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LEGO Dimensions expands

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has released five collectable expansion packs for LEGO Dimensions, the LEGO toy and videogame hybrid. 

Team and Fun Packs based on Cartoon Network’s animated series, Teen Titans Go! and The Powerpuff Girls, plus a Beetlejuice Fun Pack, broaden the selection of the world’s most popular entertainment brands available for the game, allowing players to customise their experience by mixing and matching favourite characters and universes with full compatibility.

Players that purchase either Teen Titans Go! expansion pack can access an exclusive, original animated episode to discover how the vibrant team of teenage Super Heroes stumbled upon the LEGO Dimensions multiverse and embarked on hilarious, heroic adventures with new friends.  Offering players even more fun and value, the Teen Titans Go! packs will also transform Cyborg, from the DC Comics Fun Pack, and Robin, from The LEGO Batman Movie Story Pack, into their Teen Titans Go! variants in the Teen Titans Go! Adventure World.

The Teen Titans Go! Team Pack, includes LEGO minifigures of the DC Super Hero team Raven and Beast Boy. Darkness and light in one, Raven can fight off villains using fire magic and electric bolts along with moving objects with her telekinetic powers. She can transform into her miniature Soul Self to access remote areas and cast Raven’s Portal to teleport to unreachable locations. Players can jump into action with Beast Boy as he transforms into either a bird to fly the skies, a shark to dive underwater or a mouse to get through tight spaces. The pack also features the 3-in-1 T-Car which can be rebuilt into the Forklift and T-Plane for out of this world adventures by air and sea. Players can transform the Spellbook of Azarath into Raven Wings and the Giant Hand to take flight and dig through the earth for adventures above and beyond this universe.

The Teen Titans Go! Fun Pack includes a Starfire LEGO minifigure. Players can unleash her powerful green energy blast to kiss the bad guys good-bye in her crime-fighting adventures. With the abilities to interact with LEGO Rainbow bricks and regain health quickly in battle, no one can put Starfire down. Players can also build the 3-in-1 Titan Robot for a roller-coaster fun-filled adventure and then rebuild it into the T-Rocket or Robot Retriever for an even more supercharged adventure with the rest of the Titans gang.

Raven, Beast Boy, and Starfire each provide access to the Teen Titans Go! Adventure World in Jump City where players can go on missions and explore several psychedelic areas from the Titans Tower to Wacka Doodles Amusement Park.

Townsville comes to life in LEGO Dimensions with The Powerpuff Girls Team Pack which includes LEGO minifigures of the super-powered sisters, Blossom and Bubbles. Players can use ultra-superpowers like Blossom’s Heat Vision and Bubble’s Rainbow Beam to fight crime and battle the forces of evil. For access to additional special abilities, the 3-in-1 Octi can be rebuilt into the Super Skunk or Sonic Squid, and the PPG Smartphone can be rebuilt into the PPG Hotline and Powerpuff Mag-Net.

The Powerpuff Girls Fun Pack includes a Buttercup LEGO minifigure. Players can use this cherished champion of justice to fight crime and come just in time with supercool superpowers, like Energy Shield and Flight!  The 3-in-1 Mega Blast Bot can be rebuild into the Ka-Pow Cannon and Slammin’ Guitar to rock extra-awesome combat abilities. When the going gets tough, players can jump into the Mega BlastBot to crush foes and rebuild it into the Ka-Pow Cannon and Slammin’ Guitar to rock extra-awesome combat abilities.

Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup each provide access to The Powerpuff Girls Adventure World where players can unlock iconic locations like Pokey Oaks elementary, Rainbow Land, and Professor Utonium’s lab. When competition beckons, players can go head-to-head in the Battle Arena for endless fun.

The Beetlejuice Fun Pack brings spookiness to LEGO Dimensions with a Beetlejuice LEGO minifigure. Players can activate his supernatural powers to scare away the living with skills like Mind Control, Telekinesis and Spike Attack. Players can jump on the Saturn’s Sandworm for a joyride, and rebuild it into the Haunted Vacuum and Spooky Spider for more ghostly powers. Beetlejuice also unlocks an exclusive Adventure World and Battle Arena.

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CES: Most useless gadgets of all

Choosing the best of show is a popular pastime, but the worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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