Tag Archives: Gadget Reviews

‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ smashes Steam’s peak user record

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has broken another Steam record, and this time it might stick. The battle royale shooter just surpassed Valve’s Dota 2 to claim the all-time record for peak player count, with 1.34 million gamers fighting for survival versus a little less than 1.3 million for its rival. That’s not bad for a game that was only released in Early Access form in March.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/17/playerunknowns-battlegrounds-sets-all-time-peak-user-record/

Ben Heck’s mini pinball: All about the control board

So here’s where the team is at with the control board for their miniature pinball machine: Felix has put together a prototype board with the Arduino and Teensy microcontrollers, which will control the solenoids and take input from bumpers, buttons and other mechanisms that Ben is designing. Ben had to reprint the disc for the pop-bumper, though, and now it will fit with the conductive metal rings to give us a circuit that can help rack up the points. Let us know what you think about the build so far over on the element14 Community, and please do share any comments you have about C++ programming.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/17/ben-hecks-mini-pinball-mechs/

Pirate Bay ‘borrows’ visitor CPUs to mine virtual coins

The site tells TorrentFreak that it was testing the feature for about 24 hours as a new way of generating revenue, and that it could eventually be enough to replace ads. In short, don’t be surprised if this becomes a mainstay of the site going forward. Users have found that they can block the miner through their browser settings or add-ons like ad blockers, so it’s not inescapable.

Without warnings, however, many inexperienced visitors won’t even realize what’s happening, let alone figure out how to stop it. And that’s the real concern. While there isn’t much sympathy to be had for pirate site hosts eager for revenue, the unsuspecting visitors are another story — they didn’t ask to bog down their systems.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/16/pirate-bay-hijacks-cpus-for-digital-currency-mining/

Meet Rembrandt in this Samsung Gear VR experience

It’s quite different from the Vincent Van Gogh experience The Night Cafe, which gives you the power to jump into the world in his oil painting. Meeting Rembrandt puts you right in the middle of the most notable events in the artist’s life instead. You can even interact with him in his atelier and see the creative process behind his most famous painting, The Night Watch.

“It’s as if you are actually there, up-close with Rembrandt, in his atelier, in his house, as he interacts with you and lets you understand why his work was so controversial in that day and age,” Force Field chief Arthur Houtman said.

The experience is now available on Oculus’ Gear VR store for free. Since it was made for Samsung’s VR platform, you’ll of course need the tech titan’s headset and a compatible phone like the Galaxy S8 or Note 8 to run it.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/16/meet-rembrandt-samsung-gear-vr-experience/

Microsoft Pix uses AI to make whiteboard photos useable images

Microsoft’s Pix sets itself apart from other camera apps by using the power of artificial intelligence to correct your photos, learning new tricks over time. It can do things like add artistic flair to your images, turn photos shot in a row into “Live Images,” or just making sure the people in your photos look great. This week, the app got a new update out that adds yet another AI trick to the pile: The ability to capture whiteboards and turn them into useful images.

So, for example, if you’re at an important meeting, you can use Pix to take a photo of a diagram on the whiteboard to remember it later. The Pix app will then sharpen the focus, ramp up the color and tone, crop out the background and realign the image appropriately so that the diagram is shown straight-on.

According to Microsoft, this will work not just on whiteboards, but also documents and business cards as well. It’s a trick that’s very similar to what Microsoft’s own Office Lens app can already do, but while Office Lens is focused on productivity, Pix is more about using AI to recognize whiteboards and documents automatically. Basically, you don’t need to tell Pix that you want the photo of the document to be cropped and realigned — it’ll automatically recognize what it is and will do so without you having to intervene.

Microsoft’s Pix Camera update is available right now on the App Store.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/15/microsoft-pix-uses-ai-to-make-whiteboard-photos-useable-images/

Apple readies its 4K movie catalog for Apple TV pre-orders

If you’re sweet on the latest Apple TV, you’re probably also planning on stocking up on 4K downloads. After all, the bump in pixels is its biggest draw. And, if you head to iTunes right now, you’ll see that a bunch of content is available in 4K HDR. The same goes for the TV app for iOS, Macs, and tvOS. For now, the selection seems to be limited to movies, but you can expect the line-up to expand before the Apple TV’s September 22nd release date. The upgraded flicks carry both the “4K” and “Dolby Vision” tags, as spotted by MacRumors.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/15/apple-tv-4k-itunes/