The Most Anticipated Games of 2021

The successful launches of the latest dedicated gaming platforms of the Xbox and PlayStation have certainly helped to build hype around some of the biggest gaming releases of the year, and with the growth of other platforms like mobile and the growing popularity in different gaming genres just like these, a bigger audience than ever before are starting to explore the possibilities in gaming too. But which titles are looking to fill that gap of the most anticipated releases, and which could be the biggest games throughout the end of this year?

(Image from gamesradar.com)

Reliving the nostalgia – The past few years have certainly leant into the trend of bringing back older titles with re-releases and remasters, and 2021 certainly seems to be no different as some of the biggest titles of days past will be coming back too. Fans looking to relive the 1999 N64 classic have already seen the release of the new Pokémon Snap, the voyeuristic game of photographing different Pokémon in different habitats and will surely be a favourite, the remake of the Playstation 1 classic of Final Fantasy 7 was also a huge success with the re-release being handled in multiple different chapters with the second of Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Intergrade set to release in June too. There are plenty of others like Mario Golf Super Rush also looking to fill this nostalgia fix too, and certainly provides a good release schedule for those looking to take a look back once again. Continue reading “The Most Anticipated Games of 2021”

Revolutionary Gaming Technology That Has Changed The Industry Forever?

Over the past couple of decades, the entire world has been transformed into a digital powerhouse in which we all rely on to get about our everyday lives. One industry that has been totally transformed by the technology has been the gaming industry which has grown with the digital age and become one of the biggest powerhouses within the technology sector. Due to this, there has been some revolutionary changes within the gaming industry which has transformed the gaming industry forever.

[Image: The World Financial Review]

One of the fastest growing sub-sectors in the gaming industry that is growing as an astronomical rate is that of mobile gaming. The mobile gaming industry has been growing at a rapid rate due to the ease of access that it offers to consumers and has ensured that anyone can game wherever they please and is taking away the stigma that you have to game in an arcade, in your living room or in your bedroom. Gaming is now able to be accessed wherever you are whether that be on the morning train commute, at home on the sofa, or even on your lunch break, mobile gaming has made this possible. Continue reading “Revolutionary Gaming Technology That Has Changed The Industry Forever?”

Can Virtual Reality Change Gaming?

One of the more impactful tech changes in gaming over the past few years has certainly presented itself in the form of both augmented and virtual reality – many will look back fondly at the summer of 2016 and the release of the mobile game Pokémon GO and how the introduction of augmented reality got millions of players outside once again – the opposite is now true where many of us have been stuck inside for the better part of a year with uncertainty around when things can return to normal, and looking for a new perspective, with virtual reality certainly becoming much more popular. The biggest uses certainly remain within the dedicated platforms, but there are many other online services starting to adopt the usage of virtual reality as some no limit casinos online are certainly finding the benefits – but  can virtual reality really change gaming?

One of the biggest hurdles is certainly being overcome in price, it had been difficult for many new players to enter the market as price had been such a huge issue but numbers have since come down making the entry much more accessible for many players, particularly through the consoles where VR is becoming most prominent, and this may be something that is doubled down on moving forward too as Sony had announced the next generation of VR through PSVR2 hoping to build many improvements whilst it aims to “enable the ultimate entertainment experience with dramatic leaps in performance and interactivity.” Continue reading “Can Virtual Reality Change Gaming?”

Are ‘Phablet’s The Perfect Size For Gaming?

Mobile gaming is taking the world by storm and online casinos are banking on the fact that their players want to play casino games on the go. While it’s possible to play casino games on smaller mobile phones, phablets offer a better gaming experience for one main obvious reason. The greater screen size = greater gaming enjoyment.

What Is A Phablet?

If you’ve never heard of a phablet before then this article is unlikely to have made much sense to you thus far. Essentially, a phablet is a mobile device or smartphone that has a screen that is larger in size than that of a typical mobile phone. Phablets are the largest types of smartphone – they’re in between a tablet and a phone, hence been dubbed ‘phablet’.

Many people are choosing to buy these types of phones so that they can play all their favourite games and enjoy a better experience thanks to the greater screen size. With phablets becoming more popular we wonder – are they the perfect size for gaming? Continue reading “Are ‘Phablet’s The Perfect Size For Gaming?”

What is a Phablet Phone and What Makes Them So Unique?

In every technological evolution that happens, such as the evolution of the mobile phone. There are micro-evolutions too. For it’s because of the telephone that we have the telephone that we have mobile phones. And from the mobile phones to smartphones. And from smartphones, to tablets. And from tablets, to phablets! Where phablets are a cross between a smartphone and a tablet PC. And it’s a mobile device that allows you to do and enjoy all of the features and functions of a smartphone and a tablet PC!

And in our digitally driven lives in this world we live in today, it’s just so much more efficient to have one device that can do everything for you that your smartphone and your tablet PC can do. Something that can make and take calls, video calls, surf the web, read and send emails and use instant chat apps etc.

As well as something that lets you do things on it that you might only otherwise ordinarily be able to do on your laptop or even desktop PC. And we all know how even though there is usually “an app for that” for most design and development tools, such as for musicians and directors, etc. But let’s face it, these aren’t usually quite as powerful and as easy and quick to use as the actual computer app for it is on your laptop/desktop. Continue reading “What is a Phablet Phone and What Makes Them So Unique?”

Does a Dedicated E-Reader Still Make Sense?

In a world of tablets, the e-reader stands alone. A solid “unitasker”, to borrow a term from a famous television chef. But does that mean the e-reader is going the way of the floppy disk and the zip drive? Not at all. If anything, e-readers have taken on a life on their own. When they first came out, we were skeptical about them. Would people really give up books for a slim device that could get broken in a thousand different ways?

dedicated-e-reader

But they have, and here we are looking at the landscape and asking new questions. Does the solitary e-reader still make sense when we have laptops, tablets, wearables, and all of the rest? What about reading on a smartphone? Doesn’t that fill the gap?

The answer is that it doesn’t quite fill the gap the same as a good e-reader.

Take the Kindle, for example. This is Amazon’s real masterpiece, a modified Android locked down to the Amazon ecosystem and designed to showcase Amazon items. Just about every book you can think of is produced in Amazon format, meaning that you don’t have to agonize over which books to pack in your suitcase. If you want, you can take the entire library with you when you travel. Even if you don’t have the ability to access Wi-Fi where you’re going, all of the books you have stored on the device already will still be there. Continue reading “Does a Dedicated E-Reader Still Make Sense?”

The Height of Sophistication

A little bit of a year ago, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Elon Musk said he fears the risk of “something seriously dangerous happening.” We personally think the 43-year-old has been watching too many science fiction films, but one thing he is right about is that there has been huge developments in artificial intelligence over the last few years.

We only have to look at the news recently that has seen computers performing magic tricks. And while that doesn’t suggest anything dangerous, the likes of Penn & Teller will sure be quaking in their boots.

artificial-intelligence

Researchers at Queen Mary University in London gave a computer program instructions on how a series of tricks work alongside the results of experiments into how humans understand magic. Of course, a magician never reveals their secrets but the puzzle which AI has created has gone up on sale in a London magic shop and is also available to download as an app named Phoney.

It signifies yet another major breakthrough in AI, which over the years has become incredibly sophisticated in a wealth of industries.

It doesn’t take long to see how the rise of artificial intelligence has changed our lives – after all you only need to ask Siri to Google it for you. Since the 1980s, AI research has been a major industry and has slowly started to help us with everything from manufacturing cars, to beating the greatest chess champion of all time Garry Kasparov back in 1997.

As the ‘90s turned into the 2000s, technology continued to succeed against humans with IBM’s supercomputer Watson beating two champions on Jeopardy!. But far from that, they aren’t simply designed to beat humans, but rather help.

Since the invention of self-driving cars we’ve seen over 300,000 accident-free miles on the roads, and when it comes to security, our world is a much safer place.

It’s become the new eyes of surveillance; with the likes of video analytics in CCTV systems that analyze and detect abnormal activities that could pose a threat to security, with the systems learning what is normal on a day to day basis for businesses.

And it’s the same online too – everything from shopping, to banking, to entertainment. Take the online casino industry. Companies put a whole host of security in place to ensure fair games, with most popular sites having strict security measures to keep both customer information safe, and foul play at bay.

Using the most up-to-date technology, they constantly monitors their sites in order to protect their players, while Random Number Generators are used to ensure fairness.

Where AI could go from here, the possibilities are endless. It’s unlikely Musk’s prophecy will come true, as we aren’t living in a 1980s Los Angeles created by James Cameron, but it is likely to continue to help us by minimizing human error and continuing the technological revolution that never seems to end.

Kobo Aura HD: What and What Not to Expect

Although the rise of high-end tablets in the market has hugely captivated the fancies of its audience, the world might still have a place for another e-reader – Kobo’s latest Aura HD. “This is something that is designed for this most passionate, voracious reader,” says CEO Mike Serbinis during an interview with engadget.com. But considering the vast pool of competitors out there, with two main players dominating the market, is Kobo’s latest innovation still worth the purchase?

The seemingly impressive hardware

It appears that the e-reader market is composed of a number of companies that just utilize the same parts for their products over again, with processors designed by a similar company as well, so there’s not really much to brag about when it comes to the hardware. However, Serbinis is determined to give the new Aura a place in the market.

Aura appears to have a larger screen, and in a tow, a bulkier reader. With a footprint of 6.97×5.05×0.46 inches, the device is noticeably larger than the Glo or Kindle’s Paperwhite. It’s much heavier than its competitions as well, and avid e-readers could immediately attest to that. Although the design appears to be just convenient to hold, it can be little slick, as well, especially if you have sweaty hands.

kobo-aura-hd

Boasting the HD screen

The screen also boasts a resolution of 1,440 x 1,080 – something that could definitely put many tablets to shame as it promises a 20 percent upgrade to clarity than most HD readers on the market – so it’s an extremely sharp reader. Battery-wise, it can last up to over a month, already with its light and Wi-Fi on. That’s plenty of time.

Atop the reader is a dedicated button for the device’s built-in front light. Just like the impressive technology from Glo, it wouldn’t fail its users once it’s on – showing off that evenly-distributed light across the whole display. The company isn’t really a fan of the standard micro-USB cords, as they’ve built a pretty good-looking cord solely for the device. It also holds a micro-SD slot for you to add up to 32GB storage to device’s 4GB built-in storage. That would certainly mean a lot to committed e-readers.

The not-so impressive software

With the goal of most e-readers to make the hardware “disappear” as much as possible, Kobo exerts an awful lot of effort to lifting the software. There’s nothing really much to expect with the software, just that it isn’t as user-friendly as other e-readers in the market. It can still read a multiple selection of file formats, including EPUB, PDF, JPEF, GIF, HTML, TXT, and a lot more. Although you will get by for some time, the company would really need to do some tweaks to its operating system to make a name in the market.

It was just the right move for the company to make the Aura HD a limited edition product, considering the e-readers bulkiness and the whopping $169 price tag. With Kindle and Nook on the market, the Aura HD is even much more difficult to sell.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Fails humanly, all too humanly

So, I very recently finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution and felt like putting out a few words about my experience of it. This will, disappointingly, not be a fantastically detailed analysis of epic proportions but I will summarize and touch on a few core issues that come to mind while I write this.

Deus Ex- Human RevolutionSome history:

I played Deus Ex first in its exceptional demo version in the early 2000s and instantly loved it and its then-unrivaled sense of discovery and complexity. It was, and probably still is, a good example of a world that evolves progressively through visual changes in the cities of the game and in how character relations are always temporary, as one never truly trusts anyone. If I remember right, I finished the complete game in the mid 2000s, along with the much reviled Deus Ex: Invisible War, which I however found a decent game at the time. When/if I have the time I would love to redo both games which I have on Steam, but less of the time needed to complete them to any extent.

To mimic GameCritics, I would also like to upfront specify my gaming conditions and some meta-information that may be relevant. Total gametime was estimated at 15-18 hours (realtime) from start to completion and I played on a 2011 Macbook Pro on high settings hooked to a 30” Cinema Display and Xbox 360 game controller. Difficulty settings were mostly medium, except for boss fights where I tuned the difficulty down. The game’s title will be shortened to DXHR in this text.

Deus Ex- Human Revolution - mac

As I could see on a friend’s Facebook comments, I saw a tendency to think more about the game details as such, rather than looking at DXHR as a successor to a game (because most do not count DX2 as a proper game, there cannot be a series as such) rich in cultural capital and important for the general growth of video/computer games as a mature medium in its own right. This focus on the “gameness” is troubling, not just because it de-emphasizes factors that convey the bulk of the ethical core that DXHR builds on, but also since this alternate focus does not acknowledge the world in which the game takes place but rather the (classical) mazes through which one makes progress. Continue reading “Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Fails humanly, all too humanly”

How to prepare the cloud security for your data

secure data recovery

Even if there weren’t numerous studies out there predicting a rapid increase in the number of companies adopting cloud security solutions, it is obvious to even a casual observer that people are getting less hesitant to climb the beanstalk. One of the main issues that made people resist the new technology were security concerns.

This hardly seems surprising when you hear about some of the better known intrusions or crashes that have left some major services unavailable for a while, but the fact is that those services usually recovered without major consequences and that the number of successful attacks or serious crashes is not exactly that disheartening.

Finally, providers of cloud services are more than aware of the fact that data security is still perceived as one of the main issues with cloud computing and a lot of effort is being devoted to addressing each and every chink in the armor. For this reason, cloud security requirements are being updated regularly. Aside from that, there are also some things that you can do on your end to help maximize data security.

It is true that you make your data vulnerable as soon as you upload it but there are ways to eliminate some of that vulnerability. For one, you need to have control over who can access the data. If you are using a particular service on a corporate level, there needs to be a well defined hierarchy defining who has access to what parts of data. With the most sensitive data being available to the people who absolutely have to have access.

cloud-security

Your data is vulnerable even before it reaches the cloud. Which is why you have to make sure that you are using a secure connection when you are uploading something to or downloading something from the cloud. This means that you should stay away from public networks, like the ones in parks, coffee shops, libraries and similar.

Likewise, using your smartphone or tablet to access the data might not be the best idea. Individuals would do well to make a habit of paying attention when, where and how they are accessing their data. While companies should make sure to include all the relevant cloud security info in training of employees.

A short mention of passwords should also be a part of that security training. Even though most people are aware of the fact that it is not too wise to have just one password for numerous accounts, a lot of them still do it, believing that it’ll never actually cause any harm. It usually does, and if you enable someone to access the sensitive data of your company or acquire control over your personal storage, you’ll be quite sorry you weren’t willing to put in that extra bit of effort. Using something like LastPass might make it easier for you to keep track of your various passwords.

Another crucial step in ensuring the cloud security of your data is researching the provider, checking how long they have been in the business. What their track record is and how many dissatisfied customers do they have. Make sure to study the terms of agreement carefully, and see what kind of protection they are able to offer.

Finally, if you are really worried about someone getting to your data but still want to have it backed up online, you could always encrypt it before sending it to the cloud. This will make it impossible to share it with someone who doesn’t have the encryption key. You wouldn’t have to worry about prying eyes seeing it.