Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Call of Duty Makes First Trip to China with Launch of Public Beta

When it comes to the world of gaming, every sales record has been shattered by Call of Duty, the first person shooter franchise. Even though the game has been enjoying all the possible success anyone can image, they have been really absent or non-existent in a country which is known to be the most populous country, but for not long. The wait is over and the free-to-play version of the first-person shooter, Call of Duty Online, has been officially launched in China on an open public beta. This announcement was made by the publisher Activision on Monday. The game, which has been specifically designed for the Chinese market has been released in partnership with the Internet conglomerate Tencent Holdings. Internet conglomerate Tencent Holdings has been based in China.

Chinese Market

The game’s launch marks the entry of wildly popular franchise for the first time and that too it will be widely available for the consumers in China. Even though the gaming population in the country has crossed more than a million marks, some of the people still play either the games, which have been developed by domestic Chinese companies, or other companies, which have been carrying out their business outside in the United States of America. Call of duty (an American game) was not available in the country until now.

In China for many years, traditional games consoles like PlayStation and Xbox were banned. Last year, 2014, the country announced that they are going to life the ban and would start allowing the console makers to launch their devices within the country’s border with one catch point- the products have to be distributed by a Chinese company. A while back companies like Microsoft and Sony announced that they are planning to launch their consoles in China. Even though Xbox One at present is available in the country, but Sony was forced to postpone the launch of PlayStation 4 last week. According to the sources from Sony, the company is still not sure about the launch date of PlayStation 4 in China.

As soon as the information pertaining to the lifting of ban was spread, the American companies have started working on the idea of releasing or launching their titles in the country. According to the survey conducted in 2014, there are nearly 300 million people, who are part of the Chinese gaming population and out of this, one third of the people are interested in the first-person shooter games. This data was more than enough for Activision. As many companies have made their games free for consumers, it is no surprise that the company has chosen the online medium.

The title of game, which is full Call of Duty game has taken many aspects from popular franchise like Black Ops and Modern Warfare. The game comes with single-player campaign, full online multiplayer, and Survival Mode for co-op playing. The company is trying to get some money by encouraging the user to either purchase the game or rent the game items.

The Weird Tech We Love and Hate at CES 2015

Parrot Pot
International Consumer Electronics Show of 2015 was held from 6th to 9th January in Las Vegas of USA. This grand event displayed the release a number of innovative devices, whose functions are really strange but it drew the attention of many people. Some of these devices are discussed here.

Parrot Pot

The Parrot Pot is an extraordinary pot for average sized plants in any house. It links to your mobile device through Bluetooth. There is a bunch of sensors, which checks the plant’s health like the temperature, amount of water in the soil, light levels and also the fertilizer of the soil with conductivity measurements. Parrot Pot is also equipped with a water reservoir, which can hold water of almost 2.2 liters. If the Parrot Pot detects that your plant needs watering, then it will spray some water on the top soil. It can even water those plants for maximum three weeks, basing on the prevailing situations.

Honeywell Lyric Security System

Honeywell came back with its own Lyric thermostat. This home control expert is attempting to build some more impetus with the release of its second Lyric item- a professional grade- security system of home. It comprises cameras, motion in addition to smoke detectors, all regulated by a touch screen controller. This system allows voice commands that can activate events such as turning off an alarm, while at the same time switching on all lights and also turning up the temperature. Honeywell stated that the system will moreover apply your Smartphone location with products as smart lights to give you a wide variety of automated settings.

Dacor dual-range oven

Whether you love to cook or not, Dacor’s latest model of oven will really amaze you. Last year, it fixed an Android tab onto the oven so that you could manage it remotely. But, in 2015, Dacor’s has moved one step further, offering you voice controls with the help of an app. It denotes that you could place a thing into the oven before going anywhere out of the home, and then speak to your mobile on your way home to inform the oven to begin the cooking. Or, when you are in the kitchen, you may only shout instructions to that oven as- Start left oven at 200 deg.

Anova Touch

Anova Touch can allow you to manage and set your food items while you are away. Through an application, you can plan your water temperature, time of cooking, and also monitor this, while you are out for any work. Anova Touch is the foremost WiFi based Sous Vide machine.

If you are not certain what you wish to have, or how Sous Vide can work for the chops, you bought from the market, then Anova Touch app can give you recipes, instructions, and some other step-by-step information on best practices from good cooks, food writers, and so on.

Bosch Smart Fridge

It is a strange smart fridge from Bosch. It takes you a step closer to the desire of having the kitchen devices carry out the shopping. The new fridge is provided with an integrated camera, which takes a picture every time the door is opened and these pictures are uploaded to the Bosch app. When an individual goes to the supermarket, he can see whether he requires vegetables or anything. However, Bosch’s next plan would be software, which identifies missing items and also orders them for the buyer.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Local Motors' 3D-printed car meets the Detroit Auto Show

Recently, Local Motors have showcased their 3D-Printed Car at the Auto Show. This is world’s first 3D-printed car and known as Strati, it is two-seater car, which is made up of plastic components and can reach the speed of 25 miles/hour.

Printing Process: 

This made in Detroit, Strati is two-seater car and it takes only 44 hours to print it. Crowdsources, a Phoenix-based company designs its cars, which look like the oddball Rally Fighter. Local Motors is responsible to build the Strati and brings on the floor of the North American International Auto Show, which is going to held in Detroit with all printing and routing equipment, which is here just for the occasion. The printing of this car takes only 44 hours, which in about two full working days after which all components including rough ones routed and polished to complete the final finishing look. According to Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers, first of three vehicles of Local Motors are ready to hit the market, whereas; each Strati will have the price range of $18,000 and $30,000. This two Seater car is made up of plastic components and it can hit the road with the speed up to 25 miles per hour.

About Local Motors Strati: 

The whole manufacturing and assembling process can be done in "micro-factory," of Local Motors, which is 40,000-square-foot space, containing everything needed to print, design, build, or sell a car. The company is planning to inaugurate its two micro-factories in 2015, one in near Washington, DC in National Harbor and another in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is expected that the DC location will breaks ground in the third quarter of 2015 where first fleet of 3D-printed cars will be sold. Factories are still looking for the approval because they need a local zoning law changes as per the Washington Post. As per few reports, the Strati is not yet legal for highway, and it can take few months to one year.

According to company officials, “We have arrived with small platform, but after setting up the winding course at Detroit’s Cobo Center, we have produced the passenger seats for the two-seater electric roadster. The two-seater Strati is powered up-by a Renault Twizy–sourced EV power-train which is fitted in to the 3D-printed body of car. Soon the company will test the car on modern tracks where the speed will vary between 10 to 25 mph with the comfortable conversation with the driver, but the car driver stated that car could made-up to 50 mph per hour and the car represent perfect golf car status.

This car were first showcased in September 2014, which was mostly constructed through 3D printing, which sounds like future-minded and gutsy as the part of a young ambitious company. According to reports, no one has done such things publicly till date. To actualize the process of 3D printed car, Local Motors had made a partnership with National Laboratory in Tennessee, where it has take four months to unveil, the Strati.

Microsoft Slams Google for Revealing Windows 8.1 Bug

It has been just another example of a competitive business world when Google has revealed the bug involved in Windows 8.1 by Microsoft. Both giant companies Google and Windows got on the wrong sides with each other on 11th of January 2015 when Google as a part of their Project Zero revealed a Windows 8.1 bug to the entire public. (Project Zero is a 90 day grace period that Google gives any software company compelling them to rectify or improve the flaws to improve the web or computers to be more secure to use and also to users.

Now if that is not met by the software companies, Google makes the flaws pubic). In this instance Google pre notified Microsoft of the flaw or the bug as we say on the 11th of October 2014 allowing Microsoft to get the bug fixed by 11th of January 2015 after which Project Zero would be what Google would resort to however since this was not fixed Google made the flaws pubic. Despite all this Chris Betz who is the chief of Microsoft Security Response Centre was found stating in a blog that Microsoft asked Google to hold off revealing the mistake/flaw for a couple of days more as they needed to develop a fix for the issue.

Mr.Betz also said that they have specifically asked Google to work in protecting customers by holding on to details till 13th Jan which is when a fix for the issue will be released. Mr.Betz added that they are aware with the fact that revealing flaw is consistent by Google's Project Zero guidelines, but also deliberately makes Microsoft less impressive to the security of Windows 8.1 customers' devices.

Mr. Betz criticized Google in this instance further adding that the action taken by Google is more of expressing pleasure at catching someone rather than the principles eventually leaving customers to suffer. Mr.Betz came back stating that what is right for Google may not always be the same for the customers and would want Google to make customer protection as the entire collective and primary goal.

With all this said and done Microsoft took a step ahead and notified that its Advance Security Notification System as also known as ANS will not be available for public and this step has been taken as a part of evolution from Microsoft’s side. This in future will be available only for paid premier support contracts and companies who are involved in the security programmes to access ahead of a fix.

This brought about mixed opinions in the technical communities where in a few were with Microsoft understanding that fixing a patch is not instant as they need to keep in mind various other facts like not to hamper other processes just by getting the broken patch fixed for Windows 8.1 eventually causing customers to suffer with the existing process. While on the flip side there were also customers who were on the same page with Google indicating that Microsoft is a giant but they are very slow or too dainty who could not fix the bug in time.

Whatsapp and iMessage Could Be Banned Under New Surveillance Plans


According to recent reports, Snapchat, WhatsApp and iMessage could be banned in the U.K. after the murder of Charlie Hebdo. It was the shocking event in Paris where leaders of the world prove that, how little they understand the latest technology. David Cameron, in an event in Nottingham, England, stated about how Britain has been able to access any form of communication with advanced technology and tools.

Phone calls, internet traffic, letters all can be intercepted due security and intelligence reasons, but as per the Cameron few services such as; WhatsApp, Facebook, iMessage, Snapchat and countless other smaller versions can be problem for national security. At the end of whole speech, David Cameron stated, “The first duty of government is to keep the country safe for our people, so that they can enjoy the life.”

As per another member and Mayor from Cameron’s party, Boris Johnson, “I am pretty interested in civil liberties stuff and if they are threat, so I want to listen their calls and check their emails to”. It can be alarming quote for those who have tipped to be a future British PM. No doubt, David Cameron was referring to listen only terrorists, but we all know that for this they need to keep an eye on all residents.

In the world of democracy, if you have elects those who are best according to you and later you are managing the money after paying taxes to live in better country. According to normal peoples we haven’t elect them to spy on our private life, to stop us from having basic rights and freedom, we didn’t have put them in charge, it means they couldn’t have a understanding about latest technology then our teenagers.

The argument presented by government and its officials, mobile services such as; WhatsApp, Facebook, iMessage, Snapchat are not freely accessible from their intelligence agencies. It is expected that government has approached those companies and asked to keep an eye on their messages, but their request denied. Now government has only option either to break in their security or to get a court order for further records.

But it’s nothing other than stupidity to stop normal people doing normal things through their instant messaging services; the latest technology is the easy medium for terrorists to communicate securely. If two or more machines are running for communications through Tor, while using 256bit encryption with the help of an IRC server so it can give same headache to government. Government can have little trouble to see those chats as the source and destination with the chat content of messages would be fairly secure throughout the process.

Ultimately, this is all what British government wants, and French government seems to follow the same route in a system as China is doing as they are routing all the traffic through government firewalls and normal people can access only approved sites and services. But the other fact is it is more difficult to stop the people from using the communication apps.