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CES: The Best, Worst Thing to Happen In Tech
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is right around the corner, which means the time has come for all of us to get excited about the latest and greatest technologies companies will be showing off this chúng tôi countless industry analysts and pundits will tell you, this year’s CES will play host to a bunch of developing technologies, including Ultra HD, wearable tech, and others, and there appears to be little chance that some of the old standbys, like 1080p HDTVs and PCs will be able to make the kind of splash that they once did at the show.
But as someone who has been covering this industry for several years and has attended my fair share of CES events, I can tell you beyond a shadow of doubt that while it’s one of the most important shows and arguably one of the most interesting, it’s also the worst thing to happen to this industry.
The Consumer Electronics Show is huge. If you’ve never attended, you owe it to yourself to find a way at least once to see just how sprawling the event can be. You’ll walk countless miles over a few days and find that you couldn’t see half of what was there. What’s worse, some of the most interesting and innovative technologies, started by small entrepreneurs, find themselves in the back corners of rooms you never even see, meaning the larger firms tend to get the most play.
Oh, and when you come home from the show, you can all but guarantee that you’ll come down with some kind of cold – it’s impossible not to when everywhere you go, you’re surrounded by people.
But after the initial shock and awe of the sprawling show wears off, you come to realize, just days after the event, that much of what you’ve seen might never see store shelves. What’s worse, companies are more than happy to show off “future” technologies, only to give them the same moniker year after year after year. Simply put, CES is, in many ways, a lot of talk, but not a lot of walk.
Admittedly, there are many companies that come to CES with products ready to hit store shelves. But there are also countless devices that have either already been made available or seem to be little more than cool concepts that might still be years off. It’s the middle ground that matters. And in that middle ground, it’s hard to find a whole lot of truly compelling products.
Then, of course, there’s the lull – the period between the big show and when products actually hit store shelves. In far too many cases, that’s months, and it means seeing products in January, only to hear little to nothing about them until, say, October. That is, of course, unless they get delayed, which pushes the wait even further.
This is not to say that CES isn’t important – it is. But under all of the hoopla and hype and sexy technology, we find something rather interesting: it’s filled with the what-ifs and could-bes and not very much in the way of products that we want and can get our hands on right now.
Will 2014 be any different? We can hope. But at this point, the only thing we can do is wait and find out.
Not everyone agrees with Don: some say tradeshows like CES are evolving, not dying. You can keep track of all the CES announcements – good and bad! – at the SlashGear CES Hub!
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Fallout Games have been around for a while now. Starting from the classic top-down RPG genre and coming to modern first-person open-world games, it has come a long way since its first release.
For many Fallout fans, ranking these games might be a bit difficult. Sure, they can instantly answer which one is the best and worst among them, but ranking all of them can be quite a challenge, especially if they haven’t played all the games.
As someone who has tried all the Fallout games, we have compiled a full list and ranked them from the best to the worst. If you are someone who is trying to get into the Fallout universe but have no idea where to start, this might be helpful to you.Best Fallout Games Ranked Fallout: New Vegas
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: October 2010
Platform: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Fallout: New Vegas is set in a different timeline than the rest of the Fallout games, but it doesn’t fail to retain the thrills and immersive gameplay of Fallout. It is not only the best one among the Fallout games; it is one of the best RPGs in the world.
I don’t know what’s more amazing; the fact that the developers managed to develop this game in just 18 months, or they made an almost perfect Fallout game in such a short period of time.
On the surface, Fallout: New Vegas is just another Fallout game where you explore the vast open world of New Vegas, but man, it gets better and better with each act. The plot that started as the revenge story for the main character quickly turns into a full-scale war where different factions within the city are fighting for control.
And you’ll find yourself tangled in all sorts of dangerous situations where you’ll have to choose whether you want to involve yourself. The game offers so much in terms of choices that you can create your own story based on how you want to play the game.Fallout 3
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: October 2008
Platform: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
While many Fallout fanatics think the developers put too much emphasis on action rather than story or narrative, you can’t deny the fact that Fallout 3 was one of the best games in the series. The introduction of 3D graphics truly paved the way for the open-world RPG genre that the developers had hoped for the game.
Fallout 3 lets you explore the vast wastelands of Washington DC in a first-person perspective while also giving you the experience of some brutal action. You may feel bored with its slow start, especially if you like fast-paced games but trust me, it sets the stage for the entire game.
From creating your unique character to setting up attributes for them, it is all done within the introduction phase. Once you get out of the vault, though, you’ll see a big open world, ready to be explored. The wasteland is full of debris, rundown buildings, and lots of characters that will shape the story.
You’ll meet lots of odd characters, both good and bad guys, have conversations with them and find information about the current situation. In addition to the already good combat system, it also features a new element called VATS which makes killing enemies even more entertaining and easier.Fallout 2
Developer: Black Isle Studios
Publisher: Interplay Productions
Release Date: October 1998
Platform: Windows, Mac OS X
Fallout 2 is a classic 2D RPG game that truly defines what Fallout is all about. Being a sequel of the highly praised game, people had lots of expectations when the game came out, and well, it didn’t take long to meet those expectations.
Fallout 2 is an improved version of Fallout, which got rid of all unnecessary things from the game but also kept all the necessary things by making them better. One thing I don’t like about this game, though, is that it tries a little bit too hard to reference pop cultures into it.
Seriously, you can see these references everywhere you go. Other than that, the game is pretty solid. It has an immersive storyline that keeps you from straying too far from the actual mission.
It also gives you the freedom to handle things your way and shape your story the way you like. New weapons, new enemies, and new things to discover; it fulfills all your expectations if you’ve played Fallout.Fallout 4
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Release Date: November 2024
Platform: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
You escape from a vault as the sole survivor after witnessing your wife being killed and your son being kidnapped. And the first thing you see after spending so much of your time locked up in a cryogenic stasis is how much the world has changed after the nuclear devastation.
The latest game in the Fallout series features new elements and graphics. Set around the promises of Boston, you explore vast wastelands, scavenging resources and searching for your son.
Unlike in other Fallout games, a crafting system is available in this one, and you’ll be able to craft quite a number of equipment with the resources you’ve collected. Like all the other games, there are plenty of actions and quests in this one as well.
You explore different places, interact with people and give your opinions, kill mutated animals and creatures, and level up your character. However, the downside of this game is that it focuses too much on a linear storyline where the ultimate goal is to find your kidnapped son.
Despite being an open-world game, you are constantly reminded of it, which takes away all the fun out of it. But, overall, it has an interesting story which makes up for that.Fallout
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: October 1997
Platform: MS-DOS, Windows, Mac OS, Mac OS X
Fallout is one of the classic video games that defined the franchise of the game. Every Fallout game started from this point, and it set up the pace for all of them. Considering it came out in the 90s when people thought RPGs were basically dead, it shined like a diamond and paved the way for a lot of games that came after it.
You basically start out as a vault dweller and set out on a quest to fix the water problems in your vault. It allows you to create your own character as well as pick one from the list of pre-made characters if you’re not feeling like creating one.
From the classic SPECIAL systems to the Karma system that we still see in modern Fallout games, it all started with this game. For a game that was released more than two decades ago, it had a fairly large map where you could interact with characters and complete their quest.
There are more than one ways to complete quests, and each quest may play out differently based on your character. However, the graphics of the game are really outdated at this point, so you might need to bear with it if you want to play this game.Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel
Publisher: 14 Degrees East, Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: March 2001
Platform: Microsoft Windows
Fallout Tactics set a new storyline for the Fallout series by not continuing the story of both Fallout 1 and 2. It is more like an RTS game where you have to manage your squad and make strategies while playing. You start with a single character and recruit capable members along the way.
Although you cannot interact much with characters in this game, you can perform plenty of trades with them. It still features lots of action elements, exploration, and mutated creatures, but it is much more linear than Fallout 1 and 2. But the conversation is very limited or, in some cases, non-existent.
There are some choices you can make but only towards the end of the game, where your decision will determine how the game will end. And again, the gameplay is very linear, where you’re completing missions and moving along with much interaction with the environment.
There aren’t cutscenes that explain the situation either. But other than that, the story is interesting enough to not lose your focus and get bored mid-way into the game.Fallout 76
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: October 2023
Platform: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
Fallout 76 was made for the sole purpose of providing an online Fallout experience to the players. However, the developers forgot to put one feature that made the game interesting; the NPCs. Without them, the game feels literally empty, with no one to be seen for miles.
In later updates, they added NPCs to the game, but it was already too late. You can occasionally meet other players if you’re lucky, but that’s about it. It is an average game from every perspective. The quests, characters, missions, and updates; are all generic, and nothing is appealing in this game.
Sure, you can play missions and quests, build your own base and explore the largest map ever, but it’s all average compared to the rest of the Fallout games. And the environment itself doesn’t give any Fallout vibes.
Fallout games are known for their barren land, devoid of life where everything is destroyed due to nuclear war, but Fallout 76 doesn’t have that vibe.
Sure, you can still see the effects of the devastation, but there are still buildings, trees, and vast forests, which take away all the fun of playing a Fallout game. And on top of that, the price of cosmetics in the game is ridiculously expensive for a game that isn’t even an MMORPG.Fallout Shelter
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios, Behaviour Interactive
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: June 2024
Platform: Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
When comparing it to other Fallout games, I don’t know if I should call it a Fallout game. It is just a simulation game where you manage resources and people in your vault.
It lacks any thrills and joy the Fallout games provide, and most of the time, you’re just watching your vault dwellers doing their job and complaining how awful overseer you are.
You can occasionally send your dwellers to explore the outside world and complete quests, but it is not as exciting as you think. And if your character dies while on the quest, you have to face another problem.
You can expand the rooms of the vault and build rooms with different purposes, but it becomes a headache once you have more rooms. And on top of everything, you have to always make sure that your citizens are happy and they are doing the jobs they enjoy.
You can’t also control them directly and can only give limited instruction, which is the most boring thing about this game. And most of the time, the game is just plain boring with nothing much to do.Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Release Date: January 2004
Platform: PlayStation 2, Xbox
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel feels extremely plain and simple, to the point that you can’t even call it a Fallout game. Sure, it depicts the story of a post-apocalyptic world where the world is suffering due to a nuclear war, but it pays very little attention to the story of the Fallout games that came before it.
The gameplay feels bland as well, where you’ll be exploring for hours, fighting and killing the same enemies the entire time. Everything about this game is basic; from the storyline to the combat system, it feels like you’re doing the same thing again and again.
Creating inlaid wood furniture is a painstaking process. Cutting shapes into the front of a drawer isn’t the hard part, though; it’s crafting pieces of a contrasting wood that fit precisely into those spaces. Since the beginning of furniture making, people have been looking for shortcuts. Today, machine-cut inlays are available, but in the past the preferred approach was to fill the patterns with a paste that would harden in place.
Project: furniture inlay
Time: 4 hours
One of the less inspired ideas came in the late 1700s, when someone started pouring molten sulfur into his carvings. In the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you will find a spectacularly detailed and beautiful chest made in 1779 in Pennsylvania by a pair of Swiss craftsmen, members of a short-lived tradition of sulfur-inlay furniture making.
Achtung! Theodore Gray is a scientist trained in lab safety procedures. Do not attempt this experiment at home. For more information on Gray’s scientific pursuits, visit his website.
Though sulfur may have had a good case on paper—it melts easily and hardens to a pretty yellow—there’s good reason the tradition was short-lived: Sulfur is nasty at a biblical level, it being another name for the brimstone with which evil was said to be punished. If you heat powdered sulfur gently, it melts into an amber-colored liquid that can easily be poured into complex shapes, if you can stand the suffocating fumes—and if it doesn’t catch fire spontaneously, as it will at a temperature somewhat higher than its melting point, burning with the loveliest purple flame.
The fumes are sulfur dioxide, best known as one of the components of smog. Being near a pot of molten sulfur, it rapidly becomes difficult to breathe. If you want to find out what asthma feels like, doing sulfur inlay is probably a decent approximation (and if you have asthma, you should never be around sulfur dioxide fumes, as they can trigger a severe attack). This is not something you want to do in the house, especially if you want to continue living in that particular house. Oh, and after you work with sulfur for a while, it reacts with the bacteria on your hands and forms hydrogen sulfide, giving you the smell of rotten eggs.
After filling the grooves, the sulfur cools rapidly to a crystalline solid that can be planed, chiseled and sanded smooth, resulting in a golden yellow inlay. It will turn white after a century or so as the sulfur ages. Bubbles and gaps are the primary way to identify an antique pure sulfur inlay, so when I tried this myself (in the name of historical investigation, of course), I didn’t go out of my way to fix them. This is, after all, meant to be a quick-and-dirty method.
Take my word for it, there are few materials less pleasant to work with than sulfur. Resins, paints, chalk paste, plastic—all have been used to do furniture inlay with success. No one knows why sulfur was first used, but it’s clear to me why it isn’t anymore.
Author’s note: Thanks to Mark Anderson and Jennifer Mass of Delaware’s Winterthur Museum for the historical and scientific information about sulfur inlay.
This story has been updated. It was originally featured in the January 2005 issue of Popular Science magazine.
Here’s a quick look at the top technology innovations and products displayed by Lenovo at the event.
The device has an RGB depth camera with 180-degree rotation. Using it, it can create virtual versions of users, mimicking their actions and even their facial expressions. At CES, the brand showcased how Chronos animated a person jumping jacks and kicking a ball into the soccer goal.
You can call it metaverse-related hardware packed in a grey box and powered by a 13th-gen Intel core processor. The device is still in its development phase, but Lenovo plans to start shipping it this year.
Lenovo Yoga Book 9i was another bang-on debut at CES 2023. It’s the world’s first “full-sized OLED double-screen laptop” with two 13.3-inch touch screens having 2.8K resolution.
The screens can rotate 360 degrees on the hinge, which also features Bowers & Wilkins speakers supporting Dolby Atmos spatial audio. The keyboard can be attached to the screen’s bottom or stacked vertically using a stand.
The machine is primarily built for productivity and multitasking with different apps or tasks on the two screens. It is convertible, runs Windows 11 software, and comes with a stylus. The Yoga Book 9i will start at $2099.99 and go on sale in June 2023.
The brand has also announced a new tablet called Lenovo Smart Paper that competes directly with Amazon Kindle. For starters, it’s the global version of the Lenovo Yoga Paper in China and is meant for reading ebooks, and articles, taking text and voice notes, etc.
Lenovo Smart Paper comes with a 10.3-inch e-ink display. It equips a resolution of 1872 x 1404 pixels and 227 PPI pixel density, along with a color-adjustable front light. It’s a low refresh rate monochrome panel that’s extremely battery efficient.
The tablet also supports a battery-less stylus called Smart Paper Pen. It gets EMR pen technology, having 4,096 pressure levels with tilt detection and a low latency of 23 milliseconds.
Smart Paper has different pen settings, including pencil, ballpoint, marker, and more. It also has several preset note templates and can convert handwritten notes into text.
Under the hood, the device is powered by a Rockchip RK3566 chipset. It is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. The tablet runs Android 11 and supports Bluetooth 5.2 BLE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, and a USB Type-C port.
Lenovo claims it can last up to 7,000 pages of reading on a single charge. The Smart Paper is priced at $399 (roughly Rs. 35,000), and it will be available in the US later this year, bundled with a stylus and a folio case.
Pitching it as the “best phone for cybersecurity,” Lenovo has launched the first-ever Motorola ThinkPhone at CES 2023. It’s an enterprise-focused phone designed for Lenovo ThinkPad fans and business users.
The ThinkPhone carries its DNA from the ThinkPad lineup. You get a carbon fiber design back with ThinkPhone branding. And there’s a red shortcut button on the side, similar to the one on ThinkPad laptops.
Motorola has packed the smartphone with ThinkShield technology and a dedicated security chip to protect pins and passcodes. You’re also being promised four years of security updates from Google, which makes it a perfect combination of solid and secure hardware and software.
The ThinkPhone is high-specced for the most part. It gets powered by Qualcomm’s 8+ Gen 1 chipset coupled with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. The front is covered with a large 6.6-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate.
The device supports 5G and Wi-Fi 6E, brings in a 68W charger inside the box, and supports wireless Qi charging. With a prime focus on connectivity, durability, and security, the Lenovo ThinkPhone is a promising smartphone for business use and one of my favorite products at CES 2023.
The ThinkBook Plus Twist offers a narrow-bezel 13.3-inch 2.8K OLED display with touch glass inside. At the same time, a 12-inch e-Ink display with a 12Hz refresh rate and touch glass sits on the top cover. The panels sit on a twist hinge which can be rotated to switch to either of the screens.
Business travelers can use the e-ink display in a typewriter laptop or e-paper tablet mode to draft, edit, and proofread documents. You can also use it for reading ebooks on the go. The e-ink screen is primarily meant for long periods of use without causing eye strain or draining much battery.
The laptop is powered by 13th gen Intel Core processors and runs Windows 11. Other specifications include Wi-Fi 6E, full pen support on both panels, and an FHD camera clubbed with a dual microphone having smart noise cancellation.
Lenovo launched many other products, too, out of which we’d appreciate the new Magic Bay accessories. The accessories debuted with the ThinkBook 16p Gen 4, which has a lid-mounted POGO-pin interface to attach accessories. It may remind you of the Moto Z-series smartphones with moto mod accessories.
There’s a Magic Bay 4K webcam that can go up to 4k 30fps, offers a 270-degree hinge, and an electronic privacy shutter. Complementing it is the Magic Bay Light that can illuminate the subject with up to 200-lux of adjustable brightness for video conferencing.
Lastly, there’s Magic Bay LTE which incorporates a SIM card reader to add always-on connectivity while traveling without using a dongle or Mi-Fi device. While there are limited accessories for now, we may see some more useful MagicBay products from the company in the coming time.
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How many men and women work remotely? As per a research by FlexJobs, approximately 3.9 million Americans work at least half the time. We’ve written many useful sites on this issue. Read them!
What’s the best technician for a distant workflow? You have come to the ideal place — keep scrolling to view our favourite gadgets and apps.
In certain tasks, working at the workplace is practically essential. But the majority of men and women say they’re happier and more effective when working remotely. We surely love employed as a remote team.
If you would like to adopt the distant workflow, these programs, devices and accessories can allow you to earn a flying start.The top programs for your distant workflow
One of the most significant challenges for remote employees is communicating. Rather than just speaking over a coffee, you’ve got to use electronic means to share thoughts with your colleagues and customers.
Many remote employees don’t operate fixed office hours. If you freelancer or merely wish to demonstrate your values, Harvest and Toggl can automatically monitor your time.
WiFi Map allows you to locate your next hotspot, also Trello will assist you in keeping track of multiple jobs. In addition, we enjoy using Google Drive for cloud storage, even whilst Focus@Will provides a library of sounds that enable you to concentrate in noisy surroundings.The best technician for remote employees
From reusable laptops to distraction-free laptops, all these wonderful products make it much easier to work at home or your favourite coffee shop.Bento Stack Apple Accessories Organizer
Cost: $49.95 USD
10 Best Chrome Extensions For 2023Roost Adjustable Notebook Stand
Cost: $74.95 USDYubiKey 4 USB Authentication Key
Cost: $40 USDPanasonic Wear Space Wearable Concentration Blinkers
Cost: $263 USDNew MacBook Air 13.3″ with Retina Display
Cost: $1,199 USD
Top 10 Successful SaaS Companies Of All TimesTraveler Distraction-Free Composing Tool
Cost: $349 USDBe productive
Niantic is the worst part of Pokemon GO
A team of developers called Niantic created Pokemon GO. They saw this April Fool’s Joke just like everyone else in the world, and saw potential. Once they received the GO-ahead, they got to work, splitting their staff between working on their already-active game Ingress and the game that’d be built on the progress they’d already made: Pokemon GO. What went wrong?
The concept behind Pokemon GO is solid. It’s extremely inspiring – as Niantic, more than anyone, should understand. But with the latest update to the game, it seems as though Niantic has abandoned at least one key element in that inspired first vision – Pokemon tracking.
Above you’ll see the April Fool’s Day video. Notice how Pokemon tracking is well and above our ability to accomplish with a mere smartphone – for now. It’s projected up in space, like a hologram from Star Wars. That’s something we might be able to accomplish with augmented reality and the VR version of Pokemon GO – but not if Niantic has given up on tracking altogether.
SEE: Why Pokemon GO is the best game EVER
When I played the Beta version of the game, tracking worked great. If I opened the panel in which nearby Pokemon were shown, each Pokemon had between 1 and 3 footprints, this showing how close or how far they were from my phone’s position. When I tapped a Pokemon in this grid, my avatar in the game would even go so far as to point in the direction I should be walking to attain the Pokemon I tapped.
Once Pokemon GO was released to the general public, it seemed as though the massive amount of traffic that appeared made mincemeat out of the method used to enact steps in the game. All Pokemon had three steps, and no-one was the wiser about their location.
Now Niantic’s support page for steps is about how Pokemon are simply in the same grid, but without any steps at all. The line “Collaborate with other Trainers to find out exactly where certain Pokémon have been found” is telling – it suggests Niantic is pushing for more involvement between players.
This newest update to Pokemon GO also changes the way battles are fought at gyms, encouraging further the idea that a gym with several Pokemon should not be able to be easily beaten by a single opponent. Team battles are where its at – as Niantic has reminded us at several press events since before the launch of the game.
Niantic has also taken their first big step toward cutting out cheaters and hacks to the game in this newest update, cutting out availability of access to 3rd party services Niantic has suggested take away from the core elements of the game. This first big iron software curtain has been dropped – and it’s good.
More or less.
It’s good that Niantic is taking a stand against hacking of their game – or the exploitation of some elements of their game.
However, since the game launched with what was supposed to be a tracking system for Pokemon, and some services popped up in that feature’s absence to replace it, users are not pleased.
Random spawning and the use of friends to comb through large patches of land to find single Pokemon is not how any previous game has worked. Not that this game is like any previous Pokemon game, anyway.
Niantic has remained relatively silent through this change (beyond some sparse release notes in app stores) and through a number of down-times logged over the past several weeks.
While I’d suggest “gamers get what they pay for” for a game that’s supposed to be free, this game isn’t. Users can play it for free, certainly – but even if they don’t attain in-app purchase products, they’re being asked to get out and perform physical tasks to play the game.
If Niantic wants people to continue to play the game and potentially buy the products that are available inside it, they need to AT LEAST be more active on their social media accounts, responding to concerns and letting their game participants know when they’re having real problems – like a server array down for several hours at a time.
As our report earlier today shows, losing any amount of progress in this game hurts more than a video game one plays at home. It feels like losing something far more real. This is a powerful proposition Niantic has made – and they absolutely need to step up their efforts in making sure the user knows that they’re working to improve the game and support the user every single day.
Niantic is the worst part of Pokemon GO right this minute – but they don’t have to be. Server problems and changing features don’t have to be giant issues – they just need someone to say “it’ll all be better soon, thanks for playing!”
See more Pokemon GO bits and pieces – tips, secrets, and updates – in our @TeamPokemonGO Twitter portal.
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