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The Motivator

Xiaomi’s 100MP camera phone is very crazy

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This week we’re hearing from Xiaomi – from the company itself – that they’re developing a 100MP camera. That means 108,000,000 pixels in total – 12032 x 9024 pixel resolution. If you think this is “absolutely crazy”, per one of their fans Manu Kumar Jain, you might also think you’re in a time-loop when you look at the camera phone released half a decade ago by Nokia.

What’s in a megapixel? Do you really need to be capturing photos with THAT many pixels? For most people the answer is no, absolutely no, that’s just silly. Most people capture photos and never look at them again, or if they DO look at them again, they upload said photos to services that make little use of the majority of the pixels captured in the first place.

#MiFan Manu Kumar Jain@manukumarjain

WHOA! #100MP camera

Yes, we’ve been working on 100MP camera flagship phone!

Beginning of 2019, we launched #48MP, & today all flagships use it. We’ll soon disrupt the market again with #64MP camera.

And then #100MP

RT if you think this is absolutely crazy! #Xiaomi

View image on Twitter

Just in case you vaguely remember Nokia having a smartphone in the early 2010s with a mega-massive camera full of megapixels, but cannot recall its name, here it is: Nokia 808 PureView. That thing had a 41-megapixel camera sensor in the year 2012. How strange is that?

If you upload a photo to Instagram right now, it’ll be re-sized to 1000 x 1000 pixels. Those pictures you upload are stored at 1000 x 1000 with Instagram, then they’re displayed (often times) at sizes much, much smaller than that for mobile viewing. Most views of these images occur as the viewer is flying by, scrolling at extreme speed.

So why when the end product is often just a fraction of the pixels, would Xiaomi want to develop a smartphone camera sensor that can capture 100MP photos? The simple answer is hype – news – getting a handle on one of the last legacy features that can still sensibly be improved.

Now that the public seems to have realized that we’ve reached the no-sharper point in mobile displays, the camera is the next obvious place to move. Xiaomi wishes to push the idea that more megapixels are, by their nature, better. This 100MP camera appeals to our basest desires: to have the best and most advanced abilities in the world.

Xiaomi suggests they’ve already moved to 64MP camera sensors that’ll come in 2020, then they’ll bring some 100MP sensors in 2021. Whether that’ll make any difference in the quality of the images the cameras capture – we’ll just have to wait and see.

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/xiaomis-100mp-camera-phone-is-more-than-madness-07586623/

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The Motivator

Iron Man VR is a tinfoil version of a truly great Iron Man game

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“I am not Iron Man,” I mutter to myself after crashing into a wall for the umpteenth time while waving my arms around. But it’s not for a lack of effort.

Iron Man VR is a game with a simple premise: putting players inside the famous metal suit of Marvel’s Armored Avenger, letting you fly around and battle supervillains with laser blasts and gadgets galore. It’s also the first real console title from Camouflaj, which had previously developed the high-profile mobile game, Républiqueback in 2013 (which has since been ported to PC, Xbox One, PlayStation, and a variety of VR platforms).“I AM NOT IRON MAN.”

It’s the sort of idea that’s uniquely suited to virtual reality. What better way to capture a hero who’s most famous for their helmet and wrist-mounted weaponry than the headset and motion controllers of VR?

Unfortunately, while Iron Man VR has moments where it really captures what it might be like to suit up as Iron Man himself, it’s held back by finicky controls, repetitive levels, and gameplay that just isn’t that much fun to play for very long.

While early trailers might give the impression that Iron Man VR is a gussied-up on-rails shooter, the reality is that Camouflaj has given players nearly complete freedom to soar through the skies as Iron Man. Using a pair of PlayStation Move controllers, you use the two triggers to control your repulsors in a unique style of VR flight. Angle them with your palms facing behind you, and you’ll fly forward; shove forward, and you’ll stop then fly backward. Steering is done through a combination of angling your thrusters and by aiming with your head. Since players are standing vertically the whole time, it’s still not quite analogous to the soaring Iron Man flight in the films or comics, but it’s as close as you can probably get with a VR setup.PLAYERS HAVE NEAR-COMPLETE FREEDOM TO SOAR THROUGH THE SKIES

It also runs into a few limitations due to the nature of VR. The first is that the PS VR is a tethered headset, so players can only do limited turns. More drastic maneuvering has to be done with button presses that jump the camera either 45 or 180 degrees so they don’t yank the cables out. It’s also just plain difficult, at least at the start. While Camouflaj liberally peppers the game with speed gauntlets to help players adjust in the early levels, there’s a steep learning curve. (Some of the developer times in those flight challenges seem frankly impossible to me to beat, although I have no doubt players will.)

It also requires that players basically remain standing the entire time they play. While Camouflaj does note that the game can be played seated, the fact that you’re pointing your hands behind you a lot of the time means that it’s nearly impossible to play on a couch. I had more success moving to a folding chair in the middle of my living room that I could reach behind, but the game still struggled to track my hands as well.

I didn’t suffer from any motion sickness while playing, but I tend to personally handle VR movement well. If you’re new to the genre or have a particular sensitivity to nausea, the quick turning movement might not be to your liking.

Flying is only part of the equation, though. The other half is combat, which requires players to balance how they play since Iron Man uses the same repulsors to fly as he does to shoot blasters. It’s a constant juggling act: do you hover in place, making yourself a bigger target to unleash more firepower? Or boost away with both thrusters?

Iron Man actually has two main weapon types: quick-firing repulsors and secondary weapons, both bound to the same button. Hold up your hands palm out, and you’ll use repulsor blasts; tilt your palm down, and your wrist-mounted secondary weapon will pop up. It’s one of Iron Man VR’s best touches, and it did the best job at capturing the character. Lastly, players can also throw rocket-powered punches by holding down a controller button to smash nearby enemies.

There’s a customization system, too, where players can unlock “research points” to add new gear to their armor or swap out their weapons. But all of those options are unlocked from the start. Once I had a good setup going, the game doesn’t give much of a reason to unlock the rest. (Amusingly, there’s also a variety of different color schemes for the suits, but given that you almost never see the armor from a third-person perspective, it’s a bit of a useless feature.)

But while the pieces are all good, the issues with Iron Man VR arrive when they come together in the game, which just isn’t deep enough to support a full-blown title.

In practice, Iron Man VR is very repetitive. There’s only a handful of enemy types, whose tactics never really change. One drone will batter players with laser blasts, another will attempt to ram you, while a third has to be dodged before its shield is down. Each enemy is effectively designed to be countered by a specific weapon in your arsenal (you shoot the shooting drone, you punch the ramming drone, you ground-pound the tank), and the only variety really comes in how many the game throws at you at once.

The result is that each of the 12 levels (which are broken up into 15- to 30-minute chunks, well-suited for VR) more or less breaks down in a cycle of “defeat these identical waves of enemies using identical weapons in identical locations” until the next expository speech happens.‘IRON MAN VR’ IS VERY REPETITIVE

The game also breaks up the Iron Man action with plenty of time spent jumping around Tony’s mansion or Nick Fury’s helicarrier doing the gimmicky sorts of VR tasks that the genre had outgrown years ago. Teleporting around an open space to press a button to answer a speakerphone or put away a box of mementos just feels like padding. Those sorts of VR-y tasks make their way into the regular gameplay, too, punctuating the waves of drone fights by having players “pull” a door open, “grab” some wires, or “punch” an energy core.

Iron Man VR does try to mix things up with different locations, varying from the Shanghai skyline to a helicarrier soaring in the sky to an abandoned weapon facility. But levels repeat frequently, too; the first time spent soaring through the cliffs by Tony’s Malibu mansion is great, but by the third time the game brings it out, it starts to drag.

Some of those levels also just look bad. Part of that is due to the PlayStation VR’s lower resolution and horsepower. Some levels are better than others, but it can be rough to look at. In particular, the Shanghai level — all blocky, featureless buildings and empty pixelated roads — feels like something out of a PlayStation 2 game.

The experience is held together by an original Iron Man story, which should sound very familiar if you’ve watched an Iron Man movie (or read a comic book) in the past few years. Tony Stark has retired from making weapons, but a villain from his past — in this case, the hacker villain Ghost — wants to hold him accountable for the destruction his former misdeeds caused.

Various classic Iron Man characters show up, including Tony himself, Pepper Potts, Tony’s AI Friday, Nick Fury (all looking like off-brand versions of their big-screen counterparts), along with a new character, a holographic copy of Tony named Gunsmith that helps players design upgrades and serves as a “devil” on Tony’s shoulder to the more positive Friday during missions. (Gunsmith also solves the VR problem of never getting to see Tony’s face during gameplay by giving players a second “Tony Stark” to interact with.)

The biggest problems with Iron Man VR, however, are the truly terrible load times — at least on the standard PS4 that I was playing on. I routinely spent 10–20 seconds staring at a pitch-black screen just to load the loading screen, which can take up to another full minute to load into the actual level. That waiting is made even worse by the fact that you’re stuck wearing a VR headset and standing in your living room the entire time.

There are a lot of good ideas in Iron Man VR. But between the rough controls, repetitive gameplay, and lackluster graphics, it’s the sort of thing that feels like it would have been better suited to a shorter, more polished experience. It can make you feel like Iron Man at times — but that’s not enough to carry a full-length game.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/21311143/iron-man-vr-review-tony-stark-virtual-reality-playstation-marvel-flight-psvr

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The Motivator

iOS 14 has a new home screen with widgets, a redesigned Siri, and more

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Apple has announced iOS 14 onstage at WWDC 2020, giving the first (official) look at the latest version of its software for the iPhone, and it’s bringing the biggest change to the iOS home screen in years: widgets.

Widgets come in a variety of sizes and can still be viewed in the Today view, but in iOS 14, Apple allows widgets to be added to the main Home screen to live right alongside your apps. To add them, there’s a new “widget gallery” where users can easily add and customize widgets. There’s also a new “Smart Stack” widget that automatically shows relevant apps based on the time of day.

Apple also announced a new “App Library” view that automatically organizes apps into groups and lists. Thanks to that new App Library view, Apple allows users to now hide apps on their “main” home screen. It looks pretty similar to Android’s app drawer, but with some additional smart grouping features — like automatically pulling out all your Apple Arcade games into one batch.PICTURE-IN-PICTURE VIDEO IS COMING TO IOS

In another new feature, Apple is adding system-wide picture-in-picture to iOS videos. Much like on macOS, videos will hover over apps and can be adjusted in size or collapsed into the side of the display to continue playing in the background. It’ll also work with FaceTime calls, too.

Apple is also launching a new “App Clip” feature, which are speedy, card-based snippets of apps that let you access small parts of apps when you need them without requiring users to install a full app. Examples given included accessing a parking app through an NFC tag, or a coffee store’s reward program. App Clips support Sign In With Apple to avoid having to make new accounts, can be accessed again through the new App Library, and work with Apple Pay. To go with App Clips, Apple is launching a new QR-code format that uses both visual codes and NFC to access App Clips quickly.

Also coming in iOS 14: the long-requested option to users to set their own default email and browsers, although Apple hasn’t provided too many details on how that works just yet.

Siri also has a new view: instead of taking over your whole screen when you activate the digital assistant, there’s just a small overlay at the bottom of the display of the animated Siri icon. There are also new features: Siri can now send audio messages in addition to just dictated messages.

Similar, incoming phone calls and FaceTime calls will also appear with a less obtrusive new pop-up, instead of taking over the entire screen.

Apple also announced a new Translate app that will be built into iOS, which — much like Google Translate — will allow users to easily translate between languages. Users will be able to enter text in or dictate messages and have them translated into 11 languages. English, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese,Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, and Russian will all be supported at launch.

Messages is also getting new features: in iOS 14, you’ll be able to pin important contacts and conversations to the top of the Messages app to easily talk to your favorite friends or group chats. There are also new Memoji accessories — including an apt face mask option. Apple is also adding new threaded conversations in group chats and mention notifications to ping specific people in the chat.

Apple Maps is getting new, curated guides from companies like Zagat or AllTrails to give better recommendations for new places. Maps is also getting support for cycling, with dedicated directions for bike-riding that takes into account elevation, bike paths, stairs, and roads. Cycling will launch in NYC, LA, San Fransisco’s Bay Area, Shanghai, and Beijing. There’s also a new EV Routing feature, which will track the current charge of your car, factor in elevation and weather, and route you to compatible stations. Apple’s working with BMW and Ford, although no specific cars were announced.UNLOCK YOUR CAR WITH YOUR IPHONE

CarPlay is getting support for custom wallpapers and new app categories: parking apps, EV chargers, and fast food takeout apps. Apple is also adding support for NFC car keys with iOS 14, with the 2021 BMW 5 Series set to be the first to support the feature. NFC passes are stored in Apple’s Secure Enclave for security and can be shared to other iOS users, giving them temporary access to your vehicle. The new car key feature will also be coming to iOS 13, and to make sure you won’t get locked out of your car, it’ll use a special power reserve feature to allow access up to five hours after your phone has died.

The Home app is also getting new features, including support for “Adaptive Lighting,” which allows for compatible smart lights to adjust color temperature over the course of the day, and facial recognition for HomeKit security cameras.

There’s also a host of smaller features, too. Safari on iOS 14 will now inform you if one of your passwords has been leaked in a data breach, similar to Chrome. Developers now have an option to share subscriptions through Family Sharing. Game Center is getting a new design. And there’s a new “Sleep mode” that turns on do-not-disturb, dims your phone’s screen, and shows your upcoming alarm for morning.

The last few iOS updates have been very hit-or-miss, with last year’s notoriously problematic iOS 13 following the incredible solid (from a performance standpoint) iOS 12, which in turn brought much-needed stability to the buggy iOS 11.

iOS 14 will be out this fall, but a developer preview will be available to Apple Developer Program members starting today, with plans for a public beta for all iOS users in July. iOS 14 will work on the iPhone 6S and up — the same devices that supported iOS 13.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/22/21291695/apple-ios-14-updates-home-screen-redesign-features-release-date-wwdc-2020

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The Motivator

These are the 15 biggest games coming to the PlayStation 5, from a new ‘Spider-Man’ game to ‘NBA 2K21’ (SNE)

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The PlayStation 5 is coming this holiday season, according to Sony, and a ton of new games for the new console were just revealed.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • From a new “Spider-Man” game to this year’s “NBA 2K” entry, the PlayStation 5 is getting a ton of new games.
  • Whether you’re looking for huge new sequels, like “Horizon Forbidden West,” major new entries in long-established franchises, like “Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart,” or this year’s “NBA 2K” game, the PlayStation 5 has something for you.
  • These are the biggest games that were revealed during Sony’s big event last week!

The PlayStation 5 is just months away, and this past week we got our first real look at games running on Sony’s next-generation game console.

Great news: Not only do those games look stunning, but Sony revealed a plethora of unknown titles and hotly anticipated sequels during its big PS5 reveal event.

From the new “Spider-Man” game to this year’s “NBA 2K” entry, these are the 15 most exciting new PS5 games we saw this week:

1. “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales”

2. “Project Athia”

3. “NBA 2K21”

4. “Sackboy: A Big Adventure”

5. “Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart”

6. “Stray”

7. “Ghostwire: Tokyo”

8. “Resident Evil 8/Resident Evil Village”

9. “Demon’s Souls” (Remake)

10. “Horizon Forbidden West”

11. “Bugsnax”

12. “Deathloop”

13. “Gran Turismo 7”

14. “Hitman 3”

15. “Little Devil Inside”

BONUS: Here’s the debut trailer for the PlayStation 5 console itself, which was also unveiled this past week!

Source: https://www.pulse.ng/bi/tech/these-are-the-15-biggest-games-coming-to-the-playstation-5-from-a-new-spider-man-game/h8delhp

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