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Tech Review: Apps let you tune in to popular TV shows

Groundskeeper Willie of The Simpsons.

Groundskeeper Willie of The Simpsons. Credit: YouTube / "The Simpsons"

May has become the traditional time for TV series to hold their season finales. But while waiting for the new fall season to debut in September, you can play these spinoff games inspired by hit TV shows.

The Simpsons: Tapped Out

(iOS, Android; free)

Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie don't start their 27th season for four months, but Springfield needs you now. In this continually updated game, the Simpsons' hometown is suffering the effects of a nuclear meltdown caused, not surprisingly, by Homer. Your job is to restore Springfield to its former glory while interacting with several Simpsons' characters. What will it take to rebuild the city? Mmm, virtual doughnuts! They can be earned through the game or bought via in-app purchases as high as $100.

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff

(iOS, Android; free)

What's with this trend of bumbling cartoon characters destroying their hometowns? In this offshoot of the popular Fox TV show, Peter Griffin and Ernie the Giant Chicken continue their feud with devastating effects to Quahog, the city where the series is located. Your goal: rebuild Quahog while staying alert for marauding evil chickens. In-app purchases range as high as $100.

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

(iOS, Android; free)

For those who are caught up by "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," this wildly popular app can keep you entertained until the next episode. In this game your goal is to become a big celebrity, whether you take the route of actor, fashion designer or model. Along the way you get tips from Kim Kardashian. In-app purchases make your quest easier. How successful is this app? Developers said annual revenue could reach $200 million.

CSI: Hidden Crimes

(iOS, Android; free)

This game, based on the popular CBS series "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," lets you solve gruesome murders by looking for evidence and analyzing clues. Unlike the common shoot-'em-up-type games that rule the mobile device universe, this game requires logic and keen judgment for you to be successful.

Tech bytes

Hackers target hospitals

Cyber attacks against hospitals and doctors by hackers trying to steal medical records have doubled in the past five years, according to research firm Ponemon Institute. Medical records often contain Social Security numbers and addresses and sell for as much as 20 times the price of a stolen credit-card number on the black market. Last year health records on 88.4 million people were breached as a result of theft or hacking. -- BLOOMBERG NEWS

VR a reality

Oculus VR, the Facebook-owned company known for its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, said the first consumer version of the device will ship in the first quarter of 2016, with preorders available later this year. Oculus is the first of the high-end virtual reality headset makers to announce a release for its product. Information about the headset's price is expected in the coming weeks. -- LOS ANGELES TIMES

Name Game

For online dating, your selfie is important, but so is what you call yourself. A study published in the scientific journal Evidence-Based Medicine found screen names starting with letters at the top of the alphabet tend to be more successful at getting dates. Men are drawn to women with names that connote physical attractiveness, such as "blondie" or "cutie." Women are drawn to names that indicate intelligence, for example, "cultured." -- PETER KING

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