Free To Play Guide: Warframe

The last mmorpg I played and had heavily invested hours of  leveling up my characters on different classes was Prefect World which offered a classic seamless open world mmorpg where one can get easily lost wondering an exploring alone. The grind still catches up to you though and after more than 1000 hours logged and characters at lvl 106. I started staying away from mmorpg’s for good while and played PC Game titles such as Prince of Persia’s Franchise, Skyrim, and Assassins Creed Saga from AC1 to Syndicates. I’ve noticed games are evolving and are not just offering cool powers to bring down your enemies, action, magic, adventure, or lore. Open world games that offer a lot of content for discovery and freedom to explore the environment have been popping out for the last 3 years from Skyrim, Dragon Age Inquisition, and the game that is still setting the benchmark for open world PC game titles The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt.

After a while you miss that interactive gameplay with other people and start looking for new game titles that might offer something different. I’ll be honest playing single player PC game titles can get pretty lonesome. So I started browsing steam for new titles and I found something called “Warframe” with its game trailer saying “Nijas Play for FREE!!!! (OMG even better it’s for free!!!) I know I’m such a cheap bastard but gaming can be an expensive hobby and I would like to see some free stuff out there can offer some really interesting content.

I started playing Warframe about January last 2016 and after 2042 hours or more logged over at Steam. The game is among one of the most-played games available on Steam. Digital Extremes attributes the success of the title to the frequent updates they are developing for the game and the game’s fanbase. Digital Extremes describes the game as a “rogue success”, as the game is able to secure and sustain a large number of players without gaining significant attention from other people. More than 26 million players have played the game upon launch. It’s been a year of extensive gameplay of a refreshing new free to play mmorpg and I can’t remember the last time I got hooked by a free to play game title.

Warframe is a free-to-play cooperative third-person shooter video game developed by Digital Extremes for Microsoft WindowsPlayStation 4, and Xbox One. In Warframe, players control members of the Tenno, a race of ancient warriors who have awoken from centuries of cryosleep to find themselves at war with different factions.

In Warframe, players control the Tenno, a race of ancient warriors who have awoken from centuries of cryosleep to find themselves at war with the Grineer, a race of militarized and deteriorated human clones; the Corpus, a mega-corporation with advanced robotics and laser technology; the Infested, disfigured victims of the Technocyte infection; and later the Sentients, an alien force of mechanical beings returning from the Tau system after being driven back centuries ago. To fight back, the Tenno use remotely controlled biomechanical suits to channel their unique abilities — the eponymous Warframes.[1] Later missions reveal that the Warframes are actually biomechanical shells which are connected to the consciousness of the actual Tenno, human children who were given unpredictable powers by the Void. Those powers led to them being demonized and they were exiled into stasis pods on the Moon. The Tenno and their Warframes were used by the Orokin Empire in a desperate fight against the Sentients and stopped their invasion. However, for unknown reasons, the former turned on the latter and caused the Empire to collapse. The Empire shattered with the remnants becoming the Grineer and the Corpus while the Tenno were placed in stasis until centuries later.

GAMEPLAY

The player may engage in PvE content through missions or PvP content through “Conclave”. There are also “Quests”, which are a set of PvE missions with a narrative or story behind them.

Available missions are scattered across the planets of the solar system, the moons Phobos, Europa, Lua (Earth’s moon), and dwarf planets Pluto, Ceres, Eris and Sedna. Players can also access missions set in a pocket dimension known as The Void through completing junctions on other planets or through Void Fissures, small volatile rifts which react with acquirable Void Relics.

The titular Warframes are biomechanical suits that possess a set of 4 active abilities as well as a passive ability, as well as varying attributes and statistics. The player begins with a choice of Warframe among 3 initially offered. Additional Warframes can be acquired through various in-game activities, such as mission rewards, quest rewards, etc. Players can possess all Warframes in their inventory but may only equip one at a time. Warframes, as well as various other elements in the game, are highly color-customizable. New Warframes are developed and released every 3-5 months.

The players are equipped with three weapons: a primary weapon (such as a rifle, bow, or shotgun), a secondary weapon (typically a pistol, but sometimes ranged bladed weapons like kunai), and a melee weapon (such as swords, axes, and hammers). All equipment can be upgraded with “mods” that drop from enemies or are given as mission rewards; these can be installed, removed and upgraded into slots on the piece of equipment. Companions can also be equipped and accompany Tenno on missions, each with their own powers. These can be floating mechanical sentries, or, following a quest, players can earn their own Kubrow, a canine-esque monotreme with a horned nose, or a Kavat, a feline-esque animal with reptilian features. Warframes, equipment, companions as well as various other elements in the game can level up, which increases attributes and/or allowing more “mods” to be equipped.

Players rest and travel in their own small, customizable ship in-between missions. Up to four (Trial missions allow eight) players work together to complete missions, such as eliminating enemies, retrieving data from terminals, assassinating high ranking/dangerous targets, defending an artifact, or surviving as long as possible, before they can be extracted and the mission considered a success. Missions are ranked on a level basis, indicating the strength of opponents the player will face. There are various endless wave missions, which enables the players to continue for as long as they like, with increasingly difficult enemies and proportionally greater rewards.

The camera is positioned over the shoulder for third-person shooting. The player can jump, sprint, slide, and roll, as well as combine techniques to quickly move throughout the level and avoid enemy shots. The game also allows players to utilize parkour techniques to evade enemies, bypass obstacles or gain access to secret areas. Maps are generated procedurally with pre-built rooms connected together so that no levels have the same layout. At times, the player will be required to hack security terminals by completing a puzzle mini-game within a small time limit to proceed in the missions. Credits, ammo, resources, and mods can be found in set locations, such as lockers and destructible containers, as well as dropped by enemies. If a player’s Tenno loses all its health, that Tenno is down; if the player is alone, they can expend one of their revives for that mission to be returned to full health, while if with other players, another player can revive that Tenno. If all Tenno are down and no one revives, or in the case of certain missions if the objective is not met, the mission ends prematurely with players forgoing any rewards beyond what they have already collected.

New weapons, Warframes, equipment, and blueprints to construct such equipment can be purchased in the market, using either Credits earned in-game, or Platinum, a premium currency that can be purchased via microtransaction or traded for in-game.[2] Also, some blueprints are dropped by certain enemies. Gear defined by blueprints can be constructed using resources collected from missions. Players can engage in trading/selling of some of earned blueprints and gears as well.

Waking Up

After a short cut scene, players start off with a choice of three starter Warframes: Excalibur, Mag, or Volt (A year back it was only Excalibur offered as a starter frame). Other Warframes can be purchased using Platinum or crafted in the Foundry later on in the game. Primed variants of the standard Warframes are also available in the game and are received in the form of prime blueprints as a reward for unlocking void relics. The game starts off with a tutorial mission that walks players through the basics of movement and combat. Unfortunately, there is no option to skip the tutorial since the tutorial mission is part of the game’s story. The tutorial mission will have players trying to evade capture and escape Grineer forces with help from the Lotus. After successfully escaping on the player’s old ship, they then proceed to go on missions to repair the ship’s damaged segments. Oris, the ship’s AI, literally has a few screws loose. Whether it’s from sustaining damage or from being abandoned and left alone for too long, we’ll never know for sure, but that AI definitely has some issues. Some of his lines really had me cracking up, especially the part about being self-destructed during a bout of depression early in the game. Replacement segments for the ship are acquired by completing the first few missions. The first mission to retrieve the communications segment can only be done solo. Succeeding missions can then be completed alone or with help the help of friends through the game’s cooperative mode.

Carrying Out Orders

After the tutorial mission, the game continues as a campaign that slowly acquaints players with Warframe’s gameplay features, such as crafting and upgrading, while revealing the story of the Grineer’s plans for domination and why the Tenno need to stop them. Missions can be accessed through the ship’s cockpit. After completing the campaign, players can choose from a variety of missions located in different planets and moons across the solar system. Missions range from simple extermination and sabotage to more difficult ones, like survival and rescue missions. Some missions also take place in space. Space missions, however, require that a player’s Warframe is equipped with Archwings – the first of which can be acquired by completing a quest upon reaching Mastery Rank 2. Aside from the loot that players pick up during the course of the mission, successfully completing missions also rewards players with credits, items for crafting, as well as Modules (Mods for short) to upgrade their Warframe parts. Achievements, like getting a certain number of stealth kills or killing a certain number of enemies, are also automatically awarded to players once they meet the requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Way of the Ninja

Warframe’s controls are easy enough to get used to and is quite similar to typical FPSs. The environment allows players to sprint, slide, jump, do backflips, and run on walls to gain an advantage over enemies during combat. Combat can be as fast or slow as players want it to be. They can opt for the shock and awe method or they can use stealth to their advantage, depending on their preferred playstyle. Mission levels and enemy positions are randomly generated using pre-designed rooms and halls, so no two missions are the same. However, some of the levels still look pretty much the same, even if they’re randomly generated, and tend to get old fast, especially when grinding for that rare item needed to craft the weapon of your dreams. Even though combat is fast-paced and fun, Warframe feels a bit too easy sometimes.

End Game: FashionFrame

Warframe features an in-depth customization system that lets players customize basically everything about their Warframes, from the type of helmets and shoulder pads to their overall color scheme. Players can also choose from a variety of weapons depending on the mission or their playstyle. Feel like going Rambo on the Grineer? Strap on an assault rifle and a sub-machine gun, and blast your way through their ranks. Want to take on a rescue mission with a bit of stealth and finesse? Equip a bow, throwing knives, and a futuristic katana and stealth-kill your way through the whole mission.

Bigger and Better

Weapons and Warframes can both be customized and upgraded using Mods that players acquire as loot, as rewards for completing missions, or by purchasing the from the item shop. Mods can also be bought, sold, or traded with other players. Rare mods can even be sold for Platinum, the game’s premium currency. Another way to get Mods is to Transmute four unranked Mods to generate one random Mod. Weapon Mods are different from those used for Warframes and are automatically sorted in the Arsenal menu. Mods, when equipped, give bonuses to a weapon or to a Warframe’s stats or abilities. Keep in mind, though, that the number of equipable Mods and are limited by the available Mod capacity. The number of Capacity points a Mod uses up is shown on the Mod description. Mods can be swapped out at any time by visiting the ship’s Arsenal bay.

Weapons gain Affinity or XP when used in combat and increase in rank when the Affinity points reach a certain level (up to a maximum of 30 levels). Mastery Points are also awarded to players when one of their weapons levels up. Players gain Mastery Ranks when their Mastery Points reach a certain level. Higher Mastery Ranks unlock additional weapons and Warframes, and increases a player’s daily trade limit.

Like weapons, Warframes also gain Affinity points and gain rank up to Level 30. Warframes are rewarded Affinity points by using abilities, killing enemies, reviving fallen teammates, completing objectives, or by simply completing the mission. Aside from getting additional Mod capacity, Warframes also get passive increases to health, shields, and energy capacity as well as Mastery Points. Warframe abilities are also unlocked automatically and improve every few levels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foundry

The Foundry is a section of a player’s ship where crafting takes place. Player can craft Weapons, Warframes, Archwings, and Sentinels (mechanical “pets” that assist in combat), provided that they have the items and blueprints required for crafting. Players then have to wait for the crafting process to finish, which happens in real time. Items with long build times can be left building since the process continues even when the player is offline. Players can also spend Platinum to instantly complete the process. Different items, however, require different amounts of Platinum to instantly finish.

Check this trailer compilation on Warframe’s content on Youtube

Final Verdict – Great

For a free-to-play game, Warframe is a great MMO that can keep players entertained and hold their attention for hours on end, unless you’re the type that’s easily put off by grinding for items because this game has more than its fair share of repetitive grinding. The lack of endgame content and goals may also deter hardcore players. Even so, it’s still worth checking out, even if it’s just for the campaign or for players looking for a change of pace from their usual mainstream games. The community is awesome and its been the most non-toxic gaming environment I have ever been into. Overall, I’m hooked and two tiers away from its highest mastery level. Warframe is a fun game with huge potential. Aside from the visual eye-candy, the fast-paced gameplay and ninja/parkour combat alone should be enough to entice even the most finicky player. I mean, who doesn’t love ninjas?

 

NOTE: If you want to try out the game, click my In Game Name and join our Storm Clan.n be sure to add me as a friend so I can help your journey as well.

IGN: Mordhekhai

Clan: Amestris

Position: Councillor

Mastery Rank: Rank 21

Kickstart earmarks up to US$50M (P2.2B) fresh funds for high-growth startups

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Globe President and CEO Ernest L. Cu announces fresh US$50M VC funding during Kickstart’s 3rd anniversary celebration attended by startup founders, mentors, partners, among others.

Globe Telecom has earmarked up to US$50 million (P2.2 billion) in a new venture capital (VC) fund which its wholly-owned subsidiary Kickstart Ventures, Inc. will use to help drive the rapid growth of high-potential startups. This growth fund or “Fund 2” targets startups in expansion mode anywhere in the world with clear regional and global prospects.

“In the Philippines, I have yet to see a startup break through in a big way, not because of lack of talent but because the whole sector is devoid of support. Large tech incumbents operate well here, but startups struggle,” said Ernest L. Cu, Globe President and CEO, explaining the Fund’s rationale.

He added:  “Globe has been finding and working with smaller, innovative startups to boost the quality of its customer experience, with very good results. So good that they get acquired by large global companies at respectably higher valuations! Seeing this potential, we believe that Kickstart can use the VC fund to help our startup partners to scale even faster via an equity investment.”

Kickstart started in 2012 with a $2.4M seed fund or “Fund 1” focused on seed and early-stage startups. For Fund 1, Kickstart also recently received a US$1.1M (Php50M) top-up for 2015 deals. Investment targets of Fund 1 can be domiciled in any country and have no nationality requirements. Its earlier-stage nature means closer, more frequent mentoring, thus, Fund 1 portfolio companies tended to have some of their operations in the Philippines.

On the other hand, Fund 2 expands on Globe Telecom’s innovation thesis and is possibly the largest commitment to early-stage startup investing coming out of a Philippine company. Like Fund 1, investment targets of Fund 2 can be based in any country with no nationality requirements for founders but they are aimed at more developed startups that have validated their product-market fit and are now looking to expand.

“We are looking for startups that have strategic capabilities of value to communications and digital companies, in which we could invest more significant sums at Series “A” round and beyond to drive customer adoption and market momentum. These startups can be anywhere in the world and this new fund underscores our confidence that Philippine capital and the Philippine market will support innovation,” said Minette Navarrete, Kickstart President.

Fund 2 is intended to help drive rapid growth in startups focused on the digital communications domain and encompasses telecoms as well as media, data analytics, Internet of Things, financial services, health, education, IT security, and energy and spectral efficiency.

Startups would be able to leverage the relationships of Kickstart within the Ayala and Singtel networks through the ff: 1) having their product undergo technical due diligence from Globe in anticipation of a Philippine market roll-out and 2) receiving warm introductions to affiliate operating companies in the region as well as to mentors, advisors, and investor contacts of Kickstart.

So far, Kickstart has made 20 investments.  Many have grown and attracted follow-on funding from third-party investors including recognized institutional investors like Y Combinator, 500 Startups, Omidyar, Wavemaker, IMJ Investment Partners, FutureNow Ventures, Seawood Capital, Elea Foundation, and a number of local and overseas angel networks.

Reposted: http://www.globe.com.ph/press-room/kickstart-earmarks-up-to-us-50m

Globe Labs intensifies drive against fraudulent activities

Globe Labs Offers solutions to address connectivity gaps and security challenges in Philippine banking industry

July 22, 2015

Globe Labs, the developer community of digital lifestyle leader Globe Telecom, is stepping up its drive to combat fraud by offering solutions to help address the connectivity gaps and security challenges in the Philippine banking industry.

This is in response to the growing threat of fraudulent activities such as phishing attacks which often target bank customers who have online accounts. While usernames and passwords are supposed to be confidential, such sensitive information sometimes fall into the wrong hands, thus, making it imperative for customers to use another form of authentication to thwart unauthorized access to their accounts.

Thus, Globe Labs introduced the Sponsored Access Solutions (SAS) and Telco APIs (application program interface) during the recent ASEAN Financial Institution Conference (ASEANFIC) 2015 at Makati Shangri-la Hotel. The event was organized by SecureMetric Technology Inc. to provide deeper understanding on banking and financial issues and concerns as well as to share technology information that will benefit companies operating in the said field.

Armando L. Encarnacion, Jr., Business Development Manager for Globe Labs said that through Globe Labs Telco APIs, banks will be able to leverage on
additional security layer for customers’ online transactions. Globe Labs, for instance, can provide one-time passwords (OTPs) that will be sent to the registered mobile phone number to complete the login process. The OTP is unique with every login and expires after a few minutes.

On the other hand, Encarnacion said solutions like Sponsored Data Access Solutions would be able to bridge the gap of internet connectivity or mobile data access for consumers. “Globe Labs’ capabilities make it possible for businesses such as banks to create more value for their customers through self-serving tools or apps to increase utility usage, branding, and eventually result in higher customer retention and loyalty. With our participation in ASEANFIC 2015, we hope to position Globe Labs as an enabler as well as an innovative arm of Globe Telecom, thus, put our business at the forefront of the banking industry,” he said.

“Although this is our first time collaborating with Globe Labs for this event, I am very impressed by the professionalism that the Globe Labs tea
m has shown. The efficiency and integrity presented by them were second to none. I hope that there will be more areas that we can partner with towards mutual growth of both companies,” said SecureMetric Chief Executive Officer Edward Law.

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As e-commerce and mobile banking continues to grow in South East Asia, banks in the region are realizing the need to assess how new technology will impact their overall business while ensuring that their business remains competitive and secure.

Thus, ASEANFIC 2015 brought together the most experienced people in the business to talk about how they became successful by embracing change and delivering great customer experience through modern payment solutions, advanced channel mix and commitment to delivering high quality service, among others.

Reposted from http://www.globe.com.ph/press-room/against-fraudulent-activities

Game Review: Witcher 3: Wild Hunt PC Review

So, I have been playing the game since Friday 22nd May, 2015 and I would say I’m not halfway through the story and about 40% on side quests. First, I suppose the specs of the PC I played The Witcher 3 on are relevant:

  • AMD Trinity A8 5600k
  • 8GB Ram
  • Radeon HD 7750 2GB DDR3

With those specs, The Witcher 3 recommended my PC run at high settings. It ran fairly smooth as well, as I noticed no significant FPS dips throughout my time. Though, it would regularly dip to maybe 27 or so, usually hovering around 50. Also, the few loading screens I ran into went by quickly. The load times when using fast travel were very fast and never really an issue. Even when loading up a whole new area I never waited that long.

Also, the day one patch must have helped. There were some mentions of bugs, crashes, and other errors in the version that went out to early reviewers, but I ran into nothing like that here. Granted, I have only been playing for a little bit, so there is the possibility I will still run into something.

Considering all of the issues there had been with The Witcher 2 on launch, CD Projekt RED seems to have done a great job on this time. No real complaints at all so far.

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Now into the game. The Witcher 3 looks absolutely incredible. With my relatively average machine, on medium settings, I was blown away several times. Specifically, I can’t get over just how great the texture and modeling work is for the character’s faces. The main characters in particular look great, but even the average person you run across looks better than most games I’ve seen. So, while I can’t speak for the game on its best settings, it looks very good to me on high, as I am sure the screenshots throughout will show.

Without more variety in scenery so far, there isn’t much more I can say other than what I’ve seen so far has been great.

The whole first area you spend your time in is more or less a tutorial. It gets you familiar with the different things within The Witcher 3 – the contract board, questing, combat, monsters, etc. It is quite expansive and there is a ton to do. Throughout The Witcher 3, there are plenty of things to explore on the map, coming in the form of lost treasures, bandit camps, deserter camps, monster dens/nests, treasure, and many more.

The first area alone had quite a few things to do, and, just to see, I did everything I could find, which took about six of those eight hours. When I got to the second area, I was rather surprised at how much larger it was than the first. It’s hard to quantify the map seize, but the much smaller first area felt like it took up a significant chunk of Skyrim‘s map in terms of area. Considering there are plenty more areas yet to be seen, I wouldn’t be surprised for The Witcher 3‘s total map size to be at minimum twice the size of Skyrim‘s – most likely more.

But, unlike Skyrim‘s, The Witcher 3‘s world isn’t one big world. Instead, there are several different areas you can visit, each with their own game world. To compare it to something like Dragon Age: Inquisition would not really be comparable as the individual worlds for The Witcher 3 are much, much larger than Inquisition‘s.

While it may be hard to definitively say, all should know that there should be more than plenty to do in The Witcher 3 with a lot to explore.

the-witcher-3-the-wild-hunt-graphics2

Because I spent so much time just doing a bunch of other stuff, which was fun – some of the side quests were interesting, making me excited for what’s to come – I didn’t really spend a lot with the main story. Only when I had to end for the night did the main story seem to kick off, and I still don’t really know what’s going on.

So, sorry, can’t say much other than I am intrigued by what little I have seen so far. Most of The Witcher 3‘s time with writing at first is spent on worldbuilding and setting the stage, which will make you quickly realize that there is a lot more going on in the world around you than what you’re mostly concerned with in the main story.

Basically, the Nilfgaardian Empire is slowly taking over the continent, leaving despair and poverty in its wake. There is a lot of contention between recently conquered citizens and the new soldiers in town, which is a driving force for a lot of the early conflict I have seen so far in the game with the various characters you interact with.

There are a lot of allusions to Geralt getting somehow involved with the war in some way. Many characters tell him he should stay out of it, and so far in the story I’ve seen he has. Though, with all of the references, I wouldn’t be surprised to have Geralt being involved in some way play a significant role in the overall story. Will Geralt actually be an assassin of kings this time around? Probably not, but they seem to be foreshadowing Geralt doing something regarding the war.

This short video released a few days ago shows off the design behind The Witcher 3‘s combat perfectly. I am playing on the highest difficulty, meaning the challenge is much more immersive to reality. Enemies have posed a significant challenge in almost every encounter.

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The Witcher 3‘s combat relies on preparation and playing smart. Just like in the video, for the bigger monsters you’ll likely need to prepare some potions, bombs, and maybe some special bolts for your crossbow (though I have only seen just the plans of those). You may even need to do that for some of the more difficult packs of enemies as well.

This design lends itself to the middle of combat as well. You can try to spam buttons, swinging wildly, but that will only work very rarely. Just like Geralt, enemies can parry, counter, dodge, and roll away. So you have to be very careful with your movements and choices in terms of combat. You could easily get caught mid-swing by a second enemy or have them parry your attack causing you to have to change plans quickly. Also, be mindful that fighting humans and monsters in the world is different. Its very different and you’d see that parrying with humans are much more effective than using the parry system with monsters big or small.

At first I was a little annoyed as I saw felt The Witcher 3 was being a bit less responsive. It wasn’t until I thought about what the game was doing that I realized it was in fact being responsive, I was just making poor decisions. In standard hack and slash affair, doing just that, hacking and slashing, should seem to work. But here you have to consider enemy movements, attacks, and deliberately choose your attacks. If you are going to do some quick attacks, don’t spam it, get at most a few hits in then change up what you’re doing.

The combat is much more varied and decidedly more engaging than The Witcher 2. The amount of movement options really opens up the gameplay and lends itself to making each fight seem a lot more tense as enemies force you to escape when they counter or dodge, to have you reengage later. I haven’t seen a huge variety of enemies yet, though they have been different enough that I need to reevaluate how I approach them much of the time. Knowing how and which signs (the five “spells” witchers have) to use becomes incredibly important as well, each having its own level of effectiveness depending on the enemy.the-witcher-3-the-wild-hunt-talents3

Leveling up is an odd process that is a talent system similar to most people would have seen before. The image above shows the screen you can put ability points in, which is broken into four categories.  The Witcher 3 chose to go down the road of passives, rather than having you unlock more abilities as you go along (at least through ability points).

So, instead of working your way towards a certain thing, the variety in creating your own playstyle is choosing which abilities you plan to use most. Will you jump around the battlefield, quickly slashing away to jump out again? Will you rely on bombs, potions, and crossbow?

Also, you will be limited on what you can have equipped at any one time. While you can put points into just about anything, you must have a slot to then put that ability. It gets more complicated, but know how abilities are arranged matters. Instead of going too much into it, just know that the talent system is all about amplifying what Geralt starts out with, rather than doing something new and seems to favor mastering a few things slowly over time rather than spreading the player too thin.

You may want to back up saves if you want to explore main story or delay it to prepare for a big hunt. Bigger game needs more preparations and some quests here are time crucial some has a major effect on the ending of the game itself. There is a lot more to talk about – like the dialogue (Geralt is a lot funnier than I remember), the music, crafting, gear, traveling, and more – but a lot of that can be left to our official review. To conclude, I have loved everything I have seen so far in my short time with The Witcher 3 and have been thoroughly impressed. If I were to guess, The Witcher 3 seems to be one of those games that will indeed live up to the hype.

To achieve better graphics effects, I used Sweetfx – Reshade by Kputt

General installation instructions

Install using SweetFX Configurator

  1. First step, you need the SweetFX Configurator version 1.3.3 or later.
  2. Select the game in the games list (you might have to add it to the list first)
  3. Click the “Save / Load configuration” button
  4. Click “Import preset” OR drag the downloaded settings file to the preset list
  5. Select the new preset in the list
  6. (Optional) Rename the new preset
  7. Click on “Load selected preset” and the preset will be loaded into the Configurator main window

Manual install

First of all, you need SweetFX to use these presets. For installation I’ll just refer you to that thread, which have pages of information, and link to a great introductionary youtube video.

Then, when SweetFX is running and enabled for the game, you either :

  1. Copy the downloaded preset into the game folder
  2. Edit the file “SweetFX_preset.txt” to point to the new file

OR just copy the content and replace the existing SweetFX_settings.txt content.

For more screens check my albums here Witcher 3 Screens

A Guide to your Assassin’s Creed Unity Playthrough

Check out this mega guide for Assassin’s Creed Unity where we have covered everything from ways and tips to get unlimited money/livre, upgrade skill points and how to farm them, costumes and outfits, collectibles such as sync point locations and Cockades to complete list of skills and weapons.

We also take a look at the best tips and strategies to earn more points in Helix Rifts, earning money faster, and how to fix PC specific issues and errors. And we finally we take a look at how you can earn some of the achievements and trophies in the game.

Assassin’s Creed Unity is now available across the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The game is developed and published by Ubisoft. Let us know if you have questions in the comments section below.

All Sync Point Locations (Co-Op Skill Upgrades) via PowerPyx.:

Assassin’s Creed Unity has a total of Sync Points. You can unlock them only via co-op missions and these will give you upgrade points. You need to use eagle vision when you are near them as they are not visible on the map. You can use these points to buy new skills. You need to complete these co-op missions and sync points so that you can fully upgrade everything. This will also unlock the “I Got Skills” trophy or achievement.

The Infernal Machine

Go the red area indicated in the map below and select the mission.

image: http://gamingbolt.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Sync-Point-Locations-1.jpg

Assassin's Creed Unity Sync Point Locations 1

The first sync point collectible can then be found here.

image: http://gamingbolt.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Sync-Point-Locations-2.jpg

Assassin's Creed Unity Sync Point Locations 2

The second sync point collectible can then be found here. But you would need to take an underground entrance to reach it. As depicted in the images below.

image: http://gamingbolt.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Sync-Point-Locations-3.jpg

Assassin's Creed Unity Sync Point Locations 3

image: http://gamingbolt.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Sync-Point-Locations-4.jpg

Assassin's Creed Unity Sync Point Locations 4

The second sync point collectible can then be found here.

image: http://gamingbolt.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Sync-Point-Locations-5.jpg

Assassin's Creed Unity Sync Point Locations 5

Heads Will Roll

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Heads Will Roll

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Heads Will Roll 1

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Heads Will Roll 3

Danton’s Sacrifice

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Danton's Sacrifice 1

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Danton's Sacrifice 2

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Danton's Sacrifice 4

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Danton's Sacrifice 3

The Tournament

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The Tournament

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The Tournament 1

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The Tournament 2

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The Tournament 3

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The Tournament 4

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The Tournament 5

Jacobin Raid

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Jacobin Raid

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Jacobin Raid 1

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Jacobin Raid 2

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Jacobin Raid 3

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Jacobin Raid 4

Moving Mirabeau

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Moving Mirabeau

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Moving Mirabeau 1

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Moving Mirabeau 2

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Moving Mirabeau 3

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Moving Mirabeau 4

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Moving Mirabeau 5

Les Enragés

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Les Enragés

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Les Enragés 1

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Les Enragés 2

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Les Enragés 3

You can get the 3rd collectible only via an underground entrance as depicted in the image below.

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Les Enragés 4

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Les Enragés 5

Cockades:

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Cockades

This really does not need a guide as their location is available on the map. They are indicated by the icon above. Collect them all to unlock a trophy and achievement.

Upgrade Points Farming:

As mentioned in the guide above, you would need upgrade points to fully upgrade your character. Besides completing co-op missions you can also earn points by doing the below. Keep on doing them to earn more upgrade points.

Singleplayer

Phantom Blade Kill: 50

Poison Gas Group: 150

Fight Survivor: 100

Finisher: 100

Head Shot: 100

Hiding Spot Assassination: 150

Ledge Assassination: 150

Poison Gas Kill: 100

Quick Shot: 50

Smoke Bomb Vanish: 50

Staggering Strike Expert: 100

Stun Grenade Kill: 50

Stun Group: 150

Vanish Survivor: 100

Vanish: 50

Air Assassination: 150

Alarm Bell Disabled: 100

Bell Ringer Kill: 50

Berserk Kill: 100

Blend Assassination: 50

Breakfall: 100

Cherry Bomb Lure: 50

Controlled Descent: 50

Cover Assassination: 50

Expert Controlled Descent: 250

Fast Lift: 100

Legendary Kill: 250

Lift Kill: 200

Money Pouch Blend: 50

Perfect Parry Expert: 100

Co-Op:

Disguise Group: 150

Double Sync Assassination: 200

Legendary Sync Assassination: 1,000

Quad Sync Assassination: 500

Resupply Group: 150

Critical Heal: 100

Revive: 100

Sync Cherry Bomb Kill: 250

Sync Leap of faith: 200

Sync Phantom Blade: 500

Sync Stun Kill: 250

Tagged Kill: 250

Triple Sync Assassination: 300

Sync Hiding Spot Assassination: 250

Getting a higher score in Helix Rifts:

You will be able to save your fellow Assassins in modern times by collecting as much as data you can in Helix Rifts. However, you will have limited time in your hand so you need to be quick. Here are some tips:

You need to master the art of movement and parkour.

Taking the best route possible.

Points allocation:

  • Whitish-blue data centers: 10 points
  • Brownish: 20
  • Green: 50 points
  • Trapped assassin: 250 to 1,000

There are 8 Helix Rifts in total.

Making Money Faster:

Here are some quick tips to earn money faster.

Engage yourself in co-op heists.

Complete as many Helix Rifts as you can.

Lockpick Chests: This is the best possible way to earn more money. Just make sure you also unlock them in areas protected by guards.

And here is a way to earn almost unlimited money:

  • You need to start a four player co-op mission: Ancient History. Get yourself and three of your friends to do it.
  • If you do this mission correctly, you can earn up to 100,000 to 400,000 per hour.
  • The mission has four chests and one of them has a piehece or a material in it and as you get it, you need to run out of that place.
  • If you do this without getting caught, you will get additional money besides the mission money.
  • There is no cap on the mission. You can keep doing it all over again.

Unlocking All Weapons:

Now that you have enough money, you can unlock all the weapons that the game has to offer.

Heavy Weapons

Pickaxe: Free

Great Claymore: Can be bought from customization menu for 5,000.

Officer’s Round Axe: Complete Murder Mystery: Cut the Middle Man.

Heavy War Mace: Can be bought from customization menu for 25,000.

Viking’s Remains: Can be bought from customization menu for 25,000.

Great Flamberge: Can be bought from customization menu for 25,000.

Officer’s Bardiche: Club Competition Reward and costs 200,000.

Heavy Falchion: Can be bought from customization menu for 125,000.

Wooden Hammer: Complete Murder Mystery: Murder Foretold.

Bastard Sword: Can be bought from customization menu for 250.

Long Axe: Can be bought from customization menu for 250.

Claymore: Complete Murder Mystery: The Body Politic.

Bardiche: Can be bought from customization menu for 250.

Seaman’s Axe: Can be bought from customization menu for 250.

Heavy Morningstar: Can be bought from customization menu for 1,000.

Great Sword: Can be bought from customization menu for 1,000.

Heavy Cleaver: Collect all Artifacts from Le Louvre.

Round Axe: Complete Sequence 03, Memory 02.

Long Sword: Complete Companion Mission: The Doctor Is In.

Flamberge: Complete Murder Mystery: The Death of Philibert Aspairt.

Swordstaff: Can be bought from customization menu for 5,000.

Spiked Battle Club: Can be bought from customization menu for 5,000.

Pistols

Pistol: Free.

Arno’s Pistol: Can be bought from customization menu for 5,000.

Three-Shot Duck Foot: Can be bought from customization menu for 25,000.

Gold-Plated Pistol: Can be bought from customization menu for 125,000.

Five-Shot Duck Foot: Club Competition Reward and buying it for 200,000.

Solid Long Gun: Can be bought from customization menu for 142,600.

Officer’s Pistol: Complete Sequence 04, Memory 02

American Flintlock: Can be bought from customization menu for 1,000.

Pepper Shot: Can be bought from customization menu for 1,000.

Fancy Pistol: Complete Murder Mystery: The Red Ghost of the Tuileries

Rifles

Flint Musket: Can be bought from customization menu for 250.

Silver-Plated Musket: Can be bought from customization menu for 125,000.

Sharpshooter Flintlock: Can be bought from customization menu for 1,000.

Woodplate Blunderbuss: Murder Mystery: The Hand of Science

Officer’s Blunderbuss: Can be bought from customization menu for 5,000.

Long Rifle: Can be bought from customization menu for 25,000.

One-Handed Weapons

Dull Cavalry Saber: Free.

Warhammer: Costs 250.

Messer: Complete Murder Mystery: The Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat.

Heavy Hilted Sword: Complete Murder Mystery: Hot Chocolate to Die For.

Light Cavalry Saber: Costs 1,000.

Foil: Costs 1,000.

Scimitar: Costs 1,000.

Rapier: Complete Companion Mission: The Archive II.

Mace: Costs 1,000.

Officer’s Saber: Costs 5,000.

Dented Falchion: Costs 5,000.

Gladius: Complete Murder Mystery: The Decapitated Warden.

Morningstar: Costs 5,000.

Straight Falchion: Costs 5,000.

Royal Cutlass: Costs 25,000.

Snake Hilted Sword: Costs 25,000.

Back Sword: Complete Murder Mystery: Barber of Seville.

Basket-Hilted Sword: Costs 250.

War Mace: Costs 25,000.

Schiavona: Gets unlocked as Club Competition Reward.

Cinquedeas: Costs 125,000.

Long Weapons

Guisarme: Free

Spontoo: Can be bought from the Can be bought from customization menu for 1,000.

Bisento: Collect all Artifacts from Les Invalides.

Crescent Glaive: From Can be bought from customization menu for 5,000.

Lochaber Axe: From the Can be bought from customization menu for 5,000.

Sparth: From the Can be bought from customization menu for 5,000.

Spiked Staff: From the Can be bought from customization menu for 5,000.

Corseque: Complete Murder Mystery: A Dash of Poison.

Bident: Can be bought from Can be bought from customization menu for 250.

Cogneur: Complete Murder Mystery: Ancestral Vengeance.

Can be bought from the Can be bought from customization menu for 250.

Halberd: Can be bought from the Can be bought from customization menu for 250.

Spear: Can be bought from the Can be bought from customization menu for 1,000.

Light Halberd: Complete Sequence 08, Memory 02.

Armor and Outfits:

Medieval Armor:

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Medieval Armor

You must solve 3 puzzles in the armor room of Café Théâtre to unlock this armor.

Bellec’s Master Assassin Outfit:

Complete Sequence 7 Memory 3 in order to unlock this outfit.

Connor’s Master Assassin Outfit:

Assassin’s Creed Initiates.

Edward’s Assassin Outfit:

Assassin’s Creed Initiates.

Ezio’s Master Assassin Outfit:

Assassin’s Creed Initiates.

Arno’s Master Assassin Outfit:

Complete all main story Sequences.

Altaïr’s Master Assassin Outfit :

Companion App.

Master Assassin Outfit:

Assassin’s Creed Initiates.

Skills Guide:

You need Sync points to unlock all the skills in the game. We have already showed you before how you can unlock points. Here is the complete list of skills in the game.

Stealth Skills

Disguise
Environmental Blending
Journeyman Locksmith
Master Locksmith
Roll Recovery
Apprentice Locksmith
Double Air Assassination
Double Assassination
Communal Sense {Only for multiplayer}

Health Skills

Group Healing
Iron Skin
Thick Skin
Thicker Skin
Thickest Skin

Melee Skills

Heavy Weapon Master
Staggering Strike
Ground Execution
Long Weapon Master
One-Handed Weapon Master
Ranged Skills

Ranged Weapon
Poison Gas
Assassin Cache
Money Pouch
Stun Grenades
Improved Phantom Blade

Assassin’s Creed Unity PC Specific Issues:

Can’t Connect Error 0X70000093: There is a problem with your internet. Check your connection.

Game Does Not Start 0xc000007b Error: Reinstall .Net framework.

Game Stuck on Loading Screen: Verify Steam Cache of the game. Restart the game. If this does not work re-install the game.

Performance Issues: Read through this guide for more inputs. Please note that this is only limited for NVIDIA GPU cards.

Random Stuttering and Object disorientation: Forcing CPU for PhysX instead of GPU might fix this issue.

AMD GPU Specific issue: This will be patched according to Ubisoft.

Stuttering Issue: Ubisoft plans to patch this.

Achievements and Trophies:

Youth In Versailles

Complete Memory Sequence 1. This is a single player mission and can be completed easily.

Rebirth

Complete Memory Sequence 2. This is a single player mission and can be completed easily.

First Blood

Complete Memory Sequence 4. This is a single player mission and can be completed easily.

The Root Of Evil

Complete Memory Sequence 5. This is a single player mission and can be completed easily.

Secret Meeting

Complete Memory Sequence 6. This is a single player mission and can be completed easily.

Mystery Solved

Complete Memory Sequence 7. This is a single player mission and can be completed easily.

Bloody Trail

Complete Memory Sequence 8. This is a single player mission and can be completed easily.

Road To Starvation

Complete Memory Sequence 9. This is a single player mission and can be completed easily.

Love And Duty

Complete Memory Sequence 10. This is a single player mission and can be completed easily.

Down But Not Out

Complete Memory Sequence 11. This is a single player mission and can be completed easily.

Curtain Call

Complete Memory Sequence 12. This is a single player mission and can be completed easily.

No Man’s Land

Complete all Rift missions. This is a single player mission and can be completed easily.

Needs More Data

Earn Data Bonuses in 3 different Helix Rifts.

Thawed

Free a total of 10 trapped Assassins. Can be easily completed during your playthrough.

Blade In The Crowd

Assassinate 100 enemies. Can be easily completed during your playthrough.

Networking

Renovate your first Social Club. You can unlock this by going online.

Falling From The Sky

Perform 10 air assassinations. Can be easily completed during your playthrough and with a bit of innovation.

The Baguette Boyband

Complete a Co-op mission. Go online and complete a mission with a friend.

Know-It-All

Complete all training missions. Can be easily completed during your playthrough.

Gentleman Cambrioleur

Lockpick 20 chests. Can be easily completed during your playthrough.

Curiosity

Open every chest in the game. Can be easily completed during your playthrough. Chests are located in the maps. Some can be only be locked via a companion app.

Visited Once

Complete all Co-op and Heist missions at least once. Can be easily completed during your playthrough with a friend online.

Business and Pleasure

Earn a total of 50,000 livres. We have already covered this. Refer the money guide above.

And Stay Down!

Perform a ground execution. Can be easily completed during your playthrough.

Panoramic View

Synchronize all Viewpoints. Can be easily completed during your playthrough. Viewpoints are found on the map.

Help Me!

Complete 10 Crowd Events. Can be easily completed during your playthrough.

Hand of Justice

Solve a Murder Mystery. Can be easily completed during your playthrough. Murder Mystery missions are available on the map and can be completed easily.

Ransacking Versailles

Earn 100% completion of Versailles.

Tricolore

Collect all Cockades

Don’t Need It

Drop 20 Money Pouches in the streets. Can be easily done.

Share the Wealth

Get all the rewards in a Co-op mission. You need to complete the mission in such a way that the bonus is not lost.

Room With A View

Enjoy the view of Paris from Arno’s balcony. Very simple and can be completed in your playthrough.

Poked!

Kill 20 enemies with a Long Weapon. Refer weapons guide above.

Chopped!

Kill 20 enemies with a heavy weapon. Refer weapons guide above.

Guillotined

Kill an enemy with a lift counterweight. A bit tough but it’s all in a timing. You need to find a counter weight and some enemies near by. Lure them to the counterweight and push them on it.

Never Say Die

Revive a partner in Co-op.

Merciful Killer

Perform 10 non-lethal takedowns in a Co-op mission.

Choreography

Perform 10 Co-op sync kills.

The Bells! The Bells!

Sabotage 5 alarm bells. Easily doable but you need to be careful as these are located in restricted areas.

This guide will be updated once we have more information.
Read more at http://gamingbolt.com/assassins-creed-unity-mega-guide-unlimited-money-skills-costumes-collectibles-more#5B9BFpJT70bYD2I2.99

Google Announced Features on the Latest Android 5.0 Lollipop

Great news by Google again! It has recently announced the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop designed to be flexible to work on all the mobile devices and can be customized to fit the way you wish. Google has added some changes to the extensions of themes introduced in Android L, some are new while the other previously known features have been detailed by the biggest search giant. The obvious features highlighted in this release come in form of visual enhancements, user interface changes, clear design, revamped multi-tasking menu, bolder color palette whether that’s a smartphone or a tablet.

android_lollipop___wallpaper_by_milesandryprower-d82xciy

Here are some of the biggest changes that Google introduced to its most popular and widely used mobile and tablet platform with Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Material Design

Well, you might remember when Google introduced Android L and announced that the next version release will have a complete visual overhaul for consistent user experience across varied mobile devices. Here it is. Android 5.0 Lollipop features a cleaner design with more fluid interface and animation. Navigation is also revamped with this release but managed to stuck to the design with some minor changes like status bar can be colored or kept transparent. The“Quick Settings” menu has been revamped and includes flashlight, hotspot, screen rotation, cast screen controls and more.

The new Material Design introduced by Google is bold, colorful and responsive and provides intuitive experience to the user across all the mobile devices. Bright colors, typography, lighting, shadows etc. attract the focus of the end-user.

Notification Controls

Android 5.0 Lollipop includes new notification controls that alerts the user during meetings, presentations or at other times. The user can view and respond to messages directly from their lock screen. Also, the user can be able to view or dismiss any notification without actually moving from their activity.

Improved Security

Android 5.0 Lollipop comes with “Factory Reset Protection” which is designed to help protect data on lost or stolen devices. If the user wish to activate this feature they will be required to enter their Google login to factory reset the device and will work only when the phone passcode is enabled. The other security options include SELinux enforcing for even better protection against malware and vulnerabilities.

Battery Saver

A new battery saver features has been added by Google to Android 5.0 Lollipop usually extending the device battery life up to 90 minutes. It will also display the estimated time left to fully charge the battery when plugged in as well as the time on the mobile device before the user needs to charge again.

Device Sharing

Google has brought the device sharing features which will allow the users to share their Android 5.0 Lollipop device with family, friends etc. without actually worrying about the sensitivity of their data. Also, the another new feature in Lollipop allows the user to log in to another Android device in order to access synced messages and content if they forget their mobile device at home.

New Multi-tasking

Android 5.0 Lollipop brings a new card style layout. The app flows in a sort of carousel and can be easily swiped off to either side to close them as before.

Faster Performance and More Efficient

Android 5.0 Lollipop is the fastest yet and brings some nifty features that makes an immediate visual impact. Android 5.0 Lollipop runs twice as fast as the Dalvik runtime that was found on previous Android iterations.

Android TV

Android TV came as a surprise. It is integrated into Lollipop and provides a way to get games, videos, movies, TV shows etc. onto your big mobile screen. Some few big names have signed to Android TV like Sony, Phillips etc.

Connectivity

Android 5.0 Lollipop has enhanced internet connectivity everywhere and anywhere with more powerful Bluetooth low energy capabilities. The improved network results in limited interruption in connectivity for instance, continue with your video chat or VoIP calls without any interruption whether you are at home or as you leave the house.

Runtime

ART an entirely new Android runtime comes with smoother, faster and more powerful computing experience. Also, the new ART Android runtime supports 64 bit devices, enables improved application performance and responsiveness, smoother UI for complex and visually rich applications and lots more.

Media

This new Android 5.0 Lollipop has bolder graphics, improved audio, video and camera capabilities. The lower latency audio input ensures that the music and communication applications provides an real-time experience to the user. USB audio support is provided so that you can plug USB microphones, speakers and any other USB audio devices into your Android device.

Android Lollipop als features new professional photography that let the user to capture full resolution frames around 30fps, support raw formats like YUV and Bayer RAM, allows to capture metadata like noise models and optical information etc.

OK Google

This provides easy access to information and enables to perform task with ease. Even if your screen is off, you can say “OK Google” onto your devices with digital signal processing support. It also enables you to talk to Google to get quick answers, get directions, send text and lots more.

Improved Accessibility

Android 5.0 Lollipop brings enhanced low vision and color blind capabilities in order to adjust display to improve color differentiation.

Support in 15 Languages

The new release brings multilingual support for 15   languages in Basque, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese (Hong Kong), Galician, Icelandic, Kannada, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu.

Quick Device Setup

Google has brought in Quick Device Set Up which provides new ways to set up their devices with Android 5.0 Lollipop and get up and running in no time.

And a whole lot more….

Apart from this, Android 5.0 Lollipop has improved hardware keyboard accessory support, easier sharing features, print preview, page range support, manage multiple payments apps, data usage, Wi-Fi settings, new search functionality, emoji input, improved app and system key chords etc.!!!

Web Design & Development: What you should consider?

Turning to third-party project based providers in design, development and marketing projects or parts of projects has become a very common process in the world of eCommerce – and you really don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company with masses of cash to utilize and benefit from outsourcing.

A good scenario would be, a client comes to you for a quote on a web site and it’s the perfect job – except from one element in the project – you’re not skilled in a particular web technology. This component is a crucial element in winning the contract, there’s no way of getting around it. What do you do? You don’t want to lose the contract, but you definitely can’t afford to hire a new employee for this project – there’s too many risks and associated headaches involved in this process.

Or how about a situation with your own website where you need a bit programming done and simply don’t have time to do it, or the head-space to learn to do it yourself? Isn’t your time better spent on your core competencies, the skills that generate cash for you?

Another scenario is where you have so much work load on at the time that you really don’t have the resources to take on a full project. In these cases, small companies tend to refer the entire job on to others. But then you lose the client forever to the other company. Wouldn’t it make more sense to secure a binding contract, outsource everything and oversee the development? That way if one of your current projects falls through, you will still have work and you will also more than likely gain future work from that client.

So much technology, so much competition

Web development is a huge field with dozens of technologies involved – no way a small development company or site owner can cover everything. However having no access to expert designers and developers, small to medium-sized companies can lose many projects or market share through a lack of suitable expertise and skill sets.

The idea of outsourcing projects or project components may strike fear into the hearts of many small operators, but the future success of your company may depend on it – otherwise you may find your customer base drying up.

What should I outsource?

Most small web design and development companies naturally achieve great expertise in specific areas – these project areas are the ones that they are not only particularly good at, but also the fastest in generating. We all build up our repertoire of “tricks of the trade” over time, and these are the elements of any contract that it makes the most sense to keep.

Where are the bottlenecks in your development processes? If developing graphical elements for web sites is one of your challenges, then it only makes sense to outsource that work. You may feel that paying $80 an hour to an expert graphic artist is too steep considering your standard rate is only $50 an hour, but consider this example:

A client wants a Flash element created and Flash isn’t one of your stronger areas, so the length of time it will take you to create that element is a bit of an unknown – and you have already set the entire project price, which the client has agreed on. You end up spending 6 hours on designing the Flash animation to the clients satisfaction.

At a rate of $50 an hour, that element has cost you $300 to create. If the Flash component had been outsourced to an expert, although they may have charged you $80 per hour, it only took them 2 hours to create. Add on one hour for the time you spent consulting with the Flash expert and the total cost of this element is down to $210. Even if you spend two hours on consulting, you are still well and truly ahead, lessened your stress and freed up time to spend on other projects or elements.

If you are a web designer and you are also responsible for keeping your business financials up to date, then you are probably losing money. A contract bookkeepers’ services cost a lot less, generally speaking, per hour than the value of your own labor. It makes financial sense to maintain this aspect of your business yourself if you don’t have a lot of work on the boards or does it?. If you don’t have sufficient development work to keep you busy, then the hours you are spending on maintaining your books would be better spent in submitting tenders and marketing your business.

How do I outsource?

It doesn’t have to be a difficult process, although the first time you outsource project components, it will take a little time to get the paperwork together. After the first project, the necessary base documents will be in place which will expedite future collaborations.

Before agreeing to outsource work to another an outsourcing provider, ensure that base documents covering the terms of the relationship, intellectual property and confidentiality issues has been developed and signed – these are fairly generic documents which can be easily adapted to be functional in a number of different projects. These don’t necessarily have to be hundreds of pages long – just enough to be recognized as being legal and binding to protect your interests.

After you have the basic documentation in place, it’s time to spread the word that you are looking for contractors. This can be gone about in a variety of ways.

  • Through your current networks – let your peers know you are looking for contractors (Your first degree connections may have some excellent referrals for your search)
  • Compiling a mailing list of developers and designers from online professional directories in your region and then contacting them requesting expressions of interest regarding collaboration.
  • Go global and use one of the many reputable outsourced web development and design. In most cases you’ll find that posting projects is free and the service may also assist you with developing the project specifications.

The last few years has seen a number of outsourced companies have come to life, but be wary and study the companies carefully before outsourcing. Some companies may or may not be as transparent

BIG BLOCK Solutions  can help on all your needs on web and digital product development. None of the risks with the emphasis on all the benefits of a long term partner to help you overcome challenges in these areas.

Before you start outsourcing, ensure that you know exactly what you want a sub-contractor to do. Open-ended arrangements tend not to work out. There must be timelines and effective parameters of operation in place – both parties must be very clear on each others’ role.

Communications between contractor/sub-contractor must be clear, concise and rapid at all times – assuming that a task will be carried out in a particular way can lead to disaster; especially when working with contractors from another country.

Benefits of global outsourcing

The benefits of advertising for developers and designers globally are many. By building up a network of professional contractors, you not only decrease your running costs as each contractor is responsible for his own work environment and insurances etc, you also greatly expand your company’s portfolio of skills that can be offered to clients.

By outsourcing project components you aren’t efficient in, it will leave you with more time to focus on your core skills and further develop those.

In advertising project components globally, you will also probably secure the best price possible for the work. India and Eastern Europe have many thousands of quality freelance programmers looking for work, and their rates are incredibly low in comparison to their Western counterparts.

Challenges of outsourcing

One of the biggest temptations of outsourcing is to source for the lowest bid in order to maximize profits. This is definitely not a good practice, especially when dealing with freelance developers and designers from other countries. If problems should arise it may be more difficult in having them rectified. Remember that your business reputation is on the line and if the designer or developer doesn’t deliver, your could lose the client, and worse still, your business.

This is not to say that all low bids will translate into poor quality work, instead you need to research these bids carefully. These questions may help your build and meet you criteria.

  • How long has the company/freelance been around for?
  • Do they have a portfolio?
  • Do they have referees?
  • What are their qualifications?

If you are using an online collaboration service, read the comments left behind by other companies – these will give you some indication as to the competency and integrity of the freelance or a company.

In any outsourcing arrangement, if you get “bad vibes” it’s best to heed your instincts and not continue with negotiations – too much is at risk.

Communication can also be a bit of a challenge. If you receive a bid from someone in very poor English (if that is your primary language), it’s best to keep away. I’m not just referring to foreign developers – the literacy skills of the modern Western world are quite appalling.


The Internet, by and large, is still about written communication. If you have to spend hours correcting the grammar and spelling mistakes on a web page or in an online application, then the whole exercise is pointless. Even if the project components you want developed are only graphical, if the sub-contractor’s use or comprehension of the English language is poor there is a risk they will not understand exactly what you want. A great deal of time will be lost in the to and fro of revisions.

It’s for this reason that I suggest that if you do intend to utilize contractors who haven’t lived in the West or are from a country where Western culture isn’t really prevalent, it’s best not to give them elements of the work relating to marketing without very strict specifications.

Also bear in mind that although you may be able to hire an overseas developer for (example) $10 an hour, it will probably cost you $20 per hour with the inevitable. communications issues that will occur.

Trust and Outsourcing

If you do decide to go down the outsourcing path, remember that the developers and designers you contract are, to a degree, partners in your business. In many cases, your “partners” will need to know the big picture of the project. You need to convey clear instructions to ensure that its communicated properly. It also means you will need to invest some trust in them – they are not the enemy, but a crucial element in your online success.

Trusting too much can also have its dangers – there are cases where contractors have created malware and built it into applications they develop for others. This malware can collect sensitive details from improperly protected users. Imagine the impact a situation like that could have. In other instances, contractors have been known to leave holes in applications for the purposes of then returning later to gather sensitive data.

Trust can be a double-edged sword; another good reason for reviewing potential outsourcing contractors *very* carefully.

If you, or perhaps a staff member, has the ability to read and understand code, it may be wise to review any applications developed to ensure there’s no hidden nasties; but again, using an appropriate level of discretion from the outset when outsourcing can minimize any potential threat and add great value to your business. It’s an ounce of prevention vs. a pound of cure.

The 3 R’s

Is there more to outsourcing than the bottom line? What are the other reasons companies choose this route? What about ramifications for aspects of your business that are not so easily quantified?

In this article, we’ll discuss the 3 R’s of outsourcing: Reasons, Risks and Rewards, specifically as they relate to information technology (IT). And, as a bonus, we’ll provide some tips to help you manage successful relationships with your IT service providers (whether they are full-time staff, or outsourced).

The Reasons

According to the Outsourcing Institute’s Outsourcing Index 2000, there are many reasons why companies outsource. Here are some of the top reasons:

  1. Reduce and control operating costs. When you outsource, you eliminate the costs associated with hiring an employee, such as management oversight, training, health insurance, employment taxes, retirement plans etc.
  2. Improve company focus. It is neither practical, nor possible to be a jack of all trades. Outsourcing lets you focus on your core competencies while another company focuses on theirs.
  3. Gain access to exceptional capabilities. Your return on investment is so much greater when you outsource information technology to a firm that specializes in the areas you need. Instead of just the knowledge of one person, you benefit from the collective experience of a team of IT professionals. Outsourced IT companies usually require their IT staff to have proper industry training and certifications as well.
  4. Free internal resources for other purposes. You may have someone in your office that is pretty good with computers or accounting, but most likely these were not the jobs he or she was hired to do. If they are spending time taking care of these things, who is doing what they were hired to do? Outsourcing allows you to retain employees for their highest and best use, rather than wasting their time on things that may take them longer than someone who is trained in these specific areas.
  5. Resources are not available internally. On the flip side, maybe you don’t have anyone in your company who can manage your IT needs, and hiring a new employee is not in the budget. Outsourcing can be a feasible alternative, both for the interim and for the long-term.
  6. Maximize restructuring benefits. When you are restructuring your company to improve costs, quality, service, or speed, your non-core business functions may get pushed aside. They still need to be handled, however, and outsourcing is an optimal way to do this. Don’t sabotage your restructuring efforts by failing to keep up with non-core needs.
  7. Function difficult to manage or out of control. This is definitely a scenario when outsourcing to experts can make a big difference. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you can forget about the problem now that it’s being “handled.” You still need to be involved even after control is regained.
  8. Make capital funds available. By outsourcing non-core business functions, you can spend your capital funds on items that are directly related to your product or your customers.
  9. Reduce Risk. Keeping up with technology required to run your business is expensive and time consuming. Because professional outsourced IT providers work with multiple clients and need to keep up on industry best practices, they typically know what is right and what is not. This kind of knowledge and experience dramatically reduces your risk of implementing a costly wrong decision.

The Risks

Anytime you give someone else responsibility for an aspect of your business, whether a full-time new hire or an outside vendor, there is risk involved. Did I hire the right person/company to do the job? Will they do what they are supposed to do? How will they “fit” with existing employees or departments? These are the questions that nag owners of small businesses when handing over the reigns to a new employee or vendor.

According to Yvonne Lederer Anotucci in her article “The Pros and Cons of IT Outsourcing,” business owners who consider outsourcing IT functions need to be aware of the following risks:

  1. Some IT functions are not easily outsourced. IT affects an entire organization; from the simple tasks employees do everyday to the complex automated aspects. Be sure the outside vendor are qualified to take care of your greatest needs.
  2. Control may be lost. Critics argue that an outside vendor will never be as effective as a full-time employee who is under the same management as other employees. Other concerns include confidentiality of data and disaster recovery. However, a supervisor that is knowledgeable in managing an IT staff member will usually be required.
  3. Employee morale may be affected. This is particularly true if you will be laying off employees to replace their job functions with an outsourced firm. Other employees may wonder if their job is at risk, too.
  4. You may get “locked in.” If the vendor does not document their work on your network and system, or if you’ve had to purchase their proprietary software, you may feel like you can’t go anywhere else or take back your network. Many outsourced companies require you to sign a year to year contract which limits flexibility.

Most of these risks can be avoided altogether if you know what to look for in a vendor and ask the right questions. Wondering how your current or prospective IT service provider stacks up? Take Corporate Computer Service’s Support Provider Ranking Quiz at:www.corpcomputerservices.com/computer-support-quiz.php. These questions will get you thinking about what to ask and what to look for, whether you want to hire a full-time IT professional on staff, or outsource to a support provider.

The Rewards

Still not sure whether to outsource or not? According to Anotucci, who provided the list of risks outlined above, there are many rewards you can expect when you outsource your company’s IT functions as well:

  1. Access to the latest and greatest in technology. You may have noticed how rapidly software and hardware becomes obsolete in this industry. How is one staff person going to keep up-to-date with everything? Outsourcing gives you the benefit of having more than just one IT professional. And since it’s the core competency of the company, they can give you sound advice to put your IT dollars to work for you.
  2. Cost savings. Outsourcing your IT services provides financial benefits such as leaner overhead, bulk purchasing and leasing options for hardware and software, and software licenses, as well as potential compliance with government regulations.
  3. High quality of staff. Since it’s their core competency, outsourced IT vendors look to hire staff with specific qualifications and certifications. You may not know what to look for if you’re hiring someone to be on staff full-time, so you may hire the wrong person for the job.
  4. Flexibility. Vendors have multiple resources available to them, while internal staff may have limited resources and capabilities.
  5. Job security and burnout reduction for regular employees. Using an outsourced IT company removes the burden from your staff who has taken on more than he or she was hired for because “someone needs to do it.” You will establish a better relationship with your employees when you let them do what they do best and what they were hired to do.

Conclusion:

Now that you have seen the risks and rewards associated with outsourcing the IT function of your business, there is a lot to think about. Whether you choose to outsource or hire internally, one thing is certain, you must know how to manage successful working relationships with your IT service providers. Let’s face it, they’re not always the easiest people in the world to understand and deal with, right? Here are some tips:

  • Clearly form and communicate the goals and objectives of your project or business relationship.
  • Have a strategic vision and plan for your project or relationship.
  • Select the right vendor or new hire through research and references.
  • Insist on a contract or plan that includes all the expectations of the relationship, especially the financial aspect.
  • Keep open communication with all affected individuals/groups.
  • Rally support and involvement from decision makers involved.

European Games Market Growth Higher Than US

Consumer Spending Up 3% in Western Europe Versus 1% in the US.

This year will see a 3% increase in consumer spending on games in Western Europe compared to 2011. Today, games market research firm Newzoo released a series of reports and infographics on seven European countries: UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium, who represent approximately three quarters of the $20bn European games market. However, growth of the total European region is higher than 3%, boosted by markets such as Russia and Poland. Over the coming years, growth in Western Europe as well as the US is expected to accelerate based on the fact that significantly more gamers have started to spend money: +17% and +36% respectively. When the average spending of these gamers rises next year, the Western markets will return to healthy growth figures, but the detailed dynamics behind the growth differ significantly per country.

This is the first paragraph of an article found on newzoo.com. It contains some interesting insights that fit the consumer and business insights focus of our blog. The article continues

Consumers and their Screens

In brief, digital distributed content, online, smartphone and tablet games make up for the decline of boxed retail sales. Since the uptake of tablets and smartphones as gaming devices, consumers now have four typical screens to access their entertainment. Consumers are spreading their budget across these screens putting pressure on individual game revenues and making it a necessity for game companies to offer games across all screens. The PC still grosses most time and money, but already 22% of American and 21% of European gamers are using all four screens.
The summary reports and infographics on the US and seven EU countries can be found on the Newzoo website:  www.newzoo.com/category/trend-reports/ and www.newzoo.com/category/infographics/ 

Comparing Countries

The dynamics of each individual European market are very different and relate to cultural and social differences. Several key findings from the research:

  • The share of paying gamers has risen to 59% in Western Europe, 55% in the US.
  • Social network gaming market is down 7% in the US. Highest growth in Europe is in Germany.
  • Germany also boasts highest growth in money spent on online “casual” game portals.
  • Spain is the fastest growing MMO market in Western Europe.
  • The UK dominates Europe in mobile game spending, in absolute figures and in growth.
  • Console game spending is flat in most countries but Spain and Italy show double digit growth.
  • PC Boxed sales is down in every country, most noticeably in Italy, Spain, France and Germany.
  • PC Download games spending is down in most countries except Germany and Italy.

Read the full article at newzoo.com

FREE! – Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovereign Review

One of the biggest problems facing RPGs is the stagnation of turn-based combat. While it’s not something that ruins every game, it’s hard to deny that constantly clicking through a menu with limited interaction isn’t very engaging. Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovereign breaks through this mold with an overhand swing by creating a touch-based combat system that’s fun and surprisingly deep. Did I mention that it has great visuals and is free to play?

Your typical playthrough of Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovereign will look something a great deal like Infinity Blade. You’re seeking to destroy a great force of destruction (Sovering, Demon of Grief), but you have to battle through waves of enemies in one-on-one combat to get to him. Unlike your typical RPG, gameplay puts a high emphasis on combat and a low emphasis on story.

Your journey begins by choosing one of five unique heroes. Each one brings a different skill, elemental affinity, and weapon. Whether you want to pound your way through with Ursula’s war hammer or fry your foes with Torus’ magic, there’s a character that will fit your play style.

Each section of the game is divided into its own chapter of five to ten unique encounters. Every victory brings you experience, gold, and loot, while also bringing you another step closer to Sovereign.

 Revenge of Sovering

Battles make complete use of the iOS touch screen, with directional swipes, taps, and motions determining your every action. Unlike traditional turn-based systems, Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovereign is constantly active, with character models striking and weaving throughout the battle. Every foe has a respectable set of combat animations, making each fight feel unique and dynamic.

Gameplay begins simply: a swipe of a finger attacks your enemy in the direction that you please. However, as the game presses on, the system gets pretty heavy. Certain blows will spill mana orbs from your target, which can be collected in order to unleash powerful magic attacks. Certain enemy attacks will expel rage orbs, which allow you to engage in a risk-reward system of combat bonuses. Some enemy attacks can be dodged by completing a quick-time event, such as tapping all of their magic orbs in time, or by successfully recreating a memory sequence.

It sounds like a lot to handle, but the game introduces each new element one-by-one in a tutorial that keeps things easy to understand.

 Revenge of Sovering

The only factor that I didn’t really enjoy was the game’s execution feature. Occasionally, enemies you fight can be expelled by a gory Mortal Kombat-style finishing move. Unlike Mortal Kombat, however, the move is mandatory, and rewards you with twice the amount of loot. For a game that really isn’t very violent otherwise, it’s a pretty strange mismatched aesthetic.

Aside from chapter combat, there are plenty of side quests at your disposal. Each completed area draws loyal citizens who pledge money to your cause. Occasionally, a monster will attack the citizens, giving you a chance to fend them off and keep your gold earnings high. Completed areas can also be scoured for treasure with scarabs, letting you earn large rewards of treasure and items through a lock-picking minigame.

Being a free-to-play game, there’s the usual pick of in-game and premium real-money currency. You can buy the game’s best items right away with real money if you want, but there’s no point if you want a decent challenge. I was able to play for several hours without having to invest a dime, and I was able to buy plenty of gear along the way with regular gold.

 Revenge of Sovering

The problem, however, is that this system doesn’t last forever.

By the time that I had been stumped (at the final boss of chapter 4), there simply wasn’t enough gold available in order to power up without dropping real-life money. I’m not opposed to a system like this at all, especially after a game has let me play it for nearly half a dozen hours for free. Unfortunately, one quick look at the game’s shop had me looking the other way.

In my scenario, it would have cost me 1600 of the game’s premium currency in order to upgrade each of my eight pieces of armor. The cheapest way to get that much currency through microtransactions? A whopping twenty-three dollars. While I’m not sure that I would need an upgrade for all eight of my items in order to beat the boss that I’m stuck on, that is still a very steep price to climb.

Yet, despite the giant price hurdle, I really can’t complain too much. Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovereign looks great, plays great, and has plenty of different modes to keep a player occupied for a long time. While Mail.ru could likely have drawn several more hours from me with a more attractive premium system, I still loved the zero time I spent with it, and will likely be trying out a second character soon.

Pros:

  • High production value with cutscenes, voices, and dozens of unique models and animations. Unique and engaging turn-based combat system. Several minigames and extra features to keep you occupied for hours.

Cons:

  • “Execution” feature seems very out of place. Difficulty curve skyrockets at the end of chapter 4, requiring a considerable amount of in-app purchases to stay competitive.
General Overview of the Game
The graphics of this game are fantastic. The attention to detail is outstanding. – PadGadget (4/5)
Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovereign looks great, plays great, and has plenty of different modes to keep a player occupied for a long time. – GameZebo (4/5)
Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovering is a unique experiment in touchscreen gaming, and brings something unexpected to the fantasy action genre. – Slide To Play (3+/4)
This is a fantastic game. It is beautiful and has amazing graphics. The gameplay is exciting without being overwhelming. –AppAdvice
If you are a fan of turn-based RPGs, this game is a must for your collection, and even if you weren’t before, this game might just make you a fan of the genre. – iPhone Life
*******
An entirely new breed of RPG has risen from the smoldering ashes of Haradan. You, as one of 6 legendary warriors known as “Scorpions”, are entrusted to defeat the terrifying Sovering and save the land. Venture into a surreal 3D world to slay over 100 horrifying beasts and complete perilous quests on your way to an epic final battle against the formidable demon! After eons of ceaseless bloodshed, the time to destroy civilization’s greatest adversary has come. Can you take on the legion and fight your way to freedom?
–Features–
– 6 customizable legendary warriors to choose from: each with unique skills, back stories and weapons
– 12 classes of mighty armor
– A wide array of items and weapons that change the appearance of your hero
– 4 schools of magic and 12 fighting spells for you to cast upon enemies
– 30 levels of progression for each hero
FIGHTING MECHANICS LIKE NEVER BEFORE
– Choose to fight your enemies 3 different ways: Tap, swipe, or use combo-hit control!
– Turn based fighting with unique twists: act swiftly and be sure your enemy isn’t looking in the direction you attack from
– Epic cinematic executions for each hero
– 3 in-fight mini games: “collect the mana”, memory game and fighting the “evil eye”
FIGHT FOR HARADAN’S FREEDOM
– 100+ terrifying enemies to fight
– 30+ hours of heart-stopping gameplay
– 15 unique locations, from forests and deserts to cities and caves, in which to battle fiends
– 5 special quests that open 5 out of 15 secret locations
– 2 mini games: locating buried treasure and lock picking
– 50+ achievements
– Beautiful 3D graphics
Keep up with all the Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovering buzz by visiting us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JuggerMobileGame
“Juggernaut: The Revenge of Sovering” – innovations in the game!
The first players have already set foot on the scorching land of Radway to do battle against the terrible Sovering and his minions. But this does not mean that the game’s developers are resting on their laurels. Work is constantly underway to improve Juggernaut: The Revenge of Sovering!
There are no limits to perfection, and the creators of “Juggernaut: The Revenge of Sovering” have many more surprises in store.
  • Note : No Root Required
  • This Application May Have not purchased “ERROR” you can Clear Data of Juggernaut from Manage APPS and place data folder properly,then play.
password : Galaxy4Gaming.in
Install APK and place data folder in SDCard/Android/Obb/ and play
Data Folder LOCATION: Android/Obb/ru.mail.games.jugger

Lots of Gaming Premiere at Cologne: GAMESCOM 2012

The first batch of exhibitors have already announced their games line ups for gamescom 2012, in which several spectacular world premieres are expected to be showcased.

The first big developers and publishers have announced their new showcase line ups, including: Blizzard, Capcom, Namco, Tecmo Koei, Electronic Arts, Konami, 2K Games, Codemasters and Bethesda.

Currently games that were confirmed to be playable at gamescom 2012 are: Starcraft – Heart of the Swarm, FIFA 13, Football Manager 13, Crysis 3, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror of Fate, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Sim City, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Resident Evil 6, Lost Planet 3, DmC, PES 2013, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, Borderlands 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Dishonored, World of Warcraft – Mists of Pandaria,.

Numerous companies will be hosting huge press conference events, the kick-off event for this year’s gamescom will be taking place such as Ubisoft’s Might and Magic: Duel of Champions. The wednesday will also see events from Nexon. EA, Capcom and Sony are hosting their own pre-gamescom conferences elsewhere.

Thousands of other companies in the gaming industry will be attending. Service providers such as SupersonicAds, Willdom, and many more. Among these companies visiting the event will be RenditionDigital International Inc. who’s

an offshore outsourcing company providing superior-quality, cost-effective services for Software Engineering, Digital Publishing, BPO and Social Media and Games Moderation and Support.

With Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and an off-shore development centre in Manila, Philippines, we provide our clients with access to a wealth of technical expertise and innovative talent to build highly-effective and cost-efficient teams to deliver reliable, consistent and quality driven services, products and results for medium to large sized  Independent Software Vendors and large scale Publishers.

Rendition has earned a solid reputation for quality, delivery, management and reliability with highly skilled, well-educated and highly-motivated staff resulting in low staff turnover. We provide our clients with access to a wealth of technical expertise and innovative talent to build highly effective and cost efficient teams to deliver reliable, consistent and quality driven services, products and results.

Coupled with well-proven management methodology, excellent communications and an experienced management team, we can reliably manage a first class service to provide outsourced development, support and BPO services

Rumors about GOT’s Season 3

Now that Game of Thrones has officially been renewed for Season 3 (no surprise there), rumors are surfacing that auditions for the next season have begun in London. The fan siteWinter Is Comingclaims to have some insider scoop on which roles producers are looking to fill, and which actors are supposed frontrunners.

Read spoilers at your own risk! For more on Wetpaint Entertainment’s philosophy on spoilers, click here.

A commenter on the fan site says that “they are casting Shireen Baratheon. They are looking for an 11-year-old girl. Hundreds of young actresses have already been seen. Auditions happened in London about two weeks ago, recalls to come.” In the books, Shireen is the only heir to Stannis and his wife. (Remember how Melisandre mocked Stannis’ sickly wife for being unable to produce a son in Game of Thrones Season 2, Episode 4: “Garden of Bones”?)

Also rumored is the casting of Daario Naharis, the blue-haired mercenary who falls for Daenerys Targaryen. A source who claims to have seen the casting breakdown says, “The producers are looking for ‘any ethnicity, except Caucasian.’”

Finally, another Twitter source says, “I was told by an agent that Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju is auditioning for an unknown role.” Winter Is Coming suggests that Kristofer must be auditioning for Tormund Giantsbane, the white-haired raider of wildings north of The Wall.

It’s been reported that, since Book 3 (A Storm of Swords) contains so much material, the content of the book will be split over Game of Thrones Seasons 3 and 4. So, if these casting rumors are veritable, fans of the books should get an idea of how quickly the story will move over the course of Season 3.

Google Penguin: Discussing 5 Ways to Adjust with Google’s Latest Penguin Update

I’m back!!!! I hope no one minds if I welcome myself back, although I would admit that’s a little weird. Well, it’s been a while since I last posted an entry on this blog and I’m so happy all the deadlines are almost finished and Rendition Digital will be in New York next week for another event. “Book Expo America 2012”

The Book Expo America 2012 will be held next week at the Javits Center, New York City, NY and starts at June 4, 2012 until June 7, 2012. BEA 2012 is one of the biggest events that caters to service providers, publishers, distributors,  and authors in the digital publishing and digital content distribution and delivery space. BEA 2012 has added new features in it’s agenda which makes it more exciting for companies to showcase their products and services.  I almost forgot mention, we will be there on the 5th until the 7th of June 2012, let me know if you want to meet. To get more information about this event click here [enough with the plugs c”,)]

It’s been a crazy month at work and new changes and movements are taking place. I understand this comes a bit of an adjustment for some, including me, but as they say, “Change is Constant” and you have to learn how to adapt. Personally, I feel very optimistic about these changes and excited with the up-coming new challenges. I’m moving to another  task in my department and I just wanted to say, “Bring it on!!!!”. Now, to get more information about our company you can visit Rendition Digital at http://www.renditiondigital.com and subscribe to our news letter to learn more about us and the latest trend in IT outsourcing.

So back to my tech updates, I had to catch up with some reading and I understand Google recently unveiled a major change to its mysterious and powerful search engine algorithm. Along with this “Penguin update,” many of the search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that websites once utilized no longer work.

The search engine giant is a major source of discovery for apps and web-based writers, so I’ve collected some advice to make sure your online writing doesn’t get punished by the Google Penguin update. The five tips follow below…

Google explained the update: “this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics.”

5 Ways to Cope with Google’s Penguin Update

1. Entrepreneur had this advice: “Eliminate overt web spam. If you have improperly copied or “scraped” content, keyword-stuffed content, doorway pages that redirect readers to sites the search engines can’t see or any other items Google considers to be violations of itsWebmaster Guidelines, get rid of them as soon as you’re able to.”

2. Business 2 Community had this tip: “Create content for other websites and blogs. Prepare an editorial calendar for writing articles and guest blog posts that can be published on websites and blogs other than your own. This helps you gain new exposure and earn quality backlinks – just make sure you only offer your content to trusted and reputable content publishers.”

3. Google News Submit told writers to diversify: “Do not rely strictly on Google for all of your SEO and traffic! Work with partners to develop other sources of traffic. Try out MSN Adcenter (Bing and Yahoo) as well as some social networking campaigns. Also, some press release companies can provide you valuable links on some of the countries most popular mass media websites such as The Boston Globe, Chron.com, UPI.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, Banks.com and more.”

4. Search Engine Watch had this guidance: “Don’t try too hard for that perfect title. Avoid obsessing over on-page ratios. You don’t need that exact match anchor all the time, in fact you don’t even need a link (think named entities). In many ways, less-is-more is the call of the day.

5. WebiMax VP of marketing Todd Bailey shared this tip at CNBC:  “Businesses need to get rid of the philosophy that they need to get as many links and as much content out as there as they can … They need to look at a public relations strategy and try to produce quality content by pitching news outlets, doing press releases and guest blogging. The other options are social media campaigns and other multichannel options such as referrals and using CPM advertising.”

CHOBITSDIGITALISV2 RELOADED ROM

CHOBITSDIGITALISV2

RELOADED ROM

ChobitsDigitalis Rom Support Thread
Link: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show…4#post24240984
What’s in it:

+ Stable, Fast, Rock Solid
+ Comes with Stock-like Kernel with init.d support
+ Compatible with Merruk’s Kernels
+ Compatible with All Basebands
+ Deodexed; Reindexed
+ Zipaligned; Batch Optimized
+ Chobits Revamped UI; Skinned Apps
+ Chobits Launcher powered by GOL
+ Superuser Access; Busybox Support
+ Full Support for Init.d scripts
+ Google Music; Skinned Gingerbread Keyboard; Swype
+ Bass/Treble Enhanced Sound
+ Random Boot Animation
+ 14 Toggles by lidroid rom
+ Lag Fix / Equalizers Force Close Fix
+ Chobits NitroSpeed Applied(no need to add tweaks eg. V6supercharger,st@matis, adrenaline, etc.)
+ Kernel, 3g, wifi, net, memory, battery, etc. tweak integration
+ Swipe to Remove Implementation
+ Multilanguage Support
+ Wifi Fix / Global GPS Boost
+ Built-in Ads Blocker
+ Fonts Pre-installed
+ New Google Play Store; Google Search Updates
+ Full Bravia Engine Port; Fix Xloud; Beats Integration
+ UI optimized; New Lockscreen by Milocker(more to come!)
+ Addon Important Apps (see more inside!)

Installation Instructions:

This Rom comes with a modified kernel, if you want other kernel please flash that kernel using mai’s or faqbly’s method.

TO ENSURE KERNEL FLASHING SUCCESS PLEASE USE CWM

– Boot in Stock Recovery
(hold Volume up + HOME + Power Button Simultaneously)
– Select “wipe data/factory reset” proceed to “YES
– Select “cache partition
– Select “apply update from sdcard
– Select “ChobitsDigitalisV2_Reloaded.zip
– Reboot your phone.
– First Boot will take 2-3 minutes to initialize,
your phone will vibrate and will continue to load.
-Once it fully loaded, tap “Menu (left capacitive keys) + Preferences + Backup/Restore + Reset to default
(this steps ensure that you have the default desk settings loaded)
-Enjoy this ChobitsDigitalisV2 ReLoaded!

Download V2 ReLoaded:
—-> http://www.mediafire.com/?dsp32pu80dczp7l

Screenshots by MACHINEHEAD121 (THANKS TO HIM FOR BETA TESTING, THIS RELEASE WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE WITHOUT HIS UNWAIVERING DEVOTION AND EXCEPTIONAL TESTING SKILLS)

ROM POLICY / Disclaimer:

I will not be held responsible if any mishaps while/after flashing will occur (please follow the instructions posted here to avoid issues). This Rom may or may not work for you, therefore please don’t expect full compatibility on all firmware versions (custom/stock). But theoretically it should work on all stock roms.

By flashing this rom, you must understand that the developer reserves the right to add/omit some apps, please make sure you do a backup of your apps and a nandroid backup to restore previous installed apps.

Lastly, you as an Android user must understand that rom development takes time and effort, therefore requests may or may not be addressed quickly but please feel free to review and send bug reports so I can sort it out by releasing update fixes.

Biggest MMORPG’s of 2012: Pros and Cons

We’re still a few months from finding out if 2012 will mark the end of the world, but five months in, I think it’s safe to say that this year at least marks a new beginning for the MMORPG genre. For the first time in years, developers are producing games that seem like something other than World of Warcraft or EverQuest clones. TERA, Guild Wars 2, and The Secret World all have ideas within them that warrant some attention, and even Blizzard’s mixing things up a little with Mists of Pandaria. All in all, it’s a good year to be an MMO fan. But will these new games still be standing as tall this time next year? I’m no Mayan, but here are my predictions for how each of these games will perform in the coming months.

TERA

TERA dresses for the job it wants, not the job it has.

Working in its Favor

After using TERA’s crosshair aiming, combat in other MMOs seems excessively boring.

Although it may not be the first true action MMORPG (Vindictus, and even DC Universe Online may have stronger claims to that), it’s hard to argue that TERA’s combat system doesn’t beat out the current MMO juggernauts. After using the crosshair aiming, combat in other MMOs seems excessively boring. Enemies sometimes leap over you, which might cause you to miss a killing blow and change the course of a battle. Bosses and “BAMs” exhibit a little more intelligence than what I’ve found elsewhere. It also runs so smoothly with the graphics cranked up and dozens of players running around on the same screen that it’s tough to lighten up on other games that buckle under the same conditions (Star Wars: The Old Republic, I’m looking at you). For that matter, it’s frickin’ beautiful.

Working Against it

In its current form, TERA’s essentially a polished one-trick pony. (Ok, two tricks counting its innovative political system.) Beyond that exciting combat, TERA sports one of the dullest quest systems imaginable, complete with many quests that require nothing more between running back and forth between NPCs. Several key features, such as player-versus-player battlegrounds, aren’t even implemented yet, and judging by the apathy of the Korean development team, patches might be dangerous slow in coming unless the American team at En Masse manages to release steady patches of their own design. Even the fun of combat starts wearing off for most classes around level 40 or so, and if you’re not keen on slogging through those boring quests again with a different class, TERA’s replay value is low.

Prediction Time!

TERA will build up a strong community of devoted players over the next couple of months, but it won’t become the sleeper hit that its community hopes for. Once the majority of players reach the level cap, subscriptions will drop off — and that subscription model will thus prove unsustainable unless En Masse essentially goes rogue with self-made content. If it doesn’t, TERA will eventually move to a buy-to-play or free-to-play model.

Guild Wars 2

Beware the beta lag monster! (They’ll probably fix that.)

Working in its Favor

Sometimes, just wandering off in a random direction is a better way to find quests.

Guild Wars 2 has plenty of good ideas, the least of which are quests and kills that multiple players get credit for even if they’re not grouped, and dynamic events that keep the leveling experience from devolving into monotony. It sports character storylines that at least approach the charm of those in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and it encourages exploration by making the bread-crumb trail of quests more difficult to follow than is typical. Sometimes, just wandering off in a random direction is a better way to find quests than trying to figure out where the designers wanted you to go. It’s also a somewhat casual-friendly game, in that you don’t feel obligated to rush to the level cap or devote hours every week to succeed, and this structure complements its buy-to-play model.

Working Against it

Guild Wars 2 places a lot of emphasis on its movement-based combat, but once you consider that it’s still based on tab targeting and largely familiar abilities, you might find that its appeal wanes in comparison to games like TERA (or even WoW, if you’re still invested). I’ve also noticed that players have a tendency to slip into the roles of healer, tank, and DPS, even though one of ArenaNet’s selling points for Guild Wars 2 is that the Holy Trinity no longer applies. Its endgame also leaves too many questions unanswered, since it seems to focus almost entirely on forms of PvP and dungeon runs with comparable gear available from each. Players who want to raid will likely end up staying with other games.

Prediction Time!

Guild Wars 2 won’t be the WoW killer that so many fans make it out to be, but it will provide a strong alternative to Blizzard’s long-reigning champion for players who want control over their game time instead of adhering to job-like raid schedules. It’ll certainly be much more popular than Guild Wars 1, and it will likely attract a lot of the more casually minded (or PvP-oriented) members of WoW or Rift’s audiences.

The Secret World

You can’t go wrong with zombies — or so Funcom hopes.

Working in its Favor

The Secret World goes even deeper than Guild Wars 2 in chucking some of the conventions of the genre, complete with an ostensible lack of levels and a reliance on traditional gear. Its “real-world” setting provides a nice break from the the elves and big swords we’ve become accustomed to, and its three factions vying for world dominance provide a welcome alternative to the duality of faction warfare. Clue-based missions such as “investigations” will attract players who want a little more out of their quests than killing and fetching, and the challenges of basic combat that I saw in my time playing might entice players who dislike the ease of battle in other MMORPGs.

Working Against it

This close to its June 19th release date, there are still just too many people who don’t know about it.

The Secret World is a perfect name for Funcom’s new creation — it’s so secret that several of my non-press gaming friends still shoot me blank looks when I talk about it in casual conversation. This close to its June 19th release date, there are still just too many people who don’t know about it. At worst, this might show how many players in general are interested. I also worry that the lack of gear to build up for greater challenges will cause many players to lose their interest, since the “bragging rights” in other games won’t be as prevalent here. Getting rid of these might sound commendable, but the fact remains that acquiring this gear makes up much of the endgame experience elsewhere. Take SWTOR — many of the complaints I saw at the level cap centered not so much on the raids themselves, but how little it took to get all the best gear available at the time. Robbed of anything “better” to get, players just stopped playing. In the absence of such gear in The Secret World, they might not play at all.

Prediction Time!

One of the things I can’t stand in modern MMORPG culture is the tendency for players to yell “Free-to-play in XX months!” when a game they don’t love with all their hearts comes out, but I can’t see The Secret World remaining under a subscription model for long. Its design seems almost made for a free-to-play or buy-to-play model, and unless something changes I think it’ll reach that point sometime next year.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

“How dare you call me cute and cuddly!”

Working in its Favor

Mists of Pandaria brings back a lot of the features that many of us missed in Cataclysm, including one coherent, explorable continent instead of new zones scattered about smashed-up versions of the places we’d grown to love over seven years. The bright, Asian aesthetic also signals a welcome change over the gloom of Cataclysm. A vocal group of players complain about the introduction of anthropomorphized panda characters, but I don’t think this will have as negative of an impact on WoW’s subscription numbers as the doomsayers would have us believe. After all, World of Warcraft has featured cutesy green-haired gnomes with pigtails since launch day, and the silliness of these characters far outdoes the rather stoic and dignified Pandaren. Meanwhile, Pandaria’s short dungeons recall the accessible ambiance of Blizzard’s popular (though oft-maligned) Wrath of the Lich King expansion, and new additions such as pet battles give players yet another activity besides combat.

Working Against it

It will succeed, but only in the sense that it manages to hold its own against its new competitors.

Despite all that, Mists of Pandaria still relies too heavily on the the traditional WoW quest-and-leveling structure, and its endgame appears to revolve around the usual options with a colorful Asian theme. Everything I’ve seen in the beta seems impressive enough in light of Blizzard’s past successes, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that I’ve seen all this before in different skins and different settings. In light of the fresh ideas floating around in the MMORPGs above, Pandaria seems too old fashioned, and it does too little to distinguish WoW from these other MMOs — or even from itself. Blizzard’s current design philosophy seems to focus on what worked in the past instead of working in the competition, and that may prove disastrous.

Prediction Time!

Mists of Pandaria isn’t going to kill World of Warcraft, but it’s not going to bring back the subscribers who left after Cataclysm, either. It will succeed, but only in the sense that it manages to hold its own against its new competitors. It’ll likely still be the king of the hill by this time next year, but that hill won’t be as high as it was before.

How to Survive the 10 Grueling Levels of Office Hell

Even those of us that love our jobs can have days where office life just seems like a terrible punishment from the beyond. If your job is crushing your soul piece by piece, here are some ways you can deal with the pain and suffering of office life.

10. The Mild Annoyance of Eating at Work

The need to eat at the office doesn’t really feel like hell—at least not the eternal-pain-and-agony kind. It’s more like the constant splinter in your skin that just keeps annoying you all day. You have to deal with the always-unappealing brown bag lunch, eat at your desk, and deal with nasty coworkers stealing your food. Of course, there are ways to deal with this problem—specifically, make your brown bag lunch more appealingmake it something that’s keyboard friendly, and if you really can’t deal with the office thieves…just stick some laxatives in the food and call it a dayPhoto by Kevin Marsh.

9. The Challenge of Staying Awake

The next level of hell, slightly more annoying than food, is the sheer boredom of your job. Between meetings, mundane tasks, and listening to your coworker’s all-to-detailed story about her cat Mittens, it’s like your job is trying to put you to sleep. There are a few things you can do to help keep yourself awake, both at your desk and during excruciatingly boring meetings, but you can also give into the temptation and sneak yourself a nap at work. Power naps are the best way to go, and with a few strategies, you should be able to get through a quick nap without anyone the wiser. Photo by Sarah G.

8. The Constant Paranoia of Being Monitored

Whether your office has a simple web filter on your computer or they’re monitoring your every move, it can make life very difficult. Here’s how to tell if you’re being monitored at work, and what to do about it if you are. And if its web filters that are the problem, you can always bypass them with your own proxy server, or by grabbing some portable apps and turning a thumb drive into a tiny privacy toolkit to browse without a trace. Photo by Diego Cervo (Shutterstock).

7. The Temptation of Constant Distractions

There’s always something nagging at you to ignore your work and do something to take your mind off the slave driving, whether it be browsing the webtalking with a coworker, or push notifications from all directions. If you really want to focus while you work, we’ve got some tips to help you out. If you can’t figure out exactly what’s distracting you all day, I really recommend using a time tracking program like RescueTime to find out—it’ll make it a lot easier to crush those distractions once and for all. Photo by imageegami (Shutterstock).

6. The Exhaustion of Long Hours

If you haven’t actually counted how many hours you work in a week, it’s time to start—and if that number’s over 40, you may have a problem. Not only is it exhausting, but it can even lead to health problems like depression, so you need to take charge. At the end of the day, go the f**k home. If you need more motivation than that, there are a few things you can do to make leaving your work behind easier, too. Photo by Wes Peck.

5. The Sacrifice of a Not Getting Paid

You’d think a hellacious office job would at least pay well, but sadly, that’s just not the case. If you’re unhappy with the money you’re making—and remember, the new salary happiness tipping point is about $50,000—it’s time to see if you can get a raise. Don’t be tough, be honest, and do your homework beforehand. You’re a lot more likely to get paid what you’re worth with a well thought out negotiation than going in angry. Photo by Helder Almeida (Shutterstock).

4. The Nagging Pain of RSI

You sit at a desk all day, and not only is it making you fat, but it’s destroying your eyes, wrists, back, and the rest of your body, slowly and meticulously. The best thing you can do? Take some time to ergonomically optimize your workspace and change your habits for pain-free office work. And if you’re having a problem with eye strain, there are a few things you can do in that area too—including trying out these Lifehacker-tested computer glassesPhoto by Jhayne.

3. The Stress of Problematic Coworkers

Distracting coworkers is a mild annoyance, but the truly difficult people are a whole new level of hell. You can’t change other people, so the best thing you can do is focus on your own triggers to deal with difficult people. And, if things get really out of hand, you can complain about them to management without getting them in trouble. Of course, you could always just tell them you don’t like them, too (without being an asshole). Photo by CREATISTA (Shutterstock).

2. The Agony of a Horrible Boss

If your office is hell, your boss is the devil, slowly driving you into madness faster than everything else. Maybe he steals your ideas, or maybe you just dream about killing them because they’re so bad at managing. We’ve talked a lot about how to deal with every kind of crazy boss, and how to effectively complain about them on the off chance you can actually get them to change. Photo by CREATISTA (Shutterstock).

1. The Frustration of Quitting with Your Sanity Intact

Deep in the bowels of office hell, the thing that nags you the most as you endure hours and hours of torture, is whether your job is actually so bad that you should quit. After all, jobs aren’t growing on trees these days. If you’ve gotten so miserable that you just can’t survive your job anymore, it may be time to quitTake some time to prepare yourself for the jump, and make sure you do it with all your contacts and class intact—you may hate everyone at your current office, but they can still be helpful to you in the future (and they’re a lot less horrible when you aren’t with them all day long). Lastly, if you’re looking to get out of the office gig entirely and start freelancing, you may want to wait a bit—you can start freelancing without quitting to see if it’s really right for you—because sometimes, it’s really, really not, and being jobless is an entirely new type of hell. Photo by Stephen Day.

Wonder What Werewolves Are Doing Tommorow – It’s a SUPERMOON!!

Saturday night marks the year’s “Supermoon” — the name given to the full moon that best coincides with the moon’s closest pass to Earth in any given year.

The moon’s orbit around the Earth is slightly elliptical which means there is about a 27,000 mile variance between the moon’s closest point (called “perigee” ) and furthest point (called “apogee”) each month. The “supermoon” is the name given each year to the full moon that happens closest to the perigee.

The moon will appear about 14 percent larger than when it’s at apogee, but it’ll be hard to notice with the naked eye.

What you might notice instead is that the moon could look artificially super large when it is on the horizon as it’s setting and rising just before and after sunset. That’s due to the mysterious moon illusion where full moons near the horizon apparently trick the human eye into making it look larger than it is — an effect that will be enhanced this weekend. Scientists have yet to explain how the illusion works, but suffice to say “object on horizon may appear closer than it really is.”

The supermoon will bring unusually high tides because of its closeness and its alignment with the sun and Earth, but the effect will be modest, says Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory.

The forecast is looking like it’ll cooperate for Seattle with mostly clear skies expected by sunset Saturday evening — the best time for the show will be just after sunset when the moon rises. Clouds will move in late Saturday night to where we might miss a similar show Sunday morning, but perhaps take a peek just in case.

If you get any great photos, we’d love to see them. You can post them to our YouNews site or email us at weather@komo4news.com.

Does the Supermoon make people act differently?

The last supermoon, on March 19, 2011, was about 240 miles closer than this year’s will be. Next year’s will be a bit farther away than this year’s.

But no matter how far away a full moon is, it’s not going to make people kill themselves or others, commit other crimes, get admitted to a psychiatric hospital or do anything else that popular belief suggests, a psychologist says.

Studies that have tried to document such connections have found “pretty much a big mound of nothing, as far as I can tell,” said Scott Lilienfeld of Emory University.

Lilienfeld, an author of “50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology,” said the notion of full moons causing bizarre behavior ranks among the top 10 myths because “it’s so widely held and it’s held with such conviction.”

Why do people cling to the idea?

Lilienfeld said a key reason could be the way people pay attention to things. If something unusual happens to occur during a full moon, people who believe the myth take note and remember, even telling other people because it confirms their ideas. But when another full moon appears and nothing out of the ordinary occurs, “they’re not very likely to remember” or point it out to others.

So in the end, he said, all they remember are the coincidences. Now, brings me back to the question… What are werewolves doing at this time of the year??? Go  figure… Happy moon viewing!!

ChobitsDigitalis ROM V1.8 Update (V2.0 WIP)

This is the latest update on the most stable ROM for SGY. Please the instructions carefully. I will not be responsible for your phones if you brick them. Do it at your own risk.Read more information on how to install the ROM from XDA Forum before doing  anything. Click here

HOW TO INSTALL

– Boot in Stock Recovery
(hold Volume up + HOME + Power Button Simultaneously)
– Select “wipe data/factory reset” proceed to “YES”
– Select “cache partition”
– Select “apply update from sdcard”
– Select “ChobitsDigitalisV1_ROM.zip”
– Reboot your phone.
– First Boot will take 2-3 minutes to initialize,
your phone will vibrate and will continue to load.
-Once it fully loaded, tap “Menu + Preferences + Backup/Restore + Reset to default”
(this steps ensure that you have the default desk settings loaded)
-Enjoy this ChobitsDigitalisV1 Full Version!

Download FULL VERSION:
http://www.mediafire.com/?94coh8v2ltn6abx

RECOMMENDED: Please do a nandroid backup via CWM; have an odinable package ready to flash in case something goes wrong

Flash via stock recovery or CWM. DO NOT WIPE/CLEAR.

(From Version 1. Reboot then directly flash this update.)

Version 1.8

—> MEDIAFIRE

What’s New:

+ Lag Fix / Equalizers Force Close Fix
+ init.d Support (runs at startup via busybox/scriptmanager) IMPORTANT: Setup for Script Manager found here.
+ Chobits NitroSpeed (no need to add tweaks eg. V6supercharger,st@matis, adrenaline, etc.)
+ kernel, 3g, wifi, net, memory, battery, etc. tweak integration
+ Random Boot Animation (random boot if init.d is ran via scriptmanager)
+ Script Manager 1.9.2 apk in sdcard
+ Swipe to Remove Implementation
+ CSC Modification
+ Multilanguage Support
(When flashing new skin/themes, languages will revert back to default. Please use the multilanguage skins patch.)
+ Touchscreen Update Fix
+ Wifi Fix / Global GPS Boost
+ Added Default Samsung Keyboard
+ App Widget Picker
+ Built-in Ads Blocker
+ CSC for European Countries
+ Fonts Pre-installed
+ Change Build.prop Tweaks
+ Removed Touchwiz Launcher (search thread for launcher installers to replace default)
+ Google Play Store; Google Search Updates; Font Reset
+ Full Bravia Engine Port; Fix Xloud; Beats Integration; Dalvik Heap Change
+ Addons: Notification Toggle (highly customizable; can add app shortcuts)
+ LCD Density Changer for bigger screen space(mine is set to 99; FM radio only works at 110-120 density)
+ some UI optimizations; changed default lockscreen wallpaper.

All Credits to XDA Developers!!! Peace out! c”,)

Google Makes Email Communication Easier

Gmail‘s automated message translation is no longer an experiment. Now Google’s popular email platform can automatically translate emails from one language to another. So, for example, you can get an email in Japanese and have it translated instantly into English, or communicate with a friend in French without ever knowing the language.

Automatic Message translation was originally introduced in Gmail Labs in May 2009, where it became a hit with a variety of different Gmail users — particularly business users who work with people around the globe.

“Some people just wanted to easily read newsletters from abroad. Another person wrote in telling us how he set up his mom’s Gmail to translate everything into her native language, thus saving countless explanatory phone calls (he thanked us profusely),” Jeff Chin, Product Manager for Google Translate wrote in a blog post. “Since message translation was one of the most popular labs, we decided it was time to graduate from Gmail Labs and move into the real world.”

The service will be gradually rolled out to Gmail users over the next few days. When you receive an email in a language that is not your own, clicking the “Translate message” button on the header of the email will translate it instantly for you.

Bilingual users have the the option to turn off the feature, and those who regularly receive messages that need translation can opt to have Gmail always translate messages they receive.

Instagram’s Android App Reaches 10 Million Downloads

Instagram’s Android application continue to grow at an impressive rate, today hitting 10 million downloads on the Google Play Marketplace, just 22 days after it launched on the platform.

Instagram is enjoying a relatively quiet period after the buzz of its Android launch, then the unexpected and huge announcement that it had been bought by Facebook for $1 billion. The company is looking at hitting 50 million users on all platforms after reaching the 40 million mark just under two weeks ago.

If you’re unaware of Instagram’s successful Android launch, it started with the app reaching 1 million downloads in under 24 hours. It then only took another five days for the company to add another four million downloads, surpassing the 5 million mark on its sixth day of availability.

Today it has doubled that tally, taking a little over two weeks to do so:

Android users had been waiting a long time for the photo-sharing app to launch on the platform, and even when the company launched its pre-registration process, Android smartphone owners rushed to be a part of it. When it opened pre-registration for its Android variant on March 24, it attracted 430,000 pre-registration signups in the following days.

Instagram currently has more than 47 million users (not all are active), with it certain to reach the 50 million milestone in the coming days.

With news of the acquisition hitting media outlets and news channels the world over, more and more users are becoming aware of the service and seeing friends and family interact and share photos using the app to Facebook and Twitter, helping it move into the mainstream.

Facebook may have paid a hefty price for the popular app, but given its increasing popularity and huge usage, it is looking to be a very smart buy by Zuckerberg and co.

Movie – Assassin’s Creed

Reblogged from ACWikia

The Assassin’s Creed film is an upcoming, feature-length motion picture, based on the award-winning series of the same name, being developed by Ubisoft and Sony Pictures Entertainment for a 2014 release.[1]

The terms and conditions surrounding the agreement between Ubisoft and Sony have been described by Hollywood insiders as “unheard of”, with Ubisoft getting the final say on budget, principal cast, script, release date and more.[2] One individual even went so far as to say that “The whole Ubisoft/Sony deal is a waste of ink, paper and time. The level of control Sony gave up means, effectively, that Assassin’s Creed will never – and I mean never – get made.”[3]

The level of control being afforded to Ubisoft has divided critics of both games and films, with many noting that while Hollywood insiders consider Sony’s move to have killed the film before it’s even begun, gamers consider the move to be beneficial to the franchise’s future, as in recent years game-adaptations have tended to be of poor quality.[3]

In support of this, the studio’s senior VP of international marketing, Jean de Rivieres, claims that their films will “reflect the brands accurately and consolidate our fan base.” The film is also confirmed to be in 3D

A Better Facebook Mobile App

Fast Facebook Brings Slimmed Down ExperienceWhat do many users often request from the Facebook mobile app development team? A faster, less bloated experience for starters. And a way to theme it would be nice as well. Whether it is small bug fixes or big feature omissions, there are a lot of users who are frustrated and dissatisfied with the official Facebook application. Now, those users have a second option.

XDA Forum Member taomorpheus has created a Facebook application dubbed Fast Facebook, which looks to fill in the gaps where the old Facebook left off. It promises a much faster and smoother Facebook experience, without sacrificing any of the features. It even includes a few features that the standard Facebook application lacks.

Fast Facebook can be themed. Unlike other themed versions of the Facebook application, there are theme packs for Fast Facebook that allow users to change the look themselves and upload their own backgrounds from their photo gallery. Think desktop wallpaper, but for Facebook. The application also features pretty much everything you’d need in a Facebook app, including the chat function, usual notifications, posting on walls, and so on. The application’s big claims to fame, however, is how it is designed to be streamlined and run more quickly and is based on Android 4.0 design language. It is a beta, though, so expect there to be a few bugs when roving around. taomorpheus is working hard to iron them out but a beta is a beta.

More information, screen shots, download links, change logs, and feature lists are available in the google play. Go get your Facebook on in a different way.

JOKE of the day

The Eighteen Bottles

I had eighteen bottles of whiskey

in my cellar and was told by my wife to empty the contents of each and every bottle down the sink, or else… I said I would and proceeded with the unpleasant task. I withdrew the cork from the first bottle and poured the contents down the sink with the exception of one glass, which I drank. I then withdrew the cork from the second bottle and did likewise with it, with the exception of one glass, which I drank. I then withdrew the cork from the third bottle and poured the whiskey down the sink which I drank. I pulled the cork from the fourth bottle down the sink and poured the bottle down the glass, which I drank. I pulled the bottle from the cork of the next and drank one sink out of it, and threw the rest down the glass. I pulled the sink out of the next glass and poured the cork down the bottle. Then I corked the sink with the glass, bottled the drink and drank the pour. When I had everything emptied, I steadied the house with one hand, counted the glasses, corks, bottles, and sinks with the other, which were twenty-nine, and as the houses came by I counted them again, and finally I had all the houses in one bottle, which I drank. I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

My Apologies for being MIA

It has been a while since I last posted anything on this web blog due to my crazy schedule at work and being a father. However, I will try my best to update this page with the latest news on business, technology, and my new endeavors on MMORPG games and AAA titles released this year 2016.

New Online Games: The Division | Destiny | Titan Fall | Black Desert Online

AAA: The Rise of the Tomb Raider | Hitman | and more…

Currently playing: Warframe | Witcher 3 | Phantom Pain | Fallout 4 |

Again my sincerest apologies for being away for a long while. Thanks for following this blog. Cheers!

 

“Ideas cause Ideas”

“Ideas cause ideas and help evolve new ideas. They interact with each other and with other mental forces in the same brain, in neighboring brains, and thanks to global communication, in far distant, foreign brains.” ~ Roger Sperry

Just as clinging to a single idea can be dangerous, having many can be a really good thing. It’s not great because you have many ideas, but because those many ideas are not isolated and can improve the others. This is true in your own head and when you’re brainstorming with others. A lot of people tend to cling to ideas as their property and are afraid of losing them, but sharing could be the very best thing.

Thoughts on Davao’s Head Honcho – Mayor Duterte for President

JduterteUST when I thought the Philippines is hopeless, a fine man with high moral principle came to light in the very person of Duterte – the “kill them mayor”. We have heard about his fierce governance in Davao and needless to say, he is earning respect for all the changes he has done for the city.

How I adore his tough speeches and fearless comebacks, and the more I hear clever news about him and his harsh anti-crime campaign , the more I think to my self, such is what we need for a better Philippines.

Why not? Davao City is one of the most peaceful cities in Southeast Asia today. Matter of fact it is ranked 9th safest city in the world. Triple digit crime has diminished to 0.8 in his tenure. They have effectively implemented curfew on the selling of alcoholic beverages, which is often one of the leading causes of crimes; motor vehicles were given speed limits, which must have discouraged riding-in-tandem criminals from committing felonies. He has ordered all shopping malls and commercial centers to install, operate and maintain high-end CCTVs in all entrance and exit points of their premises which, as we all know, has paved the way in solving many crimes.

Discipline – as what Duterte keeps on reiterating – is what the country needs. True enough, this 10-letter word has brought success to many countries and our lack of it has left us far behind.

People may have different insights and beliefs when it comes to leadership but I am for an iron-fist governance. In the current situation of the Philippines and with the kind of criminals and politicians we have – we cannot survive a velvet glove kind of management. Criminals these days are hell bent. Compassion is for human – for those who are worth living. Those who have caused so much misery and suffering to others deserve to be given otherwise.

If it’s true that Duterte has plans to run for a higher position, I don’t see anything wrong with that at all. We’ve done so much trials and errors for the past decades voting for the wrong leaders of this country. Why not give someone, who has proven himself to be an efficient and effective leader, a chance to head our government?

Duterte is a law graduate, which makes him more qualified because I believe having a high educational attainment should have been a prerequisite for anyone planning to run in politics a long time ago, not just be able to read and write.
Aspirants for such seats must have a clean track record, too. Those who have a history or are charged with plunder must be banned from running until the court clears them. We’ve had enough scams and corrupt officials for the longest time haven’t we? Now we see truth revealed right in front of us. What’s there to still be considered with these politicians planning to run again? When will we ever learn?

We cannot stick to the current system where, when money talks, lawbreakers are absolved – free to walk on the streets again. We need an iron fist that when it talks, every criminal would back off.•

Globe Labs supports the Philippine Software Industry Association’s 20th Enablement Seminar

Globe Labs, the developer community of leading mobile brand Globe Telecom, lends its support to the Philippine Software Industry Association’s 20th Enablement Seminar on April 29 at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Center, Legaspi Village, Makati City as part of its commitment to promote innovation in the industry.

With the theme “Are you mobile ready?”, the seminar is designed to provide an overview of the mobile industry, current operating systems and technologies, market shares, cross platform development (Android, iOS and Windows) as well as emerging platforms and future trends.

“As the number one mobile brand in the Philippines, Globe puts premium at innovation and brings this to life in its offer and customer experiences. This motivates Globe Labs to help startups, developers, and businesses expand their market reach through various telco Application Program Interfaces (APIs) that would make communication with clients easier for them. This is what we want to bring to this seminar,” said Anne Michelle Santos, Globe Labs Project Manager for Digital Media.

The half-day activity gathers experts in Information Technology such as Santos, Markku Kero, CEO of Eqela who has extensive technical expertise and long track record in multiple fields of the software industry; Ramon Pastor, co-founder of Rogomi; Darth Vidar, Mobile Client Software Development Manager at Voyager Innovations, Inc.; and Joben Rara, Technical Evangelist in Microsoft’s Developer Experience and Evangelism team.

Participants will learn from a lot of insights and sharing of best practices during the plenary sessions and group discussions. To make the seminar more interactive, there will also be a question and answer portion with the audience.

“We have partnered with Globe Labs in the past and we are glad to once again receive their support. The development of mobile applications has taken the technology industry by storm so we want to share the knowledge of industry experts to everybody who is interested to be part of this field,” said Karen Reyes, PSIA Program Manager.

PSIA holds Enablement Seminars every quarter to provide insights and to tackle emerging and relevant issues in the software and information technology sector while also encouraging discourse between industry, academe and government.

PSIA is the major association of Philippine software development firms engaged in IT outsourcing (ITO) and is composed of about 170 members. Its vision is to drive the Philippine software services and products to attain global leadership in market share, mindshare, and innovation.

Witcher 3: Wild Hunt First Play-through Finished

I just finished Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, and took me 300 – 350 hours of over all play with the least afk times from the game. The game provided me with great experience and left me very satisfied at the end. How the  story was delivered over all was masterful. I thought the story was well written and kept me intrigued throughout the game and mission designs were different except for the overuse of the Witcher sense. The few side quests that i did were similar or even better than the story quests and are quite involved. Open world games generally have an issue of emptiness as filling that world with fun activities is difficult but the Witcher 3 has set a high standard now. You can go anywhere and you will always find something interesting to do and it is a gorgeous game to look at. For new players the story from Witcher 1 and 2 are subtly explained between the character interaction but would recommend reading a wiki to truly understand their past together.

If there are anything resembling “fetch” quests, they’re entirely optional and woven into natural exploration of the map. For example, you might stumble across a monster nest where you kill a number of ghouls and drop a bomb down their hidey-hole to ensure they don’t come back. In other games, someone in town would have tasked you with going out and destroying three ghouls next and returning for a quick one-liner and a small reward. Here, The Witcher makes these moments entirely optional, and though they have the potential to reward you with XP and prizes, CD Projekt Red doesn’t pretending they’re remotely deep enough to warrant “quest” level classification, something other RPGs have done for years.

Comparing The Witcher 3 to last year’s Dragon Age: Inquisition is probably the most jarring contrast you can assemble, especially given all the lavish praise that was bestowed upon Bioware’s game. Both are massive, sprawling RPGs with a lot of characters and side-quests, but so often Dragon Age would force players to get bogged down in minutia, tasking them with itty bitty nonsense quests like I’ve just mentioned in order to even be remotely the proper level to take on story content.

The Witcher, from what I’ve found so far, is the opposite. It shoots a shotgun blast of quest types at you, of all different levels. I have some that are far below me, and others 20 levels too difficult. But for the most part, it’s easy to keep progressing in the main questline which hovers usually somewhat close to your level, if not under it. Rather than throwing up a wall that locks the “good” missions until you do a bunch of smaller useless ones, The Witcher 3 allows you to forge straight ahead with big quests if you want, and as an added bonus, the smaller quests are far from useless as well.

The problem this has created? The next time I’m tasked with collecting 10 or 20 anything in quest, or killing a specific number of enemies in a zone, I’m going to think “The Witcher did this way better.” Even “great” RPG-style games like Dragon Age, World of Warcraft, Skyrim, Fallout and more have been given a free pass on this for eons. Now, The Witcher has come along and shown that a smaller studio can create a more involved, complex, enjoyable game than the giants of Bioware, Blizzard and Bethesda in many ways. What’s going to be their excuse if they continue with more of the same?

The Witcher 3 is a wholesale improvement over the already-good Witcher 2, combining the free-roaming exploration of Red Dead Redemption with the complex branching storytelling of Dragon Age and the tightly designed melee combat of a Monster Hunter or a Dark Souls. It doesn’t always execute those things as well as the games from which it draws inspiration, but thanks to some sharp writing, smart design, and marvelous technical wizardry, Wild Hunt is engrossing despite—and even occasionally thanks to—its many familiar elements.

The game’s map is very large:

The Witcher 3 Is Even Bigger Than You Think

Which is impressive on its own. Every tiny road on that map is a road you can walk down, every little patch of green is a full forest you can explore. To put things in perspective, the city of Novigrad (to the north), which looks teeny on that map, is properly city-sized. Here’s the view from the southwest side of the city’s port:

The Witcher 3 Is Even Bigger Than You Think

There are still areas and alleyways in Novigrad that I haven’t seen. There’s a yellow quest exclamation-mark waiting for me in the western part of the city, but I haven’t visited it yet in part because it’d take so long to walk over there. That whole city takes up but a tiny portion of the northern tip of the map.

What’s more, that map doesn’t even really convey what’s remarkable about The Witcher 3’s scale. (For starters, it makes Skellige look much smaller than it is; it’s hard not to boggle when you arrive there after countless hours in Velen only to find a map that feels just as large.) What stands out to me about The Witcher 3 isn’t just its geographical size, it’s how much there is to do within that space.

The Witcher 3 is a currently in a league of its own. Still, I’m not sure everyone grasps just how massive it is. You can’t even compare a single region with Dragon Age: Inquisition as a counter part. I would say Skyrim or GTA V would be a better comparison to it, but it still holds its own with vast number of things you can do with the places you can visit.

But that’s what you would expect iIguess :). I don’t see why people are complaining about graphics etc… me personally thought the graphics were amazing and even though it might not be on the same quality it is still the one of best looking games out there. You can always do away with SweetFX to get more presets on enhanced graphics for Witcher 3 check my first entry on Witcher 3 Wild Hunt here.

“Wild Hunt” is actually a pretty good subtitle for The Witcher 3, but it could just as easily have been called The Witcher 3: Hello Ladies. There are more beautiful women in this game than you could shake an enchanted tree branch at, and you sure can have sex with some of them. (Indeed, you can even do it while sitting astride a stuffed unicorn.)

The Witcher series has always been unabashedly sexy; as you meet people aware of Geralt’s legend, it becomes clear that he’s as well known for banging sorceresses as he is for slaying monsters.

Wild Hunt is a grand adventure that feels distinctly of its time. It manages to set new standards for video game technology while accentuating the fleeting nature of technological achievement as an end unto itself. It is a worthy exploration of friendship and family, mixing scenes of great sorrow with scenes of ridiculous lustiness, tempering its melancholy with bright splashes of joy and merry monster guts.

For whole 300+++ hours I have enjoyed it and the only bad thing is. The geralt story is finished :(.
If you haven’t completed it, oh man you need to, ITS GREAT!