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The Help Cat

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Nintendo Wii users surely get the bulk of their entertainment from actual video games on the console, but there's a bizarre and wonderful little feature in the Photo Channel: the Help Cat. When using the Photo Channel's "Fun" section, a little Help Cat saunters onto the screen in the upper right corner. If you need help using the Photo Channel, you have to catch the Help Cat using the Wiimote. It's basically a mini-game you play in order to get help -- and you have to be fast, since the Help Cat is on the move!

This interaction is delightful, provided you don't need help right now. It makes the process of getting help engaging and fun, adding a playful touch to what is normally a totally utilitarian operation: clicking the Help icon.

You can watch a movie of the Help Cat in action (QuickTime format), or read Cabel Sasser's blog post describing the Help Cat (scroll down a bit to the Help Cat section) for more information. For User Interaction geeks, here's an extensive post on Interaction Design of the Help Cat.

Even if you're not a Help Cat fan, you might enjoy WiiKitty.com, which is exactly what it sounds like -- photos of cats with Nintendo Wii systems. (Note for readers: apparently the plural of "Wii" is "Wii systems," not "Wiis" or "Wiii" as I would have guessed.)

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Mattel Unveils New Uno Edition for Colorblind Players
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Mattel

On the heels of International Colorblind Awareness Day, Mattel, which owns Uno, announced it would be unveiling a colorblind-friendly edition of the 46-year-old card game.

The updated deck is a collaboration with ColorADD, a global organization for colorblind accessibility and education. In place of its original color-dependent design, this new Uno will feature a small symbol next to each card's number that corresponds with its intended primary color.

As The Verge points out, Mattel is not actually the first to invent a card game for those with colorblindness. But this inclusive move is still pivotal: According to Fast Co. Design, Uno is currently the most popular noncollectible card game in the world. And with access being extended to the 350 million people globally and 13 million Americans who are colorblind, the game's popularity is sure to grow.

Mattel unveils color-friendly Uno deck
Mattel

[h/t: The Verge

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fun
Lightning-Fast Teen Sets New Rubik’s Cube World Record
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iStock

In less time than it takes some people to open a pickle jar, 15-year-old Patrick Ponce can solve a Rubik’s Cube. His total time of 4.69 seconds makes him the new holder of the world record for fastest 3-by-3 Rubik’s Cube completion, as highlighted by Compete (and seen in the video below).

Ponce achieved the impressive feat of dexterity at a tournament in Middletown, Virginia, on September 2. He takes the title from the previous Rubik’s Cube speed record holder, Feliks Zemdegs, who solved the puzzle in 4.73 seconds at a competition in Australia in December 2016.

But the teenager may not hold his new position at the top for very long: Expert Rubik's Cubers have been steadily lowering the speed record beneath the 5-second mark since 2015. And human competitors still have a long way to go before solving a cube in 0.887 seconds—that’s the record that was set by a robot in March of 2017.

[h/t Compete]

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