Ten years ago, multiplayer-only games went through a severe identity crisis. More people than ever were gaming together, but they were increasingly playing online only. The small-stakes joy of twitchy experiences like Street Fighter II and Super Off Road, games meant to be played in short sessions preferably in the same room, weren't feasible anymore. Video games have always been expensive to make, so multiplayer modes had to either come packaged with other content -- consider Halo's famed multiplayer tucked alongside its single-player story -- to flesh them out or be custom built to serve hardcore players meeting up on the internet, a la Team Fortress 2, Valve's modern-day equivalent to the easy-access multiplayer of yore.

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The feature phone. Still big in Japan. Still being sold in the millions. Still relevant, though? And does it even matter what a 30-something tech writer at a Western tech site thinks? Japan's large elderly population -- people who haven't even heard of Angry Birds, Gmail or Uber -- they're the ones sticking to their flip phones. Hardy, easy to use and cheaper than an iPhone. (If you need a primer on the phenomenon of gara-kei, you should probably read up on that here, but in short, it's how Japan's mobile phone market sped ahead with early technologies, then faltered when smartphone competition arrived.) So let's try using one. The best and newest feature phone available in Japan, no less. It's pitched as bringing the best smartphone features to the flip form factor. Is it better than a plain, old smartphone? Good lord, no.

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Am I "good" at games? I don't know.

I'm 30 years old: I've been playing video games for 25 of those years, give or take, and covering games professionally for just over six years. I spent two weeks this year completing Mega Man 1 through 4. I've sunk hundreds of hours into Spelunky. Whether I'm "good" at games is up for debate; I love challenging games. Despite this, I've never loved the divisive, feverishly adored/hated Souls games (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls 1 and 2). Their challenges felt too great to overcome, their systems too inscrutable, their technical issues too great in number. They felt frustrating instead of challenging.

Bloodborne -- the latest entry in the series and the first without a "Souls" moniker attached -- changes that. This is a game I love to hate. But I mostly just love it.

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Mars One promises to send humans on a one-way trip to the red planet, with the intent to colonize, by 2027. Once the first four people leave Earth for Mars, there's no turning back, no panic button, no chance to return home. This aspect of the trip isn't just for drama -- it's a core tenet of Mars One's technical feasibility. CEO Bas Lansdorp believes that it's possible, using current technology, to land and sustain human life on Mars.

But the systems that would power a human settlement on an alien planet are ridiculously complex. They're so complicated that Lansdorp isn't yet sure what they will actually be. This lack of ready research has mired Mars One in controversy, thanks to a recent one-two credibility punch: First, a 2014 research paper from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concludes that the program is not realistic. Second, a series of articles for Matter magazine calls into question the feasibility of Mars One financially, scientifically and ethically. Still, Lansdorp promises to send humans to live on Mars, but he can't yet say how. He wants the world to trust him.

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If you live in the United States, you might've been surprised when Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion -- or, in other words, thing-you'd-think-you'd-have-heard-of money. Facebook identified what those of us in the US with texting plans and Apple Messages haven't noticed: There are whole ecosystems of social networking and instant messaging separate from those we customarily use.

There are a number of advantages services like Line and WhatsApp have over basic texting: They're cross-platform and international, allowing people to talk to other users in other countries, on other devices and other networks, with no extra cost. Of course, for individual users, there's only one thing that distinguishes one service from others: the presence of their friends.

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"I have drunk cognac in Cognac, port in Oporto, raki in Turkey, tequila in Mexico City, moonshine in Kentucky, not to mention poteen in Fleet Street, bitter and industrial alcohol in Oxford, Yugoslav whisky in Yugoslavia, Japanese whisky in Glasgow and sweet Spanish wine and lemonade in Swansea. Also gin in England." -- Kingsley Amis, Everyday Drinking

While I can't boast a list quite as long or accomplished, I've swilled my fair share of liquids over the past 32 years. Up until two weeks ago, however, I'd never met a bartender who wasn't at least mostly human.

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As laptops continue to become more powerful, there's still plenty of room for an all-in-one desktop in your life. Their slim profile makes them a bit more desk- or living room-friendly than a typical tower PC, while the large built-in screen is great for getting work done or watching a movie. To help you decide which units are worthy enough to grace your office or den, we've taken a look at reviews from trusted critics to find systems that can handle a variety of tasks, including editing documents, watching movies and even some hardcore gaming. Check out the gallery below to see five of the better all-in-one desktops available now, as well as one we'd rather you didn't buy.

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Exploring Sony's PlayStation Vue TV Streaming Service

Wondering what Sony's new live streaming TV service, PlayStation Vue, looks like in action? Well, if you live in Chicago or New York City or Philadelphia, you can go try for yourself on PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4. There's a seven-day free trial! But if you're one of the billions of people outside of the trio of introductory markets, we've got a video walkthrough for you above.

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Meerkat

Livestreaming apps aren't new, but few have enjoyed as much notoriety in such a short time as Meerkat. Twitter users have adopted it in droves and the social network even went as far as limiting the app's access to its social graph last week for violating its policies. But as Meerkat continues to enjoy its time in the spotlight, a pretty serious flaw has emerged. One that lets users hijack any stream while it's in progress.

Update: About 24 hours later, Meerkat says it's fixed! Thanks for reading, and hey, drop us a line sometime.

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