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Best of Nintendo from the past decade (2010-2019): From revolutionizing the handheld to more great Pokémon – iMore

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Nintendo decade retrospective

Pokemon Go image

Pokemon Go imageSource: Niantic

Hundreds of new Pokémon have been brought to the games in the last 10 years supplying us with over 800 Pokémon total. As the various online polls brought on by the news of “Dexit” showed, every Pokémon out there is someone’s favorite. Since Pokémon holds such a special significance to each person, we decided we’d list some of our favorites and then explain why we like them so much. Here are some of our favorite Pokémon listed in alphabetical order:

Appletun

Appletun Poke

Appletun PokeSource: The Pokémon Company

The last decade of Pokémon has seen Game Freak forced to lean ever more deeply into weirder, unobvious ideas for monster designs as their total roster crept up to 1,000. I welcome this newfound chaos with open arms and would like to submit what I think to be the pinnacle of design nonsense as also one of the best ever: Appletun.

Appletun evolves from Applin, an aptly-named apple-looking thing that is in actuality just a small worm that has burrowed into an apple to hide from birds. It’s an uncommon, but otherwise unaccomplished creature until exposed to checks notes a…second apple…whose flavor determines what kind of dragon it grows up into. If the apple is sweet, the worm merges with the apple and transforms into what amounts to a cross between a dragon and apple pie. Its Pokédex entry suggests that children eat its flesh.

This thing has no business existing in a game where, over a decade ago, all worms logically evolved into obvious bigger bug things. It is also one of my favorite Pokémon in the whole world and I am overjoyed Pokémon has existed long enough for this mishmash of ideas to exist. Long live Appletun. -Reb Valentine

Charizard

Charizard Pokemon

Charizard PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

Ever since Pokémon Red and Blue released, we had the pleasure of knowing this awe-inspiring dual fire-type and flying-type Pokémon. Whether you fell in love with it playing Pokémon Red or Blue, or it tugged on your heartstrings in the anime, Charizard earns its place on this list. I mean, especially if the holographic Pokémon card has anything to say about it. Strong, intimidating, and a force to be reckoned with, Charizard has always been a favorite among fans. Even its iconic showdown with Pikachu made it into the Detective Pikachu movie. You can’t deny the popularity of this powerhouse; Charizard definitely deserves a spot on your roster. It’s a bummer that it takes so long to get one in Pokémon Sword and Shield. -Sara Gitkos

Eevee

Eevee Pokemon

Eevee PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

Eevee is one of the best Pokémon ever created, and it’s far better than the franchise mascot, Pikachu. Eevee is like an adorable little puppy or kitty, and it looks like something that you can have in real life as a pet. I mean, honestly, who can resist the adorableness of Eevee when it gives you love in the games? Plus, the coolest and best part about Eevee are all of the possible evolutions that it can take. To me, it’s like watching a person grow and become their own, depending on their circumstances. With eight possible evolutions, you have most of your bases covered. I mean, you have Fire, Water, Electric, Dark, Psychic, Grass, Ice, and Fairy — you can have a solid team of Eeveelutions and be covered for most situations! The versatility of Eevee is ridiculously good. And with so many different possibilities, I’m sure there’s at least one Eeveelution that everyone loves above the rest. For me, I adore Jolteon, Vaporeon, Umbreon, and Sylveon. -Christine Romero-Chan

My favorite Pokémon is Eevee: Eevee is the pinnacle of what Pokémon is all about. With the potential to evolve into eight different types or just continue to be its own, Normal-type awesome self, Eevee has it all. You can have an entire team of Eevee and Eeveelutions and still not have them all. While Gen VIII didn’t give us a new type, it did give us a Gigantimax Eevee, finally proving that even without evolving Eevee is amazing. On top of all that, with its dog-like appearance and so much fluff, it’s also one of the cutest Pokémon out there. -Casian Holly

Gengar

Gengar

GengarSource: The Pokémon Company

Gengar has been my best boi for a couple of decades. On the original Pokémon Red/Blue, your first encounter with Gengar’s evolutionary line is in Lavender Town, which houses a graveyard tower filled to the brim with ghostly Pokémon. Lavender Town made a lasting impression on me as a kid, with Gengar’s Hypnosis/Dream Eater combo carrying me to victory against tons of friends at school.

Gengar is a popular Pokémon in general, making its way across various titles, complete with a huge array of merchandise and alternative Mega and Gigantamax forms. As the games progress, Gengar’s Pokédex description gets darker. G-Max Gengar transforms into a gaping portal, which, according to the Pokédex, is a literal gateway to the afterlife. Standing in front of Gengar’s mouth will allow you to hear the cries of your deceased loved ones. Few Pokémon are as creepy as they are cute.

I have to give an honorable mention to Sword/Shield’s Polteageist, which combines the best of my love of Ghost Pokémon and my love of tea. -Jez Corden

Gyarados

Gyarados Pokemon

Gyarados PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

I think we can all relate to Gyarados. There are times we feel that we’re powerless and weak, just a floundering fish at the mercy of others. But then we evolve: we can burst out of our shell and grow, becoming more powerful than anybody could’ve imagined. We start off as Magikarps and turn into Gyarados. It may be cheesy, but I think this is why Gyarados resonates with so many. It’s such a huge departure from its previous form that it’s surprising. It’s also satisfying, especially because Gyarados is so powerful. -Carli Velocci

Ninetales

Ninetales

NinetalesSource: The Pokémon Company

Ninetales is a truly beautiful Pokémon to look at. She is the picture of grace paired with power, and I can’t help but love beautiful yet dangerous creatures. The variety in types of moves she can learn offers a good mix you can build up for a well-rounded Pokémon, from fire, to psychic, to ghost, and fire. She even has grass, ground, and dark moves you can teach her with the right TM. I love that you can tell that she is an intelligent creature, very true to her fox nature. If you’re good to her, she is good to you. Plus, who wouldn’t love this awesome Pokédex entry in Pokémon Sword?: “It is said to live 1,000 years, and each of its tails is loaded with supernatural powers.” -Alex Huebner

Noivern

Noivern Pokemon

Noivern PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

It’s really hard for me to choose a favorite Pokémon because I like several of them for very different reasons. However, one of my absolute favorites is Noivern. I’ve always loved bats and dragons and this awesome guy is a mix of the two. On top of that, I love his coloring with the purple, green, and black getting broken up by the white fur. Whenever possible I always put him in my party. If Pokémon were real and I got to travel around with this guy, that’d be freaking awesome! I also love that his shiny variant is one of the ones that looks very different from his original coloring. It makes it far more exciting to find one and show it off. -Rebecca Spear

Pikachu

Pikachu Pokemon

Pikachu PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

Adorable, sweet, and electric power, Pikachu is a Pokémon icon. This little mouse Pokémon’s popularity exploded thanks to a fun anime and Pokémon Yellow. Tiny, agile, and cute, Pikachu is a huge fan favorite. In fact, this electric-type critter has a few games where it’s featured as the main protagonist, like Detective Pikachu and PokéPark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure. Detective Pikachu was even made into a movie (where he was voiced by Ryan Reynolds, no less). Pikachu is synonymous with Pokémon! Plus, just look at it! It’s not the strongest Pokémon, by any means, but he is the most recognizable. I can’t make a party without one. Who doesn’t need a quick, hyper-charged rodent on their squad? -Sara Gitkos

Sobble

Sobble

SobbleSource: The Pokémon Company

I’ve never played a Pokémon game before for any meaningful amount of time. So when I picked up Pokémon Sword, there were no pre-conceived biases of type or ability. I picked because the idea of water is calming, so I went with the water-type starter: Sobble. Sobble then proved himself worthy of being picked, as his water cannon ability was ridiculously overpowered. Pokémon several levels ahead, several in a row all fell, one by one. Different trainers, the braggadocios and calculating experts alike, all fell to the power of the water cannon. Sobble earned his place, and even after his evolution into Drizzile and later Intelleon, I will remember the little Sobster with fire in his heart and water at the ready. -Samuel Tolbert

Trubbish

Trubbish

TrubbishSource: The Pokémon Company

Leave it to the Pokémon Company to make a small sack of garbage with arms adorable. Trubbish is hands down one of the greatest Pokémon of all time from a design standpoint, but also a subtle political perspective as well. As an embodiment of our wasteful tendencies as a society, this cute little creature is a constant reminder that just because something is thrown away, doesn’t mean its gone. Our waste has consequences and just like our little pet Trubbish, we need to do a better job taking care of it. -Miles Dompier

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Google's Making It Easier to Sync Photos, Wi-Fi Passwords to Chromebooks – PCMag

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Google is taking a few pages from Apple’s playbook with the release of Chrome OS 103.

The company says(Opens in a new window) the operating system update will introduce the ability to automatically sync photos and share Wi-Fi settings between a Chromebook and a paired Android smartphone. The former sounds a lot like iCloud Photos, which syncs images between Apple devices, but Google is actually planning to make the feature a lot more powerful than its competitor’s offering.

“With the latest update, you’ll now also have instant access to the latest photos you took on your phone — even if you’re offline,” Google says. “After taking a picture on your phone, it will automatically appear within Phone Hub on your laptop under ‘recent photos.’ Just click on the image to download it, then it’s ready to be added to a document or email.”

The company’s answer to sharing Wi-Fi settings between devices seems a bit less compelling. Google says that users will have to follow a multi-step process on their Android phone to share the information to a nearby Chromebook; Apple’s offering prompts users to share a Wi-Fi password if their device is unlocked and connected to the network in question.

A new feature called Fast Pair designed for Bluetooth headphones

But Google has another trick planned for Chrome OS. It’s called Fast Pair, and the company says that it will allow Chromebooks to “automatically detect when a new pair of Bluetooth headphones are on, are nearby, and are ready to be set up.” The devices can then be paired with a single press (or tap) on a pop-up that appears whenever those conditions are met.

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“Whether you want to use new headphones to watch a video, join a virtual meeting or listen to music, Fast Pair will make it hassle-free,” Google says. “This feature will be compatible with hundreds of different headphone models — and counting.” The company says that it plans to release Fast Pair in a separate update to Chrome OS “later this summer.”

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Google warns of 'hermit spyware' infecting Android and iOS devices – Mashable

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As part of Google’s efforts to track the activities of commercial spyware vendors, the company’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) released a report Thursday on spyware campaigns targeting Android and iOS users.

Google TAG researchers Benoit Sevens and Clement Lecigne go into detail about the use of entrepreneurial grade spyware dubbed “Hermit.” This sophisticated spyware tool allows attackers to steal data, private messages and make phone calls. In their report, TAG researchers attributed Hermit to RCS Labs, a commercial spyware vendor based in Italy.

Hermit poses many significant dangers. Due to its modularity, Hermit is quite customizable, allowing the functions of the spyware to be altered to the will of its user. Once fully situated on a target’s phone, attackers can harvest sensitive information such as call logs, contacts, photos, precise location, and SMS messages.

Sevens and Lecigne’s full report details the ways in which attackers can access both Android and iOS devices through the use of clever tricks and drive-by attacks. Potential targets of this scam will have their data disabled through their ISP carrier before sending a malicious link via text to get them to ‘fix’ the issue. If that doesn’t work, targets will be tricked into downloading malicious apps masqueraded as messaging applications.

Just last week, cybersecurity firm Lookout reported the use of Hermit by agents working in the governments of Kazakhstan, Syria, and Italy. Google has already identified victims in these countries, stating that “TAG is actively tracking more than 30 vendors with varying levels of sophistication and public exposure selling exploits or surveillance capabilities to government-backed actors.”

The Milan-based company claims to provide “law enforcement agencies worldwide with cutting-edge technological solutions and technical support in the field of lawful interception for more than twenty years.” More than 10,000 intercepted targets are purported to be handled daily in Europe alone.

When reached out for comment by The Hacker News, RCS Labs said its “core business is the design, production, and implementation of software platforms dedicated to lawful interception, forensic intelligence, and data analysis” and that it “helps law enforcement prevent and investigate serious crimes such as acts of terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime, child abuse, and corruption.”

Still, the news of the spyware being used by state government agents is concerning. Not only does it erode trust in the safety of the internet but it also puts at risk the lives of anyone a government considers an enemy of the state such as dissidents, journalists, human rights workers, and opposition party politicians.

“Tackling the harmful practices of the commercial surveillance industry will require a robust, comprehensive approach that includes cooperation among threat intelligence teams, network defenders, academic researchers, governments, and technology platforms,” Google TAG researchers wrote. “We look forward to continuing our work in this space and advancing the safety and security of our users around the world.”

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iPhone, Android users ALERT! Google warns of Italian spyware out to hack your phone – HT Tech

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An Italian company’s hacking tools were used to spy on Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Android smartphones in Italy and Kazakhstan, informs Google. Check details here.

In a shocking development it has been revealed that your iPhone and Android phones are at risk. As per the information a tool has been developed to spy on personal messages and contacts of the targeted devices. Alphabet Inc’s Google has said in a report that an Italian company’s hacking tools were used to spy on Apple Inc and Android smartphones in Italy and Kazakhstan. According to the report, Milan-based RCS Lab, whose website claims European law enforcement agencies as clients, developed tools to spy on private messages and contacts of the targeted devices. However, Google said it had taken steps to protect users of its Android operating system and alerted them about the spyware.

“These vendors are enabling the proliferation of dangerous hacking tools and arming governments that would not be able to develop these capabilities in-house,” Google said. According to a report by Reuters, commenting on the issue, an Apple spokesperson said the company had revoked all known accounts and certificates associated with this hacking campaign. RCS Lab said its products and services comply with European rules and help law enforcement agencies investigate crimes.

Also read: Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

Also Read: 5 million Facebook accounts in danger! This phishing scam will steal your money- how it works

Reuters was further informed via an email, “RCS Lab personnel are not exposed, nor participate in any activities conducted by the relevant customers.” RCS Lab further said that it condemned any abuse of its products.

It can be known that the global industry making spyware for governments has been growing, with more companies developing interception tools for law enforcement. Anti-surveillance activists accuse them of aiding governments that in some cases use such tools to crack down on human rights and civil rights, said Reuters in a report.

Also Read: Google Workspace will NOT be Free anymore; here are top 5 alternatives

As per the report, the industry came under a global spotlight when the Israeli surveillance firm NSO’s Pegasus spyware was in recent years found to have been used by multiple governments to spy on journalists, activists, and dissidents.

Though not as stealthy as Pegasus, RCS Lab’s tool can still be used to read messages and view passwords, said Bill Marczak, a security researcher with digital watchdog Citizen Lab. “This shows that even though these devices are ubiquitous, there’s still a long way to go in securing them against these powerful attacks,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

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