Apps

How to play Travel Frog

Not as easy as you’d think

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If you need some help understanding how to play Tabi Kaeru (旅かえる), the addictive new mobile game, I’ve got you covered.

Before I hop into how to play this game, I’ll lay it out there: I can’t read Japanese. It’s a shame, really. If anything, I can understand some Japanese — holler at my young self-avoiding needing to read subtitles while watching anime. Back to the task at hand. Here are neat tips and tricks I learned from playing the game:

How you start off

When you first launch the game, I’m guessing you’ll be greeted with the terms of service of the game. You’ll then be asked to enter a name for your frog. This bit for me was easy enough to understand. I clicked through the buttons and went along.

Your frog will be preparing for his first journey when you are initially introduced. The game will walk you through three varying types of items you’ll need to pack for your frog for him to wander off: food, charms, and equipment. The clovers you find in front of your frog’s house are currencies in the game for you to buy more items.

Later on, I learned that three-leaf clovers are used to purchase items from the shop. Four-leaf clovers are collected and kept as charms to equip your frog when he’s on a journey. I had to learn that the tough way: running out of charms to give my frog.

The game then prompts you with this:

“Your frog will head out on journeys by himself, but if you prepare him as you did here in the tutorial he may bring pictures and souvenirs home for you.”

Not as simple as Neko Atsume

From here, it’s a waiting game. The clover garden will replenish over time. And you’ll occasionally meet some of your frog’s friends who visit.

If you’re the kind of person who has a staggering amount of separation anxiety, don’t play this game. Your frog will come and go without warning. If you want to be the overbearing mother, you can alter that in the settings by bumping up the frog icon (labeled “SE”) you see below. This will let the game prompt you when your frog is back from his travels.

This game will inevitably fool you into its simplicity by the cute graphics and seemingly simple mechanics but the longer you play, the more complex it becomes. There are detailed translations of the game but there’s something about just discovering the context little by little that makes it a bit more charming for me.

When you progress in the game, you discover the undeniable satisfaction of receiving postcards. Your frog sometimes (there is no guarantee!) leaves postcards from wherever he’s wandered off to. Even if it is a game contextualized in time, it teaches you the valuable lesson of letting things go and letting things be. It’s a great game to pass the time and it is unquestionably comforting to find rare photos of your frog accompanied by a friend.

More friends, more fun

And, remember your frog’s friends? They’re the animals that visit and show up outside your door. Each of them have four food preference tiers, ranging from “Pleased” (least favorite) to “Can’t eat anymore” (most favorite). The fuller they are, the more three-leaf clovers they’ll collect for you.

Maimai is the snail.

He loves chestnuts, tea leaves but most things will fill him. He’s a bit tough to please at first but once your frog travels more, you get to meet other friends too.

Bunbun is the bee.

Bunbun is loves peppers, cabbages, chestnuts, milk, gohei mochi, garlic, rice, baked buns, tea leaves, and hardtack. If you notice, Maimai is probably the most tough to please but once you encounter Bunbun, you’re more likely to meet other friends too. These are the two friends I’ve encountered so far but, I’ll keep this article updates once I find something new.

What’s not to like?

I mean, at least for me, it’s a game that requires minimal effort. If you want to dig balls-deep into the nitty-gritty bits of game, you’ll inevitably have to wait regardless. If you run out of charms (which sadly happened to me a lot), you can pack your frog’s bag without it. The food is the bare minimum thing you can have set-up for your frog for his journey.

I learned later on that combining different items, charms, and food can alter how many postcards your frog will bring back, where he travels, and what items he brings back from his trip. The game lets you adjust, combine, and customize every time you prepare your frog for its journey outdoors. Just don’t forget the basics of always having food for your frog! Play it with me here (Android, iOS)

SEE ALSO: Travel Frog: The new addictive mobile game

Apps

How to get NBA League Pass with your telco provider

There are two package options

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NBA action is in full swing. In fact, it has been since August when the season restarted following a shut down that was caused by the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic. As of writing, we’re in the thick of the Conference Finals series. If you want to catch all the action, here’s how you can get NBA League Pass through different telecomm providers in the Philippines.

It’s now easier than ever to get access to the games legally. All of Smart, PLDT, and Globe are offering the same price packages.

PhP 85 — Watch any three games of your choice
PhP 485 — 30-day pass for all games including live and on-demand

Here’s how to get the subscription for each provider.

Smart Postpaid and Prepaid
(Also works with TNT and SUN Postpaid)

  • Download the NBA app (iOS / Android /APKPure)
  • On the app, click on the icon at the top-right corner
  • Click sign-in
  • A banner on top of the page will appear for Smart, Sun and TNT subscribers
  • Click ‘Get Started’
  • Enter mobile number for verification and a one-time PIN which will be sent to your mobile number
  • Choose your provider: Smart, TNT or Sun.
  • Choose your NBA League Pass Package (3-game or 30-days) and enter mobile number
  • Confirm your payment by entering the one-time PIN sent to your mobile number
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

PLDT Home

  • Go to pldthome.com/nbaleaguepass
  • Select your preferred package
  • The amount will be added to your next bill
  • PLDT will give a voucher
  • Download and sign-in to the NBA app
  • Enter the voucher in the promotion code field
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

Globe

  • Open the GCash app
  • Go to Buy Load
  • Look for the PayTV tab
  • Choose your preferred package. (Note: The chosen package is valid for 90 days).
  • Confirm payment
  • Open the NBA app and enjoy!

As mentioned earlier, we’re no in the Conference Finals with four teams remaining. Dueling in the West are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. Meanwhile in the East, it’s a battle between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics.

A new NBA champion will likely be crowned in the next 30 days so now is the best time to subscribe!

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Twitter is probing its AI’s racial bias in picture previews

They’re working on improving it

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Twitter uses a neural network to show you relevant previews of all the pictures that are posted on the microblogging platform. If the image contains text, the area is prioritized for a preview. Similarly, human faces are also given preference.

The preview makes it easier for the viewer to get a gist of the tweet without the compulsion of opening the entire picture. Although, the feature isn’t up-to mark since a lot of users have complained about the AI’s racial bias.

Several users posted a picture that has both, a white man and a black man’s face. But the preview often shows the white man’s face only. Users noticed the difference after a similar anomaly was observed on Zoom, where the facial recognition technology failed to identify a black man’s face, but had no trouble when the skin tone was changed.

 

Liz Kelley from Twitter’s communication team said they had tested the neural system for bias, but didn’t come across gender or racial bias during testing. She also confirmed that they’ve got more analysis to do and shall be open-sourcing all the work for others to review and replicate.

Twitter’s Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis and Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal were quick to acknowledge the shortcoming and said they’re “investigating” the neural network.

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TikTok and WeChat will be banned from app stores in the US

So, did the Oracle deal go through?

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After months of escalating, the US Commerce Department has announced it’ll ban business transactions with TikTok and WeChat. The two apps are owned by Chinese giants ByteDance and Tencent, respectively.

Practically, you won’t be able to directly download the app via stores like Play Store and App Store. Furthermore, companies are also barred from hosting these apps in the US. Essentially, the user won’t be able to download the app from third-party websites that are hosted in the US.

It also blocks US companies from providing services through WeChat “for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.”

However, it remains unclear whether the announcement means the Oracle-TikTok deal won’t be going through. The Trump administration wanted ByteDance to sell its local TikTok operations to an American company.

In the last few months, multiple American giants like Walmart, Twitter, and Microsoft were interested in getting their piece of TikTok. But things haven’t moved smoothly and the Chinese government isn’t keen on handing over TikTok’s algorithm to an American company.

While Oracle has been chosen for a deal with ByteDance, the latter continues to maintain that the ongoing process isn’t an acquisition and Oracle shall be a technology partner. This is in stark contrast to what President Trump envisions as a business takeover.

The app ban could be a tactic to pressure the Chinese, but we can’t be certain of that right now. Going by the latest statements, it’s clear that the administration wants to completely block user’s access to these apps and is willing to go the extra mile.

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