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Apps for winter thrills without the chills

The Just Freeskiing app combines technical skiing excellence

The Just Freeskiing app combines technical skiing excellence with flashy style in iOS and Android fomats. Credit: Randerline

The Winter Olympics from South Korea clearly shows that snow and ice can be beautiful — especially when viewed on a high-definition TV from a warm living room. If the cold facts are that you hate winter, these winter games can give you some thrills without the chills.

Just Freeskiing

(iOS, Android; free)

If you’ve been watching the Olympics, you have seen the creative freeskiiers combine technical excellence with flashy style. This game puts you on the slopes, where you can unleash your bag of tricks and gravity-defying jumps in the slopestyle, halfpipe and other events. The graphics are excellent (you compete at a nicely rendered resort) and you can play as a male or female freeskiier.

Alto’s Adventure

(iOS, $4.99; Android, free)

This innovative game from independent developer Snowman can best be described as an immersive snowboarding adventure. You trek across pristine mountains — with ever-changing weather conditions — where dangers lurk and puzzles must be solved. The graphics are understated but captivating, as is the original musical score. A sequel, Alto’s Odyssey, is scheduled to be released Thursday for iOS.

Snowboarding: The Fourth Phase

(iOS, Android; free)

While all the Winter Olympic athletes appear to be enjoying themselves, it seems that nobody has more fun than the snowboarders. With this well-done game, you can shred the mountains like a pro. The better you get, the more challenges you face. The graphics are beautiful and the gameplay is fluid and challenging.

Icy Ropes

(iOS, Android; free)

In this game with cheerfully retro 8-bit graphics, two climbers tethered by a rope try to leap from icy cliff to icy cliff. If one climber misses the jump, the other climber, unfortunately, goes along for the ride — all the way to the bottom of the mountain. The more you succeed, the more coins you collect and characters you unlock. There are several difficulty settings — none of them easy to master.

Buck stops here

Money talks, but not at a Starbucks store in Seattle. The coffee chain is testing a cashless store in downtown Seattle at which patrons must pay either through the Starbucks app or a credit card — something most Starbucks customers do already. But if you want to tip your barista, cash is still gladly accepted for that, the Seattle Times reports.— PETER KING

Unwelcome reminders

Are you being stalked by a product you searched for on Google that now repeatedly appears as an ad on websites you visit? You can finally turn off these “reminder ads” by adjusting your settings on Google’s Ad Settings page. The new feature also allows you to control which advertisers can show you ads. Google says it will expand the tool to ads on YouTube and Gmail. — PETER KING

Solar flair

Tesla is planning a major expansion of its solar division at Home Depot. The tech pioneer, best known for its electric cars, is beginning to roll out Tesla-branded selling spaces at 800 of the retailer’s locations. The areas, staffed by Tesla employees, will showcase the company’s solar panels and Powerwall home battery. Home Depot might also offer Tesla’s much-anticipated solar roof at some point. — Bloomberg News

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