New Year's Eve at Hogwarts Castle was a magical kaleidoscope of fireworks

TwitterFacebook

While some of us were dancing our hearts out and glugging champagne, others were ushering in the New Year in the most magical way possible — at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 

They didn’t have to run through a wall at King’s Cross Station to get there, though. They went along to Universal Studios Hollywood, where Hogwarts Castle happens to be located. 

As the clock struck 12, people looked to the sky to feast their eyes upon a kaleidoscopic display of fireworks above Hogwarts Castle. 

Happy New Years from #universalstudioshollywood 🎉

A post shared by Ben Conway (@ush.hacker) on Jan 1, 2018 at 1:42am PST Read more…

More about Harry Potter, Universal Studios, New Year S Eve, Hogwarts, and Culture


Lin-Manuel Miranda's tender New Year's message made the holiday a little less horrible

TwitterFacebook

Unless you live in a designated warm place like Miami or Los Angeles, New Year’s is widely accepted as the worst holiday of the year.

Thankfully, there are little tweets for us cold climate people that keep us goingHamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda had one of the sweetest this year, with just the right amount of corniness to make it chug.

Miranda pulled up a Facebook post he wrote on New Years Eve six years ago as he was creating Hamilton.

“It’s very hard to write battle wraps between Jefferson and Hamilton when you’re nowhere near as smart as the people for whom you are writing. The hamster in the hamster wheel that runs my fevered brain needs a drink,” Miranda wrote at the time. Read more…

More about Watercooler, Hamilton, Lin Manuel Miranda, New Years, and Culture

Snapchat takes a New Year's Eve siesta as app goes down

If you tried to send out New Year’s Eve messages to friends and family via Snapchat this afternoon, you might have noticed that something went wrong and your message was never sent. The messaging app has been down since 4:43pm EST, according to website DownDetector. The graph also showed that a surge in complaints to a peak number of 2,889 took place after 5pm EST.

35% of those complaining about Snapchat today, report having trouble sending snaps. The same amount are having issues receiving snaps or refreshing the site. And 28% report that the app is having trouble starting, and when it …

App Store and Google Play, watch out for records on New Year's Day

This year has been big for tech. So big, in fact, that electronics’ sales grew 7.5% over the holidays. This may not sound like much, but has in fact been the largest such increase in a decade, meaning that there was quite a lot of gear under those Christmas trees that will have to be opened, set up, and apps and games have to be loaded on it. Case in point – the Nintendo and Sony servers went down yesterday, as millions of folks tried to log in or register accounts simultaneously.

Last year, the Christmas weekend saw app sales shoot through the roof at a 52% increase over the previous one, …

Verizon added 274,000 net new postpaid phone subscribers in Q3, up 13% over last year's figure

The third quarter earnings season is now here, and first out of the gate is Verizon. For the period covering July through the end of September, Big Red added 274,000 net new postpaid phone subscribers. That is a 13.2% gain over the 242,000 added during the third quarter of 2016. Overall, Verizon added 603,000 net new subscribers including 91,000 net new tablet users and 238,000 using other connected devices including wearables. At the end of the third quarter, Verizon counted 109.7 million retail postpaid and 5.6 million retail prepaid connections.

With a retail postpaid churn rate of .75%, …

See how the Huawei Mate 10 Pro compares to last year's Mate 9

We are less than two weeks away from the announcement of the Huawei’s new Mate 10 series, which kind of explains the deluge of leaked information, pictures, and teasers that have been unleashed in recent times. 
We already know that the Mate 10 lineup will consist of four devices – a regular Mate 10, a Mate 10 Pro, a Mate 10 Lite, and even a fancy Mate 10 Porsche Design.
A few days ago, reliable tipster Evan Blass uploaded what appears to be an official render of the Mate 10 Pro. That image (see above) gave us …

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro to be more expensive than last year's Gear Fit

Over one year after introducing the Gear Fit 2, Samsung is now getting ready to release a new Tizen-based smart band. Apparently called Gear Fit 2 Pro, the new wearable device might be announced on August 23, at the same time with the Galaxy Note 8 smartphone.

Earlier this month, we saw several renders showing the Gear Fit 2 Pro, while learning quite a few things about its features. Now, we also have details about its price. According to a leaked screenshot – seen below – the Gear Fit 2 Pro will cost $199.99 at a major US retailer. That’s $20 over the launch price of the Gear Fit 2 from …

This month's Alcatel Idol 5S leak shows the handset compared with last year's Idol 4

It seems that once each month the unannounced Alcatel Idol 5S appears in a story of some sort. Back in February, the sequel to the Alcatel Idol 4 was discovered on the Geekbench site with the Helio P20 chipset from MediaTek under the hood. The MT6757CH carries an octa-core CPU, and the Mali-T880 GPU; the phone went through the test with 3GB of RAM inside and Android 7.0 pre-installed. In March, the Alcatel Idol 5S was spotted on the GFXBench site, this time with a broader list of specs.

Some of the new information we learned from GFXBench last month included the 5.2-inch size of the display, …

Oxenfree, one of last year's best indie games, is now available on iOS

One of last year’s indie darlings, Oxenfree, which itself as a “supernatural teen thriller”, has just been released on the iOS App Store. The title is developed by Night School, the studio also responsible for the Mr Robot mobile game previously released on both iOS and Android.

After its release for PCs and Xbox One, the game was lauded for its natural, conversational dialogue which seamlessly integrated with the gameplay. Consequently, it appeared on a number of Game of the Year lists, and for good reason – the title also features an engrossing story …