Archive for January, 2018

Far Cry 5 release date is March 27. In the run up to that, Ubisoft has released more details on this much anticipated open-world first-person shooter. Aside from the usual mix of stealth and action, certain missions involve a welcome amount of vehicular carnage. One of them has you tasked with returning a glorious big rig that’s in the possession of Eden’s Gate — the cultists you’re up against in the game. Dubbed as the Widowmaker, it has twin-mounted machine guns that made clearing out gas tankers and cultists with ease.

In addition to this, the Guns for Hire missions (which promise a special ending for seeing their arc play out) improve odds in any given battle by bolstering the resistance group in Hope Country against its zealots. This means allied forces armed with bows, machine guns, and shotguns make battles easier than they should be.

Speaking of support, Far Cry 5 co-op allows friends to join your quest and help you out. Given the number of vehicles at your disposal and ways to play, executing take-downs or blowing up enemy encampments as a coordinated effort appears to add another dimension to the gameplay. Furthermore, you can recruit non-human allies like Boomer – a dog that specialises in recon and comes to your aid in disarming enemies.

How to play Far Cry 5 at 4K 60fps
The company also announced the PC specifications for the game. Interestingly, Far Cry 5 will support multi-GPU functionality such as SLI and crossfire for Nvidia and AMD cards respectively. Like recent Ubisoft titles, the game utilises Denuvo DRM. Despite a bevy of welcome features, how much traction the PC version will get remains to be seen considering that the prices of PC components is at an all time high.

Far Cry 5 PC specifications

Minimum configuration

OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
Processor: Intel Core i5-2400 @ 3.1 GHz or AMD FX-6300 @ 3.5 GHz or equivalent
Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 or AMD R9 270 (2GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better)
Resolution: 720p Video Preset: Low
Recommended PC specifications (60fps)

OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
Processor: Intel Core i7-4770 @ 3.4 GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1600 @ 3.2 GHz or equivalent
Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD R9 290X (4GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better)
Resolution: 1080p Video Preset: High
4K 30fps configuration

OS: Windows 10 (64-bit version only)
Processor: Intel Core i7-6700 @ 3.4 GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X @ 3.6 GHz or equivalent
Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 or AMD RX Vega 56 (8GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better)
Resolution: 2160p
Video Preset: High
4K 60fps configuration

OS: Windows 10 (64-bit version only)
Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.0 GHz or AMD Ryzen 7 1700X @ 3.4 GHz or equivalent
Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 SLI or AMD RX Vega 56 CFX (8GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better)
Resolution: 2160p
Video Preset: High/Ultra
“PC has always been a key element of Far Cry’s DNA, and this couldn’t be truer with Far Cry 5,” said Kirill Bragin, PC version producer on Far Cry 5. In order to help ensure PC players have the best experience possible, the Benchmark feature and video memory usage meter will help you analyze your system and calibrate the myriad visual options, including variant aspect ratio support, FOV adjustment, optional FPS locking, and resolution scaling.

But players won’t need to dive into the calibration menus if they don’t feel like it, said Bragin, because “the game will auto-detect the user’s hardware and will set the matching quality preset and resolution.”

Given the rising price of PC components, would you be playing Far Cry 5 on console or PC? Let us know in the comments.

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Alphabet’s Google rolled out a new addition to its ads settings that will enable users to mute reminder ads in apps and on websites that partner with the company to show the ads.

Reminder ads are reminders of a website that users have browsed in the past for a product. With the new feature, Google users will be able to mute the reminder ads.

Google plans to expand the new tool to control ads on YouTube, Search, and Gmail in the coming months, Jon Krafcik, group product manager for data privacy and transparency wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

The new feature is an addition to Google’s ad-muting tools that have been around since 2012 that allow users to hide specific unwanted ads or advertisers.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday that taxi company Uber should not be shut down but instead should comply better with labour and safety standards.

“We need to make sure that our employment law keeps pace with the way that technology is shaping modern working practices,” May told business leaders meeting at the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

“Take the example of Uber … a company that has got things wrong along the way, with safety issues and concerns over protections for its workers,” she added.

“The answer isn’t to shut Uber down but rather to address those concerns and to establish and enforce the standards and protections that can make this technology work for customers and employees alike.”

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Google is testing a new app called Bulletin that displays hyperlocal news. The app helps in creating and instantly publishing information about your neighbourhood. The Google Bulletin app will enable journalists and even regular citizens to build a story around an event using text, videos, snapshots, and more. Currently, the app is only available in Nashville and Oakland.

In the Bulletin app, people can post images, texts, videos, directly from their phones. There is be no need for a setup, like a blog or a website, to post stories. Google has not revealed too many details about the app but noted that Bulletin stories are public and can be accessed through Google Search, shared on social networks, or sent as links in emails and messaging apps. The app appears to be available for both Android and iOS.

Google says, “Bulletin makes it effortless to put a spotlight on inspiring stories that aren’t being told.” Interestingly, in 2008, the search giant had announced a ‘local’ news feature where it said that the new feature will help “find your local news by simply typing in a city name or zip code. While we’re not the first news site to aggregate local news, we’re doing it a bit differently.”

A feature like Bulletin is a great initiative to help local reporters and news outlets look for stories closer to home. It also makes a lot of sense for regional communities to put a spotlight on local stories. Meanwhile, Google has to compete with Twitter, which is already a go-to place for quick and breaking news. However, the Bulletin stories finding a place in Google search cannot be underestimated.

The Google Bulletin app currently has limited access in Nashville, Tennessee, and Oakland, California. People who are interested in trying out the app can sign up as an early access user.

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Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have been leaked in a fresh round of renders that come from VentureBeat’s Evan Blass. The images show that the upcoming phones will resemble the previous generation Galaxy S8 duo in terms of design. The Galaxy S9 is expected to sport the same 5.8-inch display, while the Galaxy S9+ is expected to sport a 6.2-inch display. Another report also suggests that the phones will incorporate ‘Intelligent Scan’ technology that combines the iris scanner and face recognition to improve device unlocking in bad lighting conditions.

As we mentioned, a tweet by tipster Evan Blass has suggested a traditional approach to the design on the Galaxy S9 series due for launch on February 25. The VentureBeat report claims that this year will be merely a component upgrade for Samsung’s flagship range. Borrowing design elements from last year, the S9 series is expected to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 in US and China, and Samsung Exynos 9810 SoC in other markets (including India). A new 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage variant for the Galaxy S9+ might launch this year. Both phones are expected to sport QHD+ Super AMOLED displays with rounded edges. While the report does not show any shots of the back of the phones, it suggests that the fingerprint sensor will now be placed below the camera sensor and not beside it. VentureBeat also claims that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will start shipping from March 16.

Android Police reports that a developer has spotted mentions of ‘Intelligent Scan’ in the Samsung’s Settings app. According to a video uploaded on YouTube, Intelligent Scan is described by Samsung as a combination of the iris scanner and face unlock sensor to improve performance even in low light. The feature is expected to be present on the Galaxy S9 as well as roll out to last year’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8.

Samsung sent out press invites last week for its February 25 launch event ahead of MWC 2018. The Galaxy S9 series is slated to make a debut at this event. The invite teases the number ‘9’ and an apparent camera upgrade on the Galaxy S9. Rumours have hinted towards Samsung incorporating an f/1.5 aperture lens on the upcoming flagship. A leak has also pointed towards ‘Super Speed’ camera technology, a ‘Super Slow-mo’ mode, and Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) on the Galaxy S9 duo.

The Galaxy S9+ might get an exclusive 512GB inbuilt storage variant in select markets.

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Reliance Jio on Thursday announced that Jio Phone users can now avail unlimited voice calls and 1GB 4G data for 28 days at a charge of Rs. 49 as part of its Republic Day 2018 promotions. The telco has also launched data add-ons specifically for Jio Phone at Rs. 11, Rs. 21, Rs. 51, and Rs. 101. The feature phone was launched back in last July with services such as JioMusic, JioTV, and JioCinema. This comes soon after Jio announced it will offer 500MB more data on the non-Jio Phone plans offering 1GB and 1.5GB data per day.

Earlier on Wednesday, Counterpoint Research claimed that Jio Phone topped the feature phone market in India in the fourth quarter of 2017. The feature phone helped Reliance Jio dominate the market with a share of 26 percent – surpassing Samsung and Micromax, which stood at second and third spots with 15 percent and 9 percent market share in the fourth quarter, respectively.

“Reliance Jio captured a 26 percent share of the feature phone segment in just one quarter with its compelling value proposition compared to the normal 2G feature phones,” Counterpoint Associate Director Tarun Pathak had said in a statement, adding that the telco exited the quarter with some inventory in the fourth quarter that could affect its share in the coming quarters.

The 4G and VoLTE-enabled Jio Phone disrupted the market of feature phones through its “free” model in which customers need to deposit money of Rs. 1,500. This upfront amount is refundable after three years. Competing against Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, BSNL, and Vodafone also brought their affordable feature phone and entry-level smartphone models to the Indian market.

The KaiOS-running Jio Phone features a 2.4-inch display with 240×320 pixels resolution and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, coupled with 512MB RAM. The phone has a 2-megapixel rear camera sensor and a 0.3-megapixel front camera sensor and packs a 2000mAh battery.

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LG Electronics, South Korea’s tech behemoth, posted its biggest-ever revenue in history in 2017 due mainly to strong TV sales, the company said on Thursday.

Revenue reached record high of KRW 61.4 trillion ($57.9 billion or roughly Rs. 3.68 lakh crores) in 2017, topping KRW 60 trillion for the first time in the company’s 60-year history, Xinhua news agency reported.

Operating profit was 2.47 trillion won ($2.33 billion or roughly Rs. 14,800 crores) last year, marking the second-biggest in its history.

The revenue increased 10.9 percent compared with the previous year, with the operating profit jumping 84.5 percent.

During the October-December quarter, LG’s revenue reached KRW 16.96 trillion ($15.99 billion or roughly Rs. 1.01 lakh crores), up by 14.8 percent compared with the same period in the previous year.

Operating profit turned into the black with KRW 366.8 billion ($346 million) in the fourth quarter from a deficit of KRW 35.2 billion ($33 million) a year earlier.

During the December quarter, LG’s TV unit posted KRW 5.48 trillion ($5.17 billion) of revenue. It was up 14.2 per cent from a year ago. The unit’s operating profit surged 133.8 percent to KRW 383.5 billion ($362 million) in the quarter.

The mobile communications division, which makes smartphones, posted an operating loss of KRW 213.2 billion ($201 million) in the fourth quarter on high marketing costs and higher component prices.

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Departing Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman will become chief executive of DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile media firm NewTV, a move that places her back into unchartered territory.

One of the most powerful women in US business and a former candidate for California governor, Whitman will be moving into a nascent sector much like when she took over eBay in its early stages and turned it into a multi-billion dollar business.

“Getting Meg was a coup as many companies wanted her,” GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives said on Wednesday.

Whitman starts March 1 at Katzenberg’s startup firm, which plans to make Hollywood-style, short-form videos for mobile use.

“This is a change of pace for Meg after stepping down from HP as NewTV and Katzenberg have created a unique business model which has a long runway ahead of it for the coming years,” Ives said.

Several media reports said NewTV is trying to raise about $2 billion (roughly Rs. 12,700 crores), which would be a significant first round of financing for a digital media startup. The firm declined to comment on the funding. Katzenberg is chairman of NewTV.

Whitman, who was reportedly a leading candidate for the chief executive job at ride-hailing firm Uber before it was given to Dara Khosrowshahi, steps down as CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise on February 1.

At HPE, she pulled off one of the biggest corporate breakups in history. She spun off Hewlett Packard into HPE and PC-and-printer business HP in 2015, as part of a plan to turn around the corporation.

Whitman previously served on the board of DreamWorks Animation, which Katzenberg co-founded.

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Nintendo’s first mobile app, Miitomo will shut down this year. Miitomo for Android and iOS will stop working from 12am PDT on May 9 (1:30pm IST on May 9).

Launching Miitomo after May 9 will not allow you to access its features, check your messages, or use your items. Nintendo has outlined that you can transfer your Mii to your Nintendo Account by linking it to Miitomo. It has also stated that personality and other information will not be carried over.

Furthermore, Sidekick Mii characters will be deleted as well. They can be saved as QR codes before the termination of service which you can then move to a Nintendo 3DS or Wii U. Miifotos will disappear as well unless they’re saved to your smartphone. Also, Miitomo-themed items used in your Nintendo Account or in Super Mario Run will not be visible after Miitomo ends.

While Nintendo hasn’t explained why Miitomo will be shutting down, the reasons appear obvious. The virtual avatars or Mii as they’re known began life on the Nintendo Wii and carried over to the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. With the Nintendo Switch, this aspect of personalisation has been greatly deemphasised.

Throw in the fact that Nintendo is putting resources behind acquiring more content for the Switch, even visiting India’s developers to see what can be added to its eShop, and the popularity of its more traditional mobile games like Fire Emblem Heroes, and its easy to see why this is happening.

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God of War for the PS4 finally has an official release date. The hotly anticipated PS4 and PS4 Pro exclusive is out April 20 this year. The price for God of War is Rs. 3,999 in India on disc and $60 internationally. In addition to this, there are several editions of the game up for grabs over and above the $60 standard edition.

God of War PS4 pre-order bonuses
Game Director Cory Barlog states that if you pre-order the game at any “supporting retailer” you’ll get access to legendary skins. Keep in mind you’ll need an Internet connection to access them. You’ll also receive Luck of Ages XP Boost. This grants +10 Luck and one Enhancement slot. Luck impacts XP, currency, and the ability to trigger perks. India should receive these at most retailers as we’ve seen with past games though Sony India is yet to confirm if this is the case.

God of War PS4 Collector’s Edition
Europe (the region India falls under for Sony) gets the God of War Collector’s Edition that’s not too dissimilar to the Stone Mason Edition that leaked prior for the US. It comes with digital content such as Death’s Vow Armour Set, Exile’s Guardian Shield, Dark Horse Comic, and a dynamic theme. Physical contents include:

9-inch statue of Kratos and Atreus
Steelbook case including the God of War PS4 game
Cloth map
Exclusive lithograph Two Huldra brothers carvings

God of War PS4 Limited Edition
Much like the God of War Collector’s Edition it comes with digital extras. These include Death Vow’s Armour Set, Exile’s Guard Shield, and a dynamic theme. It also comes with:

Black and silver steelbook with the God of War PS4 game
Physical copy of an art book by Dark Horse

God of War PS4 Digital Deluxe Edition
This comes with a digital copy of the game and the following items:

Death’s Vow Armour Set
Exile’s Guardian Shield
Dark Horse Comic
Dynamic theme

Will God of War PS4 special editions come to India?
Considering that other PS4 games like Gran Turismo Sport and Uncharted 4 didn’t see their special editions make it to India, chances are slim. More over, Sony hasn’t listed the European prices for the Limited and Collector’s Editions just yet, crucial as India pricing takes its cues from those markets. Though the God of War Digital Deluxe edition is up for pre-order on the PlayStation Store for Rs. 3,999.

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