzle game you can take with you. The puzzles are designed for short bursts of play, so pull it out in the doctor’s office waiting room or while riding the bus home.
Lara Croft Go sells for $4.99 but is occasionally on sale for $0.99. It allows in-app purchases. If you like this game, you can also check out Hitman Go, which is also from Square Enix.  More »
3.  Buttons and Scissors
This is a free puzzle game where you try to cut matching color buttons off of a square of denim. Mechanically this feels similar to Bejeweled, but not completely the same. The logic puzzles offer great challenges for players of all ages.
The other big advantage to this game is that it does not require any connectivity. You can play this game on devices that aren’t connected to Wi-Fi or in that signal dead spot.
Buttons and Scissors is a free download but allows in-app purchases.  More »
 Did you want to try out the new trend in adult coloring books, but you don’t want to carry around coloring pencil and a coloringb book? Try out this app instead. It’s appropriate for kids or adults, and while it’s not the same as coloring in an actual coloring book, it is still very satisfying.
Mandala Coloring Pages is free (with ads) but also allows in-app purchases.  More »
Yes. You can play an Android version of Portal. This is a real console game. As such, it requires a real console. This version will only work on the Nvidia Shield version of Android TV.  The Nvidia Shield starts at around $199 but allows you to stream movies and play Android games on your TV.
Portal starts at $1.99 but this is “introductory pricing.”  More »
If you have a phone with a fast processor and terrific screen display, you can take it for a ride with this virtual reality game. This is a first-person shooter where you aim at balloons. You’ll need Google Cardboard. This is an inexpensive accessory that you can either make or buy for around $15 and will turn your phone into a virtual reality device. Obviously not a game you can play while waiting in a doctor’s office (unless your doctor is awesome) but a fun novelty game to play by yourself or after having one of your friends try on the headset.
VR Cardboard Shooter 3D is a free download.  More »

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Before Windows 10: Behind-The-Scenes At A Young Microsoft


Before Windows 10: Behind-The-Scenes At A Young Microsoft

The thrill and terror of a “Bill G meeting,” the creation of Expedia by a 25 year old, and what happened when everyone got stock… these and other tales of a young Microsoft will appear in this space over the next few weeks to look back at the go-go 1990’s when Microsoft was emerging as a global powerhouse but acted in many ways still like a start-up.

Story #1: Stock Obsessed, But in a Good Way

Whether it’s because they love the mission or because know if the company makes it big, they will too, start-up employees are highly invested in the success of their company.  While Microsoft already employed 5,000+ people in 1990, one way it retained that small company feel was making all employees significant stockholders. These “golden handcuffs,” employees’ stock options that vested each year, gave them shares of the company and significantly affected their attitudes and actions.

As part owners, Microsofties were interested in any aspect of the company and the marketplace that affected the stock price. Hence, they usually knew a great deal more about other divisions than was usual for big-company employees. My group assistant knew which were our big money-making divisions, what their latest ads looked like, and could reel off recent changes in Microsoft’s on-line services.

Knowing more about the company translated to better decision-making. A marketer who knew about a strategy shift in another Microsoft division took that into account when she made plans for her own product. An interesting tidbit in the news or from a trade-show might get passed from one group to another, because hey, it could help the stock price.

As part owners, Microsofties who were asked to work on projects for other groups didn’t see it as helping someone else’s fiefdom; they saw it as working for the company and ultimately themselves. They put up with nasty workloads or less-than-optimal jobs longer.

When a star who worked for me was promoted to work in another division, I didn’t lament his loss as much as cheer for his larger possible impact on the company. We were loyal to the company because it let us share in its growing fortune.

In the 1990’s, when Microsoft was young, employees were obsessed with the stock price, and for good reason — an estimated 10,000 of them became “Microsoft millionaires.” As for the company, motivating and retaining that talented workforce helped Microsoft act small while it got big.

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 a commission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own.
 We do not receive payment for positive reviews.

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