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First impressions of Firefox 1.0 preview release
Firefox is my second choice for a web browser. Opera comes first. No doubts about that. But Firefox in itself is a pretty decent browser. My requirement from a browser has risen with my long time usage of Opera so I just cannot move on to Firefox. Especially when it is not even in a final version. Till now at least.
Firefox today got a preview release for the version 1. Not officially released yet but still it was an offer I was too reluctant to pass by. Downloaded and installed over my previous installations. First impression after installing? I made a big mistake. More than half of my extensions were disabled as they were not supported. Even my favorite theme was disabled… I was back to a boring looking featureless browser. Damn. Rolling back sounded like a worse option, so continued with the preview release.
3 things impressed me in this release. Though, still not entirely good enough for me to think about using it as a primary browser. Let me discuss in details.
Speed is good but features?
The browser is indeed very fast. Not in loading which surprisingly is slower than Opera on my machine. The rendering speed is blazingly fast… faster than opera perhaps but I am not going to use stopwatches. But well, apparently I do not like the idea of a bare-naked browser with extensions providing the required clothing. Moreover, with every version seemingly breaking existing extensions and skins (might change in the final release and later versions), I certainly think twice before upgrading. And when I do (as I did today), most of the time I have to start from scratch.
Firefox is supposed to be just a browser. So, how come it now supports RSS feeds! I am not complaining for the additional feature though… my problem is that the support is uninspiring. I love the RSS detector that shows a lovely icon in the status bar. However, it functions only when the site has a Meta tag pointing to the feed. Something like this:
Ok, forgive my innocence but I failed to notice the new Ctrl-F menu. And I cannot seem to make the famous Find as you Type functionality work anymore. Maybe, they disabled it with the popularity of GMail and shortcuts taking over the web that I believe conflicted with Firefox find as you type. Apparently, I do like the ctrl-f toolbar even though it does not seems to auto close by itself. Keyboard shortcuts can be complicated for new guys and this toolbar let me highlight a particular word. Not as good as a dedicated toolbar as it does not do multiple word highlighting and does not do search engine searches.
New Toolbar for Popup Blocking
It is of course a very important upgrade. But someone like me who wants features and stability out of the box would keep on using it as a second choice browser for sites that fails to work in opera. I just hope they improve on the RSS integration because it is not much fun unless it is implemented properly.
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The Bathys is not Focal’s first Bluetooth headphones—that would be the 2023’s Listen, by far the most casual headphone the company has produced. It is, however, Focal’s first active noise-canceling headphones, and its first premier wireless product sharing DNA with the company’s high-end headphones.
Focal has cultivated its polished aesthetic, and the Bathys looks of its lineage. Open up the triangular hardshell case—the kind of onigiri-shaped accessory increasingly common for lay-flat but not folding headphones like the Bathys—and you’re greeted by a black-silver finish with magnesium yokes and leather headband accents, which are typical Focal touches. Concentric circles dotting the outer grilles are unmistakably Focal for anyone that has auditioned award-winning, opulent models such as the Stellia, and there are zero touch controls, as you might expect from a textured surface. Instead, physical buttons/toggles ringing the earcups handle ON/DAC/OFF modes, Bluetooth pairing, volume, pause/play/skip, ANC/Transparency, and taking calls/voice assistant activation. Closer examination reveals that geometric array, and the baskets beneath plus the headband attached, feature plastic, not just metal and leather like the Stellia. But you can’t realistically expect a suspension system built like a $2,999 flagship and the Bathys is plenty sturdy, plus any saved heft—the headphones weigh in at 350g or so, comfortable but still above the competition—is worth the sacrifice in a portable. Another distinction: the flame branding found on all Focal headphones glows white when the Bathys is active (though this can be dimmed or toggled off in the newly updated Focal & Naim app).
Within this spherical shield is a 40mm aluminum-magnesium “M”-shaped dome driver originating from the same Saint-Étienne, France, facility as the Bathy’s closed-back cousin the Celestee ($999), among other models up to and including the limited-edition Bentley co-branded Radiance (originally $1,299) and the Utopia ($4,999 and our best overall headphone). Earcups on the Bathys are around 20% smaller than those of its wired at-home use brethren, however, which required Focal to develop a new magnet/motor system. The Bathys isn’t low-profile, by any means—there’s more than enough room for my ears, which quickly get hot spots under tight circumstances—but it’s as compact and demure as Focals get. Thankfully, efficiency doesn’t come at the expense of expression.
The Focal Bathys bears a family resemblance to other high-end models, like the Stellia (shown), but brings its own personality to the lineup. Tony WareThe sound
Dynamic but disciplined. Reactive but refined. More kick without a loss of control. Transients have excellent pacing without being piercing and there’s decay with no delay. With the implementation of a driver derived from the Celestee and Radiance, the Bathys has a proven platform and it executes it with aplomb, tweaking things slightly to compensate for commuting, etc. Bass balances density and definition, perhaps with low-end exceeding “audiophile” limits but doing so articulately in a way that’s never obtrusive. Riding that punchy band is a midrange with plenty of energy and timbral accuracy. Upper midrange might be slightly dipped into elevated lower-mid treble, but it comes across as presence with a purpose rather than a search for artificial airiness. And there are no fatiguing top-end flare-ups, which is great if you need a little extra volume in loud environments. The soundstage leans toward intimacy, but not congestion—imaging is precise, and there’s just a touch more depth than width.
With a published frequency response of 15Hz-22kHz, the Bathys gives you everything in proportion, prioritizing musicality. Want more or less slam or sparkle? The Focal & Naim app includes a 5-band EQ that lets you tweak 62Hz/250Hz/1kHz/4kHz/16kHz in .5 dB increments to +/- 6 dB, and custom settings are saved to the headphone. The EQ, however, only works via Bluetooth—but all these impressions are wireless and with ANC, which is always on to some extent, which makes the consistently impactful yet never exaggerated sound signature especially impressive. Featuring Bluetooth 5.1 (with the SBC, AAC, aptX/aptX HD/Adaptive codecs plus multipoint support), the Bathys maintains its rhythm when you need to bounce.
Physical buttons, with customization available in the updated Focal & Naim app, offer a tactile control experience to match the sonic textures. Tony WareThe conclusion
Breakaway’s Black Knight is a fearsome foe—all 400 pounds of him. Clad in spiky black armor, standing seven feet tall, and with a man-sized axe in his massive gauntlets, he’s basically a murderous brick wall standing between me and freedom.
…For the basket? It’s true. I sprint up the stairs of fabled El Dorado, leap into the air like some ancient-world Michael Jordan, and slam a golden ball down into the pit on the ground. 1-0, our team.Emphasis on sports
It’s an interesting phenomenon that the best “Sports” video games are at best an abstract representation of real-world sports.
Oh sure, developers have made astonishing simulations of real sports, with the world’s best football and hockey and soccer stars meticulously recreated not just in appearance, but with tables upon tables of stats to delve into. But even the best of these simulations feels somewhat clunky, one or two steps removed from “Sports” in their purest form. So while EA’s FIFA games might be the most accurate-looking soccer game on the market, it’s Rocket League that more faithfully mimics the feel of playing soccer.
I think Breakaway, Amazon’s debut game, is going to fall into a similar category. In terms of rules, in terms of its character roster and setting, Breakaway is like no sport you’ve ever played—and yet it feels like football or like basketball in certain vital ways that the official adaptations (Madden, NBA 2K) don’t quite capture.
Blending elements of both Dota 2-style MOBAs and third-person action/shooter games, Breakaway actually sits pretty close in taxonomy to the criminally-overlooked Super Monday Night Combat. Teams are made up of heroes drawn from history and from legend, four to a side. Roles are fairly standard: You’ve got your tanks, like the Black Knight. There are damage dealers, like Spartacus (who can kick enemies off the edge of the map) or the ranged sniper pirate Anne Bonny. And then supports, like King Arthur’s nemesis, the sorceress Morgan Le Fay.
Easy enough, except there are so many other things going on. Combat proceeds apace while you’re stuck carrying the ball, and a single hit causes you to drop the Relic. Complicating matters is the fact that players can reinforce their lines with fortifications, from simple walls to ballistae to a Tesla coil that zaps you if you try to jump past.
And while getting the Relic to the goal is the most reliable way to score, the round also comes to an end prematurely if one team manages to completely eliminate the other before anyone respawns. This makes minute-to-minute play a delicate balance between pushing towards the enemy goal and not getting so overextended that your entire team is knocked out at once—or maybe just playing a strong defense and gunning for the enemy squad, hard as that can be.
Some aspects could use fine-tuning. The interface is a bit convoluted for my tastes, with an ugly free-to-play game vibe to the layout—especially when upgrading your character’s stats, which is done between rounds (or during, if you’re quick enough) on an cumbersome and awkward grid. The game could also use an Overwatch-style “Press F1 to see your abilities” overlay.
And the health bar is in a weird spot, too small and too far out of your peripheral vision to keep an eye on it in the heat of combat. I died quite a few times because I simply didn’t realize I was in any danger.
Breakaway’s only in Alpha though. There’s plenty of time to address these issues, provided Amazon listens to the community and takes its feedback seriously. The team certainly won’t have long to wait, with the game entering a brief semi-open Alpha phase today, December 15 at 6 p.m. (and lasting until December 19). We’ll see what the world thinks of Breakaway soon enough.
A consummate professional, that man. A master assassin in platform heels.The Day of the Jackal
Hitman’s first episode releases tomorrow, the start of an eventual year’s-worth of planned Agent 47 missions. Get ready to shave your head, don your suit, quickly change out of your suit into a less conspicuous disguise, and strangle a bunch of lowlifes. By the end of this content-dribble we’ll have six different cities to explore and presumably something like twelve story missions (six were planned for the original three-city game and I’m assuming the expansion-that’s-no-longer-an-expansion will pack a similar amount).
This first piece is pretty small though—especially if you played the recent beta. It consists of a short opening tutorial level set on a yacht and another slightly-longer tutorial level set on a military base (both of which were in the beta) and then a larger sandbox set in Paris.
That’s it! And if you’re only looking to play through each level one time, then this first episode won’t take you very long at all. There’s maybe two hours of game so far—and that includes replaying the opening yacht tutorial, since the game explicitly asks you to do so.
But that’s the key: Hitman is meant to be replayed, and it’s what makes this episodic release schedule work.
Like everyone’s-favorite Hitman: Blood Money, this 2024 edition of Hitman focuses on experimentation. The Paris level is one massive sandbox packed with different weapons, environmental hazards, escape routes, and disguises—the tools of Agent 47’s trade.
Now, is it Blood Money 2? No. There are compromises, because this is a game released in 2024, not 2006. Each level seems to have one really obvious ”Go Here And Do This And You’ll Win” method of assassination, like an olive branch to people who are either a) new to the series or b) just don’t want to think too hard. In Paris, for instance, the entire front of the building is festooned with a billboard of a fashion model who looks suspiciously like Agent 47. It’s immediately obvious this is the “correct” way to finish the level, insofar as it’s the most obvious.
But Hitman also caters to the perfectionist and to the Blood Money devotee. For one, you can turn off pretty much all of the help the game offers. Don’t want the game to point out important conversations? Tired of the game putting in quest markers to guide you through unique hits? It doesn’t just bury the option to disable in a menu. It literally pops up a box during the second tutorial level saying “YOU CAN TURN THESE HELPFUL POINTERS OFF.” Which I recommend.
Do so, and you’re forced to explore. Forced to find the dominoes yourself, find the weird weapons hidden in the nooks and the lengthy chains of events that lead to Hitman’s most stunning kills. In Paris I managed to miss an entire major storyline my first time through because I’d already committed to taking out the target a specific way—not to mention the myriad ways I could’ve executed the deed at the end.
If you want an idea of Hitman’s depth (and don’t mind spoilers), dig into the menus. There’s a Challenges section that awards you points for completing certain in-game actions, and you can read through them for ideas. There are a lot, from “Dress up like a guard” to “Poison this person” to the usual master-level “Silent Assassin” challenge—and on average you can only nab two or three per run.
And that’s even before we get into the Contracts Mode. Here, you’re tasked with taking out a random civilian/guard/whatever in a specific manner, and the community can gin up its own seemingly-impossible contracts.
It’s a staggering amount of murder to fulfill, albeit on an extremely limited pool of maps for the time being. Again, these are gestures for the core Hitman fans—the ones that are still playing Blood Money a decade after its release. The ones that most need to be won over in a post- Absolution world.
Do I think the game will win back everyone? No. There are some people for whom no Hitman will ever be as good as Blood Money, and I understand. It was a product of a certain era of game development, and even at the time was weird and somewhat bold.
On the other hand, I think Hitman is about as close as we’ll get in 2024, and I’m enjoying it (so far) a lot more than Absolution.
There are still some things that irk me. Certain actions are only triggered when the player proceeds, which is an annoyance. I sat for two minutes outside the opening yacht thinking I could snipe the target from afar, only to realize (I think) that he doesn’t move until you first walk onto the ship. On the Paris level it’s much harder to tell what’s player-triggered and what’s pre-scripted though, because there are so many moving parts. I suspect we’ll have a better idea once thousands of players run the levels repeatedly and start to categorize the NPC behavior.
AI can also be hit-or-miss at times. The Absolution disguise system has been brought back, meaning you’re only discovered by people who’d have cause to be suspicious. Thus, if you’re wearing a Security uniform on the military base you’ll have to avoid other security officers but not soldiers or mechanics.
The system works great, but there are a few cases that are a bit weird. Like, nobody stopped me from going into the attic in Paris, but once I was up there everyone who saw me was immediately suspicious. Or I poisoned a lady’s drink, the guards rushed in to find her dead on the floor and me casually standing nearby, and then they just let me walk right out the door.
Maybe they just didn’t want to confront a man in a dress.
One last item, which I’m mad about on principle: A lot of Hitman is online-only, including some things that seem…dubious. The aforementioned Challenges, for instance. If you’re offline, you can’t see them. Why? I don’t know. I assume it’s either “Stop people from cheating” or “The devs plan to add more Challenges later,” but either way I found myself a bit frustrated when Comcast decided to put its feet up and take a smoke break last night. You can still play the game, you’re just missing most of the bells and whistles. Something to keep in mind if you have an unstable connection.Bottom line
I was skeptical of Hitman going episodic because it seemed like a last-ditch panic button. And maybe it’ll still turn out that way! We’ve got a long way to go before Agent 47 is finished with his killing spree, and maybe every level post-Paris will turn out to be a disaster.
Let’s hope not, though. IO’s built the bones of a fantastic Hitman game—certainly the best since Blood Money (though that bar is practically nonexistent) and possibly one of the best in the whole series. Skip it for now if you’re just looking to one-and-done each level, but if you were hoping for a sandbox experience? You’ve got one.
Note: We don’t score segments of episodic releases. Look for a “real” scored review…whenever Hitman wraps up. Your guess is as good as mine.
For those of you who are not aware, we have recently launched an exciting initiative at Enterprise DNA.
Recently, we have been working hard to create and deliver a brand-new educational chat bot. We call our chat bot Edna as a unique play on words of our company name.
At Enterprise DNA, we have a lot of content and resources that we make available, covering nearly every area of Power BI development you could imagine, so we thought it’s a great idea to provide a way for those connected to us to navigate contents that are relevant to them.
And with the emergence of great chat bot technology, we realised that there was a great opportunity to create virtual discussions and conversations with our connections throughout the Power BI community.
Also, the idea of being able to pre-program a bot that is specifically targeted at helping Power BI users learn more about a whole variety of tips and techniques was a challenge that we thought was worth pursuing.
Edna is pre-programmed to look for keywords that you enter into questions. On our current 1.0 version we don’t have any natural language programming built into the bot. We are hoping to be able to comprehend a variety of different ways you can ask exactly the same thing in the near future.
So the best way to benefit from utilising Edna is to just type in keywords for the topics that you want to learn more about. You will find that there is extensive answers that have been created by the team at Enterprise DNA.
We are hoping that you can use it now as an education tool, so you can use the inputs that Edna provides to learn more about Power BI and also be directed to many of our examples and resources that will enable you to master Power BI effectively.
Edna is learning every single day. For every question you ask that Edna does not know now, we are working in the background to teach her how to answer it next time.
Currently we have well over 3000 answers built into Edna. But this will grow quickly as more users utilise the bot as an educational and conversational tool.
We are also continually working on the technology and upgrades to the bot. So hopefully we will be able to comprehend many different ways questions and conversations are generated on our website.
It’s really exciting what Edna could turn into in the very near future when more and more of you connected to Enterprise DNA decide to utilise it.
We are hugely invested in making it a success. So, I really recommend diving in and utilising her in the near future and trying to extract the education and answers that you need.
We want to understand how users are finding it and we want to learn quickly where we can improve it, so if you have any feedback you will find a form on the Edna Web page.
This is a really exciting development for us so hopefully you can see the significant effort we made into creating Edna. Also, definitely start utilising this resource that we have developed for you.
Edna 1.0 is just one of the many exciting developments we’ve got going on at Enterprise DNA. I’ve enjoyed showcasing this one to you and look forward to telling you about many more in the near future.
Katharine Hepburn was a legendary American actress who appeared in over 50 films throughout her career. She is widely considered to be one of the greatest actresses in the history of American cinema and has won four Academy Awards for Best Actress. Hepburn was known for her independent spirit and her refusal to conform to Hollywood norms.
She was known for her classic and timeless fashion sense and often wore trousers, blazers, and button-up shirts. This was unusual for women in the 1930s and 1940s, but Hepburn’s style became one of her signatures. She was also known for her love of oversized sunglasses, which she often wore on and off the screen. Hepburn was also a fan of simple, elegant clothing and often wore pieces by designers such as Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy.
Hepburn’s fashion sense was not only ahead of its time but also reflected her strong and confident personality. Her style continues to be admired and emulated today, and she is considered to be a fashion icon.What Distinguishes Her as The First Lady of American Theatre?
Katharine Hepburn was known as the “First Lady of the American Theatre” because of her long and successful career on stage and in films. She was one of the most iconic actresses of her time, and her performances were widely acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. Hepburn’s career spanned over six decades, and she appeared in over 50 films, many of which were critically acclaimed and commercially successful. She was also known for her independent spirit and her refusal to conform to Hollywood norms.
Hepburn was known for choosing roles that were challenging and unconventional and for her fierce determination to maintain control over her career. Hepburn’s performances in films such as “The Philadelphia Story,” “The African Queen,” and “Bringing Up Baby” helped to establish her as one of the most talented and respected actresses of her time. Her performances were widely acclaimed, and she won four Academy Awards for Best Actress. As a result of her talent, career, and personality, Hepburn was given the title “First Lady of the American Theatre” in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the film and theatre industries.Fashion Sense
Katharine Hepburn was known for her classic and timeless fashion sense. Her style was characterised by her preference for trousers, blazers, and button-up shirts, which was unusual for women in the 1930s and 1940s. She was also known for her love of oversized sunglasses, which she often wore on and off the screen. Hepburn had a preference for simple, elegant clothing and often wore pieces by designers such as Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy. She was also known for her love of classic, tailored clothing and often wore suits, trousers, and collared shirts. Her style was practical, comfortable, and effortless, which reflected her no-nonsense and independent spirit.
Hepburn’s fashion sense was not only ahead of its time but also reflected her strong and confident personality. Her style continues to be admired and emulated today, and she is considered to be a fashion icon. She was often photographed in her favourite, comfortable, and practical slacks, which was not a typical look for women in her era. Her fashion choices were not only a reflection of her strong, independent spirit but also a sign of the changing times and the evolving role of women in society. Hepburn’s sense of style was unique, elegant, and timeless, and it was a perfect representation of her personality and her work.
In addition to her love of trousers and blazers, Hepburn was also known for her love of simple, elegant clothing. She often wore dresses and gowns that were simple and understated but still elegant. She was also known for her love of colours such as grey, beige, and navy blue. Hepburn was not afraid to experiment with different colours and prints, but she always kept her look classic and timeless.
Hepburn’s fashion sense was not limited to her wardrobe. She also had a keen sense of accessorizing, often pairing her outfits with simple, elegant jewellery such as pearls and diamond studs. She also had a preference for low-heeled shoes and often wore loafers and pumps. Hepburn’s fashion sense was not only ahead of its time but also reflected her strong and confident personality.
Her style continues to be admired and emulated today, and she is considered to be a fashion icon. Her fashion choices were not only a reflection of her strong, independent spirit but also a sign of the changing times and the evolving role of women in society. Her style continues to be a source of inspiration for many fashion enthusiasts and designers.Conclusion
In conclusion, Katharine Hepburn was known as the “First Lady of the American Theatre” because of her long and successful career on stage and in films. She was one of the most iconic actresses of her time, and her performances were widely acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. Hepburn was known for her independent spirit, her refusal to conform to Hollywood norms, and her fierce determination to maintain control over her career.
Her performances in films helped to establish her as one of the most talented and respected actresses of her time, and her fashion sense was also admired and emulated. Her talent and contributions to the film and theatre industries earned her the title “First Lady of the American Theatre” as a recognition of her outstanding achievements.
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